Elizabeth had been struggling with neck pain for months. At first, she thought it was because of her desk job. But as the pain worsened, she realized that stress was at the root of her problem. Elizabeth's doctor recommended that she seek treatment from a sports chiropractor in Silver Spring, MD. They said that it would help her relieve her stress breathing and reduce her neck pain.
Stress has a profound impact on the way we breathe. When we're stressed, we tend to take shallow, rapid breaths that only reach the chest. This type of breathing, known as stress breathing, can lead to a host of physical and mental health problems, including neck pain. Some of our neck muscles are part of how we breathe. When we are stressed, the body is looking to get as much air as it can as quickly as possible. Diaphragm breathing can be too slow when we are in fight or flight. When we chronically stress breathe, we put added strain on the neck muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.

How to Get Rid of Stress Breathing

Elizabeth was determined to find relief from her neck pain. She reached out to us at Capital Sports Medicine in Silver Spring, MD. We worked with her over the course of a couple weeks to get her out of pain. Here are some of the things we recommended that she try to relieve her neck pain.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

The first technique Elizabeth tried was diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing engages the diaphragm, which helps to calm the body and reduce stress. It slows down the body and brain, and pulls you out of fight or flight. To perform diaphragmatic breathing, we had Elizabeth sit into the back of her chair and relax into it. We told her to sigh in exasperation. We then told Elizabeth to take a slow breath in through her nose while making as little noise as possible. If we could hear her breathing, it meant that she was breathing with too much force. After just a few minutes of this relaxed seated diaphragmatic breathing, Elizabeth felt her neck muscles start to relax.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

We also recommended that she incorporate exercise and physical therapy into her routine. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and relieve neck pain. We found that when Elizabeth was carrying her heavy bag to the office, that the weight of her bag put a lot of stress on her neck. We gave her exercises that specifically strengthened her shoulders so that she would not feel the need to shrug her shoulders to carry her bag. We also worked to reduce the weight of her bag.
Elizabeth started incorporating yoga and other low-impact exercises into her routine. This helped to strengthen her neck muscles and reduce her stress levels.

How to Get Out of Stress

In addition to trying the physical techniques re, Elizabeth also sought out ways to reduce her overall stress levels. She tried the following tips and techniques to overcome stress and reduce its impact on her body:

Mindfulness and Meditation

Elizabeth began practicing mindfulness and meditation to reduce her stress levels. She found that taking 10-15 minutes each day to meditate or practice mindfulness helped her to feel calmer and more centered throughout the day.

Self-Care and Relaxation

Elizabeth also made time for self-care and relaxation. She started taking bubble baths, reading her favorite books, and spending time with friends and family. She found that taking the time to do things she enjoyed helped to reduce her stress levels and improve her overall sense of well-being.


Elizabeth's journey to relieve her neck pain was a long and challenging one, but she was determined to find relief. With the help of her team at Capital Sports Medicine and a commitment to reducing her stress levels, she was able to find relief from her neck pain. She was also able to improve her overall quality of life. If you're struggling with neck pain caused by stress, consider seeking thehelp of a sports chiropractor or sports medicine specialist in Silver Spring, MD. We can help you to get back on track and find relief from stress and neck pain.
Byron  Lam

Byron Lam

Chiropractor, CCSP®, FR® Spine

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