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Is Back Pain all In Your Head or Does Back Pain Mess Up Your Head?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:34pm

San Francisco Chiropractor Comments on recent findings from chronic back pain study:

It is very frustrating for many patients with chronic back pain, for often times there appears to be no physical cause for their pain. The MRI is normal, the x-rays are normal, and the physical exam is normal. But, still, they are in pain, and they are not making it up. I have come across this situation many times at my San Francisco chronic back pain center and it is very frustrating for both patient and doctor. We both know that there is an effect for every cause, and a cause for every effect. Fortunately, because of my interest (and extensive studies) in the mind-body connection, I realized early on that there can be non-physical sources (mental) of physical pain. And we would address the problem accordingly with meditation, relaxation, and visualization techniques. Often times with great success. Other times with limited success or no success at all. This was disappointing to say the least. Especially if the patient was incapacitated as would often be the situation.

Anyway, it seems that researchers in Germany have found a connection between chronic back pain and microstructural changes in the pain-processing parts of the brain ( see BBC News article ). 

"They discovered the brains of patients with chronic back pain had a more complex and active microstructure compared with the healthy volunteer's brains."

This is very interesting and more research like this will be very helpful as far helping us to understand these frustrating cases of chronic back back that seem to be connected to mental vs. physical causes.

If you or anyone you know is suffering with chronic back pain and would like to find out if you are a candidate for care at our San Francisco chronic back pain center, here are your options:

Call: 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation or fill out our online information request form and someone will contact you by email.

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