Updated Mar 2016 | Sherwin Nicholson, SN Health Resources
The Side Effects of Lower Back Pain
Areas that We Are Affected by Lower Back Pain
Those with lower back pain understand the problems and effects that it has on them.
However, it can affect us in more ways than we realize. Depending on the severity of your pain, the degree to which it has impacted your life will be different from others who suffer at a different level.
Many people try to offer advice and support to others based on the impact that it had either on themselves, others that they know or from what they themselves have learned.
It helps to learn of the various areas that affects us before we allow it to become more serious. We can learn to find ways to either minimize, prevent and protect ourselves from the possible harm that these effects can have on us.
Here is a list of the various areas that we can be affected by lower back pain, generally in order of severity.
Mobility and Pain
It causes us to move less and more carefully. We become more cautious and reluctant to engage the same way in our preferred and daily activities. Usually, we will engage in the activity and then later feel the after effects.
As the pain subsides, we continue the activity with little modification to it at all. We don’t associate that we are doing anything from our activity to contribute to the pain regardless of its true source. Pain after the activity is not yet linked.
In time, as pain becomes less avoidable and more noticeable, we then decide that it is safer to preform less of the activity. Although, it may be better to perform less of the activity to avoid the pain, one should also consider performing the activity differently with a more proactive approach to how the activity may affect your spine while performing it.
Modifying the activity so that it protects the spine is better than avoiding it especially if it is something you enjoy doing or need to do.
Our Emotions and Moods
One who has chronic lumbar pain, has a significantly lower tolerance to stress and is very sensitive to anything that may worsen it. Because back pain takes a substantial amount of time to improve and rarely changes from day to day, it is also hard for ones mood and emotion to change as well.
With the exception of pain medication, back pain rarely improves as quickly as desired. Unfortunately, the opposite is quite true. Back pain can get worse in a very short space of time. This is a important explanation why those who suffer from back pain may become much more prone to negative moods and emotions much faster than feelings of relief and comfort.
This makes one more hesitant, protective, afraid, anxious and worried with their activities. Engaging in activities that are safer, more reliable, back healthy and more social are vital to proper relief.
Your Family Life
Your mobility and sensitivity to pain can impact your ability to be actively involved with your family. Occasional days of rest for a ‘temporary’ back problem can eventually become frequent days of frustration, avoidance, disagreements and more, as painful days become longer and valued time with your family becomes progressively limited.
As the family accommodates for your back issues, so do their own needs and interests. It is not an easy feeling that your pain is affecting others and not just only yourself. This is evident especially when you don’t know whether or not it will improve and if the family can adjust to it as well as you need them to, if it doesn’t improve.
It is vital to have the understanding and support of your loved ones and your friends and not simply just more advice from them. Let them know how serious your discomfort is, what you need and that it is important to have their support.
When you have back pain, you need more support from others in order to find real long term relief.
Use of Medication
Regardless of the cause of pain, medication has an important place in your treatment. Once advised by your doctor, use it as advised and required. If your doctor or back specialist recommends other forms of treatment for your pain, follow them with as much value as you would your prescription.
If you don’t need to use medication long term and would like to avoid or minimize the use of medication, then find the proper treatment that can address long term relief.
Pain medication is for pain and not for treating the source or the problem itself with your back. Unnecessary use of pain medication prevents you from proper treatment as it allows you only to ‘feel’ healed. When you can no longer feel where the pain is coming from, you tend to believe that is safe to engage in activities that may not be safe for you back again. This puts you at greater risk of injury and the worsening of the pain cycle.
If medication if your first choice to address your back pain, then you should consider other options that offer methods to reduce or avoid pain medication. Long term use of medication has it side effects.
Rest and Sleep
Rest and sleep are always compromised. There no longer is a correct or suitable way to rest or sleep well. The only certainty is the need for more of it.
Being under constant pain is very exhausting both physically and emotionally. We don’t want more rest and sleep, we need more. However, what we believe should be the solution to our back pain (which is more rest and sleep) is actually one of the contributors to the pain.
Adequate rest and sleep is important for recovery. However, there is a limit to how much you should have before it affects your recovery. Too much rest leads to further immobility, poorer healing and recovery as back pain is directly linked to mobility or the lack thereof.
It is important to obtain adequate rest and sleep, but it should not be regarded as a major part of your treatment. You need to address the weakness that you may have with regards to your mobility, muscular conditioning and flexibility. These factors have a direct impact.
This website can provide you with the proper tools to address this fundamental area of your pain. They are safe, effective and intended for long term relief.