Skip links

How can stress cause physical pain?

Body response from chronic stress

1. If stress hormone (Cortisol) level is too high for too long, body loses ability to regulate inflammation. Increased inflammation in your body can become a source of your pain.

2. Stress activates sympathetic nerve system and deactivate parasympathetic nerve system. Fight and flight response from this imbalanced nervous system make your body getting fatigued and tired easily.

3. Muscle and fascia get tight in diaphragm, ribs and abdomen.

4. Breathing pattern changes from deep diaphragm breathing to shallow breathing pattern. This changed pattern accelerates the tightness in your neck muscles due to compensation.

5. Body oxygen level decreases with poor breathing pattern. With lack of oxygen, muscle endurance decreases, and tenderness increases. So, people become more sensitive to pain.

6. Trigger point (highly irritable knot) occurs in the whole body which become the main pain generator.

Relationship between chronic stress and disease

Under chronic stress, body loses its ability to regulate inflammation and immune system is getting weaker. Inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and autoimmune disorders.

Stress and Autonomic Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) controls homeostasis and is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” function. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls the body’s responses to a perceived threat and is responsible for the “fight or flight” response.

When you are under the stressful event, SNS is activated and it will increase your heart rate and energy as part of the fight-or-flight response. It’s your body’s way of preparing itself for potentially dangerous or harmful situations

However, if you are habitually tensing up and try to rush yourself all the time, you will end up over-activating your SNS and it will slowly break down your body system. In addition, your breathing pattern will become shallow and the activation of diaphragm muscle will be inhibited.

What is the solution?

1. Mind Control and Breathing for Relaxation

We need to calm our mind and body down from busy, fast pacing environment.

First of all, try to do everything slow and try not to rush yourself.

If you are rushing yourself most of the time, you may have built up for a long time.

Thus, it also needs some time to practice calming yourself time.

Breathing and stretching exercise program will help you promote relaxing mind.

2. Manual Therapy

In order for you to fully relax yourself, you need to release discomfort in your body first. If you have pain, it is difficult to focus on relaxing your mind and body.

Find Manual Therapist doing Myofascial Release and Trigger Point Therapy. These treatment will restore your muscle and fascia health again.

3. Exercise

Exercise has a variety of advantages in our health. Physical activity helps boost up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Also, exercise strengthens musculoskeletal (muscle, tendon, bone) and cardiovascular system (heart, blood vessels). Increased circulation helps decrease inflammation in your body.

If you want to improve your cardiovascular system, the exercise intensity should be moderate to high until you are sweating or can feel your heart beating while or after the exercise.

4. Diet

Try to avoid: sugary foods and beverages, processed meat, excessive alcohol, and foods high in refined carbs and unhealthy fats.

Recommendable supplement or food: Krill Oil, Noni powder, Turmeric, deeply colored Berries like grapes and cherries

By doing so, you are slowly but progressively balancing your autonomic nerve system.

If you keep doing this process, your SNS will be slowly turned off and PNS will be progressively reactivated.

Treatment program we offer

1. Manual Therapy (Trigger point therapy, myofacial release, stretching, adjustment etc)

You should not feel any pain while doing any activities. Also, you have to enjoy free movement of your body. Manual Therapy can eliminate your pain and restore limited body movement.

2. Stretching and Breathing program

After releasing restricted body area, you will learn how to activate your diaphragm and how to stretch properly to restore your mobility and relax your mind.

You will learn 2 breathing techniques (lower rib breathing and abdomen breathing) which help use your diaphragm more than neck muscles to decrease SNS.

3. Core and Cardio program

We will make your core exercise program and will guide you to develop strong cardio and strength in your body. Exercise program helps improve your immune system and tolerance to inflammation from stress.

4. Mind control and Meditation

We will guide you how to calm yourself down with a meditation technique.

Leave a comment