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Chronic Pain by Bridgette Terrazas, M.S.W., LCSW
NATIVE HEALTH Behavioral Health Consultant
If you suffer from Chronic Pain, your Primary Care Physician (PCP) may have already referred you to specialists for pain medications and other specialized treatments. You may find these treatments are helpful, but the reality is that treating Chronic Pain is not simple nor can it be treated from one approach. It is a complex condition that needs to be addressed from "a different point of view" as well in order to address all the issues related to the pain.
When I meet with Chronic Pain sufferers, they share their feelings of sadness and loss due to the pain that is limiting their ability to participate in activities they like. They report feeling a loss of control or helplessness when they do certain movements that cause sudden pain or with breakthrough pain they feel before the medications start to work or when they are wearing off. To address those issues from a mental health perspective, I encourage patients to make behavior changes. One technique to try when the pain is unbearable is to envision themselves in their favorite place, for example, the beach. I ask patients to let their mind focus on what they would see, hear, smell, touch and taste in detail. Patients report feeling decreased pain when doing this technique.
For more ideas on treating your Chronic Pain from a different point of view or for more information on this technique, ask to see the Behavioral Health Consultant the next time you are at NATIVE HEALTH meeting with your PCP.
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