Forest Alumnus Talks Headache Management

Dr. Steve Boling is a 2007 graduate of Forest Institute, and has worked for several years at the Headache Care Center in Springfield.

Tuesday he took time out of his schedule to meet with Forest's Primary Care Psychology student group and talk a little bit about his job, and what he sees on a daily basis.

Dr. Boling said he works with an interdisciplinary team of medical doctors, nurses and physical therapist. One of the major focuses is the psychological components to stress and pain management.

He explained that in many cases chronic pain patients lack insight or ignore the triggers, that promote pain and often rely on external sources to reduce their pain. The lack of personal investment often significantly impacts the effectiveness of treatment success toward a healthy quality of life.

Areas to gain effective treatment strategies include Psychotherapy to assist in cognitive and behavioral restructuring and modifications associated with daily stressors, Co-morbid psychological diagnosis’s that may cause or enhance presenting physical symptoms, Biofeedback in retraining the body’s responses to adversity, disappointment, and the management of stress and pain, Healthy nutritional routines, and Exercise which is patient specific. Helping patients gain insight into what is going on in their life, and how emotional and environmental factors can plan a significant role in pain severity and frequency, and overall quality of life is a primary focus.

"Trying to help people gain some insight into what's going on in their lives, and how that can affect pain status," said Dr. Boling, is one of the major things he does on a daily basis.

Thinking outside of the traditional treatment methods to incorporate a customized treatment plan for each patient is also a major focus in the interdisciplinary approach for the "best fit” for each patient.

Dr. Boling stated that most patients are reactive in their treatment methods, while proactive treatment strategies are most effective in stress and pain management.

Dr. Boling said that Psychotherapeutic treatment to retrain current beliefs about traditional treatment methods for pain management and the role of psychology within the area of pain management is a major area of focus at the onset of the treatment process.

To learn more about Dr. Boling's work you can check out his profile at the Headache Care Center.