Psychological Components of Chronic Pain Management
Dr. Grinstead – I believe that to effectively manage a chronic pain condition it is very important to understand exactly what type of pain you are experiencing. When people are in pain they experience both physical and psychological symptoms. To understand the language of pain, we must learn to listen to how the pain echoes and reverberates between the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of the human condition. Pain is truly a total human experience that affects all aspects of human functioning. Please watch my video below and then watch the remainder of this post.
The psychological symptoms include both cognitive (thinking changes) and emotional (uncomfortable feelings) that lead to suffering. Most people are not able to differentiate between the physical and psychological. All they know is “I hurt.” For effective chronic pain management people need to learn all they can about their pain.
The easiest way to understand pain is to recognize that every time we feel pain our body is attempting to tell us that something is wrong. Pain sensations are critical to human survival. Without pain we would have no way of knowing that something was wrong with our body. So without pain we would be unable to take action to correct the problem or situation that is causing the pain. There are also two types of pain that need to be understood: acute and chronic pain.