Stress and chronic pain are closely related. Stress can aggravate or even cause physical pain, and the reverse is true, as well. It can sometimes feel like a matter of the chicken or the egg: you may feel unsure whether to focus on reducing your stress or managing your pain. At Motus Integrative Health, we have plenty of treatments that help you accomplish both! As our chiropractors treat your pain, you’ll see a significant improvement so you can develop a more positive outlook on your health. Here’s how you can manage your stress-related pain.
Stress is a complex combination of hormonal and physiological processes that occur in our bodies. When we sense danger, a hormone releases into the bloodstream that prepares us to defend against this threat, a state that is also known as “fight or flight.” Your muscles tense up, your heart rate increases and your breathing becomes shallow and fast.
While stress is an important evolutionary process, it hasn’t changed in millennia. This is problematic because in the modern world, our stressors aren’t always as tangible as saber-tooth tigers. Today, stressors come in the form of relationship problems, careers, personal responsibilities, and uncontrollable situations. Eliminating stress entirely from our lives isn’t realistic. We will always encounter stressful or uncertain situations.
So what can be done to manage our stress response? Finding what’s causing your stress, and understanding your physical symptoms, is key in reducing your pain. Here are a few types of pain that are commonly associated with stress and how our chiropractors can help.
Muscle tension is one of the leading symptoms of anxiety. It’s a natural reaction as your body braces itself to react to danger. For instance, you may tense your shoulders or clench your jaw. Over time, muscle tension can cause chronic pain. Massage and myofascial release techniques are among the most effective treatments since they directly release pain from your muscles. Plus, a massage has the added benefit that it’s relaxing, so you’ll reduce your anxiety in the process!
Many people tend to become sedentary when stressed. After all, being in a constant state of fight-or-flight is exhausting, both physically and mentally. In turn, you may experience back pain because you are spending too much time sitting. Furthermore, some individuals experience dietary changes. Many people do not get their daily nutrient requirements in general, and that’s worsened during stressful periods. Emotional eating is common and can result in lethargy, poor nutrition, and digestive upset. Nutritional counseling is helpful in getting you back on track.
Neck tension is very common in people with anxiety. Tense muscles in the neck and shoulders can lead to headaches. If you experience this type of pain, consider chiropractic manipulative therapy. Since the neck is a part of the spine, treating the spine often relieves tension in the neck. A few adjustments will straighten your spinal cord, helping you improve your posture and relieve pain along your spine.
At Motus Integrative Health, we use scientifically-based treatments to eliminate pain from its source. Our chiropractors will help you manage pain caused by anxiety. Contact us today to book your appointment!
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