Getting Older Does Not Equal PAIN
three ways to improve body balance and decrease pain
You are getting old and you hurt. That is what happens when we get old, right? You hurt in places you didn't even know you had. You see other people your age and they are worse off than you. Helen is waddling back and forth and complains about her aching back. She can't stand in lines at the grocery store anymore. And what about Don? He walks around bent over at the waist and is on pain medicine constantly. Well he is 65. And then there is Patty. She worked at a factory and had to retire early because her feet hurt too bad.
Par for the course. You have pain when you get older. Right? Well, what about the man you see at the park? He has to be 75 and when he runs by you he smiles and says hi. What about that older lady you see at the coffee shop who just walked a mile to get her coffee with no outward signs of pain and she must be 85?
So, everyone doesn't have pain as they get older! It isn't written in stone that everyone over forty will develop pain. Some people are extremely lucky because they don't do anything and they don't have pain. A great many others have taken care of their bodies and done the proper exercise and eaten right their whole lives and they deserve not to have pain. But so do you. Most people don't know what they can do to help themselves. If given the right education some people will follow through and they will feel much better. Others will get the information and do nothing about it and they will continue to have increasing pain as they grow older. I'm not being mean, I know this from my experience as a physical therapist and nutritionist. Some of my clients realize that to feel better they will have to put a little work in. Others aren't ready or can't for some reason and still other just don't.
What is the answer to feeling better? The answer is BALANCE! And I will give you a few very important ways to improve your balance and feel better. If you are 40 or even 50 you may follow my plan and become pain free. If you are 60 or older, you may still experience a pain free life but even if you have lingering pain, it won't be as bad.
Now, I do have a disclaimer to make.... There are many things I can't help you fix without evaluating you in person but there are a few things that will help most people feel much better and balanced.
- CHECK YOUR FEET. Take your shoes off and sit down. If your feet have a substantial arch along the inside of the foot, make a mental picture of this. Now stand up. Shift your weight to one leg. Does your arch almost flatten to the floor? Make a note of this. Next, shift your weight off that leg and look at your knee cap as you place the weight back on that foot. Does the knee cap move from pointing straight ahead to pointing inward? Make a note of this and then repeat with your other leg. If your arch almost flattens or your knee caps point inward, you could probably benefit from a good pair of orthotics. There are many very good over the counter orthotics now a days. These can be found at many running stores or specialty shoe shops. Correcting foot problems can help your little doggies feel better as well as knees and backs!
- TAKE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS AND EAT RIGHT. For years dietary fat has taken the blame for almost everything that went wrong with our bodies. From heart problems to obesity and diabetes, we have blamed poor innocent little fat. Now that we eat packaged foods that have been pumped up with ungodly amounts of sugar, studies are proving that most of the problems listed above are from consuming too much sugar. I will not go into everything that sugar has or will do to our bodies (that is the subject of another blog to be sure) but I will say that SUGAR causes inflammation in our bodies. Yes, SUGAR! Sorry, I know that it lights up the addiction part of our brain like we are taking cocaine every time we eat a glazed donut or snitch from the box of chocolates in the kitchen at work. I know it tastes wonderful, but if you have a bad back or knees or a shoulder that hurts, sugar is making it worse! So cut down on the sugar. Also, take 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA in a fish oil capsule every day (as long as your doctor says its not going to interact with any medications such as blood thinners and as long as you don't have any medical problems that would keep you from taking this). Fish oils, and more specifically, the omega 3's in fish oils decrease pain by decreasing inflammation in your body
- ACTIVATE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR AND CORE MUSCLES. When these muscles are active and contracted when you lay down, sit or stand (or for that matter, whenever you do any activity) you put less stress on your body. When these muscles get strengthened, you are working at balancing your whole body better. So, contract pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles between your legs that hold up all of your guts. Visualize this area and pull it upward toward your waist line. Obviously, you can't pull it up that far but it will help you activate it. If you have a very large curve in your low back, you next may want to add a little backward pelvic tilt to that. There are exercises to add while holding this. These will help to reinforce the core strength but again that is another blog. For right now, just try to hold these muscles and breathe. When you get good at that then try it while you are sitting, standing and laying. Wait, that's your whole life. Right, so try holding this with everything you do and especially while lifting things and standing in long lines.
Well, these three things should help you have less pain in your life. Its funny, because they also help to balance your body. Oh, right, that is why I named this blog site Seeking Balance! If you need hands on help with your pain, try seeking out a holistic physical therapist in your area. If you are in the Toledo, Ohio area, please feel free to contact me for an appointment. My information is on my Facebook page, Moving into Freedom, LLC.