The Chronic Back Pain Cycle
The Chronic Back Pain Cycle describes how the mind and body work together to cause chronic back pain. The cycle may begin with a muscle strain from over exertion or an accident. If the pain from this starts to interfere with our life, we are likely to become anxious or upset about it. Research has shown that this emotional distress actually tightens our back muscles, which further increases our pain.
Soon a vicious cycle gets going in which our pain causes emotional stress, which increases the tension in our back muscles. This in turn causes more pain, which causes more emotional stress, and yet more pain. Along the way, we usually become afraid to use our back normally, which causes our muscles to become tighter and weaker. This cycle can last for days, weeks, and even years. It usually persists long after the original injury has healed.
Sometimes the cycle seems to begin "out of the blue," without any clear injury. In these cases, stress in our life has usually caused our muscles to become short, tight, and vulnerable to spasms. No matter how it starts, the Chronic Back Pain Cycle can soon take on a life of its own.
In Back Sense we help you to see how your own Chronic Back Pain Cycle works, and help you to interrupt it by following a step by step program.
The Pain Cycle Diagram