Has anyone experienced?
Hi Beth. Whilst it's not common there is a psychiatric condition called conversion disorder that works in the way that you've described - a physical manifestation of mental distress.
Not sure about chronic pain, certainly not lasting for more than a year, but anxiety can certainly case "real" symptoms.
Maybe you need to explore things that can help you relax: yoga, massage, relaxation tapes etc.
Stuart may well be on to something though, sciatica can be difficult to get diagnosed.
Some forms of depression and chronic pain frequently go hand in hand. It can be difficult to know which condition led to which.See your Gp about the anxiety and give up caffeine. Seriously.
Focusing on a pain, and worrying about it can certainly worsen it. Some people react differently to pain, and not using a painful limb can produce chronic skin colour changes- purplish. shiny/ puffy, and chronic pain. IF that sounds like you- ask to get sent to a pain clinic, psychological management of pain and the fear- avoidance behaviour that comes with it can help a greart deal. Obviously they will want to exlude "fixable" troubles like a disc prolapse first.
I would say definitely yes if it is starting to hurt just because you are "sitting there thinking about it". I've had neck pain related to stress and anxiety, I think it is tense posture leading to a muscle spasm. Why not lower down the spine too. In my case it did seem to respond to slow release diclofenac though, it didn't become chronic. Maybe there was a placebo effect there, didn't have to worry about the pain hitting any more so I relaxed. But diazepam hadn't worked!
I'm no expert, but it's worth exploring the anxiety route in any case, isn't it.
Limper makes a good point about caffeine,
I got more and more intolerant to the stuff until the point it started causing panic attacks. That was it, can't drink it now but I don't miss it.
Caffeine can also affect your pain. Combined with your history of anxiety, it's a double whammy.You'll probably tell us now that you never touch the stuff?!!
Good luck with your GP appointment.
Just try going without to see how much it affects you! I have seen this at first hand several times: one bloke had to go home from work because his wife had switched him to decaff without telling him and he couldn't lift his spade, another had a headache by lunchtime which lasted for three days when we decided that six cups of coffee by "break" was enough and he should give up!
Switch to herbal tea or Barleycup.
Hi Beth, I've just come across your post , but wanted to reply as I've had experience with exactly what you describe. I've been kept from running for months at a time by 'injuries' that I now recognise as not genuine injuries at all, but the product of anxiety that, in my body, presents itself as physical pain.
I got past the problem with the help of a sympathetic GP, the sort of awareness that you now seem to have about your own symptoms eg noticing that they can be made worse by focussing on them and also a determination to get back on my feet, whatever that took!
Please feel free to PM me if you want to discuss further. It took me a long time to recover - and I'm still not rid of it entirely, butI would be very happy to pass on what I've learnt.
I had rib back and groin strain day different times due to anxiety!! I would get an injury and the anxiety would tighten the areas where I was injured and they would stay injured!! Try relaxation and pilates!!
pain / slow recovery from injuries can also be exacerbated by Vitamin D deficiency, which is acompanied by depression and loss of energy - might also be worth having this checked, it is often overlooked. I still have arthritis but have been off pain meds for over a year since sorting the vit D levels out.
Just my 10 cents, but I can relate to this too - get really anxious about stuff, and it seems the pains which manifest themselves are internal. I have had some pretty major panic attacks in the past which were scary. Have learnt to control it, but still...
Although I've now ended up with my first running injury after years of being injury-free which is probably an age thing.
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