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"Stepped Care Model"--Offers New Hope For Management of Chronic Pain

For the 100 million plus Americans in chronic pain, there are sometimes more questions than answers. Many suffer day in, day out, with little to no hope for better solutions to their problems.  I would say to you all--there is hope out there...sometimes it takes time to figure out the best solution to one's problems, but there are many remediations already out there, and a lot of research into new and better solutions in the future. There is no "cookie cutter "solution to this problem; at best it is complex because pain is a unique experience to every individual.

One of the newest things on the horizon is known as the "Stepped Care Model For Pain Management" (SCM-PM).  Recently published in the Journal of Pain Research, this approach to pain management has three levels:

  • In the first step, a patient's pain concerns are identified by their clinician.  The patient and provider discuss the issue and focus on treatment based on self-management and intervention with primary care clinician.  
  • Step two involves collaboration with additional resources, such as behavioral health intervention and medications, and consultations with other specialists as needed.
  • The third step is reserved for those patients who require treatment above and beyond steps 1 and 2, including services of a pain management specialist.

The significance of this model is huge...because at the primary care level many physicians do not have advanced training in pain management...and because these earlier levels of intervention need to be tried before jumping to the conclusion that a pain management specialist is necessary in all cases.

Sources:; Wikimedia


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