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Can stress really cause shoulder pain?

Aug 18, 2022

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Can stress really cause shoulder pain?


You may be wondering if stress can be a genuine cause of shoulder pain. The simple answer is yes, it can. 😱 In fact, stress can cause all sorts of body pain. And, when it comes to your shoulders, tension caused by stress can result in discomfort, fatigue, and a loss of mobility.


How stress works 


When we get stressed, we move into fight 🤺 or flight mode. Our brain releases cortisol to help heal us when if we get injured and adrenaline hormones to prepare our body for action. Also our nerves become more sensitive so we can move quickly, which can lead to an increased sensitivity to pain.


How stress turns into shoulder pain 


When your body repeatedly experiences this stress reaction, it’s constantly prepared for battle ⚔️ and can lead to tension that is never released. Here’s what happens to your shoulders when you’re stressed:


  • We guard our neck and shoulder to protect our head and brain from injury

  • This causes us to clench and tighten muscles in our shoulders

  • Neck and shoulder movement becomes restricted

  • Our perception of pain is heightened, making pain feel worse


How to treat shoulder pain caused by stress 


One of the best ways to address shoulder pain caused by stress is to exercise 🤔. Movement may sound like the last thing you want to do when you are sore, but it engages your muscles and increases blood supply. It also stretches your muscles and releases toxins. Not to mention, exercise is a brilliant way to cope with stress.

In addition to this, breathing exercises and mediation decrease our fight and flight response, helping lower the impact of stress on the body.


Chiropractic care and massage therapy are also excellent ways 🙌 to reduce shoulder pain caused by stress and can also help manage your stress.


To book a massage therapy or chiropractic care visit, check out our bookings page.

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