The Psychological Components of Pain
Many people suffer from chronic pain, which is much different than your body responding to injuries. Chronic pain is any pain that lasts 3 or more months; sometimes, this pain can last for years. It’s important to understand that there are psychological aspects to this kind of pain.
Psychological Pain Management
When suffering from chronic pain, both a psychological and physical treatment should be sought. Chronic pain can cause many negative feelings such as anger, sadness, and anxiety. A psychologist will help talk you through the pain and will ask about; where you feel the pain, how often, factors that may be causing it, and what you feel when you’re in pain.
Stress is a big factor when it comes to pain management. It can cause muscle tension, in turn creating more pain. A psychologist can help manage this by giving you different exercises. This can include breathing exercises, meditation, and other relaxation techniques.
Physical Pain Management
In addition to seeking mental help for pain, physical therapy is necessary to truly achieve comfort. Chronic pain must be handled differently between patients because some can be incredibly sensitive to touch. In cases such as these it’s important for the patient to develop a trusting relationship with their physical therapist. This will help the patient believe and understand that physical therapy will help.
No two patients require the same treatment. If a patient is sensitive to touch, a gentle approach is important to determine their level of sensitivity. This gentle approach is additional support in developing trust. Once trust is developed and gentle touch has been achieved, this is when other methods of physical therapy will be brought in. Over time a patient may need more methods added to improve treatment.
Ways to Manage Pain
Professional help for pain is the best course of treatment but there are things that can be done to keep your body and mind healthy.
- Be active
- Don’t push yourself too hard
- Stay social
There are other ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle but these three are incredibly important. Staying active will work your muscles and keep your body in healthy physical shape. When you do activities, know your limits, pushing too hard can cause more pain. Maintaining social connections with friends and family has been proven to decrease depression and anxiety. When these practices are implemented in everyday life, along with seeing mental and physical health experts, you can manage your pain and live a much more comfortable life.