Coping with herniated discs is a very difficult proposition for any patient who has been suffering with severe pain, as well as the fear, frustration and functional limitations commonly associated with spinal disc symptoms. While most patients try to learn to cope with their pain, others are smart enough to learn the facts about herniated discs and find their way to a true cure.
This editorial will detail some common coping mechanisms used by disc pain sufferers. We will also differentiate between coping and curing, then demonstrate the tremendous benefits of the latter option.
Coping means to learn to live with a problem or uncomfortable situation. In the case of herniated discs, learning to cope usually entails being overly careful with the activities you do, the plans you make and the things you enjoy.
Generally, discal conditions are some of the most limiting of all back pain syndromes and most patients find themselves constantly obsessing over whether a given activity might hurt their backs. All this focus on the painful part of the spine creates tremendous internal tension and general emotional anxiety. Basically, it is like living in fear of your own body.
Therefore, coping will never cure pain, but may help to escalate it and certainly perpetuate it in virtually every instance.
Patients develop routines and rituals designed to prevent that nasty occurrence when their back goes out. Most patients will have a long list of things they do for their backs and things which they avoid. Although very individualized, some of the common coping strategies include:
Sleeping a particular way might be an absolute necessity for many affected patients.
Not sitting or standing in one place for too long are common activity avoidance practices.
Avoiding vigorous physical activity and exercise are almost universally practiced.
Wearing a back brace might provide a placebo security blanket, but is unlikely to provide an actual benefit for disc pain.
Taking pain relief drugs several times a day is certainly a common coping tactic.
Avoiding making future plans due to anxiety over the pain is an unfortunate consequence of chronic symptoms.
These are certainly indicators of coping strategies. Instead of focusing on ending their pain, these patients have simply resolved themselves to staying in pain indefinitely. Of course, this might not be their conscious thought, but it is their reality, nevertheless.
In order to recover from your pain, you must stop coping. You must break the cycle of any symptomatic treatments you are using and move on to find a real solution for your suffering. You must free your emotional mind from all the restrictions and conditioned responses you have equated with your pain. Most of all, you must discover the reason why your back hurts, so that you can put an end to the torment once and for all.
To this end, I suggest that you increase your degree of participation in your own healthcare. Do lots of research on your diagnosis and become an expert on the theorized causes of your pain. Look for any inconsistencies in the diagnostic conclusions. Remember, mistaken diagnosis is an epidemic problem.
Additionally, analyze all the therapies you have tried and see whether these are curative in nature or just qualify as symptomatic care. Remember, symptom-based treatment is a form of coping which will never cure you.