April is international Stress Awareness Month, aimed at highlighting the causes of stress, the negative effects stress can have on the mind and body, and how to relieve stress.
Stress is something that most people experience to some degree, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.
It can escalate to anxiety and depression and, although as a society, we are becoming better at recognising and responding to mental health issues, there is still a long way to go.
If you are dealing with stress, the UK mental health charity Mind has a good resource here that may be able to help in the first instance – as well as giving examples of ways to seek help if you feel your stress is becoming unmanageable.
Physical symptoms of stress
As physiotherapists, we are interested in the impact that stress has on the body in a physical way.
Despite being a mental health issue, stress can cause problems with the musculoskeletal system – put very simply, tension in the mind can lead to tension in the muscles, and this can lead to stiffness and injury, especially in the back, shoulders and neck.
If it’s not dealt with, then it can lead to poor posture, which in turn can make the problems worse, reducing comfort, mobility, affecting sleep patterns and quality of life.
How to relieve stress
Everyone’s personal definition of stress differs, and their thresholds for what is an ‘acceptable’ or manageable level of stress, can vary greatly. One good indicator is whether or not you feel overwhelmed by your stress levels.
We must emphasise again, if you are struggling with stress, then you should seek advice from a medical professional in the first instance. It’s not a diagnosed condition, but it’s important to check whether there are other, more serious, factors at play.
At Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic, we can help to treat the physical symptoms of stress.
Massage to help stress
Massage is one of our most popular services in all of our clinics – in Newcastle city centre, Jesmond and Alnwick. We can offer a variety of approaches – deep tissue or soft tissue massages sports massages are amongst our most popular and are ideal for treating deep levels of tension across the neck and shoulders.
We also offer massage services that focus on relaxation, too.
You can read more about our massage services here, including a breakdown of the different kinds of massage that we can offer.
Acupuncture for stress
Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic also offers acupuncture services – one of the benefits of which can be stress relief.
Head here to find out more in-depth information about our acupuncture services page.