Chronic Pain

The onset of pain is a symptom of illness or injury in the part of the body that is experiencing the pain. The sudden onset of pain is called acute pain. Acute pain gets a person's attention and prompts him or her to take action to prevent further worsening of the condition causing the pain. Chronic pain is pain that persists over time (6 months or longer) and typically results from long-standing (chronic) medical conditions or damage to the body.

Pain interrupts our work, our recreation, and our relationships with our families. Comfort, or not being in pain, is one of the goals of pain treatment. Once the cause of the pain is found and proper treatment is started, the pain may gradually decrease, but if the pain is from an incurable or chronic illness the pain loses its usefulness and becomes harmful. This type of pain keeps a person from normal activity, and inactivity decreases strength and has a profound effect on our psychology and physiology.

A number of symptoms can accompany chronic pain and can even arise as a direct result of the pain. These can include insomnia or poor quality sleep, irritability, depression and mood changes, anxiety, fatigue, and loss of interest in daily activities.

Your body is aching and the pain feels unbearable. The last thing you want to hear is, “it’s all in your head.” For people with chronic pain, the discomfort is very real, and they know all too well they feel it in their bodies. When you are hurting and in consistent discomfort, the pain becomes all encompassing.

Enter cognitive behavioral therapy as a method of pain management.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that helps people identify and develop skills to change negative thoughts and behaviors. CBT says that individuals; not outside situations and events, create their own experiences, pain included. By changing negative thoughts and behaviors, people can change their awareness of pain and develop better coping skills, even if the actual level of pain stays the same.

The pain process is very academic; pain causes stress, when stressed our brain introduces chemicals like norepinephrine and serotonin into our system. Introducing CBT reduces the stimulation that influences these chemicals allowing the body’s natural pain relief procedure to be more powerful and effective.

CBT helps provide pain relief in a few ways: it changes the way people view their pain. The treatment focuses on changing the thoughts, emotions and behaviors aligned to the pain, focusing on improving coping strategies, body relaxation, reframing the discomfort with the overall effect of having the pain interfere less with the quality of life therefore improving overall functioning. It encourages a problem-solving attitude, defeating the aspect of learned helplessness many chronic pain clients feel, allowing the client to feel more in control and able to positively impact the situation.

The Kraft Group have chronic pain therapist trained in CBT to work with chronic pain clients so they can gain control over their pain treatment allowing them to increase their quality of life! To arrange an initial consultation, please call 973-727-1597

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