Neck pain is a very common symptom of anxiety and stress. Stress causes the body to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This means that hormones are released causing the muscles to tense up.
Unfortunately, neck pain is likely to increase an individual’s stress levels even further. It is therefore a vicious circle and it can be difficult to banish both the neck pain and stress because one aggravates the other.
It is natural for people to get anxious about neck pain – especially if it exists over a prolonged period of time. Moreover, you may receive conflicting advice on how to deal with the issue.
In a nutshell, stress creates tension which can make neck pain feel much worse and can cause the pain to remain over a longer period of time. Therefore, if stress is an issue for you, it must be identified early on so that you can take steps to manage it.
It isn’t always feasible to stamp out anxiety altogether due to the pressures of everyday life. However you can help to reduce your stress levels by using the following techniques.
- Lie on your back with a pillow underneath your knees. Starting with your toes, focus on each set of muscles and contract and relax them one at a time, gradually working your way up to your legs, torso, shoulders and neck. Just spending a few minutes doing this at any time of the day will help to reduce muscle tension and stress.
Note: If you struggle to get to sleep at night, why not try this when you get into bed? Focusing your mind on your muscles will not only help to relax you, it will also help to block out any of your worries.
- Lying in the same position, breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth, focusing on the rise and fall of your abdomen.
- Heat makes it harder for muscles to hold tension so take a hot bath or shower. In some cases, people also find that the steam and water themselves are very soothing. Adding or using products that contain lavender is also claimed to help.
- Exercise is one of the best ways of reducing stress and tension. This doesn’t have to mean going out for a 10km run. Just a short walk can contribute towards expelling anxiety.
The important thing is to create a mix of exercise and relaxation techniques that works for you. Hopefully then you can break the cycle of neck pain and stress.
If you would like any help in reducing your neck pain, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Active Healthcare Clinic on 0114 267 1901.