Lower back pain is one of the most significant health problems affecting Americans today. Look at some quotes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
* Seventy to 85 percent of all people have back pain at some time in their life.
* Back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation in people younger than 45 years old.
“Nearly everyone has low back pain sometimes. Men and women are equally affected. It occurs most often between ages 30 and 50, due in part to the aging process but also as a result of sedentary lifestyles with too little (sometimes punctuated by too much) exercise… ”
These are pretty frightening statistics. Apparently, there are few people who have not felt the shot of electricity running from their foot right up into their lower back. Agony. Better than a TASER any day. And you would wonder what the medical profession is up to. These numbers represent a lot of suffering for you and me. And it means a lot of money lost to us because of time off work, inconvenience and treatments. I ask myself regularly, “why is not the government really behind getting an effective remedy for this epidemic?” For, if practically the whole population gets it, it is an epidemic.
This is a real puzzle for me. Especially since I managed to figure out how to get rid of mine myself. You probably do not want a long winded story about my particular experience with back pain. My friendship with the back pain dragon would stretch over fifteen years with repeated bouts of a strong pain keeping me off work and making life a misery. I was in a prison of suffering and misery. And the road to the cure started with a visit to a member of the medical profession – my dentist! But I’m getting ahead of myself here …
The pain of sciatica and lower back pain is depressing. If you are like me, you feel a great sense of fear that it will never be better again. Well, you can breathe a sigh of relief – it does get better. It can even disappear completely and you can be back to a normal pain-free state in a short time. And what’s more, you can stay in this healthy state. Instead of facing of facing a future where you are not in control and your pain is in control of you, you can find yourself back in control again. And this is the key – control.
Before I dive in, let me say I learned these techniques from my own experience with back pain. I’m aiming at those people who do not have cancer or some other serious illness. For most of us that are not the reason, we have chronic pain in the lower back. And now I’ll tell you about my trip to the dentist. He’s not really a butcher, but he does not like giving his patients painkilling injections “unnecessarily”. His explanations about the ill effects of novocaine and the fact my wife has known him so long make me put up with it.
So, there I am sitting back in the hot seat, waiting for the drilling for resignation. And an article which I read about research carried out at the University of Turin, Italy a couple of years ago came to mind. It was all about pain, morphine and the placebo effect. The problem of lower back pain has to be approached in two ways or on two levels. This is because there are two causes of chronic pain. They are the amount of stimulation which the nerves experience and for how long. And the responses the brain learns to the pain. The researchers discovered that the brain can manufacture its own painkillers.
So back in the dentist’s chair, I simply told my lower brain to switch off the pain signals. Simply reiterating the message over and over led to my hard feeling a thing, while my friend drilled holes in four of my front teeth! That’s how I deal with back pain. When I feel it coming on, I start instructing my brain to switch off the nerves and reject the message. Try it yourself and see!
c James Barrington 2009
Featured Image: The Model Health Show