“Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Pain” was published by the Clinical Journal of Pain in the June 2017 edition. This article reviews the challenges of treating chronic pain, evidence that CBT provides limited benefits, and evidence that ACT may be more effective than CBT.
“Alternatives to Drugs for Treating Pain” was published by the New York Times on 9-11-17, and is written by the highly regarded health journalist Jane Brody. She reports on her own problems with chronic pain, and behavioral changes that she learned on her own which helped her significantly. She goes on to report on concerns about treatment with opioids and emerging research that is finding “complementary” treatments, many of them actually psychological treatments, to be helpful, sometimes even more effective than opioids.
NPR had an interesting article on 1-13-14 about chronic back pain. The article noted, of course, that many people with serious back pain have surgery, even multiple surgeries, with minimal or no reduction of pain. Interestingly, the article also notes, “Lots of people who are pain-free actually have terrible-looking MRIs.” And, Research is showing that the pain often has nothing to do with the mechanics of the spine, but with the way the nervous system is behaving….” The person learns, unfortunately, to be “paranoid about any twinge of pain, and all the while they lose strength and flexibility.”