It’s a fact that many highly-stressed individuals simply refuse to accept that they may be more stressed than is good for them; this denial, of course, allows them to ignore the situation and just carry on as before. But there is no question that all of us, no matter how much we may like to think that we’re always totally in full control of our emotions, are to a greater or lesser degree susceptible to stress, either because we over-react to events or because we have a low stress tolerance level in the first instance.

Although a little bit of undue stress now and then may not do a great deal of harm, ongoing undue stress at a high level certainly will eventually exact a price to be paid in overall poorer health, whether this manifests itself as back pain or any one of a dozen other conditions whose incidence is at least partly linked to stress or worsened by it.

Doctors, of course, have many ways of determining whether someone is overstressed, but there is also a very simple and remarkably accurate way of finding this out for yourself and that is to just ask yourself whether you’re under undue stress. If ‘yes’ is the answer that immediately springs to your mind in response to this self-questioning, then it is most likely that this will indeed be so. Equally, should your own self-assessment suggest that you’re not particularly stressed, then that, too, is most likely to be the correct conclusion.

Naturally, how much stress you’re under usually varies considerably from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year.

Because stress is seldom constant in its intensity, many people fail to come up with either a clear-cut ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer when they ask themselves whether they’re stressed, instead saying things like, “Well, I do get stressed now and then, but I can cope with it and it doesn’t bother me” or “No, I’m pretty sure that I’m not under great stress – well, perhaps now and then things do get on top of me.”

When you try this self-test and find that your own answer sounds a bit like those above, then most experts would suggest that you are indeed at least partly affected by stress. And, if you’re having back problems, then the chances are that somewhere along the way stress has made a considerable difference to how much these have affected you. If so, it follows logically that reducing or controlling your stress level in the future is likely either to reduce your back problems or at least make them more bearable.


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