Power Over Pain


Power over Pain provides education and resources to people in pain. Our library contains handouts on a wide range of topics that relate to pain, how best to cope with it, and how to best care for yourself when you are in pain.

Pain is a complex and evolving condition with remodeling of neurological structures and biological, behavioral, environmental, and societal influences. The healthcare community has a history of poor outcomes for chronic pain that have frustrated both patients and providers. Interdisciplinary care that addresses health and wellness across physical, mental, and social domains is the most effective way to treat chronic pain. At 11th Street Family Health Services we developed Power Over Pain using the current available knowledge about how pain works and how best to help people struggling with it. We are also offering Power Over Pain at Parkway Health and Wellness.

Power Over Pain is based on the framework shown below:

The top of the diagram represents the goal of treatment: people who are using supportive healthcare services as they self-manage their pain with little or no opioid use. To reach this goal, people in pain need education, mentorship for behavioral change, help addressing cognitive-affective and social factors, and an understanding of the roles various healthcare providers serve in their health and wellness.

The middle of the diagram depicts an interdisciplinary team that includes the person in pain. All members of the interdisciplinary team collaborate to arrive at unified goals and a unified plan of care. This differs from a multidisciplinary approach where people in pain see different professionals who are not functioning as a cohesive team, each providing different goals and treatment plans leaving the person in pain to sort through an often overwhelming amount of information and action items. Good communication among professionals, the person in pain, their family, and other stakeholders is essential in forming the collaboration needed for efficient and effective care management.

Each pillar at the bottom of the model represents a different area of research important for chronic pain management. While each team member specializes in their discipline, everyone should have broad knowledge of all areas so that they can effectively situate their expertise within the fabric of the whole patient and a holistic treatment approach that will prepare people in pain for a resilient path forward.

In the video below some of our patients share what they have learned about chronic pain. They have messages for other people in pain and for healthcare providers.

For more information contact Sarah Wenger

See below for more information about Dr. Wenger's work:

American Physical Therapy Association hosted a panel discussion called "Beyond Opioids: Transforming Pain Management to Improve Health". Dr Wenger is one of the panel members.

American Physical Therapy Association hosted a live event called "How Physical Therapy is Helping Fight the Opioid Crisis" with Sarah Wenger and Sarah Smith, Executive Editor of Prevention Magazine.

Dr. Wenger co-authored an article in the May 2018 Physical Therapy Journal special issue on nonpharmacological management of pain titled Reducing Opioid Use for Patients With Chronic Pain

Dr. Wenger was featured on the #PTTransforms blog from the American Physical Therapy Association Blunt Conversations: Setting Realistic Patient Expectations for Pain