Neck Pain and Stress


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Neck pain and stress are often connected, making it difficult to determine which came first. Treating stress-related pain with analgesics isn't always the best option, with relaxation often able to help both symptoms. Where pain is causing stress, simply addressing the stress may help the pain but could ignore an easily treatable physical ailment.

Find out more about the relationship between neck pain and stress and what you can do to feel better, courtesy of, part of the Healthy Body Network.

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Neck Pain and Stress

  1. 1. Neck Pain and....
  2. 2. Chicken or Egg?● Neck pain can be stressful in itself, particularly when severe or chronic, so it may be that pain in the neck is causing your stress.● Conversely, neck pain can be due to muscle cramps and tension, often brought on by stress, poor sleep due to anxiety, or poor general health linked to depression.
  3. 3. What Can You Do?● Work out the origin of your symptoms● Treat the underlying issue, i.e. work-stress, anxiety, cervical spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, etc.● Get help from your physician, family, and friends● Reconsider your lifestyle, medications for pain and other conditions, diet, and other possible neck pain triggers.
  4. 4. Questions to ExpectDont be surprised if you are asked about your lifestyle,stress, or depression when getting a neck pain diagnosis:● Pain is often made worse by worry, stress, and depression and can even be a direct result of psychological distress● Your doctor isnt just dismissing your neck pain as all in your head - its important to factor in all possible causes, including things like fibromyalgia, poor posture, and even a thyroid disorder.
  5. 5. The Vicious Cycle of Stress and Neck Pain
  6. 6. But What if its Physical?● Even if a physical cause of neck pain is found, relaxation exercises, and psychological interventions, can help you manage your pain and condition more easily.● In a happier state of mind youre better able to cope with any setbacks, physical or otherwise, so dealing with any deep-seated emotional issues or stress can make a huge difference to your experience of neck pain.● Pain is made worse by lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking, so look after all aspects of your health, mental and physical.
  7. 7. Coping with Stress and Neck PainIf youre suffering from stress-induced neck pain, or yourneck pain is causing you stress consider:● Removing common neck pain triggers● Medication for pain relief (NSAIDs etc.)● Medications for anxiety and depression● Talking cures, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy● Physical therapy● Acupuncture of acupressure● Neck pain pillows for a good nights sleep!
  8. 8. Ask your doctor about youroptions to treat both stressand neck pain and youmight find that by relievingone you also address theother!Find out more at