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Pain Management

Dr. Jan Mark Burte - Pain Management



Dr. Burte is a Diplomate with the American Academy of Pain Management, one of the premiere credentialing bodies for professionals who work in the field of pain management. He has authored numerous book chapters and articles on the management of acute, chronic and persistent pain. He has lectured for over twenty years, both nationally and internationally, on various forms of pain management. As a clinician focused on the reduction of human suffering, Dr. Burte has evaluated, treated and helped thousands of pain patients manage their pain and improve their overall quality of life. For most individuals, it is both the actual pain and the emotional suffering which follows from pain, which needs to be addressed.


Often, pain can be reduced with medication or medical intervention, but adjunctive treatments, including hypnosis, biofeedback and psychotherapy often can help to reduce dependency on the dosage and frequency of medications required to manage pain. Effective pain management can help to promote a more productive and enjoyable way of life and can improve relationships with family members and friends.


Hypnosis and psychotherapy can also help reduce emotional suffering such as the depression, anxiety, apathy, avoidance, reduced sexual desire, and withdrawal, which are frequently associated with pain. A cycle of pain and emotional distress often leads to an overall reduction in health. By addressing the psychoneuroimmunological connections between stress pain and the immune system, improved overall health can be embraced and the patient can move more positively towards recovery and healing.


Pain and Suffering


Pain signals from the periphery of the body travel along neuronal pathways (nerves) to the spinal cord. From the dorsal horn of the spine, the pain signal is then sent up the spine to the parts of the brain where it is interpreted. The amygdala and the hippocampus, along with the thalamus, assign meaning and emotion to the pain signal. It is then further interpreted via transmission of the signal to specific sites in the prefrontal cortex portion of the brain, where the executive function decides what course of action needs to be taken in response to the pain.


This is important to understand because it is in these areas of the brain that pain is interpreted as good (e.g., soreness after a healthy fitness workout), or bad (i.e. chronic recurrent pain), or scary (e.g., sudden trauma induced pain) or pain of unknown origin. Throughout the treatment with psychotherapy and/or hypnosis, the individual’s interpretation and the internalized image of the pain can be understood and altered to reduce the emotional suffering associated with pain. Within a very short period of time, effective coping strategies can be developed and employed to bring comfort and relief from pain and suffering.

Pain Management


The pain, suffering and loss of function that a pain patient experiences often has a significant impact on family members, co-workers and friends. This often becomes an enormous source of stress and unhappiness for the pain patient. Diminished self-worth, low self-esteem, withdrawal, anger, self and other blaming, depression and anxiety associated with both pain and suffering are often overwhelming to the pain patient.


Choose your therapist wisely as psychotherapy with professionals trained and skilled in the understanding of pain and its consequences can be vital to a positive outcome in treatment. After many years of clinical experience with individuals suffering with a diversity of pain inducing conditions, Dr. Burte believes that multi-dimensional aspects of pain and the need for an integrated multidisciplinary approach are extremely helpful in achieving better outcomes. Your psychologist or therapist should be willing to, and be capable of working closely with your other health care providers. Toward this end, Dr. Burte strongly urges anyone suffering with pain to seek out therapists such as myself who have perused on going education and published in the ever expanding field of pain management. Your psychologist or psychotherapist should have a working understanding of your physician’s interventions and the roll of various medications used for both the physical and emotional treatment of pain.


Pain Management Articles by Dr. Burte


» Hypnotherapeutic Advances in Pain Management


» Hypnosis in the Treatment of Back Pain