Physical limitations are not required for chronic pain rehabilitation success

J. C. King, W. J. Kelleher, J. E. Stedwill, Gerald Talcott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A high performance, active duty fitness requirement group rehabilitated equally to a low performance needs civilian group, both suffering from disabling chronic pain. The purpose of this prospective study was to determine whether higher physical performance requirements adversely affected outcome in a chronic pain rehabilitation program. Twenty-three active duty, chronic pain patients were treated along with 22 civilian chronic pain sufferers in a behavior modification, including positive, verbal reinforcement for performance, stress management and family counseling, physical reconditioning, including stretching, strengthening and aerobic conditioning in a slowly progressive fashion to required needs, and narcotic and muscle relaxant detoxification program at a major military medical center. Eighteen patients in each group, representing, respectively, 78 and 82% of the military and civilian participants, successfully completed the inpatient program. Success was defined by (1) elimination of all narcotics and minor tranquilizers, (2) elimination of all physical restrictions that precluded any desired work or play, which required much higher levels for the active duty patients that included: (3) elimination of all physical profile restrictions and (4) objectively passing annual aerobics field test requirements before the program's end. Review of military disability separation records, averaging 24 mo posttreatment, showed that no formerly successful active duty patients had later been discharged because of physical impairments. Of individuals responding to mail questionnaires at an average of 19 mo postprogram, 12 of 14 (86%) initially successful military patients reported continued unrestricted maintenance of physical abilities, whereas 10 of 14 (71%) of the initially successful civilians reported no restrictions in desired activities. In both the active duty and civilian chronic pain patients, regardless of the degree of physical requirements, 80% were rehabilitated to their required levels of performance to eliminate all disability, with reasonable attrition over time. This data suggest that arbitrary physical limitations often may not be necessary. Such restriction may better define a lack of adequate rehabilitation than physiologic limitations for most chronic pain patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume73
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

Fingerprint

Chronic Pain
Rehabilitation
Narcotics
Verbal Reinforcement
Aptitude
Behavior Therapy
Postal Service
Counseling
Inpatients
Maintenance
Prospective Studies
Muscles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

Cite this

Physical limitations are not required for chronic pain rehabilitation success. / King, J. C.; Kelleher, W. J.; Stedwill, J. E.; Talcott, Gerald.

In: American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 73, No. 5, 01.01.1994, p. 331-337.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

King, J. C. ; Kelleher, W. J. ; Stedwill, J. E. ; Talcott, Gerald. / Physical limitations are not required for chronic pain rehabilitation success. In: American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 1994 ; Vol. 73, No. 5. pp. 331-337.
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