Cognitive Behavioral Therapy forChronic Pain

Posted by elmay @elmay, Dec 7, 2019

Hello. I’m a fellow traveler on the pain journey. My two biggest issues are fibromyalgia and migraine with neck pain. Sjögren’s, Raynaud’s, GERD, and osteopenia are also on my list along with the anxiety these things trigger.

Recently my doctor had me go to a class for dealing with chronic pain. The textbook offered quite a few hints for getting my mind off my pain and onto more positive things. I have been practicing as many as I can: gratitude, relaxation, mindfulness, self talk, visualization, music, staying busy, and helping others. These things have made a difference in the amount of pain medicine I am taking. (I can only take Tylenol.).

My doctor thinks I am a good candidate for cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain. He said that it would require multiple therapy sessions each week for a few weeks and then just occasional check-ins. Having majored in psychology I tend to believe in the power of the mind to learn new responses to pain stimuli.

Can anyone speak about this from experience? I would like to hear some success stories. By that I mean that it brought your pain to a point where it did not rule your life. I’m not expecting a miracle, just some positive change.

By the way, I’m 71 year old retired science and math teacher. I still sub occasionally. I do yoga, exercise class, Zumba gold dance class, play pickle ball, use an elliptical machine and recumbent stationary bike, and walk our dog. I try to just keep going even though a lot of things hurt.

Thanks for any input you can give me. El

Hello @elmay. I'd like to invite @franknstein, @medic7054, and @dawn_giacabazi who discussed going through a pain rehab or cognitive therapy for pain course. You can read some of their experiences in the Chronic Pain > Pain rehabilitation > https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pain-rehabilitation-21da8b/ discussion.

@elmay, you listed a lot of different things that you continue to be active in despite your pain and limitations. Do things like yoga, biking and walking help or make things worse for you?

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @elmay. I'd like to invite @franknstein, @medic7054, and @dawn_giacabazi who discussed going through a pain rehab or cognitive therapy for pain course. You can read some of their experiences in the Chronic Pain > Pain rehabilitation > https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pain-rehabilitation-21da8b/ discussion.

@elmay, you listed a lot of different things that you continue to be active in despite your pain and limitations. Do things like yoga, biking and walking help or make things worse for you?

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Thanks for your reply. Biking does not seem to hurt me . I cannot ride an individual bike any longer due to very poor balance. My husband and I have been riding a tandem bike for over 25 years. That still works for me and is a source of pleasure in warm weather. Yoga is a mixed bag. I think that sometimes I try to hard and actually hurt myself. Knowing my limits seems to be hard for me. Swimming (I used to coach it) used to be my best exercise, but the university pool closed for good and the high school pool is just too cold for someone with fibromyalgia. Walking is great when it is safe Lasy winter I fell 6 times, once resulting in a hip and back injury and another time a concussion. If I walk with my husband it is usually safe. Thanks for referring me to some information. I appreciate it.

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