The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared stress a health epidemic for the 21st century. General worry and unhappiness are causing stress to be the new normal in people’s lives. Stress, however, causes a lot of chronic health issues if it continues long term. Stress affects different parts of the body in different ways; the spine is no exception.
Stress and Your Body
Stress is a normal part of life. We experience stress under different circumstances, usually for a short time. When you have constant stress, it can do a lot of harm. Chronic health conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
These conditions develop over time and are preventable if you learn how to manage stress.
Stress and The Spine
Daily stress can also take a toll on the spine. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline into your system. The two hormones cause your muscles to tighten. In turn, you can have:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Mid back pain
- Lower back pain
In time, tense muscles and behaviors such as sitting at your desk for a long time can cause your spine to curve forward. Your posture begins to change. Once your posture starts hunching forward, you can experience pain in the hips, knees, and feet.
Tips for Spinal Health
When people are under stress, they tend to sit more. Exercise and movement can help reduce stress and loosen muscles. Take breaks and go for a short walk, do some stretches, or do a yoga routine.
Learn to manage stress. There are several things you can do to help manage stress.
- Deep breathing
If you are experiencing a lot of back pain, it is beneficial to see a chiropractor. A chiropractor can adjust the spine to help relieve pain and improve posture.
Chronic stress is damaging to the body. According to chiropractor Dr Allexi: “When stress causes your muscles to tighten in the back, it can not only cause pain but change the shape of your spine.”
Taking care of your spine and managing stress can help you be pain-free, more productive, and happier overall. Your spine is one of the most vital parts of your body and, you should not ignore it!