I was asked to write about the five best books for dealing with back pain; that implied I needed to find them first.
- How does one know which are best?
- How does one even define “best” in the first place?
For the purposes of our endeavor, we’ll define “best” as those rated the highest by reader reviews. While “official reviews” by big name sources like the New York Times add a lot of credibility on a wide scale level, I find reviews from the average population more telling.
I’ve chosen to look for books with different approaches to relieving back pain, this was done because not everyone has the same ideas on how the body should be cared for or may want a different road to investigate. In doing research for previous articles it seemed to me that there were several different “realms” of relief. I settled for the following five that made the most sense to me:
It has become apparent to many people that chronic pain (and even illness) can be the result of the inner workings of the mind – note that mind is NOT the same as the brain. Stress, depression, anxiety and many other emotionally charged head spaces can cause a physical manifestation. So for those that may need to have the whole mind AND body involved in back pain relief (of which I am one) this is the “realm” you would find most beneficial.
I have split yoga out from mindfulness because it fits more appropriately here with similar methods such as Pilates and stretching. Many times back pain (or knee pain, shoulder pain etc.) may be caused by a tightening of the joints and ligaments or a lack of lubrication of those joints.
Yoga, Pilates and stretching can be great ways to learn to loosen up the body, gain more flexibility and decrease pain without being incredibly strenuous.
As one who is constantly searching for the “reason” for things, this method of back pain relief is based on science, body mechanics and physical explanations for pain. While this is a more tedious approach, learning how the body is connected, how the parts of the body interact with one another, can be helpful in answering questions such as: “what part of my body is this EXACTLY?”, “what can cause dis-ease in that area?” and so many more.
It is never too late to learn!
Massage is a great way to loosen the tension in muscles, allow more oxygenated blood to flow and to relieve pain, not to mention relieve stress. Massages can also be costly and for those with chronic back pain getting a $50, hour long massage every week or every other week may not be realistic for the budget.
I chose this “realm” so that perhaps some of the same benefits of massage can be had at home and performed by oneself but in a confident manner.
For the athletes or those that prefer a more regimented, gym-style program this is the way to go. Many people find a mapped out plan for each day/week/month easier to follow as well as stick to. Much like having a personal trainer, if they have a specific activity that needs to be done on a certain day, even a certain time, they feel they are more accountable and in control.