Back pain caused by anxiety is often secondary, which means that stress does not cause back pain, but anxiety causes behaviours that lead to back pain, says Dr Talaat Elabd, medical director and specialist – anesthesia and ICU at Bareen International Hospital in MBZ City, Abu Dhabi.

‘Chronic back pain can cause depression, and vice versa. In fact, body aches (including back pain) are common symptoms of depression, and research has shown that people with severe depression feel pain more severely than others. Anxiety can increase muscle tension significantly, which in turn increases the pain.’