Screen_Shot_2024-04-12_at_8.jpegDoes chronic pain make your daily life mentally challenging? Do you feel frustrated and overwhelmed by your symptoms? You are not alone. An estimated 35% to 45% of people with chronic pain experience depression and anxiety, making it clear that chronic pain not only affects the body but also has a significant impact on mental health.

But there is hope. Counseling can be an effective tool in managing chronic pain and improving overall well-being. Our pain management team at Dayalan and Associates Pain Management & Addiction Treatment, part of the Genesis Medical Associates network in Pittsburgh, PA, is dedicated to helping patients manage chronic pain and improve their overall quality of life.

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Understanding Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting longer than three months and can range from mild to severe. It can manifest in different forms, such as headaches, backaches, joint pain, or nerve pain. Unlike acute pain, which acts as a warning sign of injury or illness, chronic pain persists even after the initial cause has healed.

This can be frustrating and confusing, as there is often no clear physical cause for the ongoing pain.

The Psychological Impact of Chronic Pain

Studies have shown that individuals with chronic pain are at a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety. This is due to the constant struggle with pain and the limitations it may impose on daily life. As a result, individuals with chronic pain may experience feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and isolation.

The negative impact on mental health can further exacerbate the physical symptoms of chronic pain. It can lead to increased stress levels, which can cause muscle tension and worsen existing pain. This creates a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break without proper treatment.

Furthermore, the brain's response to chronic pain can result in changes in mood, behavior, and thought patterns. These changes can further worsen the experience of daily pain, creating a vicious cycle.

How Counseling Can Help

While the physical aspect of chronic pain may be out of an individual's control, counseling can provide valuable tools and techniques for managing the emotional impact. Here are a few ways Dayalan and Associates Pain Management & Addiction Treatment  can help with chronic pain: 

Understanding the Pain-Emotion Connection

Counseling can help individuals understand the connection between their emotions and physical pain. Chronic pain often has a psychological component, where stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts can worsen the symptoms. Through counseling, individuals can learn to identify and cope with these emotions effectively.

Developing Coping Strategies

Our pain management specialists and counselors at Genesis work with patients to develop healthy coping strategies for managing chronic pain. This may include relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to change negative thought patterns. Learning these methods can help reduce the stress that makes pain feel worse.

Managing Emotional Effects

Chronic pain can make people feel sad, angry, or frustrated. Sometimes, it can even lead to depression or anxiety. We work with our patients to address these feelings. Our team can offer support and teach skills to manage these emotions, which can make pain more manageable, too.

Improving Quality of Life

By addressing the emotional impact of chronic pain, counseling can improve overall well-being and quality of life. It can help individuals regain a sense of control over their own lives instead of feeling overwhelmed by pain.

Support & Understanding

Having someone to talk to who understands and supports a person can be very helpful. Our Genesis team listens to and helps people find their own answers to pain-related problems. They also provide a safe space to express thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Encouraging Healthy Behaviors

Our experts at Genesis motivate patients to live healthier lives. This includes exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep. These are all parts of keeping the body strong, lessening pain and helping people feel better physically and mentally.

Strategies To Try At Home

At Genesis Medical, we believe in providing our patients with the tools they need to manage their chronic pain effectively. Here are some therapeutic mental strategies that you can try at home:

  • Deep Breathing: Taking deep breaths and focusing on the sensation of air entering and leaving your body can help relax muscles and reduce tension.
  • Meditation: This practice involves paying attention to the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can help reduce stress and increase relaxation.
  • Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. For example, instead of saying, 'I can't do this because of my pain,' say, 'I am capable of finding ways to manage my pain.'
  • Distraction Techniques: Engage in activities that you enjoy, such as listening to music, reading, or watching a movie. This can help take your mind off the pain and improve your mood.
  • Gratitude Journaling: Write down things you are grateful for each day. Focusing on positive aspects of life can help shift perspective and promote feelings of well-being.

    Find Relief With Pain Management at Genesis

    Chronic pain affects not just the body but also the mind. This condition can make daily tasks challenging and significantly impact one's quality of life. However, through a combination of medical treatments, physical therapy, and strategies to manage pain effectively, it is possible to find relief.

    Our pain management team at Dayalan and Associates Pain Management & Addiction Treatment - a division of Genesis Medical Associates - is an NCQA-recognized Level-3 Patient-Centered Medical Home that can address chronic pain disorders by understanding and treating the psychological aspects of pain, providing a holistic approach to managing chronic pain. With our support, you can learn to manage your pain and improve your overall well-being.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with chronic pain, don't hesitate to reach out to Genesis Medical for help. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts today to start finding relief and improving your quality of life. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How is chronic pain treated?

Chronic pain treatment is typically a combination of medication, physical therapy, and counseling. The specific treatment plan may vary depending on the individual's condition and needs. Counseling can help manage the emotional impact of chronic pain and provide tools for coping with symptoms effectively.

How else can Genesis help manage pain?

At Genesis, we offer various services to help manage and treat chronic pain.  These include physical therapy, trigger point injection (TPI), and interventional pain management on an outpatient basis.  Additionally, we provide support for clients struggling with addiction and mental health concerns that may contribute to or result from chronic pain. Our holistic approach aims to address the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of chronic pain.

How long does treatment last?

The duration of treatment varies for each individual and depends on several factors, such as the severity of pain, response to treatment, and personal goals. Some individuals may only require a few sessions, while others may benefit from ongoing therapy. Our team works closely with patients to determine the best course of treatment for their unique needs.