Chronic pain is usually set off by a physical injury. Certain types of pain persist beyond the original injury, or emanate from a much wider or distant area. Sometimes the pain is far greater in proportion to the injury and sometimes the pain spreads to a wider region. In some cases, the pain remains, long after the injury has healed.
There are several theories and perspectives on chronic pain. Our treatment focuses on the physical problem with psychological undercurrents.
The goals of the treatment will vary depending on whether the condition has persisted for a lengthy period of time, whether we are looking at psychogenic pain, a history of trauma or emotional disturbances, the patients own cognitive interpretations of pain and expectations.
These goals may be:
- Better managing and controlling the pain
- Re-interpreting the pain
- Reducing fear and anxiety related to the pain
- Anticipatory anxiety of pain and negative expectations
- Resolution of psychogenic pain
- Increased confidence with adjustment and management of pain
Research has focused on the role and relationship between the central nervous system, the dorsal horn and the peripheral nervous system with regard to chronic pain. Over sensitized sympathetic system or increased sensitivity of the dorsal horn cells can lead to disproportionate pain compared to the actual level of tissue damage.
The implication is that emotions and pain sensations may become associated at a conscious and unconscious level. We can therefore look at pain as a somatised end product of trauma.
- Some factors that correlate with chronic pain include:
- History of high levels of prolonged stress, anxiety and or past trauma
- Increased sensitivity to internal and external unpleasant sensations
- Neurological processes which maintain chronic pain due to lingering pain memory
- An abnormal response to pain and injury
- Neurocognitive disturbance and emotional regulation
My Chronic Pain Control program is specifically for patients who experience somatised pain – pain that is manifested in a physical condition due to psychological phenomena. I focus on helping patients to gain greater control and mastery over hypersensitivity to pain and essentially gain ownership and resolution of unresolved trauma and feelings.
Whatever may be the cause of your pain, do not ignore your pain. A whole body approach to managing your pain is available.