HealthBreak | Treating Persistent Pain

May 4, 2017
Persistent pain is pain that lasts six months or more, and is a common condition among both men and women. "Pain doesn't affect just somebody's body, it affects their thinking - their mind, emotions and coping," explains Amy Davis, PsyD - a licensed psychologist a Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. "There are actually changes in the brain, where chronic or persistent pain has really reduced function, compared to somebody whose brain is not in pain." "It's literally like somebody's experiential, functional world literally shrinks down and becomes focused on the pain," Dr. Davis says. "It impacts and changes everything." There are many causes of chronic pain, including fibromyalgia, low back pain, migraine headache, neuropathy, or nerve damage, or a combination of these pains. "Sometimes we know why the pain is there; other times we don't," says Dr. Davis. "As a licensed psychologist, my role is to be one of the first providers a patient in pain meets. I do an interview, and from there, we decide on an individual treatment plan." "Our brains are changing and rewiring themselves all the time, based on our daily experience and what we do," Dr. Davis continues. "What we want to do is teach people to rewire their own brains away from the pain and back to living their life." "The brain can be changed," says Dr. Davis. "And we can help." To learn more, visit http://montana.providence.org/clinics/montana-spine-and-pain-center/
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