July 1, 2013

Pain Management

Health Psychology Denver

You’re in pain. You want to feel better. We can help.

Chronic pain affects nearly one third of the U.S. population. It is a serious problem that negatively impacts quality of life, mood states and interpersonal relationships. A 2011 study by the Institute of Medicine estimated that chronic pain is costing the nation at least $558 billion a year in medical bills, sick days and lost productivity.

The same study also blasted the current medical treatment approach, which often features medication or surgery. These treatments are expensive and often ineffective. Promising new approaches include interventional injection procedures, acupuncture, local electrical stimulation, and brain stimulation. Some physicians use placebos, which in some cases has resulted in a lessening or elimination of pain.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that psychotherapy, relaxation and meditation-based therapies, biofeedback, and behavior modification are now moving to the forefront of chronic pain treatment. And MindBodyHealth is making waves to offer you new options for non-medical, integrative care chronic pain treatment.

We Can Help

According to the NIH, chronic pain (unlike acute pain) abnormally persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.

Whatever the source of your pain, there is some aspect of it that is in fact subjective. This does not mean “it is in your head.” Instead this means there is something you can do about your pain. This is where a psychological, non-medical approach comes in. Connecting your mind and your body can help you relate to those pain signals in a more effective way. We can teach you to make the mind-body connection, and to improve your pain management skills without medication or surgery. This involves learning how to adjust your perceptions and thoughts about your pain experiences. Biofeedback training and mindfulness are important skills that have demonstrated effectiveness in impacting your nervous system’s response to pain.

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