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program_aniOur Program: The Lemons Center’s chronic pain management program works very well in tandem with the traditional Medical Model approach prescribed by physicians. In certain cases, a patient’s chronic pain persists, even though the patient has undergone surgery and other medical procedures to physically correct the causes of the pain. In such cases, The Lemons Center provides a multidisciplined approach which utilizes the Behavioral Science Model to augment the recovery program prescribed by the patient’s physicians. This approach has the the primary objective of restoring functional capacity while also addressing the emotional, economic and social consequences that accompany chronic pain.Our program includes a combination of psychological counseling, physical therapy and pain management education. We integrate these services into personalized treatment plans that have the goals of reducing pain, improving quality of life, permitting a return to work and social activities, reducing the use of prescription pain medications and reducing health care costs.

Psychological Counseling. A significant factor for patients suffering from chronic pain is the mind-body connection of pain. Our medical psychologists prepare a personalized program of psychological counseling for each patient. The behavioral component of pain management is provided through a series of individual and group sessions that include relaxation training, stress management training, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior modification and crisis intervention training.

Physical Therapy. This physical therapy component is vital to our pain management program. Patients with chronic pain often have increased muscle tension, which is the body’s natural response to pain. When pain becomes chronic, this tension can shift to extreme sustained muscle hyperactivity that actually exacerbates the pain experience. This problem is further exacerbated by the tightening of muscles in response to the increased stress caused by the disruption of the patient’s daily life from the pain. Furthermore, a patient’s muscles often have atrophied and become deconditioned, because the patient has been avoiding certain activities that produce pain. In our program, the physical therapist assigned to each patient teaches a personalized program of stretching and gentle strengthening techniques to specific muscle groups. The physical therapist also works with patients to gradually increase their level of physical activity in their daily lives.

Pain Management Education. Each patient receives information about the anatomy and physiology of their specific chronic pain condition. Patients are taught personalized ways on how to manage pain flares, guidelines on when to stop an activity or an exercise, how to modify an activity or exercise, and how and when to advance to different activities and exercises. To develop personal problem-solving skills, clients are taught to pay attention to their specific body signals to better manage their chronic pain. This education usually results in patients having the confidence and skills to more quickly resume an active lifestyle and return to work and recreational activities.

An appointment will be established for an initial evaluation with one of our pain management psychologists and, then, a recommendation will be made for one of the following programs:

Individual Counseling:
One-on-one sessions with one of our behavioral pain management psychologists who specialize in the treatment of chronic pain. Treatment usually entails one session per week with a total of 10-12 sessions.

Behavioral Pain Management/Stress Management Course:
This is a psycho-educational group therapy format which has been designed to teach healthy and proactive techniques to help individuals manage both their pain level and the emotional reactivity that often accompanies it. This class meets for one hour each week for 8-12 weeks.

Comprehensive Behavioral Pain Management Program: This level of treatment involves a four hour daily out-patient program that meets five days a week for six weeks. All disciplines involved including psychological support services, physical therapy and pain management education.