How To Relieve Muscle Tension From Anxiety
Muscle tension stemming from anxiety is not unlike muscle tension caused by other issues . While anxiety itself will need to be addressed in order to prevent future muscle tension issues, once the muscles have already become tense, there are things a person can do to help the muscles relax and gain some relief from the tension. For example:
Depending on the type and severity of the muscle tension, trying each of these strategies could prove helpful in relieving muscle tension. Even though the tension is caused by anxiety, which is a mental effect, the physical body is affected, including the muscles. And while there are various approaches to soothing some of that muscle tension, it is also important to address the underlying cause, and learn to manage and control the stress and anxiety.
Stress causes the muscles to contract, and the tension that that causes on muscles can make them feel stiff, achy, and painful. That same tension can also cause behavioral changes that also contribute to aching muscles. Certain exercises can reduce the tension, while addressing anxiety keeps it away.
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Get Worse With Activity And Improve With Rest
Myasthenia gravis can affect any of the muscles that you control voluntarily. It can affect muscles of the face, hands, eyes, arms and legs and those muscles involved in chewing, swallowing and talking. Muscles that control breathing and neck movement also can be affected.
MG does not affect involuntary muscles such as the heart, smooth muscles of the gut, blood vessels, and uterus.
The hallmark of weakness related to MG is that is worsens with sustained activity of the involved muscle. Eye muscle weakness worsens with reading, and double vision may improve with a brief rest. When speech is affected, symptoms worsen with prolonged talking. Extremity weakness if often noticed when holding arms over the head. Drooping of the eyelids, neck weakness and other symptoms are usually worse at the end of the day.
Can General Anxiety Disorder Cause Muscle Weakness
Yes! Any type of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder, can cause anxiety symptoms, including muscle weakness. Generalized anxiety is one of the more common causes of anxiety disorder. Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to overcome anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including muscle weakness.
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How To Reduce Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Now that we understand that anxiety can cause body pains, and we are familiar with some of the ways it can do this, lets take a moment to learn about how we can reduce these physical symptoms and achieve long-term physical and mental peace. Some of the best ways to reduce physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Be physically active
When implementing additional activity into your lifestyle, it is important to do so in a way that is safe for your body. At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we are able to work with your bodys needs. We are a judgment-free zone, and we are happy to discuss your anxiety symptoms and the ways they might be manifesting as physical pain. Once we are on the same page about your physical health and your needs, our exercise programs will be a great way to help ease anxiety and its symptoms. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and other natural chemicals in the brain that can enhance an individuals sense of well-being. These results might not be immediate, and it will be important to stay committed to the exercises in order to experience long-term success.
- Get massages
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine
This tip is pretty self-explanatory, but these substances are all known to worsen symptoms of anxiety. These substances change the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to worsened anxiety.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep
Muscle weak point anxiety symptoms descriptions:
How To Avoid B12 Deficiency
B12 is naturally present in animal products such as meat, offal, milk, fish and eggs, but the richest sources are liver, clams, kidneys and oysters.
Harvard Health notes: Vegans can develop vitamin B12 deficiency because they lack vitamin B12 in their diets.
In patients with bulimia or anorexia nervosa, vitamin B12 deficiency can also be related to diet. However, your liver can store vitamin B12 for up to five years, so its rare for diet to cause this anaemia.
Injections are sometimes administered to individuals with long-standing deficiencies or those who are unable to absorb the nutrient properly.
Elderly people sometimes suffer a shortfall of intrinsic factor, the protein secreted by cells of the stomach lining, making them prone to deficiency.
Intrinsic factor is crucial for synthesis because it attaches to vitamin B12 and takes it to the intestines to be absorbed.
People who undergo weight loss surgery can also suffer decreased levels of intrinsic factor, which may warrant supplementation or injection with B12.
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Psychological Stress Can Cause Back Pain
Though it might seem hard to believe, mental or emotional distress may be the reason you are experiencing back pain. In fact, there is a long list of physical symptoms that have been proven to be associated with stress and anxiety, including:
- Low libido
Stress itself is the bodys reaction to certain usually unpleasant situations or thoughts. You may not realize it, but when you are feeling stressed or anxious, there are chemical and physical reactions taking place in your body to try and protect you from harm. Cortisol and adrenaline are released, and there is typically an involuntary tightening of your muscles. This often occurs in the neck, shoulders, and down the spine. Prolonged tension in these areas can lead to back pain and, more specifically, lower back pain. You may have had a massage therapist tell you that you hold a lot of tension in your shoulders, and this phenomenon is what they are referencing.
Can Anxiety Cause Weakness In Arms And Legs
Yes! Having weakness in the arms and legs is a common symptom of anxiety disorder. For more information, read why does anxiety cause a weak and heavy legs feeling. You can also read how to get rid of weak and heavy feeling legs.
There are many medical conditions and medications that can cause weakness in arms and legs. You should discuss this symptom with your doctor to rule out a medical cause.
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How Does Anxiety Affect Your Muscles And Joints
Although muscle and joint pain are very common, these are not issues that you would necessarily associate with stress and anxiety. However, as I shall explore below, the two are intricately linked for a number of reasons. Anxiety can, for example:
- Increase inflammation
- Reduce the absorption of nutrients
- Increase pain perception
- Encourage unhealthy eating habits
- Encourage sedentary behaviour
Here, I shall explore these six points in more detail and talk about what you can do to ease your symptoms.
Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Muscle Loss
A recent study showed that daily stress and anxiety are associated with muscle loss. There are two major adverse muscle-related outcomes of chronic stress. During chronic stress, your muscles might feel tense and you might feel a decrease in lean muscle mass.
This may eventually lead to muscle atrophy due to the disuse of the body muscle.
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Rare Causes Of Muscle Weakness
Certain rare conditions can cause muscle weakness:
- Dermatomyositis: Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory myopathy, or muscle disorder, that also causes skin irritation and rash. Due to the inflammation that develops with dermatomyositis, muscle tissue can break down, causing pain and weakness.
- Rheumatoid arthritis : RA is an inflammatory, autoimmune form of arthritis that causes progressive joint inflammation and damage, leaving joints painful and stiff and causing muscle weakness around affected joints.
- Sarcoidosis: Sarcoidosis is a systemic, inflammatory condition of unknown cause with symptoms like arthritis, joint pain, and sarcoid myopathy, which is characterized by muscle weakness, pain, and fatigue.
- Secondary hyperparathyroidism: Secondary hyperparathyroidism, or excessive parathyroid hormones, is a common complication of kidney disease. Secondary hyperparathyroidism can cause joint pain and muscle weakness as increased parathyroid hormone levels contribute to muscle protein breakdown.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus : SLE is a systemic, autoimmune condition that causes a skin rash and joint inflammation. It also causes myalgia and myositis , leading to muscle weakness.
Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Anxiety not only affects your mental state but can also cause physical symptoms. Think about any past or recent anxiety attack you encountered. Did you experience any palpitations or increase heart rate? Was your body sweaty and shaky?
Well, anxiety can cause physical symptoms. It can affect health and daily life. The most common physical symptoms of anxiety disorder are as following:
- Nausea, stomach pain
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Numbness or tingling
People may also feel dizzy or lightheaded when anxious. Some complaint of feeling sick to their stomach. A few might even faint. They might also feel anxiety weakness one side of body or the whole body.
You might even feel like reality is confusing or feel like youre detached from yourself .
Anxiety might also present as a panic attack. If youre having a panic attack, you might feel suffocated or you are going to die. You might also have sharp excruciating chest pain. You can also have numbness or tingling sensations in your body.
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Primary Or True Muscle Weakness
This shows itself as an inability to perform what you want to do with a muscle, even the first time you try. There is a reduction in the force which the muscle can exert, however hard you try. The muscle is not working properly – it has become abnormal.
When this kind of weakness occurs the muscles are often floppier than usual and reduced in bulkiness. It can happen, for example, following stroke. It is also seen in a condition called muscular dystrophy . Both of these conditions result in weakened muscles which cannot move the usual load. It’s a real change in muscle power.
Proposed Mechanisms Of Autonomic Dysfunction And Psychological Stress In Muscular Dystrophy
Depression has been characterized by activation of the sympathetic nervous system and withdrawal of parasympathetic tone to the heart, increased resting HR and reduced HRV . In humans, 24-h electrocardiogram provides a useful strategy for investigating autonomic consequences of depression and predictors of mortality . Cardiac norepinephrine spillover, activation of sympathetic nervous system and reduced neuronal reuptake of norepinephrine predispose to the development of cardiac arrhythmias in psychological disorders . Chronic stress can also evoke arrhythmias by altering stability of cardiac repolarization . Lambert et al. suggest that the sympathetic neurons fire more often in multiple spike pattern in patients with panic disorders .
Possible mechanisms involved in autonomic dysfunction and psychological stress in muscular dystrophy. Sensory input by the baroreceptor afferents, cardiac vagal afferents, and skeletal muscle afferents are integrated within the brain to modulate parasympathetic and sympathetic outflows. Disturbances in the sensory inputs and/or central integration and neurotransmission may contribute to autonomic dysregulation and psychological stress in muscular dystrophy. SNA, sympathetic nerve activity ParaSNA, parasympathetic nerve activity RAS, renin angiotensin system CRH, corticotrophin releasing hormone HRV, heart rate variability HR, heart rate BRS, baroreflex sensitivity , inhibition , excitation.
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Reducing Absorption Of Nutrients
When it comes to your muscles and joints, nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium and magnesium are extremely important. Deficiencies in any of these can lead to joint problems but, unfortunately, in times of stress, your absorption of certain nutrients can be inhibited.This is because, in times of stress, your stores of these nutrients can be redirected away from your bones to other areas of your body, such as your heart and lungs. This means your bones and joints wont be getting the nutrients they need to thrive. Plus, to complicate this picture, we must also consider cortisol.
Released as part of your bodys initial stress reflexes, cortisol helps to dilate your blood vessels and promotes feelings of alertness and wakefulness however, too much cortisol can also block your absorption of calcium and negatively affect the density of your bones. This can, understandably, make your joints more prone to aches and pains.
Physical Anxiety Symptom : Temperature: Hotness Sweating Shivering
“The state of arousal also leads to a rise in temperature. Your body reacts by trying to cool you down this is why you perspire,” Nicky explains.
Such sweating, in turn, can make you feel cold. Especially after a panic attack, as your body starts to cool down but is still perspiring to prevent overheating, it is common to feel cold and shivery.
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Why Am I Short Of Breath
On this page, we explain the different causes that can make you feel breathless.
Breathlessness is a symptom. There are many possible underlying causes. But the main causes are:
There are other reasons too.
If you get breathless on a regular basis, you might have been diagnosed with one of these causes. Often theres more than one. And others can develop over time. If you notice changes in your breathing, tell your doctor. Conditions that cause long-term breathlessness can often be treated to some extent, but some cannot be fully reversed. Its important to learn how to manage long-term breathlessness, so that you can live as well as possible with it.
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How Does The Body Respond To Stress
When faced with danger, a chemical reaction occurs in your body which allows you to act quickly. This reaction, also known as the fight-or-flight or stress response, is your bodys way of keeping you safe from harm. Unfortunatelythe body cant always discern between a legitimate threat and the pressure of daily life.
Any stressful situationfrom narrowly avoiding a head-on collision to being stuck in a traffic jamcan trigger this response causing the heart rate to increase, blood pressure to rise, and muscles to tighten.
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Physical Anxiety Symptom : Skin Tingling And Numbness/ Feeling Weak
It is common for anxiety to cause feelings of numbness and tingling. This can occur almost anywhere on the body but is most commonly felt on the face, hands, arms, feet and legs. This is caused by the blood rushing to the most important parts of the body that can aide fight or flight. This, therefore, leaves the less important areas feeling weak, numb or tingly.
It can also be caused by hyperventilation and increased oxygen intake which is particularly felt in the extremities and the face.
Shoulders Head And Jaw
The effects of stress in your body can move through the tension triangle, which includes your shoulders, head and jaw.
Stress can trigger tension headaches, tightness in the neck and jaw, and knots and spasms in your neck and shoulders, says Dr. Lang. It also may contribute to TMJ, a jaw disorder.
Ask your doctor about remedies such as stress management, counseling or anxiety-reducing medicine.
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Can Anxiety Cause Muscle Weakness And Twitching
Yes! Just as anxiety can cause weak feeling muscles, it can also cause muscle twitching. Consequently, anxiety can cause both muscle weakness and twitching at the same time. For more information, you can read more about the anxiety muscle twitching symptom.
There are also some medical conditions and medications that can cause muscle weakness and twitching. We recommend discussing this symptom with your doctor to rule out a medical cause.
Feeling Too Hot Or Too Cold
Due to the altered circulation that can come with anxiety, hot flashes are not uncommon. Narrowing blood vessels can affect body temperature. A person may, for this reason, feel too hot when they are anxious. Conversely, sometimes the body will sweat in response. This can sometimes be too effective and cause a person to feel too cold.
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What Is Shortness Of Breath
Breathing is a vital bodily function that ensures every cell you have has enough oxygen to survive and that toxic carbon dioxide is removed. Effective breathing requires healthy lungs to perform gas exchange, as well as the functional activity of a number of different muscle groups that enable air to be drawn into and expelled from the lungs. This process largely occurs passively but can also be consciously controlled. Any problem with this process can cause shortness of breath which be the sign of a serious problem and may require immediate medical attention.
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Psychological Stress In Muscular Dystrophy
The association of intellectual impairment with Duchenne muscular dystrophy has long been recognized. Recent studies have demonstrated psychiatric disorders such as autism, dysthymic and clinical depression are fairly common in patients afflicted with DM1, Duchenne, LGMD, and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophies . Children with muscular dystrophy not only face inevitable deterioration of physical functioning, but also become susceptible to emotional and behavioral problems, mental alteration mainly characterized by poor verbal Intelligence Quotient, memory, and cognitive deficits, and reading disabilities . These deficits are without histopathological abnormalities in the brain . The mdx mouse is a widely used experimental model of human Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In addition to skeletal muscle weakness and reduced locomotor activity, mdx mice exhibit disruption in synaptic plasticity, reduced long-term potentiation in Purkinje cells, learning, and memory deficits along with enhanced anxiety-related and defensive freezing behavior .
In DM1, heart conduction defects, endocrine dysfunction and brain abnormalities such as cerebral atrophy and white matter lesions are fairly common . DM1 is associated with cognitive deficits, depression, anxiety, mood, and personality disorders . Similarly, mice with deletion of muscleblind-like 1 , a RNA splice regulator that causes DM1, exhibit cognitive impairment, learning, and memory deficits, and behavioral abnormalities .
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