Frequently Asked Questions
Global Pain Association
What is Global Pain Association?
GPA is a multi-faceted resource approach for chronic pain patients who suffer from one of the most pervasive and widespread health problems in modern society. We are a volunteer team of physicians, experts in fitness, kinesiology and wellness, outstanding academicians and business professionals as well as community advocates. Our goal is to help individuals overcome the widespread consequences of the chronic pain condition by providing a community-based approach.
I've tried everything for my pain. What makes GPA different?
Chronic pain is a complex condition involving multiple aspects of life including personal, professional and social relationships. Every patient’s pain condition is different. Sadly, sometimes there is no obvious identifiable cause for pain, which is why many single treatment-based approaches don’t work. Many patients suffer from fear of movement, physical deconditioning, depression, anxiety, isolation, insomnia, fatigue and lack of adequate coping skills. It is well known that comprehensive treatment of complex pain-related conditions involves a multi-faceted approach to these problems, yet this is often not available to most patients. Most of the time pain is treated using only medications, injections or implants which fail to address the whole person.
Usually, chronic pain cannot be cured, but it can be managed. We now know that by using a variety of alternative approaches, patients become empowered to find effective strategies to manage their pain themselves. Patients who are actively involved in their own management are in a much better position to promote their own recovery process.
Is GPA a pain clinic or medical practice?
Although the GPA team has physician and health-care members, GPA is not a medical practice. Our goal is to provide alternative and affordable community-based resources and support services.
What resources does GPA offer?
GPA offers both community and web-based approaches as well as local opportunities to identify and provide patients with information, references, a sense of belonging and empowerment. We offer many resources, information, and low-cost affordable alternative therapies for the management of chronic pain, either complementary to, or instead of conventional medical treatment.
Does it cost money to join GPA?
No. We are a volunteer organization. Our funding includes sponsors and donations through our non-profit 501 (C) 3 status.
I have taken or am taking prescription pain medication. Does GPA offer medical advice or conventional treatments?
Many conventional treatments for chronic pain such as medications or injections actually have surprisingly limited scientific evidence to support their long-term use. Because each patient’s pain experience is different certain treatments may work only for certain individuals. The current scientific literature overwhelmingly supports alternative and multidimensional treatment approaches. We focus on self-directed alternative treatments to allow patients access to the best tools to manage other aspects of their pain such as emotional, cognitive, behavioral, mind-body and movement-based approaches
Can I continue to see my current providers who treat my pain?
Yes. In fact, we encourage your provider’s input and participation with our organization. Most health care providers agree that successful management of chronic pain involves a widespread approach across many areas of treatment.
Do I need health insurance to join?
No. Much if not all of the current literature on chronic pain encourages the use of alternative treatments, but most insurers do not cover these services. We offer no-cost or low-cost community based as well as online information resources.
Where is Global Pain Association located?
GPA is currently operating in the San Antonio area but our web-based resources make it widely available.