The effects of stress on the body are often misunderstood but the medical field is learning more about it all the time. In the past, doctors used to believe that this type of pain was all in the patient's head, that they actually did not feel pain they just thought they did. However, it's now known that this is not the case.
Stress related pain is very real and it usually occurs in the lower back region. It can also appear in the shoulder and neck areas. The pain is actually created by your brain and it's used as a way to take your mind off of some of the stress that you're under.
Many people may find it hard to believe that your brain can actually create physical pain. However, once you understand how it works, it'll be a lot easier to believe and accept that it may be the cause of your lower back pain.
How Does Stress Cause Pain
You have chronic pain in your lower back and your doctor has run a series of tests. He informs you that there is no medical reason for your pain, what do you do? If there is no injury or medical condition, why do you hurt so much? You're told your pain may be stress related but that seems impossible. Your first question may be, how does stress cause pain?
People are subjected to stress through their whole life. Stress that is not deal with get's buried within the unconscious mind. As you encounter even more stress on a daily basis, these repressed emotions begin to build up and eventually they start to surface to the conscious mind. When this happens, the brains self-defense mechanism kicks in and it begins to decrease the blood flow to the lower back region.
This decrease is very slight but it's enough to reduce the oxygen levels within this region. This allows waste products to slowly build up within the tissues around the spine that affects the tendons, muscles and ligaments. As a result, stiffness will set in followed by pain. This pain can be mild in the beginning and increase in intensity with time. It can last a day or two or turn into chronic lower back pain.
It happens because your brain considers this pain as being less threatening to your overall health than it would be to have these repressed emotions surface. This explains why stress related lower back pain is not all in your head. There is a real reason for the pain even though the source of the problem is stress and repressed emotions.
What Happens Now
If you believe stress is the source of your lower back pain, the first step is to learn how to deal with the stress that you encounter in a healthy way. This will reduce the repressed emotions that get buried in your unconsciousness. As a result, your brain will no longer view them as a threat. It will release regular blood flow back to your lower back region and the stress related chronic pain will begin to fade.
This defense mechanism does not cause any permanent damage to the area, which is good news. Once you begin dealing with the problem and get it under control, you do not have to worry about any lasting effects.