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4 new years resolutions to manage your chronic back pain.
1. Make it a point to walk at least 3 times per week
The benefits are clear: Regular low impact aerobic exercise is thought to reduce inflammation, strengthen your muscles, and creating increased blood flow to allow for healing.
Depending on your individual level of fitness, you may want to start out walking only a few minutes at a time, and gradually increase over several weeks if tolerated. Try to walk for at least 30 minutes each session
2. Get more sleep
Studies have shown that sleep disorders exist in as many as 66% of individuals with chronic back pain. One bad habit that's contributing to this insomnia is using electronics like a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or TV while in bed. It's all too easy to get distracted and stay up too late when you should be preparing to fall asleep.
The best way to train your body for sleep is to exclusively use your bed for sleep. Avoid reading or any other activities that you find yourself doing in bed. Also, Keep all distracting electronic devices in another room at night.
3. Give up tobacco
Studies have shown that on average, cigarette smokes experience pain more frequently and more intensely than non-smokers. The exact mechanism is somewhat ambiguous however there is very strong evidence depicting the concordance.
Quitting smoking is not an easy task, but neither is dealing with chronic pain. Don’t put off quitting. Set a date and stick to it. Share the date with friends and family, so you're more committed to that date and they can help hold you accountable to it.
4. Get up once every hour
Sitting less is key to improving back health; one study found that just sitting just one hour fewer each day significantly reduces back and neck pain while also improving your mood.
Some good suggestions for increased standing time include:
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