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"Can stress lead to back pain?"

ZocdocAnswersCan stress lead to back pain?


I have pain in my shoulder muscles and back muscles. My doctor said it could be due to stress. Does this sound right? Can stress really make your muscles sore and make them ache?


I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this discomfort in your shoulders and back! Your doctor is right, in that stress can lead to tension in the neck and back, which might turn into pain if it is not relieved. Many people, when they are stressed, will experience a 'tension headache' due to contraction and stiffness of muscles in the neck and head, and the same thing can happen lower down the back, translating into back ache and shoulder stiffness. Additionally, when you are under stress, you are likely to be sleeping poorly, eating poorly, and not exercising regularly. All of these things can also contribute to tension and stiffness in the back. Likewise, people who are stress and working to hard tend to have bad posture (for example, hunched over their computers all day) which makes things worse still. You may want to try working on your posture as well as trying to take regularly breaks for physical exercise and stretching. Often this alone is enough to relieve the pain. If not, however, you should go back to your primary care doctor for further advise and for additional treatment options, such as pain medications and a back exercise or physical therapy program.

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