Introduction to STOMP

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Working with patients who suffer chronic pain, no matter what the cause, can be distressing for both health care providers and patients. Often, primary care practitioners do not have the time or resources to try new approaches for chronic pain management. They write prescriptions for medicines or treatments that may not work, have troublesome side effects, or are only partly effective. This may lead to multiple referrals and procedures, often, unfortunately, with no improvement in long-term pain or quality of life.

The Swedish STOMP program (STructure your Own Management of Pain) is intended to be a resource for those of you facing the limitations of the medical system in dealing with your complex needs. The choice is clear. You have to learn to take charge of your own care.

Each chapter addresses a topic that affects the perception of pain. There are recommended readings and links to several helpful web sites (not sponsored by drug companies). You can download a pdf of the full STOMP booklet or look through this website by navigating through the table of contents to the chapters or topics that interest you most.

STOMP presents a lot of information and many different areas to focus on and tools to choose from. If suggestions in this book and the hyperlinks to other information sites are followed, the reader can expect positive lifestyle changes, improved function and decreased pain. However, the way to use this information is to choose one small area to work on, a path that suits you, seems doable and feels like a good fit. It is very important not to feel overwhelmed; no one is expected to follow all of these suggestions. Although tackling more than one of these areas eventually is important in decreasing your pain and improving your quality of life, work in any one of these areas will bring improvement. Lasting change is gradual and takes time. Discuss with your healthcare provider and, if appropriate, your significant other to choose an area to start with and set a few simple measurable realistic goals.

If you are ready to control your care, stimulate changes in your brain (neuroplasticity) and decrease your pain, use the STOMP information to develop your goals and an action plan.

The STOMP medical team developed this program specifically with you in mind.
We wish you good luck on your voyage to recovery.

Editors and Contributors
Gordon Irving, M.D.
David A. Hanscom, M.D.

Louise Berkowicz, M.D.
Allen Hume, Ph.D.
Hubert A. Leonard, M.D., Ph.D.
Carolyn McManus, PT
Maureen C. Pierce, Ph.D.
Howard Schubiner, M.D.