Tips to Manage Mental Health & Spine Pain in Los Angeles, CA

When you first experience back pain, it’s physical in nature, which isn’t much of a concern if your discomfort goes away fairly quickly. However, persistent or chronic spine-related pain can take a noticeable toll on both physical and mental health. For this reason, it’s important to manage your mental wellbeing as you undergo treatment for the physical sources of your discomfort. Below you’ll find four ways to support your mental health while going through treatment and recovery.

1. Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is good for people with back pain because it has both physical and mental benefits. Various forms of physical activity strengthen the spine-supporting muscles, while the act of exercising leads to the release of “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. Produced by the pituitary gland and the central nervous system, these hormones may help you enjoy the following benefits:

  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Reduced perception of pain
  • Natural pain relief—in some instances, endorphins have effects similar to those experienced with some pain-relieving medications

Even if you’re physically limited due to your back pain, there are many forms of exercise that can increase your body’s production of endorphins, including walking and gentle forms of exercise such as yoga and water aerobics.

2. Share Your Feelings with Others

Simply having someone to talk to about your back pain can take a tremendous emotional burden off your shoulders. Confide in a friend or family member about what you’re feeling and dealing with. Additional options include visiting message boards online and looking for a support group in your area for a much-needed reminder that you’re not alone.

3. Treat Yourself to “Me Time”

Attending doctors’ visits, managing your meds, and juggling the other demands of back pain treatment along with your daily obligations can seriously boost your stress and anxiety levels. Give yourself a much-needed emotional break by finding ways to enjoy some “me time,” which simply refers to moments when you’re able to relax, unwind, and think about things other than your back pain and the various tasks on your to-do list. “Me time” options include:

  • Going on daily walks
  • Swimming laps
  • Meditating
  • Doing relaxing yoga poses that are safe for your back
  • Doing hobbies or crafts in a private space

4. Seek Professional Assistance

There may come a time when you’re no longer able to manage pain-related mental health issues yourself. If you’ve reached this point, consider exploring your options with professional care. There are many different techniques that can help you sustain your mental health while managing your back pain. Treatment possibilities include:

  • Professional counseling
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to change your mental focus
  • Psychotherapy (talk therapy)

It can also be helpful to talk to your doctor or a Beverly Hills spine surgeon about any concerns you may have as you follow your treatment plan. Even just finding out your recovery process is taking a bit longer than expected, given your specific spine-related issue, could improve your mental outlook.

For more information about recurring back pain and effective treatment options, such as minimally invasive back surgery and spinal fusion alternatives, Beverly Hills residents can get in touch with the spine specialists at The Spine Institute. Our industry-leading physicians can determine the best course of action to help you find relief for your pain. Call 310-828-7757 today to schedule an appointment.