Patients usually think of pain as being physical, the result of injury or physical deterioration. Often the pain is actually a manifestation of a psychological issue, and attempts to manage the pain with traditional treatments are ineffective. In addition, chronic pain patients can also suffer psychological trauma in conjunction with their physical pain.
Chronic Pain has been linked to:
- Mood Disorders
- Anger and Frustration
- Feelings of Hopelessness
- Low Self-Esteem
Depression and Chronic Pain
Chronic depression can be a significant contributor to pain, compounding existing chronic pain issues, and complicating the diagnosis. Though a patient’s pain may be very real, despite not having an identifiable physical cause, these individuals must understand the best course of treatment may be psychological treatment. A comprehensive pain management program, including psychological treatment, is the best course of action. Psychological pain treatment can help reduce both physical pain, mental and emotional distress these patients may be experiencing.
Chronic Pain and Emotional Distress
Another psychological issue many confront is the very act of coping with chronic pain, whether from back pain, headaches, or degenerative diseases like fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease. People who experience chronic pain know the persistence and endless nature of the diagnosis seems unrelenting. Depression, anxiety, anger, self-image issues, and general feelings of hopelessness are not uncommon, all of which make pain management and potential recovery more difficult. It is important for these patients to know they are not alone in this struggle, and resources exist at Colorado Injury and Pain Specialist to help with both their physical and psychological pain.
The Role of a Pain Management Psychologist
A dedicated pain management psychologist can be a helpful resource for those dealing with the emotional and psychological components of chronic pain. Today’s medical evidence strongly suggests that traditional pain management treatments, such as medication, injections, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, are all made significantly more effective when used in conjunction with a specialized pain management psychologist. These specialists deal directly with the mental and psychological issues that may be contributing or even causing pain. They are able to work with patients to understand and work through these issues. In addition, psychologists can reinforce the need for healthy coping mechanisms, identify warning signs for addiction and addictive behavior, and help manage the associated depression and anger.
Pain management psychologists can help patients progress through their pain management program successfully and return to their daily lives more rapidly.
Programs and Treatment Options:
Tapering Program: The tapering program at CIPS is designed to help patients understand why tapering off high-dose opioid medication will actually improve the patient’s plan of care and reduce pain long term without the risk for addiction. This is a two-session program, each session approximately one hour long. In the first session, our LPCC will explain facts about opioids and the reasons it is beneficial to taper off the medications. The second session will focus on learning different coping strategies and providing patients with the resources to support them through the tapering process.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy: Ketamine has shown to be an effective treatment option for patients with treatment resistant clinical depression, as well as patients with a number of chronic pain conditions.
Call us today to find out more about pain management psychology and how mental health may be a factor in your chronic painful condition.