How Stress Can Cause Back Pain

Did you know that stress could cause back pain?

– And not just physical stress – emotional stress, too. Stress is a condition that the body experiences when it is under attack from outside stimuli – usually too much stimuli. Stress can also occur when you are anxious about your career, money or any other daily stressor. So, how do stress and back pain go together? Well, it is important to understand that when you are stressed out, your entire body tenses up and the muscles tend to become constricted. Eventually, the stress becomes so acute, that you start to feel it in your back.

It is also important to understand where stress comes from and how it affects the body.  Stress affects the entire body  in a multitude of different ways. A stressor is something that is causing you to feel stressed out and tense.  It could be anything really.

Read related article: How To Strengthen Your Lower Back

In early humans, stressors may have included predators, not having enough food, and difficult environmental conditions. As a result of these conditions, their bodies built a response mechanism that is still within us today. When a stressor is introduced, your brain slowly releases a number of chemicals that either force you to run or to stand and fight.

This response is called the “flight or flight” mechanism. Humans – and most animals – react in one of these ways when they are scared. In today’s modern times, many of the stressors we encounter revolve around things like work, family, relationships, money and so on. When we are introduced to these modern stressors, our bodies respond by releasing a hormone called cortisol, which forces the body to feel “stressed out.” If you are late for your rent or you owe someone money, you may start to feel this type of stress.

Cortisol can invoke any number of physiological responses. For instance, it can cause your fat burning cells to take a vacation, which is why people can gain weight from being under too much stress. Cortisol can also break down your immune system, which is why you may start to feel sick as a result of being stressed. Eventually, your body will break down to the point where your overall well-being is affected. This is your body’s way of telling you that you need to take a serious break to rest and de-stress. If you don’t listen to your body, you could be in very bad shape.

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Eventually, the cortisol will start affecting your muscles and it will cause constriction or tightness. This will eventually cause your back to feel like it is in constant pain. If your back is in pain and you have no idea why, there is a good chance that your stress is causing the discomfort. And the more stressed out you are, the worse your pain will be. So, if you are in a particularly stressful situation in your life, there is a good chance that your back pain is related.

Eventually, back pain due to stress may get to the point where you are having chronic spasms and bursts of pain. Your mobility may also be limited and you may find it hard to get yourself up out of bed. If it does get to this point or you feel like the pain isn’t going away, it is highly recommended to visit a doctor to get to the bottom of the issue. The last thing you want is to helplessly suffer through something and not know what it is.

There are numerous ways to alleviate stress to reduce your back pain…

One of the best ways to alleviate your stress is to find ways to relax and unwind. Yes – it is as simple as that. Relaxing will significantly reduce your levels of stress and cortisol – it will also allow your back to ease and become less tense. So, you may want to think about taking some time off from work or staying away from whatever, or whoever,  is causing you so much stress. Listen to music, take a walk, whatever feels relaxing and non-stressful to you.

Read related article: Natural Ways To Relax When Stressed

Another way to reduce your stress levels is to practice yoga. Practicing yoga can allow you to relax your muscles and calm your emotions. Yoga will also teach you how to breathe and how to control your stress levels, so everything is much more manageable. For a long time, western practitioners didn’t believe that yoga could have such a positive impact, but more and more studies are coming out that are saying yoga actually can have a tremendous affect on the mind and body. So, if you’re feeling stressed, consider visiting a yoga studio in your area to take classes.

At the end of the day, no one should be so stressed out that it is causing back pain, but many people feel that way. One way to reduce stress like this is take deep breaths and meditate. When you get home from work, think about soaking in a hot bath with some candles lit. A combination of the hot water and the soothing smells will not only reduce your stress levels, it will also soothe the pain in your lower back.

However, if stress has become a serious problem in your life,you may want to think about seeing a psychologist or therapist. A professional can work with you to find your source of stress and then develop a strategy to manage it.  In the end, stress doesn’t only affect your emotional state of mind and your lower back – it also reduces your entire quality of life – so finding relief is imperative.

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