No matter where we experience pain – our back, neck, head (headaches) or knee – our pain is processed in our brain. Our central nervous system (CNS) consists of our brain and nerves. It is up to our brain to interpret any sort of sensory input from our body – whether it’s pain, pressure, hot, cold or a tickle. When our CNS becomes extra sensitive, it makes our pain feel worse. Increased sensitivity can be a product of several things, including stress, poor diet, poor posture, smoking and lack of sleep. Here are some strategies to Help Reduce Your Pain.
So, while the thought of having nerves that are acting up might sound upsetting and daunting, it’s actually not as scary as you might think. There are a lot of things that you can do to calm down your CNS and take better control of your pain! Sure, over-the-counter pain meds and icing may be our first line of defense – but there are many other things you can try as well!
Improve your nutrition – try to cut back on sugar, salt, fat and caffeine.
Exercise – do activities that elevate your heartrate for 20-30 min/day.
Pace yourself – don’t exercise too hard if you haven’t worked out in a while. Avoid cleaning the entire house at once – do a little at a time.
Take some time to do fun, enjoyable activities. Find some distraction from your pain.
Try some relaxation and deep breathing. There are plenty of mindfulness apps you can download, including “Calm” and “Headspace”, that can help guide you through relaxation techniques.
Avoid being sedentary for more than an hour at a time. Walk and stretch often.
Use good posture and body mechanics with sitting, bending and lifting.
Get plenty of sleep. 7-10 hours is a healthy amount for most people.
These strategies to help reduce your pain, have been scientifically proven to decrease CNS sensitivity. Start with trying just one or two of these things at first, then once they become a habit, consider trying another one. You’ll be on the right track for a calmer body! At PDR Clinics, our therapists are specially trained to help guide you toward making these lifestyle changes for a healthier you. For more information on the PDR method of treating pain, keep exploring our website pdrclinics.com.