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Posts Tagged ‘Physical Activity’

January 23rd, 2009 No comments
Bruce Bailey, Ph.d. asked:

Perhaps the hardest part of having arthritis or a related condition is the pain that usually accompanies it. Managing and understanding that pain, and the impact it has on one’s life, is a big issue with most arthritis sufferers. The first step in managing arthritis pain is knowing which type of arthritis or condition you have, because that will help determine your treatment. Before learning different management techniques, however, it’s important to understand some concepts about pain.

No. 1: Not All Pain is Alike

Just as there are different types of arthritis, there are also different types of pain. Even your own pain may vary from day to day.

No. 2: The Purpose of Pain

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, or that you need to act. If you touch a hot stove, pain signals from your brain tell you to pull your hand away. This type of pain helps protect you. Chronic, long-lasting pain, like the kind that accompanies arthritis, is different. While it tells you that something is wrong, it often isn’t as easy to relieve.

No. 3: Causes of Pain

Arthritis pain is caused by several factors, such as (1) Inflammation, the process that causes the redness and swelling in your joints; (2) Damage to joint tissues, which results from the disease process or from stress, injury or pressure on the joints; (3) Fatigue resulting from the disease process, which can make pain worse and more difficult to bear; and (4) Depression or stress, which results from limited movement or no longer doing activities you enjoy.

No. 4: Pain Factors

Things such as stress, anxiety, depression or simply “overdoing it” can make pain worse. This often leads to a decrease in physical activity, causing further anxiety and depression, resulting in a downward spiral of ever-increasing pain.

No. 5: Different Reactions to Pain

People react differently to pain. Mentally, you can get caught in a cycle of pain, stress and depression, often resulting from the inability to perform certain functions, which makes managing pain and arthritis seem more difficult. Physically, pain increases the sensitivity of your nervous system and the severity of your arthritis. Emotional and social factors include your fears and anxieties about pain, previous experiences with pain, energy level, attitude about your condition and the way people around you react to pain.

No. 6: Managing Your Pain

Arthritis may limit some of the things you can do, but it doesn’t have to control your life. One way to reduce your pain is to build your life around wellness, not pain or sickness. This means taking positive action. Your mind plays an important role in how you feel pain and respond to illness.

Many people with arthritis have found that by learning and practicing pain management skills, they can reduce their pain. Thinking of pain as a signal to take positive action rather than an ordeal you have to endure can help you learn to manage your pain. You can counteract the downward spiral of pain by practicing relaxation techniques, regular massage, hot and cold packs, moderate exercise, and keeping a positive mental outlook. And humor always has a cathartic effect.

No. 7: Don’t focus on pain.

The amount of time you spend thinking about pain has a lot to do with how much discomfort you feel. People who dwell on their pain usually say their pain is worse than those who don’t dwell on it. One way to take your mind off pain is to distract yourself from pain. Focus on something outside your body, perhaps a hobby or something of personal interest, to take your mind off your discomfort.

No. 8: Think positively. What we say to ourselves often determines what we do and how we look at life. A positive outlook will get you feeling better about yourself, and help to take your mind off your pain. Conversely, a negative outlook sends messages to yourself that often lead to increased pain, or at least the feeling that the pain is worse. So, “in with the good, and out with the bad.”

Reinforce your positive attitude by rewarding yourself each time you think about or do something positive. Take more time for yourself. Talk to your doctor about additional ways to manage pain.

Bruce Bailey, Ph.D.

DANNIE

January 22nd, 2009 No comments
Mark Smith asked:

The health of your back depends to a great extent on your posture and body movements, your ability to cope with stress, and your exercise regime.

Many types of back pain can be blamed on weak abdominal and back muscles. That’s why most doctors oppose prolonged bed rest for back pain and instead recommend light physical activity along with pain relief medication and other proactive treatments.

Physical activity may not only provide pain relief, but it can also prevent future back pain. Along with pain relief medication, many doctors and physio-therapists tailor individualized exercise routines to treat patients who suffer from various types of back pain.

A typical exercise program for back pain may involve stretching and strengthening exercises, flexing, and endurance training. A variety of exercises and techniques are available for back pain relief; your doctor can help you choose an appropriate routine, taking into account the cause and severity of your back pain.

Advantages of Exercise for Back Pain Patients

Along with a healthy diet, doctors recommend exercise as an important component of a healthy lifestyle for most people, not only those who suffer from back pain.

The potential benefits of an exercise program for back pain may include: * Immediate, short-term pain relief * Stretching of tight, contracted muscles * Strengthening of weak muscles, which can contribute to back pain * Reducing mechanical stress on the back * Stabilizing the back * Increasing the ease and efficiency of body movements * Improving posture, which can guard against future back pain * Minimizing the frequency and magnitude of chronic back pain * Increasing the likelihood of quicker recovery from back pain in the future * Improving fitness to prevent future injuries

A Basic Exercise Program for Back Pain Relief

A basic exercise program for dealing with back pain involves strengthening the back and supporting muscles. If you have injured your back or have other health problems such as osteoporosis, start the exercises only after consulting with a doctor.

You can start on a gentle stretching and strengthening routine if you have no serious spinal problems.

Exercise #1 For Back Pain Relief:

Abdominal contractions gently stretch the back muscles: 1. Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your hands below the ribs. 2. Tighten your stomach muscles to squeeze the ribs toward the back. Do not hold your breath. 3. Keep your muscles contracted for five seconds and then release. 4. Repeat ten times.

Exercise #2 To Prevent Back Pain:

Even when you no longer have back pain, doctors often recommend that you continue exercising to strengthen the back. Choose exercises that help align your body correctly and improve your posture to prevent back pain from recurring. For example, curling against the wall can help improve your standing posture. 1. Stand with your back against the wall, with your feet approximately six inches away from the wall. 2. Bend your knees and drop your head and shoulders. 3. Pull your stomach in and slowly roll up one vertebra at a time against the wall.

Exercise #3 To Prevent Back Pain

Strong abdominal muscles prevent many types of back pain so exercises that involve those muscles are often part of physical therapy programs designed to avoid back pain. For example, diagonal crunches not only strengthen the stomach muscles, but also keep the tummy from sagging. 1. Lie on your back. Place your hands behind your head. Bring your knees to your chest at right angles to the waist and cross your feet at the ankles. 2. Exhale slowly while raising your trunk, and move your right elbow as much as you can to the left knee. Slowly lower your trunk. 3. Repeat with the left elbow and the right knee. 4. Repeat ten times.

To improve fitness, you may wish to include stamina-building exercises such as aerobics. As these exercises are more rigorous, start them slowly and only after checking with your physician.

Always warm up before the physical activity and cool down afterward. Walking or light jogging, bicycling, and swimming are some exercises that can provide excellent aerobic conditioning.

Alternative Exercise Therapy Options for Back Pain Relief and Recovery A variety of alternative exercise therapies and programs are available to help alleviate, cure and prevent future back pain. Some of the more popular programs are:

* Tai Chi Chuan: This gentle martial art form provides exercise for the body, while helping the mind to concentrate. The movements relax the muscles, free the joints, and ease tension. Some people suffering from back pain use this technique along with pain relief medication.

* Yoga: This ancient Indian tradition involves a wide range of mind-body exercises including postural and breathing exercises, deep relaxation, and meditation. Many yoga postures focus on increasing spinal strength and flexibility, which can provide back pain relief. According to researchers, regular yoga practice may also prevent some types of chronic back pain.

* Chi Kung: Also known as Qigong, this ancient Chinese system of exercise focuses on breathing and posture while teaching the mind to concentrate. Chi Kung therapists claim that this system may be used effectively for back pain relief.

* Feldenkrais Method: This exercise technique aims to increase the ease and efficiency of body movements. Therapists try to increase your awareness of body movements, while teaching you to recognize and correct muscle tension.

* Buteyko Breathing Technique: This Russian therapy involves exercises in slow breathing and holding the breath. Therapists claim that this technique reduces muscle tension and can provide back pain relief.

Note: When you perform any type of exercise, it is imperative to distinguish between pain and the feeling of exertion. Pain is a signal from the nerves that a certain activity is wrong for you. If you experience pain while exercising, including back pain, you should instead start with mild exercises that feel comfortable.

Treating AND Preventing Your Back Pain

Exercise can be an important part of an effective treatment program for back pain. Customizing an exercise program that’s suitable for you can help you safely strengthen your back, improve your stamina and fitness, and prevent future back pain.

For more information on back pain and effective pain relief options, consult the online knowledge base at eDrugstore.md. To order prescription pain relief medications at discount prices, visit eDrugstore.md home page and look for the pain relief section.

KRISTA

January 12th, 2009 No comments
Dr John Anne asked:

Back Pain Introduction

Many people all over the world suffer from back pain. And for many, there is nothing more important than finding a good treatment for this potentially disabling problem. Back pain can occur in people of any age. Back pain can be a real hassle for the person suffering from it. Some back pains can come suddenly and only last for a few days, while other types of back pain can occur gradually, and last for a much longer time, causing serious pain or discomfort. If you are suffering from chronic back pain, you should contact a chiropractor who may be able to reduce your symptoms.

Causes for Back Pain

Back pain can be the result of serious injury, or it may be the symptom of a medical problem. Pain in the lower back can be a sign of kidney infection and many other medical problems all of which should be reported to your doctor. Some people experience back pain simply as a result of excess strain on the back muscles, or any other physical activity that could cause strain. Other lower back pains can be a symptom of other more serious conditions such as infections of the spine which is a serious medical problem that should be reported to your doctor right away. Some back conditions can be cured with a little help of a chiropractor who can help to realign your body.

Back Pain Treatment and Other Information

Treatment for back pain is easy to find because this is such a common problem with people all over the world. You may not even have to leave your home to get treatment. In fact, it is probably better to stay home. Most doctors will tell you that lower back pain is likely a result of too much stress on the back muscles and the best way to deal with this is by letting those muscles heal, and try to avoid future damage. This is probably the best way to deal with pain in the lower back.

You may have chronic back pain due to an injury you might have sustained once that caused movement in your spine, which in turn can result in severe back pain that comes on gradually. It may be time to talk to your doctor if you start to experience unusual symptoms that typically do not come with the general muscle pain of the lower back. If your back pain is accompanied by chills or fever that could be a sign of infection, and you should contact your doctor immediately to insure that the damage does not worsen, because over time it can grow to be disabling.

Also you should pay attention to the severity of your pain, if the pain wakes you up in the night frequently, or you have pain that persists for more than two or three days; you should never hesitate to contact a doctor who can help you by the use of medicines or surgery to treat your chronic back pain. Pay attention to yourself and the way your body feels. Most pain that occurs in the lower back is simply the result of a pulled muscle or muscle tension. In older people, this can be caused by arthritis, and can lead to a medical condition called spinal stenosis that causes severe pain and agony for elderly people. You should never expect for a doctor or chiropractor to completely cure you overnight. This is something that takes time to heal and there is simply no rushing it.

Sometimes you can purchase helpful medications and icy hot patches that will help relieve the pain while it heals. But again there is no quick fix when it comes to back pain. One of the most important things to remember is just to relax and not to over exert. This can make a world of difference just giving your back the time it needs to heal after a serious strain. Try not to repeat your mistake twice so many people who strain their backs tend to do it over and over again, because they simply do not remember to avoid those things that caused their muscle strain.

CICELY

December 29th, 2008 No comments
Ben Thompson asked:

Chronic back pain is pain that generally lasts longer than 3 months. Like any long lasting pain, it can interfere with normal daily functioning and create emotional and psychological, as well as, physical problems. There can be a fine line distinction between recurring and chronic pain, when the incidences of pain come close together over a long period of time. No matter how the pain is defined, it’s important to deal with all of the contributors to chronic back pain.

Medical science has slowly been coming to the conclusion that controlling pain for some people is as much as about controlling the pain center responses in the brain as it is to fixing the physical cause of the pain. In other words, you may have a physical reason for the chronic back pain, but the pain can be much worse due to psychological factors such as stress or worry. You can also increase your back pain by reducing your physical activity in response to the pain, resulting in an increasing deteriorating physical condition.

There are many approaches that can be taken to deal with chronic back pain. A doctor can prescribe medicine that blocks the pain response in the brain. Surgery is sometimes suggested, though it’s seldom the first choice. Often, the best way to deal with back pain is by increasing physical activity on a planned schedule.

All too often, people with back pain quit doing certain activities because of the pain. As a result, the muscles in the back weaken and are not exercised regularly. This can create even more pain as the spinal column fails to get adequate muscular support. Many people believe the only way to deal with chronic back pain is to take medicine, but that should be only one option you consider. Chronic back pain can often be temporarily lessoned with simple measure like ice or hot packs and massage. But when these fail, there are other alternatives.

* Trigger point injections of an anesthetic into the muscle area causing the most pain

* Minor surgery to implant electrodes along the spine to block pain signals from the brain (called spinal column stimulation)

* Spinal epidural which deadens the area on the spine where the pain is emanating

* Major surgery which such as a spinal fusion

Most of time some form of medication will be tried before deciding to have surgery. Surgery is the last resort, because it’s the most invasive. Also, since the source of a lot of back pain can’t be pinpointed, surgery becomes more exploratory than curing. Medications used to deal with chronic back pain include painkillers, anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants and sedatives or anti-depressants. Since the feeling of pain starts in the brain, some drugs intended to calm a person mentally can sometimes result in less pain due to the changes they bring to brain chemicals.

As you can see, there are many alternatives to deal with chronic back pain. They range from temporary relief enabling you to handle a bout of long term recurring pain to invasive solutions.

EUGENA