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Deciding to participate in a Pain Rehabilitation Program

Pain rehabilitation is a challenging process that requires a serious commitment. Your primary medical doctor or other health professional can assess whether pain rehabilitation might be appropriate. If you are interested, PRA staff can evaluate your situation and recommend which program might best fit your circumstances. To assess your readiness, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my life focused on pain or other symptoms and what I am not able to do, rather than what I am able to do?
  • Are my doctors telling me there is nothing more they can do to relieve the pain/symptoms? Do they tell me I need to get on with my life?
  • Am I truly concerned about the long-term effects of taking pain medications?
  • Is my family's well-being affected because of my impaired functioning?
  • Is my recovery from injury or illness taking much longer than my doctors or I expected?
  • Am I not able to commit to social events with family or friends because my pain/symptoms may be worse that day?
  • Is my mood affected by pain/symptoms and activities I am not able to do?
  • Has my attendance at school/work been affected?

Answering "yes" to any of these questions may indicate that pain rehabilitation is appropriate.

I’ve answered yes. Which program is right for me?

PRA pain management programs are designed to teach the skills necessary to help you manage pain independently. During the evaluation process, your interdisciplinary medical team of experts will come up with a comprehensive treatment plan to assist you in achieving your individual goals.

  • Improved physical abilities
  • Reduced and controlling pain
  • Reduced reliance on medications
  • Improved relationships with others
  • A successful return to work
  • Improved function and quality of life

Can I make an appointment myself?

Because patients with chronic pain typically have complicated medical problems, PRA prefers that patients be referred by a medical provider (for example, attending physician, primary care doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, and case manager or rehabilitation counselor). From background information obtained through a provider, staff can determine if PRA’s integrated rehabilitation approach might benefit the patient.

My doctor referred me; what happens next?

Authorization by your insurance carrier will be obtained prior to scheduling an evaluation. You will then be scheduled for an evaluation with each member of the evaluation team. The team is most often comprised of a physician, psychologist, and a physical therapist. Our workers’ compensation evaluation may also include a vocational and occupational therapy component. The purpose of the evaluation is to establish an appropriate treatment plan, coordinate services with your primary healthcare provider and answer any program questions you may have. We encourage your significant other to accompany you to your evaluation.

After evaluation, you will have a conference with the team to discuss their assessment and any treatment recommendations. Reports will be provided to your primary care physician who will then determine if you will continue in our treatment program.

My doctor agrees with your recommendations. When can I start the program?

If recommended for an interdisciplinary pain management program, the PRA referral coordinator will be in contact with you to coordinate an admission date. Information from diagnostic/imaging reports or additional medical records may be requested of your providers. Members of the Health Services Team at PRA will be in touch to answer your remaining questions.

Can my family participate?

Yes, family participation is encouraged. Chronic pain affects the whole family, not just the person in pain. Others affected might include a spouse, partner, sibling, parent, children or those involved in a caring relationship. Often, activities of daily life are altered to accommodate the person in pain. The result is additional responsibilities for others. Problems can arise, including financial strain, miscommunication, resentment, confusion and isolation. Family participation indicates a willingness to learn how to help the client manage chronic pain symptoms better.

Does my insurance cover these programs?

After the initial evaluation, a tentative admission date is scheduled. A representative from PRA will contact your insurance carrier for you, as many health insurance plans require approval prior to admission. You may also have a deductible or co-pay obligation. For questions about insurance issues or approval status, contact your PRA representative at 503.292.0765.

How much does the program cost?

Since every client treatment plan and insurance plans are unique, please contact PRA at 503.292.0765 for an estimate of your anticipated program cost.

Where should I stay in Portland?

If you are from out of town and your insurer has authorized it, accommodations will be made for you at a local hotel. Your check-in date will be the day prior to admission to our facility. Shuttle service and other amenities are provided by our trusted hotel partners. Coin operated laundry facilities are available during your stay.

Our negotiated rate is also available for those whose insurance does not cover the hotel expense. PRA staff must make these arrangements, noting that the client will be directly responsible for all costs incurred.

What should I bring?

Clients should arrive at PRA with all current medications in the original containers, when possible. Nursing staff will review medications at admission and after the team meets to discuss the treatment recommendations.

What should I wear?

Clothing should be comfortable, casual and appropriate for exercise and the more active portions of the day. Many clients choose to wear layers of clothing. Tennis shoes are recommended.

Are meals served?

A microwave and refrigerator are available for those who wish to bring their own meals or snacks. Lunch can be ordered through a local deli and delivered to PRA. Restaurants are within walking distance for those who wish to go out. Clients for whom insurance does not cover meal costs (non-workers’ comp clients) will be responsible for the cost of their own meals.

What about my valuables?

We have lockers and locks for your personal belongings. We strongly suggest you leave valuables and large sums of money at home. PRA is not responsible for lost possessions.