Don't Make Low Back Pain Worse

By Editorial Staff

Don't think your spouse's back pain is a big deal? It may actually make the pain – which is a big deal to them, no matter what you think – even worse, according to new research. While positive support and encouragement has been shown to reduce feelings of pain, this study confirms just the opposite: Lack of support can intensify pain.

The study involved couples, one of whom was suffering from chronic low back pain. While the back pain patient performed standing, walking, reclining, bending and stretching activities for 10 minutes, their spouse watched while researchers evaluated any criticism and/or hostility toward their spouse / the patient, as well as perceived criticism on the patient's part. Needless to say, greater hostility / criticism from the pain-free spouse correlated with greater pain experienced by the patient – particularly when the patient was a woman.

The moral to this story is a simple one: When someone's in pain, give them your full support! That means not only trying to understand and appreciate their pain, but also recognizing that what you think is support / helpful advice may actually be perceived as negative and lead to more pain, not less. Talk to your chiropractor to learn more about back pain, the potential causes, and how couples can work together whenever pain strikes.

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