Thursday, August 25, 2016

3 Reasons Stress is a Pain in the Neck

Stress is a literal pain in the neck! When I go through stressful situations or feel anxious it comes with neck pain, always on the right side. It feels as though a vice is around the outside of my neck between my collar bone to the point just under my right ear. So why does stress come with a physical pain linked to a specific place?

1. Stress can cause muscle tension which tends to target muscles in the shoulders, back and neck. Stress can often cause neck pains and even cause a spasm or a tic. If this occurs you must seek medical advice as neck spasms can be related to other illnesses.

2. Fatigue- with many mental illnesses can come lethargy and fatigue which can lead to you tending to stay in bed or curled up on the sofa, usually in a position that is not the best for your posture. This can cause your joints to feel stiff, your muscles to ache and your skin to feel sore in places. Whenever you can and even if you have to consciously force yourself try to get up, move around and stretch. Build this up to light exercise and keep going.

3. High anxiety levels during a panic attack can cause blood-vessels and nerves to become restricted which can give you pain, numbness and tingling feelings in your head and face including your neck.

So how can we help this:

  • keep moving: don't sit too long, get out of bed, take a walk, stretch
  • take a hot bath to ease pain or apply a heat pack to the area
  • some people prefer applying something cold to the area rather than heat
  • check your posture is correct to help you feel comfortable and avoid further pains
  • sleep on a thin pillow rather than a large pile
  • a firm mattress can help with your sleeping posture
  • ibuprofen gel (if you can use it) can help relieve pain
  • massage can help relieve muscle tension
  • relaxation techniques and stress reduction minimise the cause of your neck pain
  • if your pain is persistent or unbearable speak to your GP and seek medical advice

Much love,
Becky xx

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