Mindset Matters When Reducing Neck and Back Pain

Mindset and Neck and Back Pain

Shared by Dr. Bryan Stephens

Reduction of Neck and Back Pain

In our East Dallas clinic we are always talking to our patients about the importance of lowering inflammation to reduce neck and back pain. While movement and nutrition play a big part, mindset is another major factor in keeping inflammation down. I was listening to a podcast this morning about how stress affects overall health and disease. It was an interview of Dr. Ellen Langer who is a Harvard professor of psychology and has spent many years researching the subject. Her research has mainly focused on mindfulness and being aware of the present moment. By doing this, there is less stress and anxiety associated with the inflammation we too often experience. This inflammation is not only tied in with the neck pain and back pain of those I see come through the office, but also of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

The great thing about this interview, at least for me, is I have used her research as an example for patients for years but forgot that it was her that did it. The study is called the chambermaid study and shows the importance of the mind when it comes to health. Two groups of female hotel maids from seven different hotels were evaluated for various health measurements. The first group was left unaware that the work they performed during their daily duties satisfied the daily recommendations. The second group was told how the amount of bending, squatting, pushing, pulling, and cleaning they did just while at work was enough for the daily requirements. After 4 weeks, the informed group perceived themselves as healthier with the measurements to match it.

As a result, compared with the control group, they showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index.”

Langer, Ellen J., and Christelle T. Ngnoumen. “Mindfulness.” Positive psychology. Routledge, 2017. 95-111.

Listening to the interview helped remind me of the impact this study can have. Just by being aware of your activity levels and mindful of your stresses and diet, you can notice changes in your physiology. Practice some mindfulness today and listen to what your body is telling you about your health. And if it is telling you about the pains you are experiencing, take care of it.

Our Message

We love to help our patients in McKinney stay healthy. We are here to relieve back pain, neck pain and headaches while also teaching about how our diet and stress effects our over all health. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diseases. Our Chiropractors, located near West Ridge, at the corner of S. Stonebridge Dr. and Eldorado Pkwy., want to help you stay healthy and out of pain!