Frequently Asked Questions
I have been referred for a pain management program. What is this program?
The Successful Returns © Multidisciplinary Pain Management Program includes personal instruction and skills training to assist enrollees with learning how to manage their pain on a long-term basis. Patients come to our program to heal. Healing is not the same as a cure. Individuals often develop the mindset that a cure is necessary to “feel better”. Healing is a holistic and individual process. We provide the tools for healing to occur and our patients provide the motivation and persistence to heal themselves.
What are the goals of the pain management program?
Our program is behaviorally based. We focus on cognitive and behavioral change to help the patient progress. Our short-term goal is to remove obstacles that are preventing the patient from moving forward with their rehabilitation. Short-term goals typically include:
- Decrease pain and medication use
- Increase function
- Improve mood and psychological well-being
- Re-engage in social activities
- Manage of daily activities
- Exploration of vocational or return-to-work options
The program’s overall focus is education and skills training. It is our philosophy that most patients will modify their cognitions and behaviors if presented with information that enables them to make an informed choice. A significant part of the equation is regaining self-confidence and a sense of control over one’s self. This is accomplished through a behavioral approach that reinforces and models adaptive behaviors.
What does the initial evaluation include and how long does it take?
Our initial evaluation typically begins by discussing the case with the medical case manager and/or referring physician. Whenever possible we examine historical information regarding the injury and possible obstacles to moving forward with rehabilitation efforts. We subsequently ask for medical records including copies of independent medical examinations, physical therapy progress notes, discharge summaries, functional capacity evaluations, medical impressions from diagnostic procedures, and psychological/psychiatric records.
After receiving and reviewing the medical records, we schedule the patient for a three-part evaluation. Each patient will receive a psychological evaluation, a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) with a physical therapist, and a medical consultation with our medical director. The evaluations typically require four to five hours of clinical assessment. These evaluations are conducted to establish a baseline level of functioning and to develop a treatment plan with goals for holistic improvement.
How long is the program?
The average length of stay for the pain management program ranges between 15-25 days. There may be circumstances that require additional time and we will work with you, your case manager, insurance company, and physician to determine the most appropriate length of stay for your condition.
Patients are typically in the clinic up to 8 hours per day, Monday through Friday. Our programs start at 7:00 am.
How do I get to the clinic?
Our clinic at the Memorial Hermann – Memorial City campus located at 929 Gessner, Suite 1500 Houston, TX 77024. Patients traveling from out of town to attend the program are typically housed at a hotel near our facility. Transportation to Houston is provided by the insurance carrier. If you are staying at the hotel, the hotel van will drop our patients off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon. If the patient is wheelchair bound, a transportation service is typically consulted to provide accessibility.
Where will I stay if I am coming from out of town?
Our patients typically stay at the Marriott Residence Inn located a few miles from our clinic (1150 Eldridge Parkway Houston, Texas 77077).
Our Pre-Visit Checklist provides out-of-town patients with information on Houston-area resources, lodging and program tips.
What should I bring and wear?
All patients attending the program need to wear comfortable clothes that allow freedom of movement. General attire needs to include a supportive pair of tennis shoes. Towels are provided for patients in the program. Since you will be attending the program all day, you may want to pack a lunch or plan to go off site to pick up something to eat. There are many restaurants within walking distance. If you are traveling to Houston to attend the program, you will need to bring a four week supply of medication and clothes to wear for a minimum of one week. Washers and dryers are available at the hotel to launder clothing.
What outcomes has your program experienced?
Our program is accredited through CARF and maintains the highest standards and quality. We assess the effectiveness of all aspects of our program and seek input from a variety of stakeholders including the patient, family members, and referring physicians, case managers and insurers. We measure psychological changes, medication changes, subjective pain report, satisfaction with the program, implementation of a home exercise program and various demographic variables.
What happens once I finish the program?
At the conclusion of your program, you will receive a home program with exercises, activities and assignments that help to maintain the work you started in our program. Many of our clients return to work after completing our program and we encourage dynamic involvement in volunteer work or other social activities.
All participants will be contacted by program staff members to determine their post-discharge progress. Patients are typically contacted by telephone 30-90 days following their discharge from the program.
Occasionally patients are offered enrollment in an Aftercare program. Aftercare programs are conducted to offer support for individuals struggling with managing their pain after discharge. These programs are typically 5-10 days and offer a booster session in regards to skills training. Individuals may also return for these programs when their Home Exercise Program needs to be updated. Patients discharged from the program are encouraged to contact members of the treatment team by email or telephone if they have questions regarding their care.