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Pain Management Health Center

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Pain Management: Psychological Therapy

Psychological therapy may be part of your pain treatment plan.

When you are in pain, it is natural to feel angry, sad, hopeless, and depressed. Pain can alter your personality, disrupt your sleep, and interfere with your work and relationships. But, it doesn't have to. Psychological treatment provides a safe, non-drug method to treat your pain directly by reducing high levels of physiological stress that often aggravate pain. Psychological treatment also helps improve the indirect consequences of pain by helping you learn how to cope with the problems associated with pain.

The most common psychological treatments are:

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Parenting With Chronic Pain

Not long after her daughter was born in 1999, Sherrie Sisk began experiencing debilitating episodes of pain that left her feeling like she’d been run over by a truck. “It was like the worst flu aches and pains you could ever imagine,” she says. A few months later, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition characterized by fatigue and pain, particularly focused around certain “tender points” in the body. Ten years later, she’s learned to live with her condition -- and her daughter...

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  • Talk therapy: Talk therapy offers the support and counseling of a psychiatrist or psychologist.
  • Relaxation training: Deep relaxation has been associated with healing and pain reduction.
  • Stress management : Stress can make pain worse. Stress management treatment can help you understand the relationship between stress and pain and teach you ways to reduce stress and ease pain.
  • Pain coping skills training: By learning how to accommodate your life to pain, you can improve your quality of life significantly.

Psychological treatment can be considered for any intense and recurrent pain problem in conjunction with other pain management treatments. Your health care team can help you decide which treatments may be right for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on October 02, 2014

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