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Psychology of back pain

Mike34MMike34 Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi guys, first time poster here. I'm 34 years old and have been experiencing lower back pain(left buttock+leg) for about 8 years, which seems to be caused(or aggravated)from careless weight lifting in my early twenties.
Nowadays, I stretch and work my core almost daily, with a program that was set up by a certified athletic therapist and I am contact with a very well respected osteopath. I eat well, with a diet high in flavonoids(anti-inflamatories) and try to sleep well too, which is hard with s six month old!! The two sports that I love the most(to play) are tennis and golf, but both cause me pain.
My question for you guys is how do you come to terms with the fact that you will possibly be in pain for the rest of your lives? What bothers me the most, is the fact that this pain can come on at anytime with no notice, completely unprovoked in certain cases.



  • Hi Mike,

    I am not nearly as diligent as you are but try.
    I realize that regardless of my routine, you are right, I get 'surprised' sometimes by my pain.

    I've learned that it is a part of life and with that I will have days where I am "ok" with this but other days I ask myself "what more can I do to get rid of this?" And then I worry about what the future holds.

    Coming to terms is very personal.

    I approach it with a general plan and then try to accept what I can't control. That being the case, I don't always accept what I can't control and do get depressed from time to time. When I get depressed, I don't get too upset with myself because I know it's a mourning process.

    1 - I try to have structure and do my best to adhere to the routine. I am far from perfect

    2 - I try new things if they make sense. For example, I'm going to consult with a physiatrist to see if there is more I can do to keep my pain down and if not down, mitigate any future effects

    3 - I try to remember that pain would have increased anyhow as I grew older so I distinguish between 'regular pain' and increased pain

    4 - I stick around here to remember I'm not alone

    5 - I try to balance how much I talk about my situation vs. pretending it isn't there. I try to live as normal a life as I can but then I don't feel bad when I have to cancel plans because I'm hurting.

    I hope some of this helps.
  • thank you! your post helped me. (hope it helps you Mike!) I am trying to accept my life with constant pain and just starting to change how I see it.

    I think it's really important as you said to balance how much you talk about it and trying to live a normal life - I don't want everything to be about my back pain, yet sometimes I need people to know.

    I am in pain all the time but low level. So I can usually hide it, but it wears me down and I don't think it will ever go away. I can't remember what it felt like to be able to move without pain - you're right about mourning. I just hope that it will eventually go away. I have no idea what is causing my pain and really admire those on here who know the pain is there to stay.

    I'm so glad this site is here - it's inspiring to read some of the posts - and not feel alone - thank you.
  • Rowanberry - what you said is exactly it. I live with low levels of pain all the time. I saw the Physiatrist and he asked how long between pain - I told him the best I've had is a couple of hours (and I mean 2 tops that I can remember).

    Yes, sometimes I need people to understand my pain. Even last spring, I surprised my younger sister with a comment about an activity I couldn't do. I just assumed it was obvious and she forgot. She paused and apologized. I told her not to. But she said she got choked up b/c she just realized everything about my life is impacted. I got choked up too. But, I realized, wow...people don't always understand. Sometimes you have to tell them.

  • I am new here and looking for some reasons why people are experiencing back pain.
  • want to try what i'd tried?


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    Post Edited by Authority Member Liz
  • some great posts on here.
    I have been trying to accept a new way of life for four years now. here is what helped me the most, im my opinion;

    1-keep a journal or log. looking back on mine has helped me connect some dots as to what was, or was not helping me.

    2-i look at tasks differently. Instead of... making dinner in one time frame, which I can't do anymore, I break the task down to manageable bits that I can do! Focusing on the can's helps! change the can't to can's!!! lol hard to do sometimes!!

    3-I named my injury- and when I am feeling like screaming in frustrations, i take a deep breath, get mad at "bertha", (sorry if I have picked someone's name on here...!!!), and throw my anger at my pain and frustrations at her. that way, i dont' beat myself up, which makes me sink deeper in depression.

    4-I also allow myself pity parties. They are short in duration- maybe 2 minutes max.. and I let the emotions out-- crying, scream, laugh, growl... (I am alone at these times!!! lol). It helps my body, helps get out the tenseness I feel which only lead to increased pain levels for me- then I tell myself to put on my "big girl pants", *sarcastic jokes work for me!!* and get on with the day. party over!

    5- I have learned all I can on pain coping skills, how to change thinking patters, basically cognitive behaviour. this has helped me a bit too.

    6- Lastly, I make sure I have fun! Somehow in the day, I must have fun!! I have made up an inspirational book, all cut-outs of things or stories that make me smile-- I pull out a chicken soup for the soul book--(small stories I can concentrate long enough to read). I have music that makes my soul sing.. *(cause I sure can't!!). Ok, I do sing.. but alone too! That in itself makes me laugh.. hearing me sing!

    7- Ok, 6 wasn't last. this is. I come here. To this site, to my many cyber friends who are so darn amazing, that I am inspired by what I read. By knowing there are others that "get" me. and how I feel. That is comforting to me.

    Ok, enough babbling now! Hope my sometimes silly coping skills help you!! Cheers!
  • That's great advice! I like the idea of putting on my big girl pants and getting on with it!! lol

    I think there is a period of mourning the old self and accepting the new person. I have been so frustrated with not being able to live at the pace I could before. I am starting to accept the new me.

    Now I make note of all the achivements I have throughout the day. Just getting dressed and ready for work is a massive achivement some days! (socks and shoes are a nightmare!)

    I'm still trying to find answers but while I'm searching it's great to have a place to off load and find some inspriation :)

  • at the name you've given your aching back. I haven't come up with names for my spine issues, but I have dubbed my three herniated disks (L2-3, 3-4 and 4-5) my "triplets." They all have behavior problems. >:D< >:D< to you and a gentle >:D< to "Bertha", Ess (a.k.a. Sally)
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