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Month: August 2022

Can Anxiety Cause Back Pain?

Sometimes, anxiety and stress can be a pain – literally – in your back. In fact, physical discomfort in your back is a common side effect of anxiety, but sensations of both mental and physical pain can often be treated. Pain has multiple causes, but the symptoms can often be treated.

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

Everyone experiences anxiety as part of everyday life. You’re worried about a big presentation at work. You’re not sure you rented enough tables and chairs for a family event. But these and other symptoms of anxiety often resolve themselves. But when they don’t and begin interfering with your quality of life, you may be experiencing the first signs of something far worse – an anxiety disorder. Fortunately, many symptoms can be treated with therapy, including ketamine.

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS

  • Feeling restless, on-edge, or wound-up 
  • Being easily tired
  • Having trouble thinking or your mind goes blank
  • Being easily irritable
  • Experiencing muscle tension
  • Sweating
  • Experiencing heart palpitations, a fast heartbeat, or a quickened heart rate
  • Trembling or quivering
  • Experiencing sensations of smothering, shortness of breath, or choking
  • Having feelings of imminent doom
  • Having feelings of loss of control
  • In the case of a phobia, you could experience irrational or unnecessary worry about confronting the dreaded situation or object 
  • Having a dry mouth
  • Experiencing heart palpitations
  • Feeling nauseous 

FACTS ABOUT ANXIETY DISORDERS

  • Generalized anxiety disorder affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.
  • If you suffer from panic disorder, you’re unfortunately a member of a club of six million U.S. adults.
  • Social anxiety disorder is thought to affect 15 million U.S. adults.
  • Specific phobias – like the fear of spiders, heights, or crowded rooms – have been diagnosed in about 19 million U.S. adults.
  • About two million U.S. adults suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, long thought of as the soldier’s disease, affects far more people than just military veterans. It’s believed to affect nearly 15 million U.S. adults.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that almost 300 million people suffer from depression, including about 16 million U.S. adults.

If you experience the symptoms of anxiety or a more serious anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options, like psychotherapy or ketamine infusion therapy.

CAN ANXIETY CAUSE BACK PAIN?

Stress can affect your body in many ways, from headaches and mood swings to your weight. However, people sometimes overlook a much-maligned side effect of stress – and that’s neck and back pain. Over the course of years, recurring episodes of stress can result in musculoskeletal problems in these areas of your body.

What are other common causes of back pain?

  • Lifting boxes, intense physical activity, or even poor sleeping habits can give you a sore back. Any of these activities could mean you sprained or strained one or more of countless tendons and muscles in your back, leading to tightness and spasms.
  • Inflammation is an element of your body’s organic immune reaction but can still trigger feelings of discomfort, heat, and soreness. Lingering inflammation due to an injury or disease can lead to chronic soreness in your spine and back. 
  • Arthritis is a kind of long-term inflammation that can harm joints all over your body, including your back. We often equate arthritis with stiffness and swelling. 
  • Osteoporosis resulting in loss of bone mass, particularly in the hip, spine, and wrist. It can sometimes trigger painful fractures. 
  • Problems with the discs in your back, which are tissues acting as natural cushions and separating the bony backbones of your spine. If these discs shift out of place, swell, or are injured, they can become uncomfortable and even incapacitating. 
  • Fibromyalgia. We’re still working to comprehend the aches and discomforts of fibromyalgia, but most agree that it’s triggered by malformations in the nervous system.

DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT

Symptoms of anxiety and more serious anxiety disorders are normally diagnosed by a medical doctor or mental healthcare specialist. An examination may include checking for an underlying medical problem that is triggering your symptoms or delving into your personal and family history of anxiety and mental illness. In some cases, your symptoms will be measured against criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders before the final diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis has been made, you and your healthcare provider can talk about treatment options. Depending on your health, the severity of symptoms, and other factors, your doctor may recommend different therapies.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Anxiety affects millions of people; while the symptoms may naturally fade for most, that isn’t always the case for others as warning signs morph into a far more serious anxiety disorder. But the facts of your illness shouldn’t control your life. Contact us today to learn more about treatment options.

 

Can RLS Affect Your Arms?

Your skin crawls, you have trouble sleeping, and you’ve been told your legs make odd jerking movements when you’re at rest. It’s possible you’re experiencing early warning signs of a condition called restless legs syndrome, but something else has bothered you – similar pain and sensations in both of your arms.

What is RLS?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is an ailment triggering an overpowering desire to move the legs, usually resulting from a painful sensation. It typically happens during the evening or nighttime when you’re seated or lying down. Movement can ease the unpleasant feeling but only temporarily.

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, can sometimes affect the upper limbs, too. It disrupts sleep and daily activities.

Causes of RLS

According to some studies, restless legs syndrome has been identified as a genetic syndrome that can pass from a parent to a biological child. More than 90% of people with RLS have a biological relative with the condition. These patients are known to get symptoms early, before age 45, compared to someone with RLS without the genetic link.

Other potential causes include low iron levels, depression, and diabetes.

Risk Factors & Other Disorders

RLS can develop at any age, though it typically worsens with age and is more common in women than men. It sometimes is present in people with other conditions, including:

  • Peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the nerves in the feet and hands, sometimes triggered by diabetes and alcoholism.
  • Iron deficiency.
  • Kidney failure, which may accompany iron deficiency and anemia. Malfunctioning kidneys mean iron supplies in the blood may decrease. This can cause or worsen symptoms of RLS.
  • Spinal cord conditions, like lesions on the spinal cord due to damage or injury. Spinal block, where anesthesia is applied to the spinal cord, can increase the chance of RLS.
  • People diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease take particular medicine called dopaminergic agonists, which may increase the chance of developing RLS.
  • Periodic limb movement disorder is often paired with RLS. It’s known for leg muscles that contract and jerk dozens of times during sleep.

Can RLS Affect Other Body Parts?

People who report symptoms of restless legs syndrome in their legs have also been diagnosed with a related condition known as restless arm syndrome (RAS). According to a study by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), “In RAS, the arms are predominantly affected with little or no involvement of the legs.” It’s worth noting that diagnosing RAS in patients with restless legs syndrome is complicated.

Another NIH study called RAS “very rare, with very few cases” recorded in contemporary research. Still, efforts to diagnose restless arm syndrome are lacking, particularly in cases of mild or transient forms of the condition.

In the few reported cases of RAS, the pain appears to be contained in either or both arms, from just below the elbow all the way to the fingertips. Like restless legs syndrome, temporary relief may be possible through arm movements.

Symptoms of either condition may be treated in several ways, including ketamine infusion therapy from a licensed specialty clinic. Talk with your healthcare provider to see if this is a good option for you.

For someone with restless arm syndrome, it’s not unusual to complain of any of the following sensations:

  •  The skin feels like it’s crawling or tingling
  •  Unplanned, jerky arm movements, often when trying to sleep or while resting
  • An uncontrollable desire to move the arms

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, strange sensations and jerky movements in the arms may be a precursor to, or even the first warning sign of, restless legs syndrome.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you think you have restless legs syndrome or sensations affecting your arms, see a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment options. In most cases, your medical professional will use criteria developed by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group:

  • You have a strong, often irresistible desire to move your legs, generally paired with uncomfortable sensations
  • Your symptoms begin or worsen during resting moments, like when you’re sitting or lying down
  • The symptoms are partly or momentarily relieved by motion like walking or stretching
  • Your symptoms worsen at night

Treatment from a Specialty Clinic is an Option

If you have RLS, your healthcare provider may recommend store-bought pain relievers, prescription medicine, exercise, or lifestyle changes to reduce the discomfort. Another option is ketamine infusion therapy from a specialty clinic, which may keep the symptoms at bay with continual treatment. 

 

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