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Alternative Options for Managing Pain: Educating Patients Is 'Essential'

Rheumatology Consultant interviews Maggie Wimmer, program and outcomes coordinator at HSS, and Robyn Weisel, MCHES, associate director of public and patient education at HSS, about results from their recent study on the effectiveness of a pain management program for patients in a clinic setting.

Moderator Melinda Stevens reports that HSS has implemented a pain and stress management program catered to those living with chronic musculoskeletal conditions. 

"Rheumatology patients often have conditions that lead to stiff joints and muscles, and many other clinic patients are on some type of pain medication to help mitigate their pain associated with their condition," said Weisel. "Studies show that one-third of patients with RA [rheumatoid arthritis] are being prescribed opioids as part of a treatment plan and one in ten use opioids chronically during the course of their disease."

The HSS program aims to give patients alternative strategies to help cope with pain and has multiple components including workshops and weekly phone calls all aimed to meet patients' needs.

"We implemented additional aspects to our program so it not only focuses on the breath... but we also added in some aspects of movement as well,"  said Wimmer. "Patients engage in mindful breathing techniques as well as seated yoga poses ending with a deep relaxation session that tie together both the movement with the breath."

Listen to the full podcast at consultant360.com.