- Dr. James Fonner
Can Stress Cause Back Pain
ack pain is generally thought of as either middle or lower back pain. As time goes on, these can affect both your posture and even the way you walk. This can lead to you experiencing pain in your hips, knees, and feet.
Stress is able to have a variety of effects on the body ranging from mood swings to one experiencing headaches and even fluctuations in their weight. An often-overlooked side effect of stress is the fact that it can cause neck and back pain. If you are an individual who is constantly stressed out, this can lead to you experiencing musculoskeletal problems in the neck and back.
How Stress Affects the Body
When people experience stress their bodies release hormones. One of the hormones released by the body is adrenaline. Adrenaline is the hormone that is responsible for the fight or flight feeling that people feel. The hormone increases blood pressure, increases one's blood supply, and also causes the muscles around the spine to tighten and even spasm should one need to quickly escape the source of stress. The hormone that is most commonly associated with stress is known as Cortisol. This hormone interferes with a number of body functions. Elevated Cortisol levels can result in decreased muscle mass and the accumulation of fat around the muscles.
Back Pain and Stress
Middle back pain is inclusive of muscles that may be affected by breathing. These muscles are specifically the chest muscle and shoulder muscle. When under stress, stress can cause one to experience changed breathing patterns and may even cause stress-related pain and tension in the middle back. Muscle tension can also result in one's shoulders beginning to hunch over and this causes pain throughout the middle and upper back, sometimes causing neck pain.
Lower back pain refers to pain experienced in the tailbone and the lower back muscle. The muscles in the lower back are often responsible for keeping your spine straight as well as for flexibility. During stressful periods, the majority of people tend to become lazy and as a result, stretch and exercise less than they usually would. This is extremely bad for you as stretching and exercising have similar effects to physical therapy in that can help reduce tension in the muscles. When individuals are stressed out, they often tend to just sit at their desks for many hours on end and work.
It is important to remember that remaining seated for long periods of time is not good for you or your back. This often leads to a long list of problems, and one should make time to get exercise or stretching every day in order to lead a healthy life. A lack of exercise when stressed can cause tension in the muscles which can cause an injury for which you may need to seek treatment to be healthy once again.
Treatment Option for Stress-Related Back Pain
With any individual who experiences back pain, it is important to determine the root of the problem. One should keep in mind that it is not possible for any adult to live a life that is completely free of any stress or back pain as these are common health issues that are experienced in everyday life. Although these cannot always be avoided, there are ways to minimize the stress and pain to help one experience less tension in the muscles around the spine.
It is no secret that exercise and stretching are great for your overall health. It is one of the key factors in any healthy person's life. Physical activity has been shown to cause your body to release endorphins that are great for both one's physical and psychological health. Taking some breaks to go on a walk while you work is a good way to treat common back pain as well as to reduce stress and stress-related issues. Incorporating a fun physical activity such as going on a cycle is a great way to help treat stress and back pain without feeling like it is work. Medical practitioners often suggest this as these types of exercise often reduce anxiety as well as have many health benefits for you.
Another way to help reduce stress and anxiety is to eat a healthy diet. Eating well can cause your general health to improve as your body can get the necessary nutrients it needs, resulting in one feeling more energetic. Healthy eating is also a key to losing weight loss. Losing some weight may ease the pressure placed on one's spine and even improves one's posture. Putting the right food into your body ensures a healthy life as by doing so you account for many factors that can result in an unhealthy life.
Stress can cause many physical and emotional problems. People often ask, can stress cause physical health complications? The answer to this is yes. Should stress cause you any physical problems such as back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, and pain in your spine, it is imperative that you find a way to deal with it before it affects you severely. Other than these extreme physical factors, stress can also force one to deal with some psychological problems. The hormones released when one experiences stress have been shown to have extreme effects on one's emotional state.
In order to deal with these, it is important to incorporate time to relax into your schedule. Making some time to read up on some topics that you are interested in, go on a cycle, spend time with your family and friends, and even just some quiet time to meditate are all great ways to help ease any stress-related issues.
People often think that unhealthy alternatives such as smoking and drinking work well to treat stress. The truth is that these actually stress you out more. Although these may provide temporary relief, in the long term, they cause more damage than help. Instead of turning to these substances, you should rather seek medical treatment, like spinal decompression therapy, to lead a healthier lifestyle as well as treat any stress-related injury.
How Severe Can Stress-Related Back Pain Be?
Most individuals make the assumption that back pain caused by stress may not be that bad. The truth is that stress can cause back pain that is extremely debilitating. The type of stress that can cause back pain is often long-term stress that has not been dealt with. Not dealing with the stress may result in chronic back problems, like lumbago. Chronic back issues are extremely difficult to deal with and can impair the way one goes about living.
It is important to know when to get treatment for any ailments one experiences. Not seeking medical assistance for chronic back pain can result in a disc in your spine, becoming extremely damaged. A damaged disc requires surgery to fix, and should you not get surgery, the damaged disc can result in extreme pain and discomfort. This can result in lower back pain that does not seem to go away along with physical impairment. This can prevent one from living day to day normally.
Stress Causes Emotional Issues
Experiencing constant stress is extremely unhealthy. It causes a variety of emotional and psychological issues that one may need assistance in dealing with. Stress if left untreated for too much time has been known to result in depression and other emotional disorders in those who suffer from it. Low self-esteem and low levels of endorphins as a result of stress causes psychological and emotional tension. These topics are often difficult to talk about, however, it is crucial that you seek assistance.
Dealing with Back Pain
Although there are a lot of treatments that you can cycle through to deal with back pain or lower back pain, the most important one is that you learn to manage your stress properly. Back pain can be extremely frustrating to deal with. Other than being frustrating, back pain is also bad for your overall health and may result in other issues such as pain in one's neck. Neck-related pain is often directly linked to back pain. The pain experienced in one's neck often stems from either poor posture or pain in the back that has not been dealt with.
To deal with back pain, one may choose to get a massage to relieve the tension in the muscles. There are a variety of ways to deal with pain in the back and not all are favored by everyone. It is advised that you cycle through the various option until you find one that works best for your pain. What may work for the pain you experience in your back may not work for someone else.
Learning how to effectively handle the back pain you experience is important. Not knowing how to deal with the pain can result in a host of issues. Back pain can sometimes feel crippling, and should this be the case, you should seek assistance for it as soon as possible. The pain you experience today does not have to be the pain you experience tomorrow. So, get some help from a personal injury chiropractic office with your back pain before it becomes a serious issue.