Coping with back pain is a common strategy employed by many patients who can not find lasting cures. Coping describes methods of living with pain and dealing with it, instead of working on curing it.
While coping is never ideal, it is all that many patients can manage, since treatments have failed them and left them to fend for themselves against the terrible monster which is chronic back ache.
Back pain is a living hell that can control a patient’s activities, thoughts, and life. It is difficult to imagine the incredible burden of living in such misery, unless you are one of the millions suffering from severe chronic symptoms.
Becoming accustomed to the pain insures that the misery will continue. The moment the patient stops concentrating on finding a cure, they have guaranteed that the pain will last and last. For some patients, this acceptance takes a long time. For others, it sets in almost immediately.
Patients who exclusively seek symptomatic relief have basically surrendered to their pain and no longer have a real hope for a cure. They often live from pill to pill, chiropractic adjustment to chiropractic adjustment, or epidural shot to epidural shot.
This may sound like a harsh critique, but it is absolutely true.
I know because I lived this reality for 18 years, before changing my reactions to my own enduring agony. After trying everything to cure my pain, I simply began to accept it as a part of my life. I found myself saying:
"I can’t do that because of my bad back".
My reality became a series of wishes and self-imposed prohibitions, all in the name of possibly preventing yet another horrible flare-up of that dreaded pain. This is where I almost lost my battle against back ache.
Fast forward to the present and the return of pain and I am once more trying to find ways to live with the suffering, even though I know this path can become somewhat counter-productive.
The typical long-term back pain patient has a history that often reads like this:
I experienced some pain due to…
I was diagnosed with…
I followed my doctors treatment advice, but I still have pain.
I tried some other treatments but they only gave me minor or short-term relief.
I have run the gauntlet of medical and alternative therapies.
No one can seem to actually cure my chronic pain.
I worry what will become of me. Will I become completely disabled?
The patient becomes resolved to a life with pain. They build up a number of physical prohibitions and some eventually wind up with a case of back pain disability. Most patients seek any way to make their existence more comfortable while living with their torturous symptoms.
Coping becomes part of life, as patients accept that suffering seems to be inevitable. This is the saddest situation ever, since you can see the sparkle literally drain from someone’s eyes as this realization of eternal pain sinks ever deeper into their soul. I struggle with this very problem daily, since my pain has become a faithful companion.
Read more about common back pain coping strategies.
The solution to fixing this problem is easy:
You can not live with back pain.
You can not cope with it.
You will never learn to control it.
It will always control you.
You must cure it in order to be free.
There simply is no way to truly cope with back pain. Think about how many times you have feared a relapse of the pain. Think about all the things you have done or not done in order to prevent a relapse.
Did any of these things help? I didn’t think so.
The pain always comes back.
I know it is so easy to give up on curing the symptoms and just resign yourself to dealing with them. For some patients with truly unsolvable back ache, this may be all one can hope for. However, many other patients can do better, since a cure is within their reach.
Do not stop looking for it.
Concentrate on an accurate and correct diagnosis and then research your options for treatment carefully. Start to investigate those therapies which may actually heal you and consider leaving the symptomatic methods of care behind until they are the only options which remain.
I am right here with you. I am coping every day with unrelenting misery. To me, there is always hope. I was cured before and I can be again. I am hoping that time and concerted effort brings me back to a pain-free existence and I will wish the same for all of you.