The state of your emotions can have a major impact on how you feel physically. Most of us can relate to a time when a stressful situation led to a piercing headache or a pit in the stomach that just wouldn’t seem to go away, but did you know that the effects of our emotional state can go much further? In fact, if you’re dealing with long-term physical pain in New York City, there’s a strong chance that stress may be a contributing factor. Fortunately for you, though, our treatment team understands this connection and often works with patients to address both the emotional and physical aspects of their problem.
Emotional state plays a much more significant role in long-term, or chronic pain, than it does after more traditional traumatic injuries. In most cases after spraining your ankle or waking up with a crick in your neck from sleeping on it wrong, the body will take some time to heal, and the pain will eventually subside. Chronic pain is essentially pain that continues much longer after the natural healing process has done its job, meaning that something else is wrong with the body that’s causing this lasting pain.
This is where the mind/body connection comes into play. The way in which your mind processes your thoughts and attitudes has a direct effect on how your body processes and controls pain. In cases of chronic pain, high levels of stress can cause the body to send signals to the brain that there is pain even when there is no physical damage present. The primary reason for this is that when the body is in a stressful state, it’s always on alert and it releases certain chemicals—like cortisol—that should only be released during emergency situations. The continuous release of cortisol can reduce the immune system’s ability to heal and will eventually result in pain and other physical symptoms.
In addition, the more anxious or stressed a person is, the more tense and constricted their muscles tend to be, which can cause muscles to become fatigued and inefficient over time. Pain and fear of pain can also intimidate certain people from staying active, which may in turn result in less physical strength and higher pain levels over time.
What we offer for chronic pain in New York City
Together, this shows that if you’re dealing with chronic pain in New York City, there may be more at work than the physical status of your body. Here at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy, we take this into consideration when evaluating each patient and determining the most appropriate treatment program. With this in mind, we often add acupuncture sessions that include points for emotional balance when dealing with patients who have high stress levels or an emotional history associated with their injury. When combined with other aspects of our treatment program like stretching and strengthening exercises, pain-relieving modalities, and activity modification and education, we believe that patients will experience a significantly more positive outcome.
Contact us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment for your pain today, or click here to read more about emotional stress and chronic pain.