Moving beyond pain medication

A prescription painkiller could make a big difference for those suffering from acute pain. But is it absolutely necessary to put these chemicals into your body? Can they cause harm? At what point do the disadvantages outweigh the benefits?

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Take the case of a patient with chronic arthritis, painfully trying to maneuver through her daily activities. It’s obvious that she needs pain relief. Surely she needs medication so she can get over the pain and move more freely (??).

But consider the long-term implications of that decision. The medication can’t permanently improve the joint movement or relieve pain forever. It can’t build cartilage or muscle strength. By dulling the pain from a suffering joint, it may cause overuse or strain, worsening joint damage and pain. So begins the cycle… Eventually the pain can’t be controlled any more – she’ll have to live with its crippling effects.

But let’s imagine instead, this patient chose a healthy lifestyle packed with recovery factors. She would get outside more, breathe clean unpolluted air and soak in the early morning sunlight for an hour a day. Research shows that sunlight increases vitamin D production in the skin. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with increased risk of cancers, autoimmune inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and diabetes, not to mention heart disease.

Another potent secret weapon in the battle for renewal is exercise. Yes, just simple, controlled exercising despite the pain. Exercising reduces chronic joint pain. It lowers inflammation and lubricates the joint. It improves muscle strength and flexibility. It gives better joint function. It may take a few weeks or even months, but the effect is long-term and healthy.

Physical exercise also helps boost your immunity. An active immune system is a real gift – it helps prevent diseases, including cancer and minor viral infections which can precipitate auto-immune reactions.

Getting active reduces your stress by releasing natural “happy chemicals” like endorphins in your brain. Low stress means better recovery from injury!

Furthermore, being personally involved in your own recovery (especially with helpful physiotherapists) helps with emotional wholeness. As any psychologist would testify, happy, purposeful activity brings immense benefits such as pain relief, distraction from unhappiness and increased self-esteem. An exercise group gives you those feelings of altruism and togetherness, making it even better.

In essence, recovery from injury or chronic illness need not be based on medicine. Rather, gentle graded exercise is a powerful tool to launch you on the road to real health, especially when combined with diet and lifestyle changes.

If you’re suffering in pain, call us on (480) 335 2747. We would be glad to show you specially designed exercises for painful or injured parts of your body and suggest ways of recovery with minimal or no pain medication.

Inspiration

To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.

~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

This entry was posted in Advice, Encouragement, Exercise, Knowledge, Rehabilitation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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