Pain Management

At any given time, around one-third of Australians are experiencing some form of pain, with one in five people reporting that their pain is constant. The incidence of pain rises as people get older and women are more likely to be in pain than men. Pain management is an approach for easing the suffering and improving quality of life.

While the cause of the pain may be physical, the impacts are often felt most deeply psychologically. Thats why the psychologists at Foundation Psychology work closely with medical practitioners to help manage your pain.

An overwhelming majority of individuals with chronic pain experience it for more than a year. This type of pain is usually the result of an injury (for example, a sports or work accident), illness or other health problem. The cause is unknown in around one-third of cases.

The body’s reaction to unrelieved pain includes:

  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • changes to blood gases, namely reduced oxygen and increased carbon dioxide
  • higher levels of stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline
  • gastrointestinal problems such as slowed digestion
  • musculoskeletal problems such as tension and fatigue
  • emotional problems such as anxiety and depression

Approximately 70% of Australians seek professional help for their pain, mostly from a registered medical doctor. Management strategies include pain-relieving medicines, physical or occupational therapy, complementary therapies (such as acupuncture and massage) and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

Studies suggest that a person’s outlook and the way they emotionally cope with long-term (chronic) pain can influence their quality of life.

Counselling can help support you to manage the emotional and psychological effects of chronic pain. Understanding the causes of your pain can help reduce your fear and anxiety.

Therapy is an effective means of assisting individuals who are experiencing pain that is unmanageable. The practitioners at Foundation Psychology provide support, treatment and counselling in a caring environment.

Pain may be anything from a minor ache to a sharp stab and can range from mild to extreme in severity. It may be located in one part of the body or be widespread. Causes of pain in adults include medical conditions (such as cancer, arthritis and back problems), injuries and surgery. The most commonly reported pain is back pain. Pain involving the limbs, shoulder, neck and head is also common.

There are two types of pain:

  • Acute pain is a normal response to tissue injury, which begins suddenly and is generally short-lived
  • Chronic (ongoing) pain persists beyond the normal time of healing and usually lasts for longer than three months