Back pain is an epidemic that affects up to 80 percent of adults during their lifetime, according to the National Institutes of Health (a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
In fact, back problems are the most common cause of job-related disability. It is an all-encompassing condition that not only targets the spine but also affects myriad systems within the body.
For that reason alone, it’s very important to be aware of the severity of your back pain and take it as a possible forewarning of a greater health issue. A doctor’s evaluation can give you an accurate analysis of what may be causing your back pain.
Can Back Pain Affect the Rest of My Body?
Many people live by the mantra “mind over matter.” But for those of us suffering from chronic back pain, this discomfort can have an overwhelming and constant effect on our mood.
Back pain can interfere with our daily activities, whether at work or play – and it can negatively affect our interactions with others. In addition to affecting our interpersonal relationships, it can interfere with our normal appetite and our normal sleep patterns.
In order to feel healthy, the digestive system and nervous system need to work together. Because nerves in the spinal cord connect to muscles and organs in our gut, our digestion can feel off-kilter when experiencing back pain.
An array of back injuries, from sprains and strains to herniated discs, can actually transfer the pain to the abdomen – giving you the feeling that you have a stomach ache when it’s really due to back issues. The result can be everything from bloating to gas and constipation.
Plus, a lower back injury that triggers muscle spasms can sometimes inhibit the movement of food and waste through the digestive tract, causing even further problems.
How Exercise Can Reduce Pain
When you’re experiencing back discomfort, the last thing on your mind is exercise. Prolonged pain can cause you to develop tense muscles, and leave you feeling pretty lethargic. It seems counterintuitive, but light exercise can help stretch the back and relieve back pain.
Because the signals that result from ongoing, persistent, long-lasting pain can remain in the nervous system for weeks, months, and sometimes years, back pain can actually cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as an increased risk for heart disease and a diminished immune system. Therefore, exercise can help alleviate this series of ailments from occurring.
Therapy for Back Pain
Pain management counseling is a vital part of a rehabilitation program. Whether you’ve suffered an acute injury – or are living with the chronic pain of arthritis or another condition – a comprehensive plan for care that includes both physical therapy and cognitive and behavioral strategies can be highly beneficial to your overall wellness.
Who Can Help with My Back Pain in Delaware?
Is back pain diminishing your quality of life? If so, it’s time to take a stand.
Pain management psychologist Dr. Irene Fisher and the experienced medical specialists at Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers uphold their motto, “Depend on us to get you better faster.”
To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a member of our caring medical staff, call us today or fill out our online appointment request form. Let us help you reduce your back pain and begin to live a fuller, more enjoyable life once again.