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Pain Management

02 March, 2015

The ability to cope with chronic pain requires a fundamental shift in thinking

What is Pain?

Pain is a complex sensation involving not only intense sensory stimulation but also an emotional experience. Physiological evidence suggests that the sensation of pain is quite different from the emotional reaction to pain.

What is Chronic or Persistent Pain?

Persistent pain is pain that persists for longer than three months. It occurs when discomfort continues beyond the normal healing time for an injury.

Why is intervention to facilitate adjustment or learn to manage pain important?

An injury, not only brings pain, but also leads to significant changes to a person’s normal way of life (changes to job, financial burden, stress, and change in relationships). For the one in five Australians living with chronic pain, the suffering is not only physical but also psychological. Persistent pain can lead to hopelessness, depression, anger and anxiety disorders such as:  panic, generalised anxiety, hypochondriasis and depression.  Individuals can live a fulfilling life with pain. It does not have to be the life sentence many believe it to be.     The ability to cope with chronic pain requires a fundamental shift in thinking. Research has shown that having realistic, helpful thoughts is an important part of pain management. Treatment may incorporate: relaxation techniques, distraction techniques, the pacing of activity and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs about pain, other stressors, the future and disability.

Amanda Brown 


EAP, Psychologist

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