Thursday, August 11, 2022

Can Anxiety Cause Shoulder Pain

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What Can I Do For My Lower Back Pain

What Can Cause Shoulder Pain?

The first step in getting relief from your back pain is to identify its cause. For instance, the treatment for trauma-induced back pain may be something for which you need professional help, while tension-induced pain may be able to be treated at home.

In general, over-the-counter medications, ice, and heat can provide significant relief from run-of-the-mill lower back pain. At the onset of your back pain, apply a cold compress for about 15 minutes, 3 4 times a day. After the first few days, use a heating pad instead. Warm showers or baths may also help loosen your muscles and relieve your pain. In some cases, massage therapy may help alleviate your symptoms. However, make sure that you seek treatment from a qualified, certified, and experienced professional, as improper techniques may result in a worsening of your pain.

For back pain that is caused by more serious conditions, including disk problems or osteoarthritis, professional intervention may be needed. In some cases, surgery may be recommended, but there are many instances when less invasive techniques can be equally or even more beneficial. Dr. Williams is proud to offer the breakthrough Regenexx family of procedures to his patients suffering from chronic pain and other problems. During your initial consultation, Dr. Williams will thoroughly evaluate your case, begin the process of diagnosing your condition, and explain how Regenexx treatment may benefit you.

Causes Of Frozen Shoulder

Long periods of inactivity of the shoulder, for example following surgery or injury, may cause the inflammation and tightness associated with frozen shoulders.

A person susceptible to inflammation, due to, for example, a weakened immune system, may result in a frozen shoulder.

Increased, or prolonged levels of stress or anxiety also are a source of inflammation. We are aware that tension gathers in our shoulders and causes tightness. Therefore, sustained stress or anxiety may also lead to a frozen shoulder.

What Do Anxiety Shoulders Look Like

So, what’s the go? Do I have anxiety shoulders? You might, you know.

Anxiety and stress-related pain in your shoulders typically makes you feel tense, tight, stiff or sore. So, it’ll usually make you look hunched over, with your shoulders rolled inwards.

Sound familiar?

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This kind of muscle tension is usually not only felt around your shoulders but can also be felt around your neck, and the back or top of your head .

The pain can range from slightly irritating to severe.

If you’re experiencing ‘anxiety shoulders’ you might also feel the need to ‘crack’ or ‘roll’ your neck in order to relieve some of that tension and stiffness.

Anyone else feel… seen? SAME.

Over time, this can all lead to chronic pain and other health issues – which is no good.

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The Anxious Mind And Body: Arm Pain Explained

  • Arm pain can affect anyone with anxiety, especially those with chronic anxiety.
  • The causes of arm pain can vary, from muscle tension to poor breathing, and more.
  • Arm pain may also be psychosomatic, but is still linked to anxiety.
  • There are some minimally effective ways to reduce some of that arm pain while youre anxious.
  • Only by decreasing anxiety overall will it be possible to reduce the frequency and severity of this arm pain.

Can Stress Cause Lower Back Pain

Top 10 Ways To Relieve Neck And Shoulder Pain

Back pain is arguably one of the most common and frustrating symptoms that we experience regularly. From causing difficulty working to trouble sleeping, there is no doubt that lower back pain is a major hassle. In many cases, the inability to pinpoint a cause or inciting event for the pain can be the most irritating thing about it, second only to the discomfort that interferes with your daily life. Your first thought may be that you pulled a muscle or moved the wrong way, leading to a sore back. However, you may be surprised to find out that a large number of back pain cases are actually caused by stress and its associated behaviors. The knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, led by Dr. Christopher Williams, is dedicated to helping patients determine the underlying cause of their condition and get quick relief from their painful symptoms.

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How Does Stress Lead To Shoulder And Back Pain

Stress is a complicated experience that involves physical and psychological factors. It can affect your body, your mental health, and your behavior. There are many effects stress can produce, and two of the most common are muscle tension and muscle pain.

Stress is the bodys response to a perceived challenge that requires a response. It can be positive, keeping you alert and ready to act, or negative, keeping you in a heightened state of tension without relief. When it is negative, the stress-related tension increases, and the natural fight or flight response is activated for an extended period of time. The result is any of a variety of physical and emotional symptoms.

Symptoms include general aches and pain, teeth grinding, headaches, and muscle tension in the face, neck, or shoulders, to name a few. It can also cause tight muscles in the back.

Stress Creates A Vicious Circle

The final point is a psychological one, but its important. Stress creates a heightened awareness of pain so if youre carrying a shoulder injury, it may cause you to focus greater attention on the painful symptoms in that area. This in turn can heighten stress. So a kind of feedback loop of discomfort is created. I sometimes observe this in shoulder patients after surgery. Stress can cause them to have a heightened perception of their pain and in some cases that heightened perception may lead them to change, or to break off, their rehabilitation regime. This isnt always ideal, since it can lengthen the recovery process when it might be better to relax and persist with the exercises.

So if you are experiencing stress, what should you do? The first answer is to examine the roots of your stress. And the first way to do that is to talk. For anxiety, that might mean confiding in a friend or seeking professional help through your GP or a counsellor. For stress thats causing obvious physical problems in the shoulder and neck area, you might choose to speak to a physiotherapist. They will be able to help you unpack the issues: how things should be working, where the pressure points are, what kinds of exercises you could take up to alleviate the problems. Or of course you could book in with us for a check-up. I am always happy to analyse the issue, talk through the options and advise on the next steps.

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Causes Of Anxiety Related Back Pain

There are many different issues that can lead to back pain, and it is helpful to speak with a doctor to determine what your cause may be. When anxiety contributes to back pain, it is believed thatthe cause of back pain from anxiety is mostly secondary – meaning that anxiety isn’t literally causing back pain, but anxiety is causing behaviors that lead to back pain.

There are many theories that describe a situation where back pain may be directly caused by anxiety. The most common is theory is that anxiety, which causes muscle tension, may be tensing muscles in the upper or lower back, and that that muscle tension causes pain in anxiety sufferers.

Massage therapists will tell you that their most stressed clients often have knots in their muscles, especially in their shoulder and upper back, so anxiety-related back pain really does exist.

But anxiety may also be causing separate issues that simply lead to back pain. These include:

Anxiety isnt believed to cause severe back pain. But its also important to remember that there is often a back pain cycle. Those with greater perceived back pain are more likely to over-adjust in an attempt to avoid the pain. Chiropractors see this often. A patient with mild back pain will make their back pain worse because they’re constantly walking, sitting, or twisting in ways that are unnatural in an attempt to reduce that back pain.

Can Stress Cause Neck Pain And Tension In The Shoulders

The Cause of Head Pressure, Shoulder & Neck Pain with Anxiety #anxietyneckpain #anxiety

When we experience high levels of anxiety or stress, our bodys natural reaction is to tense up. When this happens consistently over a long period of time, it can lead to muscle tension. This can cause stiffness, tightness, aching, and pain in your neck and shoulders. Stress-related pain in this region is typically the result of emotional or mental anxiety. This can directly affect the muscles and nerves that run through your shoulders, neck, and spine.

Aside from psychological and emotional stress, there are other issues that lead to feeling sore shoulders. These can include overuse, poor posture, long periods of sitting, incorrect or poor sleeping positions, and cases of injury.

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Take Stock Of The Situation

Accept your feelings of anxiety, recognize them, and then work through putting them in perspective.

Are you worried about something you cant control? Are you fearful of an outcome thats unlikely? Are you dreading a situation you cant control the outcome of? Talk your way through your feelings to find the source, and then work to put them into perspective.

What Causes The Neck To Hurt When Youre Stressed Or Anxious

Pain is typically caused by an automatic reaction in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems after the body experiences trauma. However, stress-related pains in the neck are usually the result of emotionally-driven anxiety, which affects the primary muscles and nerves running through the spine, shoulders, and neck.

Becoming so stressed out or anxious that you begin to tense up could cause harm to your body, even if only temporarily. Meanwhile, long-term tension could create a snowball effect that might lead to chronic neck or back pain. Because of the potentially damaging effects that stress can have on the body, its reasonable to consider neck pain remedies before the situation gets out of hand.

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Can Stress Cause Shoulder And Back Pain

During periods of stress, three main hormones are released which lead to physical and mental responses: adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine.

  • Body releases adrenaline to prepare the body to flee, if necessary
  • Adrenaline increases the heart rate and blood pressure, and muscles tense
  • Body releases the hormone cortisol when the brain recognizes the threat
  • Cortisol increases the glucose in the bloodstream and regulates other body functions
  • Cortisol increases the availability of various substances that play a role in tissue repair
  • Body releases norepinephrine, which is similar to adrenaline
  • Norepinephrine increases mental awareness and focus and shifts blood flow to muscles so better able to flee

The hormones associated with the stress response are supposed to flow and ebb and not be continually released. When they remain at high levels due to frequent bouts of stress, the hormones will constrict blood vessels and reduce the blood flow to soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This leads to tight or tense muscles. The muscles are unable to relax normally and are not getting the nutrients needed to stay healthy. Also called muscle rigidity, the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and around the spine tense in preparation for fleeing.

The shoulders and back have primary nerves and muscles running through them. When the muscles and nerves are put under stress, sore shoulders and back develop.

Stress & Back Pain: How Are They Related

What causes your Shoulder PAIN?

Everyone will agree that feeling extreme pain is a psychological and physical phenomenon. This means when you experience pain, it does not just affect your body but also your mental health. It is also seen that pain can directly affect your behavior and make you have mood swings. When we go through stress, it has a negative effect on our body that in turn causes muscle tension and pain. Doctors from pain clinics suggest that stress can be our bodys response to going through hard challenges every day.

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Can Physical Therapy Help With Stress Related Neck Pain Andshoulder Tension

Theres a multitude of evidence to support the effectiveness ofphysical therapy when it comes to reducing shoulder pain. Physical therapy treatment options for shoulder pain include manual therapy, joint mobilization, therapeutic exercises, stretching, therapeutic ultrasound, laser therapy, and modalities such as electrical stimulation/TENS, heat or ice.

Physical therapy can be a safe and effective option for managing the effects of severe stress. If your stress-induced shoulder and neck pain lasts for more than a few weeks, give us a call orrequest an appointment to discuss potential treatment options.

Article by: Holly Lookabaugh-Deur, PT, DSc, GCS, CEEAA

Ivy Rehab

Holly is a practicing physical therapist, partner and Director of Clinical Services at Ivy Rehab Network with more than 40 years of experience in sports management with young athletes, and is board certified as a geriatric clinical specialist and certified exercise expert for aging adults. Deuer is certified as an aquatic and oncology rehabilitation specialist and serves as adjunct faculty at Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University.

What Is Psychosomatic Pain

The mind and body are linked in complex and diverse ways. Psychosomatic pain, which is more commonly called somatic pain, is pain that has no direct physical cause and often comes along with mental or emotional pain or discomfort.

For example, a stress response leads to changes in hormones and the nervous system that decrease the effectiveness of the immune system.

Similarly, muscle tension naturally follows an anxiety-related stress response as the body prepares to face the danger perceived or caused by the anxious thoughts.

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What Anxiety Chest Pain Feels Like

Anxiety symptoms are rarely the same from person to person. Some days, symptoms arent even the same for the same person. Anxiety presents itself in a variety of ways, and that makes detecting or understanding symptoms difficult.

Chest pain associated with anxiety feels different for each person. Some people may experience chest pain on a gradual basis. For others, the pain may be sudden and unexpected. Anxiety chest pain can be described as:

  • sharp, shooting pain
  • an unusual muscle twitch or spasm in your chest
  • burning, numbness, or a dull ache
  • stabbing pressure
  • chest tension or tightness

If you dont have a history of chest pain with anxiety, you may be alarmed. Many people assume theyre having a heart attack and go to the hospitals emergency department for treatment.

An estimated 25 to 50 percent of patients who come to the emergency department with low risk chest pain experience moderate to severe anxiety, according to 2018 research.

If you visit a hospital emergency room and the doctors dont find a specific cause for your chest pain, consider consulting with your doctor about other possible causes, including anxiety.

What Causes The Neck Back Shoulder Tension Anxiety Symptoms

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Behaving apprehensively causes the body to activate the stress response, which causes the body to secrete stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the bodys ability to deal with a threatto either fight with or flee from itwhich is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.

Because of the many changes the stress response brings about, behaving apprehensively stresses the body.

Part of these changes include tightening the bodys muscles so that they are more resilient to damage. This can include the muscles in the neck, back, and shoulders.

When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes. When stress responses occur too frequently and/or dramatically, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering. This can result in the body remaining in a semi emergency readiness state, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants. A body that becomes stress-response hyperstimulated can exhibit similar sensations and symptoms to that of an active stress response. Persistent neck, back, and shoulder tension is an example of how the body can respond when overly stressed.

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When To See A Doctor

It can be difficult to distinguish between a panic attack and a heart attack. If a person has the symptoms of a heart attack, the safest option is to call 911 right away.

If someone has left arm pain due to anxiety or panic attacks, they may wish to speak to a doctor or therapist. These professionals will be able to talk through the treatment options and help the person begin to manage their anxiety.

Treatment Options For Stress

The first thing we do with every patient who has back pain is determine its root cause. Its important to understand that no adult can expect to live 100 percent pain-free or stress-free. However, we can discuss ways to minimize discomfort and help patients feel less tense.

An effective way to reduce stress and back pain is to exercise and stretch more.

Physical activity can release endorphins and improve overall health, which can help reduce stress. Make a point to get up during the work day and do a few laps around the office every few hours, or try a standing desk. At home, reserve time to exercise. Physical therapy also can help relieve spine pain and return your neck and back to optimal flexibility. A physical therapist can show you specific stretches to pinpoint trouble areas in your neck and back.

Eating a healthy diet also can help reduce stress.

When you eat well long term, your general health can improve, and you will likely feel more energetic. Healthy eating is key to weight loss and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight offloads pressure from your spine and improves your posture.

Additionally, its important to make time in your schedule to relax.

Many patients with back pain are very busy with work, family, and social commitments. Carve out time to read a good book, spend time with family and friends, or practice mindfulness or meditation.

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