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Integrative Care: How Mental & Behavioral Health Impacts Chronic Pain

By January 15, 2022February 10th, 2022No Comments

Sun Pain Management is an integrative, patient-centered approach to care. We provide personalized care plans with a goal of promoting well-being and improving patients’ quality of life. Our patients’ well-being and quality of life is our priority and that’s why it’s so important for us to treat the whole patient: mental and physical well-being.

Did you know that mental & physical health are connected? Physical health problems significantly increase our risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa. Nearly one in three people with a long-term physical health condition also has a mental health problem, most often depression or anxiety.

Often, medication is the culprit to experiencing chronic pain. Antidepressants, for example can cause these physical effects on the body:

  • feeling agitated, shaky, or anxious
  • feeling and being sick
  • indigestion and stomach aches
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • not sleeping well (insomnia) or feeling very tired

We’re seeing a lot in the news these days, reading, and viewing stories about high-profile individuals, such as athletes, celebrities and CEOs talking about their mental health challenges. It is no longer something we are encouraged to keep quiet about. This is good news actually – particularly the past 18 months of enduring the COVID-19 pandemic. If being stuck indoors has taught us anything, it is that the mental health implications of feeling isolated and disconnected from family, friends, community – our support systems – can have an adverse effect on one’s physical health too.

Over the past 18 months or more, our team has paid even closer attention to medication management for our patients, recommending treatments and modalities that help wean away from the excessive use of opioids and other medications that “manage pain”. Our practice – physicians and nurse practitioners treat patients with the patient’s medical history and comfort in mind. Improving the way opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines is our goal in ensuring patients have access to safer, more effective pain treatment while reducing the number of people who potentially misuse or overdose from these drugs. Reducing exposure to prescription opioids, for situations where the risks of opioids outweigh the benefits, is a crucial part of prevention.

Have you been living with a mental health issue for as long as you can remember? Perhaps you have been recently diagnosed and suffering from contracting Covid19 or simply feeling the effects of isolation loneliness? Do you find yourself consuming more alcohol or “self-medicating to lift your mood? Some have been impacted by financial challenges during this time. Others are affected by social media pressure and the day-to-day has become difficult to endure. Staying on top of physical health is every bit as important as mental health and we’re here to help you do that.

If you have any questions or feel that your mental and physical health are out of balance, we encourage you to ask your provider for a referral to one of our 7 locations. We’re here to help and our goal for you is optimal health: mind, body & spirit.

Sun Pain Management

Sun Pain Management and Spine Specialists led by Dr. David Towns, MD, is dedicated to clinical care excellence. Our innovative, patient-centered approach to acute and chronic pain management differentiates us from typical practices. We excel at curating personalized, integrative treatment plans to address chronic pain, thus improving their well-being and overall quality of life.