Approximately 32 million people in the United States report problems with chronic pain and, of that number, anywhere from one quarter to one half report symptoms of depression. Going a step further, 65% of those who have depression complain of physical pain. In a never-ending cycle, your psychological health can influence your physical health, and vice versa, in myriad ways. Therefore, uncovering the chain of contributors can help you find much-needed relief. To do this, a psychological pain assessment is one of the best protocols.
At Commonwealth Pain & Spine, our team of board-certified physicians and pain management specialists understands the strong link between mental and physical health. Specifically, our team recognizes that both sides of this pain equation can keep you trapped in a never-ending cycle of pain that’s tough to break.
To help break the cycle of chronic pain, we offer comprehensive psychological pain assessments, which is the first step toward finding long-lasting relief. Here’s a look at what’s involved in a psychological pain assessment.
One of the trickier aspects of managing chronic pain is that the cause may be psychological, physical, or both. Pain is sensed by your nerves, which sends the information to your brain for interpretation, which is where the pain signals are created. So, in every respect, your brain plays a central role in your pain, which means any psychological contributors can magnify, and even create, pain signals.
For example, more than half of those who suffer from major depressive disorders report ongoing problems with pain, which are typically described as body aches or headaches. With these symptoms, the depression is often at the heart of the pain.
Conversely, if you’ve injured your spine, for example, and you’ve grappled with chronic pain for years, this can lead to anxiety and depression.
To parse out to what degree your mental health plays a role in your pain, we offer psychological pain assessments.
When you come in for a psychological pain assessment, we sit down with you to discuss a number of things, including:
We then get to the assessment in which we test for any of the following:
These are the most common red flags when it comes to pain influencers. If we find that they are likely playing a role in your chronic pain, we can customize a treatment plan that addresses the psychological and physical factors.
When we come up with your pain management program, we may recommend treatment avenues that may include:
In other words, we take a holistic approach to pain management to give you the best chance of breaking free from your chronic pain.
If you’d like to gain the upper hand on your pain, contact Commonwealth Pain & Spine today.