What is pain?
Pain encompasses a variety of unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the body that can range from mild to severe intensity. Depending on the type of pain experienced, you may have difficulty functioning which can interfere with quality of life. Health professionals use specific terms for different types of pain:
- Acute Pain is usually short-term (lasts fewer than 6 months), such as a broken leg.
- Persistent or Chronic Pain is usually long-term (lasts for more than 6 months), such as muscular back pain or arthritic pain.
- Recurrent or Intermittent Pain comes and goes sporadically, such as tooth ache.
- Neuropathic pain is often unrelated to injury and results from damage to the nervous system, such as numbness, tingling or burning sensations.
- Visceral pain stems from injury or damage to internal organs, such as gallstones or appendicitis.
- Psychosomatic pain is often brought on by internal states of distress such as, tension migraines
Pain is often assessed on an individual basis as it affects everyone differently. People have different ‘pain thresholds’ which means the ability to tolerate pain varies. As such, it is unhelpful to compare experiences of pain because this may create unrealistic self-expectations, cause frustration and lower self-esteem and confidence.
Most pain resolves through a recovery process which may involve treatment including medication, physiotherapy, surgery or simply natural healing with adequate time. However, in many cases pain persists despite recovery time and/or apparent healing of the body. Sometimes pain occurs in the absence of any detectable injury, damage or disease which can feel confusing and increases the risk of experiencing additional unhelpful emotional states of anxiety and/or depression.
If you can relate to any of the above and are currently experiencing pain, or negative emotional states resulting from a previous experience of pain, you may benefit from assessment with your GP or a Psychologist to explore your options further.
How online therapy can help pain?
Pain management has become an increasingly popular therapeutic option for those wishing to improve their reactions to pain and find healthier ways to navigate daily routine. Once medical advice has been taken into consideration, most people can effectively engage in pain management therapy, regardless of the intensity of pain experienced. There are various options that may interest you which can be discussed in online therapy:
- Operant Conditioning
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Mindfulness approaches
- Biofeedback therapy
- Relational approaches
- Distress tolerance
- Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT)
It is important to explore these options with a therapist and establish which option is suited to your specific needs. Some of these approaches focus on improving your relationship with unpleasant sensations by learning new coping mechanisms. Your therapist may introduce you to different grounding techniques, all designed to promote relaxation and condition the body to pay more attention to positive physical or emotional states. Your therapist can also help you reframe pain using Cognitive behavioural methods to alter unhelpful Negative Automatic Thoughts experienced such as ‘This is going to ruin my day’ or ‘I’m useless’.
In some cases, where pain is psychosomatic, your therapist may focus more on the underlying triggers such as stress or anxiety to reduce the amount of exposure to internal states that are causing the body to react in unhelpful ways. Please note that pain management therapy involves regular and consistent activity, as research indicates that our bodies respond best to long-term steadiness, which also improves stamina and endurance for various types of physical or mental exertion. You and your therapist can collaborate on a plan that helps you create realistic goals and achieve long-term pain management at an appropriate pace.
Free initial telephone discussion
If you are looking for online therapy to manage pain please contact Teresa Lewis for a 15 minute no-obligation discussion. Teresa is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist so she will be able to briefly discuss your issues, answer questions and explain more about how online therapy can help with pain management. At this time you can decide whether you would like to book an appointment. The discussion is conducted without any obligation to book an appointment.
Make an appointment for online therapy
If you would like to speak to one of our therapists regarding online therapy for relationship issues please call: 01902 827808. Alternatively, fill out our online contact form and we will contact you within 24 hours.
Medical disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice by a qualified doctor.