The Connection between Stress and Back Pain
Most people live with chronic pain and are also stressed out. The two conditions are linked, as physical pain can turn into physical stress and stress can cause physical pain. In other words, you can easily enter a complicated loop of pain and stress. You only become aware of this situation when your pain drives you to a pain management specialist, who can diagnose your condition.
From stress to pain and vice-verse
Stress and back pain are in a cause and effect relationship named tension myositis syndrome. Also called stress illness, this condition is the clue you are not managing stress effectively. Instead, you are turning conscious stress into unconscious stress, which results in physical changes. Your blood flow is limited, so your cells receive less oxygen. As a result, your tissues are blocked. In time, your muscles start to suffer from tension and spasms, which lead to back pain. As your back pain turns into chronic pain, it will become a source of stress itself.
Can your back pain be caused by stress?
To find out if your back pain is caused by stress you need to see a pain management specialist, who can perform a physical exam on you. According to Dr. Melepura, during the exam your doctor can find if your chronic pain is caused by a spinal disorder or another type of physical condition. Once all the potential illnesses are eliminated, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms.
One of the easiest treatments for back pain is changing your posture. A faulty posture can strain your back muscles, making them prone to injuries and back pain.
Your doctor can ask you to exercise more, as an active pain management therapy. Exercising can strengthen your muscles, relieving some of the pain.
Relieve your stress
You can also address your stress symptoms by including therapy in your pain management plan. A therapist can help you cope with the pain. They can also teach you how to manage stress more effective, so it doesn’t interfere with your health.
In many cases, the mix of addressing the pain and the stress at the same time leads to the patient confronting their feelings and understanding how they are contributing to their pain.
While this is a general approach to back pain, each individual is different, so you might have to try out different treatments until you find the one which works for you.
Physical activities can include stretching, exercises to improve the posture, massage therapy and yoga. Meditation and breathing exercises can also be part of your pain management plan; because they help you relax and relieve stress.
While you can’t control stressors in your life nor remove them completely, you can control how your mind, soul and body reacts to stress. If you think your back pain might be linked to stress, you need to see your doctor, who can give you the right treatment for your condition.