7 Practical Tips to Dealing with Chronic Pain

7 Practical Tips to Dealing with Chronic Pain

Tips for Dealing with Chronic Pain

Pain聽is a signal in your nervous system indicating that something may be wrong. It can be an unpleasant feeling of a burning, throbbing, aching pain such as a pinch, sharp, cramping pain. It can also be a tingling, stinging, or burning sensation that is unpleasant. It can be a very emotional experience as well. It can be just an annoying pain, and at its worst, can be debilitating.

Pain can be caused by intense or damaging stimuli. It can be acute, where duration is limited, and chronic pain where lasts longer and is associated with other health problems and medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritic pain.

Simple Back Pain Relief Exercises using an Exercise Ball

Back pain is the most common condition. facts indicate that over 25 million Americans ages 20 to 65 years suffer from back pain and that billions (more than 50 billion each year) are spent for treatment each year.

No matter where your pain is coming from, if you’re a chronic pain sufferer it can be truly difficult to maintain a healthy day-to-day life. The simplest tasks as sitting, standing, walking, can be an arduous task for the pain sufferer. However, there are many things you can try that may make it easier to cope with the pain.

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You might even find that your pain will be lesser with certain strategies that have nothing to do with prescription medications. The mind is a powerful self healer. Once you realize how powerful your mind is, you can teach yourself to cope with pain. Pain doesn’t have to be the focus of your life.

Try the following techniques for dealing with chronic pain:

1.聽聽聽聽聽 Engage in activities that you find relaxing. Find something that will help you ease and loosen your muscles. No matter what kind of pain you’re experiencing, if you tense up your body, it only makes the pain worse.

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2.聽聽聽聽聽 Meditate and visualize. Grab some alone time so you can engage in meditation. Start by taking deep breaths and clearing your mind. Avoid placing specific focus on your pain even if you’re tempted to do so. Instead, make it a point to visualize pain relief.

3.聽聽聽聽聽 Use health-related affirmations. Affirmations are a great way to communicate positively with your subconscious. Tell yourself that you’re in good health and that you’ve found pain reduction and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve with just your mind.

4.聽聽聽聽 Try hypnosis. You can enlist the help of a hypnotist or become skilled in the art of self-hypnosis. You can achieve some seemingly impossible feats just by having the proper focus and thought patterns. Hypnosis may use some good health affirmations while your mind is in a relaxed and accepting state.

hypnosis
  • With hypnosis, you may even begin to feel better before your conscious mind is aware of it!

5.聽聽聽聽聽 Exercise to strengthen muscles. Depending on the type of pain you’re having, exercise may be able to relieve it. For instance, there are muscles you can work through an exercise that can lessen back pain

  • For best results, stay on a routine and remember that exercise is usually toughest at the beginning, but it gets easier the more often you do it. Of course, consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

6.聽聽聽聽 Seek and consult with a Physical Therapist. There are many excellent physical therapy treatments that can relieve your pain. A combination of exercises and pain-lessening equipment can bring you great relief. Your physician can refer you to a good physical therapist.

7.聽聽聽聽 Use EFT therapy. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can show you how to remove mental and emotional roadblocks that could be causing or worsening your pain.

EFT can be applied to many aspects of your life, and chronic pain is no exception. There are many online materials available to help you study EFT Therapy.

No one wants to live life in pain, but these simple pain relief strategies can really help you enhance your quality of life.聽

By taking a holistic approach to your pain, you’re more likely to find a healthy balance and a life filled with greater joy, wellbeing, and happiness!

 

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4  QUICK FIXES To Strengthen Your Back & Ease Pain

4 QUICK FIXES To Strengthen Your Back & Ease Pain

Reduce Pain and Strengthen Your Lower Back With These Easy Tips

Do you suffer from lower back pain? While lower back ailments can feel like the worst kind of torture, you can actually experience lasting relief and perhaps healing by making some easy changes to your routines.

Try these easy strategies to reduce your lower back pain:

馃憠馃憠馃憠Manage Pain by Improving Posture

1.聽聽聽聽聽 Correct your sitting posture. If you spend endless hours in front of the computer at work or home, it鈥檚 very likely that your posture is contributing to your back pain.

After some time sitting at a computer, it鈥檚 instinctual to start slouching, craning the neck, or contorting the body in some other way.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Ensure the back of your chair is upright and your bottom is pushed towards the very back of the chair.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Pay attention to your body so the minute it starts to slouch, you can return to an upright position.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Ensure the computer screen is at eye level so you鈥檙e not forced to tilt your head forward, thereby putting strain on the neck and subsequently the lower back.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 It also helps to get up every so often and move around to get your blood circulating and relieve the stiffness that can come from sitting too long.聽

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2.聽聽聽聽 Wear comfortable shoes. Whether you鈥檙e a lover of high heels or flats, there are good choices and not-so-good choices, as your shoes affect your back. You owe it to your lower back – and your entire body for that matter – to shop for shoes that offer complete support.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When shopping for heels, go with a “reasonable” heel height.

Excessively high shoes put excessive stress on the arch of the foot, which can easily affect the lower back.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When looking for flats, remember that the sole should have enough cushioning to prevent your back from the shock that comes when the feet are in too close contact with hard ground surfaces.

3.聽聽聽聽 Always stretch after a workout. Stretching after a workout – especially a rigorous one – can loosen the muscles and help realign the back so it is less prone to damage.

 

4.聽聽聽聽聽 Support your back in bed. If you鈥檙e in bed for eight hours each night, that鈥檚 1/3 of your life spent in bed. Your sleeping posture is probably one of the main reasons you鈥檙e experiencing nagging lower back issues. See how your sleeping position can affect your back and use these tips for positive results:

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees to support the back and prevent it from becoming strained during long hours of sleep.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 If you sleep on your side, place pillows between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position, which is important for preserving the health of your back.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Sleeping on your stomach causes the neck and head to twist unnecessarily, which can put undue stress on your back, so it鈥檚 wise to avoid this sleeping position as much as possible.聽 聽

Let these tips reduce your pain.聽

Making the changes necessary to support your back will enable you to finally achieve the lower back health you鈥檝e been missing out on.

You鈥檒l love the way you feel!

Check this video for easy exercises for your back:聽

Until the next issue!

The Harsh Truth about Sitting and How to Reduce the Health Risks

The Harsh Truth about Sitting and How to Reduce the Health Risks

聽How to Reduce the Health Risks from Long Hours of Sitting

A sedentary lifestyle increases one’s risk for health issues as commonly known. Weak,聽brittle bones (osteoporosis), poor circulation, weight gain, and poor cardiovascular endurance are just a few to mention.聽

Why is it a piece of common advice to stretch every chance you get when on a long flight? It is to avoid getting blood clots and swelling of the legs or ankles from sitting for long periods.

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By now you鈥檝e probably heard that sitting can cause health complications and even shorten your lifespan. If your boss won鈥檛 spring for an office full of treadmill desks, you can still stay by finding other ways to spend more time on your feet.

In fact, a recent study found that walking for just 2 minutes each hour can make a big difference.

That鈥檚 good news for the 80% of Americans who find it difficult to keep up with the minimum amount of exercise experts recommend. For example, the American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

There are many practical ways to overhaul a sedentary lifestyle. Try these suggestions for brief walks and other ideas to spend less time sitting.

Benefits of Sitting Less

1.聽聽聽聽 Strengthens your heart. Sitting down slows your circulation and speeds up muscle loss, both of which take a toll on your heart.聽

On the other hand, physical activity helps to prevent heart disease and even reverses some risk factors.

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2.聽聽聽聽 Avoid illness. Prolonged sitting has also been associated with diabetes, cancer, and other conditions. A daily walk could mean fewer doctor visits and longer life. Stand, move around, stretch even in your chair.

3.聽聽聽聽Lose weight. Naturally, you burn more calories jogging than lounging on the couch. Think about how much better you look and feel when you stay trim. Plus, exercise is safer than crash diets that may not provide essential nutrients.

4.聽聽聽聽 Enhance your mood. Sitting affects your mind as well as your body. Boost your spirits with a gentle workout. You鈥檒l probably find yourself thinking more clearly too.

馃憠馃憠馃憠7 Practical Tips to dealing with Chronic Pain

Suggestions for Two-Minute Walking Breaks

1.聽聽聽聽聽 Break up tasks. Divide your assignments into 60-minute segments. That鈥檚 about as long as most adults can concentrate, so you may even increase the quality of your work.

2.聽聽聽聽 Create triggers. If you still tend to lose yourself in the flow, develop signals for when to stand up. Maybe you want to program an alarm on your computer, on a Fitbit or Apple watch, or time yourself according to your favorite radio news program. You can always use any strategy to make you remember!

3.聽聽聽聽聽 Engage in other light activities. Any gentle task can be substituted for walking. Tidy up the break room or do a few legs raises. If you鈥檙e at home, you could weed the garden or dance a few steps.

4.聽聽聽聽Talk with your boss. It may help to let your boss or coworkers know in advance why you鈥檙e changing your routine. They may want to join you,

Other Ways to Reduce the Risks of Prolonged Sitting

1.聽聽聽聽聽 Exercise regularly.There is no need to expound on the benefits of exercise.While a two-minute walk is a good start, there are advantages to additional exercise. More intense workouts will condition your cardiovascular system, thicken your bones, and sharpen your mind.

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2.聽聽聽聽 Eat a balanced diet. Studies show that adults who sit more, snack more. Try drinking a glass of water or tea to curb your appetite.聽

Prepare healthy food you can nibble on anywhere, like yogurt or peanut butter on apple slices.

3.聽聽聽聽Stretch your hips and back. Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your spine and hips. Stand up and stretch every hour.

Just a few stretches you can do in your chair:

聽Forward trunk stretch. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times or as able. Relieves a tight and tired back from prolonged sitting.
Upper spine stretch. Place both hands behind the neck, stretch backward against the back of a chair. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Forward and side stretch on Table or desk. Place hands on the desk. Slide hands forward to stretch your back. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times or as needed.
SLide hands toward the left side, hold for 5 seconds. Then slide hands toward the right side for another 5 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times on each side or as desired until a good stretch for relief is achieved.

4.聽聽聽聽 Turn off the TV.At home,do you sit in front of the TV after sitting at your desk for eight hours? Visit the gym or go out with friends instead.

Hold onto your desk job while you take care of your body and mind. Strategic breaks and other healthy habits will help you live a longer and more active life.

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MANAGING FIBROMYALGIA: A Practical Guide for the Self-Treating Patient

MANAGING FIBROMYALGIA: A Practical Guide for the Self-Treating Patient

I felt compelled to share a simple guide about this affliction that plagues many individuals: most of whom, are still in their productive years.

My most recent patient 57-year-old Kathryn聽(not her real name),聽was diagnosed with chronic fibromyalgia since she was 25 years old. She is deaf. She lip reads however and is also obese. She lives alone and has a baby dog weighing over a hundred pounds that she had to walk daily.

 

聽She complains she aches all over after walking her dog, but she still does it daily. When I first saw her for an evaluation, I just really thought she hated me on sight.

woman drinking smoothie
She complained about everything: how she had physical therapy before many times and it never helped. She added that she had been reading on the internet about fibromyalgia and that she knows that there is no cure for it. She saw pain management doctors and the shots she received did not help her either, as she stated. 鈥淣othing worked, NOTHING will work, and you can鈥檛 help me either!鈥
There was only one question I asked her: 鈥淗ave you ever tried letting KATHRYN, help 鈥. KATHRYN?
This lady did a turnaround and took charge. First, we corrected her posture. I gave her exercises and instructions on how to correct her posture. We made it fun. She completed her physical therapy program just a few weeks ago. She made me so proud. What a difference she made in her life by working on changes herself.

Kathryn is not the only fibromyalgia patient that I had the privilege of working with. The ones who made a decision to make a change and stick with it were winners in my eyes.
The smallest of victories as being able to drive again,聽聽being able to carry a grandchild, or attend a son鈥檚 wedding? It meant the world to them.
Most of all, it means a lot to me.

 

Fibromyalgia is the 2nd major 鈥渞heumatic鈥 disorder. Its prevalence is about 2 to 8% of the population. It has a woman and man ratio of 2:1. It resembles some chronic pain diseases. Fibromyalgia may affect individuals of any age, including children. Its prevalence is the same in different regions, cultures, and ethnic groups.

Fibromyalgia patients complain about chronic pain in their entire body. Fibromyalgia patients have a history of聽irritable bowel syndrome,聽dysmenorrhea,headaches,fatigue,聽and some聽gastrointestinal disorders聽including interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, etc.
It is a lifelong disorder that begins in adult age or young age manifested by pain. It is observed in聽different areas of the body.

聽Studies have found that there is about 50 percent of the risk of developing fibromyalgia due to genetic reasons and the remaining 50% risks are due to environmental causes. Environmental factors may initiate fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia or similar disorders, like chronic fatigue, can be initiated by different kinds of infections (e.g., Lyme disease, EB virus, viral hepatitis, Q fever) and trauma. Psychological stress can initiate fibromyalgia too.
***The most efficient way to approach fibromyalgia is to integrate pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments to engage the affected person to participate actively in this procedure. ***

MANAGEMENT OF FIBROMYALGIA

There are various methods are developed to manage symptoms of fibromyalgia.
It includes:
  1. Distraction,
  2. Heat
  3. Resting
  4. Medication
  5. Nutritional supplements.
Window, Woman, Morning, Girl, Stretching

In chronic conditions, non-pharmacologic methods are used to reduce symptoms.

These methods enhance control over the condition. Studies have found that by regular聽exercise/yoga聽and following聽nutritional, behavioral, and physiological interventions,聽we can reduce the symptoms such as fatigue.

聽Some pharmacological therapies that address pain, depression, and sleep can manage the symptoms significantly. However, fibromyalgia patients are also advised to avoid short-acting drugs because it may lead to drug dependency.

5 STRATEGIES THAT CAN BE USED TO MANAGE FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS

  1. Self-initiated activities:聽It includes management strategies. i.e distraction, prayer, planning, and exercising.
  1. Professional treatments:聽It includes acupuncture, physiotherapy, group or psychotherapy, and ultrasound therapy.
  1. Escape behaviors:聽Avoiding pain medication and alcohol.
  1. Resignation:聽Reflecting hopelessness and lack of control.
  1. Passivity:聽It includes ignoring pain, self-care methods and comparing current circumstances to others.

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR FIBROMYALGIA

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported that fibromyalgia affects approximately 2 percent of the adult population in the USA.
There is no complete cure for fibromyalgia:聽but we can reduce and manage the symptoms by natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and medication.

For patients with fibromyalgia, it is difficult to exercise regularly. But such a condition can be managed by gradual and persistent exercise.聽

 


By building strong muscles, pain and discomfort can be reduced. Before starting any type of exercise, the patient should consult the doctor or physical therapist.

Aerobic exercises such as聽walking, swimming, and聽cycling are very beneficial for patients with fibromyalgia. These help聽 improve the health and the overall well-being of the body. It may also result in reduced pain, stiffness, and fatigue.


Neurological studies have found that a program of a 15-week exercise can lead to better brain functioning in people that are affected by fibromyalgia.

PHYSIOBALL EXERCISES FOR PAIN RELIEF THROUGH SELF STRETCHING

Although there are many exercises one can search for online, I will share a simplified routine that has worked great with my fibromyalgia patients. Why do I like to use a physioball? I want to keep it simple and easy to get started with. Especially so with fibromyalgia patients.
The ball provides good support to the heavy lower extremities and supports the back when laying down on the back (supine position).
A SIMPLE TIP: When lying down flat on the back, always keep knees bent, or place pillows for support under the knees. This takes the stress of the lower back. It is important to maintain the natural curve of the low back (lumbar lordosis).

 

More of this type of exercise is discussed in the book. With the chronic muscle pains from Fibromyalgia, it is important to maintain flexibility, decrease muscle tone for better tolerance to functional activities.

**********

 

 

 

 

 

MANAGE PAIN by Improving POSTURE

MANAGE PAIN by Improving POSTURE

Good posture can go a long way as we go through our daily tasks.聽Being aware of how to sit or stand properly can eliminate many basic aches and pains experienced.聽

 

WHAT IS A TEXT-NECK SYNDROME?
Mobile devices have caused a new affliction:聽 new affliction has emerged:聽Text neck syndrome.聽
Check this聽image, one sees this every day. Everyone owns a cellphone, and a vast majority cannot love without holding their cellphone

 

This reminded me just a week ago of a fragile lady referred to us for frequent falling from Parkinson’s disease. She was about 85 years old, using a walker with a seat, and has poor balance. She has the typical Parkinson’s posture: forward neck, severe kyphosis, and she is bent over on her walker.聽
HOW MOBILE PHONES CAN BE ADDICTIVE
I could not get this lady away from her cellphone so I can perform her initial assessment. She was bent further forward on her neck, shoulders hunched (protracted), ribcage with poor mobility.
Her complaint: muscle spasms in the neck, shoulder pain, and back pain. Why am I not surprised?
I am very lenient and understanding with my patients, especially the elderly. I have worked with teenagers and adults alike who just cannot let go of their cellphones even during physical therapy sessions. Not with an 85-year-old however who was clearly addicted to her cellphone. Bless her heart, I had to keep her hands busy just so I am able to align her trunk properly to prevent falls at home.

COMMON COMPLAINTS WITH BAD POSTURE

 

Neck pain is a common complaint in about a tenth of the adult population. Children as young as 2 years old know how to get youtube on tablets. I saw this with my own eyes. My twin nieces, both two at that time, knew how to get to Youtube to watch the play the alphabet songs and sing with it! Those two barely know their ABC’s.
Bad posture can be acquired from聽time spent on mobile devices. This likely leads to worse problems. Back pain affects 8 out of 10 Americans at certain stages in life and is also a leading cause of disability worldwide.聽
Tension headaches affect about 80-90% of the population. These are just some problems that can arise from poor postural habits.
Poor posture is qualified as a repetitive stress injury affecting us, plantigrade creatures who roam this earth. It can easily lead to common symptoms that can escalate into more significant morbidities.


NATURE OF THE PROBLEM:

Imagine this: You are carrying about 4.5 to 5 kg of weight聽(approximately 10 to 11 lbs. -the importance of the head)聽on the shoulders and neck every waking hour. You turn your neck side to side, up or down, or bend sideways. Who or what is responsible for producing all these movements? Your muscles, of course.

ANATOMY AND BIOMECHANICS OF THE NECK

The orientation of the head closer to the shoulders is crucial to avoid excessive loading聽to these supporting muscles.
Biomechanically speaking, for every inch of forwarding deviation of the head, there is an equivalent additional load of聽about 15 to 30 pounds placed on these muscles.
This basically doubles聽the weight of the head, forcing these muscles to contract and be in constant tension for prolonged periods throughout the day. Muscles can only contract for a specific period before fatigue sets in.
This occurs when these muscles are subjected to abnormally high levels of forces required to stabilize the head, which is too far away from its center of gravity. Spasms and muscle cramps can then occur, which can also cause compression within the cervical spine causing tension headaches, decreased blood flow to the brain, and other subsequent symptoms.
Left unchecked, this can lead to more聽severe problems.聽

 

OBSERVE GOOD POSTURE FOR PAIN PREVENTION

Being mindful of how you carry your body through聽the day can make a big difference and improvement in health.聽

The most uncomplicated motion of bringing your head and neck back and more towards your mid-line immediately eliminates this excessive load and relaxation of the trapezius muscles聽(that muscle on both sides of your throat you tend to massage when tight)聽is noticeable.

SIMPLE TIPS FOR BETTER POSTURE.
1. Stand with your back against a wall. Allow your butt, shoulder blades, and the end of your head to touch the wall. This is your ideal posture closest to the center of gravity.
1. Walk away from the wall.
2. Picture yourself in a position as close to this alignment as possible when standing.
2. When sitting, sit straight and picture looking at yourself from the side. Imagine a straight line from your ear down to your shoulder and hip. Your trunk and thigh have to be at a 90-degree angle (as an L-shape) when seated. The leg and knee also have to be at a 90-degree angle. This ensures proper distribution of your weight in the chair, minimizing overloading the spine and joints.
BENEFITS OF GOOD POSTURE:
1. cardiorespiratory functions improve.– By opening up your front chest wall by sitting or standing straight, lungs can expand better within the rib cage, allowing better oxygen intake. 聽
2. good for stress reduction –聽When the body is better aligned within your center of gravity, there is less strain in muscles within opposite sides of the body.
3. Prevents Pain聽聽– When muscles are not strained, and joints are better aligned, there is no shearing on muscles and ligaments. There is also none of the聽unnecessary friction on joints from abnormal loading from poor posture.
4. Balance Improvement– Good posture allows the body to have quicker responses and reflex righting to balance shifts.聽
5. Better walking pattern聽– Good posture allows a person to have a more equal and symmetrical stride and step.

6. It makes one look better, confident.聽– Ever noticed people with good posture? They stand taller and appear confident, healthy, and strong. They move differently. They are more coordinated with their movements.

Talk to your doctor, a back specialist, or your physical therapist.
After all, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure! This was one of my mother’s favorite quotes!

Enjoy a pain-free day to all you hard workers out there!

Get in touch! Feel free to share your experience with pain and how you deal with it.聽I would love to hear from you!聽
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