With the influx of work-from-home careers during the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen the significant impact working from home has had on mental health. New stressors and anxiety have impacted our quality of life. And with with the isolation and pressure that comes with a work-from-home position, anxiety may only grow, affecting how we function in our daily lives.
How Work-from-Home Affects Mental Health
While there may be some benefits from a work-from-home or hybrid schedule, the reality is that working from home can lead to loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Self-perceptions of "slacking off" and loss of work relationships have potential adverse effects on mental health.
Despite occasional Zoom meetings, Slack chats, and emails, work-from-home schedules restrict human socialization and can lead to loneliness. Even with the ideal job, we thrive on talking with peers about the projects we are working on, current events, etc. Additionally, communicating via technological mediums removes the tone of our conversation. That lack of personal connection can increase anxiety disorders.
On a physical level, working from home often means we sulk away on the couch or in our beds, and we lose vital vitamin-D absorption from staying inside. These behaviors create prolonged and profound impacts on our bodies, ranging from lower back pain to lethargy to many other ailments. Physical pain and discomfort can exacerbate anxiety as we worry about why the pain is there, how to stop it, and how to prevent it. This develops a vicious cycle between physical and mental health.
Working from home can create a complex boundary for work-life balance. We often feel that we aren't getting enough work done, leading us back to our desks to do more. When we are not working, we should relax and enjoy luxuries — not worrying about work. For example, watching TV, spending time outside, or taking a hot shower are activities that promote relaxation but are often overlooked with work-from-home jobs. With a blurred boundary, we often create stressful environments in our homes that otherwise may not exist. These stressful environments lead to tension in our bodies and lend themselves to symptoms of anxiety-like headaches, fatigue, irritation, muscle aches, and reduced movement.
Anxiety and depression are usually connected. Depression is not merely the state of "feeling sad" but can have other long-reaching symptoms, such as lack of motivation, outbursts of anger, or loss of interest in daily activities. Depression can change how we approach our work, lives, and relationships. The physical effects of depression and anxiety are chronic headaches, body aches, difficulty thinking, and weight gain.
Why is Mental Health Important?
The term "mental health" used to have a negative perception, but recent discussions and treatments altered how we view psychological health. The American Psychological Association (APA) states more people have positive views on mental health disorders and treatment. A daily focus on mental health improves our quality of life, positively impacting physical health.
50% to 80% of those with sleep problems have conditions attributed to psychological health. When an individual's mental wellbeing is neglected, it can lead to sleep deprivation. Anxiety may cause difficulties falling or staying asleep. This can lead to challenges the next day when focusing on tasks. Over a longer term, this can result in sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea or insomnia.
Anxiety elicits feelings of nausea, butterflies in our stomach, or sensitivity within our gut. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a long-term digestive condition from untreated anxiety that begins with more minor symptoms listed above.
Anxiety affects our cardiovascular system as well. Increased stress prompts high blood pressure, higher heart rates, or artery build-up, resulting in heart disease. More importantly, anxiety leads to heart conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans, women, people living with PTSD, and minorities have higher heart disease-related issues due to mental health issues.
It is important to consider mental wellbeing when looking at ways to solve pain and discomfort in our bodies. Our mental state influences how our physical body responds to stress, often leading to pain, tension, and despair.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help?
There is help for those experiencing the adverse effects of anxiety while working from home. Whether you're facing tension in your body or stress from your workload, there is a treatment plan for you. With chiropractic care, you will leave feeling refreshed and relaxed.
Mental Health Improvements
Receiving chiropractic care improves your mental health by increasing blood flow to your brain and reducing anxiety and depression. Adjustments from chiropractic care release neurotrophins which help improve our mood disorders by calming the blood flow and reduced inflammation. After receiving chiropractic adjustments, our bodies do a better job handling stressors in our life.
When we aren't thinking clearly, it puts undue stress on us, affecting our anxiety. When our spines are misaligned, it creates a blockage, and these blockages interfere with the flow of blood, resulting in potential fogged brain function. Chiropractic adjustments open up these blockages, creating a better flow of blood, which opens the path to clearer thinking and relieves physical tension and pain.
As chiropractors, we believe in holistic health, so we encourage stretching during the treatment process. Stretching helps prevent blockage and promotes nutrient flow through the body resulting in our ability to respond appropriately to anxiety.
The idea behind chiropractic treatment is to reduce mental and physical stressors. When relaxed, you have fewer blockages in the body, decreasing anxiety.
Physical Health Improvements
Our mental health impacts our physical health. The physical body reacts to anxiety-causing physical tension, pain, and discomfort. It isn't until we begin to feel physical effects that we consider how our mental health causes those pains.
Chiropractic care is holistic healing of the mind and body. The body will function better when your spine is aligned correctly, in turn opening up those passages to reduce anxiety. The anxiety reduction allows us to work better throughout the day.
Chiropractic adjustments alleviate pain, increase motion, and help to prevent future injuries, all while focusing on mental health. Adjustments lessen the stress on the physical body, thus limiting anxiety. Most of our ChiroCare of Florida chiropractors have over 20 years of experience in the field and strive to make patients feel better inside and out.
Sitting at a desk all day causes pressure on the vertebrae, often leading to lower back pain. This pain decreases our ability to focus on tasks, further heightening our anxiety. Intensified anxiety leads to headaches and body tension. With natural and noninvasive realignments, patients feel relief before leaving the office.
Additional Chiropractic Techniques
Electric Stimulation (E-stim) therapy shoots an electrical pulse through a targeted area, causing the muscles to contract and release. This treatment helps relieve tension, creating immediate relief. Chiropractors recommend E-stim for tightness throughout the body, such as the shoulders, neck, or lower back. By reducing the pain, our anxiety allows us to focus on the tasks at hand for the day.
Rapid Release Technology (RRT) uses vibration to relieve pain and tightness without drugs. The handheld tool breaks down muscle and scar tissue to ease discomfort muscle spasms and improve range of motion. RRT works great for trapped nerves, overuse, sports injuries, and whiplash. Tackling this deep-rooted pain allows patients to stress less about their bodies and focus more on relaxing their minds.
Kinesiology therapeutic tape (KT) lifts the skin and decompresses the tissue to promote fluid flow. KT Tape is a light, flexible, thin fabric and helps with inflammation and swelling. Athletes commonly use KT Tape for their injuries. However, anyone can use it for instances of shoulder blade swelling, knee injuries, or relieving the pressure of pregnant women. KT Tape applied correctly allows blood to flow, thus opening our body's ability to think more precisely and reducing stress.
Postural Correction is constructive for work-from-home patients. Working from home contributes to lower back pain due to sitting incorrectly in chairs. Postural correction is often used with chiropractic adjustments and focuses on aligning the body along its axis.
The Graston Technique rearranges soft tissue to promote faster and better healing. It relieves inflammation and pain through technological stretches. Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manual Therapy (IASTM) uses technology assistance to stretch connective tissue for patients who feel pain deep within the muscles. Working from home creates stiffness deep in the muscles due to lack of movement. IASTM can reach deeper than manual relief techniques. Improved mental health can be the result of pain and discomfort relief.
ChiroCare of Florida strives to make patients feel better inside and without harmful or addictive drugs. We believe in a whole-body approach from mind to body and body to mind. Regular treatments help your body maintain balance while creating a better functioning system.
We will create a customized treatment plan at one of our nine locations throughout Florida.
ChiroCare of Florida accepts most major insurance plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, so there's no reason to put off treatment. Call us today at (877) 388-2165 to schedule an appointment.