Back Pain & the Power of Positive Thinking

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 24, 2022

November Spine

The right attitude can help us in a number of different ways in life, but studies also show that the right mindset can be helpful in overcoming back pain. According to research from across the pond at Warwick University, patients who were treated with cognitive behavioral therapy alongside physiotherapy saw improved outcomes over patients who were simply treated with physiotherapy alone for their back pain. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at cognitive behavioral therapy and how having the right mindset can help you gain control over your spine pain.

Training The Brain to Overcome Back Pain

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has previously been used to help patients deal with a number of other health conditions, like phobias or panic attacks, and researchers believe the technique can also be helpful for overcoming other types of physical issues, like back pain. The goal of the therapy is to really get you to rework how you think about pain and avoid some of the mental barriers that can develop if you think about pain in the wrong way.

For example, if you’re worried that physical activity will make your back pain worse, or you’re worried that it’s going to prevent you from achieving restful sleep, these thoughts can actually manifest into real world barriers to treatment. Physical therapy, exercise, diet improvements and restful sleep can all help promote healing in our spine, but if we let fears or worry about back pain control whether or not we regularly pursue these methods, back pain and discouraging thoughts can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

However, by retraining your brain to rethink how you analyze and understand pain, you can actually let your mental state power you towards healthy physical outcomes. Instead of allowing pain to dictate your abilities, focus on the things you are capable of doing and do a few things each day to help regain control over your back pain. Instead of thinking, “Back pain is preventing me from running,” view the problem in a different light – “I can still walk, so I’m going to go for a 45-minute walk to help develop muscles and improve my cardiovascular health.”

Obviously this sounds simpler in written form than it actually is when it’s implemented, because it’s not easy to change the way you think or naturally respond to pain sensations. Over the course of a few sessions, cognitive behavioral therapists will help you better understand your condition, frame your interpretation of pain and respond appropriately to physical discomfort and negative emotions. Slowly but surely, you’ll see how rethinking how you view your back pain can actually lead to some improved physical outcomes for treating it.

Dr. Sinicropi and his team always take the time with each patient to dive into the physical and mental toll that back pain can have on a person, because oftentimes it takes a multifaceted approach to successfully treat the condition. This is especially true for patients who have been dealing with back pain for an extended period, because chronic pain can have a more profound effect on our body and our mind.

So if you are dealing with back pain and you want to treat both the physical and mental effects of the condition, sync up with a specialist who will work hard to treat the totality of the issue. For more information, or for help with your spine pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today at (651) 430-3800.

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