Chronic Pain Treatment

Chronic-pain-therapyAre you Living with Chronic Pain?

Your head feels like it is being squeezed in a vise all day. Standing up from a chair feels like a monumental achievement.  You’re back is fine one minute, and the next it is in knots.  You wake up with headaches because you grind your teeth at night.  Arthritis is gradually getting worse and you find yourself more irritable and not able to enjoy activities.  You do all your physical therapy exercises, but that injury is not getting any better.  Friends, coworkers, and loved ones can’t see your pain and they don’t appreciate how much work it is for you to get through the day.

You are one of the estimated 100 million Americans who live with chronic pain every day.  People who have not experienced chronic pain may not take you seriously.  You are often misunderstood and feel blamed for not getting better.  Chronic pain treatment with Hans J. Sieber, MC, LPC will help you cope with the psychological stress associated with chronic pain. He provides support and understanding so that you don’t have to fight this battle in isolation.   In addition to support, you will learn cognitive skills to fight off negative thinking and behavioral skills to reduce physical stress.  Chronic pain treatment though counseling can also help you work through the grief process and begin to move on with your life.

 “It’s all in your head.”

The idea that perhaps you are making all this up, that this is all just in your head has probably been suggested in some way.  You know that you are not imagining things.  You experience the pain and know that it’s real.  Sometimes medical professionals can’t see evidence of an injury.  Often an injury heals or an illness goes away, but the pain remains.  Many chronic illnesses have pain that comes and goes.  Friends or family members may even doubt you if they can’t see a reason for the pain. That doubt from others can be more difficult to cope with than the physical pain itself.

Physically, you put up with the pain on a daily basis. However, the ongoing psychological strain can gradually lead to negative thinking patterns.  Chronic pain treatment can help you identify and change this negative thinking, in order to help you cope with pain more effectively.   It’s not about pretending pain doesn’t exist, but about learning to think in ways that will help you manage difficult emotions more effectively.

Physical Stress

Pain makes it more likely that your body will experience a “stress response”.  When the body is under physical stress, it releases chemicals that in the short term help you survive, increase strength, and help give you a burst of energy. When the stress response is experienced day after day, people tend to develop more muscle tension, headaches and digestive issues.  When you are in pain, it is normal to experience anger or frustration, but these emotions increase physical stress, which can then increase pain. Most people with chronic pain can relate to the fact that there are times when they “stress out” about completing a task and then end up straining themselves. Then the cycle continues.  Counseling and chronic pain treatment will help you learn to relax physically, in order to break this cycle.  Studies have shown that the brains of people who become experts at relaxation techniques actually produce endorphins, your brain’s natural pain killing chemicals.  Hans J. Sieber, MC, LPC has been teaching people relaxation techniques for over 2 decades.

Grief and Adjustment

Often one of the biggest challenges when dealing with Chronic Pain is coming to terms with the idea that you may not regain your former physical functioning.  Living with this new reality for the long term means saying “goodbye” to your old pain-free self.   It is normal to have considerable grief about this and it can be difficult to work through on your own.  Unresolved grief can lead to depression which can make life even more difficult. It can help to have an experienced therapist to go through this experience with you.  Hans J. Sieber, MC, LPC will help you identify strategies to help you move through the grief process.   Counseling for grief can help you begin to adjust to your new physical reality and find a way make life more fulfilling again.

Medication

Usually pain medications work exceptionally well in the short term. However, over the long term, many find that more and more medication is needed to get the same relief.  If this tolerance turns into an addiction to pain medication, then you have another problem to solve. For some conditions, pain medications are not very helpful, or may only be a partial cure. It’s easy to feel helpless or discouraged when pain medication does not seem to help. Chronic pain treatment helps you learn skills that make pain more manageable when medications are not enough.

“I feel like there’s no hope, why would therapy help?”

Pain makes life extremely difficult by making normal activities stressful. Pain can make it harder to think clearly and can cause forgetfulness.  When dealing with chronic pain, you may have a shorter fuse, get more frustrated and be more irritable.  Over time, many people with chronic pain develop Depression or Anxiety.  Depression distorts your thinking and can make life seem hopeless.  Anxiety can make us afraid to move forward.  Counseling is a highly effective treatment for people with Depression and Anxiety.

 

hans-sieberHans J Sieber, MC, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor with almost two decades of experience. His Olde Town Arvada office is conveniently located within 25 minutes of downtown Denver, and is a short drive from the Highlands, Golden, Westminster and Broomfield.  He has evening office hours three days per week and is a provider on many insurance panels.   Contact Hans to ask any questions about chronic pain treatment, counseling or his practice via phone:  720-315-0123 or email hans@hanstherapy.com  or schedule your first appointment online now.