When we are affected by neck pain from stress, most of us realize that stress can manifest itself in our bodies, and can appear in many ways including headaches or tight muscles. When we experience anxiety, we’re putting our bodies through extensive, long-term stress.  Our bodies are in fight or flight mode, and are releasing hormones that can tense muscles and even contribute to further anxiety.

Neck pain is a common symptom caused by persistent stress, and many people have experienced neck pain as a result. The pain can center in our necks as stress and worries build. The main cause of neck pain is muscle tension. During periods of stress, our muscles can tense up. The more stress we experience, the more we may have pain and discomfort.

By treating both our mind and our body, we can help lessen the stress and the resulting pain. Here are some steps that can help us manage our neck pain from stress:

  1. Massage therapy is one of the best ways to reduce pain in the neck. It can help push out some of the tension in our bodies and release some of the stress that causes this type of neck pain.
  2. A hot bath or shower can be soothing for tense muscles. Heat makes it harder for our muscles to hold in tension.
  3. Gentle neck stretches can loosen muscle tightness and assist range of motion for our necks.
  4. Exercise can help. When we use energy in our muscles, it becomes harder for them to tense up during times of stress. It releases endorphins, a hormone that generates feelings of happiness and well-being.
  5. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven beneficial for developing healthy thought patterns, and support from friends or family members can be beneficial also.
  6. Yoga or meditation can be a great way to calm our thoughts and anxieties.
  7. Understanding that our health is a priority and focusing on what’s most important is essential. We can better our worries by realizing what’s important and what is really inconsequential.

These strategies can reduce some of the effects of muscle tension. It’s also important to make sure that you’re sitting with good posture, as poor posture can contribute to neck pain caused from anxiety.

If your stress-related neck pain is not relieved by a week or two of self-care, call or visit us at Spine & Orthopedic Center for other neck pain treatment options, and to diagnose any possible underlying conditions.