Psychogenic lower back pain is extremely common and greatly misunderstood. Many patients scorn the idea that their pain is of psychosomatic, but regardless of how they try, can not change the fact that their suffering is indeed of mindbody origin. It must be noted immediately that there is nothing shameful or unusual about this fact, as it is proven that psychogenic symptoms are a completely normal and universally experienced aspect of being human. Doctors who do not understand this concept, or worse yet, shame their patients for the idea that they are “doing this to themselves” should immediately lose their license to practice medicine.
We have been researching mindbody medicine and the influence of the psychoemotional processes on the anatomy full-time for over a decade. This subject has become a primary focus of our education and advocacy efforts. We have also been warning doctors, and the general public, of the dangers and pitfalls of only embracing a Cartesian philosophy, which suggests a purely physical cause for every type of pain. The body is not a machine. It is a part of the human whole. When treated as a machine and subjected to purely anatomical treatments, the body fails in ever-greater levels of dysfunction. Meanwhile, when the mind and body work together, anything is possible, including the causation, perpetuation, intensification, reduction and resolution of not only pain, but virtually any other type of health condition.
Hold on, because this resource section might take you into unexplored waters in your healthcare experience. Regardless of whether you are a novice or expert in mindbody medicine, this section will help to acquaint you with the fundamental concepts of the subject and might even be the saving grace that finally puts you on the right path towards a cure.
What is Psychogenic Lower Back Pain?
Let’s start off on the right track. First, we are not suggesting that every person has pain that is caused by their mind. This would be the single stupidest idea ever propagated! What we are saying is that every condition of health and dis-ease is influenced by the mind. When it comes to chronic pain, for example, every case experiences psychological influence. The pain might be wholly caused by the mind, perpetuated by the mind, escalated by the mind, reduced by the mind or cured by the mind. Obviously, this degree of possible influence ranges greatly.
The mind is certainly the general of the human organism, while the body is simply the soldier. When the mind directs, the body follows. Remember that most of the processes we take for granted in our bodies, such as the heart beating, blood pressure and circulation, digestion, immune functionality and organ functionality are all controlled by the autonomic system. This system operates below the level of consciousness, but is not some sort of machine set on autopilot. Instead, the autonomic system is under the direct and constant control of the subconscious mind. By using the autonomic system, the mind can enact sweeping positive or negative changes in the body at a moment’s notice. This is a basic breakdown of how the mind actually influences the body, but the science obviously goes much deeper. We have written about the actual processes in many of the sub-articles here, as well as in all the other Cure Back Pain Network websites, in particular on our flagship site, Cure-Back-Pain.Org.
There are 2 primary types of psychosomatic lower back pain: primary gain and secondary gain. Let’s not make any assumptions about what these conditions mean, but instead, let’s provide super simple definitions that all can understand and relate to:
Primary gain is a process by which the mind instigates pain as a defense mechanism. This pain serves to protect the individual against repressed subconscious or suppressed conscious stresses and sensitivities. Pain is an extremely powerful tool to hold conscious attention. As long as the conscious mind is laser-focused on the physical suffering of the body, it will never be able to face the hidden emotional baggage that is always striving for conscious recognition. When something triggers a moment where the conscious mind begins to suspect there is something it must contend with on an emotional level, flare-ups of pain, escalation of symptoms or cases where a person’s “back goes out” will solve the problem and keep these psychological problems deeply tucked away in the recesses of the dark mind.
Secondary gain describes a wider range of influence on the process of health and disease. This process denotes influence and effect, but not causation of pain or illness. On the offensive side of the coin, and the one that has turned off many patients to the idea of mindbody medicine, is the assumption or presumption that the patient is exaggerating illness for personal gain, drug acquisition or simply because they are “crazy”. We find this to be the case with less than 1% of secondary gain problems involving chronic pain. Instead, more common and accurate descriptions include profiles where the mind’s influence worsens pain, prolongs pain and even helps reduce the severity of pain. This last example is a process that I tap into during my coaching practice, which is why clients cite such excellent results that rival pharmaceutical pain management, without any of the risks. The mind is fully capable of making positive and negative changes in the body, as well as in the degree of pain suffered, depending on its training or whim. To summarize most cases of negative influence on pain, just remember that when the body suffers, the mind suffers also. In turn, it passes negative information back to the body that can have malignant effects on pain, overall health and disease.
Psychosomatic Lower Back Pain Subjects
We provide additional detailed information on mindbody medical topics in the following section. As each new essay is finished and published, it will be added to the list below:
Ischemia lower back pain describes the fundamental process by which the mind can create physical suffering in the body. Oxygen deprivation in the lumbar spine and surrounding region can cause horrific pain and functional deficits that can last for decades.
Lumbar spine nocebo effect is an interesting phenomenon wherein the patient suffers escalated symptoms due to negative programming usually regarding diagnosis or treatment. Fear of lower back pain is a major source of nocebo influence.
Tension myositis syndrome lower back is the name given to mindbody symptoms by the world famous Dr. John Sarno of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in New York. TMS lower back pain is noted as being the most common location for symptoms to occur in the human anatomy.
Knowledge therapy for lower back pain is the most effective treatment for secondary pain and the only effectual path for truly curing primary gain pain syndromes.
Low back pain depression is a classic secondary gain syndrome that can create a vicious cycle of suffering.
Lower back pain from stress is one of the most universal causes of symptoms and certainly a major contributor to even the most structurally-based diagnoses. As stated previously, the mind always influences pain even when the pain is directly caused by injury, degeneration or disease.
Lower back pain physicophobia is a practical fear of physical activity demonstrated by most low back pain sufferers. Overcoming this fear is an important step towards true recovery.
Learn about how the psychology of lower back pain affects symptomology with this scientific-focused discussion of the positive and negative mechanisms of action.
Are you really suffering with low back pain or simply suffering? This distinction might be incredibly valuable to put you on the right path towards a cure.
So many patients have written to us saying that life is over due to low back pain. I beg to differ. Life can be great, despite pain and I have proven it with the results of my pain coaching work.
Regardless of its cause, one simple fact is certainly true: lower back pain is hell.
Psychogenic Lower Back Pain Expertise
No one can speak on this subject like we can. Our combined experience proves that have been doing it the longest and the best. Our clinical experience in mindbody medicine is truly unequaled and our research on the topic is both proprietary and groundbreaking. Best of all, our findings are not alternative, but instead qualify as traditional medical science, since this is the level of controls we place on our research findings.
We can not recommend strongly enough how important it is to both understand the nature of mindbody symptoms and accept them as a natural part of the human experience. Fighting against the concept will prevent you from ever finding relief from any health issue with a psychoemotional component (all of them). In essence, you will never be whole (as in holistic) or truly healthy.
Remember, mindbody expressions are universal. We all have them. Name one person who has never had a stress-related headache or nervous stomach ache. These expressions are just the tip of the giant iceberg that forms the universe of mindbody medicine. Our proven Cure Back Pain Program is unique in that is can prevent, manage and cure pain from many causations, including psychogenic manifestations. You can get help right now online, from anywhere in the world.