NOT ADDRESSING THE ALARM
When you have pain, it is because your 5 senses are communicating a message to your brain and your brain perceives this as threatening. In short, pain is an …
NOT ADDRESSING THE ALARM
When you have pain, it is because your 5 senses are communicating a message to your brain and your brain perceives this as threatening. In short, pain is an alarm system, no different than the one for your car. And just like your car alarm, you can’t just let it go off for hours as it will not only effect you but it will start to effect others in your life. Pushing through activities and not addressing the alarm of pain will only make things worse.
Pro Tip: Pause and ask yourself if your alarm is going off because of something minor (e.g. you accidentally bumped your keys) and you can shake it off, or is this something you actually need to stop to address (e.g. a broken window)
RELYING ON PASSSIVE TOOLS
While medications may help reduce your pain, that is all they’ll ever do. Pain medications do not address the root cause of your problem and force you into a cycle of dependence and endless prescription refills, which ultimately hurt your wallet as well as your confidence.
ProTip: Become an active player in your recovery by empowering yourself with self management tools that you can use throughout your day. Often breaking aggravating activities into smaller more manageable parts is a great first step.
Just like thinking of a happy memory can fill you with feelings of joy,
your brain also stores memories of negative experiences. The more frequently an activity leads to pain or a negative experience, the more
sensitive your body becomes to it. What happens with chronic pain is that your body starts to anticipate this pain before you even attempt to do the activity that has previously produced pain. The thought alone can produce a pain response and as a result you begin to anticipate it well in advance spiraling the experience in a way that may feel out of your control.
Pro Tip: Reframe the narrative of your prior experience by pausing
your negative thoughts and talking yourself through how you’d ideally want that activity to go. Get into details with it to make it more real to you (e.g. how did it feel, who were you with, what did you do after? Then keep repeating this to yourself when you need to... after all, thoughts become things.
KEEPING THE SAME ROUTINE
So let’s review, you have back pain and feel like it isn’t going anywhere. Now let’s think about your daily routine. If you are always doing the same things, and having the same pain experiences, then perhaps it is time to try something new. If you took a test and filled out the same answers each time, you wouldn’t expect a different grade each time.
Pro tip: Diversify your activities – get out there and try something new. Worst case scenario you learn that the activity didn’t help you. One the positive side, you’ve learned more about. What you can and will do to help yourself.
Believing in the fallacy that you’ll have to live with this back pain for the rest of your life or that you’ll have to do xyz exercises for the rest of your life to prevent that pain. Your body is a biological system, it is constantly healing and reorganizing itself based on the demands you put on it. The only thing you should accept is your responsibility in your recovery.
Pro Tip: Pain is a normal part of life. You’ve had pain before in other parts of your body and eventually it went away. This too shall pass. Stop convincing yourself nothing can be done. Start focusing on positive elements of your life and what you want to achieve then come up with a plan to achieve it. It is a journey of small steps.
NOT GETTING HELP
You don’t have to go it alone, nor should you. There is no shame in needing help and ultimately it will get rid of your chronic back pain faster. Physical therapists are medical professionals trained specifically to help you with this very issue. Developing a relationship with a specialist PT can often get you feeling on the right track.
Pro Tip: Go see a specialist physical therapist that treats 1-on-1 and specializes in the management of chronic low back pain.
You’ve reached the end of our list of the top 6 mistakes people make with chronic back pain and our pro-tips on how to reverse them, that you can start RIGHT NOW. Remember, it’s just the top 6 - so there are more and there’s a good chance you have already made them or currently are. But if you follow the pro-tips you’ll develop solid fundamentals toward reversing your back pain and improving your quality of life.
Men and women alike come to see the specialists at Arancia Physical Therapy for the treatment and abatement of chronic pain as well as for pelvic health care ~ all are welcome.
Arancia Physical Therapy, is located at 190 Midway Road in Cranston in Garden City. To learn more, Call 401-602-7006 and set up a complementary Discovery Session or visit their informative website www.aranciapt.com. Subscribe to Dr. Jess’s Podcast: “Stay Healthy New England”. Follow the clinic on Instagram @aranciapt.