Functional Restoration Program
What is it?
The Functional Restoration Program (FRP) helps patients overcome chronic pain through an interdisciplinary, collaborative team approach, so they can return to work and to life. The program removes physical, emotional and psychological barriers that keep patients from achieving maximum functionality. Patients commit to 4 hours every weekday for 4 weeks to work with their care team.
What should patients expect?
Setting Treatment Goals
The FRP carefully quantifies and continually measures each patient’s progress toward individual, specific treatment goals. These goals include:
- returning to work and health by increasing functionality and activities of daily living;
- reducing reliance on health care by stabilizing medications and decreasing pain medications increasing adherence to the prescribed treatment, and increasing reliance on self;
- decreasing suffering by decreasing and removing psychological barriers implicated in each patient condition; and
- decreasing pain through the use of all of the above treatment modalities.
Each patient has a combination of unique factors and needs that impact their progress. Through consistent collaboration, the interdisciplinary team works to help each patient with their personal pain experience and functional goals.
Patients’ treatment goals are quantified and measured. For example, a patient may have a goal to walk their dog for 30 minutes each day. Progress will be measured in increments; first a 5 or 10-minute walk, then getting closer to the goal as it’s reasonable. For some patients, the goals might be having the stamina to return to work, or cooking dinner for their family. It depends what is important to the patient and their quality of life.
Who works with patients in the FRP?
Each patient participating in the FRP is the focus of a dedicated care team. Multidisciplinary practitioners work together with a patient to achieve treatment goals and improve the patient’s quality of life. The interdisciplinary treatment team within the FRP collaborates to provide each patient with multiple elements of treatment to help him or her meet program goals.
- The medical doctor (MD) acts a team lead, and works to decrease the patient’s reliance on pain medication and healthcare utilization, while educating the patient about their pain, working to reduce false pain beliefs and negative pain behaviors.
- The behavioral health practitioner (BHP) , often a clinical psychologist, works with each patient to identify mental barriers and ways to remove them in individual, group, and family therapy sessions. Chronic pain often comes with depression, which can hinder achieving functional goals.
- The physical therapist (PT) uses physical treatment techniques that specialize in body mechanics, exercise, and reconditioning. Individual and group treatments are provided to increase endurance, tolerance, strength, range of motion and other physical measures.
- The occupational therapist (OT) works with patients to restore activities of daily living, to facilitate a return to work and health. The work focuses on achieving tasks necessary for daily life, and whole body activities that closely approximate job demands, increasing the patient’s ability to return to work.
Patients in the FRP program may also experience:
- Educational lectures, including techniques for pain control, inappropriate use of medication, psychophysiology, stress reduction and the physiology of pain.
- Biofeedback sessions, used to decrease stress and muscle tension while increasing relaxation. This technique helps patients learn the connection between their psychological state and physiological functioning as well as their ability to influence these processes.
- Learning how to reinforce “well” behaviors, while not reinforcing “pain behaviors”. Over time, model helps the patient un-learn maladaptive behaviors that have resulted from his or her chronic pain and to learn adaptive ones that leads to health.
- Case management, discharge planning and aftercare plans, in order to facilitate patients’ return to work.
Real Patients on the FRP
Some of our patients who have experienced the FRP share their experiences and how the program changed their relationship with pain.