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Stress, Anxiety and Back Pain

Stress, Anxiety and Back PainThe world is forever becoming more fast-paced, and as such, our lives are continually inundated with increasing amounts of information through a multitude of expanding media and resources. Consequently, we are exposed to more forms of negative news in society than ever before. Especially prevalent during and post pandemic, together with increasing workloads, it is not surprising that most of us feel overwhelmed. Couple that with longer hours sitting hunched forward to complete work on laptops, socializing on our phones, and watching television, and neck and back pain starts to become a mainstay. This constant bombardment from external stressors leads to more and more people experiencing long-term stress and anxiety, as well as chronic back pain.

Stress produces hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which put us into a ‘fight or flight’ mode, turning up our sympathetic nervous system. Stress, under normal circumstances, is a natural reaction by the body against potentially harmful stimuli to enhance our chances for survival. However, persistent activation of the stress response (chronic stress) can cause changes in our homeostasis so that these hormones stay forever circulating in the bloodstream. These hormones, in time, cause prolonged inflammation as well as joint and muscle pain. It is also known that a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex literally goes offline during prolonged periods of stress, which in turn amplifies this ‘survival’ mode. The prefrontal cortex is essentially like the CEO of your brain and body, and when it stops working effectively, we feel anxious, poor sleep quality, digestive issues, emotional stress, as well as increased pain.

If these external stressors are not balanced with good habits such as a consistent healthy diet, exercise and healthy postures while we sit and work, they become suppressed into the body which eventually leads to ‘dis-ease’ and pain. It can feel like as though you are on an endless cycle of ‘more of the same’. The good news is, there is another path that can lead towards wellness and ‘ease’.

There is an emerging paradigm shift happening in health care right now towards wellbeing.  This is a shift away from treatment-based reactionary care to where prevention and wellbeing are the norm. At Harbourfront Chiropractic, we focus on increasing the quality of life of our community. Science shows that the chiropractic adjustment turns on the parasympathetic nervous system which allows the body to shift to a thriving mode of rest, digestion and healing. The chiropractic adjustment has also been shown to stimulate the prefrontal cortex so that you can enjoy more energy, less pain and more of the activities you love to do to restore balance in your life. At Harbourfront Chiropractic we form a partnership in your care, and guide you towards a more sustainable future.

Suzanne Bober, BSc (HK), BS, DC, FCCPOR(C)

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