Pain of any kind is extremely disruptive, back pain especially so. There are many reasons, starting from injury to wear and tear for back pain. However, stress has been identified as one of the leading causes of it. In fact, in most cases, people who suffer from stress and anxiety have been victims of chronic back pain. Thus, it can be safely said that it is essential to avoid stress, it might lead to back pain for prolonged period of time.
Causes of Stress Related Back Pain
There are many theories regarding how stress can lead to back pain. The most common one relates to muscle tension. Stress and anxiety can drastically increase the muscle tension in every part of your body. As the back is contains a large number of muscles, it is no wonder that stress can cause mild to severe pain in this area, especially the upper back, neck and shoulder.
While this is the main cause for stress related back pain, there are secondary factors too that adds to the problem. Often stress related behaviours leads to habits and choices that affects your back health and cause chronic pain. Let’s take a look.
- Changes in posture: Stress often have huge impact on how people sit, stand and walk. Combine this sudden change with increased muscle tension, and you have the perfect recipe for back pain.
- Hypersensitivity towards pain: Stress often causes hypersensitivity, it amplifies physical sensation of any kind. Thus, people suffering from high degree of stress often feel even mild back pain as severe.
- Prolonged inactivity: One of the many ill effects of stress is to drastically change the activity level. Lethargy and inability to perform normal physical actions are often the tell-a-tale symptoms of high stress level. This in turn leads to low or zero physical activity that weakens the back muscles even further leading to back pain.
Keeping these causes in mind, the advice to avoid stress, it might lead to back pain rings true!
So, How to Reduce Stress Related Back Pain
The best way to treat stress related back pain is to address the causes for the stress itself. Unfortunately, this often needs prolonged period of therapy. And the back pain in turn can cause further stress to disrupt the results. Keeping this mind, experts suggest to focus on the pain itself and treating it parallelly with stress management therapies.
Here are a few tips on how to reduce stress related back pain.
- Stretch: Stress related back pain is primarily created because of excessive muscle tension. Thus, stretching is incredibly helpful in reducing the pain. By stretching on regular basis, you can effectively reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility. This in turn, reduces the pain a lot.
- Pay attention to your posture: Bad posture is the number one reason for back pain. While you are stressed out, correcting your posture is the last thing on your mind. However, if you are suffering from back pain due to stress, paying close attention to your poster can go a long way in reducing the pain. Sit straight, walk with your head straight and you’ll see how these small changes can bring a lot of relief.
- Exercise on regular basis: Exercise has duel effects when it comes to back pain due to stress. On one hand it improves flexibility and strengthens muscles, reducing back pain; on the other hand, it releases feel good hormones in your body, relieving the stress manifolds.
- Get a back massage: Massages can do wonders in reducing back pain due to muscle tension. Moreover, a good massage goes a long way in reducing stress in general.
- Pain medication: While it is not a favourable or even the best way of managing pain, over the counter pain medication can bring you relief from excruciating pain caused by stress.
Dealing with back pain is one way of reducing your suffering. However, if you are looking for long-term wellness, addressing the stress factor is crucial. The only way to prevent back pain for good is to do away with stress and anxiety. While it may not be the easiest thing to do, once you’ve achieved a stress free life, a lot of health issues, including back pain will surely be the thing of past. So, in every way you can, avoid stress, it might lead to back pain and a plethora of other health issues as well.