It is well known that stress and loss can aggravate physical illnesses and injuries. For example, if you have heart disease, high levels of stress, especially prolonged stress, can make the physical disease worse. The same is true for diabetes and hypertension.

This is especially true for injuries and illnesses that cause long-term or chronic pain, such as chronic back injuries, whiplash, and headaches, as examples.

After a car or work accident, if a person’s injuries and pain are continuing month after month, they may not be able to work. This creates a buildup of financial losses and, understandably, high levels of stress for individuals and their families.

In turn, these escalating stresses and losses aggravate the persistent injuries and pain that individuals are struggling with, creating an extremely difficult combination (of pain and loss) to manage. With no cure in sight, depression and anxiety can easily set in.

Hopelessness and soul crushing are soon to follow.

What makes chronic pain injuries so susceptible to aggravations from stress is that the centers in the brain that processes pain are interconnected with the brain centers that process stress and emotion. This is called the pain matrix and will be explained in the many postings to come.

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