Stress and pain seem to go hand in hand. We have found that people living in northern Virginia, especially those who commute to Washington, DC, have obscure stress symptoms that are a bit tricky to recognize as stress. Repetitive dealings with stress can cause neck pain, back pain, headaches and many other joint related issues. Stress can also lower your immune response, make you short-tempered, cause you to have sleepless nights, have an impact on your memory and concentration levels, bring about fatigue and may play a part in overeating. In fact, Prince William County is one of the unhealthiest counties in Virginia! “We still eat too much, and apparently not often with health in mind, and don’t get enough exercise, since more than a quarter of county residents (27 percent) are considered overweight in the latest survey.” http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/apr/09/editorial-prince-william-countys-health-ar-1829317/
What we know is that physical, chemical and emotional stresses have an equal effect on the mind, body and spirit. These stresses have created chronic pain; so much pain, that many have given up because they simply just “don’t want to deal with it”. Unfortunately, some have resorted to taking medication to treat the effect of stress rather than getting down to the cause of their health issues and chronic pain. Treating pain without getting down to the cause can actually perpetuate a downward spiral that ultimately leads to disability on one level or another.
You can try to eliminate stress in your life (i.e. get a new job or new relationship) and work your way back to health with positive mental attitude, good nutrition, exercise and Chiropractic care. Just start fresh, let it all go! Or, if you are like most people who just can’t do that, it comes down to taking consistent action that will help your body to adapt efficiently to stress.
What actions can you take to help reduce your stress burden? First, you have to come to the realization that you are not adapting to stress efficiently as you could be and that your back pain, neck pain, headaches as well as other joint or immune system issues are your responsibility. The only one who can fix the issues is you!
Next you need to realize that if you do not take action, that action (or lack of) will take you! Knowing that your life and your relationship with your family is much more important than the stress that you have to deal with, you may want to consider physically working off the stress. You could join a gym or just go for a walk or run. You should be exercising at least three times per week, 30 to 60 minutes in duration. Don’t say “you don’t have time”, simply make the time! Aren’t you and the people you care about worth it?
Next it is time to get away from the stress. Although it may be challenging to do this, getting a change in latitude may just be what the doctor ordered. You know you need a vacation when you say and or think that you do not have time for it! Next, recognize the signs of stress and act early on your health before the pain shows up. When the effects of stress are upon you, when you are in the moment; try to think about the things that you are most grateful for focus you energy on the good stuff you are working towards. Even at your most stressful times focusing on whom and what you love, can and will help. Remember to smile when you go there.
Last but not least, it is important that you talk about the things that stress you out with people you know can lend an ear and some good advice. Getting it out in the open takes the pressure off. Remember to see your Chiropractor; they can help to take the pressure off.
ACT Wellness Center / 14111 Minnieville Road / Woodbridge, VA