Introduction

Any healthcare provider who has seen even a small sample of chronic pain sufferers will know the profound behavioral, cognitive, emotional, financial, physical, and social effects that can occur. Providing extensive literature citations to substantiate these effects appears almost unnecessary, as these effects are practically incontestable. However, even if most clinicians readily associate chronic pain with experiences of significant suffering and life disruption, this does not occur for every person with chronic pain, and universal effects of chronic pain can be difficult to describe. The particular effects are as varied and complex as the people who suffer them. Indeed, this variability requires examination.

There are many different models by which to understand the experience of chronic pain, such as those that are biological, psychological, social, or a blend of these. Each model comes with its own assumptions regarding cause and effect. Some of these assumptions resemble everyday thinking and speaking, or are highly influenced by them, and some are not (a point that is discussed below under Psychological domains of chronic pain assessment). These assumptions are also imbedded in the measures we use, the treatments we deliver, and what we call a "good outcome.'' With this in mind, the purpose of this chapter is to briefly present a practical description of the psychological effects of chronic pain, a description that is intended to be technically useful, for clinical applications, treatment development, and research. The focus of the chapter is intended to be broad, on situations inside and outside of healthcare contexts, and not only on specialty care, as can sometimes be the case. Examples of possible measures to employ in key assessment domains are presented. Recent advances in understanding both effects and processes of chronic pain are described to indicate directions for further research.

Natural Pain Management

Natural Pain Management

Do You Suffer From Chronic Pain? Do You Feel Like You Might Be Addicted to Pain Killers For Life? Are You Trapped on a Merry-Go-Round of Escalating Pain Tolerance That Might Eventually Mean That No Pain Killer Treats Your Condition Anymore? Have you been prescribed pain killers with dangerous side effects?

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