Referred to as persistent and sometimes disabling pain in the body, chronic pain is an unpleasant sense of discomfort that has lasted longer than a few months. Chronic pain can disrupt a person’s life on a daily basis, preventing an individual from being able to hold a job and can lead to the development of emotional turmoil or mental health concerns. Chronic pain can disrupt normal movement and functioning and can adversely affect a person’s overall quality of life. At Sierra Tucson, we understand how disabling and frustrating it can be to live a life that has been taken over by chronic pain. For this reason, we have developed specialized programming that is tailored to meet the needs of men and women who need assistance in overcoming the detrimental effects that can result from chronic pain and the conditions that cause it.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
When someone you love and care about is experience chronic pain, it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting because you know that he or she is suffering, yet you may not be sure what you can do to help or how you can put an end to your loved one’s pain. Below are some tips that can assist you in helping your loved one seek and receive the treatment needed to help him or her live a more fruitful life:
- This first thing you can do to help your loved one is to take the time to understand chronic pain, including what condition your loved one is struggling with and exactly how it makes him or her feel. By having a basic understanding of how your loved one’s chronic pain condition works and what sort of treatment may be helpful to alleviate the condition, you will be able to gain a better perspective of what he or she is facing.
- Simply listening to your loved one can be extremely beneficial in providing him or her with the support that he or she needs. Many sufferers of chronic pain tend to think that others do not want to hear about the pain they are in or that some people may not even believe them that they are in pain. Simply acknowledging the presence of your loved ones pain and taking the time to listen without judgment can go a long way in helping him or her feel better about their condition.
- Sometimes you can provide comfort to your loved one in chronic pain by assisting him or her in completing tasks that carry the potential to worsen existing pain.
- Finally, encourage your loved one to seek professional treatment for chronic pain as it can help increase his or her overall quality of life. Offer to go with your loved one to the doctor or a certified pain management professional, all the while ensuring your loved one that you will be there to offer support and help throughout the treatment process.
Why Consider Treatment at Sierra Tucson
When individuals who are struggling with chronic pain do not get the proper treatment and care needed to help alleviate the pain they are experiencing, the resulting consequences can be detrimental to his or her overall quality of life. The emotional toll that chronic pain can take on a person can make the pain even worse, as it can reduce the body’s production of natural painkillers. It is also believed that chronic pain can suppress the immune system, making an individual more susceptible to developing certain illnesses. Additional problems that are associated with chronic pain can include fatigue, sleeplessness, and withdrawal from certain activities because of the need to rest. Other individuals may experience changes in mood, feelings of hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, stress, or anxiety. Furthermore, some individuals experience disabilities that interfere with their overall quality of life.
Types of Treatment Offered at Sierra Tucson
As an internationally known and respected treatment provider of medical, therapeutic, and experiential services, Sierra Tucson is pleased to offer state of the art treatment for a wide range of behavioral health concerns. Through the integration of evidence-based practices and integrative therapies, Sierra Tucson prides itself on being a leading provider of services that are effective in treating addictions and other behavioral health problems. Holistic and individualized treatment is cornerstone to the care offered at Sierra Tucson, and is provided by a staff of qualified and experienced. Sierra Tucson’s primary goal is to deliver services in such a manner that all who come to us for treatment will benefit from our services and resume the pursuit of a healthy and productive future.
Sierra Tucson includes Desert Flower Hospital, a 15-bed psychiatric hospital, and a 124-bed behavioral health residential treatment center, both of which are situated on the same campus. Patients who require immediate stabilization due to the presence of psychiatric concerns or those who are in need of medical detoxification services can receive these interventions at Desert Flower prior to engaging in Sierra Tucson’s residential care. Following completion of the programming at Desert Flower, patients will then engage in the comprehensive treatment offered at Sierra Tucson’s behavioral health residential treatment center.
For those patients who are living with chronic pain, we offer a specialized program that uses an innovative and comprehensive mind-body approach to treatment, which typically involves a 45-day length of stay. Patients in our Chronic Pain Program will receive both medical and psychological interventions that are designed to help diminish pain and increase functionality over time. Additionally, various proven therapeutic modalities are utilized to help target the patient’s underlying cause of pain, so that he or she can receive the most comprehensive treatment available. This integrated approach to treatment helps to foster self-awareness and teaches appropriate and effective skills for sustaining self-care.
Patients engaged in the Chronic Pain Program are offered the following treatment methods, of which are outlined in each person’s individualized treatment plan, as well as in Sierra Tucson’s daily treatment schedules:
Medication management: Individuals who are suffering from chronic pain may find alleviation from their symptoms through the implementation of non-narcotic medications. The need for medication, however, is always determined on a case-by-case basis. Patients engaged in the Chronic Pain Program are seen by a psychiatrist or attending physician on a weekly basis in order to determine the need for medication, monitor medication, and adjust any medication that has been prescribed. Registered nurses and clinical technicians also assist in monitoring a patient’s medication needs.
Individual therapy: Upon entering the Chronic Pain Program, each patient is assigned a primary therapist who they will meet with at least once each week. All individual sessions are conducted by Master’s level clinicians and/or licensed psychologists. These sessions are designed to afford patients the opportunity to discuss their progress in treatment, address any concerns that may arise, and process through various feelings that they are experiencing.
Group therapy: When patients are admitted into the Chronic Pain Program, they are also assigned to a small group of peers, all of whom are engaged in the same program. This group will meet together for group therapy sessions four times per week. In addition to serving as a general process group, topics that are covered during these group sessions may include, but are not limited to:
- Healing anxiety
- Pain and mood
- Anger management
- Identifying and processing feelings of shame to move to a place of resilience
- Pain education lectures with pain physician
- Working through grief and loss
- Healthy living
Four Day Family Program: Recognizing the important role of loved ones in the lives of patients, Sierra Tucson includes the Four Day Family program for family members and other close identified loved ones of patients. This program typically occurs during a patient’s third week of treatment and allows loved ones to engage in the therapeutic process to practice healthy communication and boundaries with understanding and support. Family members and loved ones can attend psychoeducational lectures, process groups, and a family dinner that can unify a family unit in a powerful way. Lastly, loved ones can remain in contact with a patient’s primary therapist should questions or concerns arise during the course of treatment.
Therapeutic Recreational Activities Program: In order to help patients build a stronger sense of self and increased confidence as they overcome the symptoms of chronic pain, this program offers patients a myriad of therapeutic activities, which are conducted daily or on a weekly basis. A patient’s participation in such activities will be outlined in his or her treatment plan and may include the following:
- Expressive art
- Adventure therapy (including a ropes course and rock wall)
- Movement therapy
- Enhanced equine therapy
- Pool or open gym time
- Play therapy
Additional services: In order to fully care for the needs of those who are working through the symptoms of chronic pain, Sierra Tucson is proud to offer a number of additional services through an innovative approach to treatment. Special time is set aside for selected individual appointments which will be outlined in one’s treatment plan in order to address individualized needs. Such services may include, but are not limited to:
- Therapeutic massage
- Psychological testing
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Zero balance
- Personal training
- Somato-emotional response massage (SER massage) – occurs at least once per week
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) – occurs at least once per week
- SE (Somatic Experiencing) – occurs at least once per week
Furthermore, each day will end on a positive note by allowing patients to gather together and reflect through a Gifts and Blessings Ceremony.
Should a patient require stabilization services while engaged in Sierra Tucson’s residential programming, he or she is able to partake in the services supplied by Desert Flower Hospital before returning to residential treatment. The staff of professionals conducts an ongoing assessment of each patient’s progress and needs and offers assistance in making this transition smooth so as to continue the process of healing with as little disruption as possible.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
Sierra Tucson’s method for providing all-encompassing care for every patient who comes for treatment includes thorough discharge planning and continuing care services that are second-to-none. Once a patient engages in services to treat chronic pain at Sierra Tucson, a comprehensive continued care plan is devised so that they can remain successful once treatment is complete. Those partaking in the services at Desert Flower Hospital meet with continued care staff to assess each individual’s needs and plan for discharge. Those engaged in the residential programming at Sierra Tucson meet with the same continued care staff and regional outreach specialists and partake in lectures and one-on-one planning sessions to ensure quality referrals and to establish any follow-up appointments that may be required once they have been discharged.
Furthermore, patients exiting the residential programming, along with their family members, can benefit from The Connections Program. This program includes 12-month-long case management services that are in place to offer ongoing and substantial support to former patients. A representative from this program contacts patients 48 hours after they are discharged and is available to assist these individuals in seeking and receiving the additional services they need in order to remain successful in the process of healing and recovery.
Lastly, former patients can take part in the Alumni Relations affiliated with Sierra Tucson. These services include groups offered through outpatient centers, which are located across the United States.
If you or a loved one wishes to receive the superior care that has improved the lives of many individuals who have struggled with chronic pain, look no further than Sierra Tucson. The life you have envisioned can begin here.