Pain is an obvious sign that something is not right. What causes back pain? There are many causes of back pain. It can be complicated, time-consuming, and difficult to diagnose. This can cause frustration, which can lead to more pain.
Sometimes, we don’t know what is worse: the frustration or the pain. However, the main goal is to eliminate your pain. Your body can heal faster if you reduce the pain as quickly as possible.
Knowing more about pain and mapping your pain will help you get on the right path to healing. It helps you make better choices for your pain and unique needs.
Sudden vs. Long-Lasting Pain
Back pain can be sudden or gradual, increasing in intensity over time. The duration is what distinguishes between chronic (long-lasting) and acute (sudden, short-term) pain. Although the intensity of acute back pain may seem similar, it will diminish over time. Although it may take several days or even weeks to completely disappear, acute back pain will eventually leave your body. Chronic back pain is permanent.
The longer you suffer from pain, the worse it can affect your life and your nervous system. Chronic, intense back pain can cause your nervous system to become hypersensitive. As a result, even minor bumps, bruises, and stressors can cause a great deal of pain. It is important to stop back pain from getting worse.
The healing process begins with how you feel about your pain. Some people allow their pain to brew inside of them. It becomes their world. They feel defeated and depressed. Your body will spend less time healing when it is focused on pain. Do not ignore it. Instead, reduce the pain to speed up the healing.
What It Feels Like And Where It Hurts
It hurts when you sit down. It hurts when you stand. It hurts when you walk. It hurts to walk. What about sleep? Since you can’t recall when, you haven’t had a restful night’s sleep. Your back pain is dictating your life. You only want some relief for back pain.
It will help you fight it by being specific about how it feels. A numeric scale, which is common in pain management, can help you and your clinicians understand how severe it is. Your back pain is unique. Tell the truth about how you feel. You should consider the intensity, location, and sensation. A chart
This is a common way to assess your back pain. If you have severe pain, a score of 10 should indicate that it is very debilitating. This is rare for most people.
Keep a Pain Journal
Keep a journal and track your back pain. Keep it close to you, and take notes every day. Your journal will be more useful if you are more precise and consistent in what you write. When you write an entry, keep these points in mind. Keep a log of the date and time.
- The intensity of your back pain is measured on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 representing no pain and 10 representing excruciating pain. Which part of your pain is the most severe?
- Before the back pain started, what were you thinking, doing, and consuming?
- Is it worse or better to wake up?
- Is exercise or activity better for you?
- Describe how you felt at the time of your pain.
- It hurts.
- How does it feel? It can feel tingling, burning, or dull.
- What makes it even better?
- What’s the worst?
This will allow you to identify what is causing your back pain. This will show you when you aren’t hurting, which can help you determine what your treatment plan is. It is important to know what works and what doesn’t, so that adjustments can be made.
Your journal can also be used to store contact information and notes from your healthcare providers. Note who has been most helpful in relief for lower back pain and who didn’t.
You can either address your concerns with them, or you can seek out care elsewhere. It doesn’t matter what, it is important to assess them just as you evaluate yourself. This article will cover more on the creation of healing partnerships.
The Biology of Pain
According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is defined as “unpleasing sensory and emotional experiences associated with actual or potential tissue injury or described in terms of such damage.”
These are unpleasant sensations. You can feel the pain by rubbing your toes on the bedpost. After a brief silence, the sensation of pain will return. What is really happening in your body?
Your nerves run like a fine web through your body, sending and receiving messages for the brain to process. Pain is an evolutionary and protective asset. Your body will move away from harmful things like jerking your hands off the hot pan handle.
Gate Control Theory
This theory, which was developed in 1965, provided one neurological basis for pain. In large and small-diameter nerves, they are key players in pain. These nerves connect in the area of the spinal cord known as the dorsal horn, where they trigger neurotransmitters to release chemical signals. The pain gate is opened by transmission cells, also known as T-cells. The gate is kept closed by inhibitory cells.
Both small and large nerve cells can stimulate T-cells. However, the larger nerves stimulate more inhibitory cell activity. Therefore, less pain is associated with more activity in the larger nerves. You will feel more pain if the smaller nerves have more activity.
Understanding the biology of back pain, and how these nerves work opened the door to pain medication development. Some medications reduce inflammation, while others block nerve transmission. Others may require more work from larger nerves to produce more inhibitory cells that keep your pain gate shut. Some pain medications also reduce the activity of smaller nerves to keep the gate from opening.
We have already discussed how the brain interprets pain signals. This interpretation is dependent on many variables. Your thoughts can have a biological impact on how cells are stimulated. For example, if you say, “Oh, I stomped my toe on the post, wasn’t too bad,” your brain will send a signal to the dorsal horn that decreases T-cell activity, which will lower the intensity of the pain.
The brain can learn how to ignore certain types of pain and thus reduce its transmission. Consider the people who walk on hot coals and broken glass. This is mind over matter at its extreme.
Psychology, Stress, Back Pain
The way we view an event can impact how our biochemistry triggers painful reactions. Can emotional stress and other psychological conditions cause back pain? According to some health professionals, yes. Some experts say that psychological issues, such as internalizing sexual and physical abuse, can lead to physical pain.
Chronic stress, fear, and rage can all lead to physical pain. These factors can cause pain that is not physical but may be considered psychosomatic or not related to physical causes. However, it is still very real. Psychosomatic back pain sufferers can feel the same symptoms as those with tenderness of touch, muscular aches, or throbbing sensations.
People may feel guilty or unable to control their pain when they learn that it is psychosomatic. It is. It isn’t helpful to blame others. It can actually make things worse by adding stress to the equation. As a society, it’s becoming more than just physical. Our health is influenced by our thoughts, emotions, life experiences, and spirituality.
While we recognize that back pain can be caused by psychological factors, there are often underlying physical conditions. It is undisputed that pain can be caused by pinched nerves.
We advocate holistic pain relief. The mind and the body are interconnected. How we feel affects how we think. And how we think impacts how we feel. Both of these pieces are necessary for managing and reducing pain.
Other Causes Of Back Pain That Are Not Related To The Spine
Your back may not be the cause of your pain. You may have an underlying medical condition. You may have one of these conditions, but it might not be the cause of your back pain.
It’s important to consider nonspinal causes of pain, not only to rule them out but also to determine if they may be the root cause. These conditions are easy to diagnose by a doctor.
- Gynecological problems
- Bladder problems
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Hip pain
- Goel, S. (2019, February 17). Non-Spinal Causes Of Back Pain: An ‘undiagnosed’ Diagnosis | Journal Of Medical Research And Innovation. Non-Spinal Causes of Back Pain: An ‘undiagnosed’ diagnosis | Journal of Medical Research and Innovation. https://jmrionline.com/jmri/article/view/172.
- Victims Of Abuse Have Worse Pain Outcomes. (2016, December 15). Practical Pain Management. https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/resources/news-and-research/victims-abuse-have-worse-pain-outcomes.
- Gate Control Theory – Wikipedia. (2014, April 27). Gate control theory – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gate_control_theory.
- Starting A Pain Journal To Track Symptoms – Southside Pain Specialists. (2019, March 11). Southside Pain Specialists. https://www.southsidepainspecialists.com/if-you-dont-have-a-pain-journal-start-one-now/.
- What Are the Differences Between Acute And Chronic Back Pain?: Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers: Chiropractic Clinics. (2021, January 5). Houston Spine & Rehab. https://www.spineandrehab.com/blog/what-are-the-differences-between-acute-and-chronic-back-pain.