Pain rehabilitation

Pain rehabilitation programs offer nondrug options for managing chronic pain. These may include physical, occupational and psychological therapy.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Pain rehabilitation programs explore various ways to help control pain and identify factors that contribute to pain. These programs are generally intended for individuals who have experienced a significant decline in daily functioning and quality of life as a result of chronic pain.

In most pain rehabilitation programs, a pain professional, pain psychologist and other specialists work together as an interdisciplinary team.

They incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help identify and replace negative thoughts and unhealthy behaviors. This can help you get back to your regular activities and improve your quality of life.

The program might also include physical therapy, occupational therapy, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, stress management and complementary medicine.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy focuses on reducing pain through a regular exercise program that incorporates flexibility, aerobic and strengthening exercises. Physical therapy is primarily based on proper body mechanics — using muscles and joints correctly to limit pain.

Even when you have pain, movement is important. In fact, movement helps speed recovery and might even help prevent acute pain from becoming chronic pain.

Physical therapists can tailor an exercise program to your individual condition and goals. They may also employ nonexercise treatments, such as ultrasound, heat or ice therapy, and massage. Braces, splints and assistive devices also might help.

Dec. 15, 2017 See more In-depth