Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Psychosomatic Pain Part I

Have you ever felt as though your chronic pain was being downplayed because it was “all in your head?”  That may be true.  The fact of the matter is that mental and emotional states can have a profound and very real impact on pain levels.  A high stress level has physical consequences.  It can exacerbate pain that is already present, such as arthritis.  Or, it can generate new pains that were not previously present, as is often the case with those suffering from Fibromyalgia.  

There are some key players in the stress-pain correlation;

Adrenal Fatigue
Hypoadrenia (adrenal fatigue) occurs when your adrenal glands become overworked, expelling too much adrenaline and cortisol.  These are your ‘fight or flight’ hormones.  In the absence of need to flee from, say, saber tooth tigers, today’s human is expelling far too many of these hormones in response to things like getting the incorrect order at Starbucks.

Adrenal fatigue can express itself as chronic pain and is often misdiagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia.  Muscular pain is a common symptom of adrenal fatigue, most specifically those muscles found in the legs (sartorius, gracilis, posterior tibialis, gastrocnemius, and soleus.)  These muscles impact the balance of the pelvis and can subsequently cause low back pain. Left unremedied, this unbalance can travel up the spine, generating mid back, upper back, shoulder, and even neck pain.

Sleep is often disturbed by adrenal fatigue. The imbalance of cortisol production makes falling asleep and staying asleep difficult.  Lack of quality REM sleep has long been known to impact pain levels negatively.

Learn more symptoms of adrenal fatigue here.

Check back next month for part two of the Psychosomatic Pain article. 

*Sore No More! is not a licensed physician. All information on this blog is researched by our staff and is subject to inaccuracies. No information found here should be used in the place of advice from your doctor. * Sore No More 150 East Center Street Moab, Utah 84532 Tel: (435) 259-5931 Toll Free: (800) 842-6622