Functional Restoration Program at Ochsner Baptist

Nearly 100 million people are living with severe or chronic pain in this country. For those suffering from chronic low back and neck pain in the Gulf South, Ochsner Baptist has developed a proven, patient-centered program to provide this care.

Pain and disability can affect all aspects of your life–your work, your relationships, your mood and your self-esteem. Our goal is to treat the whole person–not just the part of you that’s physically hurting.

At Ochsner, we focus on capability not disability. We’re here to get you back to doing the things you love.

About Our Program

Our multidisciplinary team of specialists will design a personalized program set by you based upon what you want to get back to doing. The program runs 15 days over a three-week period and takes place at the Functional Restoration Suite at Ochsner Baptist. There is no other program like it in the Gulf South.

Our aim is to:

  • Limit the frequency and intensity of your chronic pain symptoms
  • Increase your ability to function physically
  • Improve your understanding of pain and how it affects you
  • Make it possible for you to live a productive lifestyle both at home and at work
  • Reduce your need for future procedures and doctor’s visits

The program is for adults of all ages and abilities with one thing in common: they’re here to get back what pain has taken from them.

This in not like any physical therapy (PT) program you’ve ever experienced before. It will change how you structure your day, eat, sleep and interact with stress. PT is just one part of it.

The program includes:

  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy sessions, aimed at helping you achieve your own pre-set goals
  • Educational classes on pain management, nutrition, relaxation and mindfulness techniques and more
  • Personalized counseling and group therapy sessions

Your goals are our goals–whether you want to get back to work or get back to play.

Getting Started

For more information, please talk with your physician or contact the Functional Restoration program at 504-894-2709 or functionalrestoration@ochsner.org.

Our Team

Our multidisciplinary team includes:

  • A board-certified/fellowship trained medical director/Pain Management physician who specializes in complex cases and restoring function
  • A certified nurse practitioner with over 8 years of Pain Management experience
  • A licensed clinical social worker with a Doctorate in Social Work who helps patients with stress management and pain-coping skills
  • A chronic pain certified physical therapist with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy who helps patients improve body mechanics through joint movement, stretching, body awareness and education
  • A certified occupational therapist who helps patients improve everyday function and work toward predetermined goals
  • A certified rehab tech
  • Research personnel who are always looking for what’s next
  • A program coordinator who makes sure everything flows smoothly

The Emotional Side of Chronic Pain

Depression, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, fatigue, insomnia, feelings of guilt…when the body hurts, emotional pain is never far behind. And shutting down your feelings, not dealing with the emotional side effects of chronic pain, can make the physical pain even worse. At the Functional Restoration Program, you’ll learn psychotherapeutic techniques that can help.

Nutrition and Chronic Pain

Certain substances in foods can help those who suffer from chronic pain by reducing inflammation and improving sleep. For instance, berries and foods with omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammatory pain. And then there’s tryptophan, a substance that may be helpful in improving sleep. It is present in dairy products; sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds; chocolate, oats, bananas, poultry and turkey. While there is no “chronic pain” diet, knowing what to eat and what not to eat can help. Our nutritional coaches have the answers you seek.

Proven Outcomes

It’s been well documented in medical literature that functional restoration can be more effective than conventional treatment alone. In a study here at Ochsner, one month after completing the three-week Functional Restoration Care Program, our patients reported:

  • A 50% Reduction in Pain Disability (meaning that our participants feel that the pain is limiting them by 50% less than it was before the program)
  • A 59% Improvement in Sleep
  • A 45% Improvement in Depression

Follow-Up Care

The Functional Restoration Program is a short program, but it is not a quick fix. Recovery takes time and commitment! Our outpatient program comes with a year of follow-up care. The three-week program is just the beginning.

Once you have completed the three weeks, you will be given an exercise program to incorporate into your weekly routine. You will receive a call from us after one week and have follow-up appointments with different team members at 1-, 2-, 3-, 6-, 9-months and a year.

We also offer bi-monthly evening support groups/alumni meetings with a social worker to discuss what’s going well and what could be going better.

Costs

The Functional Restoration Program is covered by Medicare and most commercial insurance. If you decide to join the program you will know ahead of time what, if any, financial responsibilities you will incur. Ochsner also has financial assistance available for qualified participants. We never want cost to be the reason you are not able to do the program.

Referring Physicians

Functional Restoration is Ideal for Patients with:

  • Back and/or neck pain lasting for more than 3 months
  • Readiness to make a change 

  • Failure of improvement with traditional treatments
  • Documented failure of physical therapy 

  • Documented failure of pain interventions, including injections 

  • Documented failure of accepted medication treatment options 

  • Documented failure of improvement as measured by you or your provider
  • No current plans for surgery by either you and your provider 

  • Significant impairment in function, as measured by you or your provider. 

  • Lack of other medical conditions that could limit the ability to participate 

  • Ability to lift eight pounds (females) or 13 pounds (males) 

  • Ability to walk for 5 minutes without stopping 


To refer a patient to the Functional Restoration Care Program, email functionalrestoration@ochsner.org.

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