A lot of people suffer from back pain, 31 million Americans suffer from low back pain alone. Further studies show that approximately eight out of 10 Americans experiencing back problems at some point in their lives. Moreover, according to the American Psychological Association, 77 percent of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. While stress can cause emotional and cognitive pain, stress and back pain seem to be coupled more than any other.
As we mentioned, stress often causes detrimental emotional and psychological states. While it might not seem immediately clear how constant worrying can lead to complicated physical problems, hopefully it will after we are done. First let’s take a look at emotional and cognitive symptoms.
The Pain Cycle:
An injury of some kind occurs and the patient becomes limited in daily functions and life. This includes, work, leisure, and even small activities such as brushing teeth or picking something up. Stress occurs when the patient fears additional pain and injury – further decreasing activities. This fear may be exacerbated by doctors or loved ones by telling the injured individual to rest even further. Physical deconditioning and muscle weakening occurs and leads to even more pain. This pain causes stress and the cycle continues to repeat itself.
Stress Related Pain:
Emotional symptoms may include:
- Avoiding contact with others
- Low self-esteem
- Moody, frustrated, agitated
- Difficulty with controlling emotions
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
- Overly worrisome
- Poor judgment
- Unable to focus
- Constantly pessimistic
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach (diarrhea, constipation, and nausea)
- Lack of sexual desire
- Aches and pains
- Cold, sweaty, or “clamy” hands and feet
- Chest tightness
- Lower back pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Grinding teeth
Treatments for Back Pain:
Perhaps the best treatment for stress and back pain, is removal of what is causing you stress. However, there are times where the back pain continues long past the stress. When this occurs, it is time to look for potential treatments. At Metropolitan Pain Consultants we offer three different forms of therapy for your needs: spinal cord stimulation (SCS), platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and stem cells (bone marrow concentrate).
Spinal Cord Stimulation:
We traditionally use spinal cord stimulation for those with chronic pain issues. A small device is placed inside of the patient which essentially overrides the brain’s understanding of pain. Instead of the brain intercepting pain signals, the device causes the brain to never receive this information. Check out or post on the most frequently asked SCS questions.
PRP and stem cells, on the other hand, offer relief in a number of situations. Since, both procedures use the patient’s own blood to heal an injury – this treatment type is growing in popularity. From professional athletes to car accident patients, the demand for regenerative medicine grows. The treatment is fairly simple. A physician removes a sample of blood from the patient. This sample is then centrifuged and the contents separated. Once the physician has the right concentration, they will inject the sample into the site of injury. Regenerative blood factors flood the injured site and boost the rebuilding process. This heals the injury and removes pain.
Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you. If you suffer from stress and back pain and still need help, you can contact us at (201) 729-0001. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. Our conveniently located clinics can be found in West Orange, Aberdeen, Clifton, and Lyndhurst.