3 Types of stress & how it hurts!

How’s your stress level?
Pain across the top of your shoulders?

Many people attribute these symptoms to stress. Unfortunately, they also diminish the affect it has on their body and end up causing chronic pain cycles which can be disabling and just plain make life miserable!

Researched has revealed that stress can be a major contributor to chronic pain! An article posted last year in the UK Huffington Post present the link to pain:

Scientists believe they have discovered why psychological stress can lead to physical pain.

A research team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, the research shows for the first time that the effects of psychological stress on the body’s ability to regulate inflammation can lead to the development and progression of disease.

As a chiropractic physician, I have seen this connection for years.  I have seen many people who’s conditions were started or continually aggravated by stress. What I have found in these cases there is the development of a chronic cycle: left untreated, moderate to sever pain patterns develop.

Three Types Of Stress

There are multiple ways stress impacts our body. For most of us, we deal with it on three levels: emotional, mechanical or trauma.

Emotional: These are things that affect our mental well being. Conflicts within our relationships: marriage, family, friends or co-workers can produce stress. Situations in life such as getting married, moving or the lost of a loved one are stressful. Then there is the unexpected difficulties that tax our emotional strength: layoffs or job termination, traumatic loss of a house or any number of situations that are unpleasant.

Mechanical: This is related to poor body posture or movements. Many times, due to our jobs or professions, we find ourselves maintaining a constant work posture for long periods of time. One of the most common is sitting hunched over a computer for hours at a time. This sustained mechanical position is stressful on our body.

Physical: trauma such as car accidents, sports injuries or slips and falls produce sudden stressful forces on our bodies.

Creating The Pain Cycle

stress pain cycle and chiropractic

Each of these types of stress cause the same affect on our body: they create an increased MUSCLE TENSION. This tension then compresses the microscopic blood vessels and causes a build up of the waste products: also known as ischemia.

Once this ischemia starts, it creates an area of INFLAMMATION in the muscle. (Reach up and rub your shoulder muscles: is there a tender sore lump? Probably an area of localized inflammation!)

This inflammation then causes a SCAR TISSUE REACTION. Our body deposits little bits of tough scar tissue to contain the inflammation. This scar tissue reaction results in muscle tissue contraction, less flexible tissue and LOSS OF JOINT MOTION.

Now, because there is this loss of motion and scar tissue, any additional stresses placed on the joint or affected tissue causes a RE-INFLAMMATION and the process starts again!  Thus, a chronic pain cycle develops!

Breaking The Pain Cycle

To relieve the pain of this cycle, you must find a way to break the cycle! This can begin at any place within the cycle. Once interrupted, it prevents the next step from happening. If you decrease the stress, the muscle tension does not happen. Stopping the inflammation process prevents the scar tissue formation. Increasing the joint mobility diminishes the re-inflammation. Obviously, if you can interrupt this cycle at many points, the results will be quicker and more effective.

One of the most effective means of breaking this pain cycle caused by stress is through chiropractic care.  Chiropractic care is a safe, drugless and proven effective treatment that addresses the affects of stress in multiple ways.

First, it will increased the joint mobility thereby reducing the re-inflammation.

Second, it can reduce the initial inflammation and decrease the scar tissue and contractures.

Third, it can reduce the muscle tension – stopping the start of the stress cycle.

Don’t let the effects of stress ruin your life! Call Dr. Martin Schmaltz at (314) 731-4383 or CLICK TO CALL NOW! and see how chiropractic can be of benefit to you!