Back-to-school season is bound to be stressful for many. Normal school-related stressors like having and making friends, handling coursework, and functioning on, what is often not enough sleep, is only compounded when added to Covid-related anxieties like wearing masks, social distancing from classmates, and the threat of quarantine.
Add all of that to the physical stress of carrying heavy backpacks, sitting in non-ergonomic chairs for hours at a time, and before/after-school sports activities, and you have a perfect, stressful storm. Over time, this stress can actually lower the immune response, making you more susceptible to illness and disease including Covid 19.
Chiropractic care can address both mental and physical stress associated with the start of a new school year. Not only can chiropractic treatments relieve uncomfortable physical symptoms like muscle tension and tightness and lower back and neck pain, it can induce feelings of relaxation and calm.
Fight or Flight
When stressed, the body initiates a protective physiological reaction known as the fight-or-flight response in which a rush of hormones and emotions flood the body in an effort to prepare it for necessary action. Some people are hypersensitive to this response and maintain high levels even after the actual triggering event has passed. This sustained state of heightened awareness can leave students and teachers alike not only with the physical manifestations of stress, such as stomach issues and headaches but also with a tendency to focus on the negative nature of the event.
In addition, these stressful situations result in muscles tensing and contracting, often to the point of constriction, and that can create enough pressure on bones, nerves, and organs to cause misalignments.
Chiropractic care is great at soothing the nervous system and reducing the effects of the fight-or-flight response. Massage therapy and other relaxation-related chiropractic treatments relieve muscle tension and activate the parasympathetic nervous system — the rest-and-repair response — to calm the mind and body.
When done regularly, these treatments can provide a mental reset.
Heavy backpacks and constantly looking down at phones and other devices takes a toll on posture, as evidenced by all the students we see with rounded shoulders and heads jutting forward. Carrying stress in the neck and shoulder area, which is common, exacerbates this hunched-over posture resulting in the body being thrown off balance. The skeletal system compensates for lack of balance by adding pressure on the lower back. Over time, this unnatural postural position compresses the rib cage, which not only decreases the amount of oxygen going in and out but leads to skeletal misalignment.
For students involved in athletic training, the physical toll on alignment is even worse.
Chiropractic rib and spinal adjustments can relieve pressure, tension, and compression that impairs functionality and mobility. By making body and limb movements more natural, everything from daily activities to athletic performance is more comfortable. Ensuring proper alignment drastically improves nerve communication for better overall body function, including an increased immune response.
Chiropractic Care for Stress
Incorporating chiropractic care into your back-to-school routine can help you manage both mental and physical stress. Through proper body alignment, relaxation techniques, and foundational nutrition and supplementation support, optimal body functionality can be achieved for a healthier, more energetic, and less stressful school experience.
Call Dynamic Sports Medicine today to see how we can help you manage back-to-school stress.