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Does Stress Cause Neck Pain

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Can Stress Cause Physical Pain In The Body And How To Identify The Stress

What Causes Neck Pain? | Neck Pain Due To Stress

Posted by Shani Liyanage | Feb 13, 2020 | Mental Health, Pain | 0 |

The high-stress levels affect every person, and it can cause physical pain in the body.

Most of us may notice symptoms associated with stress in different situations. As a parent, you can be experienced while you try to discipline your children. The busy schedules at work may even lead to a stressful situation for many employees. Household financial management or coping with a challenging relationship can even lead to a stressful scenario for many people.

In short, stress is everywhere.

The little amount of stress is not a problem as it can also have a beneficial impact on many people. However, a high amount of stress can make wear down any person and can harm health. The person may even experience a physical impact on the body because of high-stress levels.

It is necessary to identify the symptoms of stress in the first step. It can help any individual in controlling stress. Though, sometimes the identification of stress symptoms can be hard for the people.

Most of the people are so much used to stressful situations. They are often not aware that they are stressed out until they experience a breaking point. It can be a dangerous situation, and maximum efforts are needed to control the overall stressful situation of any person.

Tip: If you have not read already, here are the links to the symptoms of stress in men, women and children. The symptoms depend on your sex and age.

Understanding The Relationship Between Stress And Neck Pain

There it is again. Youve just finished a long, stressful day at work, and you start feeling pain in your neck. What you may not know is that stress and neck pain are more connected than you might think.

Its not a secret that Americans tend to have high-stress lives. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 33% of Americans are living with extreme stress. Of these people, its reported that 77% experienced physical symptoms of stress. These statistics can help you see that stress and neck discomfort are connected, but they dont reveal how theyre connected. Physical therapy specialists can educate you on how these two issues are connected.

Stress Causes Emotional Issues

Experiencing constant stress is extremely unhealthy. It causes a variety of emotional and psychological issues that one may need assistance in dealing with. Stress if left untreated for too much time has been known to result in depression and other emotional disorders in those who suffer from it. Low self-esteem and low levels of endorphins as a result of stress causes psychological and emotional tension. These topics are often difficult to talk about, however, it is crucial that you seek assistance.

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Ways To Get Rid Of Neck Pain Caused By Stress And Anxiety

Sleep Advisor , Expert Reviewed by Dr. Loy Anderson M.D. Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read more here

Pain caused by stress or anxiety can be a pain in the neck . Since the average human head weighs about 15 pounds, the muscles in the neck are already strained on a regular basis. Add some physical or emotional stress to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for chronic, unceasing neck pain. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to stop that from happening.

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It is important to encourage healthy activities such as maintaining perfect posture, sleeping with your spine in a neutral position, eating a balanced healthy diet, stretching regularly, and most importantly, reducing stress levels.

If you believe a physical injury causes your pain, you should immediately consult a doctor.

If your aches and pains are caused due to chronic stress and anxiety, you need to realign your thoughts and focus on addressing the triggers that stress you out. Psychotherapy or talk therapy is one of the best-supported forms of addressing the link between emotional stress and back pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps identify negative reactions to chronic pain and conditions the body to convert them into positives.8 The main principle is that once one learns to alter their initial response, they can manage the pain and how it affects them.

We often hear that all of our cages are mental. Hence, it is important to sustain a healthy mind and psyche to maintain a healthy body. A Harvard medical school study suggests that chronic pain is ‘all in your head’.2 It helps to remember that one can achieve whatever he sets his mind to! It is mind over matter, always.

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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.

Tips To Relieving Anxiety And Neck Pain

If you have an injury, its important to see a doctor first. They can determine the severity of your injury. Once you are cleared by your doctor, you may try some of the following tips to relieve neck pain and anxiety.

  • A gentle neck massage can help relax muscles
  • Use hot and/or cold compresses for up to 20 minutes at a time
  • Gentle stretching of the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back can relieve tension
  • Yoga can provide physical and emotional relaxation
  • Try decreasing or stopping smoking cigarettes and drinking caffeine as this can increase nervousness
  • Moderate exercise raises cortisol levels which decreases stress and releases muscle tension

If any of these activities worsen your symptoms, stop and contact your doctor.

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Behavioral Responses To Anxiety

A similar and related problem has to do with your own behavioral responses to your anxiety, aches and pains. For example, perhaps your anxiety has caused you to feel fatigue or low energy, and you spend a great deal of time slouching in your chair. That behavioral response will increase the likelihood of creating lower back pain, because slouching can lead to this type of discomfort.

Muscle tension can create similar problems. If you have muscle tension within your shoulder, you may lift objects in a manner your body isn’t accustomed to, and this can cause you to create pain in your lower back. This is just one of many examples of how aches and pains may be the result of how you respond to your symptoms.

Stress Neck And Shoulder Pain

Does Stress Affect Back Pain or Neck Pain?

July 4, 2016Filed Under: Uncategorized

  • Neck stretches-lower your chin to your chest for 15 seconds and let the weight of your head stretch the upper back, then drop your head to each the right and left sides for another few seconds. Do a few every hour throughout the day.
  • Progressive relaxation-mentally focus on individual muscles by first tightening them, and then relax. Repeat the tense and relax motions several times until the pain subsides.
  • Meditation-sit quietly with eyes closed for 5-10 minutes and listen to a guided meditation or just enjoy the silence. Work up to 10-20 minutes of meditation at a time.
  • Move your body-aerobic exercises such as jumping jacks or arm circles engage the muscles in the neck and shoulders to increase blood flow and release toxins.

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Stretches For Neck And Shoulder Pain

Massage, yoga, and rotator cuff physical therapy are all great ways to improve proper body mechanics and relieve unwanted neck and shoulder tension. In addition, we like to suggest doing a few stretches to see if you can get your shoulders and neck muscles to relax a bit. Here are a few simple, yet effective stretches you can incorporate throughout your day.

How To Reduce Stress

The best way to reduce stress is to find the source of the stress and limit your involvement in those events that cause it from appearing.

But the truth is that the major sources of stress are often inevitable parts of our lives. Work, family, traffic, weekly chores, and more can all contribute to a feeling of stress and tension in our neck.

But we also have a lot of tools to manage our stress and minimize it daily. Here are some things you can do to minimize your stress:

  • Stay positive: Stress usually occurs when youre in a negative mental state, but the problem is that stress can also put you in a more negative mental state. This creates a vicious cycle of stress and negativity. Break the cycle by remaining positive. You can do this by setting an intention at the beginning of the day or by repeating a phrase to yourself. Something like, I am positive, I am happy. If thats too cheesy for you, try journaling about the things youre thankful for.
  • Accept the things you cant control: Many times, our stress is caused by the things in our life that we ultimately dont have control over. Letting these things run their course will reduce your mental stress and free up your time and energy to focus on the things that you can control.
  • Limit screen time: Electronics are extremely useful. They can also be a source of stress for our bodies. Be sure to limit screen time, or at the very least, disable your email notifications. You deserve it.
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    Is Stress A Leading Cause Of Chronic Pain In The Body

    Based on research studies, chronic pain does not just happen due to physical injury. It also happens because of stress.

    Physical pain due to stress is most familiar with people who have experienced a severe level of trauma and even had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . These people are at higher risk of experiencing chronic pain.

    How To Deal With The Chronic Pain Resulting From Stress

    Types of Headaches

    As Tension Myositis Syndrome occurs both mentally and physically, nature thus, there is a strong need for a multidisciplinary approach for treating this particular condition. The reasons for Tension Myositis Syndrome-related pain is mainly in your emotions.

    For example, your emotions make you feel that you have a back pain, while actually, they are no physical pain .

    Tip: For example, this back pain is different from the pain feeling resulted from a bulging disc or disc prolapse.

    The four factors that have immense value in treating chronic pains resulting from stresses are emotional, physical, environmental, and cognitive.

    • Physical

    Under this approach, the specialist is going to work up with you to loosen up and relax all your affected muscles.

    The combination associated with stretches and all other kinds of physical exercise routines can prove very valuable for the people affected by chronic pain because of severe stress levels.

    Walking is the best activity for such people as it has a high effectiveness level. Walking leads to numerous benefits for the people. It can strengthen the muscles not just around the lower back but also in the abdominal area.

    The weight is controlled, and the release of pain-fighting endorphins even takes place.

    The walking regimen can start with just 10 minutes per day, and the gradual increase of the time can take place by 30 to 40 minutes.

    • Emotional and Cognitive

    • Environmental

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    What Is Chronic Pain

    Chronic pain is defined as a physical pain that prolongs quite longer, usually over 3 months.

    Mainly, this kind of pain is experienced when any person has some significant injuries, inflammations, neuropathies , and even neuralgias.

    However, there is a considerable portion of the people who experience chronic pain just because of the feelings associated with stress, anxiety or depression.

    Chronic pain is dangerous as it can hinder ones complete ability in moving with ease and also affecting their normal functioning.

    Usually, the best remedy often perceived by people is having pain medications, but their side-effects further compound the overall problem.

    Most people are aware of an essential fact that emotional stress can cause some severe problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and stomachaches. However, they might not know very well that it can even cause some other kinds of complaints that are physical along with chronic pain.

    One logical reason, as some of the studies have found, is that when people are more stressed and anxious, their muscles become tenser and also constricted. As a result, the muscles then not just become inefficient but even fatigued as well over some time.

    Tip: Electrical muscle stimulation can help you in treating muscle pain.

    Can Stress Cause Neck Pain

    One of the most common questions asked about neck pain is whether stress can cause neck pain. And the short answer is, yes!

    We know that stress-related pains in the neck and shoulders are usually the result of emotionally driven tension and anxiety which can affect the primary muscles and nerves running through the spine, shoulders, and neck. As you tense up, cortisol levels also increase, resulting in inflammation. This can add to the tightening of the surrounding muscles, and subsequently contributes to increased neck and shoulder pain.

    When our bodies are stressed, our endocrine function is also affected. This is largely because stress involves what we know as the stress hormone cortisol.

    In addition to being the principle modulator of our bodys fight or flight response, cortisol works with parts of the gut-brain axis to control mood, motivation and fear. This means that during peak periods of stress, we tense up, and become ready to spring into action, but prolonged periods of stress can tax the muscles, causing a build-up of lactic acid and result in muscle fatigue.

    The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are said to include:

    • getting to sleep and waking up
    • craving
    • on stimulants such as caffeine
    • nonspecific
    • or meditation can help calm anxious thoughts and anxieties.

    Understanding that our health is a priority and focusing on whats most important is essential. These strategies can reduce some of the effects of muscle tension.

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    How Does The Stress Response Work

    A blend of physical and emotional components that have a part in pushing your body to take action whenever you are faced with danger is known as a stress response. Many hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline, and others are released by the body whenever the brain is triggered.

    These hormones prepare the body for action. All these hormones can lead to various physical and psychological changes. Some of the physical changes that are caused by these stress hormones are increased blood pressure, rapid breathing, tensed muscles, and increased blood pressure.

    These physical changes in the body could lead to irritated nerves, pains, and aches when it happens on a regular basis.

    These reactions and changes happen to us in tiny spurts all day, and these reactions are not always bad. In fact, these reactions can work well to keep our body protected from harms. These stress reactions are not bad until and unless a person goes through chronic stress. Once a person goes through chronic stress, all the unwanted problems start to appear.

    Chronic stress and neck pain could go head to head in some cases. Chronic stress could be either due to physical stress where a person needs to work beyond his/her physical capacity or it could be emotional stress due to tragic events or a financial problem. Now, the question is how this stress can cause neck pain.

    Can Stress Cause Neck Pain And Tension In The Shoulders


    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, which 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, which can directly affect the muscles and nerves that run through your shoulders, neck, and spine.

    Aside from psychological and emotional stress, other issues that lead to feeling the physical symptoms of sore shoulders are overuse, poor posture, long periods of sitting, incorrect or poor sleeping positions, and of course, cases of injury.

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    How Can I Deal With Stress

    Tension headaches are the most common of all headaches, and this means you need to know how to deal with one. Here are three tips on how to deal with tension headaches:

  • Relax Tension headaches are called this for a reason relaxation and stress relief can help alleviate your headache. Also, activities that strain your neck and back should be curtailed.
  • Fix your workplace ergonomics A headset for your telephone. Proper monitor positioning. A desktop riser that lets you work while standing. Each of these options can help you address poor workplace ergonomics that might be causing your headaches.
  • Stretch your neck muscles Stretching is a great way to reduce tension in neck muscles. Try stretching with a general exercise program designed by a trainer or physical therapist and thats specific to your needs.
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