Feeling down because you have pain? Me too! It is often a challenge to get out of bed, because I know my day will start with pain. You too? I just read a post that stated one-third of Americans live with chronic pain. That’s like 100 million. And you thought you were the only one!
Because I live with chronic pain, I am constantly researching new information to make my life more liveable. Then I use the information to create posts that I hope will be helpful to others as well.
The following information is from several articles I have researched. It is from articles I have read in a continuous search for relief from pain. These topics only scratch the surface, so read some of my other posts to gain more information.
Movement is vital to those of us in pain. However, it goes against what we feel like doing. Usually what I feel like doing is nothing. But that is the exact opposite of what I should do.
Walking is still one of the best exercises we can do. It is low impact and a natural activity. There are days when it hurts me to walk. But then it hurts for me to do pretty much anything. So I figure I may as well get out and move as not.
In my other posts you will note the benefits of exercise that I talk about. My post, Exercises for Back Pain is one of them. I suggest you take a look to see if it would be helpful for you.
Start with just a few minutes. That’s what I had to do. It seemed sort of silly to put on my sneakers for just a 10 minute walk. But you have to start somewhere. Maybe you have to start with 5 minutes.
I have to attest that walking can help. Just today I woke up with pain. About a level 6. But I went walking with a friend, and by the time I got back it was down to a 2. Yeah, it hurt to walk at first, but the longer I did it, the better I felt.
Now, my acupuncturist tells me that sometimes walking isn’t good. So, you should consult with your doctor(s) and find what is best for you. But most of the time movement is good. Dr. Chang (acupuncturist) told me that the exercise increases the circulation to the body and that helps with the pain.
Keep a Record
I like this article that I found because it suggests keeping a log of your walks. I track mine on an app on my phone. There are many out there. I like the Endomondo app. It’s free for the basic app, which is what I use. Research shows that tracking your exercise can keep you motivated. I like to review my exercise records because it makes me feel like I did something productive and proactive to manage my pain. I think you will find this to be true for yourself.
As you get into a regular routine you can increase the time, and/or distance. That article has other suggestions and information including all the benefits you’ll experience, some thoughts to be aware of, and ideas to keep you going.
You know it helps to have a buddy to walk with. Since I live in a senior complex, many of my neighbors walk, and at a pace I can maintain. This is very helpful. It keeps you accountable and encouraged. It also helps to tell someone what your goals are so that you have committed it publically. This helps with motivation.
This article was very honest and helpful. I recommend reading it a few times to get yourself up and moving. Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump.
I have several articles that can help you with this. I’m not going to rewrite or plagiarize them. I’ll give you the links.
Let me just say that stretches have made all the difference in my pain management. In my mind I am visualizing lengthening those muscles and tendons that are tight from the pain. And maybe pulling off the nerve, so it is not pressing on the nerve. I have reviewed two DVDs that I use. See the links here. (Review of Gentle Yoga with Jane Adams, Review of Emily Lark’s Back to Life)
Other articles that might be helpful are the following: (click on the title, it will take you to the link)
8 Simple Stretches to Relieve Back Pain (I use some of these on an almost daily basis. I highly recommend them.)
A Surgeon Reveals Exercises That Heal Your Spine Before It’s Too Late (These seem a bit harder, so be careful.)
Exercise: 12 Workouts For Lower Back Pain (Some of the same as the 8 Simple ones above; try them both, see what works for you.)
I don’t know enough about this practice to write about it, but it has come up in my radar twice within the last 24 hours. So I did a little research. (And by the way, doesn’t it seem that the Chinese know something about health? Yoga, acupuncture, Tai Chi, longevity; I think they got something here.) It is referred to as “moving meditation”. That alone involves two concepts I recommend for managing pain.
It can generally improve balance and movement. It apparently has a positive impact on other health concerns like hypertension and brain function.
So I think it is worth investigating. This article recommends you seek out a class to make sure you are doing it correctly. I plan on investigating this more also.
Are You Tired of Me Mentioning Movement?
Well, sorry. But this is so important. Plus I know for a fact that this is a natural pain remedy. Find what’s right for you. Perhaps you have a different practice. What is it? I would love to hear from you. You will be helping others too.
I am open to hearing about different forms of movement. And willing to research them. Everyday is an opportunity to learn more. Your comments are key for that to happen. So please comment.
Here’s a great video that reinforces much of what I have researched in my journey. The Pharmacist does promote a product, but the other information he communicates is very helpful. I plan on investigating his philosophy/products in the future.
Someone to Check Out
I have found a new personality to follow while I continue investigations. He is Dr. David Foreman, aka the Herbal Pharmacist. He no longer works in the pharmaceutical industry, but instead promotes what he calls The Four Pillars of Health.
These Pillars are:
He has been featured on all sorts of television stations and has his own website, Herbalpharmacist.com. I highly recommend you go to his website and explore it. There is a wealth of information. Plus I feel he is very down to earth, easy to understand and humble. For those of you that are Christian, as am I, I was thrilled to note that he is also.
Now that you see that Dr. Foreman promotes exercise, I want to discuss one of his other pillars; diet.
I admit I am not where I need to be when it comes to food. I am addicted to sugar. And sugar is one of the worst foods for people in pain. Apparently it increases inflammation which is related to pain. So I know I need to break my addiction. I am promising myself right now, today, that I shall begin to do so. I am promising you. Please comment and ask me how I’m doing. If I have success, you know I will be writing about it. (When you see Dr. Foreman in a video he looks so healthy! I am sure it is because he doesn’t eat sugar. And he is in his 50s!)
So in one of his interviews he gave advice on healthy snacking. Some suggestions are:
- Eat more protein for a snack. This helps the body build muscle. Some ideas include, peanuts, edamame, and beans. How much protein do we need? He said we should consume 1 gram of protein for every pound we weigh. Protein contains essential amino acids which are necessary for our body to maintain itself.
- Vegetables should be increased in your diet. Ideally we should have veggies at each meal. And being in a hurry or on the go is no excuse for not getting veggies, since you can grab a salad or veggie cup almost anywhere.
- Make sure to add berries to your diet. Although blueberries are considered a super-food, all berries contain vitamins that keep us healthy.
- Eat avocados which contain healthy fat and are packed with vitamins. (They are awfully expensive right now though!)
- And finally, although it does contain sugar, dark chocolate is actually good for you. It has a high amount of antioxidants (which fight disease) and apparently lowers the risk of heart problems.
Why am I listing these foods in a pain management article? Because if you are taking good care of your body by giving it the nutrients it needs it will function at its best. Don’t you want that? Improving your diet is an easy fix to help you feel better. Why wouldn’t you do it?
Let’s do this together. Comment on this post so we can encourage each other.
Throughout this article, I have asked you to comment. The success of my posts depend on your interaction. I welcome questions and concerns. If I am wrong about something I have said in this article I want to be corrected. Or if you have a product that has helped you, I want to hear about it. I could be featured in an article and others may benefit.
Thanks for your time!