Fifty-five to sixty percent of the chronic pain cases I see in my practice could have been prevented altogether had the patients taken eight rather simple steps.
Marina del Rey & Newport Beach, CA (PRWEB) August 28, 2014
As September marks National Pain Awareness Month, vital focus returns to the more than 100 million people who suffer from chronic pain in America (Institute of Medicine Report from the Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education). Chronic pain, according to the National Institutes of Health, is defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks and often persisting months or even longer. And while chronic pain causes range from injury and illness to obesity and lifestyle choices, most experts agree that sufferers can benefit by following some key common-sense tips.
“Fifty-five to sixty percent of the chronic pain cases I see in my practice could have been prevented altogether had the patients taken eight rather simple steps,” explains Dr. Glenn M. Lipton, a board-certified interventional pain management specialist and anesthesiologist for DISC Sports & Spine Center. “As adults, we’ve all heard them repeatedly throughout our lives, but they remain the most effective ways to help avoid and/or reduce chronic pain.”
1. Get Regular Exercise – Health officials can’t push this enough: proper exercise is crucial in preventing numerous conditions that cause chronic pain. A sedentary body is far more prone to obesity, illness and injury. To maintain a regular exercise program of even three 20-minute sessions per week can make a big difference.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight – Combined with exercise (above), a balanced, correctly portioned diet goes a long way in preventing obesity, which causes numerous chronic, pain-inducing conditions, such as arthritis, depression, fibromyalgia, type 2 diabetes and degenerative disc disease.
3. Reduce Your Intake of Inflammatory Foods – While inflammation is a natural part of the body’s immune response, an excess of inflammatory foods—those fried or high in sugars, artificial sweeteners, gluten, trans fats, preservatives, iodized salt, dairy, alcohol—contribute to chronic conditions like those above and actually aggravate pain.
4. Keep a Good Posture – Slouching puts unnecessary strain on the spine that may cause chronic neck and/or back pain. Those challenged by keeping a good posture might try spending a week in close proximity to a mirror to keep bad habits in check. Lumbar support cushions can also help promote good posture in the work place or car.
5. Practice Injury Prevention – Warm up your body before exercise or activities that place high demand on the joints and spine, and maintain flexibility through stretching (i.e., yoga, Pilates). Protect your body by following safety guidelines, and don’t bite off more than you can chew when trying a new physical hobby. Prevent injury by easing into it.
6. Stay Hydrated – Beyond the obvious health risks due to dehydration—thirst, headaches, dizziness, muscle cramping, rapid heartbeat, seizures, shock, etc.—the spine is also impacted when we don’t get enough fluids. Our discs function best when they’re hydrated well, which keeps them spongy and pliant and helps reduce the symptoms of chronic pain.
7. Avoid Nicotine – While most anti-smoking campaigns focus on the damage to the lungs and heart, smoking is actually one of the leading contributors to chronic pain. Nicotine literally chokes off the blood supply, so the body can’t clear inflammation and promote proper healing, deteriorates the spinal discs and exacerbates conditions like arthritis.
8. Respond to Injury – Act quickly when you do get hurt, because many injuries that aren’t addressed promptly will turn into chronic pain, when they could have been far more easily treated in the beginning.
About DISC Sports & Spine Center
DISC Sports & Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced microscopic techniques. DISC’s highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient and a zero MRSA infection rate. DISC’s ambulatory surgery centers include Diagnostic and Interventional Surgical Center (Marina Del Rey) and DISC Surgery Center at Newport Beach. Both are accredited by the AAAHC and are located within minutes of major airports with reasonably priced hotels nearby, which is very convenient for out-of-town patients. DISC is also the official medical services provider for Red Bull and a proud partner of the LA Kings. For more information, contact 866-481-DISC, or visit http://discmdgroup.com.