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How Behavioral Interventions Can Enhance Pain Management

September 5, 2023

A conventional approach to pain management usually consists of a combination of treatments, including pain medications, surgical procedures, and physical therapy. In some cases, lifestyle modifications are recommended. But here at KindlyMD, we go above and beyond the conventional approach to offer alternatives. In addition to plant-based medicines, we also recommend behavioral interventions.

Behavioral interventions are different types of treatments designed to reduce pain by helping people modify the way they think about, feel, and experience what is going on in their bodies. Behavioral interventions do not always mitigate the need for prescription medications. But they can help a great deal.

Utilizing behavioral interventions in a pain management scenario is based on an understanding that the body and mind are intrinsically linked. How a patient feels affects how they think, and vice versa. If a pain management physician can help a patient align body and mind in a positive manner, it is possible to alter the pain experience.

This is easy enough to see in a chronic pain scenario. People suffering with chronic pain are more likely to also be clinically depressed. Unfortunately, feelings of depression can enhance the pain experience. But if patients can manage to adopt a more positive outlook, their pain may be alleviated. Patients often notice a marked improvement in their quality life when they’re able to find effective treatments for pain.

Examples of Behavioral Interventions

Behavioral interventions are utilized in pain management as a tool for aligning body and mind in a positive direction. One of the most well-known examples is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Although CBT is utilized for a variety of physical and mental health conditions, its usefulness in pain management is rooted in helping patients identify and challenge their negative thoughts and feelings about pain. Learning coping skills is also part of CBT.

Other examples of behavioral interventions include:

  • Mindfulness – Mindfulness (a.k.a. mindfulness-based stress reduction) is a behavioral intervention that helps people learn to focus on the moment in order to become more aware of thoughts and feelings. It is useful in pain management for reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Muscle Relaxation – Muscle relaxation techniques targeting specific parts of the body can be used in a pain management scenario. Pain is relieved by reducing muscle tension.
  • Yoga – Believe it or not, yoga can be an immensely helpful behavioral intervention for managing chronic pain. Yoga's many mind-body practices can help by reducing stress and anxiety, improving flexibility, strengthening muscles, and promoting calmness and relaxation.

There are many other behavioral interventions utilized by pain management physicians. The four mentioned in this post are only meant to give you an introduction to the concept. Here's the takeaway: medication isn't the only option for treating chronic pain. It might not even be the best option in some cases.

Patients Need More Options

One of the driving forces behind establishing KindlyMD is our medical providers’ firm belief that patients need more options. For far too long, prescription medications and surgical procedures were the only choices chronic pain patients had to work with. But years of treating chronic pain through these means have clearly demonstrated that other means need to be found.

We offer alternative treatments along with some of the conventional options. Our treatments include both plant-based medicines and behavioral interventions. If you have tried conventional treatments without success, we invite you to come see us at KindlyMD.

Behavioral interventions might seem a little odd to you. We get it. They are not something most people have experienced. But we can tell you that they are amazingly effective for many of the patients we treat. They might help you.

By KindlyMD
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