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MissA's avatar

Do you think that stress can exaggerate or magnify pain?

Asked by MissA (7391points) May 1st, 2010

I’ve been struggling with pain for almost two years now. My doctor believes that it is stress-related from marital problems. I feel as if my thinking is not as clear as it ought to be, due to the medication I’m on. Does anyone have experience or thoughts here? Kind regards.

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8 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

I was in a car accident in late 2008. From the accident I got 6 bulging disks and a pinched nerve. I can tell you from experience, my back always hurts about a millions times worse whenever I am having a really long/stressful week.

frdelrosario's avatar

You’ll even find sometimes that the physical pain goes away when the emotional stress is relieved.

marinelife's avatar

I think that stress of the sort that you describe can have a huge impact on your pain.

xxii's avatar

Stress can certainly exacerbate existing pain. I think emotional stress can even cause physical pain – migraines are one obvious example. In very general terms, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and it needs to recover.

augustlan's avatar

I have fibromyalgia, and my pain level definitely gets worse with stress. If medication you’re on is making your thinking fuzzy, you should probably address that with your doctor. Perhaps a different medication is in order? Welcome to Fluther, by the way.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Stress can make coping with pain much more difficult. That makes the pain seem worse. Some doctors will tell you the stress itself is the cause for the pain and that the pain has no physical basis. This happens when the doctor is unable to account for the pain and seeks to attribute it to the patient’s emotional problems.

It is true that depression and anxiety can result in the experience of pain and other physical complaints. The does not mean that any pain the doctors don’t understand must be of psychogenic origin.

I too suffer from fibromyalgia that developed as a result of long term pain from injuries sustained in a car crash. Stress does make the pain worse and increased pain makes the stress worse! It is no picnic!

slick44's avatar

Stress can do alot to your body, You should tr accupuncture. I am sorry if that is spelled wrong. It works better then any meds i have had.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I 2nd trying acupuncture. It worked for me when nothing else would for my back pain. I’d been on muscle relaxants and pain meds for about 5yrs and was a mess but still in pain and not able to sleep much. Once a week for about 2 months then every two week and finally once a month. Nowadays I go in a few times a year for a “tune up”.

Pain does feel amplified with stress and stress ruins sleep, skin, makes weight gain and mood swings. You mention marital problems and I know this is an old post but when I left a troubled relationship then it took less than 6 mos. for me to snap back into form, mentally and physically. I joke I lost 150lbs instead of the actual 30.

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