Pain Clinic & C

My husband has an appointment with the pain clinic next week. A month or so ago I heard a pain management consultant talk on the raidio about current thinking and she said they use Cognitive Behaviour Threrapy. I had expected they would be reviewing medications (which seems to be in a right muddle at the moment with one thing and another), but I wonder now whether we can expect CBT?

The consultant was saying about drug therapy and the side effects, which is true. If he could ditch some or all of the pain meds then that would be a result.

Has anyone experienced CBT in the management of pain?

hi bonnie

no-not directly but i have been practising meditation for 2 years and have found it beneficial. cbt and meditation ARE NOT a quick fix but the effort is very worthwhile. i have managed to imagine that my body doesnt exist-just for 20 mins- it doesnt exist then i cant feel pain. 20 mins of pain free bliss! i aim to extend the length of time. i am aware this sounds crazy-but dont knock it til u try it,as they say

someone the other day asked me to draw a picture of an orgasm! erm… you ‘know/think’ it exists but… the same with pain… change the thinking and u will change the experience of the pain.

ellie x

As you say, have to try these things. Think I’m probably more open to the idea than husband, but time will tell. To be honest I think he is at the stage when he will be willing to give anything a go.

Hi Bonnie,

I think they use a variety of methods, not exclusively medication OR psychological. So probably best to go with an open mind, and see what they come up with. I think it’s unlikely they will just ditch all the meds and suggest CBT as a substitute - I don’t think many patients could cope with that.

I’m not saying that CBT has no value, but someone who’s been on pain meds for a long time won’t be able to just stop them cold turkey and use mental techniques instead. It will be a matter of finding the right combination, which might include drugs, use of TENS machine, or different types of psychotherapy.

It will also depend on your husband’s own attitude. If he expects to be prescribed pills, and is not open to alternative types of therapy, it’s very unlikely it will be forced on him. My father (who did not have MS, but chronic pain from another cause), would have no truck with such things, even though we wished he’d try, in case it helped. The patient can’t be forced if they don’t want to.