As well as being distressing, chronic pain can be tricky to deal with.
Our brains have evolved to draw on all our experiences to protect us. Most of the time this works well. However, with any pain that becomes persistent the brain can sometimes create associations that are unhelpful in managing it. After six months or more running into problems is extremely common.
The physiological basis of pain is incredibly complicated with countless chemical and electrical loops involved. However, we now understand that there is a complex interplay between a person’s pain and their thoughts, beliefs and emotions. The processing of signals takes place in the brain and how much pain is ultimately felt and how the pain is experienced and dealt with is strongly affected by such factors and by the social context in which it occurs.
Pain psychologists teach techniques that are useful in helping your brain suppress the transmission of pain signals. They also teach techniques to cope well and be more active despite the pain.
In Bath Pain Management, we work closely with our pain psychology colleague, Dr Angela Caney, and she has provided invaluable help to many of our patients. For Dr Caney's biography and contact details please click here.