We all have to deal with aches and pains at some point in our life. Most of these are manageable and pass quickly. However, if they become persistent, they’re not only uncomfortable but can drain our energy and limit our lifestyle in some way. Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent and manage common aches and pains.
If you experience sudden or severe pain that you cannot explain, always seek medical advice. A medical practitioner can check out any underlying causes and set your mind at rest. Always see your doctor if you’re unsure.
Similarly, if you’re suffering from a toothache, visit a dentist. It’s unlikely you can deal with the pain without medical intervention.
Two of the most common aches and pains are headaches and back pain.
You’re familiar with the scenario. You have an important day planned; a presentation, birthday celebration, or another social event. However, you notice those telltale signs that you’re getting a headache. What can you do?
The first step is to know your triggers. Often there are specific things that cause a headache. Common causes include:
- Eye strain through too much screen reading
- Hormones (including menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, etc.)
- Hot days
- Lack of sleep
- Food such as chocolate, processed meat, and cheese
- Bright or flickering lights
Knowing your triggers makes it easier to control your exposure. For example, if your headaches are triggered by work, you can take steps to stay healthy and protect yourself. But sometimes you either notice too late, or the headache seems to appear out of the blue.
Your pharmacist can advise on common, over-the-counter painkillers. In addition, there are several steps you can take to calm the symptoms.
If possible, take a break and get some rest. Lie down for a while, close the drapes and take a short nap. Sometimes this can ease the symptoms and prevent the pain from worsening. A cold compress may also help. Place a cold, damp cloth across your forehead.
If your headache is due to sinus problems, a hot shower will help relieve the pressure. If you wake up with a headache try a hot shower, followed by a small breakfast.
Back pain often has a recognizable cause. It could be due to an injury, strain, an illness such as arthritis, sitting incorrectly, etc.
If you’ve suffered a mild injury, rather than adding heat, try chilling it instead. Applying cold to the area can help inflammation.
When you’re in pain, the temptation is to keep still or lie down. However, for mild back conditions, moving is much better. Avoid anything too strenuous but, where possible, go about your normal daily routines. As the symptoms decrease and you begin to feel better, try a gentle exercise like swimming.
Often backaches can be attributed to poor posture, particularly at work. Therefore, it’s important to establish a safe workstation. You shouldn’t have to hunch over your desk, and you shouldn’t have to crane your neck to see the monitor comfortably. Ask your employer for a workstation review. Sites such as www.webmd.com have further advice for a range of aches and pains.
Again, always seek medical advice for severe pain or injury, or if you’re unsure. However, for moderate, everyday aches and pains, the first step is to know your triggers and take preventative action. And when pain occurs, work through the steps above to ease the symptoms.