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The Connection Between Stress & Chronic Pain

The Impact of Stress on Orthopedic Pain

While everyone experiences heightened levels of stress every now and then, too much stress can exacerbate chronic pain symptoms. The experts at Lewis Pain & Physical Medicine are here to shed some light on the connection between distressing emotions and chronic pain.

Understanding the Body’s Stress Response

Stress is your body’s natural response to challenges, demands, and situations that you may face in your daily life. When exposed to a stressful situation, your body responds by releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to help protect itself from potentially dangerous situations.

There are two different kinds of stress:

Acute Stress

Acute stress is stress that lasts for a short period of time. Everyone experiences acute stress in everyday situations like sitting in traffic, arguing with a friend, or even trying something new and exciting.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress, on the other hand, happens when you’re exposed to your body’s stress response for long periods of time. This can happen as a result of major life events like experiencing an injury, relationship issues, or even financial problems.

How Stress Affects Your Musculoskeletal System

When you’re exposed to a stressful situation, your muscles respond to this stimulus by tensing up. While this can prove useful in dangerous situations to protect you from injury, it can be detrimental to your musculoskeletal system when you’re exposed to the body’s stress response for a long time.

How Stress Impacts Existing Pain Issues

For those who already have chronic pain due to an injury, chronic stress can exacerbate the symptoms associated with their condition. This is because many people tend to respond to their injury with fear of re-injuring themselves, causing them to neglect the affected area.

If you avoid using the affected area while in recovery, this can result in pain-causing muscle tension and even muscle atrophy. It’s important to maintain a certain level of physical activity to ensure that you don’t cause further damage to disuse.

Pain Management Specialists in Frisco and Irving, TX

At Lewis Pain & Physical Medicine, we understand that aches and pains affecting the body can negatively impact your quality of life. Our team of pain management specialists and physiotherapists works with our patients to create efficient and effective treatment plans specific to their individual needs and goals.

Call on the specialists at Lewis Pain & Physical Medicine and let us be your partner in pain relief! To schedule a free consultation, call (214) 613-0960 or fill out our online contact form today to be seen within 48 hours.