There’s no question that psychological factors can take a toll on our bodies, and stress can manifest itself as pain and discomfort. Our necks do a lot of work throughout the day, supporting our heads. They’re also a very complex part of our bodies. Our necks are arguably under more strain than ever before, with the long hours we spend hunched over computers at our desks or peering down into our smartphones. The good news is that neck pain doctors can provide almost immediate relief for discomfort and correct the underlying issue that’s causing the pain in the first place.
What Is Stress-Induced Neck Pain?
Pain that is either triggered or worsened by any psychological or emotional factor is stress-induced pain. That doesn’t mean that the pain is all in our heads. When we feel stress, it often causes our muscles in our neck to strain, and the pain can continue for days and even weeks after the initial stress reaction. Any kind of activity, such as hunching, that causes strain in the trapezius muscles that extend from the neck out along the shoulders, can cause pain.
Poor posture, whether it’s from hunching over computers or our phones, can contribute to neck pain. A poor sleeping position can also lead to neck discomfort.
Pain can be felt as general discomfort, or it can be sharp pain or dull ache. It can lessen our ability to turn our heads. It often affects more than just our necks. Neck pain can radiate up through the head, or through our shoulder blades. Any kind of lingering neck pain should be treated by a chiropractor or doctor.
How Is Stress-Induced Neck Pain Treated?
Neck pain doctors in Waterford, MI., will not only provide relief for your neck pain but can target and correct its underlying causes. While many doctors will prescribe pain relief medicine for stress-induced neck pain, they will only provide temporary relief and aren’t targeting the cause of the pain.
Your chiropractor will use spinal manipulations or adjustments to correct any imbalance in the cervical spine – the vertebrae in the neck – that’s being caused by stress.
A chiropractic treatment plan will also include neck stretches that will loosen tight muscles and maintain an improved range of motion. Massage will also help to loosen muscles and realign the spine, and the pleasant feelings of massage that we feel releases endorphins, which help to relieve pain. Rest and ice are helpful for relaxing the muscles that have tightened due to stress.
It’s also important to focus on both the mind and the body. Learning coping strategies to tackle stress will help prevent the body from turning stress into pain. Self-care for stress-induced neck pain might include meditation, which has been proven to calm thoughts and feelings of anxiety.
Exercise is an excellent way of tackling stress-induced neck pain. It can dull pain, and help us maintain not just our physical health, but our emotional wellbeing also.
Seeking counseling, or attending a support group to help us deal with stress has proven benefits. We can learn about what triggers our physical stress responses to our day-to-day problems, and how to prevent them.
If your stress-induced neck pain isn’t relieved within a couple of days, it’s important to seek medical treatment.