Can high anxiety cause back pain?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

High anxiety can indeed cause back pain. When we experience anxiety, our body responds by going into a state of heightened alertness. This results in increased muscle tension throughout the body, including the muscles in the back.

The muscles in the back are particularly prone to tensing up during times of stress. This is because they are involved in maintaining our posture and supporting our spine. When we are anxious, our body’s natural response is to prepare for fight or flight. As a result, our muscles tighten in anticipation of potential danger.

This constant state of tension in the back muscles can lead to discomfort and pain. The increased muscle tension can create knots or trigger points in the muscles, which can be painful and restrict movement. This can manifest as both upper back pain, which is commonly felt between the shoulder blades, as well as lower back pain.

Personal experience: I have personally experienced back pain as a result of high anxiety. During a particularly stressful period in my life, I noticed that my back started to ache constantly. The pain was mainly in my lower back and it felt like a dull, achy sensation. It made it difficult for me to sit or stand for long periods of time without feeling discomfort.

When I sought medical advice, my doctor explained to me that the muscle tension caused by anxiety was likely contributing to my back pain. They recommended a combination of stress management techniques, such as relaxation exercises and mindfulness, along with physical therapy to help relieve the tension and strengthen the muscles in my back.

It’s important to note that while anxiety can cause or contribute to back pain, it’s not the only factor at play. Other factors such as poor posture, lack of exercise, and underlying medical conditions can also contribute to back pain. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of your back pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

High anxiety can indeed cause back pain. The increased muscle tension that often accompanies anxiety can lead to discomfort and pain in the muscles of the back. It’s important to address both the anxiety and the back pain through stress management techniques and appropriate medical care.