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Valley Forge Medical Center and Hospital inc.

Addiction-Free Pain Management ®

“BREAKTHROUGH” at Valley Forge Medical Center

The Breakthrough Unit is an innovative, multi-disciplinary, pain management program at Valley Forge Medical Center. Treatment is based on the “Addiction-Free Pain Management ® System” developed by Dr. Stephen Grinstead ( This treatment model is aimed at helping chronic pain patients to manage their pain in a safe, recovery-oriented manner, while improving their overall quality of life.

Valley Forge Medical Center is an acute care hospital licensed to provide both general medical services and addiction medicine. Our philosophy on pain management is driven by the basic assumption that each patient’s report of pain is valid. The Multidisciplinary treatment team focuses on modifying pain behavior by addressing the physiological, psychological/emotional, and social/cultural components of pain.

Three Main Stages of Treatment:
  • Evaluation & understanding of the pain process
  • Learning non-pharmaceutical approaches to pain while decreasing dependence on pain medications
  • Transition to independent living with a pain management plan, including ways to identify and cope with high-risk pain situations and related emotional issues

  • Treatment Goals are as follows:
  • Evaluate for addiction versus pseudo-addiction
  • Determine pain etiology
  • Effective Medication Management
  • Restore physical fitness to maximum level
  • Decrease stress
  • Increase ability to problem solve
  • Treat depression, anxiety, grief and loss
  • Relapse prevention

  • Treatment Components may include:
  • Physical Management of Pain:

  • 1) Comprehensive Pain Assessment
    2) Comprehensive Nutrition Assessment
    3) Red Flags Checklist – appropriate v. addictive use of pain meds
    4) Contact all prescribing physicians
    5) Develop one pain medication plan
    6) Explore non-narcotic alternatives
    7) Osteopathic Manipulations
    8) Trigger Point Compressions
    9) Physical Therapy
    10) TENS Unit

  • Cognitive/ Psychological Management of Pain:

  • 1) Psychiatric Consultation
    2) Pain Education Sessions
    3) Pain Journaling
    4) Addiction Information Sessions
    5) Positive Self-Talk/Affirmations
    6) Impulse Control
    7) Relapse Prevention
    8) Group Therapy
    9) Individual Cognitive Therapy
    10) Pain Processing Group
    11) Pain Workbook Sessions
    12) Stress Management
    13) Chronic Pain Anonymous Support Group

  • Non-Pharmaceutical Approaches:

  • 1) Biofeedback
    2) Acupuncture
    3) Yoga
    4) Reike
    5) Expressive Arts
    6) Art Therapy
    7) Music Therapy
    8) Movement Therapy
    9) Walking Groups/Walking Meditation

    We do not offer modalities requiring any type of invasive procedure including IV analgesia.

    As a commitment to the program, patients are asked to provide consent for the treatment team to speak to all prescribing professionals, be willing to try to come off all addictive substances and try non-pharmaceutical approaches to managing pain. In addition, a family session with the treatment team is strongly encouraged upon admission.

    To refer a patient, please call Admissions at 610-539-8500 or refer through the Internet at

    To ask questions about the program please contact:
    Tracey Vawter – Director of Planning 610-539-8525 ext. 339
    Linde Lepera – Director of Social Work 610-539-8525 ext 334
    Bridgette Vail – Director of Utilization Review 610-539-8525 ext. 387

    Due to the special nature of this program, patients are admitted Monday through Thursday to the Breakthrough Program.

    Chronic Pain and the Hijacked Brain By Dr. Stephen F. Grinstead, LMFT, ACRPS, CADC-II