Do You Suffer From Chronic Headaches? Try Biopsychosocial Therapy

Did you know that the thoughts you have and the things you experience in your daily life can influence your headaches? When it comes to pain, your brain and your body maintain two-way communication. The physical experience of pain impacts your thoughts and vice versa. 

What’s more, your daily experiences influence your physical and emotional well-being, and this too can contribute to easing your pain or making it worse. We’d like to share how the biopsychosocial approach to pain management can bring you relief from your chronic headaches.

What is the biopsychosocial model?

Proposed in 1980, the biopsychosocial model suggests that biological, psychological, and social factors all influence the perception of pain and play a significant role in well-being. Most research and understanding of pain, including headaches, focuses on the biological approach.

At Beverly Hills Headache Institute, we take a multidisciplinary approach to treating headaches and consider the connection that biology, psychology, and social environment can have on the way you experience headaches.

How psychological factors influence headache pain

Research confirms that a headache patient’s biology, psychology, and social components are the most important predictors for quality of life. We believe that emotions from previous headache episodes have an influence over pain perception. For example, if you move your neck to a certain position that triggers a painful headache, you’re likely to recall this negative experience when moving your neck in a certain position in the future.

Your thoughts and emotions are intimately intertwined with the neural circuits involved in processing pain signals. Fear, stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts can influence the onset and intensity of headaches. A fear that moving your head in a certain direction may bring on an excruciating headache can actually bring on a headache or make an existing headache worse.

On the other hand, feeling in control of your headaches and believing that you can effectively manage them can lessen the duration and intensity of chronic headaches. In this way, your beliefs and thoughts play a powerful role in your headaches.

How social factors impact headaches

The biopsychosocial model asserts that your lifestyle can influence headache pain. Let’s say you had to miss out on spending time with friends because of a headache episode. The feeling of social isolation and disconnectedness from social connections may exacerbate your headaches.

Chronic headaches can significantly affect your lifestyle, having a negative impact on your productivity at work and your relationships with family and friends. People often continue or try to continue their daily tasks during a headache, which can lead to problems at work and in other situations. Missing work can cause financial difficulties, which can place an added strain on your life, making headaches worse.

What is biopsychosocial therapy?

We find that conventional treatment approaches can fail when psychological and social components are left unaccounted for. In our practice we use the biopsychosocial approach to:

We utilize this information to create a multidimensional treatment plan. Your pain management plan may include lifestyle changes, stress management, nutritional changes, and the addition of therapeutic techniques such as massage, acupuncture, or chiropractic care.

At Beverly Hills Headache Institute, getting to the root of your chronic headaches is our top priority. For headache treatment with the latest advances in pain management call our office in Beverly Hills, California, to schedule your appointment or use our convenient online booking form.

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