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According to Jordan Sudberg, The problem of pain is all too common and is the most often cited reason for people to seek a physician. However, reducing pain isn’t always straightforward. More than 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain, per the Institute of Medicine. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, chronic pain is a problem that is more prevalent among Americans than heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Pain is a vital sign by warning you of injuries such as ankle injuries or burned hands. However, chronic pain is typically more complex. Many people view pain as a solely physical sensation. But, it is a result of psychological, physiological and biological aspects. Additionally, chronic pain may result in feelings of despair, anger, and even anxiety. To manage pain effectively, it is essential to address the emotional, physical and mental aspects.
Treatments for medical conditions, such as surgeries, medication, and physical therapy, can be beneficial in treating chronic pain. Psychological therapies are also essential to managing pain. Knowing and controlling the thoughts, emotions, and behaviour associated with pain can assist you in dealing better with pain and may actually decrease the intensity of your pain.
Jordan Sudberg Talking to a psychologist about suffering
Jordan Sudberg Psychologists are specialists in helping people deal with the emotions, thoughts and actions that accompany chronic discomfort. They may collaborate with families and individuals through individual private practice and as part of a health care team within the context of a clinical environment. Patients suffering from chronic pain could be directed to psychologists by other health professionals. Psychologists can work with other health experts to tackle pain’s emotional and physical aspects.
If you work with psychologists will talk about your emotional and physical health. The psychologist will ask questions about the pain you feel, the location and time it happens, and the causes that could cause the cause. In addition, he/they will likely want you to talk about any concerns or stressors connected to the pain you experience. Additionally, you may be asked to fill out the questionnaire, which allows you to document your personal thoughts and feelings regarding your discomfort.
A thorough understanding of your concerns can help the psychologist develop the treatment strategy.
Treatment plans for those suffering from chronic pain are explicitly created for the patient. The program usually consists of training relaxing techniques and strategies, altering perceptions about pain, and developing new skills for coping and dealing with any depression or anxiety that might accompany the pain.
One way to accomplish this is to help you discover ways to confront any negative ideas you may have regarding suffering. A psychologist can assist you in finding new ways to think about issues and find solutions. In some instances, dissociating yourself from pain can be helpful. In other instances, psychologists may help you discover different ways to approach the pain. Studies have shown that psychotherapy is more effective than surgery in alleviating chronic pain because psychotherapy for pain may change how your brain handles pain sensations.
A psychologist can also assist you in changing your lifestyle, allowing you to keep participating in recreational and work activities. Since pain is often a contributing factor in insomnia, a therapist can also assist you in learning new methods to help you sleep better.
Jordan Sudberg Moving forward and getting better
Most patients discover they can lessen their pain after several sessions with psychologists. Patients who suffer from depression or have chronic degenerative diseases could benefit from a more prolonged care program. With your psychologist, you’ll determine the length of the treatment should run. The aim is to help you gain the skills to deal with your pain and live an active life.
Chronic pain and stress
Jordan Sudberg Being afflicted by pain is stressful. However, stress can contribute to many health issues, such as the heart, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, obesity and anxiety. Additionally, stress may create muscle tension and spasms that can increase pain. How you manage your emotions can directly impact the severity of your discomfort.
Psychologists can assist you in managing the stress that is caused by chronic pain.
Psychologists can guide you to learn relaxation methods, for example, breathing exercises or meditation, to help keep stress levels under control. Psychologists and other health professionals use biofeedback to teach you how to control specific body functions.
Biofeedback sensors attached to your skin track your body’s stress response by monitoring things like blood pressure, heart rate or even the brain’s waves. When you are learning techniques that relax muscles and your mind, you can observe on the computer screen as your body’s stress response diminishes. By doing this, you will be able to determine the relaxation techniques that are most efficient and then apply them to control the body’s response to tension.
Stress is an inevitable aspect of life. However, managing stress can help your body and mind ease your pain.
Tips for managing the pain
Take a look at the following steps that could be beneficial in changing your habits to improve your sleeping.
- Keep active. The fear of pain or discomfort can make people stop doing things they love. It is important to not allow pain to take over your life.
- Know your limits. Be active with a mindset that accepts that you have physical limits. Create a plan for how you can manage your pain. And don’t try to accomplish more than you are capable of.
- Exercise. Maintain your health with low-impact workouts like yoga, stretching, walking, and swimming.
- Connect with friends. Contact an old friend invite a pal to lunch, or set up a date for coffee with someone that you haven’t spoken to in the past. Studies show that those with higher levels of social support are more resilient and suffer less anxiety and depression. If you need help, ask for it when you require it.
- Find a way to distract yourself. If you are experiencing pain, look for ways to divert your attention from the issue. Take a walk, watch a film, exercise, participate in a sport or go to the museum. Positive experiences can help you to manage the pain.
- Don’t lose hope. With the correct psychotherapy, many people can deal with their anxiety and look at it from a different perspective.
- Take care when taking prescriptions. If medication is an element of your treatment, make sure you follow your physician’s instructions to avoid adverse negative side consequences. Alongside aiding you in finding methods to manage and control pain, psychologists can assist you in establishing a routine to keep track of your treatment.
The American Psychological Association gratefully acknowledges Jordan Sudberg, PsyD, a psychologist with Health Psychology Associates, director of the Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities and Education Center at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, for their contributions to this article.