Stress, Caring and Back Pain
What causes stress for carers?
Being a carer can provide great satisfaction, but it can also be very stressful. Up to half of all carers experience significant stress. Identifying the causes of stress is an important part of self care and can also help you to seek appropriate support.
Becoming a carer for your parent, partner or child inevitably changes your relationship. This can be upsetting. It can be overwhelming if you’re worried about money or how you’ll manage. It can also be stressful if you have to change your personal plans, for example if you could not go on holiday or had to turn down a job.
Stress related symptoms
Stress increases your risk of developing back pain and more than two thirds of carers already have back pain. A four year study of nurses showed that stress was the biggest predictor of which nurse would develop back pain.
You are not alone
More than 1 in 10 of us re now carers – you are not alone. Contact your local Carer’s Centre to make sure you are getting the practical support you need.
Support from other carers can also be very helpful – they may be able to give you useful tips and help you feel less isolated.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to help you – sometimes people just don’t know what you need and may feel awkward about asking you.
Make sure you get a break and keep up with some of the activities you enjoy which you may have stopped due to your caring role. Stay connected with your friends and family.
As a carer you are entitled to a carer#s assessment to help you talk through what would help you to cope. You can ask for one from your local authority.
More information on Carers Week can be found here