Stress

and muscle pain

There is a resilient link between stress and muscle pain as your body’s responds to outside pressures or demands.

Your body responds to stressors by releasing chemicals and hormones into your blood, causing your heart to beat faster, your blood pressure to rise, and your muscles to tense. Stress hormones increase the perception of pain.

Stress hormones also cause the muscles to tighten up. The muscles may tense up so much they go into painful spasms. Muscle tension reduces blood flow to the tissues (reduced oxygen and nutrients to the tissues). Back and neck muscles are particularly sensitive to the effects of stress.

A person with a history of spinal injury or degenerative changes in the spine due to aging may notice the effects of stress triggering back pain even more than someone with a healthy back. Relieving stress can reduce pain that is aggravated or caused by tense muscles. Managing stress on an on-going basis may also help prevent back pain from occurring in the first place.

It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about stress. The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day and your career and family responsibilities will always be demanding. Try to find a stress management technique that best works for you and stick to it.