“No pain, no gain” is true but it might not be something that people of chronic back pain would like to hear. A chronic back pain is a miserable health condition that reduces work productivity, efficiency and overall health of a person.
A psychologist Sara Davin,H says “this is not just a sensory or physical experience, it is also an emotional experience.”
Dr. Davin educates new ways to reduce and control chronic back pain. As to her, pain is a way that the human brain alerts the body of something going wrong inside. So pain itself is not a disease but a symptom of any underlying health condition which could be anything.
Human brain processes and responses to an injury by sending information based on the amount and severity of pain that the body feels. The only way that the body is able to feel the pain is because the human brain makes it feel this pain. So the brain directly controls pain which makes it an emotional factor.
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Dr. Davin describes;
“Pain is processed in the brain and the central nervous system. Both have areas connected to the sensory experience, but both also have areas connected to the emotional experience,”
She further adds;
“The sensory and emotional go together to create the output of one’s experience of pain. So to comprehensively treat chronic back pain, we have to look at both sides.”
The traditional treatment of chronic back pain lies in medicines and sometimes physical therapy. However, all of these treatments completely ignore one thing- how the brain processes pain. As to dr. Davin; “Managing back pain with behavioral medicine strategies might even prevent the pain from becoming chronic.”
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a specialized treatment for pain. It falls under behavioral medicine therapy that educates people on how to help their medical conditions and treat it with emotions and self-interpretation of the pain.
It helps people to build a link between their own understanding of pain and how would they deduce it. It suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy is actually a tool to understand human emotions as to medical conditions.
Dr. Davin explains it with an example- anyone who is suffering from chronic back pain might like to spend hours in bed, cutting off completely from people and activities that they normally did. This could happen all at once or in cycles as pain comes and goes. But the person is more likely to feel helpless as it proceeds and finally, it makes him weaker, physically and mentally. In the end they feel completely helpless and the pain feels more.
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Fortunately, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for pain helps greatly because psychologists impart how to process this information. They suggest following relaxing exercises and meditation that reduces stress and hence reduces the severity of pain.
Dr. Davin focuses on trying an interdisciplinary program which is a combination of physical and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat chronic back pain. This program takes 4-10 weeks depending upon the severity of symptoms and the progress of every patient.
Dr. Davin says;
“We have consistently seen significant improvements across all quality of life measures, including how much pain interferes with someone’s life, levels of fatigue, anxiety, and depression, plus improvements in pain-related disability.”
This program tutors people to understand their pain and how to live a normal life despite being in constant physical stress. This program is currently helping many patients and aims to help a larger community in the near future.