The strategy involves a team of healthcare providers working cooperatively to design a self-management routine for patients that aims to assess, treat, and educate about chronic pain. The strategy is never focused on just pain management, but rather on a holistic approach that shapes and tailors treatment as behaviors begin to change and alter in patients.
Interdisciplinary Pain Management Teams include a network of various individuals.
- Patient (person suffering from chronic pain)
- Physical therapists
- Social workers
- Significant Others
They all work to help better the quality of life for chronic pain patients. The goal is to create a well-balanced approach to treatment. There are multiple benefits to a well functioning team. First of all you have a team of dedicated individuals whose primary goal is to review your care and discuss it with you. This will help create, track, and promote a pain management plan ideal for the degree of chronic pain.
Keep in mind that not all Interdisciplinary Pain Programs might fit to your specific needs, therefore you need to constantly assess the goal: Does the program focus on benefiting you as a whole person. Here are some traits of a well-functioning Interdisciplinary Pain Management team:
- They share the same beliefs and mission
- The program is patient and family centered
- The team works together for common, agreed upon goals
- Develop treatment plans based on individual needs
- Mutual respect and open communication is implemented
- Frequent communication between primary provider and team members
- Feedback about progress is constantly given
- Formal follow-ups are scheduled
Remember that keeping a well-balanced high quality lifestyle while simultaneously managing chronic pain is the optimal goal. Make sure to discuss this upfront with your pain doctor upon initial consultation.