How Stress Causes Neck Pain

Stress Neck Pain

Stress Causing Neck Pain

How Stress Causes Neck Pain

If you suffer from chronic neck pain, particularly alongside headaches, and with no apparent physical cause it may be that your stress level is to blame. Stress in daily life, from pressure at work, school, or home, can cause tension in the neck muscles, which leads to fatigue, cramping, stiffness in the neck, and neck pain.

When we are under stress we unconsciously tense our muscles as if in preparation to run away from our stressor, but oftentimes the stressful stimuli we encounter are not able to be run away from and so the stress has no outlet and there is no corresponding relaxation once we feel the ‘threat’ is over. In modern society where we could, if we read every newspaper and watched every news report, consider our lives to be in imminent danger, it is hardly surprising that doctors are reporting more incidences of chronic stress-related neck pain than ever before. Even major health institutions are warning us not to take work home with us and to learn to ignore the smartphone that may be causing our neck pain and back problems.

The vast majority of neck pain is due to tension in the muscles supporting the head. This can lead to not only pain in the neck, but also jaw pain, shoulder and back pain, and headaches. Stress is also a factor in weight gain and obesity, which in itself can make pain worse by risking an increase in inflammation and by putting more pressure on the body’s musculoskeletal system. Stress may also be implicated in the development of conditions such as lupus, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, all of which can lead to neck pain; this may be due to the fact that long-term stress downgrades the immune system.

Unhealthy Quick Fixes

Those who are under stress also often resort to unhealthy ‘quick-fixes’ such as alcohol, drugs, or smoking. Using over-the-counter analgesics and anti-inflammatories can also lead to a rebound effect, creating withdrawal symptoms and leading people to take more and more of the medication. Caffeine, which may also be present in some headache pills, can have a similar effect on tension and stress, with withdrawal presenting a problem for many who try to go cold-turkey. Poor dietary choices may also be made due to time constraints and little inclination to cook healthy foods. These factors all contribute further to poor nutrition, which can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as magnesium, B vitamins, and other nutrients key in muscle activity, energy, and how your body deals with stress.

Long Term Stress

Prolonged tense muscles can also compromise circulation, and put pressure on the nerves in the neck or brachial plexus. If circulation is reduced to an area, through blood vessel constriction, then this can adversely affect nutrient and oxygen delivery to cells, making them more prone to damage and death. Stress in itself can cause a reduction in blood supply to peripheral limbs, which can create tension in the muscles. This is because the body is preparing itself for any injury and attempting to reduce potential blood losses from such injury. Emotional and psychological stress creates a very similar reaction to a physical stressor, such as a charging bull, or a pride of lions running towards you. Your boss shortening your deadline, or arguments over whose turn it is to drive the kids to soccer may be the cause of your neck pain, and are harder to avoid than, say, animals on the African plains.

Neck Pain from Computers

Neck Pain from Computers

Neck Pain Stress Triggers

Emotional stressors are not the only stressors, however. Chemical stress, through environmental pollutants, additives in food, allergens, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, can cause tension in the body, inflammatory reactions, and nutrient deficiencies leading to neck pain. Problems with posture, sleep, gait, and exercise or sports injuries where persistent strain or improper movements create imbalances in muscle tone, can all contribute to physical stress and neck pain.

Stress in the neck muscles can adversely affect the way we move the rest of our body and, in the long-term, lead to persistent muscle tone imbalance and altered posture which creates a higher risk for degenerative spinal problems. It takes only a slight adjustment in the neck musculature to create major problems. The average human head weighs 10-20lbs, and as it is supported by your neck muscles it can be compared to a bowling ball balanced on your fingertips (or a melon on some spaghetti if you’re feeling a little more culinary). If you have chronic neck pain you should always make sure you get it checked out as, even if you are stressed, there may be an underlying physical issue that can be corrected.

Treatment Options

If chronic emotional stress is a problem, and you think it is the cause of your neck pain then a therapy such as the Alexander Technique may be helpful where postural problems and emotional disturbances can be addressed. Controlling the emotions, regulating breathing, and re-educating the body to handle stressful situations a little better are all included in this type of therapy making it ideal for those with stress-related neck pain. Similarly, counselling, mindfulness training, cognitive behavioural therapy, or even granting yourself a relaxing massage or hot, soothing bath can all help you learn to relax and get rid of that pain in the neck.

100 replies
  1. 0vrlXd1tawr
    0vrlXd1tawr says:

    791999 721677Naturally I like your web-site, even so you need to have to check the spelling on several of your posts. A lot of of them are rife with spelling troubles and I uncover it quite silly to inform you. On the other hand I will surely come once again once again! 628991

  2. Zina Apana
    Zina Apana says:

    Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is very much appreciated.|

  3. Lola Clarks
    Lola Clarks says:

    Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a appropriate deal. I had been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered shiny clear concept|

  4. Scottie Noens
    Scottie Noens says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your website. It appears as if some of the text in your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Cheers|

  5. Hoyt Pleasant
    Hoyt Pleasant says:

    Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a very good job with this. Also, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Chrome. Outstanding Blog!|

  6. Tatyana Endreson
    Tatyana Endreson says:

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A handful of my blog readers have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?|

  7. Hector Meshanko
    Hector Meshanko says:

    After exploring a handful of the blog articles on your blog, I seriously like your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site as well and tell me your opinion.|

  8. Bill Mccall
    Bill Mccall says:

    I am really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A handful of my blog audience have complained about my site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?|

  9. Kelsey Washam
    Kelsey Washam says:

    I think this is among the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers|

  10. Malcolm Fellars
    Malcolm Fellars says:

    Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. However imagine if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could certainly be one of the very best in its field. Great blog!|

  11. William Zager
    William Zager says:

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually understand what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally visit my site =). We will have a hyperlink exchange agreement between us|

  12. Rena Fixico
    Rena Fixico says:

    Hi I am so delighted I found your site, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.|

  13. Cedrick Teed
    Cedrick Teed says:

    What i don’t realize is in reality how you’re not actually a lot more neatly-liked than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You recognize thus considerably when it comes to this matter, produced me individually believe it from so many various angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated except it’s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. All the time care for it up!|

  14. Gil Mazzawi
    Gil Mazzawi says:

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.|

  15. Pete Sorn
    Pete Sorn says:

    Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!|

  16. Roseann Rieve
    Roseann Rieve says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, however I assumed this publish was good. I do not recognize who you are but certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger when you are not already. Cheers!|


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. … [Trackback]

    […] Info on that Topic: […]

  2. relx says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Here you can find 55883 additional Information on that Topic: […]

  3. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More to that Topic: […]

  4. URL says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: […]

  5. […] Yes, you have a lot to do but you know what? Struggling along with tense muscles and neck pain makes even the most fun activity seem like a chore, and more arduous tasks feel nigh on impossible. Take a timeout and relax. Book yourself in for a massage instead of making that extra batch of cookies. Having a happy spouse, parent, or friend at Christmas is infinitely preferable to having someone seriously stressed out pushing sugary treats at you. If a massage isn’t appealing then a hot bath with some relaxing essential oils, or even getting to bed early and starting the new day refreshed and relaxed can work wonders for neck pain caused by muscle tension and stress. […]

  6. […] guided meditation or having cognitive behavioral therapy can help in chronic pain conditions, and it is vital to stay hydrated and eat a diet rich in […]

  7. […] suggest family distress, according to the authors, with anxiety and depression potential links. Stress and neck pain are certainly linked for many people, with muscle tension and sleeplessness all contributing to […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *