Pain is spiking during the pandemic. Source: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels Key Points: Health problems including headaches and back pain are on the rise. Negative emotions can exacerbate pain, so it’s important to develop effective strategies to cope with stress and anxiety . As a pain expert, the question I get asked most is, "Do you treat physical pain or emotional pain?" My answer is always, "Yes!" If you're experiencing pain during this time of stress and sheltering—headaches, migraine, low back pain—you're not alone. Pain is commonly triggered, and amplified, by negative emotions like stress, anxiety, anger , and depression . And that's no coincidence: It's biology. Contrary to popular belief, emotions don't just live in your head—they also come out in your body. Nervousness before a presentation creates “butterflies” in your stomach. Depression can make your limbs feel heavy, and make you walk and talk slowly. Fear makes your heart race, eyes widen, breath quicken, palms sweat, and body feel jittery. Anger can make your face hot, jaw clench, and muscles tighten. Anxiety and stress—emotions commonly experienced during life events from pandemics to politics —also manifest physically, and in different ways for different people. While the human stress response evolved to protect you, it can also wreak… Read full this story
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