Stretch. Most people think to stretch when they exercise but have you ever thought about incorporating it into your daily routine? A good five-minute stretch is all it takes to start your day on an energized note while providing many benefits. For one, stretching helps to ease soreness in the muscles. It also gets the oxygen flowing to those achy muscle and increases circulation to areas that are in need of greater blood flow. Stretching can lengthen your spine as well as relieve pressure from your spinal cord.
If you stretch every day, you will also find increased range of motion and flexibility. Even if you are stretching and focusing on just one area, it’ll help alleviate aches elsewhere as the body’s muscles are all interconnected. Stretch slowly so that your muscles have time to properly loosen – you never want to rush a stretch as you won’t achieve the same benefits.
Say “Ommmm.” Meditation helps to calm your mind, body and spirit. When you’re not thinking about your pain, your mind is allowed to focus elsewhere. Being fully aware and conscious of your breathing increases your relaxation while decreasing your perception of pain. This is why the practice of Lamaze breathing has become commonly used. Stress can make your pain worse so focus on all the positive things in your life to de-stress.
Change your eating habits. Incorporating pain-alleviating foods into your diet will help your body combat pain naturally. Not to mention, the foods that help to alleviate pain make healthy, rich additions to a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect include olive oil, omega 3’s like salmon, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, and nuts such as walnuts and almonds.
Heat Therapy. Applying heat to the affected areas will increase circulation to such parts as the heat helps to dilate the veins. This easy-to-use modality is especially common in Eastern medicine, as Eastern medicine utilizes heat therapy quite heavily. If you don’t have a heat pack, take a warm bath for similar results. If your injury or pain is due to inflammation, use cold relief instead.
Refer to Capsaicin. Capsaicin ointments provide quick relief. Capsaicin, which is an active component derived from chile peppers, works in two ways. It decreases your body’s production of chemical “P,” which is responsible for transmitting pain signals to your brain. It also temporarily desensitizes the nerve receptors. This topical cream is sold in drug stores and can be applied daily for best results. It can be used to help ease aches and pains associated with back aches, arthritis, bursitis, sprains.
Practice yoga. Yoga stretches muscles which may be tense and contributing to your aches and discomfort. Yoga enables you to work on many muscle groups and is a great, safe and natural approach to pain alleviation.
Wear comfortable shoes. Wearing the wrong shoes can really attribute to the pain you’re experiencing, not only in your feet, but in your ankles, legs and even hips and lower back. Invest in a nice pair of sneakers that cushion your feet and support your arch. If you want to wear heels at the office, carry them with you to change into once you reach your destination but wear your sneakers or flats outside of the office and during your commute.
Melt the aches away with massage therapy. Massages not only feel good, they also help to release endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers. Massage therapy also helps soothe sore muscles and melt away knots which can cause tension and pain. They also help to relieve stress and improve circulation.