How Negative Thoughts Can Affect Your Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 19, 2019

Back Pain and Negative Thoughts

Back pain is a complex issue to treat, and it’s not just a physical issue. How we respond emotionally and psychologically can also have an impact on how well our body responds to treatment. That’s why for many patients, treatment doesn’t just focus on the physical injury inside their body, it also focuses on their mental well-being.

Making sure the patient has a healthy headspace is one of the goals of a treatment technique known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Cognitive behavioral therapy works on changing and challenging unhelpful or distributive thought patterns and emotions to help a person respond better to the overall goal of total body wellness. You might not think of yourself as a negative person, but if you’ve ever had a debilitating injury, you’ve probably expressed some frustration or annoyance at your condition and lack of physical ability. This is completely normal, but if those thoughts start to consume your mind, it can affect your recovery.

Negative Thoughts and Your Back Pain Recovery

But what kind of thoughts suggest that you could benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy alongside your traditional physical treatments for back pain? Some common thoughts that may suggest CBT could help include:

  • The desire to stay in bed for a long time.
  • Having consistently low moods.
  • Consistently doubting that treatment will work.
  • Yearning for passive treatments (rest, injections, painkillers) over active treatments (physical therapy, exercise, stretching).
  • When you stop doing normal daily activities.
  • If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression or regular stress
  • You decide to miss appointments or therapy sessions.

All of these thoughts and actions suggest that you aren’t in a fully healthy state of mind, and while that’s not uncommon, it should be addressed in order to give you the best chance at a full recovery.

If you believe you could benefit from CBT, or your doctor picks up on some signs during an appointment, they can connect you with a specialist. A cognitive behavioral therapist will help you understand where these emotions are coming from and better yet, how to deal with them. And the good news is that there are countless different CBT techniques that can work for a person, so specialists can usually find a treatment that’s perfect for their patient. Whether that involves breathing techniques, mindfulness training, meditation, treatment or condition education or some other option that allows the mind to push past these negative thoughts, we can find a treatment that’s right for you.

Don’t let your emotional or psychological mindset affect your physical recovery following an injury. For more information or for help with your situation, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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