Skip to main content

Does lasting pain take the joy from your days and stop you from doing things you used to do? Do you feel down thinking you may never feel better? If so, you’re not alone. 

Chronic pain affects many adults in the U.S. Those with chronic pain often have constant discomfort that hurts and limits them. The struggles from lasting pain can be very frustrating. It is even harder when no one can pinpoint what causes the pain or how to make it stop. This can make people feel ignored and helpless. And the pain continues to make everything in life harder. 

Learning to manage pain yourself can make a big difference. While medicine can help, it’s often not enough. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help lessen chronic pain by changing thought patterns and behaviors. This change can lower pain signals over time. 

How CBT Can Relieve Pain 

Studies show CBT can greatly improve your pain levels, disability, mood, and quality of life. Chronic pain is complicated, but CBT can help people feel more in control. You can ask a CBT provider who knows about pain issues for help. Online CBT programs like Learn to Live also share strategies to try, like: 

  • Thought Inspection. This helps you recognize thoughts that can make pain worse (like “I’ll always be miserable because of this pain”). Changing these thoughts can shift your focus and make you feel better.  
  • Relaxation techniques. When you set aside time to tighten and then relax muscles, you can lower tension and pain sensitivity. 
  • Staying active. Continue to get exercise but at the right level for your pain, rather than avoiding activity from fear of pain. This can help lower pain sensitivity over time. 

CBT helps empower people who are suffering so they can take back control and live fuller lives despite chronic pain.