Relieve Chronic Stress With Chiropractic Care

Man stressed out at work

How Chronic Stress Can Cause Body Pain

Stress and anxiety aren't just mental health issues. If you feel stressed or anxious much of the time, you may be more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux, or other conditions. Chronic stress can also affect your muscles and joints, causing pain and inflammation.

4 Painful Symptoms or Conditions Caused or Worsened by Stress

Fifty-five percent of Americans report feeling stressed during the day, according to the American Stress Institute. That's no surprise considering how busy our lives are in the 21st century. Although stress is a part of life, it's much more than just a nuisance. In fact, chronic stress can cause these symptoms and conditions:

  • Headaches and Migraines. Have you noticed that the muscles in your neck, face, shoulders, and upper back tighten when you're worried or stressed? If the muscles remain tight for a prolonged period of time, you may be more likely to develop tension headaches or migraines.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ). Tight jaw muscles can cause or worsen TMJ, a condition that affects the hinge joints on either side of your jaw. In addition to pain, TMJ can cause jaw stiffness, clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing your mouth, difficulty chewing, temporary jaw locking, and ear pain.
  • Back and Neck Pain. Tight muscles can eventually pull on the vertebrae in your back, causing a subluxation, or spinal misalignment. Misalignments may also occur due to falls, lifting heavy items, or poor posture. Subluxations may weaken nearby muscles, making it easier to strain them. If bones or muscles press on nerves, you may experience pain that radiates to your arms or legs.
  • Stomach Pain. Heartburn and stomach pain are common stress complaints. Thirty-five to 70 percent of people experience functional gastrointestinal disorders at some point in their lives, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Functional gastrointestinal disorders cause pain, bloating, and other symptoms yet aren't related to any physical causes. If you already have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or another ailment, stress can worsen your condition.

Chronic stress can cause inflammation throughout your body, irritate your nerves, and even affect blood circulation. When you're stressed, your body increases its production of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol, known as the "fight or flight" hormone, helps you prepare to face a challenge or run away from danger. Over time, your cortisol level can drop too low if you're constantly stressed. A low cortisone level can decrease your pain threshold and make it more difficult to manage pain.

Your Chiropractor Can Ease Your Painful Symptoms and Help You Lower Your Stress Level

Prescription medications are certainly effective in reducing stress but may cause unpleasant side effects. If you're looking for a drug-free way to control your stress, chiropractic offers the perfect solution.

Spinal manipulations, or adjustments, realign your spine, correcting subluxations. Realigning your spine also helps ease muscle tension and reduces pressure on nerves, ligaments, and tendons.

Improving blood flow, one of the benefits of chiropractic treatment, promotes healing of painful areas and may also help your brain reset itself after a stressful day.

Stomach pain, indigestion, and heartburn may occur if your nerve function is affected due to subluxations. Realigning your spine improves nerve function, which may help you reduce stress-related stomach pain.

Soft tissue mobilization and massage, two chiropractic therapies, loosen tight muscles and get rid of painful knots in your muscles. These therapies also trigger the production of serotonin and endorphin, two hormones that reduce stress and help you feel calm and relaxed.

If stress-related headaches and migraines are a common problem, regular chiropractic sessions can help you keep pain under control and reduce the number of headaches you experience every month.

Treatments are just as effective for back and neck pain caused by stress. In addition to performing spinal manipulations and other treatments, your chiropractor can also teach you exercises that will help you improve your posture and reduce the effects of stress on your body. He or she may also recommend stress relief techniques and dietary changes that will enhance your physical and mental health.

Sources:

American Stress Institute: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics, 3/25/19

Physical Therapy: Chronic Stress, Cortisol Dysfunction, and Pain: A Psychoneuroendocrine Rationale for Stress Management in Pain Rehabilitation, 12/14

The American Institute of Stress: 50 Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress

U.S. News & World Report: Surprise: Chiropractors Can Treat These 5 Conditions, 11/30/15

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Testimonials

  • "Regular visits with Dr. Roeder have significantly reduced the frequency of migraines I have suffered and the amount of neck and shoulder pain I have lived with for years. Because of Dr. Roeder I am able to focus on my busy life again"
    S.L., San Diego
  • "This was my first encounter with a chiropractor and found the experience to be delightful, gratifying and well worth it! Instead of being given a bunch of pills and told to come back next week, the manipulation for my back and side injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, responded very well to the treatments. Thank you, Dr. Roeder for a job well done"
    W.B., San Diego
  • "I came in originally for neck pain, but getting adjusted helped lower my blood pressure & my insulin levels too.Dr. Roeder is so thorough in her care-I never knew how much better I could feel.I no longer have to take blood pressure medicine now."
    A.W., San Diego
  • "Since meeting Dr. Roeder at a health seminar, she has changed my life, drastically-improving my health 100%. I had a wide range of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, constant and severe headaches, body aches, nausea, difficulty concentrating and I felt extremely tired and weak. She diagnosed me with having Fibromyalgia and Candida. She put me on an anti-inflammatory diet and started me on chiropractic treatment and instructed me on strength exercises. I have lost 40 lbs and feel fantastic! Whenever I eat something that sets off a symptom, I can identify the food source now. I know how to eat well and stay away from foods that cause inflammation. Had it not been for Dr. Roeder's expert care, I believe I would still be suffering from all those symptoms-- instead I feel fantastic!"
    M.O., Spring Valley
  • "My son was diagnosed at a very young age with Hyperkyphosis. The doctor told us that surgery would be his only option but we needed to wait until he got older.My husband and I were heartbroken to think about such a major surgery for our little boy.We wanted to help him anyway we could without doing surgery. We are so thrilled to say that after seeing Dr. Roeder my son's back has made a major improvement.That there is a stronger chance that he may not need surgery after all.My son is three now and he is a very active little boy and you can't even tell that he had ever had a bad back.He is able to do what all little boys do:run, jump and climb!Taking my son to Dr. Roeder was the best decision that me and my husband have made as parents.I am so happy that Dr. Roeder is part of our lives.In fact all of my extended family members are patients of her too!Thank you so much Dr. Roeder for all of your help.You have been such a positive part of our lives.You are part of our family."
    G.C., San Diego
  • "My daughter has been diagnosed with Von Willabrand's and Precocious Puberty at age 7. She had her first period at age 8, and it was for three days. The doctors said that her hormone levels were off and there wasn't any truly safe treatment. After talking to Dr. Roeder, she started chiropractic care to help her body cope better with this disorder and hopefully change her hormones. Now my daughter and I have been told by doctors at Children's Hospital that it looks like she won't be starting her period until two years from now-this will be the normal time when she should start! They told us to keep up the good work of whatever we have been doing because it seems to be working."
    J.H., San Diego
  • "I got treated for a neck and back injury that appeared to be chronic following a major car accident. I had been to chiropractors before but without much success.After seeing Dr. Roeder now though, my mobility and general feeling of well-being has greatly improved."
    C.H., San Diego
  • "Dr. Roeder was recommended by a friend and I am completely satisfied. I was having low back pain also some neck pain. My back feels better than it has in years. I feel Dr. Roeder is complete in recommending exercising and treatment!"
    M.L., San Diego
  • "I just wanted to say thank you for making me 'new' again. Also, for helping us through our tough times. You always have been nice to us and helpful when we were in your office-it was just like a second home! Every time I walked through the door I felt calm and relaxed. You always asked us how we were doing and how we have been. I thought that was very thoughtful and caring of you-especially considering that awful car accident we had been in. None of my doctors before had been as courteous as you. You have really made a bad experience into a great experience in a blink of an eye. I always loved that EVERYONE was always smiling! I wish that when I grow up I can be like you, always making people happy and feel better! Well, I think that you just made another patient happy because of your wonderful 'magic.' Oh and I know I already said this but I think I am speaking for everyone when I say: Thank you Dr. Roeder!"
    J.F., San Diego (pediatric patient)