Press Release

“Chronic back pain affects the immune system”: McGill University of Montreal

Chronic pain modifies the functioning of the immune system. Chronic pain also imapcts other important parts of the body.

In the opinions of specialists, chronic pain, whether in the head, back, etc., can have negative consequences on the immune system. The main function of the immune system is to protect the body effectively against the microorganisms to which we are exposed every day such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.

According to a study by McGill University in Montreal, chronic pain could cause changes in the immune system. The researchers observed that chronic pain can modify the functioning of the immune system. “We have seen that it affects not only the brain but also a type of white blood cells essential for immunology,” says Moshe Szyf, author of the study, which also claims “the impact that chronic pain has on other important parts of the body”.

But, what is considered as chronic pain? Chronic pain is that pain that occurs in a very intense way, that lasts over time (more than 6 months), and that alters the life of those who suffer from it. However, the most important characteristic is that it no longer has a protective function, rather, it deteriorates health and can lead to disability.

Back pain is one of the most common chronic pains. It is known that more than 80% of the population suffers or will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. However, it is important to know that only 3% of patients with chronic back pain require some type of surgical treatment.

There are various treatments for chronic pain, from pain relievers, exercises, psychological therapy to surgery, but doctors are the ones who will determine the best treatment in each case. Chronic pain causes stress on the body and one of the consequences of this is the lowered defenses.

Preventing the defenses from falling, does not require a miracle, it is recommended to increase the intake of vitamins, minerals, iron and antioxidants; avoid tobacco and alcohol use; drink at least 2 liters of water a day and; take good care of your back.

For example, physical activity helps improve the condition of the back and the immune system, as it reduces stress and regulates metabolic activity. The most recommended activities are restorative Yoga, Pilates, exercises with therapeutic balls, acupressure mats and complement them with the use of specialized Cordus-type contraction products, to relax the muscles and eliminate discomforts that decrease the performance of the immune system.

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Keywords:    chronic pain, immune system,McGill University of Montreal, physical activity, back pain,body

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