Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Font Size

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/or 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:

Recommended Related to Pain Management

Take the Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Chronic Pain?

No doubt about it -- plenty of us are suffering from chronic pain. More than 50 million Americans have some form of this malady, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. But having lots of company doesn’t make it any easier to bear. Chronic pain wears people down, causes fatigue and insomnia, and results in missed work and social isolation. What can you do if chronic pain is interfering with your life? Start by learning what you know -- and maybe don’t know -- about it with this...

Read the Take the Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Chronic Pain? article > >

  • 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 Andrew Seibert, MD on August 13, 2012

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
 
illustration of nerves in hand
Slideshow
lumbar spine
Slideshow
 
Woman opening window
Slideshow
Man holding handful of pills
Video
 
Woman shopping for vegetables
Slideshow
Sore feet with high heel shoes
Slideshow
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
man with a migraine
Slideshow