Chronic Pain Treatments
Florida Neuropsychology Associates offers psychological evaluations for patients suffering from chronic pain. We help differentiate medical and physical effects, psychiatric symptoms, and personality factors that can be related to chronic pain syndrome.
There are three different purposes for psychological or psychiatric evaluations related to chronic pain:
To determine eligibility for spinal cord stimulator or morphine pump placement.
To assess the impact of personality, psychiatric, physical and motivational factors that can affect symptoms of chronic pain.
To measure psychiatric and psychological distress stemming from pain due to an incident or injury at work.
The biopsychosocial model for understanding chronic pain defines pain as the result of various biological, psychological, medical, and social factors with physical and psychosocial consequences and dysfunction. Some factors that are involved with how one ultimately experiences pain include past family history (how a patient may have been “taught” by their family to adapt and cope with pain), past abuse, other psychological histories such as depression or anxiety or psychological trauma, the patient’s genetic biology of how pain is experienced, the exact nature of the specific physical damage from a traumatic incident, current family and employer support or conflict, and one’s own understanding of how physical trauma and psychological coping mechanisms interact.
How one thinks about pain and attempts to cope with pain can have a great impact on one’s actual pain experience and the severity and functional impact the pain may or may not have. One’s understanding of pain also can actually intensify anxiety and increase levels of depression which are frequent co-occurring symptoms with chronic pain.
Even inactivity because of pain can intensify depression, passivity, agitation, and insomnia, all resulting in a vicious cycle which makes the experience of pain worse, as well as exacerbate the psychological and functional consequences. Thus, one’s experience of pain is viewed as the result of a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. In a nutshell, without a good evaluation and treatment, all roads lead to chronic pain and chronic pain leads to potholes in all roads leading home.