New Year…New You! Get out of pain, and break the cycle of dysfunction!
Your perception of pain is increased after a lack of sleep or rest. This is a cycle that many people in pain would love to break out of. Think about it you are in pain, so you cannot get comfortable. You toss and turn (in pain), you get out of bed, you find a chair, you still cannot sleep. You go back to bed. Argue with your pillow, and eventually find some rest just in time for the alarm to go off. On a scale of zero to ten, your pain is probably pretty high, and most of us have a stressful and jam-packed schedule that doesn’t leave much room for pain.
Pain can also be higher or more widespread with those with even mild cases of depression. Depression can affect certain neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine) which also is influenced by estrogen. Estrogen levels become altered around menopause and peri-menopause which can increase certain symptoms.
The link here, is that many factors can influence the perception of pain. Stress, sleep, depression, and aging may manifest in your body as pain. In order to combat nature (because pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional), you can fight back naturally.
Eat a well balanced diet: A balance of whole grain carbohydrates, lean proteins, and a good mix of fruits and vegetables as snacks throughout the day can keep your body nourished. Real foods (not processed foods) make for real people.
Don’t be thirsty: Drinking water is key, it helps keep your muscles hydrated. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Exercise: not only does cardio (like walking a few times a week) bring fresh blood to the deep muscles of the low back preventing injury, but lifting weights can help keep osteoporosis away. In addition, exercise helps ward off weight gain, putting less pressure on the joints. Exercise also increases serotonin and endorphins, naturally letting someone feel better about themselves, and improve their mood.
Supplementation: No matter how healthy you eat, you still may be missing key ingredients from your diet. I recommend a multi-vitamin to all of my patients, especially one that includes a Vitamin B complex (which is healthy for nerves and cells). Vitamin C is not only great to help keep the immune system functioning properly, but the vitamin is also very important in ligament and tendon repair. Calcium and Magnesium are also key for muscle functioning, and Fish Oils supplement Omega 3s which make for a happy cardiovascular system.
Chiropractic: Muscle tightness is a side effect of stress. Most men carry their stress in their low back and most women, up near their neck and shoulders. Loosening these muscles my stretching or myofascial release can decrease the muscle spasm, allowing the joints in your spine to move properly. Adjustments increase your range of motion and decrease your pain. Make an appointment and start feeling better!