Pain is an all-too-common problem, and it is the most common reason for a person to seek medical help. Unfortunately, finding ways to relieve pain is not always easy. According to the "Institute of Medicine," nearly 90 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined, according to the "American Academy of Pain Medicine." Pain serves an essential function by alerting a person to any injury, such as a burned finger. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is typically more complex. Most individuals usually believe that pain is entirely a physical feeling but this is not true since pain tends to have a biological, psychological and emotional factor. To add on, pain has the ability to cause feelings like rage, despair, grief and nervousness. To treat pain effectively, one has to make sure that he or she addresses the corporeal, emotional and emotional aspects. Any form of medical treatment, inclusive of prescription, surgery, physiotherapy and physical therapies might help in offering treatments for chronic pains. A psychological treatment is also a vital part of managing pain. Getting to understand and manage the feelings, emotions and behaviours that go together with a distress might in various ways assist an individual in coping more effectively with one’s pain- and to some extent reducing the intensity of the pain. This paper analyses patients suffering from chronic pain, as a form of physical dysfunction and how “osteopathic” medical personnel can help them in finding relief from their physical pain.

To deal with pain, people usually take medicine to handle pain but there exist other different ways of getting relief. “Osteopathic” medical practitioners do practice an entire-body approach to medical care. “Osteopathic” medication tends to consider the manner in which the body system, parts such as the nerves, muscles, bones, and organs are linked (Barlow & Cerny, 2008). It looks at the manner in which a single organ of the body affects the other. Medical practitioners of osteopathic medicine, while assessing their patients, usually assess how they eat, or how they sleep for them to get to learn how such things as well as other features of one’s way of life might affect him or her health-wise.

Psychologists are those tasked with offering help to individuals to contend with the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that come with pain. They might choose to operate with the patients together with their families by using independent private practices or as part and parcel of the team offering medical aid in a clinical environment. In such cases, as argued by Barlow and Cerny (2008), the psychologist will begin by asking the patient in question about his or her pain experience, the exact time that it occurs, and the actual factors that may in one way or the other have an effect on it. Having an all-inclusive understanding of a patient’s worries will aid the psychologist to formulate a suitable healing plan. For those experiencing chronic pains, the plan usually entails teaching leisure techniques, changing pre-existing beliefs on pain, establishing new skills of how one should cope and handling any anxiety or form of despair that might come with one’s pain. One way to ensure that is effective is by making sure that the person undergoing the pain learns to challenge any unhelpful thought that he or she has regarding the pain. A practitioner can help in developing fresh ways of thinking about issues and to find possible solutions pain (Pampallona, Bollini, Tibaldi, Kupelnick, & Munizza, 2004). At some points, off-putting one’s self from the pain is helpful while at times, a medical expert may help one formulate fresher ways of thinking about the pain. Past research have suggested that psychiatric therapy can just be as effectual as surgery aimed at eliminating chronic pain since psychological treatments for pain may in one way or the other change how the brain does process pain–related sensations. A psychologist can as well be forced to make lifestyle changes to the patient to give room for him to keep on taking part in leisure activities. And since pain usually contributes to insomnia, a practitioner may also assist one to learn newer ways to sleep much better.

Pain Management

Given the extensive commonness of pain and its multidimensional context, a perfect pain management course of therapy is supposed to be wide-ranging, integrative, and “interdisciplinary.” The present-day approaches used in managing chronic pain have progressively surpassed the exactingly surgical and bodily approach to healing. The present day approaches identify the significance of multidisciplinary healing structure that does target both the cognitive, evaluative, motivational, and sentimental features of pain. The “interdisciplinary” management of chronic pain characteristically entails a combination of modal treatment methods like a combination of physical therapies, behavioural therapies, and psychosomatic therapies. The multimodal approach more sufficiently and exhaustively tends to address the management of pain at the molecular, behavioural, and cognitive level. As claimed by many, such approaches have in the past proved to bring about enduring individual and purpose-based results including pain reports, frame of mind, reinstatement of day to day performance, work status, and medication use.

Those undergoing physical pain are supposed to at first avail themselves to the medical practitioners as go in search of treatment for their various ailments. For quite a number of patients, relying on the pathological history of the pain and the social experiences will make the ailments to resolve as time passes by, or after treatments intended to target the apparent causes of pain or its spread. Even so, some other individuals experiencing pain will end up not achieving resolution of their pains in spite of several medical and corresponding intervention and shifts from acute pains position to that of relatively chronic and intractable pains. For example, studies reveal has shown that close to 45% of patients visiting their respective physicians to report complaints that relate to back pains will somehow keep on experiencing pain and, for others, relentless restrictions and anguish a couple of years later. As pain and its aftermaths keep on developing and manifesting in varied features of life, chronic pain might turn into a psychosocial problem where the various psychosocial features will act as perpetuators and pain maintainers hence continuing to disapprovingly influence the life of the affected individual. It is should not be forgotten that this is the most suitable moment that the original healing routine can be diversified to comprise other therapeutic components that even include psychological approaches to manage pain.

A psychological approach as a means of managing chronic pain was first introduced sometime in the early 1970s after the introduction of “gate-control theory of pain” by Melzack and Wall. This theory posited that both the psychosocial and physiological developments interacted to influence the sensitivity, spread, and valuation of pain, and recognized how these developments influenced maintenance in the conditions of chronic and prolonged pains. This theory acted as an integral catalyst for introducing change in the central multimodal approach of treating pain which was mainly dominated by stringently biological outlooks. Both physicians and patients started to gain a growing acknowledgment and approval for the intricacy of pain processing and maintenance; as a result, the reception of and predilection for multidimensional concepts were brought up. At the moment, the psychosocial perception of pain is the most extensively approved heuristic concept of getting to understand pain. This perception does focus on referring to chronic pain as mere illness and not a disease, hence distinguishing that it is a subjective occurrence and that the respective modes of treatment are intended to manage instead of providing cure for chronic pain. As the use of broader and all-encompassing approaches to manage chronic pain become more obvious, psychological interventions have recorded an astounding increase as far as popularity and acknowledgment as accessory cures are concerned. The types of psychological interventions put into use in pain treatment procedures differ in accordance with the orientation of the physician and the characteristics of the patient at hand.

Psycho Physiological Techniques


“Biofeedback” is a training technique that allows a patient to know how to construe feedbacks concerning some physiological purposes. For example, patients may employ biofeedback tools to be able to spot areas of tension in their bodies and consequently discover how to relax them so as to lessen muscular tensions. Feedback is then given by a range of assessment instruments that can provide information concerning blood pressure, body temperature, blood flow and other physiological functions in a rapid way. The main aim of this type of approach is for the patients to learn on ways to kick off regulatory developments by simply attaining deliberate control over some responses to eventually increase physiological suppleness by using better awareness and precise trainings (Butcher, 2010). Therefore, patients will deploy exact regulatory skills while attempting to reduce undesired events like pain.

Behavioural Approaches

Relaxation Training

It is normally accepted that stress is a significant factor drawn in exacerbating and maintaining chronic pain. Stress can be primarily of an ecological, physical, or emotional origins although it is true to say that these very mechanisms are merely entwined. “Relaxation training” focuses on reducing both physical and mental anxiety levels by activating the “parasympathetic” nervous system and by attaining improved understanding of “physiological” and “psychological” states in so doing ensuring reduction in pain and increased management over pain (Pampallona, Bollini, Tibaldi, Kupelnick, & Munizza, 2004). A patient can be trained on numerous techniques for leisure and he or she can then later practice them together with other behavioural and cognitive techniques of managing pain. All in all, relaxation techniques have proved to be important in managing diverse forms of sharp and chronic pain situations. They are mostly practiced along with some other modalities for maintaining pain, and many have argued that there is substantial overlap in the apparent means of relaxation and “biofeedback.”

Operant Behaviour Therapy

According to Bisson and Andrew (2007), “Operant behaviour therapy” for chronic pain is controlled by the operant taming ideologies that are applicable to managing pain. The key views of the operant taming concept as it relates to pain suggest that pain behaviours may in the long run grow to become and be maintained as “chronic pain” symptoms due to desired or undesired reinforcements of pain behaviours plus punishments of relatively adaptive behaviours. Suppose the reinforcements and the resulting aftermaths take place with an ample rate of recurrence, they can be used to condition behaviours of the patients and in the process increasing the possibility of the same behaviours to be repeated in future. Accordingly, condition behaviours usually take place as a result of the consequences of learning to engage in a specific behaviour. Some of the conditioned behaviours include continuous usage of medication, which is a behaviour that comes about from having to learn through constantly recurring associations that once a medication is taken, what follows is nothing but elimination of aversive sensations-pain. Similarly, pain-related behaviours such as expressing pain verbally or relatively lower levels of carrying out activities may turn to be conditioned behaviours that act as perpetuators of chronic pain. Treatments that are steered by operant behaviour ideologies aim at extinguishing adaptive pain behaviour by using similar learning ideologies that were used to establish them. Generally, treatment mechanisms of operant behaviours therapy are inclusive of “graded activation” and the deployment of reinforcement principles to heighten well behaviours whilst decreasing pain-aligned behaviours.

In “graded activation” an osteopathic practitioner will put into practice graded activity procedures for any chronic pain patient who happens to have immensely reduced his or her performance levels (Bisson & Andrew, 2007). The patient will be advised to carefully break the cycle of indolence by taking part in activities in controlled and time-restricted manner. Through this, a patient can slowly increase time-length and intensity of activities with an aim of improving performance. Psychologists will then be put in a better position to keep an eye on the progress and offer suitable reinforcements for compliance, correction of misperceptions of pain coming from an activity. This approach is in most cases entrenched within cognitive and behavioural pain management treatments.

In conclusion, chronic pain, nevertheless, is usually more multifaceted. Most individuals usually believe that pain is entirely a physical feeling but this is not true since pain tends to have a biological, psychological and emotional factor. To add on, pain has the ability to cause feelings like rage, despair, grief and nervousness. To treat pain effectively, one has to make sure that he or she addresses the corporeal, emotional and emotional aspects. Any form of medical treatment, inclusive of prescription, surgery, physiotherapy and physical therapies might help in offering treatments for chronic pains.


Barlow, D. H., & Cerny, J. A. (2008). Psychological treatment of panic. Guilford Press.

Bisson, J., & Andrew, M. (2007). Psychological Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)(Review). New York: Wiley.

Butcher, J. N. (2010). The MMPI-2 in psychological treatment. Oxford University Press.

Layard, R. (2006). The case for psychological treatment centres. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 332(7548), 1030.

Pampallona, S., Bollini, P., Tibaldi, G., Kupelnick, B., & Munizza, C. (2004). Combined pharmacotherapy and psychological treatment for depression: a systematic review. Archives of general psychiatry, 61(7), 714-719.

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