Stress May Influence Development of Chronic Pain

Stress May Influence Development of Chronic Pain

Keeping up with life’s constant demands is incredibly tough, and when symptoms of chronic pain are thrown into the mix, it can make managing your day-to-day nearly impossible. That being said, if managing your day-to-day is becoming overwhelmingly inconceivable and you’re beginning to stress about things more than usual, you could be at risk of either developing or fueling chronic pain problems.

The physicians at American Spine will always be available to help manage and/or treat your chronic pain symptoms. Regardless, in order for their therapies to work, you must try to reduce detrimental life stressors. This will not only correct your current chronic pain problems, but it will also protect your health in the long run.

According to an article published in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, this idea was apparent in a study that saw increased levels of chronic pain in high stress individuals who were involved in motor vehicle accidents. 

The study followed nearly 1,000 people who had been involved in a car accident and were treated at emergency centers. Results concluded those who came from more impoverished areas reported significantly higher pain level then those coming from less disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Dr. Samuel McLean of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill led the study and determined, “These results demonstrate that individuals living in more socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods are at increased risk of developing chronic pain after a common trauma exposure, and that this increased risk is due, at least in part, to the increased stress of living in such environments.”

Regardless of socioeconomic status, higher stress levels can lead to increased chronic pain. Therefore, if you’re experiencing chronic stress it’s important to identify what is causing it and how you can ease it.

If you’re feeling beaten or overwhelmed, reach out to family members, close friends or your supervisor at work to discuss what is wrong and how they can help. Many times the help of others and/or a support group can provide useful ideas and tips on how to tackle symptoms and reduce chronic stress.

Exercising is another great way to relieve stress. You body produces endorphins during a workout, which is a natural mood-booster. Try to block out some time before or after work to go for a run. Or, you could suggest walking meetings and brainstorming sessions. Either way, try to get moving!

Talking to friends and going on walks/runs are great ways to manage stress, but the best thing you can do for yourself is get help from a licensed mental health professional. By consulting trained professionals, both in the psychological and pain management realm, you’re allowing yourself to handle chronic pain symptoms both mentally and physically.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

©PainMedGroup, 2014

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