Backaches and Stress
Causes and Risks of Backaches & Stress
Backache due to stress may be caused by fatigue or general stiffness due to remaining in a fixed position for extended periods of time, such as sitting at a desk at work for long hours. Stress may make a person more likely to remain tense and create muscular tension and is a significant risk factor for backache.
There are some serious conditions not due to stress that cause back pain and which warrant immediate medical evaluation. For example, a person experiencing back pain following trauma from a fall or vehicle accident should seek medical care. Strenuous lifting may cause a fracture of the spine. A tumor or infection may cause back pain. Persons with a history of cancer, fever, chills, weight loss, recent infection, pain that worsens on standing and severe night time pain should also see a physician promptly. Weakness, radiating pain down the buttocks or legs, loss of bladder or bowel control, or numbness should be evaluated by a physician.
Generalized lower backache is a condition that occurs mainly in people 20 to 40 years of age. Pain can be in the back, buttocks and upper thighs. Most lower back pain will recover spontaneously in four weeks. Usually, there is pain and/or stiffness for 12 to 36 hours after an injury.
Prevention and Treatment of Backaches & Stress
Prevention of Backaches & Stress
Lower back pain can get worse if the individual does not take any measures to prevent further occurrences. Specific exercises to strengthen and stretch supporting back muscles, weight loss if necessary, techniques for proper lifting and sleeping and body mechanics are preventive measures that should be discussed with a health care provider.
Treatment of Backaches & Stress
Treatment includes immediate medical attention if the symptoms are suggestive of a serious condition. For most, bed rest is not needed and may actually worsen the condition.
Consultation with a doctor should include education on how to prevent further injury and decrease stress to the lower back. Low–stress stretching and moderate exercise is helpful to relieve backaches caused by stress. During the first 24 hours of the injury, cold compresses for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day are helpful.
After the first day, application of heat for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day may alleviate the discomfort.