It’s important to meet with a licensed medical professional before committing to any one diagnosis. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t give yourself a head start.
Chronic physical pain isn’t normal. Pain comes and goes in response to inside or outside stimuli, a warning your body is trying to communicate to you about a deeper issue, and anything that lasts too long is trouble. When you have a sore back, stiff neck or aching shoulders that interfere with your ability to work and sleep? You need to meet with someone that can give you a long-term solution. While this is by no means professional medical advice, your symptoms can still be narrowed down after you ask a few simple questions about your pain, your lifestyle and your hopes for the future.
Finish this list and see if you can’t get started on the track to a life that isn’t tethered down by chronic physical pain.
Did You Know?
The United States is facing an epidemic of chronic pain. It’s estimated as many as 31 million Americans will experience lower back pain at any given point in time, which is nothing to say of other common ailments such as hip pain, neck pain and knee pain. Every year half of American adults will develop a musculoskeletal injury that lasts longer than three months (which is the threshold for what constitutes a chronic pain issue). Physical therapy is one of the best treatment methods for chronic physical pain and can completely transform your life in a matter of sessions.
Do You Constantly Stretch Or Roll Your Neck?
If you find yourself constantly stretching, pulling or rolling your neck to relieve pain, you likely have a chronic issue in need of addressing. While we all get stiff from time-to-time, such as from a bad night’s sleep or from sitting down too long, this shouldn’t interfere with your everyday life. Neck pain is frustrating for its ability to easily worsen with heavy loads (such as a backpack or lifting objects) and its tendency to affect your sleeping patterns. A supportive computer chair, regular exercise and daily stretching can reduce the onset of neck pain.
Do You Have Trouble Standing, Walking Or Bending Down?
Lower back pain and hip pain can make even the most basic tasks feel difficult. If you have trouble bending over, climbing stairs or walking it’s highly likely your issue has reached chronic pain levels. Hip stability and hip strengthening are two available methods of physical therapy that target the hip area and help you regain your strength through ongoing exercises. Should you also have lower back pain it’s highly recommended you find a specialist that focuses on that area and apply for multiple sessions.
Does The Pain Prevent You From Sleeping Or Staying Asleep?
Good sleep is important to remain physically and mentally sound. In fact, a lack of good sleep on a constant basis can increase your risk for minor to major illnesses. Sleep apnea and insomnia are widely known as sleeping disorders, but chronic physical pain can also make getting your recommended eight hours a chore. Until you can see a certified physical therapist try employing the use of heating pads to help alleviate pain. Heat works by relaxing the blood vessels and speeding up the healing process.
Have You Made Adjustments To Your Diet?
Believe it or not, dietary adjustments can also put a dent in your physical pain. Although there’s no shame in eating a little sugar or fatty foods from time-to-time, too much can increase your risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium is a fantastic mineral that is critical for over 300 of your body’s enzyme processes. A great way to make sure you’re getting enough is by eating leafy greens (particularly spinach) and pumpkin seeds. Salads, trail mix and supplements can go a long way in making sure your condition doesn’t get worse.
Meet with a medical professional and ask them about physical therapy exercises for daily physical pain. Despite what your stiff neck and sore back may have you believe, chronic pain is not forever.