January 18, 2018

Stress Can Increase Lower Back Pain

Do you have unexplained or excessive back pain?  Are you buried in stress?  The two could be related.

According to a Stanford University study, stress can increase incidents of lower back pain.  They tracked nearly 100 people over four years.  Patients with emotional distress were three times more likely to develop back pain than those with better coping skills.

Stress can affect the body in different ways.  Some people worry about a problem so much that it reduces their ability to think clearly.   Others feel their muscles tense up, which is the body’s natural physical reaction to stress.   A prolonged state of tension causes pain.

If you already have lower back pain from a physical condition, that same stress can increase the severity.

Here are 4 categories for reducing stress and pain.


  • Focus on one task at a time and forget about the rest for the moment.
  • Prioritize your “To Do” list so that the most critical things get done first.
  • Ask for help when a job can be divided or will benefit from outside expertise.
  • Make time for yourself.  A relaxing break can foster renewed focus.
  • Delete projects that just can’t get done and don’t really matter.


  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods in a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Be active with daily walks, sports or exercise.
  • Commit to giving up cigarettes and other unhealthy habits.


  • Be involved with friends and family.  Share feelings when appropriate.
  • Get to know co-workers on a personal level to improve communication and cooperation.
  • Turn to religious leaders when you would benefit from spiritual guidance.
  • Find a counselor or support group if a stressful issue needs professional help.


Physical therapy is essential in treating back pain caused by muscle and joint issues.  The exercises and manual “hands-on” therapy can also release the tension caused by stress, thereby helping you become pain free.

Call today for an immediate appointment!

Twin Falls  208-736-9011             Gooding  208-934-9011

(This blog is designed to provide general information on pertinent physical therapy topics. The statements made are provided for educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice nor do they necessarily reflect the views of Body Balance Physical Therapy or any of its therapists other than the author. This blog is not intended to create a therapist-client relationship between you and Body Balance Physical Therapy. If you have specific questions as to the application of these exercises to your medical condition, you should seek the advice of your physical therapist.)

You may also like:


Back to All Resources
Imageyoung girl playing tennis

Get a Free Session

Send us your email address and we will send you a voucher for a FREE 10-minute deep tissue laser therapy session ($40 value).