As one of the largest parts of the body, your back goes through a lot during your normal daily routine. This can lead to a wide range of issues that may be exacerbated if you do not take active steps to counteract the pain you may feel. Loss of mobility, effects on your mental health and overuse of medication can all be caused by long-term back pain. Use this guide offered by AIMS Clinic to see for yourself the harmful long-term consequences of untreated back pain.
- Mobility Loss
Since the back plays such a large role in your body’s structure, experiencing chronic pain can affect your mobility. You may have to compensate for your pain, affecting your normal motions, or be more cautious than usual because you want to avoid further discomfort. If you are having a good day and decide to participate in an activity, there may be lingering effects that you feel later on. These factors can lead to reluctance in engaging in your usual activities at all, because you don’t want to submit yourself to more pain. Eventually, most physical activities may be avoided, which can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and the negative health effects that stem from it.
- Mental Health
While experiencing back pain is a physical phenomenon, it can also cause consequences for your long-term mental state. Being in chronic pain is stressful. As it impacts your life more and more, it is easy to become frustrated and anxious while trying to cope. This creates a cycle that only compounds on top of the physical pain you are already feeling, and it can be hard to break out from. In fact, almost one-third of people experiencing chronic pain become clinically depressed. This affects motivation and makes it feel impossible to want to exercise or try other methods to alleviate your pain. It has been found that one way to break this spiral is to participate in physical therapy and exercise under a doctor’s supervision, which can help soothe this anxiety and boost your mood.
- Missing Out On Life
As mobility and mental health decline, the natural culmination is a sense that life is passing you by. Being reluctant or unable to participate in hobbies or normal life functions because you are trying to limit your back pain will withdraw you from your social circles and things that had previously brought you joy. A sense of avoidance can also develop, where someone will turn down invitations to do something because they don’t want others to see how their back pain is affecting their physical ability. Because all of these factors are interrelated, it is important to deal with this pain early before it feels insurmountable.
- Overreliance on Medication
When faced with chronic back pain, many individuals reach for an over-the-counter medication or even prescription pain relievers. Yet while pain medication may make you feel better in the short term, it does not solve the root problem of your back pain. Instead of working to improve the condition, medication masks it, which can also hide other problems that may develop and will be hard to catch. Overuse of medication can cause long-term health problems as well, such as liver or kidney failure. There are plenty of alternatives to using medicine that will avoid these issues and can help you manage your pain.
Although you may believe you can handle the pain you are experiencing, when left untreated it can grow into long-term back pain that will affect you more severely. To find out the best steps to take for your health, contact us at AIMS Clinic in East Brunswick, New Jersey to set up an appointment with a professional.