10 Reasons Why Managing Stress Better Will Ease Your Back Pain
If stress was an object, something you could pick up and hold, take a photo of and see with your own eyes people would pay more attention to it.
Carrying excess body weight or not putting sun cream on and getting sunburnt is a far more obvious and easy to spot health problem.
It’s for this reason we can easily ignore the signs of stress and its effect on our body.
I’m here to say that it is a REAL thing and is not something we imagine or something that is in our thoughts.
It is as real as Donald Trump being the president of the USA and the new iPhone costing more than a round the world trip!
The commonly known "fight or flight" response is behind why we get stressed. This causes a release of cortisol (the stress hormone) your body causing a chain reaction to improve alertness and prepare for escape.
Historically, when we were running around the Savanna getting chased by saber tooth tigers it was this reaction that protected us from life threatening danger.
Nowadays, unless you are a professional lion tamer or base jumper we seldom have life threatening events happen to us in our daily lives.
However, we do have stressful encounters.
Something as simple as fearing a presentation you are doing or being fearful of a medical problem and what it could be (e.g. back pain).
Believe it or not but these stressful events cause the same response in our bodies as when we were in a life-threatening situation being chased by the saber tooth tiger!
When it comes to ending back pain if stress is a factor and it is not addressed, long term resolution is unlikely.
Here is a list of how managing and reducing stress can ease your back pain:
Reduced Muscle Tension
When cortisol (the stress hormone) is released in to the body when you are stressed it causes vaso-constriction which basically means your blood vessels can’t supply oxygen to your muscles as well. This means your muscles cannot function as well causing them to feel achey, tight and stiff. Less stress = better flow!
Less Back Stiffness (especially between your shoulder blades!)
How does your body feel when you are watching a scary film? Are your shoulders bunched up, chest tight and is your head forward? When you are stressed this will happen as well. If you are stressed for a long period of time then imagine the affect on your spine! Less stress = better posture and less stiffness.
Better Coping Strategy
When you are able to deal with stress more easily challenges in life become easier to deal with (such as back pain) and you can think more logically about how to overcome them.
Sleep is when the body produces its own pain medications – endorphins, encephalins and serotonin. If your sleep is poor (which it will be when you are stressed) you have no reserves and back pain becomes intolerable.
Dealing with stress will enable you to feel refreshed and more alive when you wake up. This is essential for ending back pain because naturally you will become more active which is proven to ease back pain.
Will this improve your back pain? It won’t directly.