Pain in the neck and back can be temporary and caused by sleeping in an uncomfortable position, poor posture, etc. Recent studies by Harvard scientists found that pains associated with the neck and back could result from subconscious behavior.
Subconscious behavior refers to the unplanned way in which people live their life. For instance, tapping your feet when you are nervous or listening to music when you feel stressed out are activities of your subconscious mind. Sometimes, your subconscious mind might tell you to do things that can negatively impact your physical health, such as discomfort, lack of movement, and paralysis.
If you have been suffering from back or neck pain recently, here is how you can identify if your subconscious behavior is responsible for your misery.
Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are smooth outgrowths of bones near joints. They often cause back and neck pain in three different ways:
- Bone spurs cause adjacent bones to grind against each other. The friction leads to inflammation which can cause pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.
- The bony projections can compress nerve roots exiting the spinal column, causing inflammation and pain.
- Bone spurs that grow into the spinal canal compress the spinal cord, which causes overall strength loss, pain, weakness, and other symptoms.
Some experts believe that neck and back pain is a somatic symptom or a coping mechanism your body produces to distract yourself from emotional stress. Stress from internal pressure caused by a tense work environment can make your brain unconsciously reduce the oxygen and blood supply to the muscles in certain areas of the body, causing pain.
Consider indulging in emotion-focused stress-relieving strategies such as meditation, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. Problem-focused coping strategies such as cutting back on work hours or changing jobs can also help. Furthermore, putting health first and following a balanced diet plan and getting enough sleep go a long way as stress busters.
Consider investing in a higher-quality item to ensure you get meaningful rest. If able, opt for the best mattress for side sleepers on the market, and try to adopt better sleeping habits such as sleeping on your side rather than your stomach or on your back, which have been associated with aches and pains that impact neck and back pains throughout the day.
Also Read: 6 Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle
In some people, chronic pain signifies the potential trauma from fatal situations like accidents, physical assaults, some kind of disaster, etc. Under these circumstances, the person might develop PTSD–post-traumatic stress disorder.
The symptoms of PTSD usually include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and even back or neck pain. However, the person suffering from pain might not realize the connection between the pain they experience and the traumatic event.
According to a study, 51 percent of people suffering from chronic lower back pain exhibited PTSD symptoms. For many people, the pain might be a reminder of the traumatic event, which tends to make PTSD worse.
Psychological hurt can often trigger anger. When someone hits sensitive areas in your life with their words, your body and mind seek anger as a way to relieve the emotional pain and stress.
Your anger further triggers the left hemisphere of your brain, inducing a change in chemical and hormonal activity. Some of these changes cause reduced blood flow to muscles and associated nerves. This further leads to muscle tension and anger-related neck or back pain.
So, if you find neck or back pain kicking in after an episode of rage, chances are that your emotions triggered it.
Researchers have found that people who are prone to depression and anxiety suffer more chronic back pain. Unexpressed emotions can build pressure within yourself, leading to depression. Depression is often associated with negative thoughts, and one way your brain distracts you from harmful emotions is by creating pain–usually neck and back pain.
For example, if you are boiling with anger, your brain induces pain in some part of your body so that you focus on the pain instead of your emotions. There are several ways to better manage emotional stress and associated pain. For instance, consider taking some time to relax, practice mindfulness, try journaling, practice meditation, or distract your mind and focus on things that make you happy.
Neck and back pain can interfere with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. While pain caused by subconscious behavior can be hard to correct, it isn’t impossible. Learn ways to reprogram your subconscious mind and bring it in line with your desires, goals, and dreams. The better you can control your subconscious mind, the closer you will be to neck and back pain relief.