Stress, Pain, And Fire Alarms
This has been a year unlike any I can think of. Covid-19 has changed so much for so many and I see the effects of these changes in the clinic daily. The goal of this blog post is to help you understand some of the challenges that I’ve seen impacting folks and causing them aches and pains and begin working toward a solution that suits you.
Stress and anxiety are through the roof
For many of my patients, 2020 has felt like a nonstop cycle of new stresses, uncertainty and anxiety. This whirlwind of events had had a major impact on our physical and mental health.
We all handle stress differently
Some people manage stress by sleeping more, eating more, and immersing themselves in their work until they burnout. Others feel tension throughout their body, struggle to get motivated or become irritable. Most commonly I hear people complain that their headaches are more frequent lately or have worsened, or the tops of their shoulders feel achy constantly.
These last few months, I’ve been seeing an influx of patients who have been attributing their body aches and pains to high levels of stress with work and changes at home. Compounding this seems to be the rapid approach of a Holiday season that will likely look different than any that we can recall.
Pain can be thought of as our body’s fire alarm
If you were cooking dinner, left the stove momentarily, and heard the fire alarm go off, chances are your kitchen isn’t actually on fire… but it would be silly not to go double-check what set off the alarm. When we are stressed out, it’s like maxing out the sensitivity of that fire alarm so that even the tiniest hint of smoke or heat sets it off.
Just like an overly sensitive fire alarm in the kitchen doesn’t often mean fire, usually back pain doesn’t mean severe damage, instead, it typically means our body wants us to pay attention to what’s going on… and we’d be silly not to at least pay it some attention.
Every person is different, and this is why there is no cookie-cutter solution to pain. As a chiropractor in Ottawa, the first time I meet a patient, I take the time to listen and understand the person in front of me in order to tailor the treatment to their needs.
Based on our initial conversation and assessment, we can often pinpoint a person’s unique factors that may be impacting their back pain, neck pain, sports performance or headaches. The silver-lining to pain having a wide variety of influencing factors is that it gives my patients and me many strategies to improve their pain, problem-solve when setbacks arise, work on things at home, and use hands-on therapy in the office.
If you’re interested in learning more about a tailored solution to manage your back pain, neck pain, headaches, or athletic performance, please get in touch. I’m happy to provide a free no-obligation consultation to determine if we’re a good match and get you started in the right direction.