The cycle of anxiety, depression, stress, and physical pain can feel endless. External stressors quickly become internalized pain which affects many parts of the human body. Pain, then, becomes a cause of worry and… inevitably… more discomfort and stress. But for many people, chiropractic care helps get to the root of pain and can even break the cycle altogether. April is Stress Awareness Month and at Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic, Dr. Chani Henderson works with you—where you are—towards a pain free life.
Holistic Stress Relief
The American Institute of Stress explains that stress can cause headaches, jaw clenching and teeth grinding, and pain in the neck, back, or muscle aches. It also triggers cold or sweaty hands and feet; dry mouth and swallowing trouble; rashes, hives, itching, and goosebumps; heartburn and nausea; frequent urination; and constipation or diarrhea.
It may seem counterintuitive, but some degree of stress is necessary. HelpGuide explains that “The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid a car accident.”
And, they continue, “Stress can also help you rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and your quality of life.”
Chiropractic Care for Stress and Anxiety Relief
This is where a skilled chiropractor can help. If you think about it, we all carry our stress-related tension in different places. Some people find their neck tenses up while others get a migraine or headache. Some are subject to tight shoulders and others debilitating lower back pain. Chiropractic adjustments can help lower blood pressure and combat the tension, stiffness, and muscle aches which come with stress. Best yet, it does so without adding medication and the side effects or interactions many pills bring.
Chiropractors will also take a detailed medical history to learn about old injuries or ongoing issues. When we’re stressed and anxious, we tend to retreat and spend too much time slumped on the couch or sitting in front of the computer. This can itself cause stiffness and painful misalignment. Dr. Henderson will discuss ways to keep moving, stretch, and maintain—or regain—balance so you can get back on your feet again.
Visiting a chiropractor also promotes healthy sleep so your body can reset and recharge. If stress causes pain or migraines, chiropractic visits may help you reduce them at bedtime. Sleep.org explains that “Sleep issues arise for a variety of reasons. Pain seems to be a leading factor in poor quality of sleep. Spinal pain affects over 54% of adults, while migraines and chronic headaches affect over 38 million Americans and counting. In addition to pain, insomnia affects over 30% of adults and is often correlated with health issues…Seeing a chiropractor regularly may help you address some of the issues you’re having obtaining a restful night’s slumber.”
Don’t let the stress of the last couple years wear you down
The last few pandemic-impacted years have been tremendously stressful (to say the least!). On top of our workday, commute, raising a family, and paying bills, we’ve had to adapt nearly every aspect of everyday life. Even the most laid-back among us found themselves dealing with extreme levels of stress and anxiety.
If you or someone you love needs help unclenching their jaw or soothing muscles wound too tight by ongoing stress, give Dr. Henderson and her team a call. And until then, try some easy exercises to relieve tension in your back, neck, and shoulders, courtesy of Healthline. This includes a gentle, side-to-side neck stretch and slowly rolling neck release. There are also three poses best done on all fours to benefit the lower back as well.
They also suggest applying a warm compress to your trouble spots, taking a soothing aromatherapy bath, adjusting your workstation to combat neck strain, getting up and moving a few minutes each hour, and using a good pillow at night to keep head and neck in alignment. Yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation also invite relaxation.
During Stress Awareness Month, take a minute to pause mindfully, send a little encouragement to someone in your life who needs a helping hand, and schedule a visit with Dr. Henderson today.