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How stress effects our back?
How stress effects our back?

Twentysomethings who experience lifestyle stress may be increasing their risk for development of back pain in their 30s, according to researchers at the University College of London. Interviews were conducted with over 5700 33-year-old men and women concerning various mental and physical symptoms, and all participants had been interviewed 10 years before at age 23. Those participants who reported feeling psychological distress at age 23 were over twice as likely to develop lower back pain at age 32-33.

Study participants were members of a 1958 birth cohort, or group of persons who are evaluated over a period of years for research purposes. Approximately 10% of the respondents (571) reported that they had begun to experience lower back pain in the previous year.

These findings are interesting because they show that stress can have negative health effects in young persons. Many of the medical conditions which are known to be worsened by stress, such as heart and circulatory diseases, usually affect middle-aged to older adults.

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While stress was the most significant predictor for the development of low back pain, an association was also found between persistent moderate or heavy smoking and back pain development, with smokers 1.6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop back pain. Other factors such as job satisfaction, social class, body mass index, and childhood emotional status were not related to development of back pain.

The researchers did not specify particular types of psychological stress that were most related to back pain, noting that a variety of conditions such as low socioeconomic status, single parenting, or school problems may have led to stress in early adulthood.

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