Is Your Stress Leading To Back Pain? Here's What You Can Do

If you're among the 20 percent of Americans who identify as suffering from "extreme stress," one of the symptoms you might be experiencing is back pain. Stress can cause or exacerbate back pain in a multitude of ways, including by restricting your blood flow and tightening your muscles. Although visiting a massage therapist can help to reduce your back pain, it's also ideal to work on lowering your stress level. After all, if a massage therapist (such as one from Excellence In Health Chiropractic & Rehab Clinic) fixes your physical issue but you allow your stress to continue, your back pain might soon reappear. Here are three proven techniques that can help to lessen your stress and, in turn, reduce your back pain. 

Get More Exercise

People who are stressed often reduce the amount of physical activity that they get, but being physical is exactly what you need to lower your stress. Physical exercise promotes blood flow, which can reduce pain throughout your body, stretches and strengthens achy muscles and has direct emotional benefits, too. When you exercise, your body releases endorphin hormones; these hormones can quickly improve your emotional well-being, which is why many people feel some degree of euphoria upon exercising. Walking, cycling, yoga and swimming, among other exercises, can all be beneficial when you're stressed and have back pain.

Learn How To Meditate

Making time for meditation is an effective way to reduce your stress. When you're able to shift into a meditative state, you can often shift your perspective on what's been causing you to be stressed. Even though it can take some time until you get accustomed to this practice, you can typically benefit simply from allowing yourself to relax and breathe deeply. Attending a beginners' meditation class at a local wellness center or following alone with a guided meditation online is a good place to start. When you become more familiar with meditation, you'll be able to use it whenever you feel a period of stress coming on, regardless of your physical location.

Change Your Diet

Adding certain elements to your diet can help to reduce your stress level, while removing other elements is equally helpful. Adding asparagus, for example, provides a dose of folate, which is an effective vitamin for reducing stress. Berries, too, are loaded with stress-reducing vitamin C. It's ideal to cut back on your intake of caffeine, as it can lead to a jittery feeling. Alcohol, additionally, is a depressant; reducing your alcohol intake can help to lift your stress.