The second way an acute back problem can become chronic and disabling is from permanent changes in your nervous system that may amplify and distort sensations. The nervous system will begin to interpret all sensations as the type that cause pain. As a result, pain is exactly what you will feel -- even if you are only experiencing a simple pat on the back or a shift in your sitting position.
Another way to understand this: Without early treatment, the nervous system may stop distinguishing between different signals that create feelings of touch, pressure, temperature, or body position -- and instead substitute them all with pain.
The chronic nature of your back problem may subject you to a number of different types of distorted responses to pain including:
If you are still hesitant to receive treatment, you’re not alone. People with acute back pain often give into fears of re-injury by avoiding movement, exercise and daily activities, called fear-avoidance behavior. But skipping your therapy or treating the problem with bed rest puts you at risk for developing a chronic back problem. While doctors and spine experts recommend remaining active when you have acute back pain, they also suggest modifying the things you do to avoid worsening the pain.
Lastly, researchers have found that personality, attitude and social conditions play a big role in determining how long the pain will last, and how severe it gets.
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