Bid Your Body Pain Goodbye
View more related buyers guides
Published by TOP4 Team
It’s hard to relax when you’re in pain, but that’s when it does most good. Pain and tension fuel each other in a vicious cycle of distress. Relaxation is especially vital in conditions like back pain when muscles go into spasm around the painful spot – that’s meant to protect the area from further damage, but its main effect is to hurt even more.
Illness is a powerful source of anxiety, and sometimes the treatments seem as disruptive as the disease. Though it’s difficult to keep your mind on learning new techniques, this is a good time to take up relaxation. As well as speeding recovery, it can help prevent relapses.
Mind over matter
Can you outwit pain or imagine it away? When nothing else is working or you don’t want to fill yourself with painkillers, it’s worth a try. It may take a while, but these methods have worked for many people.
- Lie or sit in any position you find comfortable and give yourself time.
- Start with some breathing exercises or meditation.
- Imagine a ray of light warming and healing the painful spot. Really feel the warmth and the comfort.
- See your pain as a wild animal, snarling and ferocious. Approach it safely – you’re in control – then stroke it and soothe it till it calms down.
- Imagine the pain as something you can see – a rock, a blade, a blob of colour – and fix your attention on it. Describe the size, colour and shape, and determine if it has a sound, smell, and whether it’s moving. The images will keep changing, but eventually you may wear it out. And by facing the pain, you lose the fear that makes your muscles knot up so painfully.
- Try foot-to-head relaxation, meditation, visualising yourself free of pain, plus any other techniques your doctor thinks suitable.
- Go to your doctor if you have any unexplained pain – and get a second opinion if the first is not helpful.
Being kind to your back
Most women suffer from back pain at some time in their lives, what with periods, pregnancy, office work, high heels, carrying toddlers or just being on their feet all day.
Luckily there’s a lot you can do to relieve it.
- A rucksack distributes weight more evenly than handbags and shoulder bags.
- For the same reason, use a baby sling or backpack-style carrier instead of toting your baby on your hip.
- If your bed’s soft or more than ten years old, you may be sagging while you sleep. Treat yourself to a firm new mattress.
- Make sure your work equipment – kitchen surfaces, office furniture – is the right height.
- Improve your posture.
- Bend your knees, not your back, to pick things up.
- Unless your doctor insists, staying active helps a bad back more than resting.
- Avoid any exercise that includes tipping your head backwards, straight-legged toe-touching or ‘wind-milling’, lifting both legs together or violent twists.
- Yoga, stretching and aerobic exercise can ease period-related back pain.
- Ask your doctor if there’s a local back-care clinic for more advice and special exercises.
Have a pain-free life. Get help from the most trusted medical service providers in Australia.