Accessibility View Close toolbar

3517 Marconi AvenueSuite 102

Sacramento, CA 95821 US

(916) 485-5433

Open mobile navigation

Stress-Induced Neck Pain

Dealing with Stress-Induced Neck Pain  

If you find yourself dealing with high levels of stress in your life, don't be surprised if your neck becomes sore and stiff, too. In fact, research shows stress can contribute to a variety of signs and symptoms in addition to neck pain, such as poor sleep, indigestion, and mental fogginess. Stress can even increase your risk of other conditions including heart disease and depression.

Man with stress from work and neck pain.

To this end, your painful neck may be a helpful tool: a signal from your body that you're stressed out and need a little help.

Can Stress Really Cause Neck Pain?

In the face of perceived or real threats to our well-being (which can include anything from a shark attack to financial worries), our central nervous system activates the classic "fight or flight" response. This triggers the release certain chemicals and hormones (like cortisol and adrenaline), which changes our mood and physiology to help us deal with the stress, at least until the real or perceived threat goes away.

But if these threats don't go away (e.g., if we constantly worry), the neurochemical changes tend not to go away either. This isn't ideal for health since our bodies work best when functioning from a state of homeostasis (an inner state of balance and equilibrium—in both the physical and mental sense!).

Ultimately, it's this long-term exposure to the "fight or flight" syndrome which explains how chronic stress can impose a host of negative effects on your body—including increased tension, stiffness, and pain within the musculoskeletal tissues in your neck.

Note that this pain is not "in your head." It's triggered or exacerbated by psychological and emotional factors and can be quite debilitating. In some cases, the neck pain is precipitated by an actual injury, such as a muscle strain or whiplash, but the dysfunction continues well after the tissues have healed.

5 Ways to Self-Manage Your Stress-Induced Neck Pain

  1. Stretch - Gentle neck stretches can relieve tension and stiffness in your neck muscles (ask our chiropractor for specific tips).
  2. Move - Daily exercise releases pain-relieving endorphins, improves blood flow, and is good for mental and physical well-being.
  3. Relax - Schedule a massage. Learn to meditate. Color, journal, paint, or do anything you find peaceful and restorative.
  4. Rest - Sleep is critical for normalizing our body's response to stress. Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night in a pitch black room.
  5. Reach out - Talk to your friends, family members, co-workers, and other people. Whether you need to delegate a task, ask advice, or simply vent a little, leaning on others can be of great help.

Is Your Neck Pain Persisting? Visit Dr. Gregg Anderson Today!

In addition to at-home strategies for stress-induced neck pain, you may want to consult with a doctor chiropractic who can help you manage your symptoms and address their root causes, be they mental and/or psychological. At Anderson Chiropractic Clinic, Sacramento chiropractor Dr. Gregg Anderson, D.C. takes a big picture view of your overall health, then scales down his treatment to address specific impairments like stiffness, pain, impaired motor control, and lifestyle habits. His services and techniques are drug-free, non-invasive, and completely customizable to meet your needs.

Tired of your neck pain? We invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Anderson today by contacting our clinic at (916) 485-5433.

To find out more, use the form below, or call us at: (916) 485-5433

Office Hours


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:30 pm-5:30 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:30 pm-5:30 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:30 pm-5:30 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:30 pm-5:30 pm








Find us on the map


Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Should I Use Ice or Heat for Pain?

    Did you hurt your knee during an intense game of pick-up basketball this weekend? Or do you deal with chronic pain? Learn whether you should apply heat or ice for particular kinds of pain. ...

    Read More
  • Relationship with Self

    The relationship you have with yourself and the journey to self-understanding is an important part of your overall wellness. ...

    Read More
  • Indoor Activities and Exercises

    Are you preparing for the winter months or looking for exercises to do when you can't make it to the gym? Follow these exercises to maintain a healthy fitness routine. ...

    Read More
  • Holiday Stress - Take a Deep Breath

    Most of us pay little attention, if any, to the daily functioning of our many physiological systems. Our hearts beat, our digestive systems digest, and our various hormones, such as those deriving from the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and pancreas, do what they do. It's all good... until it's not. ...

    Read More
  • Proper Overindulgence Over the Holidays

    Proper Overindulgence Over The Holidays The term "overindulgence" is probably best assessed as a red flag, especially with respect to consistent overconsumption of high-calorie comfort food and desserts during the holiday season. An overall healthier perspective could be described as "indulgence" regarding ...

    Read More
  • The 5 Senses

    The 5 Senses The five senses, that is, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell, provide us with necessary information regarding the world around us.1 These precious capabilities enable us to navigate our environment with seemingly instantaneous feedback with reference to our actions and ...

    Read More
  • The Benefits of Sleep for Adults

    Obtaining sufficient restful sleep is an essential requirement for optimal human productivity. Such a practice is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, which includes a nutritious diet, regular vigorous exercise, and a positive mental attitude. How much sleep one needs varies from person to person. ...

    Read More
  • Back to School and Mental Wellness

    Summer is a subjectively fleeting season and school days are upon us once again. For children, this bittersweet time marks the completion of a period of relative freedom and the beginning of a new set of responsibilities. For adults, the onset of late summer and early fall signals yet another turn of ...

    Read More
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

    A repetitive motion injury (or overuse injury) involves doing an action over and over again, as with a baseball pitcher throwing a baseball, a tennis player hitting a tennis ball, typing at a computer keyboard, and most notoriously, typing with your thumbs on the tiny keypad of your phone. It may be ...

    Read More
  • Left-Handers Day

    Left-Handers Day Left-Handers Day, celebrated on August 15th, was launched in 1992 by the Left-Handers Club, an organization based in the United Kingdom. Since then, Left-Handers Day has become a worldwide event and social media phenomenon. Around the world, approximately one in ten persons is left-handed. ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles