In honor of Stress Awareness Month, let's explore ways stress can impact our daily life, including neck pain. Neck pain can hinder your everyday activities such as working, exercising, sleeping, and even driving. Neck pain affects nearly 30-50% of adults at some point in their lifetime1, and one of the causes may be stress.
Stress is a common factor that affects many. Stress releases certain hormones, such as cortisol, within our body. Cortisol can raise your heart rate and blood pressure when released in high amounts. When this happens, our muscles react and become tense and tight. The neck is one of the first places to feel this tightness and it can create pain without realizing the cause. Some helpful tips to reduce stress are:
- Talking with someone can help you manage stress.
- Try a calming exercise, such as Yoga to help relax and loosen tense muscles and clear your mind.
- Maintaining good nutrition: Eating a well-balanced diet will help your body be at its best while managing stress levels.
- Get adequate sleep: Not getting enough rest can trigger stress hormones to rise. When you have slept, your body experiences less pain.
- Deep breathing techniques: Adding breathing techniques to your daily routine can help relax your body. When feeling stressed, deep breathing can be a good restart.
If you tend to carry stress in your neck and are experiencing tightness or neck pain, try these tips for relief:
- Schedule Physical Therapy
- Perform light exercises
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
- Apply heat or ice to the affected area
- Practice good posture techniques
If your neck pain persists or worsens, we recommend seeking medical treatment to avoid further injury. Dr. Chandra and his team at CFOSM will work to find the proper treatment for you.
Dr. Ramesh Chandra has been practicing orthopaedic surgery in the Washington DC Metropolitan area since 1984. The Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is easily accessed from anywhere in the Washington DC metropolitan area, with offices located in Falls Church, Reston/Herndon, and Tysons Corner.