Smile to fight back pain!

Is the stress affecting my back?

The simple answer is – Yes!  Many doctors who specialise in back problems are now seeing a direct link between stress and chronic back problems

The reason is that our ancestors used the: “flight or fight” system to survive. This means that they had to be ready to fight against the enemy, or literally run away from them!

Today…it’s the same. When our brain feels in danger (real or presumed), it starts to send signals to our muscles to prepare us to fight or to run, so our muscles become more tense and the cortisol (stress hormone) starts to go around our system.

A constant state of stress will lead to muscle tightness and posture disorders. Have you ever noticed that when you are sad you start to hunch over? Try to smile in this position…I bet that is so much easier smiling with your chest opened up!

When you are in a positive state of mind, there are small biomechanical changes in our body.

Our brain is lazy…when you have been using the same pattern to try to resolve problems for years, it is difficult to suddenly switch to another way of thinking. But it is possible! It’s like when you start to exercise for the first time in a while –  it feels so horrible… real torture. Then, after a few weeks, you actually start to see results – feel better, happier…the same is to be said for our brain. Try to take a moment and stop for a second – and analyse if the way you are dealing with your problems is an old pattern and if it is…try to do something different!

When you are stuck in an old way of thinking there are different things you can try to open your mind to a new solution:

  • Mindfulness. There are amazing apps to try that if you do not want to spend money on anything that you do not know fits you. Try the app “calm” and take 10 minutes to follow the training
  • Stretching helps to release muscle tension and you will feel better
  • Move! Does not matter if you prefer to go to the gym, swim, cycle, walk the important is that you move…your back will thank you! Plus… Physical activity produces endorphins which are the hormones of pleasure for our body.
  • Sleep well and enough, at least 7-8 hours a night
  • Slow down your lifestyle rhythm
  • Have a massage!

And then… Don’t forget to smile!!

Author: Laura Taurasi

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Kensington Physio & Sports Medicine was founded in 1992 to offer private physiotherapy services to the West London area. We have a well established team of leading, experienced therapists who thrive on patient progress in a supportive team environment.... Read More

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