Man sat at his desk and rubbing his neck

How Stress Impacts Back Health and Ways to Alleviate It


The Stress-Back Health Connection

Stress can manifest in our bodies in various ways, often impacting our back health:

  1. Muscle Tension: Stress can cause muscles to tense up, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back, leading to pain and stiffness. It’s not uncommon for patients to visit us with stress-related back issues.
  2. Poor Posture: High stress levels often result in poor posture, which can exacerbate back pain. When we’re stressed, we tend to hunch over our desks or slouch, putting extra strain on our backs.
  3. Reduced Physical Activity: Stress can lead to fatigue and a sedentary lifestyle, both of which negatively impact back health. Finding the motivation to stay active can be challenging when stress levels are high.

Ways to Manage Stress

Here are some effective strategies to help manage stress and protect your back health:

  1. Exercise Regularly: Physical activity helps to reduce stress and strengthen the back muscles. Activities like walking, swimming, and yoga are particularly beneficial. Personally, I find a brisk walk in the park does wonders for clearing my mind and easing tension.
  2. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can help manage stress levels. I often recommend these techniques to my patients as part of their treatment plan.
  3. Proper Sleep: Ensure you get enough sleep, as rest is crucial for both mental and physical health. Establish a regular sleep routine and create a restful environment in your bedroom.

Healthy Back Practices

In addition to managing stress, adopting healthy back practices is essential:

  1. Maintain Good Posture: Be mindful of your posture when sitting and standing. If possible, use ergonomic furniture. At work, I use a standing desk to help maintain good posture throughout the day.
  2. Stretching: Regular stretching can help alleviate muscle tension and improve flexibility. Here are some easy stretches for relaxation over the holidays:
    • Child’s Pose: Great for stretching the lower back and calming the mind.
    • Cat-Cow Stretch: Helps to relieve tension in the spine.
    • Seated Forward Bend: Stretches the back and hamstrings, promoting relaxation.


Managing stress is vital for maintaining back health. You can alleviate stress and keep your back in good shape by incorporating regular exercise, mindfulness practices, and healthy back habits. For personalised advice or to schedule a visit, contact us.

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