Shoulder and back pain – Are you trying to do too much?

This past year, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of my clients have been complaining about shoulder and / or back pain. The deeper we explored the cause of the pain and discomfort, the more the story behind the pain was revealed. For some it was a story of anger, fear, exhaustion and for others the story was about emotional shock and post-traumatic stress.

Shoulder and back pain can be referred pain from a physical issue, but it can also originate as the result of mental and emotional stress.

When we think of shoulder pain, we think of causes such as frozen shoulders, rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, tendinitis, or nerve impingement. From a mental or emotional point of view, painful shoulders could be an indication that you are carrying too much on your own. Pain and tension in the shoulders could signify a resistance, perhaps to the responsibilities you feel you need to uphold, or pressure to perform.

We often think that back pain and injuries are due to everyday wear and tear and overuse e.g sitting for long periods or lifting or pulling heavy objects.  This is not always the case. Our spine supports our body in more ways than we think. Every part of the body is connected and networked through the spine and central nervous system. Emotions stimulate very specific activities in our nervous system and could influence the way our bodies, e.g. our backs, compensate and ‘carry the weight’ to cope with emotional stress.

Some of the questions that you can ask yourself in regard to shoulder and back pain may be along the lines of:

  • Do you feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders?
  • Do you feel unsupported?
  • Is something ‘holding you back’ from moving forward?
  • Or are you trying to do too much?”

Shoulder and back pain, regardless of the cause, should never be dismissed. It can be extremely painful. It does not only keep you from doing the things you enjoy, but make even routine daily activities daunting and difficult.

Please feel free to contact me (0833266722; hermien.nel@gmail.com) if you need more information.