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What is the Connection Between Stress and Neck Pain?

Marisa O'Connor
Marisa O'Connor

Stress and neck pain are connected in more than one way. They have a complicated relationship to one another. Stress will often cause or exacerbate neck pain, while neck pain, or any pain for that matter, usually results in emotional stress. This can lead to a vicious cycle if ignored. Learning to treat both symptoms is the best way to avoid recurrences.

Physical stress and neck pain are also connected. Stress caused by overuse, too much exercise, or holding the neck in an awkward position for too long can all result in neck pain. In a world where more and more time is spent sitting in front of the television and computer, education about posture and the vulnerabilities of the spine is increasingly important. Poor education about posture is a large contributor to neck pain from physical stress.

A chiropractor might be able to ease neck pain caused by stress.
A chiropractor might be able to ease neck pain caused by stress.

Emotional stress affects the body almost as much as physical stress. It has been linked to a wide variety of conditions, from chronic pain to ulcers and even heart attack. A study following 450 patients conducted by doctors in Germany found that patients suffering from psychological stress had the highest degree of neck pain.

Causes of neck pain involve a great number of factors. Physical and emotional stress have been linked to causing neck pain. Poor posture like slouching also puts significant strain on the neck. Sleeping in the wrong position or any activity that causes someone to hold the neck in a strange position for an extended period will likely cause neck pain. Trauma to the neck is also a common cause of neck pain.

There are many causes of neck pain, and stress is one.
There are many causes of neck pain, and stress is one.

There are many factors involved in treating neck pain. As usual, the cause of the neck pain must be considered in order to properly treat it. If stress is the primary cause of neck pain, then reducing stress would be the primary treatment plan. Stress and neck pain can also be treated with specialty pillows, medication, or posture support. A chiropractor, masseuse, or physical therapist can also assist in treating neck pain.

Stress can exacerbate neck pain, and neck pain can cause emotional stress.
Stress can exacerbate neck pain, and neck pain can cause emotional stress.

Reducing stress is vital to overall health and quality of life. It is no secret that stress and neck pain can seriously interfere with day-to-day enjoyment, which just exacerbates the problem by adding more stress. The first step to take when minimizing stress is talking to a doctor and getting a physical check-up in order to determine underlying causes. A healthy diet and exercise routine can do wonders to relieve stress and neck pain. Talking to a therapist or counselor as well as taking some time each day to relax in a warm bath or practice meditation are all incredibly effective remedies for too much stress.

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    • A chiropractor might be able to ease neck pain caused by stress.
      By: Rainer Plendl
      A chiropractor might be able to ease neck pain caused by stress.
    • There are many causes of neck pain, and stress is one.
      By: Kurhan
      There are many causes of neck pain, and stress is one.
    • Stress can exacerbate neck pain, and neck pain can cause emotional stress.
      By: shefkate
      Stress can exacerbate neck pain, and neck pain can cause emotional stress.