Chronic Pain – and Comorbid Mental Health Conditions 

The common feature is physical pain that has persisted for longer than 3 months, often after the original injury has healed (completely or partially).  The onset of the pain can occur following a musculoskeletal injury or without a specific injury/event.  Pain can be classified as neuropathic (pain associated with the nerve tissue) or nociceptive (pain associated with tissue injury/damage or potential damage). 

There are different types of pain conditions including:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain 
  • Headaches & migraines 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis 
  •  Osteoarthritis 

Persistent pain commonly co-occurs with mental health conditions such as Depression, Anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

The best evidence for persistent pain includes consideration of the biological, psychological and social factors influencing pain. Evidence based treatment includes learning about how pain works (i.e., “Explain Pain” education) and active self-management strategies such as graded exposure to exercise/movement and activity pacing.  

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) have good evidence for persistent pain from a psychological perspective.  Treatment outcomes are enhanced with involvement of a multidisciplinary team including, pain specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists/exercise physiologists and occupational therapists.  

The Mental Health & Co-Occurring Chronic Pain Program is a recommended inpatient program for patients with chronic pain and other comorbidities. Followed by participation in other day programs such as Moving Towards Wellness Day Program, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Day Program, and Living Well Day Program - Click here to learn more about our Group Based Therapy

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