Chronic pain needs more than just us Osteopath’s to help get you better, you need to address your whole lifestyle to help make the change.
It’s important to remember that it’s not easy or even sensible to completely transform your life over night. Your body and your mind needs time to adapt and learn new habits!
It takes time, small steps in the right direction will be less daunting and more realistic.
Always do what you’ve always done and you’ll always get what you’ve always got!
Your body is an amazing thing and it possesses the ability to heal itself – you just have to provide the conditions so that it can do this!
Below I’ve listed some areas you may need to address to help your body to thrive. It is up to you which you choose to address and when – but it is certainly worth considering them all at some point on your journey to health and happiness 🙂
- Diet – which foods makes you feel good and which make you feel worse?
- Breathe – so few of us breath correctly, usually due to poor posture & stress.
- Exercise – are you getting enough or are you doing too much? Down time and rest is just as important!
- Sleep – we all need good sleep to help your body to heal and recover. If you don’t sleep well you NEED to look into this. Think about the following;
- Is your bed right for you?
- Is your pillow right for you?
- Do you keep your phone by your bed?
- Diet again
- Emotional stress
- If you never let a cut “rest” and keep picking it – it will never heal. Your whole body is the same!
- Podiatry – quite often the way we walk and move is the cause of much pain, a good podiatrist or gait analyst can assess the way you walk and move and help to move in a more efficient way, taking the strain off of troublesome areas such as your lower back and hips. Often the use of orthotics or simply better footwear will help.
- Posture – although it is more important to have regular breaks from sitting and have a move around, your desk/work station set up and car set up is so important.
- Please see some basic work station exercises to try throughout the day: 3 Simple Workspace Exercises
- Brain – your brain is super powerful and chronic pain becomes so ingrained it is difficult for your body not to expect a certain response to different stimuli. This is often in your subconscious, if you poke your arm gently it won’t hurt to begin with, but after an hour it will begin to feel sore. After a day it will probably bruise. After a week I’m sure you will want to stop and move your arm away from being poked! This is a sensible response as it will allow the body to heal. However, the area often becomes over sensitised, so if you are touched or poked in that area again a few weeks later, you are likely to feel it more than you would have done before – the body doesn’t want another bruise and it will likely over react. Chronic pain is just like this. You’ve learned to avoid painful stimuli, but the chances are that several months down the line when the original injury has healed, it is actually possible for you to do things that once hurt, (providing you build your strength and ability slowly). Your brain just needs to learn that its OK again! It is often helpful to get external help as this is without doubt the hardest obstacle to overcome.
- Personal trainers can help you to build your strength up slowly and correctly
- Pain therapy
- Positive thinking – why not create a diary of all the things you have achieved each day, what things made you feel good and positive? All too often we are asked the negatives; “what made it hurt” “what can’t you do”
I hope to add more information on each of these points over the coming weeks. If you have any questions then do ask, it will help me to make future posts more useful!
Wishing you a happy & healthy 2019
The Lake View Team