Psychological back pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain, but is rarely diagnosed for what it truly is. So many ongoing back ache complaints are not caused by any physical problem. Yes, a physical abnormality might exist, but the condition is purely coincidental and not the actual reason for the pain.
These common back pain scapegoat conditions assist in disguising the true nature of psychosomatic symptoms. In fact, symptoms are often generated purposefully near these abnormalities in order to make the condition more convincingly physical in appearance.
Widespread and continuing research shows little correlation between most of these structural issues and the incidence of symptoms. In essence, many people have herniated discs, minor spinal curvatures, vertebral misalignments and arthritis, but have no pain at all. Meanwhile many others have horrific pain but no anatomical explanation to blame it on.
These facts have been reinforced by recent changes to diagnostic
procedures in which several noted medical associations have warned
doctors not to assume that imaged irregularities are the source of pain.
Furthermore, these organizations go on to say that there is no
clinical correlation between any of these abnormalities and the
existence of chronic pain.
The mind and body interact constantly and are jointly responsible for all conditions of health and disease. Discounting the mind’s ability to cause and cure pain is the crucial mistake made by both patients and doctors alike. This is one of the great failings of the Cartesian medical philosophy, which has ruled with an iron hand over healthcare for generations.
It is just in recent years that most traditionally trained doctors are finally realizing the undeniable… That the mind can cause, contribute to and perpetuate pain and the mind can also help cure it.
Hence the growth of mindbody treatments in virtually all aspects of medicine at this point, with noted standouts being the chronic pain sector, the autoimmune sector, the addiction sector and the cancer care sector.
Psychological back pain is 100% real. There is no doubt about that fact. The pain is not imaginary. The pain is not exaggerated. Unlike injury or disease which has a purely anatomical causative process, the symptoms of psychosomatic conditions are sourced in the mind.
However, the pain is not in the mind. The physical symptoms are actual and exist 100% in the body. Numbness, tingling and weakness are real. The cause of these symptoms is also real. The cause of these conditions is not physical. It is psychological and emotional. Psychological back pain is one of the most successfully treated conditions in mindbody medicine.
We are proud to offer these expert dissertations on the mindbody causes of pain. We hope that these essays will broaden your scope on mindbody medicine and assist you in finding relief from your own life stresses:
Stress back pain can come from conscious hardships, but usually is directly related to suppressed or repressed stresses.
Back pain fear is a normal result of chronic symptoms.
Physicophobia describes a fear of physical and especially fitness activities.
Emotional back pain is enacted by sensitive psychoemotional activity.
Back pain depression is a sad consequence of long-term suffering.
Back pain triggers are occurrences that are blamed for causing pain, but are actually coincidental factors without injurious results.
Psychosomatic conditions can affect any tissue or system of the anatomy.
Psychogenic back pain is completely created by the mind, although expressed in the body.
Dream-related back pain is a terrifying ordeal that can wake patients from slumber with horrific pain.
Psychosomatic back pain can be wholly or partially caused by the interactions of the mind and body.
Can you answer the crucial question: What is psychosomatic? If not, you had better read this important guide to mindbody medicine.
Back pain conditioning can play major roles in symptom expression due to programmed behaviors and beliefs.
Having a back pain personality can predispose people towards chronic pain.
Psychotherapy for back pain is an innovative therapy which can help people who suffer from serious psychological issues that cause their dorsal pain conditions.
Placebo cure for back pain can describe any type of treatment, including surgery.
Psychosomatic pain recovery is possible, but only for patients who understand the vital links between mind, body and pain.
Psychosomatic back pain stigma affects anyone who is labeled with a mindbody condition. There is no shame in becoming enlightened to the power of the mind. Instead, people who deny the link between the mind and chronic pain are unlikely to ever recover.
Psychological symptom imperative describes the actual underlying issues that reside within the mind, causing symptoms to be expressed somatically.
Psychological back pain is only one of many psychologically induced pain syndromes. Other common conditions caused by psychological processes include ulcers, headaches, stomach pain, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome and the list goes on and on.
By now, I am sure you are having some doubts:
My back pain is real. It is not mental!
In fact, I think you are mental!
I hear this a lot. Hey, my pain is real also. I know, I have been there. I suffered horribly for over 2 decades. My back and neck pain controlled my life and still tortures me to this day. I have empathy for you. No one is doubting your pain. However, if the symptoms are never ending, despite active and appropriate treatment, there may be reason to doubt the cause.
Sure you might have that (insert diagnosis here) in your spine. However, the symptoms are probably far too diverse for the condition and why do they not resolve regardless of the care you receive?
A psychological back pain syndrome will never be cured from medical care, since these treatments target physical anatomical issues, not psycho-emotional causative processes. This goes a long way in helping to detail why so many back pain treatments fail time and time again. It is not that the condition itself is so stubborn; it is just that the working diagnostic theory is often flawed.
Learn if the mind really can be the cause of an aching back.
Why do you think there are so many instances of treatment-resistant chronic back pain? Why do so few people find a true cure for their pain, rather than just symptomatic relief? Any guesses?
Of course, it is impossible to cure a pain condition if you are not treating the actual cause of the problem. Treatments, drugs and surgeries will not help a back pain condition that is caused by a psychological process. This is the reason why so many patients never find real relief from their suffering. It is so sad, but so true. This fact is one of the main reasons for the back pain epidemic.
The incidence of pain surrounding a spinal abnormality or other bodily irregularity is not coincidental. Dr. John Sarno writes about this often in his books, stating that the mind recognizes the unusual structural condition and often will place pain in proximity in order to convince us of a purely structural model for pain.
This is clever, but if you correlate many symptoms to the expected diagnoses, there will often be a selection of criteria which will not match. In these cases, the structural issue can often definitively be ruled out as the true source of symptoms. This takes a skill that many doctors no longer care much about or concentrate much upon: Proper diagnostic technique.
The mind and the body are inseparable. I think most of us know that. Medicine has demonstrated that the mind can instigate or influence almost any physical process.
The placebo effect is a perfect example.
Emotions, such as fear, will cause your heart to race and blood pressure to rise.
Sexual arousal is an emotional process that causes obvious physical reactions.
The list goes on and on.
The body can also influence the mind.
When you are physically injured or sick you feel sad or even depressed.
Substance abuse creates changes in your body, but will also affect the mind.
Physical muscle tension will make you feel mentally stressed.
Mental stress also causes muscular tension.
I think you are starting to see the link.
All physical and psychological processes are interrelated and completely co-dependent. No exceptions.
So why the heck is my own brain trying to hurt me?
Sound familiar? I bet that’s what you are thinking.
The fact is that your mind is trying to protect you. Yes, protect you, believe it or not. The problem is that the mind is using skewed logic and a maladapted defensive mechanism to potentially cause you pain.
The mind is far more complicated than the body and that is saying a lot! People’s emotions can influence their general health for the better or worse. When there are psychological issues or conflicts that are repressed, this is where the trouble starts.
Who has repressed issues?
You, me, everyone in the world.
Psychological pain is never forgotten. Emotionally traumatic events, ethical conflicts, loss of loved ones, unresolved issues, anger, regret and guilt are just some of the reasons behind the need to repress our suffering. It is these repressed issues that actually cause psychological back pain. For understanding this fact, we can thank Sigmund Freud.
The famous physician, John Sarno, has a theory that most back ache is due to oxygen deprivation. He speculates that low oxygen content in the nerve and muscle cells is the true cause of most chronic pain syndromes. Actually, it is the true cause of most pain, period. This same process is responsible for headaches, stomach problems and other symptomatic conditions.
I have detailed the process of how and why this actually occurs in the anatomy in my article titled oxygen deprivation back pain. The mind has the ability to regulate the amount of oxygen in the blood, using the autonomic system. We are not aware of this process, since it is automatic and not a conscious process.
If the mind sees a need to reduce the oxygen, it can do so easily and discreetly. This process leaves little telltale evidence and is so subtle, that it is never suspected as a cause of pain.
Did you ever have a leg cramp?
Maybe it was at night lying down, after a day of exercise. Maybe it was experienced while jogging. This is what oxygen deprivation does to muscle cells. They spasm, contracting violently, then are left with a sharp burning pain.
Does this describe most back pain?
If the oxygen supply is reduced to nerve cells, the results are even worse. Horrible pain, tingling, numbness and weakness are the result.
Once again, sound familiar?
This is why ischemia is the most logical process which might explain how psychosomatic syndromes actually work anatomically. There are other theories in place and all seem to work autonomically, below the level of our consciousness.
However, it is crucial to know that this is not magic. It is science and has actually been documented in laboratory experiments involving a range of suspected emotionally-linked conditions. Oxygen deprivation has been discovered in the nuclei of affected cells and this trace evidence over multiple conditions and locations is surely not coincidental.
The subconscious mind has these repressed issues. It does not want you to think about them consciously. It will do whatever it takes to prevent these painful emotional issues from leaking into your consciousness. Pain is its enforcer and a very effective weapon at that! It really grabs your attention and prevents you from thinking about anything else.
Until the patient comes to terms with this idea, the pain will continue.
All the back pain treatments in the world will not cure them.
They need a different kind of cure. Psychological back pain cannot be resolved with drugs, chiropractic or surgery.
Knowledge therapy is the real answer to their pain problems.
Yes, there is a lot more to this condition. I just do not want to go on and on and on. However, the subject is covered in great detail in many topical books, which can be found at your local library. There are several excellent sources of information available on psychological back pain and how to cure it.
This is not science fiction; it is science. Medical research has proven that the mindbody interaction is strong. Hundreds of thousands of psychological back pain patients have been cured by using the simple and free techniques of knowledge therapy. Hundreds of thousands more have been cured of innumerable other chronic conditions and diseases using knowledge therapy.
Is all back pain psychological? No, of course not. Are many chronic treatment-resistant pain conditions caused by a psychological process? Yes.
I am sharing this vital section with all of you in the hopes that it may inspire you to learn more on the subject. Reading many of these books and doing lots of independent research might help you to do far more than simply cope with your back ache. It will also provide a range of benefits which will improve your outlook on life and your overall health.
Knowledge therapy removes the exclusive power to cure from the hands of medical providers and places much of it in the capable hands of each affected patient. It is not designed to replace doctors, but instead, to complement traditional healthcare by using the limitless resources contained in your own mind. The tools of the treatment are simple:
Learning, Understanding, Logic, Science.
There is no mysticism or new age mumbo-jumbo here.
Ready to learn more? Good.
I hope you continue to read on the subject, since you never know just what actual help it may provide in your own life.
Do not ignore the possibility of psychological back pain. Remember, it will never look emotional, but instead will appear purely physical and structural. This is the idea and why it is so effective at causing long-term misery.