Reset Your Life

Taking Control of Your Health and Pain

You have more power over your health and pain outcomes than you realize.

 

Research is increasingly supporting what we have instinctively known for years. How we eat, sleep, experience stress, and exercise have a profound effect on our levels of physical health, mental clarity, and our pain.  For some reason, we have allowed this clarity to dim.  Perhaps it is due to the many voices in the field of lifestyle management that often conflict.  This conflict often leads to inaction because of the confusion it creates.  The number of choices can be overwhelming, and the truth can be difficult to discern.  

 

Indeed, we don’t have everything figured out, but not knowing everything is not an excuse for not doing anything.  There are well-known core health principles that, when adopted, can provide meaningful change in our condition.

 

Adoption of new lifestyle habits can be difficult.  In our clinic, even the very mention of the concept of lifestyle can bring up negative emotions in the patient. Perhaps people are tired of having their pain put back on them, or frustrated at the lack of answers that have been provided by their current health providers. 

 

Unfortunately, we can have our priorities reversed. Lifestyle measures are not something to be imposed on a patient when we are unable to help them directly. Lifestyle measures should be the first-line treatment for many health conditions and chronic pain.

Here Are Lifestyle Facts to Get You Started:

 

Stop smoking, reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.  When it comes to pain, we know that smoking makes your pain worse.  It impedes the body’s ability to heal and contributes to a chronic low-level inflammation that is associated with many adverse health effects. Excess caffeine and alcohol can contribute to bone loss.

 

Unhealthy diet/excess weight.  It’s important to realize that what we eat either fuels our body with the building blocks it needs to be healthy or creates a condition where disease can flourish.   The evidence is clear that an unhealthy diet, especially combined with excess weight, also contributes to chronic low-level inflammation in our bodies, which is responsible for most of the chronic conditions that plague us today. It also contributes to increased pain.

 

Exercise. If we are not physically active, we are at risk for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension and some cancers. These are referred to as “lifestyle diseases,” meaning poor life choices cause them.  Inactivity affects our pain levels.

 

Sleep deprivation.  Sleep is an essential part of our day.  During sleep, our body and mind are repaired and rejuvenated. Indeed, getting sufficient sleep can be hampered by our pain, but a lack of sleep can exacerbate our pain. We must do everything we can to improve our quantity and quality of sleep.

 

Changing our lifestyle habits is not easy, but it is vital if we are to make meaningful changes in our condition.

© 2016 CAPRI Central Alberta Pain & Rehabilitation Institute