The Connection Between Stress and Pain: How Physical Therapy Edmonton Can Help?



    Stress and pain are two things that almost everyone experiences at some point in their life. While stress is a natural response to a challenging situation, it can also lead to physical discomfort and pain. In fact, stress and pain are so closely linked that they can create a vicious cycle, where one exacerbates the other. The good news is that physical therapy in Edmonton can help break this cycle for people who want to relieve their stress-related pain.

    Physical Therapy

    What is Stress?

    Stress is the body’s response to a situation or event that requires a physical, mental, or emotional change. It is a reaction to a perceived threat that may be real or imagined. Stress can be triggered by a number of external factors such as personal relationships, work, finances, medical issues, or environmental changes. It can also be caused by internal factors such as fear, anger, and guilt. Everyone experiences stress to some degree, and it’s important to understand how and why it occurs, how it affects us, and how to manage it effectively. 

    Stress can have both positive and negative effects. In the short term, it can motivate us to take action and make changes. But if it’s not managed correctly, it can lead to physical and mental health problems. It can also interfere with relationships, sleep, work, and well-being. 

    When you encounter a stressor, your body releases hormones that prepare you to either fight or flee. This is known as the "fight or flight" response. While this response is necessary in certain situations, chronic stress can be harmful to your body.

    How Does Stress Cause Pain?

    Stress can cause pain in many different ways, including tension headaches, muscle soreness, stomachaches, and even back pain.

    Tension headaches are one of the most common physical pains associated with stress. This type of headache is often described as a dull, squeezing sensation that affects the whole head or certain areas of the head and neck. It is caused by tight muscles in the upper back, shoulders, and neck that are strained by stress.

    Muscle soreness is another common symptom of stress-related pain. Stress causes the muscles to tense up, leading to muscle tightness and soreness that can last for days or weeks. This type of pain is often felt in the shoulders, neck, and back, and it can be accompanied by headaches and fatigue.

    Stomachaches are also common symptom of stress. Stress can cause the digestive system to become irritated and inflamed, leading to cramps, bloating, and pain. These types of stomachaches can be accompanied by nausea, constipation, and diarrhea.

    Back pain is another common symptom of stress. This type of pain is caused by tight muscles that are strained due to stress, resulting in aches and pains in the back and neck. Stress-related back pain can also be accompanied by headaches and fatigue.

    How Can Physical Therapy Help in Coping with Stress-induced Pain?

    Stress is a normal part of life and can manifest itself in different ways. One of the most common manifestations of stress is physical pain. Physical therapy is a powerful tool that can help reduce the physical discomfort caused by stress-induced pain. 

    Therapy’s role in managing stress-induced pain is to help the body relax and regain its natural balance. This can be done through a variety of techniques, such as exercise, massage, and stretching. Exercise can help reduce tension in the muscles, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation. Massage can help relax the body and release endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers. Stretching can help restore flexibility and range of motion in the muscles, which can reduce pain. 

    Physiotherapists can also help people develop coping mechanisms to help manage stress. This includes teaching relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness. These techniques can help people reduce their stress levels and cope with it more effectively. 

    It can also help people reduce the risk of stress-related injuries. When people are under a lot of stress, they tend to tense up their muscles, which can lead to injuries. Physiotherapists can help people learn how to relax their muscles, move their bodies in a way that reduces the risk of injury, and use proper body mechanics when performing activities. 

    Finally,  therapists can help people identify and treat the underlying causes of stress. This can include helping people identify and address the sources of their stress and teaching them how to develop healthier coping strategies. 


    Stress and pain are two things that almost everyone experiences at some point in their life. However, chronic stress can lead to physical discomfort and pain, creating a vicious cycle that can be challenging to break. Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for stress-related pain because it addresses the underlying physical issues that contribute to pain. Physiotherapists offer a wide range of physiotherapy services, as well as other complementary services such as acupuncture and massage for people who want to relieve their stress-related pain. If you're struggling with stress-related pain, don't hesitate to reach out to the team at Edmonton Physiotherapy and start your journey toward a pain-free life.


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