Stress and anxiety can make you feel terrible. It’s not uncommon, when you’re under a great deal of stress for a prolonged period of time, to experience nerve-related symptoms like numbness, tingling, burning, and pain when moving. But can anxiety damage your nerves? If you’re one to self-diagnose, you may have come across these symptoms as being signs of peripheral neuropathy. So, can stress and anxiety cause peripheral neuropathy?
Can anxiety damage your nerves? No, but if you are experiencing high anxiety, your nerves may be over-firing. When your nerves fire too often, you may feel tingling, burning, and other sensations that may seem to be related to nerve damage and neuropathy. You may also hyperventilate when you’re anxious or stressed, which can make the blood vessels in your body constrict, causing the pins and needles sensation associated with neuropathy. Then, too, when people are anxious, they tend to over-focus on their physical symptoms. An over-awareness of your body can make every strange sensation feel like something serious. It’s a vicious cycle, because it can make you tense, causing your movements to be awkward, which leads to more anxiety.
The big difference between anxiety and peripheral neuropathy is that anxiety does not cause nerve damage, while the damage from peripheral neuropathy can be irreversible if not treated in time. If you have symptoms that could be neuropathy, see a doctor as soon as possible to rule it out. Then, if it’s just anxiety, you can try these techniques to overcome the neuropathy-like symptoms it’s causing.
Take a breath. Pay attention to your breathing, and if you notice that you’re hyperventilating, take the time to slow it down. Take deep breaths, bearing in for five seconds, holding it for two seconds, and breathing out for seven seconds. Slowing your breathing can help you control your anxiety.
Find a distraction. If you’re over-aware of every little twinge in your body, find other things to keep you busy. Distract yourself from focusing on your body too much, because that is the only way you’ll be able to relax and make your body’s movements feel natural again.
Whether you’re looking for neuropathy treatment or you need someone to help you deal with symptoms caused by stress and anxiety, trust Oregon Medical Centers to help. Founded in 1989 as First Choice Chiropractic, Oregon Medical Centers was established in 2018 after adding Medical Providers and becoming an integrated medical facility. Specialists in treating car accident and workplace injuries, we also treat conditions like sciatica, pinched nerves, TMJ, neck and back pain, headaches, joint pain, and much more. We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and regenerative medicine, and we specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Our dedicated medical team provides high-level care and compassion for patients in a collaborative environment where patients get the best possible treatment. What’s more, our insurance department assists in the insurance process, to alleviate stress for patients and allow them to focus on getting better. For more information, to find a location, or to schedule an appointment, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, or contact us through our website.