Is it Seasonal Depression or Stress?

avoid joint pain in cold winter months

Oregon is ranked number 1 as the most depressed state in the country. Reports analyzing CDC data claim that 25% of the PNW state’s residents suffer from this affliction. It is no surprise that weather and stress can negatively impact our mental health. Our mental health directly impacts our body; how we carry depression and stress wears on our physical state. 

It can be difficult to delineate between what is stress and what is depression. Depression is often associated by genetics, but it can also be triggered or stem from seasonal change and/or stress. 

Ever notice that during the dreary winter months you start to feel glum? 

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a particular type of depression that comes on from the onset of fall through winter months. For some it can start early on, for others it can come after months of dark and cloudy days. This type of depression can also come on slowly and undetected while others might experience it more abruptly. To help with this, finding nurturing habits to bring us through the dark times is an act of liberation. 

Seasonal depression triggers:

  • Lack of sunlight → Impacts our serotonin levels or biological clocks (circadian rhythm). 
  • Cold weather → Keeps us from outdoor activities such as group sports and nature; impacts our joints.
  • Stress → Holidays, year end reports, resolutions impact mental health.

Living in Portland can also cause its own stressors:

  • Increase rent
  • More Traffic
  • Work/Play Imbalance

No matter the cause of your blues, chiropractic care has far reaching benefits.

Read up on suggestions to combat this years depression:

Stress Related Chiropractic Care

“Stress, and the reduction of stress, is completely controlled by the central nervous system. Your brain communicates the release of stress hormones which cause all of the stress-related symptoms. The central nervous system runs through your spine to connect the brain to the rest of the body. Without effective communication from the central nervous system, your stress response can get out of control and overwhelm your body’s resources. Chiropractic care includes the realignment of the spine for the optimal functioning of the central nervous system and effective communication between the brain and the body.”

Preventing Joint Pain Through Winter

 “Winter is the season of aches and pains for people with arthritis and other joint issues. The scientific reason behind this well-documented phenomenon remains uncertain, but there is no doubt that symptoms worsen in colder weather. While joint pain triggered by lower temperatures can occur anywhere in the body, it tends to be most common in joints that bear weight, such as the hips, knees, and ankles.”