Back pain is something that everyone will have to deal with at least once in their lives. Whether due to an injury or chronic medical condition, back pain is very common.
However, you should know that back pain is a symptom- not a standalone diagnosis. Back pain can be caused by the following:
- Mechanical Problems
- Medical Conditions/Diseases
- Emotional Causes
You must have an understanding of the various causes of back pain so that you can treat the cause, not just the symptom.
Mechanical problems of the back are related to the movement of the spine or the way an individual feels when their spine moves in specific ways.
The most common of mechanical problems with the back occurs as a result of age. It is called disc degeneration and occurs when the discs in between the vertebrae break down, or degenerate.
As these discs break down, they’re no longer able to cushion the vertebrae, which causes back pain.
Another common mechanical problem is the wearing down of the facet joints. The facet joints are those large joints that connect the vertebrae. Other mechanical problems include muscle tension, ruptured/herniated discs, and spasms.
Injuries, such as fractures and sprains, to the spine can cause short-term or even long-term back pain. Sprains are when the ligaments supporting the spine tear, which can be a result of improper twisting or lifting.
Fractures to the vertebrae are typically the result of osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes bones to become porous and weak.
Back pain caused by more serious injuries due to falls or accidents are much less common- but do happen sometimes.
There are lots of medical conditions/diseases that can contribute to or cause back pain. These include:
- Arthritis, such as: RA, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis
- Spinal stenosis
Typically, osteoporosis isn’t necessarily painful on its own, it can cause fractures to the vertebrae, which leads to back pain. Some other medical conditions that cause back pain include:
- Kidney stones/infections
Though these are much less common causes of back pain, when infections or tumors involve the vertebrae, back pain can result. Infections such as osteomyelitis or discitis will result in back pain.
Tumors rarely begin in the back. Typically, when a tumor is found in the back, it is due to cancer that has spread from other parts of the body.
Though the causes of back pain are most often physical, you should be aware that emotional stress can also play a significant role in the severity of pain and the length of time it lasts.
Stress can cause the muscles in the back to become tense- and therefore painful. Also, depression/anxiety can cause back pain to be much worse. Insomnia also contributes to back pain.
Relax Your Way to Being Pain Free
As mentioned, psychological factors can contribute to or cause back pain. Stress, pressure, and emotional duress can actually have an impact on the amount of pain you feel.
However, you can take control of your emotions and thoughts, and get a handle on the positive energy and motivation, which are necessary in healing back pain.
In the recent years, relaxation has become more and more popular for treating all kinds of pain relief, including back/neck pain.
Studies have revealed that focusing some treatment efforts on your emotional/mental state can offer complete pain relief that will last for much longer than just a few weeks or months.
So, if you have had chronic back pain and been unable to find any relief through other treatments/surgeries, it may be worth looking into mind relaxation therapy.
Mind Relaxation Therapy Techniques
There are several different forms of mind relaxation therapy that can be used to treat back pain. Following are a few of the ones that are most commonly used:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Through a series of counseling sessions, a cognitive behavioral therapist will work with you to help you to overcome your emotional and psychological cause of your pain.
These sessions will change the way you think about your pain and work to help you to learn to control it.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered to be a legit medical practice and most insurance plans do cover it as an alternative form of treating chronic pain.
Believe it or not, hypnosis is thought to be a legit form of therapy. Its aim is to help relax the mind and redirect focus on the pain so that the individual can reframe their thoughts about it.
In order to be effective, hypnosis will need to be done by a certified hypnotist who can evaluate your condition and symptoms just as a general physician would.
Part of the hypnosis procedure involves putting the individual into a trance where they are able to influence your subconscious and your perception of your pain.
There are several other types of mind relaxation therapy techniques that could possibly eliminate your back pain, such as:
- Progressive Relaxation
- Talk Therapy
- Guided Imagery
The medical community does recognize mind relaxation therapy as a valid treatment for back pain. Speak with your physician or do some research on your own regarding using this to treat your own back pain.
If your physician is not familiar with these techniques, he/she may be able to refer you to a professional who is.