Given the adverse side effects of long-term use of pain relief medication, people with chronic pain often search for alternative therapies to cure the nagging pain. Chronic pain could be reduced through cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as talk therapy, is commonly used for treating emotional disorders. However, it is even effective in treating certain physical discomforts such as chronic pain. According to psychologists, our thoughts and behaviors often affect our perception of pain. Physical pain could be reduced by modifying our thoughts and behaviors.
Usually individuals with chronic pain are able to sense the manner in which the pain will progress. As soon as a person who frequently experiences pain, senses pain, he/she expects the intensity of the pain to increase. The sense of helplessness that develops, progresses to emotional stress. Stress triggers a series of physical changes.
It increases muscle tension, pushes up the blood pressure level and increases secretion of stress hormones, aggravating pain. Stress leads to imbalance in the brain chemicals, which worsens the symptoms associated with chronic pain.
In cognitive behavioral therapy, people with chronic pain are taught mechanisms to regulate the thoughts that develop when a person senses pain. To get rid of the physical pain, one must learn how to manage the sense of helplessness that tends to aggravate the pain. Chronic pain could be controlled if a person believes that effective action could be taken to reduce the pain.
People with chronic pain should maintain a journal to track the thoughts and behaviors associated with pain. By identifying the feelings associated with pain, one can learn skills to combat physical pain. Moreover, you can even utilize the pain management techniques for managing anxiety, stress and depression.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps to shift your focus from the symptoms of pain to positive aspects of life. This therapy helps people with chronic pain to become physically active. The intensity and the duration of the pain could be reduced through moderate workouts such as walking, yoga and swimming.
Several individual and group sessions are recommended for learning the pain management techniques. Each cognitive behavioral therapy session usually lasts between 45 minutes and two hours.