Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help In Managing Chronic Neck and Back Pain?

We all suffer from neck and back muscle pain problem from time to time. For some people, this painful situation arises either due to sleeping in an awkward position, or stress or poor posture while others may get affected with aches and pains due to presence of some serious ailment in body.

Chronic Neck and Back Pain

It is sad to reveal that neck and back pain has become one of the greatest causes of work absenteeism and disability for many people.

However it is good to know that if a person is affected by a minor neck muscle pain, it can be managed by using different ways to relieve stress or tension. It can also be treated by allowing tight muscles to loosen up.

If you are not affected by neck muscle pain ailment on frequent basis, it is probably not due to any long term health issue. But if you are constantly suffering from this painful condition several times in a week, you must visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Your doctor can thoroughly examine your condition and determine whether the origin of neck muscle pain is due to controllable factors or the root cause of pain requires any aggressive pain treatment methods. In either case, you will be able to get relief from neck muscle pain in a successful way.

One of the best cure for treating long term chronic body pain and fatigue is CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This therapy is today successfully used in treating conditions such as fatigue, body pain, fibromyalgia, etc.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a sort of psychotherapy which lay emphasis on the main role of thinking, in the way how we feel, our beliefs, thoughts and attitude. This therapy is also called as talking therapy as it teaches coping skills to deal with various issues.

In this therapy a mental health counselor or psychotherapist or therapist works in sessions to provide you the relief in a systematic approach.

It does not exist as a different therapeutic method, but is a general term to classify therapies with the comparison. You have many approaches which include Rational Behavior therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectic Behavior Therapy and Rational Living Therapy.

  • CBT sessions are recommended once a week or every two weeks as every session last for 30-60 minutes.
  • It helps to become responsive to negative or inaccurate thinking to let you view the most challenging situations clearly an react to them in an effective an logical way.
  • It is proved to be a helpful tool to treat psychological disorders like Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, fibro, etc.
  • Well, what enables Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is its highly informative nature and the reality which makes use of research assignments.
  • It is time limited where the clients are assisted to understand at the beginning of the therapy, which later there will be a stage when the formal therapy concludes.
  • The end of the prescribed therapy is a choice made by the therapist and the client.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques offer a wide range to choose from. People may choose that suits to their personal preference. You can try:

Behavioral Experiments: This technique in CBT is designed to test the thoughts which include diversion method to reduce emotions, activity scheduling and negative thinking to enhance positive emotions and mastery. It involves incremental steps of increasing complexity to reach objective and rehearse the role play to try and practice new behaviors and the roles which are to be used in real life.

Thought records: This technique is designed to test the strength of thoughts like the behavioral experiments. It helps to bring changes in beliefs on a rational level. Well, what you feel emotionally is true despite of the objective evidence.

Effective Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: It is also referred as Pleasant Activity scheduling and is believed to be more helpful for depression. Mostly, experts follow this technique by scheduling an activity in a day, which presents competence, accomplishment and a sense of mystery in the client.

An advanced version of this technique is to schedule nearly 3 activities in a day- during the morning, afternoon and finally in the evening as this produce higher levels of optimistic emotions and help make the thinking less narrow, rigid, negative and self-focused.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Chronic Pain Management

It has been seen that pain felt all over the body causes stress in our mind. And developing stress affects the pain control chemicals like Serotonin and norepinephrine which may directly or indirectly increase or decrease the pain sensation in the body.

Studies showed that cognitive therapy is one of the best methods to control the chemicals thus managing stress and chronic pain in a better way. With this pain management therapy people recognize and develop the skills to modify negative behavior and thoughts.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy for chronic pain helps you achieve relief from pain as it changes the emotions, thoughts and behavior related to the pain, improves the coping strategies and places the uneasiness in a better situation.

To treat chronic pain, most of the therapist use CBT with other pain management methods. The remedies in this method may also include physical therapy, massage, medications, weight loss and in extreme case directs to surgery.

Can Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Help Chronic Neck and Back Pain?

Many doctors suggest that CBT and its techniques are the most effective way for chronic pain management such as neck, shoulder and back pain. CBT is a form of skill training as it gives patients, mechanisms of coping which they can use in every act they perform. This tactic helps to control pain and encounter stress, anxiety and depression in the future.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy develops and encourages a problem solving attitude in patients suffering from neck or back pain. This therapy assigns homework to involve in and keep track of the feelings and thoughts associated with the pain all through the day. Although the therapy is becoming widely popular for pain management, the efficacy of CBT for these patients remains uncertain (specially for chronic pain conditions) as the results may vary from person to person.

As such there are not much evidences available to reveal that CBT therapy works better than many other available treatment options in relieving the chronic pain symptoms.

To conclude, we can say that initial symptoms of back and neck pain can be well managed by CBT therapy. But seeking the help of cognitive -behavioral therapy for treating chronic or subacute pain should be based on trials and results.

Based on your condition and various psychological factors that are influencing your pain, if your doctor suggests getting CBT help you should surely try this out as it can help you in curing the problem in a most natural way.

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