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

  • "Dear Dr. Zabawa,
    I want to thank you for being my #1 healthcare provider.
    I have been under chiropractic care for 40 years and of the many chiropractors I have been treated by,
    you and your precise atlas adjustment are the best.
    It really is gentle and effective. I've had migraines, scoliosis, herniated L4-L5, and sciatica -
    and in the 11 yrs of being under your care I have had no problems or re-occurrence of any
    of my former symptoms.
    You are the best and I thank you."
    Judy B.
  • "Hi, I'll always remember the wonderful things you've done for me at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    I thank Dr. Zabawa for getting me up and running!
    My last chiropractor said there was nothing else they could do for me, and I felt as if my life was over.
    (I couldn't even play video games without pain.)
    Now that I've been introduced to your atlas adjustments: I'm lifting weights again, working (making money),
    and yes - even playing video games. Wow!
    THANK YOU!!!!!"
    Lyle H.
  • "We've had 40 years of various types of chiropractic therapies (sometimes weekly),
    but have never felt truly aligned until now."
    Marsha & Alain M.
  • "I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, and through good habits & care have managed to avoid surgery.
    About 30 years ago my research into spinal maintenance led me to upper cervical chiropractic
    (specifically orthospinology) over general chiropractic.
    This is just phenomenal. When my atlas is adjusted and my spine is aligned, it is amazing how good I feel.
    It helps the nerves and muscles of the body function so well, and I believe it has been the key to slowing
    the spinal degeneration caused by my scoliosis.
    * And it's so non-invasive! *
    Now that I live in Sarasota, I am so glad to be under the care of Dr. Zabawa.
    It's no surprise that he came highly recommended. I have always been impressed with
    the professionalism and care I've received at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    It compares to anywhere in the country."
    Kyle Ann M.
  • "Very thorough. Quick recovery after a car wreck!"
    Nathaniel B.
  • "For 3 years I had been having headaches every day.
    I even went to a neurologist for my headaches, but he said they were a condition of menopause :(
    A friend suggested going to Dr. Z because of the unique procedure he uses and the great results.
    Dr. Z took care of me and within about 3 months my daily headaches were gone.
    What a relief!
    I don't think I've had one since :)"
    Allaesia M.
  • "I lived in pain with an undiagnosed broken back for 23 years since a horse & buggy accident as a teenager.
    When I injured my back again as an adult, the x-rays showed that I had fractured a vertebra back then,
    as well as this time.
    I received some help from going to regular chiropractors in recent years, but still lived in pain.
    I am so thankful that I found Dr. Zabawa.
    After 35 years and lots of pain, within a month or so
    I was PAIN FREE!
    It is amazing how such small adjustments to the atlas vertebra in my neck have made such
    a big difference to my life.
    To this day, I come in periodically to maintain my new found health.
    Praise and glory to God."
    Mary T.