Can stress and anxiety manifest as your neck muscles tighten?
If you are one of those people who suffer from neck cramps due to stress and anxiety.
If you experience neck muscle spasms during periods of stress and anxiety, read on.
Are stress and anxiety associated with neck spasms and cramps?
In this article, you will read more about stress and muscle spasm and you will know that many negative effects on different parts of the body will be caused by stress and anxiety, and muscle spasm will be one of these effects.
Chronic anxiety can be devastating and can lead to many mental and physical injuries.
Stress hormones that are released during a period of anxiety in your body can have adverse effects on many organs in your body.
Now let’s see what parts of the body are affected by stress and what side effects these organs will suffer from stress and anxiety.
In what areas may stress and anxiety cause distressing symptoms?
Gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines and pancreas…)
Head and face
Skeletal system including bones, joints and muscles:
- Neck, scapula and shoulders
- Muscle spasm
- Cardiovascular system
- Skin and mucous membranes
- Immune system
Following stressful and anxious situations, the immune system will be severely weakened and the person will be prone to a variety of viral, bacterial infections.
The cardiovascular system will change due to the secretion of cortisol, which is an anxiety hormone, Arterial wall stenosis is associated with increased blood pressure, the heart rate increases and the heart muscle’s need for oxygen will increase.
Insufficient blood supply to the blocked heart muscle can lead to chest pain and even a heart attack.
In stressful situations, the system responds very quickly to changes in the body. The stomach is severely affected by stress. Gastric reflux into the esophagus increases, and heartburn and sore throat occur.
Stress can even alter the microbial population inside the stomach and intestines.
And that the experience of headaches in situations of anxiety and stress is very common.
Vascular changes following the hormone cortisol, as well as the direct effects of stress on brain neurons, can cause headaches.
The most common headaches during times of stress and anxiety are tension headaches. During these headaches, the sufferer feels that his skull is being squeezed into an iron bowl.
What will be the effect of stress on our skeletal system and muscles?
Anxiety and stress can lower the pain perception threshold in our skeletal system, so it is obvious that in stress, the person understands more joint and back pain and…
According to scientists, there is a direct relationship between the severity of anxiety and physical pain.
Why do we experience more back pain when we are anxious?
We may not follow the standard way of sitting and standing, we may not maintain the wrong position of our body during sleep, sitting and walking.
In addition, anxiety increases muscle spasms around the spine. Cramping of these muscles increases the unpleasant back pain. In addition, the pain perception is greatly reduced during stress, so we will experience more back pain in anxious situations.
Can anxiety and stress cause neck muscle cramps?
Yes, stress is associated with spasms of the muscles of the neck, scapula and shoulders. Anxious person subconsciously holds his shoulders up with severe contraction of the shoulder and scapula, and neck muscles.
Continuation of the anxious person in this position is associated with painful cramps in the neck muscles.
During anxiety, spasms of the shoulder girdle muscles and the trapezius muscle, which is above the back of the body, occur, which will increase the severity of neck pain and discomfort.
The role of physical and mental stress in causing neck pain and neck muscle cramps is very high.
Of course, with successful management of your stress, you can reduce neck cramps and neck pain.
Cramps and spasms of the neck muscles can cause painful conditions.
Spasms and cramps of the muscles of the neck, shoulders and scapula that occur in anxiety processes may be manifested only with neck pain and stiffness, and in some cases, they can cause a shooting pain that can even shoot up to your fingertips.
For example, you may feel pain similar to an electric shock in your arm or fingers. Spasms of the muscles of the neck and around the neck may put pressure on the roots of the nerves in the cervical spinal cord.
Seven pairs of nerve roots emerge from the cervical spinal cord on both the right and left sides of the cervical spine. From the junction of the roots of the cervical spinal cord, the main trunks of nerves are formed, which are responsible for innervating the skin and muscles from the shoulder to the fingertips.
Anxiety causes spasms of muscles located near and around the roots of the cervical nerve or the trunk of the main nerve.
Muscle spasms are accompanied by inflammation, and both spasm and inflammation will put pressure on nearby nerves, and it is as if a shooting pain similar to an electric shock in the neck occurs by spreading to the arm and extending to the fingertips.
These pains are diffuse pains and are called radicular and the above disorders are cervical radiculopathies.
Stress and anxiety and neck pain
Read more about stress, anxiety and neck pain below:
Stress and anxiety are not directly the cause of neck pain, but stress can be associated with neck pain. Neck pain following anxiety is caused by spasms and cramps in the neck muscles and shoulder girdle.
Increased stress leads to more spasms and neck pain or cervical radiculopathy with clinical manifestations and more severe symptoms.
Interestingly, by controlling stress and relieving anxiety, neck muscle cramps, neck, shoulder, and arm pain, and in fact cervical radiculopathy, will improve.
What can we do to reduce the spasm and tightening of the neck muscles caused by stress?
Today, modern instructions for neck pain and neck cramps due to excessive stress emphasize stress management, self-control, and you learn to start physical activity as soon as possible.
The best treatment is to get back to your physical activity as soon as possible, Stress-induced neck and back muscle cramps will improve with proper physical activity.
By resuming physical activity and by controlling stress and returning calm, you will get better day by day.
Following exercise and physical activity and movements of the muscles, blood flow to the muscles with neck spasm will increase.
Establishing more perfusion will be equivalent to getting lactic acid and other toxins accumulated in the tightened muscles washed away by venous blood flow sooner, and in fact, by clearing toxins from the wall muscles, the pain and discomfort will be gradually reduced and relieved. It is best to ask your doctor which exercises are right for your neck.
Experts say that stretching, moving the head back and forth, and sides, and aerobic activity can increase blood flow inside the arteries that feed the neck muscles and shoulder girdle.
By increasing perfusion to the muscles in the cramped neck, tired muscle cells will be better nourished and oxygen will be delivered to them and better metabolism will be resumed in muscle cells.
On the other hand, lactic acid and other toxins that have accumulated in the muscles of the spasmodic wall are cleared and removed more quickly, With these processes, the muscles of your neck will gradually relax and your discomfort and pain will be relieved.
Try to avoid caffeinated beverages, do not smoke, nicotine in tobacco will disrupt blood flow, so the healing of spasmodic muscles will be delayed.
Be sure to try to talk to others about the issues that are causing you stress. Talking will reduce your stress.
Use Relaxation Techniques with Others: Yoga, Meditation, Deep Breathing Techniques Can be effective in managing stress.
Art and music will calm you down.
Spasmodic position massage is a great way to reduce muscle spasms in your anxious condition.
Proper massage can increase and improve blood flow to the site. It is recommended to use hot or cold compresses, whichever is more effective.
We emphasize that the sooner you start your neck movements, the sooner you will get rid of the neck muscle cramps.