Impact and Role of Stress on Pain and the Patient | Occupational Therapy

Stress can have a small to a significant impact on the patient as well as their pain. The connection between stress and pain is that patients who experience stress may perceive increased levels of pain. Therefore, reducing a patient’s level of stress can have a positive impact on the patient as well as their experience of pain.


  • Beliefs
  • Expectations


  • Attention
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Hypervigilance
  • Catastrophizing


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD


  • Traumatic events
  • Childhood experiences

Neurological Changes

  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Maladaptive
  • Injury
  • Sensitization


  • Gender
  • Racial
  • Cultural
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation


  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Substance abuse
  • Sleep
  • Exercise


  • Duration
  • Frequency
  • Location
  • Severity


  • Function
  • Dysfunction and occupational deprivation
Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, sociology, and philosophy. Buy me a Coffee on Venmo.