If you’ve ever been through a stressful situation, you must be aware of the harmful effect it can have on your body. Headaches, insomnia and neck pain are some of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety. As your tension grows, so does the tightness in the neck muscles and this can cause neck pain. Long-term tension can lead to chronic neck pain.
However, we can easily avoid this if we manage to deal with our stresses on our own. For minor stress-related neck pain, experts recommend self-management, coping strategies, dietary changes and posture correction techniques. Focus on strategies that can take care of your mind and your body. If you can get rid of the stress and anxiety, the pains too will disappear.
Still wondering how to Try these strategies to get rid of neck pain caused by stress & anxiety.
1. Neck stretches
Regular stretching exercises for the neck can help to loosen the tense muscles of your neck. Several highly-recommended workouts can help stretch out these muscles that run from the lower back to the top of the neck.
Consult a doctor or a chiropractor to recommend some neck stretches that you can easily do at your home.
2. Get a gentle massage
A gentle massage is a great way to relax and relieve stress. It helps to get the blood flowing into the sore muscles and helps ease the tightness in the neck and back muscles.
Letting an expert take care of your sore muscles will help you relax. Adding hot or cold compress during the massage will also help get rid of the stress.
3. Do yoga
Yoga is beneficial in relieving tension and reducing stress, both in the body and in mind. It can also make you more resilient when these stress triggers pop up in your life. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to join classes, you can practice yoga poses at home.
According to research (1), practising yoga for a few minutes every day can improve your ability to cope with stress along with improving your health.
4. Exercise regularly
When we exercise, our body releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Endorphins help us relax, improve our ability to sleep well and reduce stress (2).
Physical activity also helps to minimise oxidative stress, and this provides relief from neck, back and shoulder pain. So, go on and get your muscles moving and your blood flowing.
5. Practice meditation
Meditation helps to calm your thoughts and anxieties and provide relief from stress-related pain. Numerous studies have been done to see the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in relieving stress-related pain.
According to these studies (3), meditation is quite helpful in reducing stress-related symptoms and helping patients deal with chronic pain.
6. Seek family support
You don’t have to deal with stress all by yourself. Seek help from your family and friends. Delegate work to others if it is getting too much to tackle on your own. Ask a friend to take charge so that you can take some time off to relax and recharge.
7. Adopt healthy habits
Adopt healthy sleeping and eating habits. Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep every day so that your body gets enough time to rest and relax. Switch off all your gadgets at least an hour before you sleep.
The blue light of these gadgets is known to have a harmful effect on sleeping patterns. Avoid coffee or other caffeinated beverages as they can interfere with your sleep routine.
Smoking slows down the healing process as it decreases the supply of the blood to the muscles in your neck.
8. Take a hot bath
A hot, relaxing bath can do wonders for your tense muscles. A hot shower can be equally helpful in relieving stressed muscles. Heat helps to relax your muscles. Spending some time in a hot bath can calm your mind and ease the tensions that led to strained muscles and neck pain in the first place.
9. Join a support group
Cognitive behavioural therapy can be very beneficial in developing clear thought patterns and help in stress relief. You can also share your worries and concerns with a support group or on an online forum to seek relief from stress and stress-related pain.
10. Chiropractic care
Consult a professional if you do not get any relief from the activities suggested above. A chiropractor will work on your spine to provide you with the much-needed relief from your pain.
According to doctors, the sooner you get back to regular activity, the better it is for your neck pain. So, manage your stress with a positive attitude, and the remedies suggested above and get back to your regular work routine without any neck pain issues as soon as possible.