Is pain psychology important in the treatment of pain?


Yes, pain psychology is indeed important in the treatment of pain. , the Chief of Pain Medicine at Stanford University, and discussed on the that pain is both a sensory and emotional experience, therefore treating it requires addressing the whole person 1. This includes psychological aspects such as anxiety, depression, catastrophizing, and anger, which can all amplify and worsen the experience of pain 1.

Pain psychologists play a critical role by assisting individuals with maladaptive coping and thought processes related to pain 2. They utilize various techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and acceptance and commitment therapy to help patients manage their pain and related psychological factors 2.

In therapy sessions, patients learn skills such as recognizing unhelpful thoughts, setting goals, pacing, and practicing relaxation techniques to reduce the impact of pain on their sympathetic nervous system and overall well-being 2. Hence, pain psychology is integral to multidisciplinary approaches for managing chronic pain effectively.

Understanding Psychological Pain

Sean Mackey emphasizes the importance of treating pain as a whole experience, rather than distinguishing between psychological and physical pain. He discusses the role of anxiety, depression, and anger in amplifying and worsening pain, and shares insights on how addressing these factors can lead to better treatment outcomes.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Sean Mackey: Tools to Reduce & Manage Pain