Approximately 18% of the population, at any given moment, suffers from back pain, and 10% of them feel it in the lower back.
For some people, the pain becomes part of their lives, and this is defined as chronic back pain.
For most people the source of the pain defined as nonspecific; for others it is a result of a disk herniation or bulged disk, degeneration of the vertebrae, narrowing of the spinal cord, pressure on nerves, pressure on the sciatica, or trauma caused by an accident or physical injury. Back ache can be accompanied by neurological symptoms such as pain radiating to the limbs, numbness or paresthesia, or a sharp pain in the buttocks and more.
The expression “the (last) straw that broke the camel’s back” evidently refers to the fact that people relate to things as if they happen suddenly. “I bent down and suddenly my back seized”. In cases such as these, there is not just the sudden pain that stops us in our tracks, but also a fear of moving, a fear of walking, of getting up, of picking anything heavy up – in case the pain comes back.
Pain killers reduce the strength of the pain, but they don’t cure the root of the problem, they don’t deal with the cause of pain in the back. People who suffer from back pain, and sometimes those who treat them for it, don’t always know clearly what caused the pain or the sudden, surprising sharp pain.
With an MRI or CT, or an X-RAY, one can see structure degeneration, changes in the shape of the disks and the vertebrae, other structural changes, the position of the spine, changes in the space between the vertebrae and indications of damage from the past, which the body has no way of healing or restoring.
If the imaging doesn’t show structural changes, there is no way to find out what is causing the pain, and if other illnesses have been ruled out, usually the main reason for back pain is accumulated stress and pressure in the body, and lack of coordination between the various body systems which are inter-dependent and interconnected, for long term functioning.
This stress can cause pressure on the nervous system and interfere with the connection between the body and the brain, thereby stopping the brain from handling the body. When these stresses reach a critical point, the brain broadcasts pain to us, as though it is asking us to relate to the source of the problem and relieve the accrued stress. When the pressure is continuous without respite, rest or release, inflammation can occur – worsening the pain level or causing partial deficient functionality of a number of systems of the body.
The pressure on the nervous system comes from three main sources: physical pressure on the skeleton and soft tissue, emotional stress such as the tension we live with, and chemical stress that stems from food, pollution, radiation etc. The problem with most of these is that they are part of our lifestyle, and this is difficult to change. In fact, the way we live is a chronic situation and it is a constraint on our bodies.
Our current lifestyle requires most of us to sit for long hours at home or at work, with minimal movement and minimum physical activity, or driving on long trips, flights and physical work. As a result, the physical stress can accumulate, as can the emotional stress which may be a result of work stress, social, environmental stress or even stress at home. We can also be affected by the overload of information we are exposed to in the media. Accumulating chemical stress is a result of chemical activity in our lives, such as the pollution of the air on the roads, in heavily populated areas and those near industries; water pollution, radiation, fast food, and the decrease in the ability of the digestive system to absorb essential ingredients. All these types of pressure that build up in the nervous system have a detrimental effect and are expressed in the body’s inability to restore and renew itself, and our inability to be naturally healthy. These stresses require our attention to what is happening in the body, they require that we take control of ourselves and respond immediately, and in time. Awareness of all this is the first step to making the necessary changes.
The accumulation of physical pressure may stem from difficulty breathing, posture problems such as the position of the neck or drooping shoulders, or a result of sports activities. We reiterate that usually, the pressure on the nervous system, particularly on the spinal cord, which is protected by the vertebrae, is the main reason for back pain, pain in bones or muscles, such as neck pain, headaches, pain in the pelvis, radiation to the arms, legs and paresthesia – tingling. Additional symptoms as a result of accumulated pressure on the nervous system, can be expressed in a decline in the ability to concentrate and learn, in functionality at home and at work and even in our leisure time so that in general we find we are avoiding doing things in daily life that we want to do and are accustomed to doing.
The good news is that the process of accumulation of stress is reversable. We can naturally relieve pressure that has accumulated and prevent new stress. The reverse process of relieving pressure allows for better communication between the brain and the body and in fact, it enables the brain to manage the body in the process of natural healing.
This natural healing process has many advantages such as – reducing the amount of drugs we use, reducing the number of treatments by various therapists that sometimes include applying force to the body, which can lead to additional pressures.
It is most important to emphasize that the natural process of healing is possible through the mind-body connection which works at the pace and strength that is most beneficial for the natural repair of the body. “No Stress” as the expression goes. The mind-body connection has the ability to communicate in the best possible way by means of the spine and a healthy nervous system when they relieve pressure. This ability is what created the body we live in, and it enables the body to grow, to renew and to heal itself naturally.
It is our job to maintain this good communication between the brain and the body via the nervous system. Every time we feel accumulation of stress, even minor, resulting from our lifestyles, symptoms that indicate possible deterioration to familiar and uncomfortable situations or pain – it is important to react at once, to take responsibility and control over our body, our back, and prevent it reaching a situation where the pain is ongoing. Simply give the body the opportunity and the conditions to relieve and release stress and heal naturally.