Can Emotional Stress Cause Back Pain?

20 June 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Emotional stress has been linked to a number of medical conditions, including high blood pressure and heart disease. It can also be a contributing factor to the development of back pain. If you are suffering from back pain, here is what you need to know about the link between it and emotional stress.  

What Is the Connection Between Back Pain and Stress? 

When you experience stress, your body starts to produce hormones that are tasked with dealing with the psychological and physiological effects. One of the actions the hormones take is to cause contractions in the muscles. When the muscles tighten, your flexibility and mobility are impacted. The result is pain in particular areas. In this instance, your back suffers.  

Even if the stress is not directly related to your back pain, it can cause or contribute to some behaviors that lead to its development. For instance, stress can sometimes cause changes in some people's posture. Poor posture places strain on the spine as it sits in an unnatural curve.  

What Can You Do to Stop the Pain? 

In some instances, back pain can be alleviated at home by making some lifestyle modifications and actively treating the issue. For instance, taking over-the-counter pain medication can help with mild back pain. You can combine this with regular stretching. The stretching helps to loosen the muscles in the back, which can improve mobility and flexibility.  

If you do not have a regular exercise regimen, now is the time to start. Exercise not only helps with improving flexibility, but it causes endorphins to be released. The endorphins function as a natural boost that can help alleviate some of the pain.  

What If the Pain Does Not Improve? 

It is important that you seek medical attention if the pain does not improve or it worsens. A doctor can determine the cause of the pain. Regardless of the reason for the back pain, your doctor can also refer you to a chiropractor for specialized care. Sometimes, the chiropractic care is used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment.  

During care, your chiropractor can develop a treatment plan for alleviating the pain you are feeling. The plan will also focus on improving your back's condition to decrease the likelihood that you will experience pain again in the future. For instance, the chiropractor will use a combination of massages and stretches to offer immediate relief and build towards stronger back muscles.