If you hurt your back and you’re not getting any better, your back may not be the problem: It could be your psyche. That’s the conclusion of a recent study in the medical journal Pain. Surprisingly, researchers found that the best predictor of whether a person returns to work within one month of a back injury is whether or not the person suffers from “fear-avoidance behavior.” The notion is pretty self-explanatory. It means you fear your back pain, so you avoid any movement you think might make it worse. But this behavior pattern itself, by keeping your muscles tense and tight, might keep you on the couch.
(Source: Alternative Medicine Magazine, Jan/Feb 2003)