Chronic Pain Therapy
Are You Suffering from Chronic Pain and Feel Like There’s No Relief?
Is chronic pain impacting your quality of life? Have you tried everything to get rid of your pain but nothing has worked long-term? Do you wish you could get back to normal life again and be free from pain?
When you are in chronic pain, it can affect every aspect of your life. Everything you do, from performing your job to doing basic chores around the house, can be a challenge. The effects of chronic pain can also take a heavy toll on your mental health. You might be feeling depressed or anxious and suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems. The psychological, as well as physical pain you experience, can make each day a struggle.
If your chronic pain is impacting your ability to work, you may be worried about keeping your job. The pain you’re in could make you withdraw from life. You may no longer enjoy the activities you once loved or find that you’ve isolated yourself from friends and family. If you are in acute pain, you may even resort to self-medicating to cope with it, which could lead to unhealthy dependencies and even addiction.
If you’re often stressed out, it could be making your pain worse. Perhaps you’re stuck in a cycle of fearing your pain and unsure of how to get out of it—the pain makes the stress worse and the stress makes the pain worse. Most frustrating of all, you might have a hard time getting a diagnosis for your symptoms because your doctor can't find anything wrong. Or maybe you have had too many diagnoses to count over the years and you’re starting to lose faith that you'll ever be able to get better. But you know what you’re experiencing is real physical pain.
The good news is that there is a treatment for chronic pain that can help you. You can learn how to rewire your brain’s responses to the sensations in your body so that they are no longer perceived as dangerous.
Chronic Pain is Not Always Addressed with Traditional Medicine
Many of us struggle with chronic pain. The CDC estimates that over 20 percent of Americans have some form of pain. The types of chronic pain are numerous—from migraines to fibromyalgia and joint to pelvic pain. Despite how common it is, those of us who suffer from it often don’t know where to turn for help.
One of the biggest challenges we face is that the root of our chronic pain is typically treated only from a medical perspective. When we go to the doctor, we usually get a diagnosis for our condition and take medication, get an injection, or even have surgery for it. But a medical-only approach has limitations when it comes to addressing pain.
The medical perspective often ignores the mind-body connection and the role the brain plays in perceiving pain. Without considering this important piece of the puzzle, we are unable to conquer persistent pain effectively. We continue to suffer.
In the meantime, it is common for us to seek out unhealthy means of coping with our pain. We may end up getting addicted to prescribed medications or using illegal substances like opioids. As a result of such habits, our mental health often deteriorates, as does our quality of life. Research has shown that chronic pain can have an impact on the brain, sleep, and mental health.
When you’ve exhausted all medical options, it’s common to feel like you are resigned to live with chronic pain. Fortunately, chronic pain therapy can offer you another option. In our practice, we use a new technique called pain reprocessing therapy or PRT. PRT has been clinically proven to be effective and in a randomized controlled trial, 98% of participants had at least some improvement. It’s possible to find relief from pain when you release the fear that’s associated with it and learn how to make the pain more manageable.
Chronic Pain Therapy Can Show You How to Get Relief
Even if it feels like you have tried everything, it is still possible to significantly reduce and, in some instances, eliminate chronic pain. Our approach is different from the standard medical approach and works on getting to the root cause of your pain rather than trying to temporarily mask it with medication or an injection.
After all, pain is the result of a neural pathway that’s been created in your brain. Although it is real pain that you feel when this pathway is activated, your brain can still mistakenly identify the safe messages it sends through the body as if they were dangerous. What we focus on in therapy is how your brain is involved in perpetuating the cycle of chronic pain and how you can interrupt this process. Chronic pain treatment will help you change how your brain interprets pain so that it reduces the impact of the pain.
In our first session, we will get a sense of your pain problem and ask you questions about what you’ve tried in the past. We will also provide you with some psychoeducation about how pain works in the brain. If no medical solutions have ever helped you, it will probably be a relief to sit down with someone who can empathize with your struggles and focus on reducing the pain rather than its medical cause.
We want pain management counseling to be short-term and effective. In our ongoing sessions, we often use a strategy called somatic tracking, which allows you to focus on your pain and start to reduce the fear that surrounds it. Our goal in doing this is to help you diminish the pain signals your brain is sending and break the cycle of fear of the pain. When you can identify the fears and other negative emotions you connect with your pain, you can learn how to make it more manageable.
PRT focuses on your brain and the root cause of your ongoing pain. Through a step-by-step process, we will shift your experience of pain from one of discomfort and fear to one of calmness and relief. You will learn to identify the negative emotions and activities you associate with pain and learn how to interpret the sensations you’re feeling through a lens of safety so that the pain recedes.
After completing chronic pain therapy, you will be able to get back to your life without the worry of how pain will impact your life. Your discomfort will gradually fade into the background and you will be able to get back to the activities you love again.
But you may still be wondering whether chronic pain therapy is right for you…
It sounds like you are saying my pain is imaginary or in my head, but it’s real.
This is a common misinterpretation. Even though chronic pain can be addressed through therapy, this does not mean that the pain is made up. In fact, we know the pain is real; otherwise, you wouldn’t be seeking help. What we are saying is that pain is the result of a well-worn neural pathway in your brain. When you learn how to reinterpret your brain’s signals to the body and no longer associate them with fear, it can change the way you experience the sensation of pain.
I don’t believe that psychology can help me with my pain.
Research shows that the brain is involved in chronic pain and if we don’t treat what is happening in the brain, it will continue to be a problem. Unlike many of the treatments you have probably tried, there are no side effects and no medications involved with pain management counseling. Chronic pain treatment is short-term and is evidence-based.
I am in too much pain to do therapy—I need relief now.
We understand your frustration. You have probably tried everything—acupuncture, medications, massage, chiropractors—but nothing has worked in the long term. Thankfully, PRT can help change your relationship to pain. If you put in the time and open yourself up to learn about how your brain works, your pain—and quality of life—can really improve.
It’s Possible to Return to a Normal, Pain-Free Life
You don’t have to live with chronic pain anymore. Our approach to pain management therapy can help you reframe how you experience your discomfort and allow you to find relief. For more information, please contact us for a consultation. We can answer any questions you have and help you determine if we might be a good fit for you.