Emotional stress at work can cause spine problems.
Researchers tested twenty-five healthy volunteers. All performed
lifting chores in a simulated workplace. Some of the volunteers were
praised while others were criticized and punished randomly. The volunteers
stressed by inappropriate criticism, reported back or neck pain. A few
also developed high blood pressure. Some of the stressed volunteers
developed other medical problems.
The researchers believed that in stressful environments, workers might
forget to lift properly or might just try to work too quickly. They
indicated that in stress the muscles might tighten or strain more and
could be more susceptible to injury. In other words, psychological stress
and workplace hostility resulted in physical injuries.
If you do lifting at work, and if you have neck or back pain, you
probably should tell your employer. You can loose benefits if you fail to
report an injury promptly. In California, a lifting injury is covered by
workers’ compensation insurance even when a stress claim is not.