Key Ways To Improve Your Mental Health When You Have Back Pain, a guest post by Jessica Wilson
Back pain affects more people than you know. It is quite common in every age group, regardless of their fitness level. A usual misconception about back pain is that it is caused by an injury. However, not all back pains are due to an accident. The spine’s condition as well as the muscles in our backs, also known as the multifidus, can cause back pain.
Causes of Back Pain
Lower back pain is the number one cause of disability in the world. It is also one of the common reasons why most people miss one or more days at work. According to doctors, 80% of the general population will experience some type of back problem during their lifetime.
Back pain is often caused by muscle spasms, strained ligaments and strained muscles. These occur when a person lifts something incorrectly, attempts to lift something too heavy, has incorrect posture, or performs a quick or awkward movement.
Structural problems are sometimes the cause of back pain. These problems include:
- Ruptured disks – If even a single disk is ruptured, back pain occurs due to the pressure on a nerve.
- Sciatica – A herniated disk causes pain through the buttocks and extends to the back of the leg.
- arthritis – Patients with arthritis experience pain in their hips, knees, hands and lower back. This is a condition where the spaces around the spinal cord become narrow.
- Osteoporosis – The spine becomes porous and brittle, which leads to compression fractures.
- Abnormal spine curvature – Scoliosis is an example of abnormal spine curvature.
Other back pain causes include sleep disorders, a bad mattress, spinal infection and spinal cancer.
Risk Factors of Back Pain
There times when back pain is caused over time. Those who have a stressful job or have an inactive lifestyle are more at risk of having back pains. Pregnant women are also prone to it. In fact, more women experience back pain than men because of this pregnancy. In addition, if a person is overweight or obese, he or she is more at risk of experiencing back pains.
Effects of Back Pain
Chronic back pain can cause physical as well as emotional damage to a person. Some of these effects include:
Chronic back pain has effects that can change lives. Therefore, it should be addressed the right way.
Coping with Back Pain
Back pain can often take its toll in your life if you leave it unaddressed. Coping with this condition requires time, as the pain makes it hard to make some movements. Some of the ways you can improve your physical and mental health despite back pain include:
- Exercise – Exercise is always a great way to prevent or minimize back pain. However, it must be done correctly. When lifting weights, make sure you are not lifting anything too heavy. Properly incorporating exercise in order to address back pain will not only hopefully help improve back health, but will also release feel-good chemicals that may help with mental health issues.
- Lifestyle Change – Changing your eating habits and your overall lifestyle may be good to cope with back pain. Since obesity contributes to the development of lower back pain, it is best to go on a diet and lose the extra weight. Bad habits such as smoking and binge drinking should also be eliminated. These changes are generally effective in improving both back health and mental health.
- Medication – Prescription medicines are also available to help relieve back pain. However, it is important to seek a medical opinion from a doctor before commencing use of any type of pain reliever.
- Counseling – Depression and anxiety may be associated with back pain. Counseling is a great way to release your frustrations and your feelings about it. You may undergo therapy sessions with a counselor or a psychiatrist to be able to help you deal with the emotional stress you feel.
- Meditation – Yoga is a great way to meditate. Some movements may be painful to the back, but there are poses you can do in order to practice meditation. Several breathing techniques are also available to address back pain. A clearer mind, as a result of yoga or meditation, will help you mentally deal with your back pain.
It’s certainly not only the back that is affected by back pain. Chronic pain or discomfort also has implications on one’s mental health. It’s not all bad news though, by considering the tips listed above, hopefully you’ll be able to relieve some of your back pain and at the same time improve your mental health.
Jessica is a professional health expert who works for some major health industry giants. She currently writes for Members Own and is dedicated to helping people learn more about health related topics along the journey. When she’s not a health advocate, she enjoys some down time traveling or talking with family.