Clinical Psychology and Chronic Pain
Living with a persistent pain problem can have a significant impact on psychological well-being and many people report a range of experiencing a range of negative emotions including anxiety and worry about pain, frustration, low mood, irritability, and a lack of confidence about daily tasks.
Chronic pain can also prevent full engagement with important activities including work, family, and leisure activities. This can seriously undermine confidence as well as lead to changes in the way you think about yourself and your life. Over time reduced confidence can lead to avoidance and gradual withdrawal from activities. People living with chronic pain often report feeling stuck when they first seek help in managing their pain.
Clinical psychology is an important part of an interdisciplinary approach to managing chronic pain recommended by the British Pain Society. It can help people to understand how chronic pain leads to emotional distress and how stress further exacerbates pain, as well as addressing common issues such as insomnia and relationship stress. Overall the aim of Clinical Psychology input is to help people develop strategies to live with persistent pain and optimise emotional wellbeing despite pain. It works best when combined with specialist pain physiotherapy aimed at maximising physical functioning.
The Manchester Pain Group
I am Director of Clinical Psychology at the Manchester Pain group alongside my Specialist Pain Physiotherapist and Medical Consultant colleagues. As an inter-disciplinary team, we offer hoilstic and bespoke pain management rehabilitation including preparation for pain management programmes (PMPs) and individualised work when a PMP is not accessible.