The Link Between Chronic Stress and Pain and How to Stop the Cycle

Everyone has to deal with stress from time to time. We can get stressed waiting in traffic, dealing with work, managing family needs, and contending with other situations. For most people, stress is a manageable, if unpleasant, part of daily life.

But, if you live with a chronic pain condition, stress can become a much bigger problem. Patients with chronic pain typically have plenty of reasons for stress, including the stress of coping with their condition. However, since stress can make chronic pain symptoms worse, it’s very possible to get stuck in a negative feedback cycle. Stress can contribute to pain symptoms, which can then cause more stress.

The providers at RehabOne Medical Group are experts in pain psychology, and they have helped many patients break this negative cycle. In this blog, they explain how stress and pain are linked and how you can break this cycle and improve your quality of life

How stress worsens chronic pain

When you experience stress, your body undergoes chemical changes to help you confront a situation or get away from it. During a stress response, your body releases hormones — including cortisol — your heart rate and blood pressure go up, and your muscles tighten.

Unfortunately, these changes can be a problem if you suffer a chronic pain condition. Stress can trigger pain symptoms or worsen them.

And, beyond the potential for stress to cause pain, pain can also cause more stress. Many people experience stress because they fear the return of pain symptoms and also because they feel overwhelmed by their pain condition. This negative cycle can feed into itself and harm a person’s quality of life.

Breaking the cycle of stress and pain

Fortunately, there are things you can do to break this negative cycle of chronic pain and stress and take control of your life. At RehabOne Medical Group, we take a holistic approach to chronic pain management. Depending on your needs, your provider may recommend a number of treatments and therapies, such as the following:

If you suffer from chronic pain, we can help. We’ll give you a thorough evaluation and design a treatment plan to help you improve your quality of life. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with RehabOne Medical Group today.

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