Stress can have a negative impact on all areas of your life if not controlled properly. Stress can be good: it propels us towards goals and can help in emergency situations. But stress can also lead to illness, loss of productivity, neck pain and shoulder pain.
The symptoms of stress include emotional and physical effects. It includes body aches and pains, anxiety, irritability and sadness. It can lead to dangerous behavior such as drug and alcohol abuse, overeating and angry outbursts.
The pain caused by stress, especially in the neck and shoulder, is commonly due to muscle tension. Many times the increased muscle tension is aggravating a current condition. The way people feel about pain is even influenced by stress, according to Dr. Robert Gotlin, DO, director of orthopaedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.
A doctor can help diagnose stress and any underlying conditions that may be interfering with pain relief in the neck and shoulder area. If stress or pain gets severe and involves chest pain, immediate medical help should be sought.
There are many ways to help treat stress that will relieve neck and shoulder pain. Exercise that increases flexibility and stretches the neck and shoulder muscles may be recommended. Meditation and yoga are also alternative treatments that may benefit those who suffer from stress related neck and shoulder pain.
If intense sadness or worrying develops, indicating depression or severe anxiety, medical treatment should be sought. Your doctor should be able to help with a plan to address not only the stress, but the effects stress has had on your body.