Can Your Mind Help Your Pain?
People who suffer from back pain here in New York and elsewhere know only too well how debilitating it can become. Pain of any kind can quickly become all-consuming, and it is very difficult to enjoy quality of life when your pain is at the forefront of your mind. Whether it is severe, all-encompassing pain or an annoying niggling pain, it is too easy for your pain to take over your life.
Yet in spite of this, you have a powerful tool that can help to conquer the effect of pain in your daily life. This tool is your mind.
The Power of the Mind
While we all know that the brain controls all bodily functions, the mind (which is a different entity) has an immense ability to control how our brain and body operate.
Chronic pain is, to a large extent, influenced by the way the brain processes signals of pain. Reactions to pain are not just physical; they can also be extremely emotional, including pain-related anxiety and fear.
The great news for people who suffer from pain is that the brain and the mind can be trained to manage the experience of pain and to actually decrease its severity. This is important as it can not only improve quality of life, but also reduce reliance on pain medications (which carry their own array of side effects).
One way the brain can alleviate pain is through mindfulness meditation. Through this technique, you can alter your focus away from the pain, reduce the severity of the pain, or transfer the pain sensation into another sensation that is easier to cope with.
You can also use the immense power of your mind to distract yourself from your pain – by simply focusing on something else that you enjoy.
Distract Yourself From Your Pain
One of the keys to using the power of your mind to help alleviate your experience of back pain is to distract yourself. Consider how you feel when you are sitting at home alone, doing very little, brooding on your pain, compared with when you are otherwise mentally occupied; for example conversing with others, immersed in a favorite book or movie, or listening to music. When your mind is occupied the pain ceases to be the primary focus of your attention.
What are some of the ways in which you can distract yourself from your pain?
- Read a book
- Listen to (or play) some music
- Watch a favorite movie or TV series
- Play a video or computer game
- Get together with stimulating, positive friends
- Spend quality time with a pet
- Spend time outside in nature– even if it’s in your own back garden on a recliner. Relax, enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and the sounds of birds singing
- Meditate – mindful meditation practice can be very powerful in controlling and modifying the experience of pain. Hypnotherapy can be helpful in achieving this
- Have sex. While back pain medications can have an effect on sexual performance, and some sexual positions may not be compatible with your back pain, you are limited only by your imagination. Sex, and in particular orgasm, release endorphins into your blood stream; these feel-good chemicals are actually proven to reduce pain including back pain and headache.
- A positive attitude is incredibly important. Don’t give up!
For Relief from Back Pain in New York – See Dr. Ezriel E. Kornel
Most episodes of pain will resolve within a few weeks. For any pain that lasts longer than six weeks, you need to see a top spine surgeon in New York to determine if the cause of your pain requires surgical treatment.
Dr. Ezriel E. Kornel is an expert New York Spine Surgeon; he performs minimally invasive spine surgery in New York City, Westchester County, and Dutchess County.
Please call our office on (914) 351-3600 to schedule an appointment to see Dr. E. Kornel, or visit our website at brainandspinesurgeon.com to learn more about alleviating your pain and whether surgery is an option for you.