Pain – Treatment

Chronic pain is not a useful alarm signal for physical damage (e.g. injury, acute inflammation), but a disease in its own right. Chronic pain can also lead to a variety of secondary symptoms (e.g. accompanying psychiatric illnesses and/or social consequences), which have a negative impact on the individual life situation of those affected.

Outpatient therapy for people with chronic pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) has defined pain as follows: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with acute or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.”

This means that the treatment of chronic pain, due to its complexity, should always be carried out in an interdisciplinary context and with the – often simultaneous – use of various therapeutic procedures (multimodal).

Interdisciplinary outpatient pain clinic

At the USZ, we therefore offer an individually tailored diagnostic and therapeutic program for people suffering from chronic pain of various causes (e.g. chronic back pain, whole-body pain, neuropathic pain). It is important to us to treat not only the actual pain, but also the secondary symptoms of this chronic illness. A team of specially trained doctors from various specialties as well as psychotherapists trained in the treatment of pain patients are at your disposal.

We would like to support you in getting your pain “under control” and reducing the pain-related impairments to your quality of life.


  • Today, chronic pain is attributed to the so-called bio-psycho-social model. This means that psychological factors are considered to play an important role in the development and/or maintenance of chronic pain complaints. Accordingly, pain psychotherapy procedures are used at the USZ as part of diagnostics and therapy.
  • Psychotherapy can be helpful in treating the pain and its triggers. We have had particularly good experiences with behavioral therapy. In this way, those affected learn to replace negative thought sequences with new, positive ones. The main goal is not to feel no more pain, but to enjoy a better quality of life.
  • We offer both individual and group psychotherapy for people with chronic pain. The latter serves on the one hand to provide information about the mechanisms and ways of dealing with chronic pain and on the other hand to facilitate an exchange between those affected.
  • We also offer other relaxation methods in the form of progressive muscle relaxation in group therapy according to Jacobson.

Procedure of the therapy

The initial assessment is carried out by the Pain Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Anesthesia. If indicated, the pain team at the Clinic for Psychosomatics and Consultant Psychiatry will be consulted for further clarification or treatment. There is a regular exchange between the various specialist disciplines to discuss patients.

For patients

As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation. Please get a referral from your primary care physician, specialist.

For referrer

For our referring physicians, the pain outpatient clinic (Department of Anesthesia) is the main point of contact for patients with pain problems of all causes. If various assessments have already been carried out, or if therapy with a psychosomatic focus is required, patients can also be referred directly to the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Consultation Therapy.

This offer is aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 65.

Tel. +41 44 255 52 80
Assign online