Being in pain is... well, PAINFUL! Here, we discuss our top 8 tips for pain-free living.
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Let's dive deeper - shall we?
Little kids LOVE getting their height measured. They stand as tall as they can in the doorframe as you draw a line at the top of their heads. If the line is even a little bit higher, they look at you with pride - they accomplished something. They grew!
Somewhere along the line, we lose that excitement, either due to feeling socially awkward, developing early, a slowing in growth, or feeling like it’s just not that important to us anymore. Whelp, it should be important to you.
Being pain-free has a height requirement = you must be exactly as tall as you are, whether you are sitting, standing or picking something up off the floor. Maintaining our height keeps our spine aligned, our muscles engaged and limits that slouching posture that is a MAJOR culprit in a painful body.
WATCH YOUR MOUTH - well, at least what you put in it
Eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat, caffeine, and sugars can improve function and reduce pain. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coffee, and the occasional cheeseburger or cupcake… but these are foods I may want to actively avoid when suffering from pain caused by inflammation.
Try This: Eat plenty of fresh produce (accept nightshade vegetables), lean proteins (such as chicken and fish), and fiber (found in whole-grain bread and pasta). Eat that good-for-soul food in moderation. Consider taking a probiotic to help with your gut health, and opt for water over sodas and juices.
The correlation of stress and pain has been demonstrated throughout scientific study. Stress and pain influence each other - the same brain regions that play a role in mood also process pain signals, so feelings of stress and pain influence each other. Migraine sufferers point to stress as their top head-pain trigger and stress is a major factor in all-over aches and pains.
Ways to wind down: Some proven relaxation techniques include deep breathing, targeted stretching, meditating, dietary changes, microcurrent (alpha stimulation), Biofeedback, acupuncture, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
STAY CALM IN AN ARGUMENT
Arguing is stressful and in times of stress cytokine levels increase. What are cytokines? They are pro-inflammatory proteins linked to arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain conditions.
WORK OUT SO YOU DON’T RUST OUT
Studies also show that sedentary people are more prone to low back and neck pain than their active counterparts. A study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that exercise may also raise levels of beta-endorphins, brain chemicals that increase our pain threshold.
Activity is key to maintaining healthy muscles, connective tissue bones and joints. The more you feel that “good pain” (or soreness) from exercise, the less likely you are to experience that bad pain from injury. Remember even light movement will lubricate your joints, keeping them pain-free and functioning well.
Try This: add some light cardio at least 3 days a week. This can include walking, biking, swimming or even working out with a personal trainer.
LIMIT THE SIT
Most people have terrible sitting posture - especially at the computer, which leads to muscle cramps and degeneration in spinal disks, and joint irritation.
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
Let’s start with your feet, the foundation in which your entire body stands. Your toes do not come to a point, so why put them in a shoe that does?
Try a Shoe Switch: Opt for a wider toe box to allow your feet to function properly and take the stress off your toes, knees, hips, and low back. Decrease spine stress by getting out of high heels. Offer support - if the muscles of your feet are not strong enough to maintain proper alignment, flat shoes with little to no arch support should be avoided as they may lead to arch collapse and result in foot, knee and hip pain.
Try This: Wear clothing that allows your body to move fully and freely.
SLEEP ON IT!
Lack of sleep has been linked to depression, weight gain, stress and anxiety (which increase those pesky inflammatory cytokines). Experts in a recent study in Arthritis and Rheumatology state that maintaining a routine of high-quality sleep may be one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing physical pain as you grow older.
Try this: Set the stage for a more restful night’s sleep by:
Try these lifestyle and habit tweaks to accelerate toward your pain-free life!