Why Back Pain Can Leave You Feeling Tired

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 7, 2022

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Pain isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be physically tiring, and that’s especially true for pain that’s housed in your back. Not only can physical pain leave you feeling drained, but this fatigue can actually make it harder for you to get the active treatment you need to break out of this cycle of pain and tiredness. But why are back pain and fatigue oftentimes linked, and how can you treat your back pain so that you’re not always feeling tired because of it? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.

Back Pain And Fatigue

Back pain can leave a person feeling tired for a number of reasons, but here’s a closer look at some of the many reasons why back pain and fatigue can go hand in hand.

  • Muscle Imbalances – One of the biggest reasons why spine pain and fatigue may be intertwined is because of the underlying muscle imbalances in the back. If a spinal issue is causing muscle imbalances or gait changes that put abnormal stress on specific muscle groups, those areas will constantly be handling pressure. Over time, this extended pressure becomes a physical burden on the muscle groups, and this stress can leave you feeling tired even though you may not have been all that physically active. An act like sitting can be extremely tiring for your spine and your whole body if muscular imbalances are causing specific areas to shoulder a significant amount of stress for an extended period of time.
  • Posture Compensation – If you’re dealing with back pain, you may try to alleviate this discomfort by sitting in a hunched or slouched position. Poor seated posture may not feel all that uncomfortable, but behind the scenes your spinal muscles are working overtime to handle stress in a static position for an extended period. Staying in one seated position can lead to stiff and tired muscles from prolonged pressure, and that can be tiring on the whole body as well.
  • Decreased Blood Flow – If you’re dealing with back pain, you may opt to sit or lay down or seek out some non-physical activities because movement may be uncomfortable. A sedentary lifestyle won’t help to increase your heart rate or push oxygenated blood to structures that need it to thrive. You may feel energized after a workout because you got your heart pumping and your muscles moving, and conversely, you may feel tired if back pain is preventing you from getting the benefits associated with movement and exercise.
  • Medications – Finally, medications used to treat pain or inflammation can serve to make a person drowsy or tired. Fatigue is a common side effect with many medications, so if you are taking NSAIDs or other pain relievers to deal with your spinal discomfort, make sure you’re pairing them with active treatment techniques that can help you wean off the medication. Long-term medication use can lead to chronic fatigue if you’re not careful about how you rely on the drug.

Don’t just sit back and hope back pain will get better on its own, because it can get more painful and lead to chronic fatigue. Instead, resolve to treat it head-on with active treatments and help from a specialist like Dr. Sinicropi. For more information, or for help breaking free from the cycle of back pain and tiredness, reach out to the team at the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today.

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