A new year is the perfect time to make lifestyle changes that will improve your health. Vowing to change can make the next year happier and more productive. The following resolutions are not just excellent for helping chronic back pain, but for your overall well being.
1. Make a Treatment Plan
You may have been putting off managing your chronic back pain. Resolve to take care of the issue once and for all by visiting a specialist who will help you with pain management, treatments and/or physical therapy. Making this a priority should be your first resolution of the year. This is particularly true because specialists will give you the best, not to mention safest, method for dealing with pain. They will also work with you to build a strategy so that you are not managing it on your own.
2. Take Up Yoga
Make a resolution to start yoga. The gentle stretches of yoga are excellent for back pain. However, as with all forms of exercise, you must talk with your physician before you begin. Some stretches may actually worsen back pain. Your physician can tell you what is safe and what isn’t.
3. Begin Meditating
Meditation is very effective at pain management. You can start out small, using meditation apps to guide you. You may wish to increase your meditation efforts throughout the year by taking classes or seeking meditation centers. Many yoga studios have classes the focus on meditation and breathing techniques that specifically help to manage pain.
4. Start a New Diet
Extra weight can sometimes worsen back pain. Cutting fat and calories may lessen the amount of pain you experience on a daily basis. There are also some foods that contribute to joint swelling. Cutting out sugar, including those sugars found in starchy foods and fruit. Foods that are high in antioxidants can sometimes help with pain management. Resolve to add citrus, olive oil, ginger, turmeric and soybeans to your diet.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes impedes your body’s ability to manage pain. Resolve to quit smoking in the new year as a way to combat chronic pain. Of course, pain management isn’t the only reason to quit smoking. Cigarettes cause a variety of life-threatening diseases, including emphysema, heart disease and cancer.
6. Don’t Sit Still
This year, resolve to get up and move during the day. Sitting in one place can greatly contribute to back pain. If needed, set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move about once an hour. A few simple stretches can help to keep back pain at bay. It is even better if you are able to go for a short walk. A few paces around the offices can be the difference between all a painful or pain-free spine.
Choose any one of these resolutions and make a plan to stick with it. Any of these resolutions can help you to have a painless new year. The best way to ensure you will follow through is to tell others and ask them to hold you accountable. Likewise, making an appointment with a back pain specialist as soon as possible all but guarantees you will stick with your strategy.