Chronic Pain and getting back to work? Integrative Care offers Personalised Integrative perspective.

Case Study: 44-year-old woman after 10 weeks of counseling reintegrated into her job and pain medication has been phased out.

Chronic pain has a huge impact on the individual, family, friends and organizations with social and economic consequences. Chronic pain is not recognised as a disease. There is still a large gap in knowledge and effective treatment of pain. It is known that pain is different for every one and therefore a person-centered multidisciplinary approach can provide a solution. With an unique approach with 10 weeks of counseling Personalised Integrative Care of COBALA proved to re-integrate a 44 year old woman in her own work and phasing out her pain medication.

Pain perception differs for everyone

By the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional perception as a result of tissue damage.In many cases the cause of pain is not clear. Headache, low back pain, neck pain and neuropathic pain from the peripheral or central nervous system are included in ‘pain’. Mood and context have a huge impact on the perception of pain. As well as genetic and biological predispositions. This explains why the perception of pain is unique for everyone. The documentary The Secret World of Pain presents what pain is. The documentary gives insight that pain also has a vital value. People who have genetic abnormalities and therefore feel no pain live shorter.

Focus on counseling and prevention of chronic pain is inadequate

When pain lasts for longer than 3-6 months or lasts longer than can be expected recovering of a particular disease, it is called chronic pain. It seems that in these people the pain feedback system is no longer working. How to solve this, is one of the biggest challenges for the medical world. Pain is not recognized as a disease. There are still large gaps in what is understood from pain and how pain can be treated effectively.

Various studies have shown that the pain medication often does not work for neuropathic pains. A proportion of people with chronic pain receive no guidance and lives with self-medication. Paracetamol is the most commonly known painkiller and mostly taken as self-medication. This painkiller usually has little effect. Therefore, people often use different or multiple pain killers on a day.

In the Netherlands for € 337.5 million non-prescription painkillers are swallowed every year. This means that there are 1 million taken painkillers almost daily. Many people are unfamiliar with any possible damage from prolonged use of painkillers. To draw more attention to prevention and effective guidance for people with chronic pain in multiple countries ‘the week of pain’ is organised from September 26 October 1, 2016. More information can be found at

Case study completed in 10 weeks without painkillers and back to work

We accompanied a patient who finished treatment and was told she had to live with the pain. This 44-year old woman did not take part in the labor process for 6 months. With our unique method ‘Personalised Integrative Care’ the women proved to re-integrate after 10 weeks of coaching in the labor process and pain medication could be reduced. This case study shows that it is possible for people with chronic pain, to reduce pain and to re-integrate in their own work. The document Chronic pain of the advisory board Quality of Care in The Netherlands states that a multidisciplinary and patient-oriented care can offer a solution for people with chronic pain. We endorse this recommendation and wish that more people can live free from pain and can take part in the labor market permanently through a personalized integrative guidance.


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Chronic pain; enormous social and economic impact

Pain is in many cases the main reason for visiting the doctor. Worldwide, 1.5 billion people have chronic pain and approximately 3% neuropathic pain. In Europe, about 20% of population (about 100 million people) has chronic pain. Chronic back pain and fibromyalgia are the most common cause of chronic pain and disability. The social and economic impact for people with chronic pain and their social environment is huge. The direct and indirect costs in Europe are estimated at 1.5 – 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP Europe at 16229.46 trillion US dollars in 2015).

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COBALA offers screening for nutrients and biomarkers and personalised integrative care for a better quality of life. For Prevention and Chronic Diseases.

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