It’s perfectly normal to experience stress when rushing to meet a deadline, going into an argument, or dealing with other day-to-day problems. However, when feelings of stress become persistent and long-lasting, it can become hazardous to your health.
Chronic stress can increase the risk of several serious illnesses including anxiety, depression, chronic headaches, heart disease, and cancer. It can also impact the quality of your life, greatly reducing the amount of enjoyment you experience each day.
The health implications of stress are so harmful that we always ask patients visiting MotionBack, our London chiropractic clinic, about their stress levels. If they are experiencing a lot of stress, we factor that into the types of chiropractic treatments and lifestyle changes that we recommend.
In this post, our London chiropractor takes a closer look at the effects of chronic stress and how chiropractic care may help. It will help you understand the dangers of stress and how it can be avoided.
Are you experiencing pain that is associated with stress? Visit our London chiropractic clinic for an assessment. Call us on 0207 112 5408 to make a booking or book online on our website here. Continue reading to learn more about the impact of stress on your health.
What Is Chronic Stress?
When you are confronted with a very dangerous or difficult situation, the body responds by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare your body for action by:
- Increasing your heart rate
- Adding more glucose to the blood for energy
- Increasing your breathing rate
- Heightening alertness
- De-prioritising other certain other bodily functions like digestion of food
This physiological process is often referred to as the “flight or fight response” or the “stress response”.
Stress can be an appropriate response to a situation and is often useful. For example, if you had a tight deadline at work being stressed would give you more energy, focus your attention, and help you overcome the challenges you face.
It’s important to understand that the stress response can occur whenever you encounter any perceived threat. That means stress can be a result of emotional conflict, physical pain, psychological distress, environment, illness and other factors.
In some cases, mundane situations which don’t put you in any real physical danger can cause a significant amount of stress.
Short bursts of stress (acute stress) are perfectly normal and can happen in healthy people. Once the factor that caused stress is resolved or goes away, so does the stress. Long-term stress (chronic stress) is much more harmful as the body doesn’t get a reprieve from the symptoms of stress.
Are You Experiencing Stress?
The signs and symptoms of stress can vary greatly individuals. You will need to learn which stress symptoms you experience then keep an eye out for them. The most common symptoms include:
- Tightness or soreness in the muscles and joints
- Tension headaches
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Trouble concentrating
- Digestive issues
- Low self esteem
- Loss of libido
- Flare ups of conditions that affect the skin or hair
- Feelings of desperation
- Weak immune system, which makes illnesses and infections more common
What Is The Impact Of Chronic Stress?
The impacts of chronic stress can be severe. It can increase the risk of some extremely serious conditions including:
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Anxiety disorders
- Mental health problems like PTSD and schizophrenia
How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Chronic Stress?
Visiting a chiropractor for chiropractic treatment may provide relief from the symptoms of stress in several ways. The principle way is ensuring that the joints in your spine are correctly aligned.
Having correctly aligned joints will allow for the proper functioning of the nervous system. This can reduce tension in the body, improve blood circulation, and soothe irritated nerves, helping to reduce stress symptoms.
Chiropractic adjustments can be used to target muscular tension in the neck and shoulders. In addition to relieving pain, this will restore mobility and the range of motion of these joints.
Finally, a chiropractor can provide advice on lifestyle changes which can reduce your stress levels. This includes information on healthy sleep habits, exercise, and diet. They may even be able to help you learn more about activities that reduce stress, including yoga, mindfulness meditation, and massage.
If you are feeling the effects of stress our experienced team of London chiropractors may be able to help you. Visit Motionback our London chiropractic clinic for a consultation by calling us on 0207 112 5408 or you can book online on our website here.