Can Stress Cause Back Pain?

Stress is a natural part of living, and some would argue, that stress provides the traction that makes life interesting. All of us experience stress from time-to-time and it’s important to learn how to manage that stress to ensure that our mental health and physical well-being does not suffer as a result. Even with some of the more positive benefits that stress can bring, too much of it can quickly kick our lives into a negative space.

Suffering from depression and anxiety, stress can have as much of an effect on our physical well being as it has on our mental health. Anyone who has ever worked in your standard office has at some point been in a situation where the pressure of work has translated into stress, which can begin as a headache, slowly crawl down your spine and into your shoulders. Combined with your posture, you are not only fighting upper back pain, but the pain also slowly creeps down your lower your back causing more discomfort.
Let’s take a look at some reasons why stress often is at the root of back pain and learn what you can do to find some relief.

What Is At The Root Of Stress That Causes Back Pain?

Anxiety is the root cause of stress simply because it activates the body’s response which creates tension. This tension is in response to chemical changes due to stress hormones in the body, which are in response to wanting to get out of a perceived or real dangerous situation. Ultimately, the stress associated with anxiety creates little bundles of tension in our muscles, and the greater the amount of stress, the larger these bundles become, and then result in creating pain in the affected areas.

What Are The Most Widely Affected Areas Of Stress-Induced Back Pain?

Stress-related back pain can show up in different areas in the body. Primarily, it can be recognised is in the shoulders and neck. Stress creates an automatic reaction in our bodies to hold our shoulders in a raised position, which tighten the muscles creating the bunching associated with the type of tension that creates pain. Muscles eventually become strained in the tendons and where the bone joins with muscles at the back of our neck, causing pain in the shoulders and neck.

High levels of stress can even affect our breathing resulting in pain in the mid and upper back. When we have stressed our breath becomes shallower and quicker. Because we breathe from our diaphragm and chest as opposed to our abdomen, which causes tension from muscles in the region that tighten and ultimately cause pain in the mid and upper back.

Finally, the lower back is constantly under attack by stress-related problems that manifest themselves. Stress mainly affects our posture as our physical body adjusts to whatever anxiety-inducing stressor is in the environment. Changes in the way we stand, walk, sit, and even sleep can all be the beginnings of stress in the body, more specifically the lower back. Think about how many times you have found yourself hunched over the computer screen while working. Well, this one particular issue can result in back pain directly related to poor posture.

What Are Some Of The More Common Symptoms Related To Stress-Induced Back Pain?

The more common symptoms of stress-related back pain can include experiencing, not only back pain, but spasms, stiffness, soreness, and limited or no mobility. In some cases, those with back issues always feel tension and soreness in the affected area. This soreness may also affect your ability to sleep. In essence, any time you find yourself with tension in your back that is unrelated to a diagnosed issue the possibility could very well be stressors in your life.

What Are The Root Causes Of Stress-Related Back Pain?

Of the most common causes, posture is at the root of much stress-related back pain. As stated previously, poor posture such as sitting hunched over a desk or slouching in a chair can create the types of imbalance in the body that creates bunching up of muscles and then the pain. Worse yet, poor posture, if not corrected, tends to develop into a hard-to-break habit.

Sedentary lifestyles definitely contribute to back pain. When our stress levels peak, it tends to make us want to engage in behaviours that are not necessarily proactive, namely hanging out on the couch or hunched over a computer screen. Furthermore, inactivity also predisposes the body to injury and makes your back more vulnerable than ever to injury.

Hypersensitivity is a major issue related to anxiety. For some reason, back pain becomes more pronounced just because our bodies become very sensitive to aches and pains. One of the reasons for this is that it is believed that anxiety causes us to heighten our feelings.

How Do You Combat Stress-Related Back Pain?

There are a number of products available to address both the physiological and psychological parts that contribute to back pain. Whether we are talking about posture, sedentary lifestyles, and the effects of hypersensitivity on the body, these stressors can be alleviated to reduce back pain levels.

Let’s take a look at jus ta few of the different products that can be used to help first reduce stress levels and then back pain.


To correct your posture, the Flex Guard Posture Brace works by training your muscles and spine to work correctly, and if worn consistently, can reduce pain associated with a number of back-related issues. The product also comes with a booklet with instructions on different exercises that can help with better posture. Those who wore the brace found the product to be durable and comfortable, with only petite women finding the brace to be ill-fitting.

Back Brace Posture Corrector - Best Fully Adjustable Support Brace

Flex Guard Posture Brace


Another product that can be a fantastic go-to for correcting posture issues is the Vibo Care Posture Corrector for Men and Women. This is another brace that is designed to realign the spine while strengthening the muscles in the upper back. Most users commented on the product’s durability and high-quality material. Both products can be worn underneath clothing. However, the Flex Guard provides users with a more comfortable fit than the Vibo Care product.

Posture Corrector for Men and Women - Comfortable Upper Back Straightener Brace

Vibo Care Posture Corrector for Men and Women

Sedentary Lifestyles

There are a number of products that can help increase activity in those who are sedentary. One great stress reliever that can be done right at home are light yoga and Pilates exercises. Amazon features a number of books that can show even the most sedentary how to maximise their free time.

Yoga & Pilates for Everyone is an instructional book that features a range of exercises for both beginner and those who are more advanced. These exercises can help strengthen your back and spine while providing you with more flexibility. Users also found that the pictures accompanying the exercises were very helpful in accomplishing some of the exercises.

Yoga & Pilates for Everyone A Complete Sourcebook Of Yoga And Pilates Exercises To Tone And Strengthen The Body

Yoga & Pilates for Everyone

If not interested in doing callisthenics, consider taking up an activity in the afternoon to get yourself going. Cooking classes, walking in the afternoon, or any activity that piques your interest can be the thing that helps you get active. The activity does not have to be physically exerting, but it should get you to engage with the environment while helping reducing stress.


Because hypersensitivity is closely linked to anxiety, finding ways to reduce your anxiety will be at the root of solving stress and back pain issues. Common things that can aggravate the anxiety include caffeine, not getting enough sleep, getting enough exercise and rest, and then completely avoiding conversations and people who cause you stress. Meditation can also be a very useful way to reduce stress levels.

Also, consider a massage as a way to alleviate some of the stress. If you cannot afford to go to the spa, consider purchasing InvoSpa’s Shiatsu Back, Neck, and Shoulder Massager with Heat. This product can provide effective deep tissue massage that you get at the spa without the expensive price tag. This can be used to ease muscle tension in the neck and stress. Of all of the customers who reviewed the product, many of them found the product to be well worth the investment, as it does deliver on its promised to give a spa-quality massage.

Shiatsu Back Shoulder & Neck Massager with Heat - Deep Tissue 3D Kneading Pillow Massager

InvoSpa’s Shiatsu Back, Neck, and Shoulder Massager with Heat

Finally, there is the Five S Deep Tissue Massager, which can be used on neck, shoulders, waist, and feet. Users found the product to be helpful with a range of conditions including migraine headaches and the usual tension in the neck and head. Another great feature of this product is that it can be used in the car as it is portable and comes with a car charger.

FIVE S FS8801 Deep Tissue 3D Kneading Shiatsu Neck, Shoulder, Back, Leg and Foot Massager Pillow with Heat, Beige

Five S Deep Tissue Massager

Reduce Stress And Lower Back Pain

Stress-related health problems, including back pain, can be addressed by going to the source of the problem and reducing stress. The above products all do that, but the three that were the most successful with users were Flex Guard Posture Brace, Yoga & Pilates for Everyone, and InvoSpa’s Shiatsu Back, Neck, and Shoulder Massager with Heat. One of the major reasons that this is the case is because the products are highly effective when used correctly. Of the three, the Flex Guard Posture Brace is our top pick because it can be used from any location, and it addresses all sorts of back pain and provides great support throughout the day.



Were you able to learn how stress causes lower back pain in our ‘Can Stress Cause Back Pain’ article? You may also want to know about our ‘5 Back Pain relief Inversion Tables on Amazon’. 

Written by ArvinChester