Stress and Physical Pain Symptoms
Although the connections may not be obvious at first, stress and physical pain have strong links. Although this may seem counterintuitive, seeing as pain signals that something that is physically wrong with the body while stress is an emotional condition, the same part of the brain processes both responses. Increased pain is likely to cause increased stress, and vice versa. Likewise, reducing pain is a key part of managing stress, and it is nearly impossible to go without stress if you struggle with pain.
Pain, Stress and the Brain
Pain signals are transmitted through an intricate system of chemical signals in the nervous system. The brain constantly works to be aware of pain by releasing chemicals that block certain signals. Stress consumes the brain’s energy and attention, which reduces its ability to manage pain effectively. People struggling with increasing levels of pain are also likely to use pain-blocking medications, which may further reduce the brain’s natural capacity for pain management.
Stress can also create physical pain by causing muscle tension in the shoulders, neck and back, but it may also cause migraines and headaches from this muscle tension. Additionally, stress also affects internal pain, such as in the stomach, intestines and other organs. For some people who struggle with both pain and stress for a long time, it may be difficult or impossible to determine which symptom causes the other.
Risks of Untreated Pain or Unmanaged Stress
Many people fail to appreciate the seriousness of persistent pain and stress. They prefer to tolerate the discomfort rather than to take action to help. If people choose inaction, they risk suffering from any of the following painful symptoms:
- Migraine headaches
- Anxiety control disorders
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Easing their issues through compulsive behaviors such as gambling, sex or spending money
- Emotional abuse of others
Most people eventually find a way to medicate their stress and pain, even if that medication includes alcohol abuse, prescription medications or other self-harm.
Help with Pain and Healing from Stress
Specialized pain and stress therapy can relieve these troubling issues in a variety of ways. The following therapies have proven effective in managing these dual conditions:
- Increased exercise
- Nutritional support
- Meditation or other innovative mind/body practices
- Personal and group counseling
- Investing time serving others
- Careful medical treatment
If you struggle with pain and stress and would like to end your misery, please call our toll-free helpline right away. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about treatment and connect you with specialized pain and stress clinics. Don’t let your situation devolve into something much worse than it already is. Find real relief and call us today.