Pains with a psychological cause

Physical pain that you had in the past will still influence pains you have now. This is just like any other experience you have had.


If, for example, you develop a lower back pain, pain experiences you had as a child will come up, and make the back pain worse. Some people who have had a limb amputated, keep experiencing pain in the absent limb, while there are objectively no nerves to experience the pain with. What they experience is not pain that is presently there.

While it is not easy to work through past experiences of pain, it is doable. I'm having quite some experience with this myself, so I could help you with that.

When is it psychological pain?

To find out whether pain you are experiencing is psychological or not, it is a good idea to let a doctor take a look at it first. When the doctor finds a physical cause, this needs to be treated. However, still there may be psychological processes going on.

Signs for that are that the pain changes place, or comes and goes, with no apparent physical reason. If the pain is accompanied by muscle tension, this tension may be causing or increasing the pain. If pain killers seemed to work in the beginning, but then just don't seem to have any effect at all, this is also a sign that the pain is not entirely physical.

Does working through help?

Emotions and tensions around pains are not the easiest to work through. Even more than with other feelings, one must be motivated to really feel feelings one has avoided in the past.

On the one hand will insight into what's going on make pains easier to bear. On the other hand do feelings you start looking into get worse at first, before they get better, so that you initially experience more pain. The working through process may also take quite a while, before things are really solved.