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  • September 9, 2021

Why Your Chronic Back Pain Is Getting Worse: Disuse Syndrome

Sixteen million people in the US experience chronic back pain. This isn’t a small number, especially when you factor in the cost that chronic back pain has on a person. Chronic back pain can affect performance at work, lower your quality of life, create higher medical bills, and make you more reliant on pain medication.

However, disuse may be making it worse. Despite conventional wisdom, resting your back and not moving like you think you’re supposed to can cause back pain to get worse, not better.

Does Disuse Make You Feel Worse?

You may think that limiting your movement is an easy fix, but in some cases, not using muscles and joints can make your chronic pain worse.

If you’re experiencing pain in your back and you stop performing daily activities because of it, you’re likely to experience muscle atrophy in that area over time. This means that not engaging in physical activity because of chronic back pain will likely result in two outcomes: increased chronic back pain and overall worsening of your health.

When you don’t address chronic back pain early, you may need to find a spine surgery center to get the underlying problem checked out and treated.

The Larger Effects of Disuse

A woman working at home, experiencing back pain.

Disuse syndrome also affects our cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine, digestive, and nervous systems. When human beings stay sedentary and refuse to move as they should, our natural systems are disrupted, making us feel unhealthy.

Disuse syndrome isn’t just physically debilitating; it also affects the mind. Exercise, movement, and productivity are important for humans to feel well and whole holistically. That’s why people who have depression are advised to engage in physical exercise of some sort—to increase endorphins that will make them feel better mentally.

In short, staying sedentary and refusing to move the areas of your body that are causing pain will only make things worse. In fact, you may even have a more intense experience of pain the more you refuse to engage in necessary movement.

How to Get the Help You Need

Any number of physiological problems can cause back pain. If your chronic pain has gotten more intense over time, even with constant rest, you should see a specialist at a back and spine center in Houston as soon as you can. Ignoring the issue for too long and trying to treat it with bed rest can worsen the pain and affect your overall health.

Visit TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital to get the help you need for your chronic back pain. Whether you need lower back pain surgery or back surgery for sciatica, our doctors can assess your issue based on your physiology and medical history to create the right treatment plan for you. You can find a doctor here on our website and make an appointment directly with their office.

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