Pain Management Techniques

Pain is a very common condition. Pain may be caused by medical conditions, injuries or after surgery. Around one-third of Australians are experiencing some form of pain at any given time, with one in five people reporting that their pain is constant. The frequency of ongoing pain rises as people get older, with women more likely to be in pain than men. Pain management is an approach to ease your suffering and improve your quality of life.

pain management

There are two types of pain:

  • Acute Pain – a normal response to tissue injury, which begins suddenly and is generally short-lived.
  • Chronic Pain – ongoing pain that persists beyond the expected time of healing and usually lasts for longer than three months.

An overwhelming majority of individuals with chronic pain experience it for more than a year. This type of pain is usually the result of an injury, illness or other health problem.

The after-effects of unrelieved pain may include:

  • increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • anxiety or depression.
  • changes to blood gases such as reduced oxygen and increased carbon dioxide.
  • higher levels of stress hormones.
  • gastrointestinal problems such as slowed digestion.
  • musculoskeletal issues such as tension and fatigue.

Pain Coping Skills Training

Pain coping skills training refers to scientifically validated strategies and techniques taught to chronic pain sufferers to assist them in living with pain. This includes:

  • Relaxation training
  • Activity pacing techniques
  • Attention diversion exercises
  • Mood management techniques (cognitive therapy techniques)
  • Medication reduction plans under medical supervision
  • Communication skills training and couples coping skills training
  • Assistance with vocational rehabilitation and integrating pain management into the workplace.

It should be noted that these techniques are not intended to cure pain. What they can do is help you to become more active and to feel more in control of your pain. They also take time to learn, and there is usually “homework” to be done outside of the consultations so that you can practice the strategies being discussed.

Pain management strategies include pain-relieving medicines, physical or occupational therapy, complementary therapies (such as acupuncture and massage) and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

Studies suggest that a person’s outlook and the way they emotionally cope with long-term (chronic) pain can influence their quality of life. Counselling can help support you to manage the emotional and psychological effects of chronic pain. Understanding the causes of your pain can help reduce your fear and anxiety.

Therapy is an effective means of assisting individuals who are experiencing unmanageable pain. The psychologists are Western Plains Psychology can provide support, treatment and counselling in a caring environment.

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