You don’t have to live with chronic pain!

Too many people accept aches and pains as a natural part of the aging process. While it is true that there is a natural decline in all of the body’s processes as we age, the source of most aches and pains is not inevitable. Every year Americans spend billions of dollars on over the counter or prescription medications to mask pain that provide temporary relief but do nothing to address the source of the pain. The source being more often than not soft tissue disfunction. This includes muscle, fascia, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. When soft tissue is overused or injured from an acute injury (such as a fall or impact), it responds with inflammation and swelling as a means of protecting itself. Unfortunately from protective habits we learn or from a continuation of overuse, these tissues don’t always return to a normal healthy state and over time you have a chronic condition that only continues to degrade. So how does one address this issue and insure that their tissue remains healthy and functional over their lifetimes. Here are 3 tips that may help.
1. Strength and Fitness- Bad posture, improper lifting technique, and deconditioned muscles are all injury time bombs waiting to happen. Often it doesn’t happen overnight, but takes years to manifest itself once the disfunctional patterns are well established. By keeping the body fit and strong in the first place, much of this can be avoided. This is a general preventative measure.
2. Massage- Massage has been used as a therapeutic modality for thousands of years. It’s health benefits are numerous. It can increase circulation, break up scar tissue/ adhesions, return functionality to muscles/ connective tissue, and much more. As far as treating specific soft tissue once there is a condition in it, massage is second to none.
3. Rest. One way to rest is to get enough sleep and not nearly enough people do. Sleep is when your body repairs itself from the wear and tear of the day. If you continually don’t get enough sleep to completely repair your body, over time your tissue can become broken down and unhealthy. Another way to rest is to stop doing whatever it is that’s causing an overuse injury. This might be exercise, using a computer mouse, or a task at work that is repeated many times every day. For many the option of stopping their work is not an option. A possible solution could be to alternate hands or find other ways to complete the same action that don’t stress the body in the same way, and then cycle through them.
Medication should only be viewed as a minimal and temporary aid to combating pain. Find the source and correct the problem instead for a lasting solution. J. NyQuist

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