Living with chronic pain can feel overwhelming and affects every aspect of your life. That’s why it’s essential to consider a wide range of treatment options. One potentially surprising treatment option? A psychological approach. Used either alone or along with other pain management treatments, psychological factors should be considered in the diagnosis and treatment process.
Research has shown that psychotherapy can be a very effective way of alleviating chronic pain. But what are some of the main psychological approaches to pain management? Let’s take a look.
3 Main Psychological Pain Management Techniques
Cognitive behavior therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy, also known as CBT, is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on altering unhelpful patterns of thought and behaviors. In relation to pain management, CBT can help people learn coping skills to alleviate chronic pain.
This process involves challenging and then changing the negative and destructive thoughts and behaviors that can often accompany long-term pain. People can then learn new, helpful thought patterns and behaviors to replace these.
Biofeedback therapy uses electrodes and sensors to help determine the physiological functions that cause and/or accompany the pain. The end goal is then to control these bodily processes.
For example, tension in the body can often exacerbate the pain. By using instruments to monitor and analyze a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, muscle activity, and more, doctors can determine ways to control and alleviate the tension.
Mindfulness is a psychological approach that involves learning how to bring your attention back to the present moment, ensuring there is no judgment of the moment. Mindfulness therapy is often used alongside CBT, and it involves the practice of meditation and meditative-like activities.
By learning how to accept the present moment without judgment, someone suffering from chronic pain can avoid consistent feelings of anger or anxiety related to the pain.
A Holistic Approach to Pain Management in Charlotte, NC
Choose a pain management team that understands how to treat your pain from all angles. Learn about Carolinas Center of Surgery’s pain management clinic in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Our experienced team is ready to improve your quality of life through a holistic approach. Reach out to schedule your consultation.