Anxiety - Wide-Ranging Health Effects

Humans appear to be hard-wired for modest levels of anxiety as a fear-arousal warning mechanism. Anxiety may be characterized as uneasiness, fear, worry, and apprehension. Anxiety is a common psychological state in which the basic message is "get away from this situation". The state is usually accompanied by numerous physiologic components including surges of the hormone adrenaline, increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure, and increased blood flow to the major muscle groups as the body prepares for "fight or flight".

These are all normal responses to environmental threats. The overall process is orchestrated by the amygdala and hippocampus, two regions of the brain's limbic system which process memory, emotional response, and spatial navigation. But for many people, if anxiety states become frequent and prolonged by various developmental circumstances in childhood and their teenage years, they may begin to respond to perceived rather than real threats. The anxiety state may persist and even become the default condition for the individual.

Those with chronic anxiety may experience chronic back pain,1,2 chronic muscular tension, fibromyalgia,3 headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. Chronic anxiety may cause a person to anticipate the worst, to have ongoing feelings of dread, to be constantly irritable and tense, and to experience panic attacks. Eventually the person may become worn out from the constant drain on their inner resources and a likely outcome is depression. The person simply cannot take any more stress.

Chronic anxiety has a specific impact on the musculoskeletal system. Persistently elevated levels of adrenaline create ongoing tension in the postural muscles of the lower back and the weight-bearing, antigravity gluteal muscles, pelvic musculature, and hamstrings. The long-term results may include chronic lower back pain, inflammation of the sciatic nerve, and lumbar disc disease. Of course, any of these health problems create more anxiety for the person, establishing a vicious circle of anxiety, pain, more anxiety, and more pain.

Solutions for chronic anxiety usually require multidisciplinary holsitic approaches. Nutrition, for example, is a key factor in restoring a person's homeostatic mechanisms. Significantly reducing one's intake of simple carbohydrates - soda, muffins, cookies, cake, fast food, and even juice - will often have a substantial impact. Making sure to have five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day will also provide great benefit.

Chiropractic care can frequently provide considerable assistance to those with chronic anxiety. By normalizing activity within the musculoskeletal system and reducing muscular stress and tension, chiropractic care helps eliminate an unnecessary source of biochemical and physiologic stress.

1Newcomer KL, et al: Anxiety levels, fear-avoidance beliefs, and disability levels at baseline and at 1 year among subjects with acute and chronic low back pain. Phys Med Rehabil 2(6):514-520, 2010
2Hurley DA, et al: Physiotherapy for sleep disturbance in chronic low back pain: a feasibility randomised controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disord 11:70, 2010 [11 pages]
3Silverman S, et al: Toward characterization and definition of fibromyalgia severity. BMC Musculoskeletal Disord 11:66, 2010 [9 pages]

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Emergency Contact: 678-472-7927

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

Emergency Only

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "When I first went to DR. Steingraber I I could not play a round of golf because of my lower back pain. After one month under Dr Steingraber I went back to golfing. That was app. 11 years ago. Keeps me glued together."
    Sam H.
  • "Dr. Steingraber and his staff, are always pleasant, smiling and accommodating. Dr. Steingraber is very knowledgeable and has treated my back and neck with great success. I would recommend him highly."
    Joe N.
  • "After a period of intense visits due to a flare up of my back injury in May of 2016, I am now on a maintenance routine which obviously improves my mobility. Prayer, and the work by Dr. Craig has enabled me go from barely walking to do 'within limits' most anything I desire. I am not totally pain free but what a difference and I am not on any medications."
    Tony D.
  • "What a wonderful experience! I had suffered from back and neck pain for quite a while when a friend recommended Dr Steingraber. He thoroughly evaluated the cause of my discomfort and explained the best course of treatment. I feel so much better!"
    Angie B.
  • "Dr. Craig’s motto should be: “ Happy Back—Happy Life —-which is exactly what Dr. Craig provides for me.
    I like to rearrange the deck furniture, move plants around—-YES— out goes my back—-Get to Dr. Craig immediately—after a few adjustments—-Happy back, Happy life. A caring, place to releave pain and enjoying visiting with friendly staff."
    Yuvonne H.
  • "After 3 Back surgeries, I found Dr. Craig and something I thought would never work, changed my life. I feel better than I have felt in over 20 years. I am now working and playing golf again pain free. Dr. Craig's extensive medical background and sports knowledge are without equal. He made me a lifetime believer!"
    Mike S.
  • "Dr. Craig and his staff genuinely care about their patients and have big hearts. They have become like family to me over the years. I love them dearly and would highly recommend them to anyone with minor or chronic aches, pains, or ailments."
    Lynn K.
  • "We adore Missy, Dr Craig and the Staff!! Our whole family visits monthly!! kids Club is awesome!!"
    Taña L.