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Psychogenic pain

Psychogenic pain


What you need to know about
Psychogenic pain disorder

Psychogenic pain (PP)is not a recognised diagnosis. It’s a term for a pain disorder caused by psychological causes. Beliefs, anxieties, and powerful emotions can all contribute to, worsen, or prolong suffering. The phrase is no longer widely used, as it was once associated with an inability to identify medical causes for pain. We now know that many chronic aches are caused by neural system changes rather than illness or physical damage, normal tests and examinations are no longer considered evidence that the pain is caused by psychological reasons.

What does psychogenic pain look like?

PP can manifest itself in a number of ways. Here are some of the most prevalent symptoms associated with this condition:

  • Muscle pains
  • Stomach pains
  • Back pains
  • Headaches

How is PP diagnosed?

When symptoms or physical findings are not consistent with the present understanding of nervous system function, psychogenic pain is diagnosed. However, it is apparent that psychological variables constantly play a part in pain – they can cause it to rise, decrease, or even disappear. Working together, with doctors and mental health specialists can be quite beneficial to individuals suffering from this disease.

What Triggers Psychogenic Pain?

There is no precise test to identify whether you have PP, despite the fact that it is quite genuine for individuals who experience it.

There are a variety of psychological factors that might cause, aggravate, or maintain this type of pain:

  • Beliefs
  • Emotions
  • Fears
  • Depression and anxiety are examples of mental illnesses.


Psychogenic pain is notoriously difficult to treat. To address this illness, mental health specialists frequently collaborate with doctors. Here are some treatment options for dealing with PP:

  • Non-narcotic analgesics (think NSAIDs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Psychotherapy
  • Antidepressants

Psychogenic pain does not respond well to opioid pain relievers. These treatments fail to address the psychological foundation of the problem, which can lead to abuse and dependence, both of which are frightening problems in and of themselves.

Risk Factors

Psychogenic pain has the potential to negatively impact your quality of life and health. For starters, patients with PP may be unable to work due to their discomfort.

Second, persons who suffer from PP pain frequently consult healthcare specialists to try to figure out how to treat the pain.

Third, PP can contribute to pain medication addiction and dependence (think opioid pain relievers like Norco or Vicodin).