CBT for chronic pain
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is pain that can’t be explained biologically, is persistent and disrupts your life. However, chronic pain is more than just a physical symptom: it may also cause depression, fatigue and irritability. It can even interfere with work, relationships and daily living.
Are you struggling with chronic pain?
It’s time to get help when:
- Your pain has lasted for more than six months
- The pain is a result of an injury which should have healed
- The pain is worse when you are stressed or angry
- You feel hopeless when you’re in pain
- Your pain medication isn’t effective, even at its maximum dose
- You can’t sleep due to the pain
- The pain is affecting your social life or relationships
- You can’t work because of the pain
- It’s harder for you to enjoy life than it was before your pain began
CBT and chronic pain
Chronic pain can be difficult to treat, but a combination of psychological and physical therapies appears to provide significant benefits.
Physiotherapy, medication, acupuncture, local electrical stimulation and brain stimulation, as well as surgery, are some treatments for chronic pain. CBT, relaxation, biofeedback and behaviour modification are also employed as non-invasive routes to treat chronic pain.
CBT aims to improve the way that you manage and cope with your pain, rather than finding a biological solution to it. This approach is related to problem-solving and giving you control over your pain. CBT helps to identify negative thinking patterns and to develop effective challenges. With careful planning of tasks and daily activities and the use of relaxation training, CBT will enable you to take back control of your life, to do more and to feel better.