Pain Prevention Methods

Pain Prevention Methods

Prevention of pain may be one of the great quests of mankind. While not all pain can be avoided, some pain can certainly be prevented. It is often the case that once someone "throws their back out" and the initial injury is healed that person will be more careful the next time they are lifting a heavy or awkward object. The commonsense rule for lifting is to lift with your legs and keep your back straight. Following commonsense rules such as this can often allow patients to avoid recurrent back problems that may end up as chronic injuries generating chronic pain. Knowing one's limitations, staying fit, and asking for assistance are good guidelines for avoiding lower back injuries that arise through lifting. More essential advice includes eating well, breathing deeply, maintaining good posture while sitting, walking, or standing, and sleeping on a good mattress, which can all likewise aid in preventing low back injuries and pain.

To avoid pain-causing chronic injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive motion injuries, the application of ergonomics is helpful. Derived from the Latin ergon, meaning "work," and nomos, meaning "natural laws," ergonomics can help one arrive at the optimal, or at least a better work arrangement that minimizes the risks of damage by repeating certain movements. The advice given above about lifting is an example of approaching an activity ergonomically.

In an office or work environment examining the conditions and design of a workstation is a first step. One of the foundational elements of good design is that form follows function: a work environment is optimally designed to fit the task at hand, avoiding extreme or awkward positions and movements, designing for the most natural posture or position the body should take. In the typical office workstation, this applies to the height of the seat, the position of the arms relative to a keyboard or mouse, the position of the keypad, the angle and height of the monitor, the location of any other frequently used objects, and the accommodation of writing and reading hard copy where applicable. Consideration of the factors that put the body in stressed positions for long periods of time can minimize the injuries such positions tend to provoke. Finding the natural body position for a given task and maintaining good posture while performing the task is an excellent prevention habit.

A program of regular exercise to strengthen muscles and stretching to keep the body limber, as well as frequent breaks to relieve tension or stress from the repeated motion are good preventive measures to avoid damage to muscles and nerves. In some workplaces job rotation is an option to relieve the frequency with which an individual is exposed to repetitive movements. Reducing the pace of the repetitive motion can also reduce risk of injury.

It is also essential to address any discomforts and imbalances as they arise, to seek advice and treatment as early as possible to reduce the risk of further injury and the development of a more entrenched chronic pain condition. Fortunately, the body is a dynamic entity that is amenable to the multiplicity of treatment modalities and measures we have available to help with pain reduction and prevention.

Begin Your Journey to Wellness with Patients Medical

The effects of chronic pain can range from simple annoyance to debilitating and life-changing. Regardless of where you might find yourself on this spectrum of pain, the practitioners at Patients Medical offer a broad range of pain management therapies derived from modern and ancient traditions in the healing arts. Our integrative approach tackles your pain problem holistically, addressing the mind-body-spirit components of pain to help you manage your pain and live a full, satisfying life.

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