Stress and back pain: What's the connection?
Stress and back pain: Is there a connection at all?
Stress and back pain. They're an interesting duo to examine. 8 out of every 10 Australians will experience disabling low back pain at some point. Now that's pretty concerning. And even more concerning is that 3 out of every 10 Aussies will suffer chronic back pain. Now, you don't have to be a clinician to know that pain causes stress...and stress can cause pain. So stress and back pain are in this interesting relationship together. There's even a third partner in this remarkable dance: headaches. Stress and back pain and headaches can all be interrelated.
Yes, stress and back pain are related!
If you're doing a certain type of job, you may be at risk of stress. If you're not sure about your stress levels or risks, or you just want to compare with people in other job roles, check out the graph below. A recent survey on Stress and Wellbeing is very clear about the top 5 stress causes: Finance, Family, Personal Health, Lifestyle and Health Issues of Loved Ones.
Back pain and stress: How many of these issues apply to you?
It's good to check in with yourself and to be aware if any or several of these "stress causes" are having a negative effect on your physical or mental health. And if you do suffer from back pain and stress, or neck pain caused by stress, there are things you can do to relieve the pain, to manage the stress and to improve your health.
Stress and back pain - what do the experts say?
The current guidelines for the effective management of back pain include:
- See a health professional to determine the nature of your neck or back pain
- Start a program of exercise tailored to your needs
- Stay active - get up, move, and go for a walk!
- Consider a course of manual therapy which includes spinal manipulation and various forms of muscle therapy (massage etc)
- A course of acupuncture (laser or needle).
We always recommend that you see a health practitioner to ascertain the nature of your problem. And it is very important that you know what you need to do on a daily basis to manage your health.