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Where is my stress?

Lower back

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The jarring effect of accidents and falls may cause body stress to become locked into the lower back. Also, heavy or incorrect lifting or bending may strain ligaments and muscles and result in stress becoming stored in the structures. The wrong kinds of exercise – those that involve twisting movements or repeated forward bending – may stress the lumbar spine. Another cause is poor posture, especially sitting in a slumped position which reverses the normal lumbar curve. Sitting like this may give temporary relief from back pain, as it causes the joint spaces to open up at the back and thus reduce pressure on spinal nerves for a short time. However, this posture builds up pressure on the discs and in time the back walls of the discs may weaken and develop a bulge. This would result in pressure being exerted on a spinal nerve. The chart below illustrates the change in pressure on the intervertebral discs from a change in posture emphasising the importance of maintaining upright posture.

The neck

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The body stress stored in the neck structures may cause pain, stiffness, and an inability to fully turn the head. As the lower neck supplies the nerves to the arms, there may be pain or numbness in the shoulder, arm, or hand. Muscles may be weakened, resulting in difficulty in grasping objects. The tension in the neck may cause headaches or pain in the face or jaw. There may be sensations of dizziness or nausea. The pressure may irritate nerve pathways that connect with the eyes, nose, and mouth and this could adversely affect vision and the senses of smell and taste. Another effect may be a burning, dry mouth or excess saliva. Body stress in the neck area may also have an impact on nerve connections to internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, and digestive system, undermining normal function.


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Preparing to bring a child into the world can be stressful, as your body undergoes changes and your stomach expands to accommodate the baby it’s essential to keep the lower back free of body stress. Pressure in the lower back may cause tension of the ligaments connecting the uterus to the sacrum (the bone at the base of the spine), leading to discomfort, or leg pain (sciatica).


Mid/Upper back

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The chest and back areas may be strained by working in a hunched or twisted posture, e.g. bending over a sewing machine, doing woodwork, etc. Body stress may be caused by lifting heavy objects or by holding something up for a long time. Body stress may also occur as a painful spasm of the diaphragm muscle.

Besides the mechanical causes mentioned above, the cause may be emotional tension, such as shock or anxiety, e.g. the typical “butterflies in the stomach” feeling. In addition, the cause may be chemical, e.g. irritation from eating or drinking something spicy, acid or very cold. If there is body stress in the lower back, it may be referred into the muscles of the chest and upper back.

Arms & Legs

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The Knee Joint


This joint undergoes a great deal of daily strain, as not only does it bear the weight of the body, it is designed for the flexibility of a hinge joint. The cartilage pad in the knee joint and the ligaments supporting the joint may be stressed by twisting the knee, jarring it in a fall, or a hard kick. When there is body stress in the knee, besides being painful, the knee joint may be weakened to the point of collapsing when pressure is exerted on the leg, as in going up or down stairs.

Babies and children

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By keeping a child’s body free of body stress, it is assisted in ensuring that the growth and development are normal and healthy.


If the birth process is difficult, a baby may be born with body stress, especially in the neck and lower spine. Small children are likely to accumulate body stress as a result of frequent falls and jerks while playing, or trying to lift heavy objects. Children may sit incorrectly, e.g. reading or studying while sitting hunched over on a bed will induce stress in the neck and lower back. Watching television while in a

half-lying position which reverses the normal lumbar curve will cause pressure to build up in the spine. As they approach puberty, children become more self-conscious and may develop poor posture. Hunched shoulders, a contracted chest, and a downward tilted head occur as a defensive mechanism against the new challenges and stresses in life. Muscles tighten and tension becomes locked into the body.

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