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Experts: The key to chronic pain is often in the head


Relaxation Exercise 4711: What Can Help With Chronic Pain
According to experts, around 23 million people in Germany suffer from chronic pain. Many of them are treated with strong medication. However, alternative pain therapies can often help. Relaxation exercises are recommended, among other things, because the main work in the treatment of chronic pain occurs in the head.

It doesn't always have to be medication
Chronic pain has long become a widespread disease in Germany. Around 23 million Germans are affected. Before they receive the correct diagnosis and adequate therapy, they often have a long path of suffering. Many patients are given strong pain relievers, but these can sometimes trigger chronic pain. According to numerous experts, chronic pain can often be treated well without painkillers.

Be active and think positive
Being active and thinking positively are two important aspects when it comes to the treatment of chronic pain, according to a report by the "Informationsdienst Wissenschaft" (idw).

Dr. Oliver Kuhnt, head psychologist at the pain center of the Enzensberg specialist clinic in Füssen in Allgäu, explained in a lecture at the Leibniz Center for Psychological Information and Documentation (ZPID) in Trier how patients can train this.

The clinic specializes in treating chronic pain with a variety of therapies. These include, among other things, psychological individual and group therapy, exercise, creative therapy or a walk with a dog.

The holistic concept aims to "enable the patient to actively cope with the remaining pain in addition to the general pain reduction and to support him in the reintegration into family and work", says the website of the facility.

Change attitudes to pain
"Acute pain is short-lived, chronic pain lasts at least six months," said Dr. Kuhnt.

Conventional medical therapies, which consist of only one type of treatment, such as the administration of pain patches or massages, did not have a long-term effect on chronic pain, according to the expert.

According to him, the main work happens in the head. It is about changing the attitude to pain, but also being active. “Fear is a big problem - fear of pain and therefore of movement. With this, however, fear contributes to chronification. "

Improve life satisfaction
Exercise, meeting friends, cooking well and enjoying all contribute to improving overall life satisfaction. This makes dealing with pain easier.

Patients should be aware of this and "take responsibility" for themselves. And above all, always stay on the ball and keep going.

Kuhnt mainly treats back pain. These can often also have psychological causes.

According to the psychologist, stress, which initially leads to tension, is a frequent trigger of the symptoms.

So how do you deal with stress? A good preventive measure is to avoid it.

"I don't have to drive to Gibraltar by car or cook a five-course meal for the whole family at Christmas," he said.

Positive thoughts that reacting through sport and relaxation exercises are other ways to reduce stress.

Relaxation exercise 4711
Oliver Kuhnt presented a relaxation exercise, which he calls 4711 and recommends as a reminder to think of the Kölnisch Wasser 4711.

During the exercise, you sit comfortably, inhale and count to four, exhale and count to seven and the whole thing eleven times.

"When I am sitting at a desk and had an unpleasant call, I think 4711, do my little breathing exercise and I feel better." Stress is reduced in this way. (ad)

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