How Can Stress Cause Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is an ill-understood beast
Chronic pain is an individualized experience- for some it is born out of acute injury, for others it develops from degenerative conditions or autoimmune disorders. But others suffer seemingly without reason; the fact is that suffering can exist in the absence of any identifiable condition. A growing number of studies show that chronic pain can have psychosomatic implications, that is a state in which pain exists and is worsened by mental factors like stress and anxiety. So how can stress cause physical pain? And what can we do to stop it?
When stress causes pain
Stress is exhausting, and while most people are aware of the mental toll that stress takes, fewer are familiar with the physical toll. Studies suggest that mental stress breeds physical tension; in other words, when you are stressed out, your muscles tense in a natural, protective reaction. When your muscles remain tense and tight for long periods of times, they become fatigued and cease normal functioning. Tight, tense muscles also create a pull on the body which leads to spinal misalignment and a potential for nerve pain. This physical discomfort then breeds more anxiety and the cycle continues.
What to do about stress and physical pain
The above-identified cycle means that by reducing physical pain and discomfort, we can exert an influence on stress and anxiety. At OFW Chiropractic, we are keen to help people add chiropractic into their care portfolio for managing stress and chronic pain. Working with your primary care provider and psychotherapy provider, we can start to bring you back from the brink of stress and anxiety. If you are interested in finding out more, give our office in Westwood a call to schedule an appointment today.
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