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Overworked Black Businesswoman Massaging Nosebridge At Workplace Having Eyesight Problem, Selective Focus, wondering How Stress and Fear Can Impact Your Pain.

How Stress and Fear Can Impact Your Pain

We’re all living in a stressful, unprecedented time. As the coronavirus impacts everything we know around us, it’s extremely common to feel stress and fear. Our favorite restaurants are closed, we need to stay inside all the time, and we can’t hug our loved ones. On top of all of that, the new stresses of working from home or dealing with less income have also arrived.

Needless to say, it can be rough. Even worse, stress and fear can cause more issues down the road if you’re dealing with chronic pain, which one in five Americans reportedly do. 

That’s why the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain are here to help. We’re explaining below how stress and fear can impact your pain and what you can do to help. 

Constant Fight or Flight Mode 

When you’re stressed or afraid, your body’s natural chemical reaction is to go into fight or flight mode. However, since you aren’t necessarily in need to fight or flight, your body gets confused by this and constantly stays in that mode. 

That means your body is always tense as all your muscles remain poised to strike or start to run. When you have chronic pain, this is a horrible thing for recovery and management. It’s best to relax your muscles as much as you can, but fight or flight mode is the direct opposite of that. 

Discourages Positive Mental Health 

When dealing with pain management, working on your mental health is a vital part of the process. When you’re feeling anxious or sad, your pain can often be increased or morphed. Added stress and fear only negatively impacts your mental health, therefore tampering with your back pain. 

Physical Side-Effects

Those with high-stress levels often report experiencing damage to their heart, irritable bowel syndrome and other issues with their digestive system, and even decreased fertility. When you’re already dealing with chronic pain, these combined physical effects can only make your initial symptoms feel worse. 

What Can I Do to Fight Against How Stress and Fear Can Impact Your Pain? 

To prevent the side-effects of stress and fear creating more issues with your chronic pain, here are several tips we recommend for coping:

  • Speak with others: Tell your trusted loved ones how you’re feeling. Oftentimes, they’ll understand what you’re going through and give you much needed advice, love, and attention to get you feeling better. 
  • Go to therapy: Dealing with chronic stress can often be a sign of an undiagnosed mental health issue. Speaking with a therapist can help you understand where your stress comes from, provide tips and tricks for how to deal with it, and also give you the tools to prevent the stress from arriving in the first place. 
  • Practice Self-care: When stress shows up, it’s best to lean on what brings you happiness and joy. That’s where self-care best practices come in, which means indulging in activities that make you feel happy and calm. Whether it’s pulling out the yoga mat or putting on a face-mask, don’t feel guilty for taking the time to love yourself so that stress will melt away. 

If you have any more questions about how stress and fear can impact your pain, Alliance Spine and Pain is here to help. Reach out to any of our back-strengthening specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.   

a woman getting a massage, wondering the Benefits of Getting a Massage.

The Many Benefits of Getting a Massage

If you have ever had a professional massage, you may have felt a bit torn. The deep tissue rub often feels relaxing and helps you get rid of aches and pains, but there can be some pain associated with the massage itself. You might even wonder if the massage is doing anything to resolve your pain or if it is just causing you further injury.

In reality, deep touch—such as massage—is a great way to heal from injury and change how your body responds to pain. We have put together some information to help you understand the benefits of getting a massage.

The Benefits of Getting a Massage

  • Massage Dampens Inflammation and Pain – Studies have shown that a post-workout massage can slow or reduce the activity of certain proteins, which are known as inflammatory cytokines. These proteins cause inflammation and pain, so reducing the activity may cause less pain.
  • Massage Offers Results Similar to NSAIDs (Aspirin or Advil) – NSAID medicines work to reduce substances in the body that cause the inflammatory cytokines to activate. This means that a good massage may be effective to relieving pain in a similar way to taking an aspirin or two.
  • The Release of Serotonin – Massage encourages your muscles to release a chemical called serotonin. This chemical contributes to your overall well-being and sense of contentment. Put simply, a good massage will help you feel good inside and out.
  • Your Therapist May Find Underlying Issues – While a massage is certainly no substitute from an appointment with a doctor, your massage therapist can potentially find underlying issues with your muscles that may otherwise remain undiscovered. Massage can be an excellent way to learn more about yourself and your body.
  • Reduces Stress – Another way that massage can help with pain is that it relaxes you. When you are relaxed and less stressed, your perception of the pain you have may be less severe. This is an excellent side benefit that cannot be overlooked.
  • Use Caution – While there is some pain associated with a thorough massage, it should not be TOO much to handle. Getting a massage is not a case where “no pain, no gain” should apply. Talk to your massage therapist about what feels good to you, what hurts, and find a solution that will help you recover from injury or fatigue without causing you additional pain in other areas.

If you are interested in learning more about massage or other ways to manage your pain, reach out to us at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers. We would be happy to discuss your problems and work together to help you start feeling better, faster. Our pain management specialists, nurses, and physician assistants work together to make sure that a care plan tailored for your unique needs can be created if you have any more questions about the benefits of getting a massage.