Christiana Care Health System is launching the Comprehensive Pain Center on the Christiana Hospital campus in Newark.

Patients must be referred to the new outpatient center, which will offer effective non-opioid pain treatment strategies for patients with acute and chronic pain.

Services at the Comprehensive Pain Center include:

— Consultations for opioid-tapering strategies to help patients on high-dose opioid therapy. These strategies will be implemented in coordination with the patient’s prescribing physicians; the center will not be prescribing or taking overprescribing opioid medications at this time.

— Referrals to six-week outpatient group clinical psychology sessions that can enable patients to overcome or find relief from pain through mind/body strategies, including changing their perception of pain or learning breathing and relaxation techniques.

— Referrals to the new chronic pain focused physical therapy program, available at multiple Christiana Care sites.

— Integrative therapies, including osteopathic manipulation, myofascial release, acupuncture and the use of anti-inflammatory supplements.

— Interventional therapies, including epidural steroid injections, joint injections, trigger-point injections and radiofrequency ablation.

— Minimally invasive outpatient procedures will be performed in the office and at the Christiana Surgicenter.

Because Christiana Care’s Comprehensive Pain Center focuses on opioid-sparing treatments, it complements Christiana Care’s overall strategy to reduce opioid use by educating providers about responsible prescribing practices, promoting non-opioid alternatives to control pain and spreading evidence-based guidelines around opioid prescribing.

Among the evidence of Christiana Care’s progress in reducing opioid prescriptions since January 2018 includes a more than 50% decrease in opioid prescriptions for discharged emergency department patients and a 23% drop among primary care practices.

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