5 Ways to Manage Back Pain with Your Mind
Whether you undergo surgery for your back pain, or manage it with medications, you can extend and enhance your relief with some simple mind techniques. Living with pain – even if it is short-lived – is difficult to bear, so why not try an alternative therapy to help handle your pain?
Put yourself into a relaxed, reclining position in a dark or dim, quiet room. You can either close your eyes or focus on a point. Begin slowing down your breathing, and breathe deeply, using your chest. If your mind wanders, think of a word, such as “calm”, to center yourself. Breathe in and out slowly, and stay in this relaxed state for at least 5 minutes. This technique can be used alone, or to prepare yourself for those that follow.
Focus your attention on any part of your body that is not experiencing pain and alter sensation in that part of the body. You could imagine your foot warming up, for example, to take your focus away from the source of your pain, such as lower back pain.
Using this technique, try to mentally separate the painful body part from the rest of your body. Or, you can imagine your body and mind as separate, placing the pain far away from your mind. An example would be imagining your painful spine resting on the opposite side of the room as you tell it to stay there, far away from your mind.
This technique works if your pain includes multiple sensations, like burning, pins and needles, etc. In your mind, separate the feelings into different parts. For example, if your back pain feels hot to you, just focus on the sensation of the heat instead of the painful feelings.
With this technique, you’ll use your mind to create altered sensations in your hand (which doesn’t have pain) and transfer the pleasant sensation to the painful area. For example, you could imaging a cooling sensation in your hand and then mentally transfer the feeling to your throbbing back.
Coping with chronic pain can be a major struggle. For more ideas on how to soothe your back pain, please contact Dr. Sharma for a consultation.
Image courtesy of UCSB