Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Stress Management

Stress can appear in different forms. Some stressors are things that many of us encounter every day, like conflicts, disagreements or tension in our personal or professional lives. Whatever the cause, learning to manage the stress you feel is important to your health and well being.


Life can be challenging at times. Some challenges are good for you – they keep you on your toes and make life exciting. Other challenges can cause too much stress and lead to health problems. 

It's often hard to know if stress, or a physical condition, is causing a symptom, such as a headache or a stomachache. The first step is to be aware of stress and how it can affect your health. The next step is to learn to manage stress so it does not lead to health problems.

Stress Response

When your brain gets a message of danger or fear, it triggers a sequence of changes in your body. These “fight or flight” responses are designed to protect you. As an example, imagine you step off the curb and a speeding car just misses you. Your body would brace for action and you would experience some or all of the following:

  • Faster heart rate and increased blood pressure.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Feeling of nausea or “butterflies” in your stomach.
  • Hands and feet feel cold.

This response gives us the ability to protect ourselves from danger. Today, we don't regularly need to run away from threats. We are not in real danger. Instead, our stress response is triggered by nonthreatening situations, such as driving, responding to an email, or standing in line at the grocery store.

Sources of Stress

Stressors are often things that we encounter every day.

At work:

  • New job
  • Heavy workload
  • Long commute 

At home:

  • Frequent arguments
  • Money problems
  • Lack of support

In your personal life:

  • Poor health
  • Moving to a new home
  • Loss of a loved one

Many people have a history of difficult childhood experiences that can impact their health as adults. Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, include:

  • Abuse (physical, sexual, or psychological).
  • Neglect (emotional or physical).
  • Major family problems, such as alcoholism or drug abuse.
  • Violence in the home.

The stress caused by these experiences can lead to physical changes that become serious health problems later in life.

Stress-Related Illness

You can experience physical or emotional symptoms of stress. You may also notice changes in your behavior that affect your physical health and emotional well-being. These can include:

  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Sleeplessness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Back pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Chronic stress can weaken your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight illness. Be aware of the signals your body is giving you and get help to deal with your stress.

Relaxation Response

You can learn techniques to help manage stress. For example, you can learn how to activate the relaxation response in the stress center of your brain. This response causes reactions in the body that turn off the stress response:

  • Slowed heart rate and decreased blood pressure.
  • Slower, deeper breathing.
  • Relaxed muscles, no longer braced for action.
  • Regular and pain-free digestion processes.
  • Surface blood-vessel flow returns to normal returning color and warmth to the body.

This response does not happen automatically. Most people need to learn how to activate the response. Deep breathing is one way to produce the relaxation response.

Related Health Tools:

Classes and Coaching

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If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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