What is Behavioral Pain Management and Why is Pain Therapy Important to Me?
- To improve the likelihood of successful pain treatment provided by your doctor.
- To address not only the biological, but also the behavioral and psychosocial factors that contribute to pain.
- To optimize patients’ assets, lessen liabilities, and foster wellness through research supported interventions.
- To give patients more one-on-one time with the doctor to address concerns and develop a collaborative treatment plan.
- Allow for early intervention by identifying potential problems before they actually become an issue
How Does Your Brain and Pain Affect Each other?
- Individuals with chronic pain are significantly more likely to become depressed and/or anxious.
- People with mood disturbances are more likely to experience chronic pain when injured or experiencing long-term illness.
- When a person has both chronic pain and mood disturbance, they are more likely to increase reliance on passive, unhealthy copping strategies leading to a sense of powerlessness or hopelessness.
- Those with chronic pain often become afraid of doing further harm to themselves by participating in everyday activities. The “fear of movement,” also called kinesiophobia, decreases functional ability and quality of life.
- Research suggests that chronic untreated pain can reduce the size of your brain equivalent to 20 years of age (Foreman, 2014).
What Can Behavioral Pain Management Teach Me?
- Learn healthy diversion techniques that shift your attention away from the pain.
- Learn how to manipulate your body’s response to pain through biofeedback.
- Learn how to curb negative, catastrophic thinking in favor of healthier, adaptive thoughts.
- Learn how to gradually increase your tolerance for activities normally prohibited by pain.
- Learn how to identify and avoid bad coping behaviors, which can become habitual and contribute to pain (Barr, 2008).
- Learn about pain and learn how it effects your body and behavior.
- Learn about things you should not do to adapt to a life with chronic pain.
Why is a Behavioral Evaluation Necessary for Me?
A behavioral health evaluation is a requirement for most patients. It allows for more time to explore your history and specific needs to a level that would not be possible with a normal medical evaluation. This allows your doctor to pursue the best treatment plan available.
It is generally known that not everybody responds the same way to treatment. This is why one person may respond well to a particular intervention while another may not. A behavioral health evaluation uses the most up-to-date research to help guide your doctor in designing a treatment plan that will have the best outcome results with the least risk.
A person does not need to be “perfect” to benefit from higher risk forms of treatment like narcotic pain medication. However, the law requires due diligence when prescribing such medications. A behavioral health evaluation helps the doctor identify a patient’s assets or liabilities in order to lessen concerns which may become a barrier to prescribing these types of medications.
Chronic Pain Social Support Group
The goals of this group include providing support, validation, and education in basic pain management and life skills (i.e. medication, treatment types, etc.)
Meeting every 1st and 3rd Friday 10:30 to 11:30 AM
Please call to RSVP and check for cancellations.
Like us on Facebook (Augusta Pain Center Behavioral Health Services) for regular updates and notifications.
Barr, K. 2008. Mind and your body: Pain, pain, go away. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200803/mind-your-body-pain-pain-go-away
Foreman, F, 2014. Chronic pain: Millions suffer, missing non-drug option. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/02/chronic-pain-treatment/4737647/.
Depression and pain (2004). Harvard Mental Health Letter, Retrieved from health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Depression_and_pain.
Hadley, E. (2009). Chronic pain: The relationship between physical and psychological health. Retrieved from http://www.med.upenn.edu/psychotherapy/newsletter_pain.html