Millions of people throughout the UK suffer with back pain every day of their lives. Chronic pain can be inhibiting for the sufferer, particularly when the root cause of the issue is illusive, as it is in so many cases.
Most people with back pain attempt to pinpoint a specific activity or movement that triggered it. However, pain is a protective, inflammatory response that can just as easily be caused by emotional triggers as physical ones.
Let’s take a look at some of the surprising reasons behind chronic back pain that many of our clients discover…
It’s no secret that pain and stress are linked, as we explored in our recent blog. Not only does stress and anxiety cause tension in the muscles that makes you more susceptible to injury, it also releases a hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol can lead to back pain, which over time can become chronic.
Sometimes, our deep-set beliefs can cause disproportionate reactions to relatively light activity. For instance, a woman who believes she isn’t strong enough to complete a stereotypical ‘man’s’ job, such as lifting boxes, could find herself hurting from the physiological response this triggers.
On a similar note, fear can also cause back pain, either as a self-fulfilling prophecy if you believe that a certain activity will lead to injury or discomfort, or due to anxiety and fear in other areas of your life. The stress caused by the fear of losing your job, for example, could ironically put you out of work.
The same goes for unhappiness in your current situation. Again, work is a relevant example, as reluctantly completing tasks that you don’t want to do can result in pain as a protective response to your emotional state.
The same applies for everyday routines, if you’re feeling depressed or stuck in a rut. Even a simple task like taking the bins out on a night could cause back pain if you’re in an unhappy place at that moment in time.
It’s unlikely that any of the above would cause chronic back pain immediately, but if you’re dealing with these emotions and beliefs long term, eventually your poor emotional or mental wellbeing is likely to find a way to manifest itself in such a form.
For this reason, people with strong coping mechanisms tend to be the worst affected, since they bottle up their emotions to a debilitating point. So whilst in the short term ‘coping’ may help you get on with life, it could come back to bite you if you don’t resolve these issues.
Back pain can be caused by a plethora of reasons, not all of which are physical triggers. As such, it’s an issue that rarely goes away overnight, unnoticed, or of its own accord. Pain therapy can help you identify the reasons behind your back pain, to address the issues at heart, and help you resolve them for good.
For more information about how pain therapy works, discover our chronic pain recovery programmes, or call 0161 88 318 68 to discuss your situation.