Is Chronic Stress Causing Your Neck Pain?

Oct 12, 2021

Everyone experiences stress in their life at one point or another. If you have been dealing with stress for a while, then you may be experiencing chronic stress. If you find it difficult to manage the mental and emotional pressure of certain aspects of your daily life, you may also notice some physical effects of that stress. That is because when we experience stress, our bodies learn how to react and manage accordingly. Some stress responses can be beneficial in the short term, like helping stay alert and prepared to avoid any danger. However, the body needs a way to experience relief and relax after a stress response. Chronic stress without relief can end up causing you pain and discomfort. If you are in need of neck pain treatment, then chronic stress might be causing your neck pain.

Physical Effects of Chronic Stress

Physical symptoms of chronic stress can start to take a toll on your body. Here are three examples of the physical effects of chronic stress and how it can impact your daily routines:

Tension Headaches

When we are experiencing stress, we tend to tense our muscles. When you tense your head and neck muscles due to stress, it can cause tension headaches. This can feel like pain along your forehead, behind your ears, and along the base of your skull. Tension headaches are caused by stress, so if you are experiencing chronic stress, then you may struggle with these types of headaches frequently.

Tight Neck Muscles

The body responds to stress by physically tensing certain muscles, which can affect their mobility and flexibility. For example, tense neck muscles can cause them to tighten. Tight neck muscles can be painful and lead to stiffness and soreness. If you have tight neck muscles, then you might experience pain and discomfort when moving your head from side to side or up and down.

Poor Sleep Quality

Chronic stress can also start to affect your quality of sleep. You may start to experience poor sleep quality due to the emotional and mental effects of chronic stress. Neck pain and discomfort can also cause poor sleep quality. You may find it more difficult to fall asleep at night because of racing thoughts or wake up with a stiff and sore neck in the mornings.

Neck Pain Treatment and Managing Chronic Stress

Thankfully, there are many ways to combat chronic stress and its effects on your physical and mental well-being. Here are three techniques to manage chronic stress and also experience relief from your neck pain:

Self-Care Techniques

Consider self-care techniques that will help you manage the stressors in your life. You may find that writing out the next day’s schedule the night before helps you to better anticipate your day. Journaling or writing down what you are thankful for can help retrain your brain to look back more fondly on how you experienced your day. You may also consider more nutritious foods and skipping food and drink with lots of caffeine and sugar.

Stretches & Exercises

Your doctor can talk with you about stretches and exercises to help with your neck pain. Gentle and therapeutic regimens like yoga can help reduce the buildup of physical stress in the body and also help you work through stiff, sore muscles. Stretches and exercises can help ease tension, improve mobility, and increase strength. Physical activities can help get your heart pumping and blood flowing so that fresh oxygen and nutrients can get where they are needed most.

Chiropractic Care

You may also consider chiropractic care for neck pain treatment and chronic stress relief. We carry a lot of tension in our neck and shoulders, and a chiropractor can help you release that tension. When you tense your neck and shoulder muscles, it puts a lot of pressure on your spine. Tension in your neck and shoulders can also lead to misalignments in the spine, which can cause further discomfort and issues. Chiropractic care helps to realign your spine and provide better support and functioning to your whole body.

Visit a chiropractor at AICA Orthopedics in Lithia Springs to talk about ways to experience lasting relief from chronic stress and neck pain.


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