Basic Tips to Prevent Physical Pain - Step To Health
 

Basic Tips to Prevent Physical Pain

There are a series of healthy habits that are decisive in preventing physical pain. Practicing them is important because they also contribute to a good quality of life. Learn more in this article!
Basic Tips to Prevent Physical Pain

Last update: 04 March, 2021

Would you like to know how to prevent physical pain?

Practicing physical exercise frequently, eating a diet based on non-processed foods, sleeping enough hours, not exposing oneself to stress, and maintaining an emotional balance are the things that, without a doubt, allow us to lead a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, these are “the basic pillars” to avoid physical pain.

However, on many occasions, the hustle and bustle of everyday life drag us down and we overlook the most important thing: taking care of ourselves!

So let’s take this opportunity to learn how we can prevent physical pain.

The onset of physical pain

A woman with neck pain.
The pain usually comes with age, but some factors anticipate its presence.

Body pain or discomfort usually appears as the years go by and, although it’s associated with multiple factors that we can’t always control, we have a lot to do to counteract it.

Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of scientific studies that link the perception of pain in a mind-body tandem. When the pain is mild and temporary, it may be enough to change certain habits.

In the case of chronic pain, you’ll need a more global approach, including stress control or meditation techniques. What can you do? Firstly, in the presence of pain that persists over time, you should consult your doctor.

Secondly, you can try to alleviate the pain or prevent it from worsening by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into your daily life. Are you ready to take action and change your daily routine?

Regular physical activity to prevent physical pain

A woman stretching to prevent physical pain.
Physical exercise is one of the most recommended habits to prevent physical pain. On the contrary, a sedentary lifestyle would increase the risk of pain.

Generation after generation, we’ve changed our daily activity rhythms. Adults have increasingly sedentary jobs and children prioritize screen devices over physical play in the park with friends.

Want to know why that’s a problem? Humans are designed to be in constant movement. The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that lack of physical activity can lead to multiple health problems, including the dreaded physical pain.

For that reason, it’s important to become aware of the impact that lack of activity has on the body and adjust habits accordingly as soon as possible. Small actions can be very powerful! For example, we can do the following:

  • Park the car further away and walk to work.
  • Not use the elevator or accompany the children to the park.
  • On the weekend, plan a short bike ride with the family!

There is a multitude of low-impact sports: hiking, swimming, cycling, dancing, calisthenics, etc… You should find the one that you like the most and that makes you feel better. With time, the discomfort should begin to subside.

Maintaining a healthy diet

A woman cooking healthy food.
Maintain good eating habits and regular meal times.

Good nutrition is knowing how to eat. If we don’t eat a diet with enough calories and rich in vitamins and minerals, how will the body function correctly?

Curiously, in many cases, we pay more attention to our physical appearance than to the health of our organs… The mirror is the boss! However, did you know that looking healthy on the outside starts with a balanced diet?

Society pushes us to consume fast, caloric, and delicious food. It’s becoming more and more complicated, but it’s better to take the time to cook at home. This way, we can increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits, as well as minimize less healthy cooking.

What is considered good nutrition? There are many definitions. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that the exact composition of a varied, balanced and healthy diet will be determined by individual characteristics, cultural context, locally available foods, and eating habits”.

However, we can say that the basis of a good diet is vegetables, whole fruits, and lean proteins. When we go to the supermarket, we should prioritize seasonal, proximity, and unprocessed foods.

Proper stress management

A woman with a headache cannot prevent physical pain.
Proper stress management is essential to avoid pain.

What’s the link between stress and physical pain? That’s not as easy to determine as you may think since the causes of pain are multifactorial. Living with stress, whatever type it is, can weaken us in the long run.

It doesn’t matter if it’s work-related, emotional, or physical. Being stressed means that the central nervous system is constantly in “alert mode”.

Basically, this constant activation of the nervous system makes it more likely to set off the alarm that the body is in pain. But not only does it make us “more aware of our pain” – stress can also make us more prone to injury.

Research published in Physical Therapy explains that a stressed body releases more cortisol, a hormone that makes our bodies more alert, more reactive, and less efficient in movement.

Also, cortisol in high amounts would inhibit muscle repair and immune system function. The result? We don’t recover from physical exercise as well as we should and sleep is often less restorative.

Rest 8 hours a day

A man sleeping to prevent physical pain.
Sleep is essential for a healthy body.

The human body can survive several days without food, but not without sleep. The hours of sleep and, above all, the quality of sleep play a very important role in physical health. This is reflected in the results of a study called “The association of sleep and pain: An update and a path forward.”

While we sleep, our tissues recover. Numerous studies link a continuous lack of rest with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. This would also be linked to stress.

Sleep is vital in the growth and development stage. Deep sleep causes the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and adolescents.

This hormone also increases muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues at any age, to a greater or lesser extent. In fact, the immune system depends on sleep to stay healthy.

Emotional balance, a key to prevent physical pain

A woman in a field.
Many times, it all depends on how you look at things.

This section is closely related to stress. However, there’s also a close association with peace of mind, control of emotions, and the importance of being at ease with oneself and living in a healthy social environment.

Negative thinking and the beneficial effect of positive living. When we’re sick, we become obsessed with pain and our thoughts focus on what we can’t do.

These thoughts negatively influence how we perceive ourselves. Therefore, specialists often recommend that we focus on what we can do to gain a more realistic view of our own capabilities.

It’s an inside job that no one can do for you, but every minute you spend on it will reward you for life. Simple activities such as regular meditation and certain breathing exercises can help to achieve the balance and focus we all desire to keep the pain out of our lives.

Preventing physical pain is possible

As we’ve seen throughout the article, physical pain is inseparable from emotions, sensations, and one’s own experiences. Apart from leading a healthy life, it’s important to take care of our inner life.

If we’re not at peace with ourselves, the body may manifest discomfort and even pain. To prevent physical pain, we should first prevent emotional pain.

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