Understanding chronic pain and the mind-body connection

Holist Nurs Pract. Nov-Dec 2003;17(6):281-7; quiz 288-9. doi: 10.1097/00004650-200311000-00002.


This article investigates the mind-body connection in chronic pain. A discussion of pain physiology is designed to identify the role of the neurological system in chronic pain perception. The gate control theory and the neurotransmitter theory of pain are explored. A description of mind-body and pain management methods, and an illustrative case study are provided. The information presented concerning mind-body connection in chronic pain perception will enable practicing nurses to be more fully aware of the chronic pain phenomenon, and lead to better chronic pain assessment, management, and evaluation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Holistic Nursing / standards*
  • Humans
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Pain / nursing*
  • Pain / psychology*