Pain Control - Top Tips To Stay Active

By: raymondlee12
Whatever the cause, the best method of gaining control over your pain is resolving to stay as active as possible. Even people who are not in great condition can safely engage in most types of activity despite having pain. Light activities usually considered safe include walking, sitting, driving, cooking, shopping, bathing, and doing most household chores. In addition, work that does not require major exertion or heavy lifting is also fine to do. Any of these activities can make you feel productive and help you maintain a basic level of fitness.

With chronic or recurrent pain, it is helpful to recognize what will help you accomplish your long-term goals. Staying in bed and limiting your activities may help you feel better in the short run, but doing so will lead to more pain and limitations in the future. It is true that staying active may cause some pain at times, but in the long run, activity is likely to help keep pain under control, and it is essential for maintaining a positive sense of self-worth and a positive outlook on life.

Use gentle stretching even when pain is severe. This is a helpful way to reduce muscle tension and spasm, and if done correctly, it is entirely safe. You may find that during a severe flare-up, using medication and either heat or ice makes it easier to stretch and get moving again.

Begin resuming your normal activities within 1 to 3 days as your worst pain recedes. Do as much as you can for yourself. Try to keep up with as many household chores, family outings, and other routine activities as possible. Most people return to work or normal activity within a day or two. Making arrangements for light-duty assignments, if possible, can be helpful. Start with whatever you can do and gradually increase activities until you are back to your normal routine.

Gradually increase your activities over a few days or up to a week. If an activity causes increased pain for the rest of the day, do less of the activity or find a substitute. Do not stay in bed or frozen in one position. Movement, even if uncomfortable, can help you get though a flare-up quickly. You can start by walking within your home. Try walking fro a few minutes every hour. You can progress by taking walks outside on level ground. Walking often for a few minutes each time will likely be easier than walking only occasionally for a long time. You can slowly extend the number of minutes you walk each time, but at a rate that will get you back to normal levels of activity within a week. The key to being able to increase activities is to be consistent in what you do every day. You will then find it easy to add 5% or 10% more to what you are already doing.

Pace yourself and use common sense. Give yourself permission to take it easy for a few days until the worst pin recedes. Pushing through severe pain might trigger a second relapse. On the other hand, doing too little may lead to a longer bout of pain. Pacing yourself means finding out how much of an activity you can tolerate, and then performing that much on a consistent basis. It means stopping when you are approaching your tolerance level, not after you have exceeded it. When you stop an activity because you have reached your tolerance, you can simply rest if you desire, or you can engage in an alternate activity that uses different muscles. For example, if your tolerance for walking is 20 minutes, you should stop walking when you approach this time limit. You can then either rest or do something that requires use of the arms or something you can do while seated. In this way you will be able to return to walking sooner than if you initially had walked until you were completely fatigued and in pain.
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