Is Your Pain All In Your Mind?

Back Pain Treatment OptionsIf you want to get someone suffering from pain angry in a hurry, just tell them their pain is all in their mind. “Baloney!” (or some stronger word) might be their response.

Saying pain is all in someone’s mind is tantamount to claiming their pain is imaginary. Clearly pain is real to any person suffering with it. However, the cause of pain very well may be from their mind.

Pain often has a musculoskeletal source. But one very common factor behind many types of pain does originate in your mind, namely stress. Even when stress isn’t the primary cause of pain, it can exacerbate existing pain from musculoskeletal causes leaving you feeling even worse.

Stress is directly related not only to pain but also numerous illnesses with no apparent biological cause. Fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, and insomnia are often tied to high levels of stress. Stress also causes our bodies to release adrenaline which is critical for responding to genuine “fight or flight” situations. Chronically high levels of adrenaline caused by repeated unresolved stress — even from situations as benign as sitting in traffic, missing a deadline, etc. — can lead to trigger pain from anxiety, muscle tension, digestive disorders, and even lead to long-term biological damage.

As a result, if you or someone you love suffers from pain, eliminating stress can play an important role in your search for lasting pain relief and better health. Here are several proven ways to reduce stress and stress-related pain:

  • Physical activity, especially rhythmic exercises like bicycling or swimming, helps burn off stress chemicals and has been proven more effective than Prozac for treating depression. Targeted exercise itself can even help relieve pain.
  • Real hypnosis (not the stage act kind!) can be very effective at eliminating stress, reducing anxiety, and improving your health.
  • Herbs such as ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, chamomile, Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, and ashwagandha are known for their ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Heat therapy like a hot bath or sauna works wonders at helping your body relax. Localized heat treatments can help reduce specific areas of pain, stress and tension. Far infrared heat is a form proven safer and more effective than traditional heating pads.
  • Use mind/body approaches such as tai chi to take a multi-disciplinary approach to eliminating stress and pain.
  • Get actively involved in a community. Building a network of friends brings with it powerful allies in helping you cope with the day to day stressors of modern life.
Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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3 thoughts on “Is Your Pain All In Your Mind?”

  1. David Marshall says:


  2. Caitlin Marsh says:

    Interesting information on anxiety, my wife is having panic attacks so help is needed and we are getting a bit desperate. Good to see some info here, thanks.

  3. Diane B says:

    For Caitlin Marsh:

    I suffered from panic attacks that were life-consuming, then went through the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety program. Worked amazingly for me. Now I’m back to work, can shop, no more attacks, etc. I would recommend it 1000% to anyone that needs help. Been anxiety-free for 4 years and counting. Excellent program!!! Good luck!

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