Chronic Back Pain: It’s All In Your Head
By Karena Thek Lineback
Your pain is all in your head... so to speak.
Chronic, or ongoing, pain is the result of the neurological system ‘protecting’ you from further injury. Pain becomes a safety mechanism to control your actions from creating further damage. In other words, your brain doesn't trust you to do the right thing. Your brain says, “You hurt my body once and God only knows if you’ll just decide to go bungee-jumping off a short bridge next weekend.”
It lives in fear. It doesn’t allow you to press forward as quickly as you’d like. It keeps the pain coming. For “protection”.
These are typical neurological responses to pain. All the “automatic brain” knows is to protect and serve. In response to its actions, you can use your “thinking brain”, the one you retrieved when you came back from vacation last, the one you are holding for your children until they are older and, yes, the one you have more control over. This Thinking Brain can quiet the protective mechanism of the Automatic Brain. By modulating its response you allow yourself time to create strength, endurance and just an all around sexier spine. Because, let’s face it, you gimping around? Not so sexy...
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Here’s how you get your Thinking Brain to conquer the Automatic Brain. You need to get moving. The more you move with no pain, or small amounts of pain, the more the Automatic Brain believes it is safe and begins to turn off the mechanisms that create pain. Many people say, “I am used to the pain,” but rarely is this true. They may be used to the pain in the sense that they deal with it every day but the longer someone is in pain the more sensitized she becomes to pain. Something that wouldn't cause pain, or cause very little pain in a healthy body, can cause great discomfort in the person who deals with pain on a daily basis.
So that’s really all there is to it. You just need to move. Do anything that doesn't cause pain. I recommend starting with a brisk walking program and range of motion movements. Next focus on strengthening the core muscles of the spine as they tend to go dormant with injury. Finally, focus on endurance. If you need help, we’re here. 661.260.1609
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