Prevent and overcome Back Pain
Physical and Emotional pain
Early explanations of pain, define pain as a discomfort which people feel when exposed to a painful situation (Chapman, 1980). Although pain includes physical discomfort, emotional discomfort, or, if you like, emotional pain may also be apparent.
In order to explain this, in the field of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1926) moved the Mechanical Theory from the body to the psyche. He backed this up indicating that the psyche can also be injured and experience pain in the same way as the body does. Thus, both types of pain can be treated virtually in the same way; if the cause disappears then the symptoms disappear too. Consequently Freud had treated pain as an objective phenomenon for which the cause could be found. Nevertheless, Mann and Carr (2009) argue that pain is an emotion which is also affected by the expectations individuals have of it. Consequentially, by these means, back pain is not just physical pain (somatic), but also emotional pain because it may interfere with what you enjoy doing; also, the level of pain may depend on the expectations you have of it.
Back pain is a type of pain which is very common amongst individuals. It has been supported that 7 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point (NHS). However it is not usually serious. Most frequently it may be caused by stress or by damaging (injuring) some part of the back (muscles, discs etc).
Consultant orthopaedic and spinal surgeon, Phillip Shell, suggests keeping your body active and continuing to carry out your everyday activities in order to help relieve and in turn, heal the pain.
- Back pain - NHS Choices
Find everything you need to know about back pain, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, with links to other useful resources.
Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises by David Wicker
Back pain - What you should start considering
First of all, by viewing the condition in a more optimistic (positive coping) way may be better as it is argued that the way people think of things may affect the way they actually feel when they experience them (this is what cognitive behavioural therapy is based on). Accordingly, by changing the way you think of back pain may most likely change the way you feel about it as well. Perhaps by adjusting in a more positive coping strategy or, by holding more positive attitudes, you will be able to cope with the pain without letting it interfere with your quality of life and well-being. Thus, the second message I would like to pass to those experiencing such pain is to manage and control your pain by not letting it control your life. This could be achieved by finding things to do in order to distract ones self from the pain, but most importantly by not letting the pain interfere with what you enjoy doing.
The sooner you get moving, the sooner your pain will get better.
Most people that experience back pains tend to have the belief that resting may help reduce the pain though this is harmful, as it could make the core muscles and especially the back weaker. As an alternative, body movement is advised. And as for those working, carrying on working is recommended unless your work involves lifting anything heavy. Do not twist or bend your back and if your job involves this it may be wiser to avoid it for a while. Moreover exercise is a very crucial factor in overcoming the pain as it helps the body produce natural pain killers which work to alleviate the pain.
In order to avoid injuring or straining your back, warming up your back before doing any house chores or sudden movements is recommended using simple exercises such as wall slides, leg raises and bottom lifts (you can find instructions on how to do these on the net). Thus, exercises involve stretching, which assists one to maintain a stronger and more flexible back as well as to strengthen the muscles. A range of useful exercises from which you may chose include: walking, swimming, aerobic fitness, yoga, pilates, exercise ball.
There are other alternative therapies such as medicine or other exercises. Here however, only three exercises will be discussed in more depth as these certain exercises give you the opportunity to carry them out at home, by finding available videos and books, by searching the net or at the gym; any way which is more convenient for you.
Hence, research which has been carried out in previous years has shown Yoga, Pilates and Exercise ball to be very beneficial and useful for back pain (Cherkin et al., 2005; Beneke et al., 2006; Marshal and Murphy, 2006). Yoga helps relieve stress and tension which most commonly causes back pain. Consequently yoga has been considered one of the most effective exercises used to alleviate or even prevent this type of pain. Pilates, similarly to yoga, could help alleviate and prevent the pain. It uses smooth and controlled movements which help strengthen your muscles and back. Using an exercise ball is very convenient and it may seem to be easier to carry out exercises this way due to the support provided by the ball. This type of exercise therefore helps one stretch without the fear of injuring any muscles, and as Yoga and Pilates it helps the back's muscles become stronger.
Acupressure massage, or in other words shiatsu, has also shown to be very helpful for back pain (Furlan et al., 2002) and can also be carried out by your selves in the comfort of your home. This is a Japanese type of massage, which has been used to reduce and relieve the pain by using fingers, thumps or elbows in order to put pressure on certain pressure points of the body.