STRESS! It can be suffocating at times and can have detrimental effects on our body and well-being. There is environmental stress, performance stress, and emotional stress. Examples of Environmental stress are loud noises, natural disasters, physical threats, etc. Performance stress is poor nutrition, poor sleeping habits, physical injury, etc. Emotional stress is more of a perceived stress. Examples are relationship problems, performance standards at work and school, the loss of a loved one, etc. As you can imagine, stress is all around us and is a daily issue.
Although we often perceive stress as a negative, it can actually play a very important role. Stress helps to activate our Sympathetic Nervous System which is responsible for our “fight or flight” response. This increases our heart rate, brings blood away from our digestive system and helps to focus our vision. All of which is very important in times of need. However, this response is helpful in moderation. When we are chronically placed in stressful situations, stress can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, diabetes, damage to our muscle tissues, and can affect our immune response.
One of the major symptoms of stress is prolonged muscle tension. Muscle tension pulls on the bones of our spine (vertebrae) and creates uneven pressure. This pressure can cause the vertebrae to become misaligned or fixated in a certain position, not allowing for proper motion. The body then tries to correct this problem through a process called inflammation, which is the body’s way of healing itself. The problem is that this inflammation is unable to fix the structural problems of our spines. Instead, the body’s inflammation process can build up and can begin to irritate the nerves in the surrounding area. This can cause pain and if severe enough numbness, tingling and weakness. As we experience pain it often leads to more stress exacerbating the problem even further.
Chiropractic adjustments help to correct spinal imbalance as well as help to restore proper motion between the vertebrae of our spines. Chiropractic adjustments additionally help to release muscle tension, allowing the muscles to be in a more relaxed state. As this happens, a powerful signal is sent to the brain that inactivates our “fight or flight” response returning the body to a much more relaxed state and allows the body to begin the healing process.
Stress presents itself all around us and often times is a daily burden. It’s time to address your stress and it’s time for a positive change! Let us help you manage your stress!