The Hammonton Gazette
Alleviate everyday aches and pains
Pain occurs for a variety of reasons. Pain may be a byproduct of overuse of a particular part of the body, or it could signal an underlying illness or condition. Sometimes injury is at the heart of aches and pains.
Daily aches and pains may be seen as a normal byproduct of aging, but that does not mean aging individuals should simply accept pain. In fact, daily discomfort can be remedied with some relatively easy techniques.
• Get moving. Lower back pain is common among adults, and most often appears when individuals are in their mid-30s and 40s. Strength training and cardio exercises can remedy this pain because these activities increase blood flow and help build core muscles, which support the spine. Support can alleviate pressure on the discs in the back. Exercising also will build strength in other areas of the body and support joints.
• Practice good posture. Sitting and standing with optimal posture can help the body feel better. The body is designed to stand in a “neutral” position that stacks the pelvis, head and torso, according to DMC Healthcare. When posture is out of whack, this puts undue stress on muscles, leading to pain. Dropping your head or shoulders also can create unnecessary tension that leads to headaches. Good posture can alleviate this.
• Exercise more often. Certain pains arise when exercising for the first time or performing a new activity. Allan H. Goldfarb, Ph.D., a professor and exercise physiologist at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, said when you do the same activity again and again, your muscles will start to get used to it and soreness will be reduced. Don’t give up on exercise too soon, but include off days in your routine to give your body time to become more acclimated to increased physical activity.
• Get tested. Speak with your doctor if you have chronic pain in one or more areas. Such pain may be a sign of osteoarthritis, an inflammatory condition that is associated with aging. Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions can cause aches and pains as well, leaving the joints and tendons inflamed and a body with low energy. A doctor can rule out these conditions or help you get the therapy and medications you need.
• Increase stretching and movement exercises. Incorporate stretching and movement exercises like yoga or tai chi into your daily regimen. These activities slowly stretch areas of the body and can improve range of motion and flexibility over time.
These are just a few ways to address common aches and pains. Medical interventions, physical therapy, occupational therapy and ergonomics assessments, and massage therapy also may help to alleviate aches and pains.