Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation: Information For Pain Practitioners


What Is Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation?

Interdisciplinary rehabilitation is a program that is conducted by various clinics or hospitals. It improves function, quality of life for individual patients who have chronic pain. This program involves a number of professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, pain psychologists and so on. These professionals oversee a 5-day-a-week program that usually lasts for 3 weeks.

What Is Pain?

Pain is an unpleasant sensation in the body. It can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. It has two components, namely, physical and emotional. The physical part of pain in our body results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be concentrated to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia.

Classification Of Pain

Pain can be classified into two categories, one of which is acute pain and the other is chronic pain. Acute pain is the pain that usually lasts for a moment, for weeks or even longer. It is typically related with tissue injury or some sort of disease. Whereas, chronic pain is the case in which pain signals remain active in the nervous system beyond the normal time of healing and does not respond to a simple or immediate treatment.

Management Of Pain Using Interdisciplinary Approach

The key to pain management is to understand the difference between the two types of pain, that is, chronic and acute. Interdisciplinary approach is used for pain management of patients who suffer with chronic pain. The practitioners, who conduct the interdisciplinary programs, first outline the expectations of the treatment by considering an array of evidence-based therapies. These therapies include physical therapy, behavioral programs such as cognitive behavioral therapy and non-opioid medications, and procedures such as nerve blocks. This is done in order to establish a connection between the patient and the practitioner.


Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation

These are programs that intend to enhance independent capacity at home and other public arenas and to help adjust to inabilities or changes in living conditions so as to oblige debilitation. Interdisciplinary rehab programs are the personification of the bio psychosocial model of the care that patients receive, who suffer with chronic pain. Their providers focus on the person as a whole.
The main motive behind rehabilitation treatment is to re-establish the lost functional capacities of the patients. For example, their capacities to move, talk, eat, think, and use the toilet etc. An interdisciplinary rehab program is crucial to limit and overcome the inabilities of the patients. It focuses on maximizing the practical recovery of the patients by thorough considerations. The professionals use their expertise to commit to the complete administration of the patient.

Strategies Used In A Rehabilitation Program

A lot of research and development has been done by practitioners and scientists and doctors in order to devise an effective treatment. There has been research on treatment through various forms of medicine, like, Ayurveda, which uses herbs, Yoga, which uses muscle recreation, and so on. Even today, muscle recreation is used as a treatment, only now it is in electrical mode.
There are all kinds of strategies involved in a rehab program, including physical as well as mechanical techniques. Pain is lowered by implementing such techniques like, application of ice packs or warmth sacks, manual or electric back rubs, stretching sore muscles, and many more.
The mainly used techniques include two kinds of exercises, first, the McKenzie approach and second, the Dynamic lumbar adjustment. McKenzie approach is exclusively applied on the back. It was produced for centralizing and lowering the pain and the side effects which are related to the back. The other method, that is, the Dynamic lumbar adjustment, reduces the development of pain by confining it at the injured area.

Assessment Of The Patient Before The Treatment

It is important to examine the conditions of the patient in advance of the treatment. The therapists study the history of the patient’s reports and physical tests. The real zones for analyzing the condition of the patient are his muscular strength, scope of motion, coordination, engine control and equalization. The brain functioning is also examined through various methods. There takes place other tests, like, lung tests for breath finding, nerves and muscles tests, imaging tests, namely, MRI, ECG, etc.

Emphasis Of The Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Approach

It emphasizes on ongoing, open and reciprocal communication, collaborative and complementary efforts of multiple disciplines, evidence based multimodal interventions, quality improvement, problem solving, establishment of treatment decisions and goals, proper execution, etc. the interdisciplinary approach indentifies the areas contribute to the patient’s chronic pain. These areas lie within the social, medical and psychological domains. The comprehensive programs integrate multiple disciplines. Interdisciplinary approach also caters to the needs of individual patients as well as establishes and monitors progress of the treatment towards achieving goals.

The Bottom Line

It must be noted that interdisciplinary pain management and its efforts are based on concurrent implementation of treatment plan components. The main aim is to empower the patients’ efforts and that of their caregivers too. Thus, the approach is known as patient centric and family centric. The good news is that interdisciplinary rehab programs have been successful in the rehabilitation of people with chronic pain.


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