The Link Between Anxiety & Spine Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 20, 2017

Anxiety & Spine Pain

When you have back pain, it’s easy to become anxious or frustrated with your pain and your lack of recovery, but did you know that anxiety can actually lead to back pain. In this blog, we take a closer look at how anxiety can actually contribute to physical back pain, and what you can do to prevent and treat it.

Anxiety Leading To Back Pain

You may be surprised to learn that back pain from anxiety is actually very common. Physical injuries often have physical causes, but emotional factors can greatly affect and influence how our body responds to these physical injuries. Every person on this planet has some stress in their life, so it’s no surprise that anxiety can manifest into physical symptoms in a large portion of individuals dealing with back pain.

As we mentioned before, there’s likely a physical cause contributing to your pain, but anxiety could be causing those actions that result in that physical injury. For example, anxiety could lead to things like poor eating habits or a reluctance to get healthy exercise, which can contribute to a back injury. Another example may be that anxiety leads you to smoke, which leads to degenerative disc disease and back pain. Anxiety can be the driving force behind a physical cause of back pain.

On top of that, anxiety can also make back pain worse. Anxiety has been linked to muscle tension or postural changes, so your anxiousness could make a small problem more painful. Anxiety and back pain are often interrelated and cyclical in that one contributes to the other, and they can both make the other issue worse.

Treating Anxiety That Is Causing Back Pain

Treating your anxiety can also help to treat your physical ailment, so treatment should also have some emotional and behavioral aspects to it. Here are some ways to help relieve your anxiety and help your spine at the same time.

  • Stretching – Stretching can help prevent against tense muscles, which can develop in part because of your anxiety.
  • Posture Care – Simply staying aware of your posture and taking corrective steps to address it when you notice you have poor posture can go a long way in preventing physical injuries of the spine.
  • Mindfulness Exercises – Some activities like yoga or Tai Chi are great for back pain that is made worse by anxiety because it combines a physical and mental activity that can tackle multiple contributors to back pain.
  • Massage – Massages are a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as soothe some sore spots on your back.
  • Medications – Medications can help keep your anxiety under control or dull the pain, but they should not be your only form of treatment. Work with a specialist to find the right medication and treatment combination to get your back pain under control.

For more information on the link between spine pain and anxiety, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today.

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