Quality Care - everyone, everytime

Multidisciplinary Treatment of Chronic Pain

The best treatment result for chronic pain conditions is usually achieved by a team of several different healthcare professionals.

Long-lasting pain results in profound changes in pain perceptions, pain thresholds, coping, enjoyment, social and professional life, mood and so on. In addition to the physical changes, mental and behavioural changes are results of and important factors in maintaining the ongoing pain experience (see ’What is Chronic Pain’)

Because of these multiple differing factors, straightforward “single mode” pain treatment usually results in short-term relief at best e.g. taking painkillers only or having injections only will in most cases not have satisfying medium - or long-term effects. It is important to address all contributing factors.


A team of healthcare professionals will treat you

Teams who treat chronic pain consist of specialised doctors and nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists. Together, they can help and address the various needs of pain patients:

  • Doctors and nurses are trying to reduce pain intensity and control any underlying cause, if known. They assess patients, establish treatment plans, advise and educate patients about their condition, prescribe and review medicines and perform injections and/or acupuncture meant to relieve pain.
  • Physiotherapists treat musculoskeletal conditions causing or being the result of pain. The goal usually is to maintain or improve mobility of joints and strengthen weakened muscles. Some specially trained physiotherapists provide acupuncture as well.
  • Psychologists address mood, coping and behavioural changes related to pain. Most patients suffering from ongoing pain are frustrated and depressed with being in pain, suffering with reduced mobility, not being able to continue with their profession or life in general. The amount of depression is far more t han most patients can successfully cope with. And in turn, depression and anger make the pain feel worse and reduce the pain threshold even further. Behaviour “learned” while in pain, like avoidance, resignation, passivity result in increasing inability to manage ones life with pain and increase dependence on others and the health system. Psychologists can successfully interrupt these interacting cycles and are essential in most cases to achieve acceptable long-term treatment results.


What to expect – treatment goals

In most cases, total pain reduction cannot be achieved. A realistic treatment target is the reduction to an intensity level, which you can cope with and do most of the things in your life that are important to you. Most patients will already have realised that they will have to make adjustment to their lifestyle and, in many cases profession as well. Although mobility and activity levels are generally reduced because of the pain, it is very important to go through the daily struggle to maintain some activity. Giving up and becoming passive will worsen muscular and joint function and after a short while will increase pain intensity further. In addition, becoming passive starts a downward spiral of dependence on others as well as loss of self-esteem and self-control.

Most patients suffering from chronic pain will reach a stable balance of managing their lives with pain, but will now and again need help from healthcare professionals, family members and friends during mental or physical deterioration. This is “normal” for most chronic pain conditions. Successful treatment can reduce the duration and frequency of these periods.

The main target of our treatment efforts - be it medicines, injections, psycho- or physiotherapy - is to help you regain this balance to manage your life yourself. Treatment is not meant to make you reliable on healthcare professionals so do not expect them to take over responsibility for you. You will need to continue to be responsible for yourself, finding solutions to enable you to continue with your life even whilst in pain but we will help you to achieve that balance.

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