There’s no question that tension and stress can manifest itself in the body. Whether it’s a headache or tight muscles, psychological factors can take a toll on our physical body.
If stress-induced neck pain does not subside after a week or two of self-care, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment
Stress-induced neck pain is defined as pain that is either triggered or worsened by psychological or emotional factors. For example, the initial neck pain may be caused by an injury that strains the muscles in the neck, but the pain continues for days or weeks afterward as stress caused by the injury or other factors builds—maybe even long after the muscle tissue has healed from the initial accident.
That’s not to say that stress-induced neck pain is “all in your head”—the pain and symptoms are very real. It’s just that the causes are not physical in nature.
Some experts think that stress-induced neck pain is caused by a physical factor: namely, a low but constant level of activity in the trapezius muscles that stretch from the back of neck out to the upper shoulders. However, studies found no correlation between neck pain and muscle activity.1 The only positive connection was between neck pain and perceived tension/stress.2
By focusing on ways to treat both the mind and the body, you can help lessen stress and the toll it can take on you. Try these methods to manage stress-induced neck pain:
Visit our very active Spine-health Forum to find online support.
If your stress-induced neck pain is not relieved by a week or two of self-care, see your doctor. He or she can offer other treatment option and diagnose possible underlying conditions.
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