While stress has been trending downward in recent years, it's still a massive issue in the United States and has a detrimental impact on health. Sources of stress vary from person to person, but the most commonly reported causes of stress are money, work, the economy, family responsibilities and health concerns.
Thankfully, chiropractic care can help combat the symptoms of stress. Read on to learn more.
Stress in Children
According to a wide-reaching study by the American Psychological Association (APA), nearly a third of all children surveyed indicated they have experienced physical symptoms associated with stress in the month prior to the study, like trouble falling asleep, stomachaches and headaches. Even more staggering, the youth-suicide rate today is four times higher than in the 1950's.
Stress and Overall Health
The most common symptoms of stress are feeling irritable, angry, overwhelmed, anxious, fatigued and depressed. When under stress, different areas of the body are affected. Here's a snapshot of some of the effects:
Musculoskeletal system: Muscles tense up and contract under stress, causing headaches, migraines and other conditions
Respiratory system: High stress can cause rapid breath, or hyperventilation, and trigger panic attacks
Cardiovascular system: Acute stress can increase heart rate and inflammation in the coronary arteries, potentially increasing risk of stroke
Endocrine system: While stressed, the adrenal glands produce cortisol, increasing risk of heart disease and diabetes
Nervous system: Under stress, the body will act as though it's under threat. This reaction is an innate response that has been occurring for millions of years. When the mind perceives a threat or the body experiences a shock, the body releases hormones that boost the ability to either "fight" or flee ("flight")
Most modern humans don't experience the same hazards our ancestors encountered, but this natural response has now transformed to reactions to modern day stresses—work, deadlines, traffic, illness, arguments, etc.
Combating Stress with Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is essential to healthy function of the nervous system, which contains the brain and spinal cord. Chiropractic adjustments activate the parasympathetic system, which calms the "fight or flight" reaction triggered in the sympathetic system. Research has also shown that chiropractic can reduce blood pressure.
Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about chiropractic and stress.
Read on to learn more:
50 Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress, The American Institute of Stress, accessed July 2015
Cortisol: Its Role in Stress, Inflammation, and Indications for Diet Therapy, Today's Dietitian, Nov. 2009
Stress: The chiropractic patients' self-perceptions (ABSTRACT), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, July 1999