Stress makes my pain spike

Long and short of it, my job requires me to be ready to be physical.  No need for details  other than when the adrenaline spikes...EVERY problem area tenses up esp my lumbar area which goes full on 

Then  neck to a lesser extent depending on what the stressors are continously doing

I work many hours and sleep when not so thats a reason ime able to tolerate pain tona low roar. But holiday stresses.S.A.D and job stuff makes the pain rise to injury levels.

Question is, does your back do the same thing, do your stress levels cause you pain? it a me thing...

I try to manage stress with hobbys and music etc..but there are "those" days too

Do you try to manage your levels? And managing those..stress you out? 

Im stressing over this....



  • It's not just you William, when I am stressed everything tightens up, and everything hurts more, I haven't found a way to not let it happen


  • It's a fact, stress increases pain and pain causes stress, it's a vicious cycle! I took a stress management class for chronic pain folks (I actually took it twice) and we learned coping techniques. The one that's been the most helpful to me is mindfulness meditation. Sounds complicated but it just involves being aware of your breathing, muscle tightness thoughts. I still use a 15 minute CD every night which just guides me through concentrating on my breathing. Most nights it's the only way I can get to sleep! 

     And I do a "take five" a few times a day where I stop and concentrate on slow breathing and consciously relaxing my muscles.  We were even taught to just check out for 30 seconds in your mind and take one deep breath. After awhile your body just does it automatically. It's amazing how tense I find my muscles when I take the time to think about it. We did biofeedback when we would take our hand temp and he would talk us through relaxation and it actually reduced hand temp by 10-20 degrees. 

    A real eye opener to me was that the way I think about my pain has a physiological effect. The doctor that led the class said it was biology not psychology. We always talk about having a positive attitude but I'm much more intentional about it now. We also talked about spacing and pacing which is the hardest one for me. Stopping in the middle of something even for a few minutes or breaking down the task is tough. We're all kind of 'just get it done ' people! For example, I have 20 orchids, I've had to make myself water half one day and half the next. It kills me to do them all at once so why would I push myself like that and why do I need someone to tell me it's ok?! Rhetorical question, I know the answer, lol. 

    Ok so you ask a simple question and I get a bit carried , but this stuff is helpful. I wish I could go to the support group for this but it's at night and I don't do well with that and driving has become very difficult which is a stressor for me, breathe, just breathe. 


  • advertisement
  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 490

    Same with me, it’s harder to walk, and think about things. Hard watching TV even.

  • 100%....stress makes everything feel worse.

    Recently experienced a major part attack,  something I've not had for years.

    Take your mind somewhere else. Deep breathes. 

    And remember,  you can only do what you can do, be that at work or elsewhere. 

    Breathe in deep through your nose, feel your stomach expand, hold for 7 seconds,  release and breathe out through your mouth.

    It will pass.

    Take care.

  • Stress makes my pain worse and boy do I have a stressful job, but I retire in 5 months. The hassle is not worth making my health worse. I take mental health days when I need one.

  • advertisement
  • Absolutely William, stress is stressful thinking and talking about it.   Like Joanne, I’m in a mindfulness pain and anxiety group, which really really helps as lately I found myself getting down recently due to being laid off, another hospitalization for respiratory failure, and had to give up the MM which I had found a good blend that helped reduce my stress. After that, stress went to the moon and I was put back on Xanax.  So I started the one on one psych visits and the group therapy.  

     The first group session I learned meditation as Joanne describes it, my neuropathy pain started in my legs and feet and I failed at just accepting the pain and getting through it, I was so stressed! ;) I had learned breathing techniques and those have helped so much, especially getting to sleep, but the minute that pain comes on - everything in my body TENSES.  I can still mentally head off a full blown panic attack, but the meditation while experiencing pain is going to take some practice. 

    I also find music really helps alleviate stress, and my dogs.  My wife helps but I hate to burden her and find myself by myself dealing with it, which can get depressing, and stressful.  

    A viscous cycle stress is!

  • Joel1Q, I'm so glad you found this group! As you know and described, it doesn't exactly take the pain away but really helps. I know what you mean about meditation while experiencing pain takes some practice. Some nights I have to wrestle my brain into submission and listen to my CD (actually on the Cloud) a couple of times to be able to concentrate on it and finally relax. It's strange the way our brains insist on focusing on the pain. Someone elses voice is easier for me to concentrate on at that point instead of my own!

    I find the teaching about my thinking and what I tell myself about my pain being physiological,  fascinating. I'm close to not being able to drive and that has been SO hard to accept. If tell myself how awful that is, humiliating, scary even, and anguish over what COULD happen, my stress goes through the roof and the pain increases. But if I tell myself how thankful I am to have a roommate who is so willing and able to drive me where I need to go and friends and family who come to visit and are so willing to help, I can relax. It's amazing how my body responds to those things that bring pleasure, family, friends, music, laughter, pets and with me, the beauty of a blooming orchid and other growing things. I have to be the boss of my mind, lol. 

    And I'm guessing your wife is so willing to talk through things with you. I always wanted my husband to share his heart with me.. He died 3+ years ago and I miss talking things through with him. Keep up the good work! 

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 327

    Agree with others that stress increases pain. Massage, hot bath, and hot tub have helped me.

  • Recently, I've been at neuropathologist, because of presyncope and strong pains. I though it's all because of some kind of a low pressure or sth like this, but I was told the reason is an ordinary stress. 

    After that, I realized I need to do something to my way of living and moved from my parents' house, started live myself, start every morning with a small training, start eat healthy food and the most important, try not to stress to much. And it works, my phantom pains gone away.

Sign In or Join Us to comment.