What is the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System?
Developed by our Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Stephen Grinstead, The Addiction Free Pain Management® System is our proprietary method of concurrently addressing the four quadrants of suffering: biological (physical), psychological, social, and spiritual. This system was developed in Dr. Grinstead’s own quest to find chronic pain relief without the risk of surgeries and reliance on opioid medications.
After years of continued research, his system now serves as the core foundation of our treatment curriculum. The enhanced Addiction Free Pain Management® PLUS System supports individuals to embrace more effective chronic pain management strategies with exposure to holistic and non-pharmacological modalities.
Biological/Physical Symptoms of Pain
Imagine the most intense pain you have experienced in your life. This could be breaking a bone, suffering a dislocation, or even the pain of child labor. Focus on that memory and try to remember that pain. Now imagine having this pain with you nearly every moment of every day for over six months. This is life living with a chronic pain condition.
We treating individuals who have hit a therapeutic ceiling in their pain management. Traditional or “western focused” treatments like shots and surgeries do not offer lasting relief. Opioid medications may work great at first, but often come with a host of problematic side effects – including raising an individual’s pain sensitivity. That is why a percentage of the chronic pain population must look outside the box of western medicine to find more effective ways to manage pain. Some of the modalities we use to address the physical suffering of pain include dietary changes, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, and restorative yoga.
Psychological Symptoms of Pain
In order to effectively manage one’s pain, we have to address perception of pain. Suffering is shaped by how someone perceives their pain. Terms like agonizing, dreadful, and debilitating are often used to describe psychological suffering associated with pain. Also, co-occurring psychological disorders contribute to this perception of pain, including depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD. These disorders are commonly associated with chronic pain conditions, and if left untreated, can amplify or cause additional pain.
Holistic modalities are helpful to address the psychological symptoms of pain. Mindfulness and meditative practices help shape the patient’s perception of their experiences. Other modalities that are helpful to help address depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD associated with a chronic pain condition include equine therapy, neurofeedback and biofeedback.
Addressing Social Symptoms of Pain
We’ve seen many marriages and partnerships come to a tragic end due to one of the partners living with an undertreated or mistreated chronic pain condition. Sometimes family members and significant others develop their own healthcare problems while trying to help someone they love, cope with chronic pain. Family and significant others often get burned out, or they become frustrated and resentful towards their loved one. A support person can become just as hopeless and helpless as their family member who is suffering and may even develop severe depression, anxiety or a sleep problems.
When it comes to this area of healing it is important to realize that many people living with chronic pain have been isolated for a long time – sometimes decades. An important part of improving levels of functioning includes helping people connect with family and friends in a new and healthy manner.
Another important area is to develop appropriate Relapse Prevention Teammates and accountability partners. We support our patients to develop relapse prevention and continuing care plans that helps to reduce isolation and connect with others in a healthy way.
Spiritual Symptoms of Pain
When someone is living for years with a chronic condition, it has the potential to disconnect them from their spiritual center. Even if someone grew up with a strong affiliation to a church or organized religion, the persistence of pain and suffering can disrupt their spiritual connection.
Many people living with chronic pain believe as if their higher power has abandoned them. No matter a patient’s religious background, we help them create to a stronger connection with their higher power, whatever that may be. Many people can also connect to a higher power and experience spirituality through art, music, and nature.
Our spiritual direction program brings an added dimension to our treatment curriculum by creating a sacred space for patients to connect with deep questions, longings, and life experiences that invite meaningful soul searching and connection.