Spinal Month Feature: Strategies for coping with chronic back pain

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(NC)-The ways in which we cope with pain, especially chronic back pain, can greatly influence how it affects our ability to function and our emotional reactions. Those who treat back pain now recognize that it is not merely a sensation, like vision or touch, but rather is strongly influenced by the ways in which your brain handles the pain signals.

Pain can provoke emotional reactions, such as fear and despair, depending on what we believe it signals. In other cases, such as in sports or in the workplace, pain is a nuisance, a feeling to be overcome in order to continue in the competition or tasks.

Of course, the first step in coping with back pain or neck pain is to receive a medical evaluation to determine the cause of the pain:

. In some situations, such as a herniated disc in the spine, you may need to pay attention to the pain so that it can serve as a warning signal of impending damage.

. In other cases, especially when the pain is chronic and the health condition unchangeable, you can try to keep the pain from being the entire focus of your life. Often patients "act as if" they do not have a pain problem. This can help "normalize" the person's activities and keep him or her out of the "sick role".

Study finds the right mattress can reduce chronic back pain

According to a recent study by the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) 93 percent of chronic back pain sufferers who slept on a Natura double slat mattress system for one month experienced an overall 40 percent reduction of back pain, proving the effectiveness of a proper mattress in reducing back pain.

"Sleep is a vital part of maintaining general health, performance and well-being, and your mattress plays a major role," says Ralph Rossdeutscher, President of Natura World, Canadian manufacturer of the Natura double slat mattress system.

The Natura double slat mattress system enables back pain sufferers to sleep on a supportive, comfortable bed that keeps the spine properly aligned. It has several key features that play a big role in back pain management. The dual layers of flexible ash slats designed with three adjustable lift supports enhance comfort by relieving pressure areas. The knee and lumbar lift supports provide two elevated positions. They create subtle changes when raised, and are ergonomically designed to be consistent with the body's natural, anatomic position. The adjustable support bars fit into the maple frame and can be easily positioned according to your height.

Whatever your medical condition, there are a number of effective strategies for coping with chronic back pain. These generally include relaxation training, hypnosis, biofeedback, guided imagery and neck and back support while at rest.

Coping strategies for back pain:

. Deep Muscle Relaxation

. Imagery: visual, sound, or other pictures and thoughts that are pleasant and relaxing to you.

. Disassociation: the ability to separate normally connected mental processes, leading to feelings of detachment and distance.

. Choosing a proper mattress that will give you optimal support and reduce your pain.

To learn more about reducing back pain with sleep systems or for a retailer near you, visit www.naturaworld.com or call 1888-NATURA3.

- News Canada

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