Chronic pain syndromes are quite common, and a lot of people suffer from them, especially as they age. Living with constant pain is frustrating for most of the patients who are affected. Pain in the musculoskeletal system can hinder an individual from fulfilling a lot of things in life. When an individual is suffering from back pain regularly and the doctors have tried all sorts of treatment to no avail, it can be quite discouraging. Such a person may only have the option of taking medication and sometimes those too may not be effective.
Psychological factors play a huge role in the perception of pain, thereby, contributing to the experience of patients. An individual who has to endure agonising pain day in day out will have a poor quality of life. Such a situation may lead to depression. The inability to carry on with normal activities and hobbies may also leave someone with low self-esteem. As this state progresses, an acute pain condition starts to affect everyone around the patient. These problems go beyond the physical and that is why experts recommend cognitive behaviour therapy as one option of pain management.
CBT focuses on developing coping mechanisms for chronic pain sufferers to help them deal with their situations better. With CBT, the psychologist teaches individuals how to approach and control their suffering. As much as the physical pain is still there, knowing how to brace oneself psychologically will reduce the awareness and consequently, the interference to the quality of life. CBT is about getting rid of negative thinking that is common when dealing with acute pain.
There are several ways that cognitive behavioural therapy helps an individual deal with chronic pain. It is essential for a person with chronic pain syndrome to adopt a lifestyle that helps them manage their condition. Through CBT, a psychologist will recommend better sleep patterns. Lack of sleep exhausts the body, which contributes to acute pain. Through relaxation techniques, a patient can learn how to relax and get enough sleep to keep the body re-energised. With the multidisciplinary team and with the help of nutritionist can also give advice on proper dieting. Eating right plays a big part in improving the body’s physical functioning. Lifestyle changes can also include exercise regimens to reduce the pain.
CBT also involves the development of skills that one can use to manage their pain. Positive and rewarding activities go a long way in helping a patient cope with pain. One of the physiological effects that chronic pain brings is that people don’t engage in certain activities because of the acute pain. By learning life skills, a patient can focus on something else other than their pain. A therapist may prescribe specific activities to help with stress, anxiety and depression.
Psychological Therapy also aims at creating a problem-solving attitude in a patient. Instead of a person lamenting over their pain and how they have no control over the situations, a psychologistconsiders alternative coping strategies. When a patient is in a position to do something about their pain, it gives them a feeling of being in control. Helplessness can be a destructive feeling and only makes the pain worse.
If you would like to talk to someone about available treatments for pain managementplease get in touch with us at the Health Psychology Clinic by telephone at 020 8144 3041 or book online by clicking below.
Thank you! You helped me with my panic attacks and feeling alive again. I really appreciate what you have done! Without your support I may possibly have given up.
I had terrible panic attack, I was shaking to my way to work and I couldn’t breathe. After few sessions with Joanna all my symptoms reduced and felt already better.
I visited Joanna last year for a health problem with my stomach, I had clear health exams and my doctor said it caused from work stress. I referred to Joanna and started psychotherapy with health psychology and cognitive behaviour therapy. After six sessions I felt more balanced and I am in my way to have my healthy body back.