Do you often feel sluggish, sore, achy, or fatigued? Does it feel like you’ve been on a treadmill that never stops? Chances are, it’s your body’s way of sending out the warning signal: It has had too much. Too much sitting while you commute back and forth, too much sitting while you work at the computer, too much sitting as you stare at the television. Too much inflammatory food. Too much dehydration. Too much, too much, too much.
So what are you going to do about it? If you want immediate pain relief, you’ll have to take action. Here, we’ve outlined four quick ways to alleviate your pain and bring about more energy. There are multiple ways to integrate these tips into your daily life, and even just knowing about them can help you better target body feedback issues when they do arise.
1. Participate in Physical Therapy
When you’re struggling to put one foot in front of the other, the prospect of seeing a physical therapist may seem impossible, yet physical therapy should be an essential part of your treatment plan. To be sure, physical therapy is useful for all types of chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic types of pain. A physical therapist can show you how to move safely and functionally and can help you grow stronger since you’re apt to have weakened due to a lack of movement.
Some pain relief methods physical therapy uses include:
- Microcurrent stimulation
- Manual therapy using hands and tools on soft tissue
- Hot/cold packs
- Joint and bone manipulation
- Movement therapy and exercise
- Aquatic therapy
- Cold laser therapy to alleviate inflammation and pain while releasing endorphins
2. Adjust Your Diet
Eight out of ten people experience frequent back pain, and chronic pain affects roughly 116 million American adults at any given time. For many of them, the culprit resides primarily in their diet, as the foods we eat trigger inflammation, which then causes pain.
For pain relief, it likely isn’t necessary to reduce your food intake, but rather to shift it ever so slightly. Here is a list of foods you may want to incorporate into your routine so that your body feels more energized and full of vitality.
- High fiber foods. For most of us, adding fiber will reduce inflammation, explains the Arthritis Foundation. Fusing a high-fiber diet with more healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lead to pain relief and lost weight.
- Cherries. The compounds in cherries called anthocyanins are excellent antioxidants that work in two ways to reduce pain: by blocking inflammation and by inhibiting pain enzymes.
- Ginger. Though widely known for its magic on stomach aches, ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory and aspirin impersonator.
- Turmeric. Packed with curcumin, this curry spice has long been used as a medicine to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
3. Get Moving
Yes, we know. When you’d rather curl up into a ball, finding the energy and strength to exercise is daunting. Yet that’s precisely the ticket to better well-being. Walk at least 30 minutes each day, especially if you’re sedentary most of the time, and sprinkle in short, intense workouts several times a week. Make sure you allow enough time for your body to recover between exercise sessions for maximum benefit.
4. Design Your Workstation Appropriately
If your desk isn’t set up properly, it will zap your energy and contribute to all sorts of postural imbalances that aggravate pain. Here’s a four-step ergonomic checklist to help you get started:
- Adjust your chair so that your feet are flat on the ground, your upper and lower back are supported, and the armrests allow your shoulders to be relaxed.
- Shift the keyboard so that it’s directly in front of your body and so that your shoulders are relaxed while your elbows are open to a 100-degree angle.
- Position the top of the monitor approximately 2 to 3″ above seated eye level.
- Take 1- to 2-minute stretch breaks every 20 minutes or so.
Are you still in pain? Call us to schedule an appointment at our Mesa AZ office today to see how physical therapy can help you live a pain-free life.