Pain Coaching: A Pathway for Managing Chronic Pain

The following update is brought to you by our Community Relations Director, David Romero.

Yesterday morning, Neurologist Dr. Mahyar Okhovat and our community relations team arose bright and early to get a head start on PAINWeek. Their focus? To learn more about chronic pain, and specifically Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) Treatments. To open the day, they attended a course in Pain Management Coaching. What exactly is Pain Management Coaching?  Pain Management Coaching is a treatment option which helps patients move through their current experience of chronic pain. There are some chronic pain patients that need, require, or desire the help of a Pain Management Coach. The Coach works to empower the chronic pain patient in progressing forward with recovery, thought, and self-discovery. The PMIR team had the opportunity to sit down with the head presenter of the course, Mrs. Rebecca (Becky) Curtis, and her husband, Mr. Barry Curtis. They discussed Becky’s compelling story as accident survivor, to chronic pain patient, to rising above the adversity of chronic pain and becoming a Pain Coach for those affected by the potentially debilitating disease.

Becky has a long history with chronic pain. She was involved in a car accident several years ago and experienced a C4 spinal injury, leaving her as an incomplete quadriplegic with Browns Sequard syndrome. She later developed a spinal cord syrinx (fluid filled cyst on her spinal cord), causing burning from her head to her toes.  Through self-discovery, determination, and growth – Becky began focusing not only on the physical rehabilitation of her body but the mental rehabilitation specifically addressing the chronic pain.  Becky now sees pain as an experience which she has control over.

Becky has since dedicated her life to helping those with chronic pain, and subsequently began a company called Take Courage Coaching (TCC). TCC offers a one-year training program which is is designed to empower chronic pain patients. According to Becky, “Coaching relies on the client to be an active manager of their own pain, instead of passive.” Pain Management Coaching puts the power and strength of healing in the patient’s hands. Barry added, “People get trapped in a ‘cure me’ mentality.” Healthcare providers know that treating chronic pain takes time, patience, and a significant amount of diligence by the patient and all providers involved. Whereas providers sometimes give a directive approach, Pain Management Coaching provides an empowering approach. Some describe Pain Management Coaching as the missing link between pain management and healing beyond.

Becky suggests chronic pain patients see a Pain Management Coach when they want something different, or when they are told no further treatments are available to treat their pain. When a patient finally accepts the pain for what it is, they can create a plan with their physician and coach to make the pain more manageable. Even insurance providers are beginning to see Pain Coaching as a valuable tool in managing chronic pain. At PMIR, your physician will support and encourage you to work with CAM specialists like Becky.

Becky’s company is steadily growing. She currently oversees 11 coaches around the United States. You can learn more at www.takecouragecoaching.com, or by calling (406) 586-0540.

Stay tuned to learn more about PAINWeek 2012 from the PMIR perspective.

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