Is Your Stress Contributing to Your Pain?

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By: Active Sports Therapy

If you’re dealing with an injury or pain, studies show that there is a direct link between an individual’s stress level and the amount of pain that they feel. Stress and pain are considered to be closely linked so you may find it beneficial to journal your pain level and your stress level to find out if, personally, there is a correlation for you.

Stress is actually a natural reaction to the world and experiences that we are a part of and everyone will feel stress occasionally. The difficulty arises when a person has elevated stress levels that are persistent to the point where it begins to take a toll on the body.

For example, here is how stress plays out in the muscular system. When you enter a state of stress, a common response for the body is for muscles to tense up. It does this to protect you from injury in a dangerous situation and under normal circumstances, the muscles will relax again. However, if you’re always under stress, your muscles will not get the opportunity to let go and relax, leaving you with tight shoulders, a sore back, and even general muscle pain. The muscles of the neck and shoulders can often be connected to frequent headaches, sometimes referred to as tension headaches.

The good news is, there are many things that you can do to work toward reducing your stress levels.

Active Release Therapy, offered here at AST, can help alleviate the tension in your neck, back and shoulders, often with only a couple of treatments. This treatment combined with these stress relieving tips can make a huge difference when applied.

Sleep – This is so important for people suffering from high stress levels. A good nights sleep will help you to face the day in a more relaxed, energetic, and clear-headed state.

Learn to relax – Relaxing means different things to different people. Aim for an activity that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Reading before bed instead of watching TV is helpful for some. Guided meditation can teach techniques of meditation and there are some great apps out there! Check out The Daily Calm as it’s one of our favourites. Restorative yoga or simply challenging yourself to learn deep breathing techniques can all contribute to the de-stressing process.

Identify what triggers your stress – Is it work, relationships, or an overwhelming schedule? Becoming aware of your biggest stressors can help you to make a plan to manage it. For example, if you have an overwhelming schedule, you might be the type of person that has a difficult time saying ‘no’ to functions, volunteering, etc. and that might be an item in your life that needs tackling.

Ask yourself if you need support – Talking to a mental health professional can help you to deal with your stress and put you on a path to success with therapy, tools and techniques.

Balance – We all have busy lives so learning proper time management skills and ensuring that you have stress relief built in as a priority will help. This could be daily exercise, down-time or quiet time after work, putting a non-negotiable monthly massage in your calendar and budget, or time with friends. Think about what makes you happy, and then do more of that!

We hope these tips are helpful!

Please call us to book an appointment with one of our Active Release Technique certified chiropractors.

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]