Virtually all the patients we see at our practices are dealing with pain, and they have come to see us because they hope we can take the pain away. The irony is that most pain can be avoided or alleviated by our patients themselves. How?
Very often we are our own worst enemies. We make a habit of doing things that are almost guaranteed to make our symptoms worse, but never seem to notice. It seems like a crazy idea. Why would anyone do anything, day after day, for weeks on end, that actively make their symptoms worse?
The answer is usually due to ignorance and not understanding how our mundane everyday habits influence our health and wellbeing. So, I would like to offer you some insight around 5 every-day practices that you can adjust right now:
Paul Ingraham (a Canadian pain specialist) offers this insight: “Exercise is the closest thing there is to a miracle drug, and strength training is one of the best kinds of exercise, practically like magic”. You don’t have to be obsessive about this, you just need to challenge your body regularly with sensible, easy and fun loading exercises. This will also improve your general physical fitness.
Make the change: You don’t have to be a marathon runner to fix this. Even just a regular walking habit will help fix this.
Joe Tatta (a physio in the USA) teaches us to be aware of thinking about pain as being “Infinite, Insurmountable, or Incurable”. These are lies that our brain feeds us. Believing them makes you a permanent victim.
Make the change in your thinking. The truth is that pain is Temporary, Treatable, and you can Triumph over it.
Modern eating patterns aggravate pain and inflammation. The most common thing in your diet that do this are sugar, vegetable oils, “trans” fats, refined carbohydrates (maize meal, bread, pasta), and pretty much anything else with flour in it.
Make the change in your eating: cut out ALL refined sugar and eat more animal fat and protein.
Caffeine is the most widely used legal psychoactive drug in the world. The reason most of us love it so much is because it is a stimulant. But the flip side is that caffeine also stimulates your pain pathways. If you already have pain, it can be made worse by high doses of caffeine, typically more than 4 cups of coffee per day.
Make the change in your drinking by reducing your caffeine intake. Avoid all energy drinks and keep coffee to maximum 2 cups a day.
Sleep is a lot more important than we think. It is the time that your body and brain reset and heal. You typically need at least 8 hours of good quality sleep each day. In fact, teenagers who sleep less than 7 hours per day have a 68% greater change of injury.
Make the change to better sleep hygiene, and get those 8 a day in.
Robinson Private Hospital
Medical Centre Block 4
Tel: 011 693 5041
Lenmed Private Hospital
Ward Street, Greenhills
Tel: 011 693 5041
1679 President Kruger Street
Tel: 011 753 2113
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