Intro to Back Pain

The majority of us can be affected by back pain at some point in our lives. Often it is caused by a simple muscle pull or by ligament strain, a direct result of a fall, bending over a bath or table, or lifting too heavy a weight, for example. Working all day at a desk and sitting incorrectly can cause a lot of problems. Another contributing factor is smoking. If you smoke, your body may struggle to get sufficient nutrients to the disks in your back. Smoker’s cough or a persistent cough may also cause back pain because of the constant strain. People who smoke are slower to heal than those who don’t, meaning that back pain may last longer. More uncommonly it can be a side-effect of disease or illness, such as arthritis or cancer. There are some hereditary conditions that result in back pain, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and scoliosis, to name but three.

Back pain can be felt in different ways. It can feel like an ever-present ache, or be a stiffness. These aches and pains can be located anywhere along the spine, but are most commonly found in the lower back. Sufferers of chronic back pain will try almost anything to alleviate their symptoms, and it can sometimes seem as if every avenue has been exhausted.

Lifestyle changes don’t necessarily come around out of choice. Advancing years can mean a slowing of movement and the amount of exercise you perform reduced.

It is easy to slip into bad lifestyle choices and habits, and can be even harder to shake them off. Fatty, processed foods, the consumption of alcohol, eating outside of set meals all contribute to reduced levels of good health. A diet high in calories can result in weight gain. This weight leads to stress on the back and causes pain.

Contrary to popular belief, however, it isn’t only bad habits that lead to back pain. Athletes and those with a healthy BMI (body mass index) can also be at risk, as can women during pregnancy.

There is another category of people affected by back pain, and that is those who suffer from stress, anxiety and depression. Mental health must be looked after, the same as our physical health.

Evidence tells us that mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. The deterioration of one regularly leads to a negative impact on the other. There is, unfortunately, a tendency to overlook the very real adverse effects of stress and a wrong-headed belief that stress and depression is something we should simply ‘get over’ and pull yourself together’.

While it is a debilitating condition, back pain is not without remedy. Healthcare professionals or a change of lifestyle can help cure low back pain. Alternative medicines such as natural acupuncture and neurostructural integration therapy are gaining popularity and these are practiced by health professions. Those who have experienced these alternative therapies claim that they can cure low back pain.

We are more likely to benefit from a pain-free life when we understand the balance between our mental and physical well-being. There are two levels of experience when it comes to pain and distress. One is the reality of the pain, and the other is our story, sometimes the one we are taught wrongly of fear.If we can ignore this story, we can begin to see the truth of the pain. With changing how you think you can find peace even in the midst of psychological distress. When you have made changes to how you think, what you intake, and when you undertake health therapies and they become part of your daily lifestyle, then back pain, and pain in general may be greatly reduced or even eliminated

Karen Emma Hall

I am a freelance writer, full time book lover, who loves everything to do with books, from writing and illustrating my own books, to reading and editing articles. My passion is in health and fitness, and especially enjoy natural health. I have just completed a series of stories for children that will be out soon, and you can find out how my progress goes on my blog here, and my twitter