Pain is not just physiological, there are psychological aspects, explains Sanjoy Banerjee, MD
In his new article, Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee explains Psychological Factors in Chronic Pain Management.
By: Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee
A chronic pain management therapy program is essentially a course tailor-made for different individuals to meet their specific needs and requirements depending upon their medical condition. This may include a range of different medicines, medication, physical therapy, among many others means of pain managing methods. Many researchers and physicians believe that for the therapy to be effective and show positive results, there are certain psychological aspects also involved, which means a patient's rate of recovery depends on several psychological factors. This introduces another new branch of pain management called psychological pain management.
Seeing a psychologist often helps overcome medical problems. It is reported that it is very common for patients to suffer from chronic pain because of them suffering from PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). A psychologist cannot only help determine the cause of the pain but can also help you address it and treat it. Common measures taken by psychologists to treat chronic pain include making lifestyle changes that can allow the patient to continue actively participate in work and recreational activities, attention diversion, and therapy sessions. They also help with the regularly complained about, associated medical condition of chronic pain - insomnia, by introducing new ways of sleeping to help ease the pain.
Other means of pain management used by psychologists are:
It is crucial to stay active in order to reduce the pain or in some cases, the fear of pain. PTSD induced chronic pain often forces people to lead a sedentary lifestyle. Psychologists help overcome this fear by regular counseling sessions and encourage the patients to become active again and continue the activities they enjoy, thus helping them overcome their physical limitations.
Patients struggling with chronic pain can also not recover because of the continual stress and worry about whether they will make any progress or not. Psychologists help patients focus more on their progress and therapy programs and deviate their minds from stressful topics. For the patients suffering from depression induced by their chronic pain, psychologists help them deal with their mental health and help determine how long their treatment should last.
They also introduce patients to new exercise techniques that help them stay active and healthy. These exercises include low-impact workouts such as stretching, yoga, walking, and swimming, as well as meditation.
A psychology expert can help patients with chronic pain distract their minds from their misery by helping them increase their social interaction and connections. Research shows that patients who are more socially active are more resilient, experience less depression, stress, and anxiety, and recover quicker.
On occasions where the intensity of the pain increases, an expert can assist in distracting the patient's mind from it. Experts say that pleasant experiences greatly help the patient in coping with their chronic pain. They can also help the patients develop specific routines so that they keep on track with the treatment.
If you know someone who is struggling with chronic pain, help them by introducing them to psychological pain management therapy. With the right kind of treatment, a lot of people are able to recover. And if not recover, they learn to manage their pain without it affecting their daily routine.
Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee is the Founder and Medical Director of Pacific Pain Care in Corona and Wildomar, California.
Dr. Sanjoy Banerjee
Pacific Pain Care, Corona, California