“Oh, my back is so stiff!” “These knees just aren’t what they used to be.” “I wish my shoulder would cooperate with me!” Many of us experience the speed bumps otherwise known as aches and pains on the road to living a healthy lifestyle. Occasionally these aches and pains get in the way of our goals, our daily activities, and most concerning, our quality of life. Did you know that there are some simple things you can incorporate to alleviate and manage some of these pains?
Ice and heat can be very effective pain relievers. Ice is best utilized just after the injury or activity that causes pain. Heat therapy can provide relief and healing benefits especially for many types of low back pain. Some find more relief with ice, others with heat, and these can be alternated as well for even better relief.
Did you know that tight hamstrings may be the cause of your back pain? Given this, a little focus on hamstring mobility can make a huge difference. Incorporating 30-45 seconds of standing forward bend two to three times a day can improve hamstring flexibility and help alleviate or ward off back pain.
Massage and water therapy are two additional options to consider for joint and back pain. Massage has a number of benefits, including improved sleep quality and mood elevation. Water therapy has the benefit of alleviating pressure from the joints which allows for better range of motion for those joints.
Finally, a little prevention goes a long way. To decrease the stress on your joints, don’t ignore weight training. Weight training keeps the muscles and ligaments surrounding joints strong so that the joints take less impact. Research also shows that aerobic activity can decrease swelling of joints and that even a small amount of daily exercise will decrease your risk of joint pain. So let’s keep moving North Idaho! I’ll see you out there!
Dr. Jameson is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist who completed a fellowship in Pain Management. She recently joined Pain Management of North Idaho and enjoys soccer, skiing, and singing.