Health Psychology for Pain Management

UW Health Pain Management health psychologists in Madison, Wisconsin, help people suffering from pain syndromes of all types, including recently diagnosed, persistent pain and chronic pain.


Whether you are recently diagnosed with a persistent pain condition or have had chronic pain for many years, health psychology can be a valuable partner in improving the management of your condition.


A chronic pain condition impacts many areas of a person's life and can lead to a variety of secondary symptoms such as:

  • Decline in mood
  • Decrease in physical functioning
  • Greater isolation
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Work and relationship changes

Our Work


Health psychology offers short-term individual, family and group treatment to more effectively cope with chronic pain. In addition, health psychology may assist your physician in evaluating whether a procedure or surgery is appropriate for you. A variety of strategies have been found to be effective in coping with the chronic pain to move forward and improve quality of life. Health psychology can help you explore the pathway to better accept living with a chronic pain condition.


Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, so working with a health psychology can help you in creating effective goals so that you can measure your progress in your rehabilitation plan. Treatment can give you tools to change habits that get in the way of keeping up with your daily activities, such as learning the fundamentals of activity pacing. A variety of behavioral techniques are often taught to influence the physiology of a pain condition, such as:

  • Guided imagery
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Self-hypnosis
  • Biofeedback
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Using cognitive skills, such as learning how to be present, as a method of identifying tension or problematic thoughts associated with a pain condition