Patient feeling chronic pain in chest

Stress and Chronic Pain

In the past 25 years, pain management researchers have discovered that chronic pain is significantly influenced by social and emotional factors, a combination that must also be addressed along with physical factors.

One of the contributory factors to chronic pain is chronic stress. It must be noted that pain and stress have similar effects on the body including:

  • Faster heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Faster and shallower breathing patterns
  • Tighter muscles

In fact, you will be able to observe your own body’s response to sudden stress – your fight or flight response kicks into gear. When the source of sudden stress is removed, your body starts to relax.

But with chronic stress, your nervous system is on a vigilant mode so that your body is in a constant state of alertness, which may lead to chronic pain if your body does not relax. You can adopt relaxation exercises that will calm your mind, reduce stress hormones, and relax your muscles with consistent application.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Guided imagery. Start by breathing solely and deeply until your mind and body attains a relaxed attitude. Imagine a peaceful scene where you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed; be as specific in your imagery as possible by including sounds, smells and colors – even feelings.
  • Self-talk. Change how you feel and think about yourself, so that you can also change how you feel about your physical pain. For example, you change your thinking from “physical pain prevents me from doing household chores, so I’m a failure” to “nobody will die just because I was unable to complete a few household chores.”

But when your chronic pain becomes too much to take even with these relaxation techniques, you can visit any of our Healthpointe clinics, such as the Ontario clinic near Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Montclair, and Chino, for proper medical attention.

Effective pain management is possible at any of the Healthpointe clinics, such as the one in Perris near Nuevo, Sun City, Canyon Lake, Homeland, Romoland, and Lakeview.

About Healthpointe:

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Ontario, which is conveniently located by Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Montclair, and Chino. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit

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