What is pain?
Pain is an unpleasant sensation that serves as a warning signal to let you know something is not right with your body. Pain is a complex process that’s controlled by the nervous system.
What causes pain?
Pain occurs when an external stimuli, like stubbing your toe, triggers receptor nerve cells to send messages through your spinal cord to your brain. These receptors sense heat, cold, light, touch, pressure, and pain. Pain can occur in many different areas of your body and range from mild discomfort to unbearable. In conditions like a sprain or strain, the joint or muscles could become inflamed. Inflammation can also cause pain.
Why is pain sometimes essential?
If we were unable to feel pain, we would find it much harder to realize when our bodies were damaged. Pain forces us to change our behavior to protect ourselves from further harm. It also drives us to take medicines to help deal with the cause of pain: the damage or inflammation. One behavior change is the action of taking medicines to help deal with the cause of pain.
Identifying your pain
Before reaching for relief, it is important to learn why the pain has occurred. When in doubt, seek medical advice from your local physician or pharmacist.
There are many different types of pain. Many of us are familiar with shoulder pain, knee pain, muscle pain, back pain, etc. The most important step is to find out what is happening to your body.
Prevention is nearly always better than a cure, so it’s important to remain as fit and healthy as possible. The most common injuries are those that have already occurred in the past, which can make you susceptible to reoccurring injuries.
We all know that accidents happen and it is impossible to prevent all pain. Here are some key aspects of maintaining a healthy body that will enable you to stay active and keep injuries at bay:
Being as fit and healthy as possible means that your body is able to cope with the demands of everyday life more effectively. Increasing overall strength helps strengthen the muscles and tendons helping avoid injury. Simple things like walking more, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or cycling to work are just some of the things you could do to increase your daily exercise.
It’s important to keep joints and muscles mobile to avoid stiffness. Tight muscles can often cause joint problems as they place too much strain on an area. Simple stretching exercises can help overcome these problems by allowing the joints to go through a larger range of motion without incurring injuries.
Balance is also important in preventing injury. Research has shown that people with reduced flexibility often have more problems with pain and injury, such as in the ankle joint. Simple things such as standing on one leg around the house can help improve your balance, especially if you try and do something else at the same time, like brushing your teeth or chatting on the phone!
Keeping the right posture
Busy modern-day life often means we sit for long periods of time. Sitting and standing with poor posture places additional stress on our bodies, often resulting in body pain such as back or neck pain. Maintaining a good posture and moving regularly are simple ways of preventing and managing discomfort. Get up and move for a few minutes, rotating your shoulders, neck and back will help to stop them from becoming stiff and sore.
Good core strength
Your core muscles are the central point of support. The way our hip, back, and abdominal muscles work can have an impact on our ability to stay pain-free and aid the recovery of many conditions, especially back pain.
ADDITIONAL PAIN PREVENTION TIPS
You can also prevent injury with small tricks:
- Avoid repetitive motion sequences. Prolonged, repetitive movements, and working without changing position, lead quickly to muscle tension and back pain.
- When lifting heavy objects, use your largest and strongest joints and muscles (e.g. use both arms, so that you don’t place too much stress on one area of your body, and keep your back straight and vertical).
- Warming-up before exercise is key to preventing injury and pain. It is recommended to warm up for 5-10 minutes with light aerobic activity just before exercising.
- Listen to your body. If you have pain that lasts for two hours or more after an activity or exercise, then you have done too much and should cut back a little next time.
- Drinking plenty of water avoids stiffness and can enhance the height of intervertebral disks, the shock absorbers in your spine.
Always consult with your physician before starting a new exercise regimen or routine.