Stress can make chronic pain worse.
Stress is a human response to physical, emotional, or mental changes in one’s body or living environment. Many things cause stress, from the death of a loved one to the loss of a job. There are also health concerns that lead to anxiety, like the thought of illness to an actual diagnosis. There are also happy events like the birth of a child or a job promotion that drives stress levels. Stress influences pain perception in two primary ways. Stress induced analgesia is influenced by gender, age, and encounters with pain, stress, or provocations that activate the descending pain modulatory system that suppresses pain. Stress-induced hyperalgesia, when stress, anxiety, and fear are extant, it acerbates pain and influences its intensity, duration, and cause.
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Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Aches and pains
- Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing
- Exhaustion or trouble sleeping
- Headaches, dizziness or shaking
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tension or jaw clenching
- Stomach or digestive problems
The appropriate chiropractic treatment is unique to each case of stress related pain and is directed at the primary dysfunctions detected during the chiropractic exam.