The relationship between chronic pain and stress

There’s no question that chronic pain can lead to stress, but an unfortunate truth is that stress can also worsen chronic pain. This is why it is so important to take measures to reduce daily emotional and physical stress. Because this is often easier said than done, it can be helpful to visit a doctor to learn how they can manage their chronic pain syndrome and stress levels in an effective and healthy manner.

Obviously, if you have chronic neck or back pain that has persisted through months of conservative treatment, it is understandable that you feel a degree of stress. What’s worse is that over time this stress can build and contribute to painful symptoms. Plus, prolonged stress can cause imbalances in the brain and lead to anxiety and even more stress.

Helpful tips for chronic pain and stress relief

In order to ease your chronic pain and stress, a medical professional may recommend the following steps:

  • Eliminating tobacco use. Nicotine accelerates the degradation of the discs in the spine while also leading to a wide range of health issues, including heart and lung problems.
  • Keeping active. By taking a walk around the block, playing a sport or spending some time at the gym, the patient can raise endorphins, lose weight and sleep better.
  • Not overdoing it in the office. Taking frequent breaks can avoid stress buildup. It’s important to keep things in perspective and take charge of the day.
  • Moderating caffeine intake. Too much caffeine can keep you on edge and hinder much needed rest.
    Practicing breathing exercises. Deep breaths improve oxygenation in the brain and relax the mind and body.
  • Working with spine specialists to address chronic pain. Pain management experts, physical therapists, spine surgeons, acupuncturists and massage therapists may all be able to help treat chronic pain and relieve stress.

Minimally invasive alternatives

Rather than living with chronic neck or back pain and continued stress, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the full range of treatment options available for your condition. For patients who have exhausted conservative treatments, like medication and physical therapy, our minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures have helped thousands of patients find relief from neck and back pain.

Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and are a safer and effective^ alternative to traditional open spine surgery. Call today for your free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate.