There are many ways to treat back pain, but it is more common for them to develop into a chronic condition. How does it fit together? The answer to this is obvious, considering that chronic pain always affects the WHOLE person, his body AND his psyche. In this article, we explain the connection between psychic factors and chronic back pain.
Back pain often becomes a chronic condition
Back pain is one of the most common physical complaints of our time. Today, almost everyone has felt his back ever – be it through injury, overuse, lack of exercise or (apparently) simply from “clear sky”.
In some people, the back pain disappears, at least temporarily, by a little rest, heat treatment or targeted movement. However, in the vast majority of cases, back pain develops into a recurrent problem that, at worst, can become chronic.
If even pain therapies in combination with ultrasound treatments, physiotherapies, massages, etc. do not show a satisfactory effect, many sufferers resign themselves. They try to deal with both the pain and the associated limitations. Ultimately, they find that the back pain becomes their constant companion. But it does not have to come that far.
Instead of curing the sick, the disease is treated
Many physicians are looking for the cause of back pain exclusively in the physical area and therefore the therapies will then also take place only at this level.
From a holistic point of view, however, the physical and psychological (mental) realm of a person are inseparable. Therefore, when determining the cause of a chronic back pain both the physical and the psychological aspect should be considered equally. Only a diagnosis that takes both levels into account enables successful therapy for chronic pain.
In everyday medical practice, it is now generally uncommon to look at a patient as a whole. The disregard of the mental component that underlies every disease of the back is, therefore, the greatest deficit in the treatment of chronic back pain.
Instead of treating the ill person with their physical AND emotional state, only his illness is in focus. But that was not always so.
times are changing
In the Middle Ages and in the beginning of modern times, the psyche had a much higher value compared to the body. Therefore, e.g. a Bader, similar to today’s surgeon, was responsible only for the bloody craft, in contrast to the holistically trained doctors, not a high reputation.
Then, in the Renaissance, a rethinking gradually began, whereby the body received more and more attention to the soul. At that time, Descartes, a French philosopher, and scientist coined the following maxim: “Man functions like a machine”.
This thinking was adopted by an ever-increasing number of physicians and finally reached its peak towards the end of the 19th century.
Whereas until the middle of the 19th century the body and the psyche were considered at least predominantly as equal and were thus considered equally in the treatment of sick people, then took place after a serious incision in the healing arts.
The result was the science of natural science, which considered man from now on as a purely physical-chemical or biochemical being. In this limited view, the psyche of man inevitably remains completely unconsidered.
And it was during this time that the doctor, who until then had treated the whole man, became today’s physician, for whom only the illness as such is at the center of his work.
After this short historical excursion, we come back to the topic “back pain” :-).
Back pain due to mental conflicts
The back hurts without ceasing, movements are only possible to a limited extent and the spine bends slowly to the pressure, which weighs on the automatically assumed restraint on her. This is a typical development that occurs in most backache sufferers.
What to do if both conventional medicine and alternative therapies cannot eliminate the back pain?
And what to do if the concrete cause of persistent pain despite the use of imaging techniques such. B. computed tomography, etc. cannot be found?
In these cases, it has to be assumed that the pains are of a psychological nature – caused by mental conflicts. Therefore, in addition to the conventional pain and physiotherapy for chronic back pain always take a psychotherapy, so that the patient can be permanently rid of his pain – first of the mental, then the physical.
So emotional pain becomes physical
Sigmund Freud, a founder of psychoanalysis and the most influential thinker of the 20th century, was the first to argue that physical pain ultimately results from primarily emotional pain. The pain is almost intuitively shifted from the mental realm into the body. This unconscious shift of pain serves to ward off unbearable feelings.
Mourning is z. For many people such a feeling. They can not stand the pain that causes this feeling. They can not handle the loss they suffered and sometimes they can not even mourn it. Instead, they move the pain – completely unconsciously – into the physical area.
Often the emotional pain ends up in the back muscles. The unprocessed (not mourned) loss shows there is more and more agonizing back pain but then can force the person to cry.
Other intense feelings, such as anxiety, depressive mood, feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness or strong guilt feelings are often unconsciously shifted into the body.
By shifting the emotional conflicts there is an (apparent) relief of the psyche because the whole attention is now on the physical pain, such as pain. As the back pain directed.
Many chronic pain patients were able to show that their aggressive behavior was markedly inhibited. And people who suffer from chronic back pain can be expected to suppress their aggression and thereby unconsciously move into the physical area.
Not only does this avoid the intense and unpleasant feeling of aggression, it also avoids the conflicts of conscience and self-blame associated with this feeling.
This is an (unconscious) strategy, which consequently brings with it three different emotional tensions: aggression, the conflict of conscience and self-reproach.
As a result, every state of pain always includes meaningful information from the psychic realm. The affected person wants to make himself more or less aware of his emotional conflicts through his physical pain.
However, since the process of conflict relocation is completely unconscious, this information is rarely heard.