Pain is a universal problem. It can limit our ability to work, exercise, travel, and enjoy leisure time. Pain is also the No. 1 reason for doctors’ visits.
Pain can be caused by a number of sources, including mental and emotional stress, poor posture, repetitive stress injuries from daily work, accidents, muscle injury from exercise, or side effect of another illness (arthritis, migraines).
Pain is also subjective; people experience, cope and give meaning to their pain differently.
Being in the “pain” business, I emphasize the importance of identifying the root cause of someone’s pain to improve recovery. If you dwell on the unknown, it can lead to increased fear and anxiety, thus worsening your condition.
Emotion also plays a huge role in pain. The physical stress of a full-time job, responsibilities and family obligations can intensify certain pain patterns.
By understanding your individual patterns, you can begin to learn how to control your pain. Stress is often overlooked as a cause of pain, and I believe it is not so much the stress itself but how we react to it that results in pain.
When we hurt, we stress, which can cause inflammation, pain and muscle spasm to increase in severity. Dietary problems or nutritional imbalances, allergies, poor posture, injuries, inactivity, fear and anxiety affect all of us.
The body has the capacity heal itself, but when we are undergoing periods of high stress we tend to sleep less stop paying attention to good dietary habits and exercise less.
Once you recognize your pain and its patterns, it is time to take action to manage your pain.
STEP ONE: The power of positive thinking. Invest your time in reading and creating positive thoughts. Start reacting to your pain in a positive way instead of a negative way. Surround yourself with positive people who you can help influence this new thought process. Start by feeding your subconscious mind every evening before you fall asleep with positive affirmations.
STEP TWO: Establish new healthy habits and goals. Dedicate yourself to identifying bad habits, breaking these habits and establishing new “healthful” habits. Start simply and slowly integrate new healthy habits into your life.
STEP THREE: Try to become more active throughout your day, both indoors and outdoors. Find something you are passionate about and get going. Its never too late to start an exercise program. (We provide stretch classes in College Park, Orlando; and Tallahassee. Give us a shout; its a great way to become active and stay social!!!)
STEP FOUR: Improve your eating habits and remember to keep your body hydrated. Your body is 60-percent water and your muscles are 90-percent water. Consume 8 to 10 glasses a day. Seek the advice of a nutritionist if necessary. Start to slowly integrate your new “healthful” habits into your life and you will have a greater chance of long-term success.
STEP FIVE: Get some sleep. The body needs sleep to repair and recover. The body repairs itself during sleep, allowing the immune system to rebuild and repair. The time just before you sleep is a good time to “cool down” from your day and a great place to do breathing exercises.
STEP SIX: Lastly and most importantly, surround yourself with a healthy environment that facilitates happiness, laughing and smiling. Feeling comfortable within yourself and your surroundings can help maintain a positive outlook on life. (Ask us to facilitate a team stretch class at our workplace, book club, golf club, etc. We would love to help you and friends stretch your lives!!!)
-For more information, contact
Dana Grethe — College Park, Orlando 850.528.1945
Kim Ortloff — Tallahassee, FL 850.509.6643