Back pain can be more than just physical.
Now before you slam your keyboard or roll your eyes in disbelief – hold your horses, this one is backed by science, ladies and gents!
And the news is…
See at some point in our lives, sooner or later, we’re all going to encounter back pain, especially in the lower back area.
You might even be experiencing it right now while you read this…
The environmental factors are pretty much settled by now.
We know that back pain is usually caused by bad posture, a sedentary lifestyle, uncomfortable office chairs, lack of exercise, old traumas etc…
But what’s beginning to emerge in our understanding of back pain is the delicate interconnection between our physical pain and our emotional state.
According to Dr. Robert N. Jamison at the Departments of Anesthesia and Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston:
“Chronic pain is something that interferes with every aspect of daily living. You can’t concentrate — you can’t remember things as well. It affects your appetite, it affects your sleep, it makes sense that people get depressed, anxious, and irritable“.
This is a conclusion that many experts in medicine are invariably beginning to accept; that pain is much more than just sensations transmitted through your nervous system, but is in fact linked to your feelings, thoughts and perceptions.
In plain English, the worse you think your pain is, the worse it’ll actually feel for you.
Through what is termed ‘catastrophizing’, sufferers of acute or chronic back pain can actually ‘will’ their pain to get far worse – and complicated – than it normally should be.
When they begin to consider the worst possible scenarios related to their ailment – anything from having to walk hunched over for the rest of their lives… To having to quit their jobs due to being unable to handle the pain – the metaphorical ‘volume knob’ on the pain goes up, resulting in a very real physiological response in the body.
Take for example the startling fact, according to WebMD, that nearly one in three patients diagnosed with chronic back pains end up clinically depressed…
And that over 75% of people treated for depression also report related symptoms of physical pain.
That’s why surgery or medication can and often do treat with the physical aspect of chronic back pain, but unfortunately in no way address the psychological and emotional side of the ailment.
Here’s the good news:
Supervised, low-impact back pain exercises are typically enough to treat both the physical and the psychological aspects of the chronic pain. This means that the body can gradually heal itself from the physical pain, as well as allow the mind to heal itself from the anxiety, depression and dissatisfaction.
And there’s no better place to deal with both the physical as well as the emotional aspects of chronic pain than with our expert care-specialists at MVMT Physio & Chiro St Albert. ‘)}