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Can Stress Help Cause Lower Back Inflammation?

Can Stress Help Cause Lower Back Inflammation?

Some stress is considered a normal part of life. However, chronic symptoms of stress can have a serious impact on your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, long-term activation of the stress-response system in the body increases your risk of developing depression, anxiety, and stomach aches. It is even possible for your stress to contribute to your lower back inflammation and pain.

young woman with back pain

If you suspect that tension, anxiety, or worry could be contributing to your back discomfort, read the contents of this guide below. We will explain how stress is related to some back symptoms. You will also learn how to control back pain and swelling, as well as psychological distress. By discovering new tips and combining a few simple strategies, you can feel better and enjoy a better quality of life.

How Stress Helps Cause Back Problems

When you review some of the most common back pain facts, you will learn that lower back inflammation is most commonly caused by physical conditions such as muscle sprains, ligament strains, and herniated discs. Many people also have back pain and swelling from a traumatic injury or skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis.

Stress increases or enhances a person’s response to pain, says Harvard Health, especially if they are already anxiety-prone or experience catastrophic thinking. According to, a vicious cycle where pain causes more stress and stress causes more pain can also occur.

For example, the stress of wondering if your back pain will get better or if the inflammation will subside can also contribute to your feeling more pain. You may also become anxious that your provider does not understand your symptoms or that you need a second opinion. Stress from working long hours through back discomfort can also make swelling and discomfort feel much worse. If you lose sleep or do not exercise as a result of your back symptoms or emotional suffering, you may also feel more uncomfortable and stressed.

mature woman suffering from backache

How to Treat Symptoms of Stress

When you think stress can be contributing to your back pain, talk to your doctor. Tell him or her how you are feeling and if any symptoms, such as inflammation or the loss of mobility, are becoming worse. An honest conversation with your physician about your treatment plan can relieve anxiety and help you to find new solutions.  

Here are a few other ways to treat symptoms of stress:

  • Talk to a counselor or therapist: A mental health professional can help you to find some of the root causes of stress in your life. A counselor can also help you learn to better cope with your chronic back symptoms. Ask your doctor for a referral or search online for a qualified mental health counselor, psychologist, or marriage and family therapist in your area.
  • Relaxation techniques: Simple at-home activities can help you to unwind and de-stress. Try deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. If it is okay with your doctor, get a lower back massage. Slow, wide, and gentle strokes can help to stimulate blood circulation and reduce muscle tension. You will also enjoy the quiet, relaxing environment and time away from your everyday responsibilities.
  • Exercise: Physical activity is an excellent way to drive oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and keep the back limber. It is also one of the most effective ways to reduce symptoms of stress. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) says that exercise is shown to elevate and stabilize mood, as well as improve sleep. It also decreases overall levels of tension in the mind and body.

How to Care for Your Back Pain

If you are experiencing chronic lower back inflammation or pain, make an appointment with your doctor. A physical examination, as well as a review of your medical history and current symptoms, will help them make the right diagnosis. You should also let your doctor know if you think that stress is contributing to your discomfort. This will help in customizing your treatment plan to include stress relief activities and relaxation techniques.


Another way to care for your back pain is through what is known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) (sometimes referred to as low-level light therapy or LLLT). This cutting-edge therapy is one of the best ways for you to get relief from symptoms of lower back pain. Devices with PBMT technology are able to penetrate the skin and modulate pain and inflammation, without the use of pharmaceuticals or invasive treatments.

You should give laser therapy a try today if you are seeking a new solution to your discomfort. Everyone deserves to find a pain relief plan that works for them. Stress relief techniques in combination with laser therapy may be the solution to relieving your moderate aches, inflammation, or muscle spasms.

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