Pain – Webster defines pain as “the physical feeling caused by disease, injury or something that hurts the body”
The body handles pain in a variety of ways and individuals react completely different when given the same amount of painful stimulus. My oldest son, at the age of 12, even enlightened me that research shows if you swear when you are in pain it lessens the painful sensations. I thought he was trying to avoid punishment after dropping a few choice words in front of his grandma when he got hurt. He was, however, a very well read 12 year old and absolutely correct. I now even let my patients know they can tell me to "F&@$ off" if I’m hurting them. I won’t stop my treatments but it may alleviate some of their pain.
Nutrition is a factor that can contribute to pain. Vitamin D has been shown to be lacking in some patients with chronic pain. Ask your doctor if this may be the case in you haven’t been checked, some are even prescribed high doses of Vitamin D which results in reducing inflammation and building up the immune system. Getting a little sunshine, 10-15 minutes a few days a week, will also help with your Vitamin D intake.
I am seeing more and more chronic pain patients with Diet Coke addictions. Some drink 6-7 a day with no water intake. I have written before about the benefits of water but it’s worth mentioning again to drink half your body weight in ounces everyday. Water helps to make your muscles stronger, flush toxins from your body, improve the function of nerves, lubricates joints and prevents constipation. It may even help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite so you don’t eat as much.
Research has also shown that after experiencing chronic pain the brain changes. What does that mean to patients going through rehab? It may benefit patients to get help from psychologists who specialize in treating patients with chronic pain. Many people will think that they are being told “you are crazy” or “the pain is all in your head”. This is not the case at all, it just means that while the body heals, the brain can be given the necessary tools to handle the pain, possibly lessen the pain and potentially heal the injury.
Our next Friday Forum will address pain. “Heal Your Mind/Heal Your Body” will be presented by Dr. Carol Low is a clinical psychologist at the Center for Conscious Living. She offers a unique approach to puzzling physical ailments such as chronic pain, irritable bowel and headaches. Your brain runs your body and the solution is often based in experiences your body has had that your mind has not finished processing. Dr. Low will present new ways to approach functional medical illnesses and hopefully you will feel better quickly. Join us at 4:00 on Friday, November 8th.
Admission is free, but space is limited so register by calling Naperville Physical Therapy at 630-369-1015 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.