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Effective Pain Management Solutions:
Transform Your Life with iflow Psychology

Comprehensive Therapy Services for Effective Pain Relief and Rehabilitation


Types of Pain

The term 'pain' describes any kind of unpleasant or uncomfortable sensation in the body.


There are many different types and causes of pain. These can be grouped into eight different categories:

  • Acute pain

  • Chronic pain

  • Breakthrough pain

  • Nerve pain

  • Phantom pain

  • Soft tissue pain

  • Referred pain.

We will discuss each pain type in more detail below.


Learning to manage pain is better
than your pain managing you.

What is Acute Pain?

Acute pain starts suddenly. Acute pain then usually only lasts for a short period (i.e., minutes, hours, a few days, or occasionally a month or two).

Acute pain is usually caused by a specific event or injury, such as:

  • An accident or injury (like a fall, cut, rash, sting, bite or burn), 

  • Dental and medical procedures,

  • Headache,

  • Labor and childbirth.

Acute pain usually signals something is wrong. we should firstly respond by attending to the area of pain and applying first aid. If needed, a medical review should be arranged with your treating doctor or local hospital. 

Once any underlying medical condition has been addressed, acute pain is best addressed with basic pain relief medications, if needed. Once the condition resolves, the pain should resolve naturally.


Effective management of acute pain should prevent such conditions becoming chronic.


Good management of acute pain can also prevent chronic pain behaviours developing. 

What is Chronic Pain?

Pain in considered chronic, or persistent, when it:

Chronic pain often starts as acute pain. It then continues long after the original injury has healed or the cause of the pain has resolved.

Chronic pain can range from mild to severe and is associated with conditions such as:

  • Arthritis

  • Back pain

  • Cancer

  • Circulation problems

  • Diabetes

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headache.

Chronic pain can severely affect a person's quality of life. Persistent pain can also limit, or even prevent, engagement in work, domestic, recreational, leisure and social activities if not managed well. Chronic pain can lead to low mood, depression, social withdrawal, a reduction in physical activities, and weight gain. These consequences only make the pain worse and further lower personal functioning.

Meaning of Flare Up

Flare-up pain involves episodes of pain that occur in people already taking medications to relieve chronic pain.

Flare-up pain can be caused by many different factors. Firstly, we identify triggers for flare-up pain. Then we develop strategies to avoid, minimise or manage those triggers.


Effective management of flare-up pain can help prevent or limit the impact of flare-ups. Stress is often a common trigger.

What Does Nerve Pain Feel Like?

Nerve pain is caused by nerve damage or inflammation. Nerve pain can also be referred to as neuralgia or neuropathic pain.


Nerve pain is often experienced as a sharp, shooting, burning or stabbing pain. Some people report experiencing feelings like an electric shock. People who experience nerve pain can also be extremely sensitive to cold and touch.

Common causes of nerve pain include:

  • Brain Injury,

  • Cancer,

  • Chronic alcohol use,

  • Circulation problems,

  • Diabetes,

  • Herpes zoster (shingles),

  • Limb amputation,

  • Multiple sclerosis,

  • Nerve injury

  • ​Spinal Injury,

  • Stroke, and

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency.


What is Phantom Pain?

Phantom pain is pain experienced as coming from a part of the body that is no longer present. Phantom pain occurs when people have had a limb amputated. These are real pain sensations and can improve naturally with time. Psychological therapy is also be of benefit.

What is a Soft Tissue Injury?

Soft tissue pain, or discomfort, results from damage or inflammation of the muscles, tissues, or ligaments. It is often associated with swelling or bruising.


Common causes of soft tissue pain include:

  • Back or neck pain,

  • Bursitis,

  • Fibromyalgia,

  • Rotator cuff injury,

  • Sciatic pain,

  • Sports injuries, such as sprains or strains, and

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

How Does Pain Management Work?

When you experience pain, it is best to first consult your local treating doctor. Your doctor will review the underlying cause of the pain and provide appropriate medical management.

If the pain is not improving, or getting worse, seek a psychological review early.


Too commonly, people are referred for pain management a year or two after the onset of pain. This delay makes treatment of the pain more challenging.


Learning psychological techniques to manage pain is always useful. Seeing a psychologist early can also prevent pain becoming chronic.

People with chronic pain and flare-ups can benefit from learning psychological techniques for pain management. it will also improve their quality of life. 

How a Chronic Pain Psychologist Can Help

Our pain psychologists will ask some questions about your history, circumstances, thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We might also use questionnaires to gather more information. It is always useful to have an assessment of the nature of your pain. Establishing objective pain measures is important to understand your pain, monitor pain and track progress in therapy.

Together, we work towards an understanding of factors that contribute to your difficulties. A treatment plan is developed between you and your psychologist. Your psychologist will use an integrative approach to therapy. This will include mindfulness and relaxation to help enhance mood and improve your quality of life.

Through pain management treatment, your psychologist can assist you make lifestyle changes. This will enhance your resilience and help you cope better, reducing the experience of pain.

When to Access a Chronic Pain Psychologist Sydney

It is best to seek help for you pain if you are:

  • Irritable or arguing more with family and friends,

  • Feeling overwhelmed, or not coping,

  • Cannot function normally,

  • Experiencing significant changes in weight or appetite,

  • Struggling with work and home duties,

  • Having trouble engaging in your normal recreational, leisure and social activities,

  • Becoming more withdrawn,

  • Having difficulty sleeping,

  • Increasing your use of substances, including prescribed medications,

  • Experiencing symptoms that are not improving or getting worse.

iflow psychology chronic pain psychologist Sydney services can assist. Just book an appointment or call us using the buttons below.

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Book Appointment Now

Send us a message or speak to our friendly administration team. Click the button below.

02 6061 1144

iflow Psychology

48 Norton Street.

Leichhardt, NSW, 2040


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