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Pain management

The role of clinical psychologists in pain management

When someone has pain it affects them physically, psychologically and socially. Conversely, someone’s pre-existing physical, psychological and social well-being contributes to how badly their pain is experienced and how well they respond to treatment. In the United Kingdom, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence recommends that treatment for low back pain and other types of pain include psychological interventions. This multi-disciplinary approach to pain is also advocated in other countries such as Australia and America.

Clinical psychologists help people with pain to:

• Understand the pain cycle (see below diagram)
























NICE (May 2009). Low back pain. Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain. www.nice.org.uk

NICE (February 2009). Rheumatoid Arthritis. The management of Rheumatoid Arthritis in adults. www.nice.org.uk

NICE (February 2008). Osteoarthritis. The care and management of Osteoarthritis in adults. www.nice.org.uk

Understanding the pain cycle is the first step in better managing your relationship with pain...

Illustration reproduced by kind permission of asia medical specialists, www.asiamedicalspecialists.hk

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