How Stress Can Aggravate Neck Pain
Living under the constant pressure of balancing professional and personal responsibilities can be an immensely frustrating experience. The perpetual juggling act can quickly lead to chronic stress, which, believe it or not, can manifest as neck pain. When tension accumulates in the neck, it causes the muscles to tighten and ache, eventually affecting the joints as well. This neck pain can even radiate to the shoulders and be accompanied by headaches, commonly known as tension headaches. Additionally, stress has the ability to influence how we perceive pain, intensifying the underlying problem and exacerbating pain symptoms. However, the good news is that there are ways to mitigate the physical toll that stress takes on our bodies and effectively manage stress-related neck pain.
Recent research published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal has shed light on the close relationship between stressful life experiences and chronic neck pain. The study focused on 448 patients who were suffering from neck pain and discovered that individuals who experienced depression and anxiety tended to have more severe and persistent neck pain. Furthermore, these individuals were less likely to actively engage in their own recovery process. Fortunately, this research offers hope and suggests that relief from neck pain can be obtained by learning stress reduction techniques.
By actively working to keep stress at bay, you may notice a significant reduction in neck pain. Maintaining a positive outlook and adopting healthy practices can be key to achieving this. Here are practical measures you can implement.
Engage in neck mobility exercises:
By correctly and gently moving your neck in all directions within a comfortable range, you can alleviate neck pain caused by tension and stiffness.
Cultivate healthier habits:
If your diet mainly consists of junk food and you rely on stimulants like coffee or cigarettes to get through the day, these habits can actually increase agitation and interfere with your ability to rest and recover. Focus on adopting a healthier diet and incorporating regular physical activity into your routine. This will help improve blood circulation and promote movement in your muscles.
Smoking is a well-known health hazard that not only increases stress and anxiety for nicotine addicts but also hampers the healing process by impeding blood supply to the neck muscles. Quitting smoking will not only benefit your overall health but also alleviate neck pain caused or exacerbated by stress.
Embrace relaxation techniques and meditation:
Cultivating a positive attitude can make a significant difference in managing stress and its impact on neck pain. Meditation can help calm your thoughts and reduce anxiety. There are numerous guided meditation videos available on platforms like YouTube, or you can explore online classes to learn and practice meditation techniques.
Consider getting a massage:
Muscle tension is a common contributor to neck and shoulder pain. Receiving regular massages can help improve blood flow to tight and sore muscles, providing relief from stress and reducing discomfort in the neck area.
Seek support from friends and family:
Dealing with stress on your own can be overwhelming. Feel free to seek support from your loved ones without hesitation. They can assist you in shouldering some of the load by running errands or taking on additional household chores, reducing stress and allowing you more time to focus on self-care.
Explore therapy or support groups:
Unhealthy thought patterns often underlie chronic stress and anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has proven to be effective in helping individuals cope with stress. If individual therapy is not your preference, consider joining a support group or participating in online forums where you can share your concerns and gain support from others facing similar challenges. This can provide a valuable outlet for expression and an opportunity to boost your morale.
If you have any questions or want information on managing your orthopaedic issues don’t hesitate to contact us.
59 A, MNR Complex,
Near Steel Factory Bus Stop,
DoddaBanaswadi Main Road,
Bengaluru-560043 Phone: 080-4370 1281 Mobile: 9591618833