Thursday, September 21, 2023

Can Stress Cause Leg Pain

What Is The Best Remedy For Stress

What could cause leg pain in a runner other than a stress fracture?

There are a few herbal remedies that can be used to calm the symptoms of mild stress, anxiety and hyperactivity, the gentlest of which is Avena sativa. This is made from freshly harvested Avena sativa herb rather than oat grains which is used in food. This makes it naturally rich in B vitamins which, as Ive already discussed, are important when we are feeling stressed.

Pain Is A Recipe Of Many Ingredients

So when pain hangs around longer than usual, it becomes less about physical damage and more about other things. With persistent pain, our body is getting better at producing pain and our body reacts more easily, much like those over sensitive alarm systems.

So what in your life can make you more sensitive? We need to consider things like stress, poor sleep, avoiding meaningful activities, fearing the worst, negative beliefs about pain, emotional health… almost everything really.

This video is a nice quick visual way of explaining this.

How Stress Affects Sleep

This infographic from Insider Living shows how stress affects sleep.

  • 26% of women report trouble sleeping at least once a week compared to only 16% of men.
  • 19% of individuals ages 25-64 admit to losing sleep due to stress a few nights per week.
  • 54% say that stress or anxiety increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night.
  • 52% of men and 42% of women reported that stress affected their ability to remain focused the next day.

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Physical Anxiety Symptom 1: Spots And Acne

There are multiple reasons as to why anxiety and stress can cause breakouts of adult acne, these are:

  • Increased production of the stress hormone which can up the amount of oil your skin produces.
  • Increased sweating which can clog pores.
  • Touching your skin more, including your face, neck and shoulders, as you feel fidgety and on edge. This transfers dirt from your hands onto your skin and makes you more prone to breakouts.

Can You Get Aching Tingling Legs When You Are Stressed Out

Running writings: What causes metatarsal stress fracture in runners ...

When we are under stress our nervous system has to work extra hard and this can result in all sorts of unusual symptoms, sometimes very unique to the individual.

Our bodies can quickly become depleted in the vitamins and minerals which are so key to a healthy functioning nervous system and a deficiency can also exacerbate symptoms.

With tired, aching, tingling legs you may benefit from a magnesium supplement as deficiency can often cause these symptoms, especially if they are worse at night.

A good magnesium supplement such as Salus liquid magnesium or a magnesium citrate capsule or tablet could possibly help. I would discuss this with your local health food shop.

If the tingling and aching continue to be a problem however, or if you have any other ongoing health conditions I would recommend that you talk to your doctor.

Do you have questions? Please feel free to ask.

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Why These Conditions Often Occur Together And How To Treat Them When They Do

Everyone experiences pain at some point, but in people with or anxiety, pain can become particularly intense and hard to treat. People suffering from depression, for example, tend to experience more severe and long-lasting pain than other people.

The overlap of anxiety, depression, and pain is particularly evident in chronic and sometimes disabling pain syndromes such as , , low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. For example, about two-thirds of patients with irritable bowel syndrome who are referred for follow-up care have symptoms of psychological distress, most often anxiety. About 65% of patients seeking help for depression also report at least one type of pain symptom. Psychiatric disorders not only contribute to pain intensity but also to increased risk of disability.

Researchers once thought the reciprocal relationship between pain, anxiety, and depression resulted mainly from psychological rather than biological factors. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise major depression may feel physically painful. But as researchers have learned more about how the brain works, and how the nervous system interacts with other parts of the body, they have discovered that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.

In addition, two neurotransmitters and norepinephrine contribute to pain signaling in the brain and nervous system. They also are implicated in both anxiety and depression.

Leg Muscle Pain With Walking

Calf pain when walking is very different than calf pain at night in bed. In other words, leg pain at night has a very different list of causes than leg pain when walking. For instance, most artery blockages will not result in leg pain at night unless the blockages are very advanced and severe. But even relatively mild artery blockages can cause leg pain when walking.

Calf Pain with Walking

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The Effects Of Hyperstimulation

When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. When stress responses occur too frequently or dramatically, however, such as from overly apprehensive behavior, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can cause it to remain in a state of semi stress response readiness. We call this state stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants . Hyperstimulation can cause the changes of an active stress response even though a stress response hasnt been activated. “Weak legs” is a common indication of hyperstimulation .

Hyperstimulation can affect the body in many ways, including causing muscle fatigue, nervous system dysregulation, and the misreporting of sensory information.

The above combination of factors can cause many odd and bizarre sensory and muscle movement behaviors, sensations, and feelings, including feeling like your legs are unusually weak, heavy, tired, and stiff to move.

Unfortunately, many anxious people worry about their health. When this symptom occurs, they worry that their weak legs might be caused by a serious disease, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome , Muscular Sclerosis , Muscular dystrophy , Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , stroke, or some other serious neurological disorder. This worry fuels stress, which can exacerbate weakness, unsteadiness, and stiffness in the legs.

How Does The Body React To Stress

What are common causes of leg pain in runners? | Michelle Wolcott, MD, Sports medicine | UCHealth

The body responds to stress, be it money worries, moving home or something else entirely, as if it were a life or death situation. For our ancestors this reaction was needed to overcome the dangers posed by wild animals, as well as other tribes and, although modern day stress doesnt always present a threat to our life, our reaction to it is the same:

  • During a stressful situation adrenaline is released into the blood
  • Blood is diverted to the brain, heart, lungs and muscles as these need to work hard in order to get away from the source of stress
  • The heart beat speeds up to pump blood more effectively around the body and to these areas
  • Blood is diverted away from the digestive tract as eating shouldnt be on the agenda when there is a life or death situation going on
  • Breathing speeds up to get oxygen supplies to the muscles as quickly as possible
  • Sweat levels increase to stop the body from overheating
  • Blood sugar levels rise dramatically so that glucose is available to feed the brain and muscles
  • Senses become more acute so that you are able to pick up as much information as possible in order to make good judgements.

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Behavioral Responses To Anxiety

A similar and related problem has to do with your own behavioral responses to your anxiety, aches and pains. For example, perhaps your anxiety has caused you to feel fatigue or low energy, and you spend a great deal of time slouching in your chair. That behavioral response will increase the likelihood of creating lower back pain, because slouching can lead to this type of discomfort.

Muscle tension can create similar problems. If you have muscle tension within your shoulder, you may lift objects in a manner your body isn’t accustomed to, and this can cause you to create pain in your lower back. This is just one of many examples of how aches and pains may be the result of how you respond to your symptoms.

Preventing Peripheral Arterial Disease

The advice for preventing PAD, or stopping it before it gets serious, is largely the same as the advice for preventing a heart attack or stroke: Quit smoking, eat healthier, get more exercise, control your blood sugar if you have diabetes, lose weight, and get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. And ask your doctor if you should take a daily aspirin to prevent clots, or drugs to reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol.

Even though PAD makes peoples legs hurt or feel tired when they walk or exercise a symptom that doctors call claudication which feels like a Charlie horse type cramp one of the best things to do is to walk more, says Stanley.

The more a patient walks, the more likely it is that they will develop little detour blood vessels, called collateral vessels, around the obstruction, he explains. The large majority of people can develop these vessels that will ease the pain.

But in some people, PAD has already gotten bad enough to cause pain or numbness even when the person is sleeping something called rest pain. Stanley says this pain often awakens patients from sleep. It most often occurs in the ball of the feet and may feel like someone has wrapped a bandage around the foot. This level of symptoms is ominous, he says, because it indicates a more severe blockage without adequate collateral vessels.

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Severe Upper Leg Pain Symptoms Causes & Common Questions

Severe upper leg pain questionnaire

Use our free symptom checker to find out what’s causing your pain.

Severe leg pain located around the thigh can be caused by trauma from a femoral break or muscle strain. A deep, shooting pain in the upper leg can also be caused by deep vein thrombosis, spinal stenosis, or a thigh bone infection. Read on for more information on causes and treatment options.

Can Stress Cause Shoulder And Back Pain

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During periods of stress, three main hormones are released which lead to physical and mental responses: adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine.

  • Body releases adrenaline to prepare the body to flee, if necessary
  • Adrenaline increases the heart rate and blood pressure, and muscles tense
  • Body releases the hormone cortisol when the brain recognizes the threat
  • Cortisol increases the glucose in the bloodstream and regulates other body functions
  • Cortisol increases the availability of various substances that play a role in tissue repair
  • Body releases norepinephrine, which is similar to adrenaline
  • Norepinephrine increases mental awareness and focus and shifts blood flow to muscles so better able to flee

The hormones associated with the stress response are supposed to flow and ebb and not be continually released. When they remain at high levels due to frequent bouts of stress, the hormones will constrict blood vessels and reduce the blood flow to soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This leads to tight or tense muscles. The muscles are unable to relax normally and are not getting the nutrients needed to stay healthy. Also called muscle rigidity, the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and around the spine tense in preparation for fleeing.

The shoulders and back have primary nerves and muscles running through them. When the muscles and nerves are put under stress, sore shoulders and back develop.

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When To See Your Doctor

If the cause of your leg pain is obvious, such as a recent injury, then you can try home remedies to relieve pain or see your doctor. If you notice leg pain along with any of the following symptoms, then you need to seek immediate medical attention.

Inability to walk or put pressure on the leg The leg is pale or cool to touch Difficulty breathing Leg is warm to touch Leg is swollen

Physical Anxiety Symptom : Limb And Muscle Pain

There are lots of ways anxiety can affect the limbs. Firstly, similarly to chest pains, an increased intake of oxygen can cause sensations and pain in the muscles. It could also be caused by:

  • Tension in the muscles caused by increased stress: Experiencing daily stress can harden the muscles which can cause them to ache or hurt.
  • Your posture: Feeling anxious can affect the way you hold yourself, sit, lie and walk which, in turn, can change the way your muscles feel. This is because your whole body is on edge, you might move quicker or slower and rarely completely relax.
  • A poorer lifestyle: When feeling anxious, it’s easy to forget how to look after yourself be that eating healthily, exercising or keeping hydrated. All of these can affect the way your limbs feel.

The above reasons can also cause aches and pains in the jaw and face.

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Why Does Stress And Anxiety Cause Joint Pain

Life is full of stressful situations. You may feel stress over meeting a deadline, managing finances, or even something as simple as getting the kids out the door in the mornings .

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives.

Stress has become such a part of daily life that many people dont realize its a problem until symptoms become unbearable, and sometimes, irreversible.

The Physical Side Of Anxiety

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The brain is a powerful organ. So much that the anxiety, the depression, and the fear can turn mental fears into actual physical pains.

Most people actually experience anxiety as a physical problem, said Jason Conover, social worker for Intermountain Healthcares Utah Valley Hospital. It often doesnt get recognized because the physical symptoms are so apparent and quite troubling that they might think they are experiencing something else for instance, a heart attack.

Anxiety builds tension throughout the body. Conover said in the brain can react to thoughts of fear and turn to the muscles to brace for a moment that is not happening. Much like if you were about to get in an accident or protecting your body to get punched. The action never happens but chemically you just experienced it just from a random fear thought that crept in.

Treating anxiety is important for better mental health and physical health as well. Inflammation builds up from the stress, and inflammation is a culprit in numerous chronic conditions such as heart and gastrointestinal conditions.

Here are several ways that anxiety manifests in physical problems.

Breathing Due to the tension, your breathing can change, Conover said. Breathing can become shorter, shallower, or even holding your breath too long. The lungs do not fully exhale due to the tension. Relaxation and breathing techniques can help.

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Seek Help

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Combining Psychotherapy And Drugs

Patients with anxiety or depression sometimes find that combining psychotherapy with medication offers the most complete relief. A randomized controlled trial, the Stepped Care for Affective Disorders and Musculoskeletal Pain study, suggests that a combination approach might also work for people suffering pain in addition to a psychiatric disorder.

The trial enrolled 250 patients with chronic pain in the lower back, hip, or knee. Participants also had at least moderate depression, as measured by a standard clinical instrument. One group was assigned to 12 weeks of antidepressant therapy followed by a 12-week pain self-management intervention based on principles of CBT. In the “usual care” group, which served as a control, researchers informed participants that they had depression and should seek advice or treatment. Results were considered significant if participants reported at least a 50% reduction in depression severity and at least a 30% reduction in pain. At the 12-month mark, both depression and pain were significantly reduced in 32 of 123 intervention patients , compared with 10 of 127 usual care participants .

How Does Anxiety Cause Leg Pain

Leg pain is not a common symptom of anxiety by any means. But some people do experience this symptom, especially those who have anxiety attacks. The underlying causes of the leg pain, and the type of pain, may differ from person to person. Some of the more common experiences are:

  • Hyperventilation Cramping Hyperventilation cramping is the most common cause of leg pain in those with anxiety. Although it may occur at any time, it is especially likely during panic attacks when people are more prone to hyperventilating. Muscles become drained of the proper balance of carbon dioxide, causing cramping.
  • Muscle Tension Muscle tension is also a fairly common cause of leg pain in those with anxiety. When a person feels high levels of stress, the muscles tend to become tense, and this tension, over long periods of time, can leave legs feeling achy.
  • Sleep Tossing and Turning Those living with anxiety often have difficulty sleeping, and end up tossing and turning throughout the night. This increases ones likelihood of ending up in positions that put considerable stress on the legs and joints.
  • Perceived Pain A common problem for those living with anxiety is a hypersensitivity to pain from issues that are normal/natural. Your body has very small aches and pains every day. Some of these pains are so mild or natural, that those without anxiety often don’t even notice the pain. But those with anxiety may be extra sensitive to pain, leading to a greater level of perceived pain.

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