Solving the chronic pain puzzle

February 27, 2012

Exercise, Pain

Foolishly hoping the pain will go away without taking any action is an even bigger problem, often contributing to long-term disability and reduced quality of life.

by Dr. Nicholas Warner — 

Pain is a significant problem for many people, and the way too many of us deal with it is either by taking medication to temporarily relieve the pain or ignoring it altogether. Foolishly hoping the pain will go away without taking any action is an even bigger problem, often contributing to long-term disability and reduced quality of life.

Below are a few important steps that can help you deal with pain and prevent future episodes of chronic pain from ruining your life.

1. Posture — Proper posture is difficult to attain, so do not stress over it. When you are sitting, put a rolled-up towel or sweatshirt in the small of your back. Sit all the way to the rear of the chair so you feel the support in your back. Practice standing against the wall or a post to maintain erect posture.

It is important to strengthen your core muscles along the spine. Yoga, Pilates or a specific workout program with weights will help you achieve this. A personal trainer can help you focus on specific exercises to help you achieve your goals.

2. Balance — As you develop strength, you begin to develop balance. Many of the positions utilized in yoga, Pilates and weight training work specifically on balance. Would you believe that your feet also have a lot to do with balance? The arches in your feet must all be supported in order for the rest of your body to be well supported.

If one or both arches are flat, it can significantly affect the stress to your joints and your ability to exercise efficiently. Ask your chiropractor about analyzing your feet to see if you need arch supports.

3. Spinal load and stability — Understanding how to correctly exercise or perform any type of sporting activity is crucial to your health. How many people know how to lift weights correctly? By being careful and doing your exercises properly, you can reduce the amount of spinal load (stress) and instability on your body. When your joints move well, you can perform activities optimally and with minimal stress to the body.

4. Alignment — Exercising strengthens  muscles, which also helps maintain structural and bone alignment. Visits to your chiropractor at a frequency you both find appropriate will help you maintain alignment.

Keep in mind that pain may be indicative of a serious underlying condition. Always talk to your doctor about any pain you are experiencing, particularly if it does not go away or worsens with time.

 

Dr. Nicholas Warner is a certified massage therapist and a doctor of chiropractic with Wellness in Motion, Inc., in Phoenix. He is an instructor for the Southern California University of Health Sciences and Utah College of Massage Therapy. 602-863-4252 or www.wellness-in-motion.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2010.

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