Pain is considered chronic when it lasts longer than 3 months—above and beyond what would be considered a normal healing period. Ongoing pain can cause the nervous system to change. As a result of this change, the pain can continue to be present even after the injury has healed. Chronic pain may manifest as a result of many diseases and illnesses, and risk factors may include traumatic injury, stressful life events, worsening medical or surgical conditions, family history, or even unknown factors. If the pain is left untreated, it can lead to many physical and mental health problems, lowering your quality of life and causing great distress and suffering. Often individuals who suffer from chronic pain seek treatment from many healthcare providers. They are put on many different medications with unpleasant side-effects to control pain and have even tried multiple surgeries. Individuals with chronic pain are often left without hope when told by their physician that nothing else can be done. Chronic pain is often coupled with psychosocial difficulties. Relationships can be affected as those individuals suffering from chronic pain become isolated from their friends and family, and can exhibit symptoms of depression, insomnia, and frustration with the healthcare system.
Because chronic pain is a complicated problem that affects an individual’s mental and physical health, chronic pain management often requires a combined treatment effort. Often it is recommended that rehabilitation psychology, musculoskeletal medicine, and a pain management specialist treat the patient in an integrative manner. Most importantly, you can significantly reduce the severity of your chronic pain by being actively involved in your pain control plan.
At the Rowan Center for Behavioral Medicine, our Health or Rehabilitation Psychologist can help you move towards reaching this goal. We will help you increase your active involvement in your pain control plan by assisting with the development of routine physical activity, improved diet, and practicing mental health exercises. Evidence-based treatment will include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Pain. We also offer hypnosis treatment for acute pain. Though hypnosis has been shown to be effective for acute pain, more recent studies are examining its effect for chronic pain management when coupled with CBT. Additionally, for those who are interested in this combined treatment, we will always discuss with you all of your treatment options and assist you in making a decision that would best fit your needs.
We will also take every step to ensure that care is coordinated with your other providers. We strive to offer a holistic approach to any treatment that we provide.
List of Treatments offered:
CBT for chronic pain
Hypnosis for acute and chronic pain
CBT and hypnosis for sleep difficulties
Mindfulness-Based Intervention for pain
Family education and treatment in context of medical illness