Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 3, 2019
Spine pain is much more than just a physical ailment. While the underlying issue may be in your physical body, back pain can have long-reaching effects on our mental and emotional states. Treating the physical problem is only half the battle, and we also need to be caring for our mental health throughout our journey to becoming pain free. Below, we share four tips for mentally dealing with back pain so that the physical problem doesn’t have negative mental health effects.
Caring For Your Mind If You Have Back Pain
Back pain can be difficult to treat, which can be mentally frustrating and lead to other mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. Here are some ways you can help keep your mental health in check as you treat your back pain.
- Exercise – Exercise is good for the body and spirit, and that’s why it’s often one of the most common treatment recommendations for a number of different spine issues. Not only will exercise help to strengthen key structures and free compressed spinal nerves, but exercise also leads to the release of endorphins in your brain that help to reduce our perception of pain and anxiety. Exercise, even if it needs to come in a limited capacity due to your spinal discomfort, should be at the top of your list for keeping your mind and body in a good place.
- Talking – Find a place to vent about your frustrations with your back pain or to talk about what’s working and what’s not when it comes to treatment. Or just find someone to talk with about anything other than your back. Talking with others about your pain can help to reduce stress associated with the injury. Others find it helpful to talk on online message boards with individuals who are dealing with the same types of problems, and relating to others can help give you the sense that you’re not in this alone. And if you just want to talk with a friend or family member about anything other than your back pain, this will help take your mind off your discomfort.
- “You” Time – Another way to help care for your mental health if you’re dealing with back pain is to make sure you have some “you” time each and every day. Between back pain, work and family life, it may feel like you’re being pulled in all different directions, and that can increase stress and anxiety levels. Talk with your spouse about the importance of finding some personal time each day, even if it’s only for 30 minutes. Go swim laps at the pool, take the dog for a walk or do some yoga, anything that allows you to decompress from the stresses of your day. It’s amazing what even a small amount of personal time can do for your mental health if you’re dealing with a spine condition.
- Professional Help – Never be afraid to lean on a professional for additional assistance handling your physical and mental health. We don’t just treat the physical ailment, we also care for your mental and emotional health. Let us know what you’re feeling, and we can develop a plan to help get you back on track. Whether that involves small daily adjustments or working with a cognitive behavioral specialist, we’re going to help you achieve total mind and body wellness. Don’t be scared or ashamed to ask for help from a professional. If you’re struggling with your emotions or anxiety alongside your back pain, let us know and we’ll provide a dual treatment care plan.
For more tips on how to care for your mental health while dealing for a spine injury, or for help with an issue you’re dealing with, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.