When it comes to pain management, oftentimes people most often think of physical therapy. However, for some, psychological therapy will be just as important as physical therapy. A San Diego pain management center may encourage pain psychology as a supplemental treatment for pain management.
This article will explore and how and why pain psychology can be useful for helping to facilitate a recovery for people who have survived painful injuries or who are trying to manage chronic pain.
What is pain psychology?
Pain psychology is a branch of psychology that has been used for several decades. The purpose of paying psychology is to help address some of the mental and emotional issues that come along with chronic pain.
Many people find that they experience stress, anxiety, and depression as a result of their pain.
Many of these emotional problems, especially stress, can manifest as physical ailments. Stress is especially known for causing high blood pressure, ulcers, muscle tension, and other physical symptoms that can worsen, or even cause, physical pain.
Pain psychology aims to understand and address these emotional issues, as well as to provide coping mechanisms for some of the difficulties that arise with chronic pain.
How can pain psychology help?
There are several different types of psychological treatments that may be used by pain psychologists at a San Diego pain management center. Here are a few examples.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is the most common form of psychological treatment. It is also the most popular form of therapy used by psychologists who are helping people manage chronic pain.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to address the way that we think and feel. One of the core beliefs of behavioral therapy is that our thoughts motivate our emotions and our daily life. By addressing any dysfunctional or difficult thoughts, cognitive behavioral therapy can help us come to terms with our pain.
Acceptance and commitment therapy. This is a unique branch of therapy that aims to help people accept their life situation.
Many people refuse to acknowledge that they are in chronic pain. Or, more often, they refuse to let themselves feel the unpleasant emotions associated with such a condition. The very act of repressing emotion takes a great deal of cognitive energy, and acceptance and commitment therapy will help you overcome this.
By understanding, acknowledging, and accepting all of your feelings relating to your situation, you can free up your energy for more positive purposes. This can take a great deal of stress off of your shoulders and can facilitate a healthy recovery.
When it comes to pain management, physical therapy is often the most important component.
However, physical therapy does very little to address the emotional and mental components that come along with painful conditions and injuries. This is why it’s important to add psychological treatment to your recovery program.
A psychologist at a San Diego pain management center can help you understand these emotional components, accept your situation, and develop coping mechanisms that will allow you to live a full and healthy life.