Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Stress and pain are inter-related. For a person in pain, the typical stress of daily life can become much more difficult, often turning common hassles into major obstacles. Stress can also impact pain. Physical reactions to stress, such as increased muscle tension, can greatly intensify pain. In short, pain causes stress and stress intensifies pain.

Stress management training is designed to break the pain-stress cycle. Taking control of stressful situations can modify the body's "fight or flight" response to stress. Many coping strategies exist, and the PRC's stress management classes cover these strategies thoroughly.

Relaxation is one very common coping strategy for managing stress. Relaxation reduces muscle tension and anxiety, increases self-control and leaves a person feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The programs present different forms of relaxation and encourage daily practice.