Pain Prevention Tips

A key to understanding pain, or lessening the pain, is to understand your pain’s source, take steps to help prevent a recurrence, and knowing when to ask for help from your healthcare professional. With a diagnosed pain, it may be possible to prevent the pain from recurring, such as with a gastric disorder. While other certain types of chronic pain may not be preventable.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a good physical and mental health is the best way to start preventing chronic pain from reoccurring or to help you cope with constant pain. Under your doctor’s guidance, you should exercise regularly to maintain strength, coordination, balance and flexibility and know your activity limitations; do not over due it and rest when needed. Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber and drink plenty of water. Keep a healthy body weight for your age and receive enough sleep every night. Treat your health problems early and just as important – keep a positive attitude about yourself!

The following are a few additional suggestions to prevent further pain from occurring:

Sitting
Always sit with a good posture. If sitting for a long period of time, stand, walk around, bend, arch backward gently, and twist once an hour. If you suffer from neck or back pain, get an ergonomically-designed chair or an orthopedic insert to support your spine. This is especially helpful if your job involves long periods of sitting. Or roll up a towel and place it behind your low back when sitting.

Sitting for Long Periods
Working at a desk, taking long car drives and riding in an airplane can cause muscle pain. Muscles were designed to move and stretch, thus sitting for long periods can cause strain on your back and pulls the muscles into their shortened position causing stiffness. To prevent back pain from occurring, stop and stretch every hour or so to keep your muscles loosened up. If your back hurts after a long drive, roll up a towel and place it behind your lower back for support. If you carry a wallet in your back pocket, remove it when sitting for long periods to avoid placing pressure on your sciatic nerve. On long flights, it is important to get up and out of your set; walk to the bathroom and back, whenever possible. Also, prop your feet onto a briefcase or a carry-on bag under the seat in front of you to help improve your circulation.

Standing
Always stand with a good posture and equally distribute your weight onto both of your legs. If standing for a long period of time, bend over and touch your toes with your knees slightly bent or do some stretching exercises are recommended by your doctor to your loosen muscles, ligaments and joints. Prolonged standing can strain your back, so if you are going to stand for a long period of time, prop one foot on a small stool or footrest to decrease stress in your lower back and periodically switching feet.

Sleeping
If you suffer from neck or back pain, it is important for you to sleep on a mattress with good back support. Avoid sleeping on your stomach since that will arch your back and will place pressure on your spine. Instead try to lie on your back with a small pillow tucked under your knees or lie on your side with a pillow between your knees. If you prefer sleeping on your stomach, place a soft, flat pillow under your stomach to eliminate some of the arch that can stress your back.

Lifting
Accidents can easily occur with improper lifting. When lifting, never bend at your waist to reach or raise an object. First move the object as close to your body so you can. Next bend at your knees and place one knee on the floor. Using the strength of your arms, raise the object up onto your mid-thigh. Then lift the object up with your legs using your leg muscles to generate the lifting force and not your back. You may also choose to squat at your knees, grasp the object with fingers underneath and stand.

Exercising
A well-balanced exercise routine of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training can benefit every part of your body. Not only can it help you to look and feel better, but also decrease the risk of developing certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Getting the right amount of exercise can also increase your energy levels and even help you to feel better emotionally. Low-impact sports, such as walking and swimming, are one the best forms of exercise to make your back feel better and stronger. Before starting any exercise routine, consult with your doctor.

Healthy Diet
Having a healthy balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do to help your overall health and well-being. Along with exercising, your diet is a key factor that affects your body weight and provides nutrients to your body that help build and strengthen your bones, muscles, and tendons and also stabilizes your body processes. And having a healthy weight for your height and age is just as important. Being overweight or obese will increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, arthritis, osteoarthritis, and many other medical conditions. Before starting a new diet or altering your current one, consult with your doctor about a balanced diet that will help ensure that you receive all the nutrients your body needs.