10 Ways to Prevent Back Pain: #8 Stress relief
10 ways to prevent back pain #8 Stress Relief Research on low back pain and other pains has found that where there is areas of pain there is lack of oxygen to the tissue and therefore muscle wasting. Dr. Sarno, a famous pain psychiatrist associates this lack of oxygen to the tissue to be due to repressed emotions and in particular repressed anger and anxiety. With stressful times whether physical, mental, or emotional we are more to injury and pain flare-ups. So we are stressed, angry, we repress emotions, what are we supposed to doabout it?
We may not be able to change many of stressors in our lives, but according to Dr. Sarno if we can recognize them as potential generators of our pain this often will give us relief.
One of the first things we address in office is proper breathing. A chest driven rapid breathing pattern will increase our stress, anxiety, muscle tension, heartburn, irritable bowels, pain, and negative emotions. When we learn to retrain proper breathing patterns we can fully oxygenate the tissues and we can better manage our health, stress, and muscle tension. For more on breathing refer to our previous blog post.
The best athletes in the world do visualization and positive imaging hundreds of times a day. Those in chronic pain have been shown to do around 2 positive images a day. If you cannot visualize yourself being pain free, you will never be pain free. We are retraining the brain away from pain with these positive thoughts and images.
Common simple recommendations we use with our chronic or persistent pain patients include breathing with positive imagery and having the patient picking something they love to do for a least five minutes a day. And it cant be tv, talking on the phone, drinking, work or education related, smoking, browsing the internet, etc. Pick something that is truly, relaxing and stress relieving to you, whether its pleasure reading, meditation, prayer, writing, art, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just has to be something that brings you joy and relaxation.
I hope you enjoyed the blog and see you next week.
-Dr Ryan Dunn D.C.