The Effects of Stress On Your Body


Bone Density

When you experience stress, your body produces a substance called Cortisol, designed to help us cope with potential danger. The problem arises when stress continues for an extended period, and the body keeps churning out cortisol. Weight gain, immunity issues, and many health problems have been linked to excess cortisol levels, as has the loss of bone density. Diminished bone density increases your chance of bone fractures and splinters, plus multiplies your risk of developing osteoporosis. This is a serious orthopedic care problem in which your bones weaken, leading to frequent fractures and “shrinking” due to spinal compression.


Think about how your body feels when you are stressed. Does your neck hurt? Do you feel tense and tight? The fight-or-flight response we have during stressful situations causes our muscles to tighten and tense, ready for combat or escape. If you remain stressed, the muscles never relax and you are left feeling tight and sore. Eventually your clenched muscles may cause a tension headache or back pain, which is not likely to improve your overall condition.

Ways To Help

Stress has many negative effects on the body. While it may be difficult to avoid stress since our lives are so busy and active, there are ways you can relieve it and reduce its toll on your health. Exercise provides multiple benefits such as reducing stress, keeping bones and joints strong, and helping manage your weight (which also alleviates strain on the body). Changing what you can about the situation and learning effective ways of coping will improve the situation. Meditation and relaxation techniques may be useful, or ultimately you may need medication for help.

Your orthopedic care specialist can help you identify your risks for the joint and bone problems that can result from stress, and recommend ways for you to stay strong and healthy.

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