It’s certainly possible that while you were out having terrific adventures over these past weeks, maybe you overdid it a bit. Injuries increase with vigorous exercise, especially when we’re participating in activities that aren’t part of our usual workout. Ouch.
And it’s probably not a coincidence that you’re feeling that pain now that you’re out of vacation mode and back in the normal routine. Whether you have an injury to blame or not, I’d be willing to bet that the demands of everyday living are contributing to your discomfort.
I have good news for you. Muscle and joint pain and even workday headaches often respond to simple, natural remedies. You might be surprised to find you can relieve your discomfort without resorting to pain medication, which may not treat the root cause and can create dangerous unwanted side effects.
Pain-buster #1: Treat pain with your plate.
Alleviating your discomfort and even preventing it from coming back can be as simple as choosing the right foods.
- Magnesium reverses the inflammation that contributes to muscle and nerve pain. Pecans, lentils, kale, almonds, and edamame are just a few of the delicious, satisfying foods rich in this essential mineral.
- Healthy fats such as the omega-3s found in many fish are helpful in preventing joint pain and stiffness. Look for flaxseed, too—it packs both omega-3s and magnesium.
- Fresh, whole fruits and vegetables provide a wide array of compounds that keep muscles strong, fight inflammation, and promote healing. Color is an easy and appealing guideline: Shoot for a variety of both bright and dark-colored produce to ensure you’re getting a good range of nutrients.
- Pure ginger, curcumin, and turmeric are more than just flavoring. These spices all have proven anti-inflammatory effects.
And don’t forget, eating regular meals and drinking enough water can prevent pain, too. Headaches strike quickly when you’re experiencing mild dehydration or plummeting blood sugar levels.
Pain-buster #2: Serve yourself a helping of R.I.C.E.
Are you hurting after trying a new sport for the first time, or moving something heavy? Pain is sometimes a sign of sprain or strain, tears to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that support a joint.
Severe strains and sprains can result in lasting damage, so it’s important to get the injury evaluated by a medical professional. But those that are mild to moderate may heal in a matter of only days or weeks with simple at-home care. Just remember the key word, “RICE.”
R is for rest: Go easy for a few days. When you use the joint, move slowly and gently.
I is for ice: 15 minutes of cold immediately, then another 15 minutes several times throughout the day helps combat swelling and may numb discomfort, too.
C is for compression: Mild compression, such as wrapping with an elastic bandage, supports the joint while surrounding tissues heal.
E is for elevation: Keeping the injured area level higher than your heart helps to prevent swelling and stiffness
Pain-buster #3: Address stress.
It’s well documented that cortisol aggravates pain. Regardless why your body hurts, you’ll stand a far greater chance of moving past the discomfort if you reduce your stress level.
Back pain is especially sensitive to stress. Progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, or simply claiming some quiet time to disconnect from the hustle and chaos can go a long way to relieving and preventing the return of pain.
BONUS Pain-buster #4: Consider holistic therapies.
Sometimes you need to go beyond self-treatment to get past pain. Don’t despair—alternative health modalities can help! Whether you have a sharp, focused pain as tends to occur with injury, or the more widespread discomfort typical of some chronic conditions, many holistic treatments can bring relief. A qualified professional can identify the right acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, or other method to meet your individual needs.
You deserve to lead a luxurious, fulfilling life without the burden and limitations of discomfort. Begin to claim that life today with the help of the sensible, risk-free tips above. Need a hand designing an individualized plan? Give me a call at 212-686-0939. I’d be honored to guide you on your journey to vibrancy and renewal!