Recent medical research demonstrates the positive effects of psychological interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of chronic low back pain.
Treating the mind and body
The idea that a physical condition can also have a psychological component is difficult for some people to believe. But as our pain becomes ingrained in our minds and bodies, our perception of the pain changes along with our behaviour towards it. These changes in our minds and bodies can create a chronic pain cycle. Emotional tension also has a proven ability to induce physiological change, including soft tissue changes that express itself as muscular tension, tightness or pain.
In the same way that emotional stress can suppress our immune systems and affect our resilience to disease, it can have a detrimental impact on our soft tissue structures.
Knowledge is the key to recovery
Successful and permanent treatment for back pain must be based on educating back pain sufferers. This is accomplished by teaching them to recognise and change ingrained perceptions and beliefs in their pain and the resulting emotional stress this produces. This holistic approach, which treats back pain as a physical, mental, and emotional issue, offers a more effective and lasting treatment option. By training the pain sufferer to recognise and change their perceptions and beliefs, we are able to add a powerful psychological dimension to existing, physically based treatment options.
Injury and structural issues, such as simple strained muscle or inflammatory responses to structural problems in the spine, can cause acute back pain. This should settle in time as the healing process takes place. Therefore why can pain persist after tissues have had plenty of time to heal?
Pain is a multidimensional and complicated experience for the sufferer, with many contributing and interacting mechanisms. These mechanisms can be a mixture of contributory elements comprising emotional and physical causes, and with a better understanding of pain you will be better equipped to find your route to recovery.
Your nervous system, which produces pain, is highly adaptable to change. Triggers such as injury or stress can result in an increased concentration of neural impulses from inflamed, scarred, weak, or acidic tissues around the spinal cord. This increases the sensitivity within the nervous system, meaning more pain signals transferred to the brain. If this continues over time these sensory distortions can cause things to hurt that didn’t hurt before and a loss of ability to activate muscles that help stabilise the spine.
This means that simply touching the skin, or a cold breeze, might cause pain signals to be sent to the brain.
Understand and overcome
The latest medical research demonstrates a need for an integrated mind and body treatment programme for back pain. If you suffer from back pain it is important to seek out and learn more about your pain. By doing this, it will become obvious what changes are required to improve your pain by recognising how your perception towards your pain has changed your thoughts and subsequent actions and behaviours.