Approach to Chronic Pain

  • Kyung Bong Koh


The onset and exacerbation of pain are affected by psychosocial factors as well as physical factors. As secondary responses to pain, anxiety and depression can occur, and pain may be expressed as one of manifestations of a mental disorder. In addition, chronic pain may reflect hardship in life. Therefore, the assessment and treatment of pain require biopsychosocial approaches. Therapists need to mobilize a variety of therapeutic modalities such as psychopharmacotherapy, relaxation therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. It is more effective to administer analgesics at fixed regular times than as needed (prn). It is dangerous to use a placebo in order to differentiate between organic and functional pain. In particular, treatment of patients with chronic pain requires multidisciplinary and integrative approach. It is desirable for therapists to focus on rehabilitation rather than on cure as a therapeutic goal for patients with chronic pain. Special therapeutic techniques are required for treatment of pain, because patients’ denial of psychological problems is likely to develop resistance to psychological approach.


Psychosocial factors Physical factors Biopsychosocial approaches Psychopharmacotherapy Relaxation therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy Multidisciplinary Integrative approach Rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung Bong Koh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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