Chronic pain can affect any aspect of your life, from sleeping at night to completing everyday tasks. If you have chronic pain, you may have tried several things to get rid of it, from traditional medications and therapies to complementary ones like acupuncture or massage. But if none of these worked, have you considered cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, a treatment that could help you relieve, if not eliminate, your pain?
In the USA, one in five people already lives with chronic pain. However, living with chronic pain doesn't mean that it only hurts. A 2016 report for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that chronic pain is closely related to ordinary pain reliever use, depression, and anxiety. Chronic pain can ruin a person's life.
A team of researchers investigated whether psychological treatment could have a positive effect on chronic pain. The patients they studied had mostly back pain, generalized inflammation, or pain with no other obvious cause. CBT helps people change how they see their pain and how they think about it. The goal of therapy is to get patients to notice and rephrase their negative thoughts about pain and then take steps to encourage patients to adopt more positive coping strategies. Once mastered, CBT can help patients take specific steps, such as: B. Exercise more, which in turn can help reduce pain.
When evaluating the treatments available, the researchers found that patients treated with CBT had "slightly less pain and suffering" than other patients. And after comparing CBT with treatment with exercise programs or pain management, there was less of a difference in favor of CBT, but these patients still had less pain.
One of the advantages of CBT, besides being drug-free, is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. And once someone learns and is familiar with the techniques, they no longer need to see a therapist if they don't feel they need them. It's like having a toolkit for your brain that is easily accessible at all times.
In contrast to acute pain, which usually has a specific cause, chronic pain is often undetectable. If doctors can't find the source, they may offer medication as the only treatment option. These include muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, opioids, or antidepressants. And while these drugs can work for many patients, they can also have side effects that can also lead to discomfort. CBT has no side effects. Although the researchers didn't find that CBT was a cure for chronic pain, it may be worth trying to relieve or relieve the pain.