Anxiety is associated with many types of pain in the body. Having an anxiety attack causes muscles to tense up when the “fight or flight” response is triggered. Pain can be experienced in the chest, neck back and especially the legs. This is because when anxiety hits, the body prepares to run.
The anxiety pain link has also been associated with pain that already exists in the body. Meaning if leg pain is already present, it can trigger anxiety and make the pain worse. Disorders that cause anxiety and leg pain are fibromyalgia, nerve pain due to other conditions like diabetes and back conditions.
This comes full circle with anxiety attacks making anxiety attacks worse and anxiety making pain worse. At some point, the circle needs to be broken. Natural anxiety and leg pain relief is safe, non-addictive and good for the body. Natural remedies actually teach the body to heal itself from anxiety and related pain issues. There are several different natural methods to help relieve leg pain caused by anxiety:
Exercise – Exercise that builds muscle strength is very helpful to people who suffer from anxiety related leg pain. It also helps to “burn-off” excess adrenaline during an attack and helps calm the anxiety faster. People with anxiety related leg pain experience relief rather quickly with even mild stretching exercises.
Behavioral Therapy – Learning to associate certain “triggers” with the pain and deal with the emotions that trigger anxiety can be very helpful to alleviate leg pain. Many people find that there are certain things that bring on anxiety and leg pain. Using techniques such as; diversions, meditation, journaling and positive self-talk can all help the management of anxiety related pain. Another popular technique is counting backward out loud from 100 and has been found extremely helpful with pain relief.
Stress Relief Techniques – Relieving stress can help prevent muscle tension or relieve excess tension. Things like; visual imagery, soft music and yoga can help with relaxation and pain relief.
Willow Bark – Salicin or the base for aspirin. This herbal remedy is both a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory. It is safe for use in anyone other than people with allergies to aspirin or those who take blood thinning medications.
Capsaicin – Made from chili peppers this can help any type of pain, but has been found especially helpful with nerve pain in the legs. This is the type of pain that diabetics experience due to nerve damage from sugar. This type of pain is also a source of pain/anxiety due to the fear of losing the legs due to this disease.
Chamomile – Not only does this herb calm the nerves, but it also has pain relieving properties. Chamomile is used for all different types of pain but especially; tooth aches, stomach pain and leg pain. It works both ways to calm anxiety attacks and ease pain.
Most research proves that a combination therapy of; stress relief techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation and supplementation with herbal anxiety and herbal pain relief seems to be most effective in relieving anxiety related pain. People who suffer from leg pain due to anxiety may benefit best from first taking an herbal anxiety relief like; kava kava, passionflower or chamomile. Then begin supplementing an herbal pain reliever. After the pain begins to subside, start with gentle stretches to the leg muscles. After thoroughly stretching and warming-up the muscles then gentle exercise such as; yoga, slow-paced walking or leg lifts can further alleviate pain. Gradually work up to muscle strengthening exercises including; squats, jogging, bicycling and knee to chest crunches (this exercise also helps leg/back pain).
Leg pain caused by anxiety can lead to a spiral of pain mixed with anxiety attacks. It can stop people from doing the things they enjoy doing and it is sometimes hard to break the circle. With these techniques, leg pain associated with anxiety can be a thing of the past. By treating the underlying anxiety first with natural remedies and then working on learning behavioral techniques, the body begins to heal itself from the inside out.