Treatment for chronic pain should include a psychological component as well as a medical one. While the nature of acute pain is largely physical, chronic pain can have a significant psychological effect. Chronic pain may be caused by physical damage, or it may have no apparent physical cause.
Emotional symptoms can develop when medical treatment increases pain, or if it does not get rid of the pain entirely. These symptoms do not indicate that the pain is not real. Psychological treatment can help by teaching coping skills, encouraging the patient to have an active role in their life, and developing an understanding of how to predict and control the cycle of pain.