Know your back pain.

Ooouuucchhh!!! Back pain is like a bad dream: the longer it persist, the worse it get. So, first goal in pain management is to determine where you are on the pain cycle. And then to ‘wake up’ and stop the cycle as soon as possible.

1. Inactivity and stress
Being unfit and under stress sets the stage for back pain. Weak, stiff muscles can’t bounce back when they’re hit with stress: Instead they go into a spasm. Constant, unrelieved stress will take its toll somewhere in the body-usually your back

2. Muscle spasm
One day, ‘for no reason at all’, you feel a jabbing pain in the back-this is a muscles spasm. Your bcak muscles contract suddenly – and painfully- like a Charley horse. A spasm is your body’s natural splinting reaction to prevent more damage to your back.

3. Muscle can’t breathe
A spasm chokes off circulation to your knotted muscles and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood. Pain increases because the muscle can’t take in oxygen to work smoothly, and because lactic acid and other waste products build up in the muscle.

4. Stiff muscle
Weeks of pain and inactivity lead to stiff, shortened muscles. Your spine is locked in place and can no longer move freely- and neither can you. When your back muscles can no longer protect the joints in your spine, the joints may degenerate quickly.

5.Bone and disk disease
Ignoring pain and stiffness set the stage for permanent back damage. If you have a degenerative disease of the vertebrae (the bones of your spine) and disks (the cushions between the bones), your doctor may recommend surgery. Always consult a doctor if you have back pain.

6. Bed rest and worry
Inactivity only prongs the pain cycle, whether you’re resting in bed after back surgery or relying on pain medications for relief. If you’re flat on your back, your muscles get weaker and stiffer, worry and stress increase, and the cycle repeats itself.

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