UNDERSTANDING STRESS AND ITS ROLE IN BACK PAIN

Almost every one of us suffers from back pain at some point and for many of us, it tends to turn into a long term problem. Most of us, resort to pain medication and bed rest to find some relief and as soon as we do find some relief, move on with our lives. On the other hand, there are quite a few of us , for whom the pain turns chronic.

There is widespread acceptance across the medical communities that emotional stress comes into play when one experiences chronic pain. Stress is an emotional strain resulting from demanding circumstances. When we become stressed, we start getting anxious, we tend to over think and worry too much. Anxiety tends to cause the muscles to tense,especially in back muscles and this cascades a set of changes in our body.

  1. Constriction of blood vessels throughout the body
  2. Reduction of blood flow to the muscles and other tissues
  3. Decrease in oxygen in the muscles and tissues of the body
  4. Buildup of biochemical waste in the muscles

There are various theories on how stress and anxiety can cause back pain. To explain it simply, back pain and stress is a vicious circle. Stress and Anxiety might not directly cause back pain. However, people already suffering from back pain, may tend to get more stressed due to pain and the muscle tension caused due to the stress can make the already existent back pain worse.

Piriformis Syndrome:

  • We most often tend to get stressed when we are actually running short of time to complete something. The best way to handle this is to manage our time effectively. Plan your day so that you are able to do what you want to do. Focus on what you are doing and don’t try taking on too many things on at the same time. Take help from family and friends when needed.
  • Understand how much you can take on and learn to say a no.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep for at least 6-8 hours every day. Your body tends to recover from stress while you are sleeping.
  • Eat Healthy. Choose nourishing foods and eat slowly. Be conscious of how much you eat and drink. Avoid Caffeinated drinks.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle. Venture outdoors.Exercise. Take care of yourself.
  • Massages and aromatherapies are stress –relieving treatments that you can indulge in.
  • Don’t Smoke.
  • If you are mentally taking in a lot of stress, confide in a friend or a family member.

A recent study shows that the longer your pain exists, the less chance you will return to normalcy. Considering this fact, it is essential that each and every one of us take good care of ourselves physically and emotionally since the sooner we do that, the sooner we recover.

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