The different types of stress

different types of stress

Patients often site ‘stress’ as one of the major causes of some of the symptoms they experience, whether it’s back or neck pain or the dreaded migraine headache.

Quite often they are right, but they may be talking about only emotional/mental stress (a bad situation at work or home). Instead, lets look deeper into the 3 different types of stress and actually why stress isn’t always a ‘bad’ thing at all. It’s part of life and something we are constantly having to adapt to.

What is emotional stress

This is the ‘default’ type of stress people think of. If you are late for work or if a family member is ill, these are all types of mental stress. However, this stress is also present in positive parts of your life. For example, an interview with your dream job role is also mentally stressful. By overcoming such a task, your mind becomes more robust and resiliant.

Physical Stress

This includes a range of physical pressures that you put on your body. It can range from falls down the stairs to continued poor posture over a number of years putting stress on the joints. However, physical stress can also help you build muscle and flexibility. When you exercise this is a form of physical stress. By challenging your body with the ‘optimum load’, it is forced to adapt, grow and become more healthy.

different types of stress

Chemical/Biological Stress

This includes the things that we expose our bodies to on a daily basis, such as fast foods, germs, a lack of water or excessive drugs and alcohol. These stressors are also a large part of early development. For example, when you play outside as a child, there are many biological stressors, but your body becomes more ‘fit’ in the long run by adapting and boosting your immune system.


We are adapting constantly to the stresses all around us. Our bodies are forever changing, creating new ways for us to cope with the stressors we put them under. If we sit on one side of our pelvis, the stress on that side of the joint makes the body adapt and create a functional curve. If we are constantly beset by stressful work deadlines, our body is more primed for the fight or flight response in order to survive. If we drink alcohol on a daily basis, our nervous system will prioritise breaking it down faster so that the liver is more ready for it next time. Your body is in a constant balancing act with stress management so controlling the factors can help your body deal with everything life has to throw at it.

We are here to help

A body that has minimal stress and restriction can be free to move. That’s how you can fully enjoy all of what life has to offer. If you need help with back pain, spasms, cramps, arthritis, or any other physical concern; we have the expertise to help you. Please feel free to book an appointment with us or get in touch and we’ll plan a treatment schedule and exercise programme that allows you to get back to your best.