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The Impact of Pain on Your Emotional Health

While everyone experiences pain at some point in their life, the experience of pain differs depending on many factors, including age, gender, culture, belief system, social networks, and more. One thing that remains constant for sufferers of chronic pain is the toll it can take on your emotional health.  

At Boston PainCare, our experienced care providers understand how chronic pain can limit your daily activities and make regular interactions with friends, family, and co-workers a challenge, which can negatively impact your emotional health. To help patients in Waltham, Concord, and Natick, Massachusetts, combat the effects of pain on your emotional health, we offer comprehensive pain management services.

We also believe in the power of education. That’s why we’ve put together this article outlining how pain impacts your emotional health and the steps you can take to feel your best, mentally, and physically. Read on to learn more!

How does pain impact my emotional health?

Although you may experience chronic pain as a result of a physical condition, it’s impossible to separate your mind and body. Pain can limit your physical abilities and take a toll on your body, making it hard to interact with others and complete your usual routine.

As a result, you may feel isolated, frustrated, stressed, resentful, or sad. These feelings can make you feel depressed or anxious, and as a result, your pain may worsen. 

And because the way you think about pain impacts your experience of pain, chronic pain sufferers sometimes find themselves in a cycle of pain, where the physical pain makes you feel worse emotionally, which then makes you experience pain more strongly.   

The link between chronic pain and your emotions is so strong it can be difficult to tell what is making you feel bad — the physical issue or the emotional one. For example, people with depression are three times more likely to have chronic pain, and people with chronic pain are three times more likely to have depression. 

What can I do to feel my best despite chronic pain?

Even though your pain may have started due to a physical issue, like arthritis, back troubles, or inflamed nerves, your experience of pain is developed in your brain where neural pathways generate and regulate both pain and emotion.

This is good news and bad news. What you tell yourself about your pain experience and how much you fear or resent your pain can trigger strong — and negative — emotional and physical responses. 

At the same time, scientists have demonstrated that our brains are extremely plastic, meaning we can retrain our brains to think and respond differently to different stimuli, including pain and the associated emotions.  

How can a pain management specialist help?

Doctors who specialize in pain management understand the complex relationship between your pain and emotions. At Boston PainCare, our team uses an integrative approach to help patients find relief from chronic pain and improve their emotional health.

By treating the factors contributing to your pain, our team helps improve your overall quality of life, making it easier to rebuild your emotional health. In addition to using different interventional pain modalities, our team helps you get the emotional support you need to cope with chronic pain and its impact on your life.

Our therapeutic and integrative approach to pain management includes different modalities depending on your individual needs. Some pain management techniques used may include:

If you’re ready to regain control of your pain and your emotional health, the experts at Boston PainCare can help. Contact the Boston PainCare office nearest you to schedule an appointment now!

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