Psychological Issues Associated With Neck and Back Pain

Neck and back pain are sometimes associated with psychological issues. This doesn't mean the pain is just in the individual's mind. Mental and emotional stress leads to a tense body. Stress also can make discomfort feel worse compared with times when a person is feeling relaxed and content. As holistic practitioners, chiropractors help reduce physical discomfort and also address the underlying reasons for back and neck pain.


Mental and emotional stress causes tension in the body and results in physical behavior that gives rise to back and neck pain. Tension keeps muscles tight and puts some strain on other soft tissues. Blood flow is restricted as well, which can cause discomfort.


Posture can be an issue when a person is tense. When feeling relaxed, an individual tends to sit up straight or lean back against the chair while working at a computer, for example. Someone who is feeling stressed is more likely to hunch over and peer down at the screen. When this goes on for hours, the strain on the upper body is substantial.

Worsening of Pain

Stress can worsen pain, and it sometimes causes or worsens anxiety and depression. The problem may become a vicious cycle since chronic discomfort is associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety. After discussing aspects of the patient's life that could be related to the painful condition, the chiropractor may recommend various methods for decreasing stress.

Stress-Reducing Techniques

Relaxation techniques such as meditation and listening to calming music could be beneficial. Exercise is a mood booster and it increases energy levels too. Many types of physical activity do not put stress on the neck and back. Walking, swimming, and gentle yoga poses are examples.

Doctors have long been confounded by the way patients with similar back conditions differ so significantly in their symptoms. For instance, some patients with a herniated disc have little to no discomfort, while others experience a great deal of pain. Although it is not the case for everyone, research has found a connection between painful ruptured disc symptoms and psychological stress.

Concluding Thoughts

Chiropractors perform spinal adjustments to bring the musculoskeletal system back into alignment. This allows the body to more readily use its own innate healing abilities. These practitioners also perform methods like decompression therapy and deep-heat ultrasound for pain relief. Anyone dealing with bothersome back or neck pain that could be associated with psychological stress may contact a chiropractic doctor for an appointment.

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