In short, YES.
Stress is your body’s response to a demanding circumstances in your life and it is not inherently bad. An appropriate amount of stress allows you to accomplish tasks and keeps you on track with your daily goals. However, when you are no longer able to cope with a stressful situation, stress has the potential to have a negative influence on your immune function and healing ability. Research shows a very strong relationship between stress and health, including (but not limited to) chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, and your ability for recovery.
One study in particular, looked at the speed of tissue healing in stressed versus non-stressed participants. The group of participants identified as stressed were caring for a relative/loved one with Alzheimer's disease. This group showed a 20% slower healing time as compared to the non-stressed group.
It is import to understand when stress is manageable and when it is not. Learning coping mechanisms when feeling overwhelmed can help to heal your body faster. The following techniques can help to manage stress and speed up your recovery:
Mindfulness: This means awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.
Breathing techniques: Deep breathing sends signals to your brain to slow down your heart rate, which promotes a state of calmness.
Exercise: Any type of physical activity will stimulate the body to release “feel good” hormones such as endorphins and dopamine which will act as a natural stress reducer.
Social interactions: Take time to be with loved ones and friends. Research shows that taking time out of your busy life has been proven to have both physical and psychological effects including influencing your social, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
Reframe the way you view stress: Instead of viewing stress as a negative thing, you need to see stress as the body’s way of preparing you for the challenges ahead.
Make it a point to acknowledge and manage the stress in your life so that you are able to have a speedy recovery!
Contact Reddy Care Physical & Occupational Therapy to answer any of your questions!
Reddy Care Physical & Occupational Therapy Great Neck: 516-829-0030
Reddy Care Physical & Occupational Therapy Farmingdale: 516-420-2900
In-Home Physical & Occupational Therapy: 516-829-0030
Valentina S. Lucas. Psychological Stress and Wound Healing in Humans: What We Know. Wounds. 2011;23(4):76-83
Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Marucha PT, Malarkey WB, Mercado AM, Glaser R. Slowing of wound healing by psychological stress. Lancet. 1995;346(8984):1194-1196.