How a chiropractor can help with the physical effects of stress


Stress is something we all experience throughout our lives. In 2015, one study revealed that 59% of adults reported high levels of stress. Take into consideration everything the world has gone through over the past two years and it’s likely that the statistic is considerably higher today

Stress is defined as the feeling of being unable to cope or becoming overwhelmed with emotional or mental pressure. If left untreated, stress can have negative mental and physical consequences.

What causes stress?

We all handle situations differently and experience stress for diverse reasons and with varying intensity. Here are a few examples of things that most people find stressful:

  • Being under lots of pressure (e.g. taking on more responsibilities at work)
  • Facing big changes (e.g. ending a relationship)
  • Worrying about something (e.g. struggling to pay the bills)
  • Not being in control of the outcome of a situation (e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Having overwhelming responsibilities (e.g. becoming a parent for the first time)
  • Not having enough activities in your life (e.g. losing relationships with your friends)

Stress can be caused by one major thing or it can be the result of a build-up of several smaller pressures. Because it takes so many different forms, it can be difficult to identify exactly what’s making you stressed or explain your feelings to other people.

All forms of stress, whatever they’re caused by and however severe, can result in physical symptoms.


Grief is one form of stress that can have terrible health-damaging effects. Suffering from persistent stress for more than 12 months after a loss can cause all kinds of physical and emotional issues. From depression, anger, and anxiety, to loss of appetite, sleeping troubles, and general aches and pains, grief can wreak havoc on you mentally and physically.

Studies have shown that stress caused by grief increases inflammation, causing any health problems you currently have to become more severe. It also has a major negative effect on your immune system, leaving your body more susceptible to disease and infection. The emotional pain you experience after a loss can even cause physical pain.

We all have our own ways to cope with stress and grief. Some people hold onto their lost loved ones by turning their ashes into cremation diamonds, while others find peace by joining a group of people who have gone through a similar experience. It doesn’t matter which road you choose, the important thing is finding a coping mechanism that works for you.


If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by stress for several weeks, you need to reach out to someone. It can be difficult to talk to the people closest to you when you’re dealing with high levels of stress. If you’re unable to open up to friends or family, consider discussing your worries with a therapist instead.

Psychotherapy is remarkably effective at treating the mental and emotional symptoms caused by stress. Studies show that around 75% of people who have psychotherapy sessions report that their symptoms are much less severe than they were before counseling. Other reviews show that the average person who receives psychotherapy is much better off at the end of the treatment plan than 80% of people who didn’t receive any treatment at all.

Therapy is the best way to improve the emotional and mental battles you’re experiencing as a result of grief. Talking to a trained professional about your feelings, developing new coping skills, and creating a plan to move forward will help you feel better and recover over time.

Physical effects of stress

Rarely does stress cause mental problems alone. Increased stress levels often also result in physical effects which can cause major discomfort and pain. Here are some of the most common physical effects caused by stress.

Headaches caused by stress

There are many studies that show stress can cause headaches and migraines. One 2015 study revealed that higher stress levels resulted in an increase in the number of headaches experienced each month. Another 2020 study concluded that stress is one of the major causes of tension headaches.

Chronic pain

Increased levels of cortisol is believed to be the reason why high stress levels can cause aches and pains. One small study compared a control group to people with chronic back pain. It discovered that those with pain had higher levels of cortisol than the control group.

Another study came across similar findings. It determined that people experiencing chronic pain had high levels of cortisol in their hair. This is a common trait in people who have been exposed to long-term stress.

Muscle tension

One way your muscles protect themselves from injury when you’re stressed is to tense up. It’s not until you relax that they release themselves. If you’re been suffering from stress for a prolonged period, your muscles may not get the chance to relax.

Over time, muscle tension can result in back and shoulder pain, headaches, and general body pain. This can create major weight gain and addiction issues, as you may stop exercising and choose pain medication for relief instead.

Chiropractic care for stress

Just like a therapist can help you deal with the mental complications of stress, a chiropractor can help you manage the physical symptoms of stress. The spinal adjustment techniques used by chiropractors help move misaligned joints back to where they should be, reducing tension and relieving pressure.

The physical pain and discomfort you experience from stress aren’t in your head. They’re real manifestations that require treatment to heal and improve. By seeking the professional help of a chiropractor, you can experience immediate relief and ensure the aches and pains you’re currently experiencing don’t develop into something much more severe.

As well as providing specialist adjustments and massages, chiropractors can also show you exercises you can do at home, provide you with nutritional counseling to further improve your symptoms, and help you put together a healthier lifestyle that will allow you to cope better during stressful events in the future.

Schedule your first appointment today and put an end to the physical symptoms of stress.