Painful, Stiff Back? You Need to Know This

Your aching, stiff back has become a real problem, affecting your quality of life.

The pain and discomfort is getting you down. What if it’s something serious?

Time to visit the doctor.

Unfortunately (s)he can’t get to the root of the problem.

Physiotherapy doesn’t help.

Not even an orthopaedic specialist can cure you.

So begins the round of alternative therapies. Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage – you name it.

Time and money wasted with no progress.

To make matters worse there are the misguided web pages, with their lists of terrifying illnesses.

Is one of these conditions causing your back pain?

The Most Common Type of Back Pain

most back pain is unexplained

Medical practitioners look for an illness or injury to explain your painful, stiff back. Maybe investigate a possible structural deformity.

Doctors are generally good at spotting ‘red flags’ and identifying serious medical conditions.

This approach is exactly what we expect. Your back’s not working as it should, so something must be damaged, right?

The thing is, most cases of back pain can’t be diagnosed in this way*.

From a medical view point, the cause of the pain is non-specific.

Other names for this condition (or non-condition) are:

  • unexplained back pain
  • simple back pain
  • back pain of unknown aetiology

Whatever you call it, the result is the same.

Your doctor doesn’t know why your back hurts.

(S)he’s confident though, that there are no serious medical implications.

Cue generic advice – take pain relief and keep active.

Now You Can Tackle Your Own Back Problems without Treatments, Therapies or Medication

stiff back - think software not hardware

What do you do if your computer is freezing regularly?

Replace the CPU? Maybe put in a new hard drive?

Not the first things that most people try.

I had this problem recently. You can be sure that I didn’t start by reaching for the screwdrivers and soldering iron.

Although this malfunction could be caused by a hardware fault, it’s unusual.

9½ times out of ten defective hardware isn’t the root of the problem.

Far more commonly, the system is struggling to cope with competing demands. Conflicting and impossible instructions come from the software that has been accumulated over time.

The machine can’t operate efficiently as it was designed to do.

Eventually I ended up re-installing Windows 10 and my laptop stopped freezing.

Which was nice.

Think Software Not Hardware

We’re conditioned to equate pain with a physical injury, illness or defect.

Often this way of thinking holds true, but not always. Definitely not if you have a painful, stiff back.

So, you have been examined by a bona fide doctor or doctors. The considered medical opinion is that you have no specific condition causing your pain.

Under these circumstances it’s a good bet that there is, actually, nothing physically wrong with your back.

I am not suggesting that the pain isn’t real physical pain. On the contrary. I’ve been flat out on the floor with back muscles in spasm barely able to move.

It’s like cramp on steroids.

In my experience however, you will get better results if you think a little differently.

Stop thinking of it as a hardware problem.

Focus instead on ironing out the glitches in the software.

Why Do You Have Tight, Stiff Back Muscles?

According to  spine-health.com

“Muscle tension refers to the condition in which muscles of the body remain semi-contracted for an extended period. Muscle tension is typically caused by the physiological effects of stress and can lead to episodes of back pain.”

The Association for Hanna Somatic Education take this idea a step further, including physical trauma and holding certain postures, e.g. computer work as causes of chronic muscle tension.

“This is known as Sensory-Motor Amnesia (SMA). It means the dialogue between your brain and muscles has become confused.”

So if you want let go of that tension and pain then you have to find a way to stop these confused commands.

Re-boot the system and get back to efficient operation.

This is totally within your power.

Proper relaxation is key to tackling chronic, medically unexplained back pain.

It may take some time and effort but the results are well worth the investment.

Plenty of people with chronic back pain have turned their lives around with a self-help approach.

As a first step, you can try this relaxation technique for free:

*source: Royal College of General Practitioners/NHS Executive – ‘The Back Book’ (click link for PDF version)

images: freestocks.org, Ryan Milani, Christiaan Colen

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