Neck injuries affect hundreds of thousands of people each year. As if the initial injury is not bad enough, many people who experience pain from irritation to the cervical spine complain that certain situations seem to make their discomfort worse. What situations? Stressful ones!
Does Stress-related Neck Pain start in the Head?
Chronic or even frequent pain in the head and neck may be related to stress. However, that does not mean that you are “making it up.” There is a very real reason for your pain. Usually, stress-induced neck pain originates in some type of injury. After this disruption to tissues and the nerves of the spine, the tension from stress seems to manifest as physical symptoms much more quickly. So, the next time you catch yourself rubbing at sore shoulders during a stressful time, know there is something behind your pain.
How to Minimize Neck Pain
There are several ways to manage neck pain. But first, you may need to see your doctor. Self-treatment for neck or back pain could be dangerous without an accurate diagnosis of the underlying problem. Once you know the status of your spine and muscular structure, you may implement lifestyle habits such as:
- Even a daily walk around the block can help you let go of the minor stresses of the day.
- Most people think of meditation as sitting on a pillow on the floor, eyes closed, in a monk-like position. That doesn’t have to be the case. Just sitting quietly for 5 minutes a day has been shown to calm emotional stress.
- Specifically, it is the muscles around the shoulders, chest, and neck that should be stretched to maintain adequate laxity and range of motion.
- Who doesn’t love a good shoulder massage! Making massage a normal activity can help you manage stress and also manage pain by relaxing tightened muscles.
- Asking for help. There is no value in trying to do it all. None of us is capable of that type of superhuman power. Get help at home and at work as needed to enable you to perform at your personal best.