Lower Back pain


Destructive Emotions

Destructive Emotions 

Level 1: Everyday Stress

When we consider the effects emotions can have on our 
systems, we can imagine four different levels of severity. Level 
one is the everyday stress we’re all subjected to, especially with 
today’s fast-paced lifestyle. The morning commute, the 
demands of the job, watching over our children, managing 
,our relationships, and dealing with daily crises like no milk
,flat tires, forgotten lunches, scraped knees, visiting relatives
.broken sinks, unpaid bills, and sick cats
Most of us handle these types of stressors fairly well, but 
there’s no doubt that unless we are consciously aware of the 
tension they can cause, they still can affect our bodies 
negatively. Many people will “hold” tension in the shoulders 
.by clenching the muscles, forgetting to “let go” of the stress 
When these muscles are locked up for long periods of 
time, blood flow slows down and the unlocking mechanism 
doesn’t work. The resulting trigger point or knot can be the 
beginning of pain. If we don’t take the time to unwind, burn 
off stress through exercise, or relax when the day is over, we 
may carry that tension to bed, where it will disrupt sleep and 
interrupt the healing process the body normally conducts at 
Little stresses can pile up until the body reaches a tipping 
point and triggers pain or is unable to keep you from getting 
rid of it

Level 2: Stressful Occurrences
In addition to the stress in our everyday lives, we can 
sometimes experience events that aren’t necessarily out of the 
.ordinary but that ratchet up stress levels nonetheless
A car accident, even if we’re not hurt, can rattle us and 
cause tension that lasts for hours. A promotion or demotion 
at work can create weeks of anxiety as we adapt to the new 
position. If one of our children is struggling in school, we may 
spend hours worrying, contacting teachers, and trying to set 
.up help for the child
Unexpected expenses, such as a house repair when we 
.don’t have the money for it, can elevate our stress levels
Strained relationships with our spouses or other relatives can 
.stir our stomachs for months
These events could be considered “level 2” stressors—those 
that aren’t part of our normal day-to-day existence but that 
can disrupt our regular routines. Again, how we deal with 
them is more important than the events themselves. If we feel 
confident that we can handle them and take gradual steps to 
do so, we’ll feel much better than if we feel victimized (“Why 
.me?”) or incapable of solving the problems 
Like level 1 stressors, level 2 stressors can constrict blood 
flow (so it moves “too slow” through the body), creating 
trigger points or knots and, ultimately, back pain. The 
difference is that level 2 stressors can accelerate the process so 
that back pain results much more quickly and/or becomes 
more severe

Level 3: Major Life Events

.Many of us have heard about the “top five” stressors in life
:Usually, these are
 Job change   
 Personal injury

Experiencing any of these events puts a heavy load on your 
system. This is when you must call on all your resources for 
,help: family and friends, support groups, counselors, doctors 
.massage therapists, personal trainers, and more 
No matter how you look at it, these events are going to 
affect you both physically and emotionally. The key is to put 
in place all the support you can so that you can recover as 
quickly as possible. 
Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and 
talking or journaling about your feelings all can help you 
One thing we often run up against in these situations is the 
resistance to taking care of ourselves. It’s not that we’re not 
capable of self-care, but that self-care has a negative 
connotation for us. 
It’s difficult to admit that we need some time off, a 
vacation, someone to talk to, someone to help us. We 
somehow believe that taking time for ourselves is selfish. After 
all, we have our families, our children, and our jobs to think 
about. Too often we dive right back into our usual routines 
without taking the time to process and reflect on the situation 
that has just affected us so profoundly. 
If you suffer a personal injury, such as a broken leg, severed 
limb, or heart attack, you’re forced to remain in the hospital 
for a certain length of time. Your body requires that you be 
still and rest in order to properly recover. We accept this 
.without question
Yet we’re reluctant to believe that our minds and emotions 
need similar recovery time after, say, a death in the family or a 
divorce. It doesn’t make any sense. Rest and recovery is 
necessary after any trauma—whether the trauma is physical or 
.emotional in nature
,Taking time in these instances to get away for a while 
reflect, journal, and provide ourselves proper care goes a long 
.way toward helping us avoid physical pain in the future

Level 4: Buried Emotions—The Most Destructive Kind

—At level four are the most destructive emotions of all
those that are repressed or buried. Most often, these come 
about as a result of trauma, either in our childhood or 
.adulthood, that we never completely understood or processed
Childhood abuse and abandonment, rape, and being witness 
to a murder or other violence are all examples of this type of 
trauma. Wartime events fall under this category; incidents can 
,haunt soldiers for years. These experiences have huge
catastrophic effects on our minds and our bodies and, if not 
processed thoroughly, can lodge themselves inside us where 
.they will continue to hurt us for years to come
Repressed emotions like anger, anxiety, and fear can 
tighten muscles, reducing blood flow to areas such as the back 
and the neck—leading to back pain. Many times, this is an 
unconscious reaction to the old trauma, and the person is not 
.even aware of the emotion causing the pain
In the 1970s, Dr. John Sarno, a professor at the New York 
University School of Medicine, first identified this 
emotionally caused form of back pain, called tension myositis 
syndrome (TMS). According to Dr. Sarno, TMS doesn’t 
respond to normal back pain treatments; instead, it keeps 
coming back because the underlying cause is repressed 
The key to solving this type of back pain is for the patient 
to become aware of the sometimes “hidden” emotions causing 
it. Dr. Sarno and other doctors advise patients to “think 
” .psychological
For individuals who have gone through the usual tests and 
found no physical problems causing their pain, this technique 
can be especially helpful. In other words, when the pain 
strikes, instead of thinking about the part of the body that 
must be damaged (“Oh, there goes my herniated disc” or 
Ouch, that muscle is getting me again”), the patient is told“
to understand that the body is perfectly fine and to think 
about what emotion could be at the root of the pain. 
?Are you feeling particularly alone right now in your life
Do you feel a lack of support? Is there some pain in the past 
that could be causing you trouble? If you were to ask the pain 
where it comes from, what would it say? (It may be wise to do 
.(this sort of probing with a licensed psychologist
Taking the time to do some thinking about the emotions 
that could be causing your pain could be the key to your cure. 
Oftentimes, simply acknowledging the psychological aspect of 
the pain and identifying the offending emotion can diminish 
.its power within days