Millions suffer from persistent pain, whether from illness or injury, that hinder the daily lives of those encumbered by back pain, headaches or other aches like arthritis. Jimmie Allen, age 34 from Clarkston, Wash., says he found a way to cope with his chronic pain through St. Luke’s Structured Intensive Multidisciplinary Pain Program (SIMP). This program is the only Labor & Industries and CARF accredited program in the region and is focused on helping injured workers return to work.
After a back injury while on the job as a welder, Jimmie says he has suffered every day. “I have numbness in my feet and that’s not going away anytime soon,” he says. “When I hurt my back, it pinched the nerves so badly that now I hurt all the time. It’s horrible to be in my 30s and have pain that may not go away.”
SIMP combines the full spectrum of therapies—physical, occupation, vocational and aquatic—with services like biofeedback training, pain management lectures and psychological services. Jimmie says his day of rigorous therapy and lecture started early in the morning and went all day for four weeks of rehabilitation to help him go back to his home and work with the ability to manage his pain. “All the things I learned there like deep breathing through biofeedback training and core exercises in physical therapy are what I use every day now to cope with the pain.”
“I came to St. Luke’s to avoid surgery,” Jimmie says about his decision to attend the outpatient services located at St. Luke’s main office in Spokane, Wash, roughly 100 miles from his home. “My therapists were amazing. The people at St. Luke’s were a god send for me.”
“Everyone there gives you their all,” he adds about the type of care provided at St. Luke’s. “If I had a bad day, they would accommodate me and change my entire schedule for the day.”
Jimmie says the program may be challenging, but the reward at the end of the four weeks is worth the effort. “You get out of it what you put into it, and I can’t thank the staff at St. Luke’s enough.”
St. Luke’s rehabilitation team provides outpatient therapy services Monday - Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Flexible hours may be arranged with individual therapists to meet the needs of patients and families. The St. Luke’s team works closely with patients and their family to set goals for recovery. If you would like more information on SIMP, please visit http://www.st-lukes.org/Pain-Program/.