TAO Connect Offers Chronic Pain Management Course as an Alternative to Opioids

TAO Connect Offers Chronic Pain Management Course as an Alternative to Opioids

The digital health company TAO Connect is offering an online chronic pain management course that provides sufferers an alternative to opioids.

The 12 sessions provide those who take the course with training and practice in behavioral strategies for dealing with pain.

Topics range from the basics of pain, and the medications that address it, to the consequences of long-term opioid use.

The course sets the stage for the pain management strategies it offers by explaining how pain works in the brain.

At the heart of the instruction is information about what pain specialists call behavioral interventions, including cognitive-behavioral strategies and acceptance and commitment therapy. The course also explores alternative pain-management treatments such as acupuncture and biofeedback.

“Our society has fallen victim to the notion that chronic pain can only be effectively managed through the heavy prescription of opioids alone, but this dangerous perception of pain-killers is fueling addiction rates and strengthening the opioid crisis as a whole,” Sherry Benton, TAO Connect’s founder and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Knowing how to manage chronic pain through behavioral health treatment is incredibly important, which is why we made it easily accessible to everyone who needs it.”

Estimates are that chronic pain, which is defined as pain lasting more than three months, accounts for 80 percent of visits to doctors, TAO Connect said. It can be caused by diseases like fibromyalgia, but the situation is more complex than that. It involves changes in the brain that can also alter a person’s psychological landscape.

Opioids lower the number of pain signals the body sends to the brain, which means they also change how the brain responds to pain. This can cause addiction and other problems.

Symptoms of opioid abuse include poor coordination, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, slurred speech, poor decision-making, mood swings, euphoria, irritability, depression, decreased motivation and anxiety attacks.

Behavioral approaches to managing chronic pain can reduce it and improve a person’s functioning and satisfaction with life, research has shown.

The course will be available by subscription for $25 a month or $250 a year. Students at participating universities, those who enroll in the course on their own, and patients who want to take the course in synch with a therapist will have unlimited access to all the educational tools in the program. They include daily logs, exercise tools and practice tools.

Before signing up, you can request a demo here.

3 comments

  1. Don says:

    You stated “Symptoms of opioid abuse include poor coordination, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, slurred speech, poor decision-making, mood swings, euphoria, irritability, depression, decreased motivation and anxiety attacks.”
    Most of those are the exact same behaviors that I suffered with Fibromyalgia before even receiving any opioid medication. I think that the opioid and other medications I take have made some of these things more noticeable and happen more often, but that does not mean I am abusing my opioid medication. I am a bit offended by your statement and you might want to think twice before repeating it.
    Those items mentioned are often just symptoms of a medical condition and not opioid abuse

  2. Peg says:

    Would be interested in chronic pain management course if I actually had the $ to do it. Maybe next year ? Thanks for the offering.

  3. HJ says:

    Opioids have their role. We’re not a bunch of addicts. Doctors need to have more time to spend with patients to discuss patient expectations (that pain “killers” are not meant to eliminate pain, that the focus of treatment is better/increased function and activity, and that treatment will involve some trial and error that will take time and patience.) Alternatives to pain medication can be helpful in my experience, but excluding access to pain medication altogether is often harmful. Each patient should be treated as an individual and often have comorbid conditions anyhow. I’ve learned to pace myself, to log pain to look for patterns or triggers, to manipulate variables like bedtime or rest periods or maybe medication timing… to consider that side-effects of medications may increase fatigue or other symptoms. I’ve learned about varying my activity type and duration and “checking-in” with myself to see what my needs are and how I can address pain or fatigue before it becomes overwhelming. I use over-the-counter creams, a tens unit, an acupressure mat, epsom salt baths, heating pads, stretching, meditation/stress management. I have learned about sleep hygiene. Most of all, my experiences were validated. The course I participated in discussed grief and emotions that come with facing obstacles and limitations. So many resources totally miss that but it’s reassuring to know that others struggle too. Connecting with other patients helped and I was able to learn what helps them with their symptoms and what coping strategies they’ve learned.

    I do not have $25 a month to spare – or $250 a year. I’m still working, and I’m glad for that. I don’t take that for granted. Many of us aren’t able to work.

    I was hopeful to learn that there is a class but discouraged that it is out of my reach.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *