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Living with pain is a daily reality for many people, but for those who suffer with regular pain, living a full and active life may seem impossible. At Avalon Malibu, we believe it is possible to increase our clients’ level of functioning and quality of life while they reduce their sense of suffering. The key is to have the right skills, support and direction. We strive to impart these basic principles so individuals may come to a place of serenity in which to learn. That balance is a challenge in health care today, but we help people with pain take an active role in their treatment as they build relationships with our staff of health care providers in a positive way.
Chronic pain is a condition that researchers struggle to understand and improve. But advances have been made in helping people to manage pain. These programs focus on the total person, not just the pain.
Early Greeks and Romans realized that the brain plays a role in the perception of pain. In the 19th century, it was discovered that opiates such as morphine could relieve pain and a chemist named Felix Hoffmann developed aspirin. To this day, aspirin is the most commonly used pain reliever. In 1994, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defined pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience with actual or potential tissue damage.”
In today’s world, pain affects more Americans than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. It is the most common reason cited for Americans’ steady access to the health care system. Pain is the leading cause of disability and a major contributor to rising health care costs. One in every four Americans have suffered from pain that lasts longer than 24 hours, and millions more suffer from acute pain. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability.
Pain can be a chronic disease, it can be a barrier to cancer treatment, and it can occur along with other diseases and conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. The variation in the way that different genders perceive pain and respond to treatment has led to a new direction with discoveries in research on pain relief. For example, new medications which provide relief from acute pain in women sometimes increase pain in men. Scientists have identified a genetically variant enzyme that reduces sensitivity to acute pain and can decrease the risk of chronic pain. Research has also demonstrated that individual pain management programs may reduce cancer pain for some patients.
Going forward, there are new and innovative ways to measure and categorize pain. For example, using computer-assisted technology to develop programs that will capture pain experiences. These upgraded tools, combined with existing treatment methods, more accurately and consistently measure pain over time and across groups, diseases and conditions.
One of the missions of Avalon Malibu is to provide a supportive, active and caring environment for clients experiencing chronic pain. Our pain management program promotes increases in daily functioning and facilitates decreases in pain suffering. We use interdisciplinary treatment to teach lifelong pain management skills that encourage our clients to better manage their own pain and improve their quality of life.
Our staff is committed to providing clients with the most current and effective treatments available, helping to make advances in the treatment of chronic pain disorders. The emphasis at Avalon Malibu is research, and the focus is on education, for not only our clients and health care professionals, but also for our surrounding community.
The services that we offer chronic pain sufferers originate from our main facility at the Grand House. Some of these services include medication management, family-client education, mind-body connection, coping skills, stress management, physical therapy, occupational therapy (posture, body mechanics, ergonomics), and relaxation training, among many others.
Chronic pain wears down the body, stresses the kidneys, and adds emotional and physical distress on the body and mental stress on the brain. At Avalon’s Grand House, our staff considers alternative treatments for pain management such as massage therapy, mental distraction, physical activity, meditation and relaxation through nature exploration. Our clients are able to enjoy pain-relieving activities and discover ways to reduce their pain medication needs in order to embrace the quality of life they deserve and hope for.
Want to learn more about our pain management treatments? Call today to speak confidentially to a specialist.