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28 August 2003

Stress and your skeleton

Your stress could be the culprit behind that nagging back pain or those recurring headaches. But the ergonomics of your office could also be to blame and can result in muscle tension and spasms. Your whole skeleton bears the negative effects of stress.

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Backaches, headaches and muscle tension are very common and most people will suffer form one or more during their lifetimes. Tension plays a major role in the muscle spasm often associated with stress. Disorders of this kind are often related to chronic stress and the feeling of helplessness of individuals feeling unable to cope with the cause of their stress.

Environmental stressors such as pollution, poor working conditions, poor ergonomis (such as too low computer chairs leading to repetitive strain injury), noise combined with emotional factors, often lead to backaches, headaches and other musculoskeletal problems. This diminishes the efficacy and productivity in the workplace tremendously. The cost of backache alone, in Western countries, comes to astronomical figures.

Individuals suffering from these conditions (such as backache, tension headaches, migraine, muscle cramps, spasms, diminished flexibility and mobility of muscles and joints, susceptibility of injuries) often do not eat properly, they live a sedentary life, they abuse pain killers. This in turn makes them even less able to cope with stress.

Stress hormones also interfere with the body’s ability to build bone, resulting in bone loss, especially in women.

 
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