I've had a bad back for years. I do okay managing the pain during the day. I really notice it when I lay down at night. I find myself staying up later and later at night to avoid the pain. Now I'm fighting fatigue and back pain. What can I do to help stop this vicious cycle?
Many people report these kind of pain experiences. It's possible to avoid thinking about the pain during the day by keeping busy. Distraction or pulling the mind away from the dreaded pain works well. This techniques doesn't work when trying to go to sleep.
Research even shows that paying attention to the painful or affected part of the body produces feelings of dread just waiting for the pain to start. Pain may start just to get over waiting for it.
There is a relaxation or distraction method for daytime or nighttime use that may help you. It's called physiologic quieting®. Using the mind and your thoughts, you can quiet the nervous system in charge of pain pathways.
By quieting your thoughts you can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. In this way you can enter a state of altered relaxation and then drift off to sleep. If you can't sleep or you wake up from a sound sleep and can't go back to sleep, you can repeat the steps of physiologic quieting.
A patient care kit for home use is available from Phoenix Publishing at www.phoenixpub.com or by calling 1-800-549-8371.
Anticipating Pain May Be as Unpleasant as the Pain Itself. In The Back Letter. June 2006. Vol. 21. No. 6. Pp. 63.
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