How Anger Can Cause Back Pain

Anger And Pain

Back pain is often a personal and subjective experience. Many spine surgeons in Los Angeles believe this is due to a variety of emotional and psychological factors, such as anger, stress, and tension. If you’re curious as to whether or not your emotional state can influence your back pain, here’s why.

Tension That Preexists in the Body

According to Rupert Sheldrake, a renowned author and biochemist who spent several years working at a medical rehab clinic, there’s one major reason for back pain: preexisting tension within the body. If you’re angry often, you may have more internal tension than the average person, and this tension could extend to the muscles that support your spine.

The Vicious Cycle of Anger and Back Pain

The Vicious Cycle Theory proposes there’s a direct association between pain and muscle activity that results in a constant cycle of pain. The same could be said for anger and back pain. Emotions may trigger back pain, and the discomfort could lead to additional emotional stress, causing a never-ending cycle that’s difficult to break without treatment.

Anger’s Physical Effects

Anger stimulates the left hemisphere of the brain, which changes chemical and hormonal activity. Some of the causes of anger-related back pain include:

  • Reduced blood flow to the muscles
  • Muscle tension due to high anxiety
  • Poor sleep quality—reduces natural soft tissue healing and alters eating habits

Behavioral Changes

Some people may argue that back pain caused by psychological factors isn’t as serious as other types of back pain. However, this is incorrect. It’s a very real type of back pain. If the treatments for the back pain aren’t helping, steps should be taken to manage anger and be more productive when it comes to addressing situations that cause the anger in the first place. Try the following tips:

  • Speak with a counselor or close friend
  • Vent built-up frustrations in a positive and productive manner
  • Find a new perspective on the triggers for your anger
  • Don’t allow your anger triggers to build up

If you really want to identify the emotional factors that are contributing to your back pain, make sure to be honest with your doctor. Even if it turns out anger isn’t the main reason you’re experiencing back pain, it’s a good idea to manage it properly to maintain your overall health.

If you’d like to learn more about managing and treating back pain, speak with a board-certified spine specialist in Los Angeles. At The Spine Institute, we believe it’s crucial to asses each patient as an individual to determine the best course of action for relieving their pain. Call (310) 828-7757 today to schedule an in-person evaluation.