Mind matters! Does this phrase make sense in this condition? Yes, it’s a bitter truth that psychological stress can make your back ache! About 20 – 30 % of back pain is stress-related. Does that sound ridiculous? Stop worrying and reboot your mind with Ayurvedic remedies for stress-related back pain live a disease-free life.
How does stress cause back pain?
The manifestation of mental stress in our body is often unpredictable as it can cause myriad effects in our body.
When stressed, your body will have to undergo various hormonal changes, including adrenaline rush and changes in cortisol levels.
An adrenaline rush can increase your blood pressure and supply, which puts your paraspinal muscles under strain and ultimately results in back pain. It can also cause changes in your breathing levels whereby the respiratory muscles have to overwork resulting in muscle strain and can cause mid back pain.
Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can decrease your muscle tone, which in turn causes muscle strain due to decreased muscle strength.
Symptoms of Stress-related back pain
When you have stress-related back pain, you are likely to experience the following symptoms :
● Sleepless nights
● Elevated breathing pattern
● Gastric issues
Most Common Stressors that cause back pain
Stressors are nothing but certain internal and external factors that affect the function of our body. In this case, physical and psychological stressors can make your back pain.
Some of the physical stressors that can cause back pain are:
● Muscle, tendon, and ligament strain and injury
● Nerve irritation and inflammation
● Bone and joint pathologies such as arthritis or osteoporosis
● Structural defects such as scoliosis
● Narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal canal
● Excess weight
● Physical inactivity and deconditioning
● Reduced strength and flexibility in your core muscle groups
● Injuries due to Overuse
● injuries sustained during work and sports may also induce stress in your back and lead to ongoing pain.
The psychological stressors linked to back pain can be any mental conflicts; in that condition, your body tends to interpret stressful emotions as a physical emergency. This can make your heart beat faster, your blood pressure rise, and
release certain hormones to prepare you for flight or fight reactions when faced with stressful conditions.
Your muscles, especially those in your back, arms, abodomen and legs, also respond to this bodily alert by preparing your body to cope with the quick movement. Once the stress passes, these physical reactions recede and return to normal.
Many experience ongoing stress related to their profession, worry over the future, relationship issues, death of loved ones and other issues.
Your body reacts to the concerns over your bills in the same way it responds to fear in connection with physical stress, chronic stress can keep your muscles persistently tense and spastic. This eventually causes your body to ache.
Tension-type headaches, for instance, are often linked with a stress-related muscle spasm in your neck and upper back. Lower back pain is often connected to psychological stress.
Sometimes even the worry over experiencing another attack of back pain after recovering from an injury can lead to muscle spasms that result in discomfort.
How to realize the back pain is due to stress?
Pain is just an unpleasant sensation running throughout your body. It mainly involves your perceptions and feelings.
The worse you think about your pain, the more you suffer. A proper history itself can figure out the cause of back pain.
People with stress-related back pain don’t have a history of physical trauma or injury, and other lab reports tend to be normal. But they may exhibit the presence of mental or emotional trauma; however, some may exaggerate their condition, known as catastrophizing, which can confuse the physician and ultimately hamper your health.
Ayurvedic remedies for stress-related back pain
Ayurvedic epics have mentioned the relationship between mind and body, offering the best in class treatment for this disorder.
According to this age-old science, stress-related back pain is mainly caused due to an imbalance in Vata Dosha in the body. So the treatment mainly aims at balancing the aggravated Vata Dosha.
Treatment such as Abhyanga (oil massage), Basti (enema), Parisheka, Elakizhi, Njavara Kizhi etc.
Other Ayurvedic stress-busting treatments, like Shirodhara, Shirovasti, Thalapothichil, Thalam, etc., can also be done according to the patient’s condition.
Internal Vata balancing and mind-relaxing preparations are also integral to the treatment.
Herbal supplements containing nourishing herbs such as Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shankapushpi, Bhringaraj, etc., can provide better results.
Moreover, Proper yogic practices and other exercises can improve your physical and mental health, including stretching exercises such as corner stretch, opposite arm/leg raise, cat-cow pose etc., and Yoga asanas help improve the spinal stability and tone of paraspinal muscles. Yoga renders mental and physical stability. It helps decrease pain perception by healing the emotional aspect of pain.
Practising Pranayama (Anulom viloma or alternate nostril breathing and bhastrika pranayama) can help balance Vata.
Among the Yoga Asanas, initially, when there is pain, start with simple back-bends, such as
● To keep the spine aligned, practice Veerasana.
Caution: Before trying any yogic postures, consult a yoga teacher or ayurvedic physician to determine the best postures that suit your condition.
Home remedies for Stress Related back pain
● Practice Pranayama and meditate regularly
● Always stay active
● Relax your body and mind
● Try to stay out of the stressful environment
● Practice Aromatherapy
● Laughing exercises
● Try to get good sleep
● Get a good body massage
● Take a Vitamin B-rich diet
● Herbal teas
● Dark chocolates
Stress is a condition that can hamper your health both physically and mentally. Hence a holistic approach is essential for properly managing this condition and is possible through the time-tested science, Ayurveda which can balance your physical and, mental health.