Your Back and the Stress and Pain Cycle
By Randi Morse
Even if you eat healthy, exercise regularly, and try to make sure that your body is conditioned, it is almost guaranteed that at some point in time in your life you will have pain in your lower back. It may happen because you twisted wrong, you may find yourself in pain because you lifted wrong, or you may find yourself in pain and have absolutely no idea what happened to make your back so angry. In general, rest and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen can help eliminate the pain in a few short days. But what happens if the pain doesn't go away?
Things can get a lot trickier if your back pain isn't being managed properly. When the pain sticks around for quite some time, it is called chronic pain. The big problem with chronic pain is that it not only affects your body, it can affect your mental health as well. You may even get to a point in which you blame all your problems in your life on your back pain: If my back felt better, I'd be able to work better. If my back felt better, I'd have a cleaner house. That frustration can then turn into anxiety from worrying that the constant pain is going to prevent you from working or doing your daily routine. The anxiety can then turn into depression.
Pain, and how we perceive pain, varies from person to person. One thing that is true of almost all people, however, is that pain is also connected to feelings. The more depressed and anxious you are and the more you worry about being in pain, the worse your pain is likely to feel. Studies have shown that about 75 percent of people who have been diagnosed, and are in treatment, for depression report that they have physical pain. The more pain you have, the more emotional distress you're in, the more pain you feel. It's called the stress and pain cycle.
Chiropractic treatment can help break the stress and pain cycle. With chronic back pain, a chiropractor can help put the spine back into alignment an alleviate the pressure and stress on the muscles and tendons in the back. With proper chiropractic care, many who have back pain find relief very quickly.
If you're dealing with back pain, don't wait until it becomes chronic to receive help. A chiropractic visit during the early onset of your pain can help minimize the emotional problems that often come with back problems.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chandler, Ariz.