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Is stress the real culprit behind your back pain?

by , 08 August 2013

If you suffer from back pain and don't know what's causing it, you may want to look closely at your stress levels. That's right! Stress is a big contributor to back your back pain. But, how's this possible? Read on to find out so you can put an end to your back problems.

Can emotional problems give you physical ones?


But that’s the connection?

It’s quite simple, your emotions can often affect the physical in a powerful manner. And that’s the case with stress.

According to the CalmClinic, while there are many theories that directly link anxiety or stress to back pain, but the most common is muscle tension.

How stress can lead to back pain

Anxiety can drastically increase muscle tension, which in turn increases pain. Since your back contains a variety of muscles known to tense during stress, this can lead to mild to severe back pain in both the upper and lower back.

Massage therapists will tell you that their most stressed clients often have knots in their muscles, especially in their shoulder and upper back, so anxiety-related back pain really does exist, explains the CalmClinic.

But you can put an end to this vicious circle of back pain if you learn to spot the warnings signs of stress.

12 signs you may be stressed

While stress affects everyone differently, pay attention to these common symptoms of stress:

  1. Feeling intense pressure on the job and at home
  2. A feeling of being overwhelmed
  3. Extreme impatience
  4. Loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities
  5. Muscle tension
  6. Extreme nervousness
  7. Withdrawing from usual activities
  8. Problems with concentration
  9. Low “flash point” of anger
  10. Problems with sleeping
  11. Trembling for no apparent reason
  12. A sudden, radical change in appetite

Do any of these common stress-indicators sounds familiar to you? If so, you’re a victim of stress whether you’re aware of it or not. And this stress is without a doubt aggravating your back problems. So now the next step is to reduce your stress levels and this should, in turn should reduce your pain.

Eliminate stress and say goodbye to your back problems

Try these methods to relieve stress:

  • The Sciatica Report recommends you take a look at your life, your lifestyle. Write down a list of things that are causing stress in your life. Look over the list and start editing out activities and conditions in your life that are stressing you. For those unavoidable stress-producing situations adopt the ‘be cool’ attitude. Try to relax and cope with them in a gentle, easygoing way. It won’t always work, but give it a try.
  • Check local mental health centres to see if there are any classes you can take to control your stress controlling stress. These are often given at community centres and many are free.
  • The CalmClinic advises you to watch your posture. This means paying attention to any bad posture you may do as a result of your anxiety and stress. If you're sitting in a bad position, stop it. Sit up straight and walk looking up.
  • If you have high blood pressure, anxiety attacks or headaches you think are brought on by stress, talk to your doctor about it. He may have some medications that’ll help and some life style changes for you to put into practice.
  • Have a massage! It’s a very useful tool for both back pain and stress. It’s a great way to work out the pains in your muscles and when you're done you'll often find your back is less painful than it was previously, says the CalmClinic.

You need to be aware of stress and not to let it take over your life. The more you know about it, and anticipate it and move to short circuit it, the better off you’ll be.

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