HOW STRESS AFFECTS YOUR SPINE
Movement – or sitting – are not the only kind of stresses that has the potential to hurt your back…Believe it or not,
mental or emotional stress can be just as damaging.
Many of us encounter stressful situations daily. In the short term, the tension created by emotional stress can give you a headache and/or pain in the back. If, however, experienced constantly, stress might set you up for a back injury, among other, more serious health problems, in the long run.
When discussing ‘health’ the majority of us most often focus on the aspects of physical health and we tend to overlook the psychological aspects. However, psychological health is now considered to be just as important to maintain optimal physical function. A lack of balance between body and mind has the potential to lead to a decline in our physical abilities.
Have you ever got back pain? For sure you wanted to know what was wrong and how to fix it. It is a necessity. But did you go further and look beyond the exact area of pain? Just because, research studies now suggest that spine problems or back pain are often the result of complex interactions involving both physical and psychological factors.
So, how to deal with the emotional stress once recognised?
Try to identify situations that tend to bother you. Maybe you can avoid some of them altogether — that would be the best medicine. In reality, though, some situations and people cannot be avoided, such as rush-hour traffic, deadlines at work, or an unyielding boss. Some anxiety is just part of everyday life.
The next best option is to learn how to anticipate these situations ahead of time and make the conscious decision not to let them bother you. You might want to plan a way to make the situation easier on yourself. Just imagine, if you have to go to the grocery store at peak hours and long queues… instead of going mad, bring a book to read. If you just can’t stand battling rush-hour traffic, why not planning to work out at the gym for an hour after work. You avoid traffic, relax your mind, and feed your back all at the same time.
You might want to try cutting down on some of the habits that can aggravate your already stressed out condition. Caffeine and nicotine can have the effect of creating a sense of anxiety even when you aren’t anxious about anything. Cutting down your intake of stimulants may help reduce your stress level.
Of course, there is always the old stand-by method for melting away stress. Find a quiet place to get away, close your eyes, listen to some relaxing music, breathe slowly and deeply, and imagine yourself at the beach, with warm sand, lapping waves, and a gentle breeze. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
As you can see, there are almost as many ways to prevent back pain as there are bad behaviors that cause it. If you make these suggestions part of your everyday routine, your back should be strong and healthy