The new Pain Management Program targets specific areas of the brain affected by chronic pain, and can restore normal brain function. “Our program is based upon two recently discovered findings,” explains Dr. Przekop. “First, chronic pain is a disease of the brain. Second, given an optimal environment, the brain of the chronic pain patient retains the ability to heal and return to normal function.”
The program allows patients to gain insight into the ways in which pain has changed their ability to think and approach life. Patients learn a different approach to pain — an ability to control the pain. Patients learn to make cognitive changes, reassessments, and the ability to remain in the present with positivity and resilience. Coping skills are emphasized which allow patients to regain cognitive control as well as a sense of calmness, restful sleep, and the ability to better manage adversity.
The new treatment paradigm is designed to realign those areas of the brain that have been altered by chronic pain and related disorders. Elements of the program include mindfulness techniques and planned purposeful movements that allow the chronic pain patient to regain command of attention, memory, presence and emotional regulation. In addition, traditional treatments are offered in the form of acupuncture, external Qi Gong and other healing techniques. Preliminary studies have indicated that the program is effective in restoring cognition, a physical state of well being, and spiritual renewal.
In addition, the Pain Management Program is seamlessly integrated into the Betty Ford Center’s trauma and substance use disorder programs.