Pain management is the most widely used pain treatment modality and opioid narcotic pain medications are the most frequently utilized protocol in outpatient pain management clinics. Painkillers can be quite effective in temporarily diminishing pain, but many who suffer from chronic pain run the risk of developing chemical dependency or even addiction. For many clients, the amount of opioid pain medication is increased over time, providing initial pain relief, but not prolonged pain resolution. Often the dose simply continues to escalate with ongoing unrelenting pain and decreasing function. Essentially, in many pain management settings, there is no long-term strategy or long-term solution for treating chronic pain beyond ever-increasing doses of medication and surgical procedures.
LVRC believes in a different approach: Pain Recovery -- a revolutionary concept that starts with people being free of opioids. It is a solution-focused, holistic approach to treating chronic pain, that encompasses the four essential points of balance for optimal functioning: the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. By balancing these areas and building bridges of mutual support with peers and allies, chronic pain sufferers can learn to accept and live with pain, while letting go of suffering. While pain may be inevitable—suffering is not. It occurs in response to thoughts such as: “Why me?,” “It isn't fair!” or “I can't stand it!” Suffering helps cause, and is often the result of, feelings of anxiety, anger, fear, depression, frustration, and hopelessness.
Pain Recovery is a psychological process of learning how to accept pain, while reducing physical and emotional suffering. The recovery approach guides clients to consider various physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual strategies for accepting chronic pain, and toward learning how to live in peaceful coexistence with it. The goal of pain recovery is to enable those with chronic pain to address their pain in healthier ways; to gain freedom from feeling, thinking, and acting like a victim; and to learn how to live comfortably, and free from habit-forming substances.
Pain recovery applies the principles of the Twelve Steps of recovery programs to the challenges of living with chronic pain. Like any other form of “recovery,” pain recovery is basically the process of moving from imbalance to balance. It uses the tools of acceptance, hope, willingness and an open mind to take positive action. Once a person can accept his or her powerlessness over the existence of chronic pain, he or she becomes empowered to assume personal responsibility, and can begin the recovery process. It is important for individuals with chronic pain to explore the possibility of addiction during their pain recovery program, which LVRC makes possible in the context of educational addiction groups, twelve-step modalities, and a variety of assessments during the program. LVRC provides a safe and friendly community environment where clients can share their experiences and improvement over the course of their stay. In this setting, new clients are able to compare and contrast their experiences with others and positively project a future for themselves, free of medications and with reduced pain and suffering.