Relationship Between Stress and Pain

All of these recommendations are intended to reduce the emotional concerns and stress most patients experience with pain. If you are not satisfied with the treatment and explanations you receive, consider getting a second opinion from another health care provider. Anxiety and stress can actually increase your perception of pain and reduce your pain coping skills.

It is important to remember that there is a dynamic relationship between your state of mind (eg, stress level) and your physical condition (eg, pain). Pain can cause stress, which causes more pain, which causes more stress, and so on. The more chronic this vicious cycle becomes, the more likely your emotional distress will increase. This cycle can be very difficult to break.

Emotional suffering can lead to loss of sleep, inability to work as well as feeling irritable and helpless about what can be done. You may feel desperate and attempt to relieve the pain at any cost including the use of invasive medical procedures. Although invasive approaches may be benefi cial for some conditions (such as a herniated disc), often they can be avoided if stress and pain are managed at an early point in time.