This week is International Stress Awareness Week 2019, so it is an appropriate time to discuss the physical impact that stress can have on the human body.
In 2018, a study into mental health found that 3 in 4 Britons are overwhelmed by stress.
Stress can be caused by several things, such as body confidence issues, money problems or pressures at work.
Likewise, the effects that stress can have on our bodies also vary a lot. Naturally, people associate stress with just mental health problems and think that it only has an impact on our mind.
This is far from the truth, however. Stress can also create a lot of physical problems, such as loss of appetite, headaches and joint pain.
Reasons Behind Stress-Related Joint Pain
When we are faced with danger, our body automatically goes into fight-or-flight mode to protect us. Sadly, our bodies can’t distinguish the differences between a real threat and the general pressures we face every day. Any remotely stressful situation can trigger this response, which causes our blood pressure and heart rate to rise, and our muscles to tense.
There are many reasons why people who suffer from anxiety and stress feel increased joint pain. When our bodies react to stress and go into fight-or-flight mode, pro-inflammatory molecules are released around our body causing something commonly known as stress inflammation. Long-term stress makes your body continually produce these cytokine molecules, which results in swelling around the joints and pain when you move.
Treating Joint Pain
Treating both the physical and mental symptoms of stress is the most effective way to manage stress. A regularly used method of safely combating the physical effects of stress is osteopathy.
Based on the ideology that your body functions better when it is fully aligned, osteopathy is considered to be an effective approach to helping people with stress-related joint pain. Osteopaths use techniques such as moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints to help reduce pain and improve mobility.
Besides osteopathy, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is important when treating stress-related joint pain.
Get In Touch
At Solihull Osteopathic Practice, we have a team of highly-experienced osteopaths, who are dedicated to helping patients with joint pain.
Although osteopathy is very much a physical approach to treating stress, it’s soothing effects on the body can also help to improve a person’s mental state.
If you’re experiencing any joint pain or you’d like to discuss how osteopathy could help you, please get in touch with our team.