The Psychological Impact of Chronic Pain: Coping Strategies

As any Pain Consultant will explain: “chronic pain is physically and psychologically stressful. and its constant discomfort can lead to anger and frustration with yourself and your loved ones. By definition, chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than six months and affects how a person lives their daily life” [1]. And while Pain Doctors are the go-to Pain Specialists for devising a patient’s holistic treatment protocol (involving a broad range of conventional and cutting-edge treatments in the physical dimensions), they frequently also refer their patients to psychologists who are specifically trained to help their charges manage the emotional and mental facets of having to deal with their long-term, and often, debilitating pain

The Importance of Emotional and Mental Wellness

This is an area which is often overlooked, particularly if patients do not consult a Pain Doctor. This is because the latter has a multi-disciplinary approach, and understands that these aspects are all part and parcel of having to deal with chronic pain. So to that end, they usually have a referral service to a psychologist who is in expert in this field.

Psychological therapy and tried and tested psychological techniques, empower patients with the essential skills that will help them build their resilience, and manage their long-term pain. And as chronic pain is so stressful, the perpetual discomfort can result in frustration and anger. – Something that can have a very unwelcome effect on those close to them [1].

So What Coping Strategies Can I Work on Myself?

Did you know that physical and emotional pain are closely linked, and that non-stop pain can rocket up your stress levels? So to that end, follow Pain Doctors’ advise, by:
• Ensuring that you have a good sleep every night. (This can be helped by avoiding screens for an hour before you go to bed)
• Eating a balanced diet full of unprocessed and fresh foods (subject to any contraindications)
• Getting daily physical exercise, be it just taking a walk, or doing Tai chi (which can be done by following a YouTube video in the comfort of your own home), etc., (subject to your Pain Specialist’s approval)
• Talking to yourself in a constructive way. “Positive thinking is a powerful tool. By focusing on the improvements you are making (i.e., the pain is less today than yesterday, or you feel better than you did a week ago), you can make a difference in your perceived comfort level”[1].
• Becoming engaged and more active. Finding a hobby or interest that will make you feel good, will distract you from being overwhelmed by your constant pain, especially if you can scout out activities which you really enjoy. – This alone, can often give you a new lease of life. – It can be fun, and help you get out and socialise more. It is also important to be mindful of the fact that: isolating yourself from others fosters a negative attitude, and may increase your perception of your pain” [1]. So go to your local library, or look on the internet, to see what is on offer in your area
• Consulting an experienced professional. – Arrange an in-person or online appointment with a Pain Doctor. – Not only have they received training as a GP (general practitioner), they have also had years of extensive training and experience in the field of pain management in specialist departments of hospitals and clinics. They are always abreast of the latest research and state-of-the-art treatments, and understand the need for a multi-faceted approach to get patients back on track as soon as possible


[1]. American Psychological Association (2011). “Coping With Chronic Pain.”,your%20perception%20of%20your%20pain.