Pain can be very difficult to control and sometimes, even after many months of treatment, the patient may still suffer from pain. This can have many deleterious effects on one’s life. It may affect one’s job, home and relationships with others. Back pain support from friends, family and co-workers is very important in this person’s time of need. Sometimes this level of back pain support is not enough, and the patient may need help from a trained psychological professional. With the help of the psychological professional, patients may be able to explore in-depth how back pain is affecting life and relationships. Other services that a psychological interventionist may be able to provide include pre-surgical psychological screening, general psychological evaluation and treatments such as biofeedback and hypnotherapy. A referral to a psychologist should not be viewed as a sign that the care provider thinks that the patient is crazy or that the patient is making up the problem. It should be viewed as a sign that there is an appreciation for how stressful back pain can be, as well as another possible means to help the patient control pain. Psychological treatment for back pain support may also help patients to have a realistic view of their spinal condition and the planned treatments.
When Back Pain Support is Needed
Chronic pain, failed back surgery syndrome and patients with any diagnosis who may have a high level of stress or anxiety about their back/neck pain may benefit from psychological support.
What Does Psychological Back Pain Support Involve?
- During the first visit with the psychologists, there may be an evaluation to complete as well as an interview.
- How the pain is affecting a patient’s life as well as concerns about the impact of health, finances and relationships are explored.
- Some patients may complete a screening process prior to surgery to help gauge whether the surgical outcome may be compromised because of emotional and behavioral factors.
- The psychologist may help the patient to control their pain by focusing on other things, relaxation techniques, biofeedback and hypnotherapy.