The Link Between Back Pain And Fatigue

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 19, 2022

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While back pain is likely the most common symptom associated with a spinal issue, there are a number of other not-so-obvious symptoms that can be the result of your back condition. One such issue is fatigue. Back pain and fatigue oftentimes go hand in hand, and because of their relationship to one another it can sometimes be difficult to break free from the cycle of pain and fatigue. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the link between back pain and fatigue.

Why Back Pain Can Leave You Feeling Tired

Here’s a look at some of the factors that can come into play when you’re dealing with a spine condition, and why these issues can contribute to tiredness.

  1. Pain Itself Is Exhausting – Pain is both physically and mentally draining. If your body is constantly interpreting and reacting to pain signals, it’s always working on high alert, which takes a toll on your central nervous system. Similarly, if you’re constantly worried that certain movements will cause pain, or you’re afraid that pain will develop at the most inconvenient time of the day, you may be letting back pain control your day. When your day is dictated by something that feels out of control, it can be exhausting.
  2. Medications – Oftentimes medications and anti-inflammatories are recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, and while they can provide some help in your fight against back pain, they also present with their own potential side effects. One of the most common side effects of medication use is fatigue.
  3. Tiring Treatment – Exercise and physical therapy are also typically recommended to help treat spinal issues, but treating physical pain with physical activity can be tiring. Your body is working to help strengthen structures and stabilize your spine, but this work takes energy. While it’s worth it in the end, it can leave you feeling drained.
  4. Sleep Problems – If you have a bad back, it can be incredibly difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. As you might imagine, if you’re not getting enough uninterrupted sleep, you can wake feeling tired and groggy the next day. Try to make your bedroom an ideal sleep environment and strive for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
  5. Sedentary Life – While activity can eventually leave us feeling tired, you can also end up feeling fatigued if you’ve done little to no physical activity throughout the day. If pain is making you more sedentary, you may also become fatigued more easily. Activity gets your heart pumping and helps to wake you up, whereas inactivity as a result of pain can leave us feeling tired and lethargic.

If you simply take medications and don’t pursue other active treatments, you may find yourself in a constant state of fatigue, which will only make it harder to treat your spinal discomfort. If you believe that your back pain is also affecting your energy levels, it’s important to sync up with a specialist who can provide a diagnosis and get you set up with a treatment plan that will help alleviate your pain and restore your energy levels so that you can continue to attack each day. For more information, or for answers to questions you might have about back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the talented team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (952) 430-3800.

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