Back pain from stress? Let’s take a look. While much that occurs in our day to day living causes stress, researchers have found that what we do in the office often accounts for a large chunk of anxiety in adults. Likewise, studies have proven merit in the old saying that someone is a ‘pain in my back’ as we now know that mental and emotional anxiety can indeed take a physical toll on our bodies. Continue reading as we look at the relationship between work-related stress and back pain.
We have known for some time that at a certain stress level, our brain releases hormones into the bloodstream. However, we now also know that if it happens quickly enough, we may experience chemical, hormonal, and muscular imbalances. Indeed, these imbalances can lead to chronic back pain.
Hence, although heavy lifting, twisting, or sudden movements can cause neck and back pain, studies show that so too can stressful office jobs. Also, when it comes to work-related anxiety, not all of it is physical since as working adults we also experience our fair share of emotional stress. For example, tight deadlines, fussy bosses, or other stressors can also put undue tension on our body.
How Stress Causes Back Pain
Our bodies come equipped with a nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for controlling the functioning of the blood vessels, organs, and glands without conscious effort.
When the automatic nervous system is out of balance, the rest of your body becomes imbalanced, as well. Hence, your blood pressure rises, your stress hormones are activated, and flood the bloodstream, the blood vessels in your arms, legs and back are widened to allow more oxygen to flow through them, and a host of other changes are made. In fact, scientists often liken this process to the body preparing for battle; some refer to it as the ‘fight or flight’ response. The tension that is built up during your body’s flight response is particularly notable in the neck and back region.
Determining whether back pain is stress-related
Determining whether stress is the primary cause of your back pain isn’t easy, but a tell-tale sign that it isn’t physical is when traditional remedies don’t stop the pain. However, acting to minimize the stress you experience takes minimal effort and can significantly impact your wellbeing.
A few of the easy to spot symptoms of stress-induced back pain include muscle pain, fatigue and sleep loss.
Remedies for Stress-Related Back Pain
If you are experiencing stress-induced back pain, there are remedies to improve your back health. For instance, physical activity has been proven to alleviate both stress and back pain. It does not have to be a strenuous physical activity. Indeed, something as simple as taking a walk, joining a yoga class or even going dancing with friends can improve the situation.
Meditation has also been shown to relieve anxiety. So, if you have a stressful job, be sure to take time out of your daily schedule to engage in relaxing activities. Likewise, you want to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night, as well.
The good news as it relates to anxiety-induced back pain is once you address the cause of your stress, the pain often goes away. If you are experiencing continuous bouts of back pain and don’t know the reason, it’s best to see a physician.
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