Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Approach to Pain

Steven P. Stanos*, James McLean, Lynn Rose Vidakovic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A physical medicine and rehabilitation approach to acute and chronic pain syndromes includes a wide spectrum of treatment focus. Whether assessing or treating acute or chronic pain syndromes, management should include a biopsychosocial approach. Assessment may include a focused joint and functional examination including more global areas of impairment (ie, gait, balance, and endurance) and disability. More complicated multidimensional chronic pain conditions may require the use of a more collaborative continuum of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary treatment approaches. Regardless of the scope of care that each individual patient requires, treatment options may include active physical therapy, rational polypharmacy, CBT, and the use of passive modalities. Treatment goals generally emphasize achieving analgesia, improving psychosocial functioning, and reintegration of recreational or leisure pursuits (ie, community activities and sports). Progress in all therapies necessitates close monitoring by the health care provider and necessitates ongoing communication between members of the treatment team. Although this article focuses on diagnoses related to acute and chronic low back pain, OA, and musculoskeletal disorders, assessment and treatment recommendations may be generalized to most other pain conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-95
Number of pages39
JournalMedical Clinics of North America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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