Back pain is a common condition in the UK, with around one in three people being affected by the painful condition. It usually affects the lower back with the pain subsiding within four to six weeks. An overlooked symptom could be preventing you from making a full recovery. Experts state if some people are able to get over the emotional aspect of the pain, symptoms may decrease. How?
Lower back pain can be more than just physical.
It can have a profound effect on a person’s mood, and just about every other part of your life.
“Chronic pain is something that interferes with every aspect of daily living,” says Dr Robert Jamison, associate professor in the Departments of Anaesthesia and Psychiatry.
“You can’t concentrate — you can’t remember things as well.
“It affects your appetite, it affects your sleep.”
For most people, lower back pain is just a minor annoyance that emerges once in a while, sticks around for a couple of days, then goes away.
For other people, there’s no break from the pain.
When pain becomes chronic, it goes far beyond a physical sensation.
It can impact your emotions, too.
“The back pain can become a black hole for all of life’s bumps in the road,” says Dr Jerome Schofferman, head of the Rehabilitation, Interventional, and Medical Spine Care.
“Everything is blamed on the back pain. If the back pain were better, everything would be better.”
People can seek psychological support to aid their back recovery.
The NHS recommends trying cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – this can be a useful part of treatment if a person is struggling to cope with their pain.
CBT, along with mindfulness techniques, have been proven to help chronic back pain.