Pain is a symptom we are still trying to understand. At a cellular level nerve cells called neurons transmit impulses down a nerve. The inside of the cell is usually negatively charged however, when an impulse is sent from a cell body, sodium ions flood into the cell and the impulse is transmitted down the nerve through a series of action potentials. Usually neurons do not fire an action potential unless stimulated to do so.
When a nerve is injured however, it can repeatedly fire and become hypersensitive. Or it can sit just under the threshold, so that the slightest thing makes the neuron fire, such as a small movement, extra stress or heat.
Many things play a part in the pain process. You may have pain in your leg one hour but not the next. Or sometimes you can be tickled and sometimes not. There are so many things that can affect the outcome.
Pain can be seen as a circular model, where the pain can start anywhere along the circle and can be changed by the different inputs and feedback. The following figure shows how so many things impact pain.
Due to the circular nature this is how chronic pain can ensue long after a tissue injury. Not only do you need to look at healing the physical injury, stress and your mental health can also have an affect on pain. Things like doing meditation or mindfulness can really help pain levels as well as addressing any tension in muscles such as trigger points. Massage or using a massager can really help to reduce these.
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Low back pain is a symptom and is usually taken to be where you are getting the pain, from the lower rib margins to the buttock creases and can also include pain into one or both legs or include neurological symptoms in the lower limbs. It is rarely possible to find the main cause of the low back pain. Low back pain tends to have many dimensions from the biophysical component to the psychological and then the social impact as well.
Risk factors for reporting low back pain:
Information taken from Lancet low back series working group, 2018.
If you experience back pain it is important to look at what you do in your everyday life that might be aggravating your back.
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, that might be what is contributing to your back pain. See if you can make little changes to your life to help your back. Doing some exercise like pilates or tai chi could help strengthen your back and enable it to cope with everyday tasks.
For more information or to book a free chat call 01763 878087 today.