Do you suffer from pain in your back, your neck or your knees? It’s estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain in their lives, but there are also many sufferers of chronic back pain, which is defined as back pain that lasts for 3 months or more, even after the initial injury or underlying cause is treated. Many other people also suffer similar conditions such as knee or neck pain, and also undergo various treatments, sometimes to no avail.
So here’s some useful tips on pain management that we hope will help!
Are you doing your exercises properly?
If you’ve got an existing postural problem, then doing the exercises wrong may actually worsen your pain. See an expert such as a physiotherapist to make sure that your posture is okay, and that if there is any postural problem, that your exercise regime is compatible with it. You may also wish to look for courses such as clinical pilates in your area, run by physiotherapists who understand what’s wrong with your body and can help you strengthen it in a way that is sensitive to your body’s needs.
Are you depressed?
According to Psychology Today, “depression is a disorder of the body as much as of the mind.” There’s an increasing body of evidence that depression can actually cause physical pain, but often depression as a cause of pain is either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as another condition. Being in chronic pain also makes you more depressed, leading to a Catch-22 situation. If you’re depressed and in pain, and the usual treatments don’t seem to be helping, talk to your doctor or psychologist about whether depression may be causing or worsening your situation.
Are you standing right?
If you’re not standing how you should be, it can affect your posture literally from head to toe. Accordingly, knee, back or neck pain can present when the root cause is your feet. Find a podiatrist in your area and have them check out the way you stand and whether it might be aggravating the pain you’re experiencing elsewhere.
Is your working space ergonomic?
Those long hours at a desk can really take it out on your body. If everything isn’t angled just right, it can lead to a lot of pain and suffering later. If you’re worried that your working space is hurting your body, talk to your boss and ask whether it’s possible to get in an ergonomics specialist. Your body has to last for many years of working life, and it’s very important that you take care of it!
Are your therapists qualified?
Depending on where you live, it may be legally possible to operate as a massage therapist without any actual qualifications in massage therapy. Going for the cheaper option can actually lead to long-term physical damage: if the person doing the therapy doesn’t actually know much about the human body, they can do far more harm than good!
Are you stretching?
It’s very easy for the minutes to turn into hours and the hours to turn into a whole shift at work where you’ve sat in one position and not moved your body at all. This can be disastrous in the long run. Stretching may feel a bit silly at first, but it’s an important habit to get into, and you can even download reminder programs that will tell you when you’ve been sitting at your computer without stretching for too long. If you can, even taking a break and going for a bit of a walk around the office is very helpful. And if you can, don’t just sit at your desk during the lunch break: go for a longer walk. It’s not natural for humans to be sitting at a keyboard all day, and you’ve got this body for a long time, so give it what it needs!
Remember, this is general information: what’s right for you will depend on your own body, and you should talk to your physician for more specific help. Make sure you take your health seriously, and don’t put off what needs to be done: you’ll be very glad that you did in the long run, and the rewards of being pain-free will be life-changing.