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Chronic Pain Programs


The Arrigan Rehabilitation Center offers two Pain Management Treatment Programs. For many years, we have offered a Comprehensive Pain Management Program that is an integrated program of physical/occupational therapy, psychological counseling, and vocational services when appropriate. This program focuses on pain self-management based upon a biopsychosocial (body/mind) approach. It does not include interventional pain management. The goals of this program are to learn effective coping strategies and behavioral skills to function safely (given objective medical findings), and to reduce the distress associated with having pain. In this context, pain management does not mean pain relief, but rather amelioration of suffering, and improved function and quality of life, as well as being prepared to return to the workforce.

Specific content is covered focusing on the development of pain management skills

  • Education to better understand pain
  • Relaxation training and mindfulness training
  • Exercises to reduce negative tension (bracing; guarding; postural compensation)
  • Goal-setting, pacing, and building activity tolerance
  • Identification, challenging, and re-framing of maladaptive beliefs about pain
  • Functional activity in gym or work hardening area to reduce fear, increase confidence, and establish a level consistent with work requirements
  • Problem-solving
  • Assertiveness

At the conclusion of the program, recommendations are made to the referring physicians regarding their patients’ functional level and a coordination of return to work (RTW) when the release is obtained, if their previous job is available. Vocational services are integrated into the program and help the injured workers return to the workforce if a release is obtained but a job is not available. For further details, please read the overview of our comprehensive pain management program, by opening this link.

Injured workers are admitted to this program either via court order or through a referral from their treating physician.

In March 2014, we began a new program in collaboration with The Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court, called the Interdisciplinary Chronic Pain Management Program. The focus of this program is essentially the same as that of the Comprehensive Pain Management Program; however, the distinction between this program and the Comprehensive Pain Management Program is that Arrigan Center staff can make recommendations back to the court for consideration of referral(s) to outside pain management medical providers (e.g., chiropractors; massage therapists; addiction specialists; acupuncturists) who would work with the Arrigan Center staff in an integrated treatment program for the injured worker. Candidates for the Interdisciplinary Chronic Pain Management Program will be admitted only by order from The Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court.


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