How are acute and chronic pain different?

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Acute pain becomes chronic after it has persisted for longer than three months. While previously thought of simply as a difference in duration, fMRI imaging shows that chronic and acute pain activate completely different parts of the brain. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain is housed in areas of the brain dedicated to emotional processing and memory, which is part of why we shouldn’t treat chronic pain as an entirely physical issue.

The mistake many pain treatments make is treating them the same. Override uses a chronic pain specific protocol rooted in modern pain neuroscience principles.

What causes chronic pain?

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Finding the cause of your chronic pain is the first step to finding relief. Yet this first step is often elusive and not straightforward. Pain can be the result of injury, underlying medical conditions, genetic abnormalities, nervous system dysfunction, neurological problems, and much more. 

About 60% of people wait an average of 2.2 years between seeking help and getting an accurate diagnosis – largely because of a scarcity of pain specialists and a general misunderstanding of chronic pain. Override can help pinpoint the causes and contributors to your pain to help you tackle it.

How is Override different from other pain care?

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Rather than offering just one method of treatment, our comprehensive, team-based model takes a whole person, biopsychosocial approach to chronic pain management and customizes care for your specific condition and needs. 

Most importantly, having a provider team that actually talks to each other, is a huge deviation from the standard of care in traditional pain care.

Finally, access to Override’s specialists from your own home, on your own schedule, is not offered elsewhere. 

What types of providers does Override use? Will I have live virtual appointments or just message a provider or a bot?

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Override connects you with a team of pain physicians, chronic-pain trained physical therapists, pain psychologists, and certified pain coaches. 

Appointments are live, one-on-one, virtual sessions with Override providers.  

Does Override prescribe opioids for pain management?

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No. While Override can help patients already taking opioids, Override does not refill or prescribe any controlled substances. By working with us, many patients start to replace opioids with real, evidence-based tools that we learn together – helping them to make the decision on their own to taper off and live without them.

Who can benefit from Override’s approach?

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a) People who experience chronic pain but have unclear or inconsistent diagnoses, and therefore may not know how to manage pain effectively. 

b) People with correct diagnoses and an understanding of what causes their pain but inadequate pain management tools. 

c) People with chronic pain who have been told "you just have to live with it" or "you're out of options." It's not true. 

For more information on if Override is right for you and what conditions we treat, visit our “for patients” page.

What if I already have a doctor treating me?

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Override can still work with you. 

We don’t want to disrupt any current relationships or duplicate efforts of your doctor. Override is flexible and will only charge for the services needed. We will also commit to communicating with your current doctor, because we know that care works best when providers communicate.

Why does Override also use psychologists and coaches in addition to physical therapists and physicians? Are you saying the pain is psychological?

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Override knows your pain is absolutely real.

Sometimes providers give up and say that pain is psychological when they can’t explain a lack of improvement. It’s a cop-out. Modern science now has a more nuanced understanding of chronic pain as a central nervous system issue, not a psychological or psychosomatic one. 

Override addresses the issue for what it is. Psychologists and coaches help teach you pain education and address learned pain behaviors and patterns – like pain catastrophizing (e.g., “I’m never getting better!”) – that research shows actually reinforce pain neural pathways.

How long is Override’s program?

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Some people are able to gain the tools they need to better manage chronic pain in just a few months. Others need closer to a year. People don’t get into chronic pain overnight and they certainly don’t get out of it overnight. The investment of your time is worth it to get your life back. Override care team members stay with you throughout the journey.

Is virtual care actually effective?

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Yes. Many pain treatments involve interventions – injections, surgeries, etc. – but those often do more harm than good. Much of the care that chronic pain patients really need can be delivered virtually, especially the most important parts: pain neuroscience education and working on the functional and behavioral changes proven to override learned pain neural pathways. 

Even virtual physical therapy has been shown to be as effective as in person physical therapy. Additionally, most of our patients have already undergone in-person physical exams and imaging, so we don’t make patients repeat that.  When needed, Override providers can recommend who to see in person, as we continue to follow your care.

Most importantly, comprehensive chronic pain requires a comprehensive treatment approach. The stress of disrupting your life for various in-person appointments can be counterproductive to chronic pain recovery.

How do I pay for Override’s services?

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Patients can self-pay for all of our services. Override is actively working to get in network with major commercial plans in the states we are currently launched. Feel free to check with us if we take your insurance. 

Otherwise, we can offer you documentation for obtaining out of network reimbursement. And Override’s services are HSA/FSA eligible. 

Still Have Questions?

If we didn’t answer your question, feel free to send us a message!

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