Chronic Pain

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How Prolonged Stress and Anxiety Affect Pain and Contributes to Strain Counterstrain Tender Points

Through clinical experience by pain specialists it is proven that psychological factors contribute to both the development and recurrence of muscular and joint pain/imbalances, inflammatory diseases, and somatic dysfunction.

During stressful episodes there is a release of catecholamines which prepares the body for the “fight or flight” response. Circulation is reassigned away from the digestive system. Dilation of blood vessels provides a “flow in” of nutrient rich blood to feed heightened motor activity particularly to the thoracic
spine/ mid-back; while blood vessels to other parts of the body constrict restricting “flow out” of toxins.

If this anxious / fight or flight state persists for a prolonged period, there has been the rise in Strain Counterstrain tender points throughout the thoracic spine and ribs. This can explain some of the digestive issues common in persons suffering from prolonged anxiety given the fact that blood vessels remain constricted.

Interesting to note that the following foods can increase catecholamine levels:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Citrus fruits
  • Vanilla

Being aware of your psychological state (stress, anxiety, and worry) and your diet can affect your body’s physical balance and wellness. Mindfulness, meditation, prayer, counseling, writing in a journal, exercise, medication, diet can all affect your state of mind and therefore assist in healing.


Chronic Pelvic Floor Pain – Diet/Lifestyle Considerations

Take PROBIOTICS daily – check label for 10-20 billion cfu per day for adults

  • Needs to have at least 5-7 strands of different bacteria and include lactobacillus and bifidum
  • Follow instructions on bottle -usually take on an empty stomach with large glass of water – first
  • thing when getting up in the morning and wait at least 20 minutes before eating or taking other medication.

OPTIONS:

  • Walgreen brand- Super Probiotic- 20 billion per capsule
  • Mayo pharmacy recommended:
  • Vitacost.com
  • Do not use yogurt as your only probiotic supplement

Take MAGNESIUM– chelated or oxidized- 500 mg daily

  • Decreases over active bladder especially if taken at night before bed
  • Acts like a muscle relaxor, helps with chronic tightness/tension
  • May increase bowel movements, helps with constipation

Drink ALKALINE water – like FIJI bottled water

  • Dasani water is bad for irritable bladder/bowel

Check VITAMIN “D” LEVELS with a blood test

  • If low increase per doctor’s recommendation – do not increase on your own
  • Overdosing can be toxic to your system

Avoid Vitamins B and C and cranberry juice if you have irritable bladder or bowels

Start ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET and/ or Interstitial Cystitis diet

Be aware of clenching teeth at night and during the day

  • Learn correct posture and improve habits
  • Consider night guard
  • Clenching teeth also “clenches” and tightens pelvic floor

Stop wearing high heels – it increases the tension in pelvic floor

Use COCONUT OIL for lubrication during intercourse and genital hygiene and itching

  • It comes in solid form at grocery store- used for cooking
  • It is an anti-fungal

Chronic Pain-Diet/Lifestyle Considerations

Take Probiotics daily

  • Check the label for 10-20 billion cfu per day for adults
  • Needs to have at least 5-7 strands of different bacteria and include lactobacillus and bifidum
  • Follow instructions on the bottle-usually take on an empty stomach with a large glass of water-first
  • thing when getting up in the morning and wait at least 20 minutes before eating or taking other medication
  • Walgreen brand-Super Probiotic-20 billion per capsule
  • Mayo pharmacy recommended: Vitacost.com
  • Do Not use yogurt as a probiotic supplement

Take Magnesium

  • Chelated or oxidized-500 mg daily
  • Decreases over active bladder especially if taken at night before bed
  • Acts like a muscle relaxer to help with chronic tightness/tension
  • May increase bowel movements to help with constipation

Drink Alkaline water

  • Like FIJI bottled water
  • Dasani water is bad for irritable bladder/bowel

Check Vitamin D levels with a blood test

  • If low than increase per doctor’s recommendation
  • Do not increase on your own as overdosing can be toxic to your system
  • Avoid Vitamins B and C and cranberry juice if you have irritable bladder/bowels

Start the Anti-Inflammatory diet
Get plenty of sleep/rest

  • Goal is at least 9-10 hours per day or 63-70 hours per week
  • You can make up for lost hours over the weekend with napping
  • Lying down with your eyes closed=rest

Be aware of clenching teeth at night and during the day

  • Learn correct posture and improve habits
  • Consider a night guard
  • Clenching teeth also “clenches” and tightens the occiput/base of the head and pelvic floor

Wear Good Supportive Shoes at all times

  • Stop wearing high heels as it increases the tension in the pelvic floor and causes lower back pain and feet deformities

Through clinical experience by pain specialists it is proven that psychological factors contribute to both the development and recurrence of muscular and joint pain/imbalances, inflammatory diseases, and somatic dysfunction.

During stressful episodes there is a release of catecholamines which prepares the body for the “fight” or “flight” response. Circulation is reassigned away from the digestive system. Dilation of blood vessels provides a “flow in” of nutrient rich blood to feed heightened motor activity particularly to the thoracic spine/midback while blood vessels to other parts if the body constrict restricting “flow out” of toxins. If this anxious/fight or flight state persists for a prolonged period, I have seen the rise in strain counterstrain tender points throughout the thoracic spine and ribs. This can explain some of the digestive issues common in persons suffering from prolonged anxiety given the fact that blood vessels remain constricted.

Interesting to note that the following foods can increase catecholamine levels:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Citrus fruits
  • Vanilla

Being aware of your psychological state (stress, anxiety, and worry) and your diet can affect your body’s physical balance and wellness. Mindfulness, meditation, prayer, counseling, writing in a journal, medication, and diet can all affect your state of mind and therefore assist in healing.