Can Stress Cause Physical Pain In The Body And How To Identify The Stress
The high-stress levels affect every person, and it can cause physical pain in the body.
Most of us may notice symptoms associated with stress in different situations. As a parent, you can be experienced while you try to discipline your children. The busy schedules at work may even lead to a stressful situation for many employees. Household financial management or coping with a challenging relationship can even lead to a stressful scenario for many people.
In short, stress is everywhere.
The little amount of stress is not a problem as it can also have a beneficial impact on many people. However, a high amount of stress can make wear down any person and can harm health. The person may even experience a physical impact on the body because of high-stress levels.
It is necessary to identify the symptoms of stress in the first step. It can help any individual in controlling stress. Though, sometimes the identification of stress symptoms can be hard for the people.
Most of the people are so much used to stressful situations. They are often not aware that they are stressed out until they experience a breaking point. It can be a dangerous situation, and maximum efforts are needed to control the overall stressful situation of any person.
Tip: If you have not read already, here are the links to the symptoms of stress in men, women and children. The symptoms depend on your sex and age.
Your Stomach Is All Sorts Of Messed Up
Anxiety really hits the G.I. system hard, says Dr. Potter. People with anxiety may notice general stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other kinds of G.I. distress, she explains.
A lot of this may boil down to what experts call the gut-brain axis, which is a communication system between your brain and the enteric nervous system that governs your digestion. This connection is why stress can so easily mess with your poop. Theres also the fact that anxiety-induced lifestyle choices like eating foods that dont agree with you or not exercising can affect your digestion as well.
Appetite Changes And Weight Gain
Changes in appetite are common during times of stress.
When you feel stressed out, you may find yourself with no appetite at all or overeating without noticing.
One small 2006 study of 272 female college students found that 81 percent reported that they experienced changes in appetite when they were stressed out, with 62 percent stating they had an increase in appetite .
Changes in appetite may also cause fluctuations in weight during stressful periods. For example, a study involving 1,355 people in the United States found that stress was associated with weight gain in adults already living with extra weight .
A third study from 2017 found that individuals with higher cortisol and insulin levels and higher levels of chronic stress were more likely to gain weight in the future . However, the study was limited in the scope of research in that participants were predominantly white females.
While these studies show an association between stress and changes in appetite or weight, more studies are needed to understand other possible factors are involved and how stress impacts different people.
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Stress Management: Keeping A Diary Can Help You Manage Stress
If youre unaware of exactly what is triggering your stress, its useful to write a diary and keep track of how you feel in stressful situations. The NHS advises keeping a stress management diary for at least two to four weeks. You can then review your stress management diary and establish what triggers your stress, helping you build a stress management plan.
Its essential to have me time. During this time, make sure your emails and notifications are switched off . This break from the stress of work and screentime allows you to focus on yourself and it can be for as short as 30 minutes every day.
Managing Pain From Stress And Anxiety
Everyone reading this has likely experienced one stressful situation already today. If left unchecked, these little daily stressors our human affinity for anxiety, and harboring past emotional traumas can cause deep hip pain and even lower back pain from stress.
We often associate anxiety pain with chest pain, which also occurs, but the diaphragm muscles connect to the iliopsoas. All of our muscles tightening to protect us is a natural reaction, but our daily life will become much harder if we try to muscle through with unresolved tension.
Finding time to slow down, take a few deep abdominal breaths, and work other stress management techniques into your daily routine can help give your muscles a much-needed break, and help you relieve some stress.
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Managing Stress Trauma And Emotion
The easiest way for us to approach muscle tension is to only look at the muscles that are tight. However, to fully address our whole body health, we should also look at our mental health and how its causing muscle tightness.
Below are four approaches that anyone can start when learning how to manage personal stressors, traumas, and emotions that cause muscle pain.
You Regularly Experience Indigestion After Eating
After an especially large meal, its normal to feel slightly bloated. But when you feel this same type of discomfort after your regular meal or snack, then its not normal.
You might even experience a burning sensation in your esophagus or upper abdomen. It could appear after eating or drinking and might travel clear to your chest area.
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The First Step: Acknowledging The Issue
Getting the right help for psychosomatic symptoms involves acknowledging the issue as being psychological in nature. This can be the hardest part. Many of us can cope with the idea of having headaches from sinusitis but admitting they are caused by stress or worry can be difficult, perhaps because it makes us feel weak. There is still a stigma around mental health issues however minor, and it is almost easier in our society to disclose a physical health need rather than a mental health one. This often leads to patients searching for a physical cause for their symptoms with countless investigations and tests. This is not only costly and inconvenient for the patient but actually worsens the problem as it adds to the anxiety and stress.
Help Is Available For Stress
Stress is a part of life. What matters most is how you handle it. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it is to know your stress symptoms.
If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed by stress, talk to your doctor. Many symptoms of stress can also be signs of other health problems. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and rule out other conditions. If stress is to blame, your doctor can recommend a therapist or counselor to help you better handle your stress.
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How To Stop These Pains
Most of these aches and pains are treatable with the very same treatments you would use if you had these problems in the absence anxiety. For example, over the counter painkillers are a popular treatment and appropriate stretching or exercise may reduce some of the discomforts. Furthermore, by taking steps to treat the underlying anxiety, rather than simply the pain that you feel, youre more likely to be able to avoid aches and pains happening in the first place.
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How To Manage Physical Stress Symptoms
Although we don’t yet understand the root cause of the relationship between the mind and physical symptoms, it is certainly clear how we should deal with it.
There are really two important parts of managing the situation: ruling out a physical problem and getting the right psychological help.
The most common psychosomatic symptoms can also be borne from significant physical illnesses so thorough examinations are crucial and often some scans or blood tests too. This is imperative, for example, with abdominal symptoms. Even in the context of stress and anxiety, it is still important to see a doctor so a more significant physical cause is ruled out. Stress can certainly cause a change in your bowels, but so can cancer. Both doctors and patients need to be aware of the dangers of brushing symptoms off just as “stress”.
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Easy Tips To Relieve Stress
Stress affects the body in a variety of ways,from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often overlookedside effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts ofstress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.
When we get stressed out, the body naturally releases certainhormones. Adrenaline is associated with the ancient fight or flight phenomenonthat heightens our blood pressure, increases our blood supply, and causes themuscles around our spine to tense and spasm in case we need to flee the sourceof the stress. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone it interferes with avariety of functions. Elevations in cortisol can lead to loss of muscle massand increases in fat accumulation.
“Stress affects the body in a variety of ways, from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often-overlooked side effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts of stress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.”
Kavita Trivedi, D.O.
Data suggest that adults know stress affects their spines. Online survey participants ranked the No. 1 perceived cause of their neck and back pain as follows:
- Stress: 29 percent
- Spinal disc herniation: 21 percent
- Sitting at a desk at work: 20 percent
How Does Stress Affect Your Health Generally
Prolonged or chronic stress can have damaging health consequences on your immune system and your brains cerebrovascular system. Stress can weaken your immune system and increase your susceptibility to colds, flu and fatigue.
Harvard Health says: “Abundant evidence shows that chronic stress chips away at physical health, pushing blood pressure to dizzying heights and harming the heart. It plays a role in diabetes, asthma, and gastrointestinal disorders.”
Harvard Health states elevated levels of stress in your body can cause consistently high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can cause your heart muscle to weaken and thicken, as it forces your heart to pump blood faster. This can lead to heart failure.
The BMJ reveals chronic stress can lead to the development of disorders such as dementia, Parkinsons disease and motor neuron disease. It may also influence the likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis. Feeling stressed out can cause increased sensitivity to pain Chronic stress can lead to increased levels of pain and in turn, chronic pain can leave you feeling stressed out. This works as a vicious cycle of stress and chronic pain, leaving little room for relief.
Disrupted sleep induced by stress can also exacerbate your pain. Sleep deprivation can increase your sensitivity to pain by affecting how your brain perceives pain. The inextricable relationship between pain and sleeplessness is referred to as painsomnia.
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Ways To Help Reduce Stress And Stomach Pain
According to a poll that tracks negative experiences of people in 115 countries, 2020 was the year the world reached its highest stress peak in over 15 years. Around 40% of the surveyed population reported experiencing significant stress.
While you should see a doctor if your stomach pain is severe, prolonged, or recurring, there are things you can do to calm a nervous stomach and help reduce the kind of stress and anxiety that could lead to stomach problems.
Finding Your Path To A Less Stressed Life
Sadly, theres no magic stress solution that works for everyone. You might have to explore several different stress management tools and techniques before you find what works best for you. Dr. Howitt suggests taking it one small, manageable step at a time. “Set achievable goals, she explains. “Small changes can make a meaningful difference in how you experience stress both mentally and physically.”
Practicing self-care is always a good idea, but some people need more support. If something still doesnt feel right or you have questions about how to manage stress in positive ways talk to your doctor.
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How Stress Affects Your Body
Another infographic from Healthline shows the effects of stress on your body.
Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.
Yet if your stress response doesnt stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Symptoms of chronic stress include:
The Second Step: Looking At Your Life
Although less practical it is worth re-evaluating lifestyle and how working lives impact on our mental stress. It is not news to anyone that jobs cause stress but the physical effects from this can be surprisingly significant. For years I have been treating a patient with high blood pressure who required three separate medications together to control his blood pressure to a safe level. It was only when he took semi-retirement that his blood pressure came down naturally, and he is now medication free. In retrospect, he can acknowledge the huge effect his work was having. Working patterns, travel and workplace relationships all have an impact.
Occasionally medical help is needed with psychological physical symptoms. GPs are well placed to offer this. This could be in the form of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication or referrals into therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to treat anxiety, stress and depression and provides practical solutions for dealing with negative thoughts.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Aches And Pains
A healthy diet full of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, a gentle exercise regime and stretching can all help to reduce aches and pains. On top of these lifestyle changes, a herbal remedy may also be beneficial.
Our Atrosan Devils Claw Tablets help to relieve muscle and joint pain, as well as rheumatic pain, backache and lumbago. They can be used with other painkilling medications but if symptoms fail to improve after 8 weeks of using the product you should consult your doctor about your symptoms.
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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Can Stress Cause Increased Sensitivity To Pain
Stress is your bodys natural response when under intense mental or physical pressure. Stress isnt all bad, it does have its benefits. It can compel you to meet professional deadlines and reach important personal goals. But, high levels of stress can have a devastating impact on your psychological and physical health and wellbeing.
We also explain how feeling stressed out can cause increased sensitivity to pain and, in some cases, damage your overall health. We also provide stress management tips to help you combat stress and experience stress relief.
What Is Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is defined as a physical pain that prolongs quite longer, usually over 3 months.
However, there is a considerable portion of the people who experience chronic pain just because of the feelings associated with stress, anxiety or depression.
Chronic pain is dangerous as it can hinder ones complete ability in moving with ease and also affecting their normal functioning.
Usually, the best remedy often perceived by people is having pain medications, but their side-effects further compound the overall problem.
Most people are aware of an essential fact that emotional stress can cause some severe problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and stomachaches. However, they might not know very well that it can even cause some other kinds of complaints that are physical along with chronic pain.
One logical reason, as some of the studies have found, is that when people are more stressed and anxious, their muscles become tenser and also constricted. As a result, the muscles then not just become inefficient but even fatigued as well over some time.
Tip: Electrical muscle stimulation can help you in treating muscle pain.
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