BOOK NOW

The Connection Between Anxiety and Back Pain

The Connection Between Anxiety and Back Pain

The Connection Between Anxiety and Back Pain 

We’ve spoken before about how stress can cause pain, especially in the neck. But what happens when we’re more than stressed or when we’re actually anxious? 🤔  

Fight or flight 

When we get anxious, our body goes into what is known as a fight 💪 or flight ✈️ response. This causes changes throughout the body, including a tightening of the muscles. This can result in tension, stiffness, pain, and limited movement. 

Often, muscles can tighten to the point that they spasm, which can be very painful! Anxiety is known as a common cause of acute back pain and muscle spasms. 

Semi-stress Response Readiness 

When we experience anxiety regularly or for prolonged periods of time, our bodies are constantly in some mild form of flight or fight mode 😰. This is sometimes referred to as hyperstimulation, where the body remains in a state of semi-stress response readiness as stress hormones flood the body

So, the muscles in your back are already tight and strained. When anxiety is ongoing, these muscles remain tight for extended periods, causing pain and stiffness. 

An Overstimulated Nervous System 

Anxiety excites and places stress on our nervous system. The cells in our nervous system act erratically when they’re stressed or overstimulated 💥. This can lead to muscle tension, twitching, pain, and spasms in the back. 

Additionally, anxiety lowers our sensitivity and reactivity to pain 😢. This means that an overly excited and stressed nervous system can make any sensation of pain feel worse and even become chronic. 

Treatment and Prevention Options For Anxiety-induced Back Pain 

Treating anxiety is not a simple thing to do. It is a complex experience for many and can even be caused by underlying mental health conditions such as a generalised anxiety disorder. However, there are some things you can do to prevent anxiety from causing back pain: 

  • Work on breathing: 4 breathes in and 8 breathes out can reduce our fight/flight response 
  • Seek chiropractic care or massage therapy for muscle tension and nerve related issues
  • Trying certain yoga poses 🧘 for back pain relief 
  • Get movement in your day every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes 
  • Try empowerment therapy to learn how to cope with anxiety 
  • Learn to take better care of your spine 

To book a chiropractic care consultation or a massage therapy appointment, visit our bookings page.  

Join The Conversation

If you’d like to have your say on this article feel free to add a comment using the form, we love to hear your thinking and open the table to discussion, and hopefully share resources, blog posts, articles and information that’s useful to you!
If you’d like to discuss anything in private instead, just get in touch using the contact details at the bottom of the page!

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 thought on “The Connection Between Anxiety and Back Pain”

  1. Hello, for years I would get a feeling ache in the middle of my back. Sometimes in chest, always was told it was from anxiety, I been dealing with this for over 20 years…Do you think this is possible? Thank you

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Things That Trigger Tennis Elbow

If you’ve been struggling with 💪 tennis elbow, it’s possible that you are doing something to trigger or worsen the problem without knowing it. But what is tennis elbow?  Simply put, tennis elbow is pain and inflammation or micro tears in the tendons around the outer elbow from overuse. It can vary from being a

Read More

Back Pain Ruining Your Day? Try These 5 Natural Pain Relievers 

Back pain is just that, a pain! 😥 It doesn’t only make everyday movements difficult; it can also be quite irritating if it’s persistent or occurs regularly. 💢  It may seem like all you can do to soothe your pain is to take pain medication 💊. But we’re here to tell you that there are

Read More

Ways To Support Your Spine Every Day – Part 2

Continuing from our previous newsletter in December, there are many ways you can support your spine every day, and it is often simpler than you think! 😃  Lift The Right Way Lifting heavy objects 📦 the wrong way is a common cause of back pain. The best way to avoid hurting your spine is to

Read More