The Psychobiology Of Chronic Pain

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Even if you’re more familiar with mental health treatment than the average person, you may not have heard of psychobiology. Psychobiology is when the mind – as in, the effects of how we think and feel – affects the body. You may have referred to this as psychosomatic.

Psychobiology is an emerging, but promising, field of research for chronic pain treatment. To learn more about how psychobiology leads to, or can be used to treat, chronic pain, continue reading.

What is Psychobiology?

Psychobiology is the study of how psychology and biology interact, basically how your mind and body work together to create biological systems and the behaviors that come with them.

Topics covered when studying psychobiology include neuroscience, genetics, and pharmacology.

A lot of research looks at what we think as common everyday issues but wants to understand why it affects our brains.

When you go into a school exam, why does stress become such a problem? Is it because of the pressure of having to do well in an important test, or is there some biological response that makes us feel overwhelmed?

When we study psychobiology, we look at all of these questions and more. This can include physical factors like how certain medicines affect our brain or psychological factors like how our emotions can impact our physical health.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks. It can be caused by several things, including arthritis, cancer, or an injury.

Chronic pain can make it difficult to do everyday activities like walking or sitting. It can also lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

According to a recent study, it was estimated that over 50 million U.S. adults (or 20% of the entire U.S. adult population) suffer from chronic pain most days of the week or every day.

The most common areas for chronic pain to show up in adults include:

  • Knees
  • Back
  • Hip
  • Foot

Many people who suffer from chronic pain will look into multiple ways to relieve it.  This can include things like surgery, physical therapy, or medication. However, chronic pain can be challenging to manage, and some people find that they are stuck in a never-ending cycle of pain and relief.

The Psychobiology Of Chronic Pain

There is still a lot of research that needs to be done regarding the psychobiology of chronic pain. However, scientists are starting to understand how psychology and biology interact in this condition.

There are a few different ways that psychology and biology can interact in chronic pain.

One way is through the experience of pain itself. When someone experiences chronic pain, their brain will start to change. This can include things like changing how pain signals are processed or increasing the amount of pain that is felt.

Another way that psychology and biology can interact in chronic pain is through the emotions that come with it. People who suffer from chronic pain often experience a lot of negative emotions, like sadness, anger, and frustration. 

These emotions can start to impact the body, causing things like increased stress levels or changes in the immune system.

Finally, psychology and biology can interact in chronic pain through treatments. When someone is treated for chronic pain, their psychology and biology will both be taken into account. 

This means that treatments will be tailored to fit the person’s individual needs.

Working with a psychologist to understand your pain and what effects can come both physically and mentally is essential in managing chronic pain.

Psychological Treatments for Chronic Pain

Many different psychological treatments can be used to help manage chronic pain.

One popular treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on how our thoughts and beliefs can affect our emotions and behaviors. 

When someone is experiencing chronic pain, CBT can help them understand how their thoughts impact their pain. This can then help them to change the way they think about their pain, which can lead to a decrease in symptoms.

Another popular treatment is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT is a type of therapy that helps people accept what is happening in their lives, including any pain they may be experiencing. This can then help them focus on what they still want to do, despite their pain.

Both CBT and ACT are effective in treating chronic pain. However, it is crucial to work with a psychologist who has experience working with people who suffer from chronic pain. This will ensure that you get the most out of your treatment.

Managing chronic pain can be a difficult task. However, by understanding the psychobiology of chronic pain and working with a psychologist, you can start to manage your pain more effectively.

At The Care Clinic, We Take Your Condition Seriously

At The Care Clinic, we are proud to offer the latest in mental health treatment options. In addition to high levels of safety standards and patient care, The Care Clinic utilizes ketamine infusion therapy for the treatment of chronic pain. Ready to learn more about ketamine infusions? Contact us today!

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