Holding in Your Anger Can Make Your Back Pain Worse

Published: August 11, 2012

In this study, researchers examined the effect of expressing anger vs. holding it in among 84 chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients. They measured tightness in the lower paraspinal (LP) muscle after harassing the patients and either allowing them to express anger or not. The people who were not allowed to express their anger had the worst muscle tightening and took the longest to recover. The moral of the study—be honest with and express your feelings, or be prepared to carry them around as back pain!


Trait Anger Management Style Moderates Effects of Actual ("State") Anger Regulation on Symptom-Specific Reactivity and Recovery Among Chronic Low Back Pain Patients. Psychosom Med 2008, doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181835cb7

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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