Lower Back Pain: Could it Be Stress Related?

Most people experience lower back pain at some point, and the reason for this symptom is often undiagnosed or unknown. If you’re having pain or discomfort in the lower back with an unexplained cause, emotional stress could be the culprit.

How Stress Causes Pain

Experiencing stressful times may cause you to tense your muscles, including those in your lower back. Sometimes, this leads to a vicious cycle in which you have anxiety about your back pain, causing more tension and increased pain.

Diagnosing Stress-Related Lower Back Pain

When diagnosing lower back pain, a provider will first rule out physical causes for this symptom. These can include degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, compression fractures, or a local tumor. Certain lifestyle factors can be the cause back problems as well. If the doctor is unable to find a physical reason for your lower back pain, stress could be a factor.

Treatment for Lower Back Pain Caused by Stress

Stress-related lower back pain can often be resolved with therapy and regular exercise. Although you may avoid exercising when you feel stressed, physical activity can have a positive impact on your emotions. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle weakens your lower back muscles and causes more pain. Even walking for as little as 10 minutes each day can have a positive impact on your physical health. You can slowly increase the time you exercise and add stretching and strength training to your workouts.

Therapy can assist with environmental factors that are contributing to your emotional stress, such as job loss, a death in the family, or a recent divorce. A qualified therapist can also detect underlying conditions that may be causing your emotional stress, such as depression or anxiety.

In addition to these steps, lifestyle changes can often alleviate stress. These changes can include eating a more nutritious diet, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, quitting smoking, and avoiding substance use.

Seeking Professional Help

Talk with your doctor if you’re experiencing lower back pain. He or she will evaluate the cause of your symptoms and determine whether stress may be a factor in your discomfort. If it determined that your stress is simply aggravating a pre-existing spine condition, he or she may suggest that you meet with a spine expert.

Marc Cohen and the spine experts at the Marc Cohen Spine Institute have experience helping the people of the New Jersey area alleviate back pain through patient-specific methods. Trust us to get to the bottom of your low back pain issues. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.