The majority of adults living in the United Kingdom suffer with stress. In fact, a survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation in 2018 found that 74% of UK adults had experienced stress so severe that it made them feel overwhelmed or unable to cope during the previous year.
It must be said that being under stress is not necessarily bad. Stress is a natural response which is key to survival. It can trigger our fight-or-flight response. However, stress that continues for significant periods of time can result in some unexpected health consequences. It can increase the risk of a variety of problems including insomnia, diabetes, depression, anxiety, asthma, gastrointestinal and problems.
In this post, our Stoke Chiropractor will explain why stress occurs, how it can be dangerous to your health and how visiting a chiropractor may help.
What Is Stress and How Can It Affect You?
Stress is a normal physiological response that occurs whenever you are placed in a situation that you perceive as being dangerous.
When your brain senses that you are in danger, it releases a variety of hormones including cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones, sometimes referred to as stress hormones, trigger a variety of physiological changes which improve your chances of surviving the dangerous situation you face.
Some of these changes include:
- Increased mental alertness
- Faster heart rate
- Faster breathing
- Constricted blood vessels and increased blood pressure
- Increased blood sugar levels for energy
- Tense muscles
- Deprioritising of certain biological functions, like digestion
These physiological changes, which are also called the flight-or-fight response, will help you either run away from the threat or fight for your life.
Short bursts of stress can be very helpful. They will help you survive an encounter with a wild hippo, cram for a test, or meet a deadline while at work.
Unfortunately, stress becomes a problem if it is triggered frequently by emotional pressure or psychological trauma.
This form of stress, called chronic stress, keeps your mind and body in a highly alert and anxious state. Remaining in this state for long periods can lead to several health problems, including:
- Tense muscles
- Increased risk of depression and anxiety
- Breathing problems (particularly if you have asthma or other lung problems)
- Higher risk of heart attack and heart palpitations
- Stomach ache and digestive issues
- Fertility problems, lower sex drive, or erectile dysfunction
- Weakened immune system
- Mood changes
- Poor cognitive function
- High blood sugar and higher risk of diabetes
- High blood pressure
How Visiting A Chiropractor in Stoke On Trent May Help
Many of the patients who visit our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent are dealing with stress. Our chiropractors help them in several ways.
#1 – Soft tissue therapy to relieve muscle tension
Muscular tension is one of the most common symptoms of stress. In addition to being painful, it can eventually begin to affect your posture and movement. When this happens, it can become a significant impediment in your day-to-day life. Some of the patients who visit our chiropractors mention that their muscle tension also makes it difficult to sleep.
A chiropractor can help by performing soft tissue therapy which targets the affected muscles. This provides pain relief and acts as a direct counter to this very common symptom of stress. It also prevents a downward spiral occurring, where physical discomfort from muscular tension triggers stress and vice versa.
#2 – Spinal adjustment to relieve pain and restore function
The human spine is a critical part of the human body. It facilitates movement and protects the spinal cord, which is responsible for sending signals between the brain and the rest of your body. If there is an issue affecting the spine, it can interfere with bodily functions, causing discomfort or pain which may worsen your stress levels.
A chiropractor can perform spinal adjustments which improves the function of the spine. These adjustments will ensure the spine is in correct alignment, which often provide immediate stress relief.
#3 – Lifestyle advice
A chiropractor can help you identify the lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your stress. They can also offer you advice on the lifestyle changes you can make to reduce stress, including exercise, meditation, yoga, and better sleep habits.
#4 – Advice on proper nutrition
The food you eat can have a significant impact on your mental health. If you enjoy a diet that it high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, lean protein, and fatty fish, you will be much more resilient when it comes to stress. There are also a variety of supplements which have been found to reduce stress.
If you are experiencing chronic stress, ask for help from friends, family members, medical professionals and your local chiropractor. It’s always best to be proactive when it comes to stress, taking steps early on to reduce its impact.
If you would like to make an appointment with one of our experienced team of chiropractors at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke, give us a call on 01782 848 184.
Take your first step towards better health and call us on 01782 848 184 today
From the team at City Chiropractic Clinic
Our Chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are here to help you