by Dr. Jason Garrett, DC ACP
According to the American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress, 77 percent of us regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Considered one of the leading causes of illness in the U.S., a large percentage of symptoms presented in doctors’ offices are stress-induced or related. While you can’t expect to do away with stress altogether, it is possible to keep it under control, to stop the cycle and start experiencing relief by making simple lifestyle changes and exploring non-medical treatment options.
The American Institute of Stress points to our jobs as a dominant source of stress for most of us. In turn, high levels of workplace stress are directly associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders. However, studies from the American Institute of Stress indicate stress is a highly personalized phenomenon that can vary widely. This means we have the opportunity to control our own health cycles by making smarter lifestyle choices.
More often than not, your stress-related pain does not get proper attention. Pain induced by stress can range from low back pain, to neck and shoulder pain, to tension headaches. Regarding back pain, researchers at Ohio State discovered that when you feel stressed, you tend to use back muscles in a way that makes them more susceptible to injuries.
The most common source of stress-induced pain, however, lies in headaches, especially tension headaches. Most intense at the temples and back of the skull, tension headaches can spread pain across your entire head, starting at the back and moving forward. Studies show that seven in 10 people suffer from at least one headache each year, and nearly 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches. Causing billions of dollars in lost productivity, tension-type headaches account for nearly 90 percent of all headaches recorded.
To avoid the pains of stress-related injuries and conditions such as tension headaches, you must resolve to make lifestyle choices to best address the sources of stress. Simple gradual changes in your daily routine can help stop the typical stress cycle and provide relief. Changes can include simplifying your life, adjusting attitudes about work and personal obligations and embracing healthy living.
Relief from tension pain can also be found in local health and wellness centers that offer non-medicinal treatment options, which are effective for most stress-related injuries. The San Antonio community includes many wonderful providers who can work oneon- one with you to properly diagnose the root cause of pain, whether stressinduced or not, and can provide active care treatment to continue the healing process at home.
Dr. Jason Garrett is the Vice President of Clinical Development at Airrosti Rehab Centers, a health care group that employs and trains skilled providers who specialize in delivering high quality, outcome-based musculoskeletal care. Airrosti is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and has more then 115 locations across six states including Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois and Washington. Dr. Garrett offices at Airrosti’s corporate headquarters located at 911 Central Parkway North, Suite 300, San Antonio, TX 78232. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 1-800- 404-6050 or visit www.airrosti.com.