Managing The Emotional Fallout Of Back Pain
Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 23, 2020
Back problems don’t just cause physical symptoms. We’ve talked about the psychological impacts that back pain can have on a person on the blog in the past, but today we also want to touch on the emotional toll that back pain can bring. Below, we take a closer look at the emotional fallout that can often occur alongside back pain, and how to help alleviate some of this emotional stress.
The Emotional Side Of Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common types of injuries that plagues people, as more than 90 percent of Americans will deal with an acute or chronic back pain condition at some point in their life. Although it is a relatively common issue, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to treat. The spine is a very complex structure, so there are a variety of issues that could be the root cause of your pain, and treatment isn’t always straightforward. Problems that are difficult to diagnose and treat are oftentimes emotionally exhausting, and that can create additional problems.
Common emotional side effects of difficult back pain include:
- Anxiety – Concerns over your current situation and future outlook can drive feelings of worry and anxiousness.
- Drained – Dealing with back pain, especially difficult to treat issues, can leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained. This can make it harder to complete your physical therapy or find the will to exercise.
- Sad – Patients with chronic back pain are more likely to suffer from depression and other mood disorders than those without back pain.
- Angry – Patients often report that they are upset that their injury is preventing them from doing the things they love or costing them a chance to earn a living wage. When this issue becomes chronic, annoyance often turns into downright anger.
Feeling anxious, drained, sad or angry is no way to go through life, and it’s certainly not going to help you progress through your rehab as easily. Thankfully, we’ve compiled some tips that can help alleviate some of the above emotions. To help get these feelings under control, consider:
- Seeing a Specialist – Getting an accurate diagnosis from a specialist can help reduce uncertainty about your condition and put your focus on your rehab instead of the injury itself. Patients have more emotional stability when they feel in control of their health, and the first step in taking back control is talking with an expert.
- Support Circle – Make sure you surround yourself with people who support you and can help you in your recovery quest, even if it’s not in a physical role. Simply talking with someone on the phone or setting up a movie night can do wonders for your emotional health amid your battle with a physical injury. Don’t try to be tough and shut people out, let them be there for support.
- Put In The Work – You’re not going to make a full or speedy recovery if you just sit back and let time pass by. Rest is great in the short term, but after a day or two physical activities like exercise of physical therapy are better options to spur recovery. Follow your exercise guidelines put forth by your physician, and don’t skip out on your sessions. If you put in the work, you’ll feel better physically and emotionally about your ability to control your recovery.
If you keep these tips in mind and bring up any physical or emotional concerns to your spine specialist, we’re confident you’ll overcome your injury and avoid issues that can tank your rehab. For more information or to speak to a spine specialist, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.