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Program puts pain in the patients’ hands

New program: St John of God’s Cristina Manu is running a new chronic pain management program. Picture: Vicky HughsonThere is fresh hope for chronic pain sufferers with a new program at St John of God Warrnambool taking a different approach to pain management.
Nanjing Night Net

The Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program began last week and rehabilitation physician Cristina Manu said it was the only one of its kind between Geelong and South Australia.

Dr Manu said the program encouraged patients to play anactive role in their pain management and used cognitive behavioural treatmentto lessen the impact of chronic pain.

“It’s about treating the whole person,” she said.

“We’re empowering the patient to manage that chronic pain.”

The program teaches patients self-treatment and self-management techniques to improve their quality of life.

Dr Manu said the program was based on chronic pain research that looked at the whole person –both the physical impairment and the psycho-social aspects of the condition.“It’s a holistic approach,” Dr Manusaid of the program.

Using cognitive behaviouraltherapycombined with a reconditioning program, theprogram is provided in a small group settingand is customised for eachpatient, Dr Manu said.

Four people are taking part inthe program’s first intake with hopes that it will continue to grow.

“Hopefully it will make a huge difference to these people’s lives,” she said.

A rehabilitation doctor, occupational therapist, physiotherapist andhydrotherapistform part of the pain management team.

A psychologist willalso work with patients to develop relaxation and distraction techniques to help them manage chronic pain.

Dr Manu said the program focused on reviewing medication, rehabilitation, improving function and activity levels,easing depression and anxiety, increasing community participation and returning to work.

Dr Manu said patients were selected for the program based on their willingness to adapt their chronic pain treatment.

“It has to be the right moment,” she said.

Chronic pain is any pain suffered consistently for more than three months. Types of chronic paininclude arthritis, back pain, neck pain, knee and shoulder pain, repetitive strain injury,fibromyalgia, muscular, neurological or complex regional pain syndromes.

Dr Manu said St John of God had run a similar pain management program a number of years ago and it was exciting to have something that catered for chronic pain up and running at the hospital again.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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