Back pain – Only in your head, or for “real”? Part 2

It is important to differentiate the various concepts here:

Symptoms: Pain for example. Let’s take headache as an example. Headache is a symptom. The pain is located in the head, straight across the forehead. Do you for a second think there is something wrong with your frontal bone just because you feel the pain there? No, of course not. The cause may be that you’re dehydrated, had too much alcohol, the stress at work is killing you; your neck is sooo tense. This is what we can categorize as a Cause.
There’s a huge difference between symptom and cause, two completely separate events, unless you’ve been hit in the shin by a Volvo bumper. Symptoms often occur very late in the process.
Root CauseIf you spontaneously feel that a warm wheat pillow or a hot bath would relieve your pain, the pain is most likely of mental or psychological origin. It can be anxiety, fear of not being good enough or not worthy of love, maybe you find it hard to say no, have performance anxiety or any of the numerous similar feelings that haunts thousands of people every day. If you walk around everyday life in fear or anxious about something, you will develop a poor posture (ie. put your tail between your legs) and walk around like this. Eventually this posture will cause pain or discomfort in your body. It all has to do with how we interpret everyday situations and life itself. How we interpret any given situation depends on which programs we choose to run.  Your interpretation of everyday events is the root cause. Think again on how putting your tail between your legs every day, will affect your posture and muscular balance.

Triggering factor: Most people who have any of these above mentioned interpretations/despair or any closely related cousin will eventually feel some physical discomfort, most likely pain. Sometimes the pain sneaks up on you over a long period, often accompanied their closely related cousins​​, sadness, anxiety and depression, but sometimes it comes all by itself. If the cousins ​​aren’t around, this process is often a fairly long process and usually requires a trigger, such as raking leaves, shovelling snow for the pain to finally make it’s ugly appearance.

Boom, or smack, the pain arises immediately. “My pain came when I raked leaves in my back yard. “
– “But raking your leaves is only the trigger”, I reply “if your body is functioning on an optimal level, you wouldn’t get a sore back” There is a difference between root cause and the trigger.
For the argument, let’s say that you’re lying on the couch and munching crisps all day for six months. Then one day you decide to take up running again. You tie your laces, run two kilometers and the day after – PAAAAAIIIIN, Pain throughout the body. Running causes pain, best  avoid it.
But the run is only the triggering factor not the root cause. The 6 months of crunching on chips and lying on your couch is the root cause.

The triggering action or deed could very well be physical, but the underlying (root) cause could be mental or psychological. This is important to understand; because the treatment differs drastically depending on whether the pain is mental or physical. You can’t treat these sensations in the same way.

About the author

Mike Dahlström

Mike Dahlström

Master of QINOpractic Medicine
Doctor of Chiropractic
Founder of QINOpractic Medicine