Mind & Body Connection

Do you find stress impacts your pain? Read this to find out why.
Do you find stress impacts your pain? Read this to find out why.

This post is a summary of a discussion with Simone Saunders of The Cognitive Corner.

We discussed all things mind & body – particularly stress and physical symptoms I encounter in clinic.

  • Headaches – tension and cerviogenic headaches are extremely common
  • Upper traps, neck and shoulder tightness
  • Jaw tension and pain
  • Pelvic floor OVER-activity
  • Slower recovery from injury
  • Exercise dosing – figuring out the dose and type of exericse that will help an individual, as exercise can be fulfilling and energizing, but it can also be draining and a source of stress
  • Strategies for breaks during stressful activities, particuarly work
  • Having someone to make a movement plan with and ongoing accountability

The body is in a heightened state of awareness and is often in a protective mode. This can manifest as:

  • Slower recovery
  • Positive nerve tension tests
  • Stiffness and fear of movement
  • Pain flare ups that occur during an increase in stress
  • This comes down to the individual! As a physio, I usually start with the physical, but I’ll often bring up other factors in the person’s life to get a bigger picture of what they may be going through
  • I like to bring exercise and movement in as a positive stressor, or stress reliever. We make goals and aim for changes that are sustainable
  • If things don’t change, we re-evaluate and decide what the next best step is

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