Psychosomatic concepts in chronic pain

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Mar;84(3 Suppl 1):S76-80; quiz S81-2. doi: 10.1053/apmr.2003.50144.


This self-directed learning module highlights the obstacles faced by physicians treating chronic pain, in particular, the occasional lack of correlation between test results and symptoms, and the treatment pitfalls that may occur. A review of psychosomatic pain disorders is presented along with a psychodynamically based diagnostic and management approach. Popular mind-body treatments for chronic pain are presented with pertinent references.

Overall article objectives: (a) To review the diagnostic and therapeutic limitations of conventional chronic pain management, (b) to explore a psychodynamically based psychosomatic chronic pain diagnostic and therapeutic construct, and (c) to examine several additional mind-body chronic pain treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Mind-Body Therapies
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Management*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Placebo Effect
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / therapy*