It is estimated that 1 in every 10 American adults suffer from chronic pain and often times those individuals are taking opiate painkillers. When an individual takes an opiate for a long period of time, it can lead to more problematic pain, a possible dependency on the prescription and an addiction disorder.
“All pain is real,” says Dr. Mel Pohl, Las Vegas Recovery Center’s Chief Medical Officer. “Typically clients are not fabricating their experience with pain but there are differences between acute pain and chronic pain.”
Acute pain is often described as pain that lasts for a few weeks or months and is directly related to injury to tissue.
Chronic pain has lasting effects that can progressively get worse. Chronic pain is typically associated with arthritis or fibromyalgia; issues with an unusual healing process and other underlying health problems.
At Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), we typically see clients with identifiable pain generators such as musculoskeletal pain, complex regional pain syndrome, Crohn’s disease, headaches, back and neck pain, with and without disc disease, as well as many other conditions associated with chronic pain.
Frequently, LVRC sees individuals who are actively taking opiate-based prescription pain medications and who have become tolerant to the prescription’s effects. When admitted these clients will go through our Chronic Pain Recovery Program.
The focus of LVRC’s Chronic Pain Recovery Program is to reduce pain and increase function thus improving the quality of life—all without opioid pain medication. This is a four-week inpatient functional restoration program, which begins after medically monitored withdrawal (detoxification from a drug dependency).
“Opioids are pro-inflammatory, meaning that they cause inflammation in the brain tissue when pain is experienced,” says Dr. Pohl. “People experience more pain on opiates than off of them and we have proven this time and time again at LVRC. When our clients come off their painkillers, we see that their pain goes down over time. We try to educate clients about these prescription dependencies and help wean them off their medications. “
The goal of our Chronic Pain Recovery Program 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. When going through the program clients will also have daily exercise groups and counseling, as well as weekly massages, acupuncture treatment, and yoga and Reiki sessions. These sessions have been proven effective for people who are suffering from some sort of trauma or chronic pain.