Back Pain Induces Cognitive Impairment

Saturday, October 01, 2011
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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If you think your back is hurting, a new study says you should also be concerned that the area in your brain that is processing the pain signal is also hurting, which can have a spreading affect in your brain and lead to cognitive impairment.

Researchers have now shown that chronic back pain reduces the gray matter volume in the brain, specifically affecting the core subconscious brain center that processes pain (brain stem, hypothalamus, and thalamus) while inducing anxiety and depression and lowering cognitive function. 

The good news is that if the pain can be corrected, then the brain can return to normal. This information is highly relevant to articles I have been writing recently, such as How to Recover from a Concussion and A Single Traumatic Brain Injury Can Provoke Serious Cognitive Problems Years Later.

It means that the faster you can healthily fix the source of a pain signal, the less wear and tear there will be to your brain, which can have a significant benefit to your mental health, cognitive ability and physical quality of life.

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