“The mind and the body are so intertwined,” Fulop says. “If a person is dealing with the constant stresses of daily life it is likely to manifest into physical aches and pains in the body.” To break it down: when the brain releases stress hormones, triggering the fight-or-flight response, heart rate and blood pressure can increase. When these two vitals go up, Fulop says the muscles will tighten.
“When muscles will stay in a contracted state and shorten, pain will eventually set in,” she says. “How we treat our body through our eating habits, exercise habits, and dealing with stress will play an extremely important role in our overall health and wellness.”
On top of that, living with chronic pain will begin to change how the body processes pain over time, Nerurkar says. “And long-standing chronic pain can have an impact on the mind-body connection.” Managing these symptoms before they become chronic can increase overall quality of life.