Surprising Ways Stress Can Affect Your Body

Nov 15, 2015

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Stress can have both mental and physical effects.

Stress can have both mental and physical effects. From back pain to premature aging to poor memory, stress can be a very real medical concern. In some cases, it may even help explain anything from a small part to a large part of the causes your pain. If you think you may be under a constant high level of stress, we recommend employing some stress-relief techniques. These include yoga, meditation, exercise, and taking time off for yourself. These are some of the most surprising potential symptoms of extended periods of constant high stress:

Physical Pain

Stress, if sustained consistently for a long enough period of time, can actually have real physical consequences. In fact, it can lead to back pain and contribute to long-term chronic pain that is caused by something else. One study in Europe found that individuals who identify themselves as being prone to stress have a higher likelihood of developing back pain than the general population. However, the only way to receive a proper diagnosis is to visit a qualified back pain doctor.

Other types of physical pain stress can cause or contribute to include headaches and chest pain.


We all know high stress can cause things like grey hairs and wrinkles, however, the effects of stress on aging can go much deeper. One of the major sources of aging that has been identified is the gradual shortening of telomeres in our cells as they divide. Chronic high stress can cause your telomeres to shorten more rapidly and thereby cause accelerated aging.

Poor Memory

Stress can cause the release of a hormone known as cortisol in your body. This hormone has been linked to inhibited memory formation and can interfere with the normal functioning of neurotransmitters. In some cases, stress can even make your brain more susceptible to depression and addiction.

If you suffer from chronic physical pain, the only way to know whether it is a sign of too much stress or something more serious, is by consulting a qualified physician. Here at Garden State Pain Center, we have years of experience helping New Jersey residents ease their pain. Call us now to make an appointment.