The Muscle and Joint Clinic is pleased to feature Zafire Holistic Wellness as a provider of psychological services to our community.
Pain is often seen as a physical problem, however contrary to popular belief, pain management can be tackled in several ways. Of course, medical (physiotherapy, medication, etc) intervention is beneficial for different types of pain (acute, continuous or chronic). However, exploring the psychological underpinnings of the pain can be beneficial in conjunction with other treatments.
Those who suffer from continuous or chronic pain can feel anger, hopelessness, stress and the like. When pain is continuous or worsens, similar thoughts like “I can’t handle this”, “it’s getting much worse” often occur. These thoughts highly influence the intensity of pain. How we think about the pain is also important to address. This is where psychological treatment comes in. Another way to look at it is that pain causes stress, and stress affects brain activity that influences pain. Therapy can help with reducing the stress that comes from pain, so it reduces this cyclical nature. This is why psychological treatment is an important part of pain management. It helps one to understand and manage the thoughts and emotions that accompany the pain.
Psychological treatments like Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be effective in reframing the way we think about pain and learning new skills to cope. CBT is a form of talk therapy that also incorporates various strategies inside and outside of sessions, so people can manage their pain even after treatment. CBT can include challenging negative or deprecating thoughts, relaxation techniques, imagery and other similar life skills. Such techniques can reduce the stress that goes hand-in-hand with pain. In short, it is important to consider psychological intervention alongside medical treatment to manage pain holistically.
To learn more about CBT and other psychological services click here.