Can CBT Treat Chronic Pain?

CBT to treat chronic pain

Chronic pain affects millions of people around the world, and narcotic pain medications are often prescribed to treat this condition but that can lead to addiction, insomnia, digestive problems, and many other issues that affect your life and health. A new study has shown that CBT may help people deal with chronic pain and insomnia. People who are frequently in pain may find it difficult to sleep well, and a lack of sleep can actually contribute to an increase in the pain experienced. Eventually a vicious cycle can develop, with the pain keeping you awake and your insomnia making the pain worse. Narcotic pain medications may also interfere with a restful and healthy sleep. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, were very effective at treating insomnia for those who had chronic long term pain.

The study on chronic pain and CBT also discovered that this type of therapy had a positive impact on depression, fatigue, and pain. Dr. Nicole Tang, from the University of Warwick Department of Psychology, said “Poor sleep is a potential cause of ill health and previous studies suggest it can lead to obesity, diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease —even death. Insomnia can also increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. It is also a major problem for those suffering pain that lasts longer than three to six months and that is why we looked at this group. The study was particularly important because the use of drugs to treat insomnia is not recommended over a long period of time, which means the condition needs to be addressed using a non-pharmacological treatment.”

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