It's easy to make New Year's resolutions. But when back pain gets in your way, sticking with them all year is more challenging. I am a firm believer in making not only attainable goals, but pleasant ones, as well. Here are some tools to help make keeping your New Year's resolutions easy, fun and rewarding.
If good posture
, stress management, "me time", or injury healing is your goal, then knowing how to establish core support
can offer the foundation from which you can maintain your efforts. Use this practice
to release unnecessary tension and before you do Pilates
or other abdominal
fitness work. The practice is very relaxing, as well.
If your target area is in your neck, shoulders and/or head, there are some guided imagery and simple movements
that can be very effective in releasing the tension that causes pain. The key to using guided imagery is to relax, yet remain alert.
And don't forget to stretch. Just remembering to take time out of your day to stretch your neck or back can make a noticable difference in your tension level.
The resolution to take responsibility for chronic pain
can be a challenging road, because you are making a committment to be alert and present through your journey toward the health of your spine. When you take responsibility for your pain, you are to be commended - for your refusal to back down from the obstacles that bar you from using your personal resources to regain your wellness. Taking Personal Responsibility for Chronic Pain
offers an orientation to self-empowering behavior in the face of this challenging situation.
For many people with chronic pain, getting their physicians to listen to them and respect what they have to say is the biggest challenge of all. Have you thought of assertiveness training
? Learning how to be assertive requires practice in speaking up for yourself. But this tool can help you get want you need from your medical practitioners.
Ice and heat are common modalities used for back and neck pain. While heat is certainly called for in many circumstances, you can never go wrong with ice. Ice reduces pain and inflammation associated with acute
injury, and is just as effective in chronic
conditions. There are a lot of good ice packs out there. Check out the Boohbah Bye-Bye Boo-Boo Ice Packs - they come in different colors. Also check out the Lower Back Ice Pack.
Good posture comes from being upright against the force of gravity such that your bones fit properly with one another at their respective joints. The way the bones fit is referred to as alignment. Clinicians have defined an ideal alignment, one that should cause the least amount of strain or pain. But life has a way of getting involved, often offsetting the easy balance of well-fitted bones. When this happens, muscles tense and spasm
, joints experience wear and tear, and pain is usually the result.
There are a number of alternative health disciplines that address the alignment of the bones and other body structures, including chiropractic, yoga and more.