Back Pain Treatment: Relaxation Therapies and Techniques
The brain is always listening to the network of nerves throughout the body, and receives many different signals to interpret the sense of touch, pleasure, warmth, cold, pressure, comfort, and of course pain. If we become injured or if there is structural damage inside the body, then pressure may build up around certain nerves, and pain signals may be sent to the brain, and we may begin to experience pain. This concept is relatively simple to understand. The initial cause and experience of pain is relatively simple to comprehend.
From there, it gets kind of complicated though, as our brain may become more or less sensitive to pain, as a result of the way we try to cope with it. Pain obviously causes emotional stress, and fear, stress, and anxiety can amplify the symptoms we have to make the pain go to levels far beyond what you would expect based on the type of injury the patient has or underlying structural problem. Patients can also use certain types of techniques, both physical and mental, to decrease the sensation of pain, even if they can't really treat the underlying degenerative problem causing the back pain. Imagine this: You are a person, enjoying life and the time you get to spend with your family after work, until suddenly you start experiencing lower back pain that is so bad you have to miss days of work. Scared of making hurting your back any further, you stop doing some of the things you normally do, such as working out in the pool, taking relaxing walks, and going hiking. While you may be trying to play an active role in treating your back pain, you may actually be involved in programming your brain to only receive pain signals. If you stop doing things that are enjoyable, relaxing, and positively stimulating to your body, the part of your brain that receives pain as well as other types of signals begins only feeling pain signals, because there are no other signals coming in.
Relaxation therapies are designed to re-introduce pleasure and comfort signals to the brain in order to modify our sensory experiences. If the relaxation therapies and techniques are effective, than our stress and anxiety levels may be lowered, and we may begin feeding our brain with positive signals that may begin to compete with and override the pain signals. Then our experience of pain may begin to diminish. The relaxation therapies available to patients may include therapies that make muscles that are strained feel good, emotional therapy (counseling), and Eastern therapies (e.g. acupuncture and acupressure) that are designed for relieving pain. Some examples of relaxation therapies include Magnetic therapy, Chiropractic, reflexology, and Myotherapy. The best therapy available will be the one that works for you.
Magnetic therapy: Magnetic therapy does sound kind of snake-oilish, but many patients swear by magnet containing products, such as magnet-containing bracelets and belts. Our body is a giant machine that relies on the burning of glucose to create energy for use in our cells, and electricity for the brain and spinal cord to work. Proponents of magnetic therapy think that it increases blood flow to the injured area.