Lumbar pain does not always have a clear cause and many factors influence its evolution. A small percentage of people suffering pain in the lower back develop a chronic pain that is prolonged in time. Fear and negative thoughts have their part in this process.
There is a theoretical model that explains how some people react inappropriately to low back pain. They have catastrophic beliefs about pain imagining fatal consequences to their feelings. This leads to fearful attitudes and to avoid movement and activity in general. This leads to added problems that cause pain and reinforce the fear of the person, who becomes still more still. This vicious circle can push us to chronic ailments.
This model explains some situations but the human mind is more complicated. It is shown how stress, depression or job dissatisfaction can cause or perpetuate back pain. In chronic pain, many factors are influenced by cultural, biological, social, environmental and psychological factors. This means that pain has many fronts and is complex. Something like a bad diet, smoking or not seeing the people we love can make us suffer more pain.
It seems clear that the beliefs we have about what happens to us influence the degree of pain and disability we have. The mind is very powerful and makes our ideas come true. Each person lives the pain differently. The pain is in the brain. Here come the painful sensations of the body and interpret them. Imagine that we crouch down to pick up a box from the floor and we have an injury to the lower back. This creates pain logically because of the damage that has been caused. With the passage of weeks this wound will heal and it is normal for the pain to subside. While we have pain we interpret that there is damage and we are careful with the gestures that provoke it. This is the healthy function of pain. It prevents us from doing more damage and let the wound heal.
When feeling pain, even if the injury is “cured”, we understand that something is not going well and we continue with avoidance attitudes and limit our activities. This can sometimes favor the perpetuation of pain and become a chronic problem.
Having said all this, the solution is not easy because we are not aware of many of these attitudes we take and we cannot control much of what happens to us. They are unconscious attitudes reflecting the sum of many things, such as previous experiences, fear of a bad evolution, beliefs about what happens to us or personal and mental situation at that moment. From a web like this we can give information about what the pain we are feeling and we can try to eliminate the component of anxiety and negative vision of the situation. On the other hand, passing these attitudes that we have to the conscious self and knowing that they exist give us the opportunity to act on them.
As for the first point we are going to put as an example what happens in a surgery. The explanations given before and after a back surgery are usually based on mechanical aspects. There is talk of how the surgery has been and what movements or gestures can be harmful. This has been seen in studies that is not enough. It is necessary for the patient to understand the pains he will feel and why they occur. The recovery periods after surgery are long and if we do not understand what we feel we will have uncertainty and fear. It is like going into the jungle without a map with the way to go, we will feel lost and with the feeling that we will never get out of there.