Behavioral Therapy for Pain: Here’s What You Should Know

If you’re living with chronic pain, you don’t need us to tell you how far-reaching the effects can be. Chances are that to get through your daily life, you’ve tried different treatment approaches. You’re not alone. 

At least 20% of Americans live with chronic pain, and finding a treatment modality that provides relief without causing detrimental side effects can be a challenge. At Boston PainCare, we have good news for people struggling with chronic pain.

Our team of pain management specialists has successful outcomes with patients in the Waltham, Natick, and Concord, Massachusetts, areas using behavioral therapy as part of an integrated pain management treatment plan.

Here’s what you need to know about behavioral therapy for pain and how this drug-free therapy could help you.  

Understanding the link between pain and the brain

Chronic pain impacts your entire central nervous system, changing every aspect of how your body categorizes and responds to your chronic pain. While the source of the pain is real, by becoming a chronic issue, this underlying issue creates an additional neurological impact

The result of this neurological impact can affect your mood, making you more susceptible to mental health disorders like depression or anxiety. It can change your sleep patterns, making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

It can also make remembering things or paying attention more difficult, and it can get in the way of your personal and professional relationships by making it harder to relate to others. 

All of these conditions exacerbate your pain experience and worsen your quality of life. By including the brain in your treatment plan, you overcome some of these hurdles and improve your ability to manage your pain.  

How behavioral therapy can help

Behavioral therapy provides the tools you need to manage life with chronic pain. Your provider helps you shift your focus and learn to better manage pain when it arises, putting you in control instead of feeling like a victim of your pain. It works by focusing on behavior. 

Our behaviors are mostly learned responses. This is good news because if you change the way you respond, you can change your behavior and the resulting experience. CBT leads to better pain management and healthier outcomes overall. 

At Boston PainCare, we work to support your needs by offering different behavioral therapy treatments, including:

Your Boston PainCare team also helps put you in touch with community programs and support organizations. For example, we can help set up in-home health services or put you in contact with local job retraining programs.  

A closer look at CBT

Researchers have found that CBT is especially effective at helping patients live fuller, less pain-centered lives. The approach helps you identify and build skills related to your thoughts and behaviors about your pain by helping you respond differently to the pain signals your brain receives. 

Since you perceive pain in the brain, addressing the way your mind deals with it can help reduce your pain response and let you get back to living a fuller life. Some of the ways CBT accomplishes this is by:

Most often, CBT works best when used in conjunction with additional pain management treatments since it not only helps manage your pain but also helps boost the outcomes of these other treatments by helping you feel more optimistic about and confident in their effectiveness. 

Discovering if behavioral therapy is right for you

Chronic pain is a complex issue that requires a customized approach to treatment. Whether behavioral therapy can help you manage your pain depends on different factors, however, most patients benefit from adding behavioral therapy to their treatment plan.

At Boston PainCare, we use an integrated, multidisciplinary treatment approach to ensure you receive the best help possible. Our board-certified doctors conduct a comprehensive evaluation, paying special attention to your symptoms and any concerns or questions you have.   

Contact the chronic pain specialists at Boston PainCare in Waltham, Natick, or Concord, Massachusetts, and learn if behavioral therapy can help you. 

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