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Coping With Chronic Back Pain

There is not a single definition of pain that is appropriate for everybody because it is a highly subjective experience. What, to another person, is excruciating may be nothing more that a slight discomfort for you. Not only do views of pain vary among individuals, your own perception of it can change over time. Even when you do have a clear perception of what pain means to you, there is not an objective way to measure it you can use to convey your impressions to somebody else.

It is not unusual for patients in a doctor's office, who have come in because pain is severely impairing their day- to-day lives, to have great difficulty describing it clearly.

One thing we do know, however, is the difference between when we are hurting and when we are not. In the case of acute pain, you may cry out from it and experience terrible suffering for a time, but it ends eventually, and usually the sufferer returns to their normal activities and way of life.

Chronic pain is different. A sufferer of chronic pain not only hurts, but they keep on hurting. Indeed, the psychological impact of chronic pain can be worse than the physical sensation itself, especially when the daily grind of it wears you down and turns the world grim. Acute pain usually does not change one's personality. Chronic pain, if not addressed properly, can alter it drastically.

Chronic pain may have a physical basis, a psychological basis, or some mix of the two. Maybe it comes from an injury. Maybe it comes from stress. Maybe the two factors are interconnected. People who cannot pinpoint a clear physical connection often say, or are told, that it is "all in their heads." But that is not how it feels.

Chronic back pain caused by stress can hurt just as badly as chronic pain that resulted from falling off of a roof. It has been estimated that over 34 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, be it from arthritis, migraine headaches or their backs (with lower back pain being the most common). 15 million people experience chronic pain at work on a daily basis. So if you are a sufferer of chronic pain you are not alone - though it can certainly feel that way.

What can you do about it?

To begin with, you must make sure clear lines of communication have been established with you physician(s) and any other health care providers being seen for chronic back pain. Do not just assume it is your cross to bear and suffer in silence. Though it is true that the majority of back pain in general is not symptomatic of serious illness, do not assume you are therefore free from all risk. There have been cases of people whose backs' hurt persistently and they just mistook it for a fact of life and went on the best they could, only to discover that "bad back" was really a sign of something much worse, like cancer or otherwise damaged internal organs.

So, in conclusion, if you are suffering from any form of back pain, do not suffer in silence and contact your doctor to discuss your problem at the very earliest convenience.

Tony Newton publishes the popular health and wellness website - http://www.1st-for-health.com With lots of informative articles on low carb diets, hair loss, arthritis pain relief, obesity and lots more.

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