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12 Classes Offered at VA Pain School

Pain Education School consists of 12-weeks of 1-hour classes with an additional 1-hour introduction class during the first week (total of 13 hours). The 12 classes are scheduled on a rotating basis, regardless of the patient’s entry point—the providers in the study rotate on a schedule, not the patients.

The 12 classes offered at the VA Pain Education School:

  1. Pain Clinic/Osteopathic Manipulation: Discuss injections/spinal procedures, review the multidisciplinary approach to pain management, and introduce osteopathic manipulation of the bones and tissues of the body
  2. Pharmacy: Review classes of pain medications, create realistic expectations in pain management, and discuss how to refill medications
  3. Smoking Cessation/Addiction Services: Describe how pain is affected by smoking tobacco, what it means to be “addicted,” and how alcohol and other drugs affect pain
  4. Nutrition Services/Weight Management: Describe how pain is affected by nutrition/diet, how pain is negatively affected by extra weight, and weight loss tactics
  5. Physical & Occupational Therapies: Describe how pain is affected by the use of good body mechanics, how to maintain natural back curves and avoid swayback, what self-care aids are available, and movement-based exercises (ie, yoga, tai chi, qigong)
  6. Recreation Therapy/Sexual Health: Describe how sexual health is affected by pain and how to cope with/manage pain with recreational activities, and review available therapies (ie, gym, golf, equine, music/art, and aquatic)
  7. Mental Health/Vocational Rehabilitation: Describe how pain is affected by depression and anxiety and how pain is closely associated with suicide, and review different job skills and the benefits of employment
  8. Behavioral Programs: Describe psychological interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT), and the benefits of these approaches
  9. Hypnosis/Biofeedback: Describe how hypnosis and biofeedback can help patients cope with pain and what types of biofeedback are available
  10. Spirituality/Healing Touch: Describe what is healing touch and how it treats pain, the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of pain, and how spirituality/faith/religion affects pain
  11. Insomnia/Sleep Disorders Clinic: Describe how pain is affected by sleep disorders, provide information about continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment and sleep studies, and describe behavioral interventions to improve sleep hygiene and treat insomnia
  12. Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine: Describe traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), including TCM theory and approach to diagnosis, how pain and other conditions are addressed by TCM, and different types of treatments offered in TCM
Last updated on: March 16, 2015
First published on: March 1, 2015