Reuth in Action

Archive for October, 2017

Reuth breaks new ground in treatment of chronic pain syndrome!

Posted by :
Sabrina Potemkin
24 Oct 2017 6:14 pm


A new treatment protocol for chronic regional pain syndrome, developed at Reuth, has been adopted by Israel Ministry of Health


A new approach in the treatment of Chronic (Regional) Pain Syndrome, CRPS, through occupational therapy has been developed by the Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital and has been adopted by the Ministry of Health, in a position paper sent to all therapists.


Today, the prevailing approach to the treatment of CRPS, focuses on finding the cause and treating it with medications and various other invasive measures which at best achieve a reduction in pain levels but generally cannot eliminate the pain entirely. Research shows that the current situation generally leads to the avoidance of physical activity by the patient, creating a burden on their families and the health system. This new protocol for treatment, developed at Reuth, targets the fear from pain, which very often is the cause of avoidance of physical activities thereby helping the patient re-engage in more regular functioning, despite the pain.


Reuth’s new CRPS treatment protocol includes four stages: first, gradual exposure to activities and functions for which the patient feels threatened due to the pain; next, training the brain to distinguish between the sensation in the hurting limb and the sense of pain itself; then learning relaxation techniques to reduce the pain; and finally, through games of virtual reality, practicing regulation of pain intensity.


Nava Hershkowitz fell two years ago, and broke her wrist. She explained: “Following surgery, I was in terrible pain. When I went to see my doctor, he saw my swollen hand and gave his diagnosis. He said it was CRPS. I had no idea what that was. He sent me for physical therapy and occupational therapy right away. The therapists at the local physiotherapy clinic saw my hand and didn’t know what to do with me. They gave me the feeling that they’d never seen such a hand in their lives. The hand was swollen and the skin was black, as if it was totally burnt. My daughter read that Reuth specialized in treating CRPS so I obtained a referral from a rehabilitation specialist, and went to Reuth.  Their expert therapists provide CRPS patients several types of treatment: Physiotherapy, not just 15 minutes, but nearly a whole hour; Occupational therapy; and Biofeedback – which is very important in helping you understand how you should accept this pain rather than fight it, find where it comes from, breathe correctly, and things like that. I learned all this from biofeedback.


Shira Kraus Abudi the head of occupational therapy at the National Center for the Rehabilitation of Pain Syndromes commented “For many years, pain was merely regarded as a symptom and that once we treat it, everything will go back to normal, lost functional abilities will return and the injury will be healed. In recent years, as we began to understand the route of pain in the brain, we realized that pain is much more complex. Pain is the illness itself, and it has many major implications. Today we know of actual changes in the central nervous system as a result of the experience of pain. Consequently, the approach should really be changed and improved, raising awareness of the fact that treating pain is complex, and it requires a different way of thinking”.


Ms. Abudi also explained that the position paper about Reuth’s new treatment protocol was written by the Ministry in an effort to promote awareness at the Ministry of Health and other major institutions and to generate a real change in the therapeutic approach to CRPS.

Comments Off on Reuth breaks new ground in treatment of chronic pain syndrome!