Simple modifications may prevent your common pains

Personal Wellness with Cheryl Jeane

Personal Wellness with Cheryl Jeane

Many individuals in today’s society are taking pain pills and are seen by physical therapists and medical doctors for muscle and joint pain. Often the pain is due to a position or activity that is repetitively being done. Be aware of positions you are in for long periods of time, and move yourself out of them. There may be some easy adjustments in daily life which can help decrease the discomfort and pain. The use of pain pills has caused many other problems for the individuals and society. Preventing the pain, or reducing it, is the ideal solution. Here are three simple changes that can be made which can help prevent pain.
Often, men have a wallet which is kept in one back pocket of their jeans on pants. Sitting for extended periods of times either while driving or at a desk can place the hip and pelvis in poor alignment. This is even worse if the wallet is thick such as (1/2-inch or more). Back, hips, and leg pain will not resolve If a person sits day after day on a wallet located in one position. By adjusting the size and the location of the wallet at least some of the muscle pain can be reduced. It is worth it to try a different size wallet, or removing it from the pocket while sitting. Using a money clip is another option.
Speaking of wallets, we come to purses. Of course a purse usually holds much more than a wallet. This can cause the weight of a purse to greatly increase. Holding a heavy purse by one hand or one shoulder will keep the body out of alignment also. The best response is a lighter purse or maybe a cross over purse, or a back pack type purse which takes the weight of the purse across the body.
Besides needing to adjust the weight or size of a purse, some women also need to purchase a good bra. Women who sit at a computer or do a lot of driving will have difficulty if their bra does not support them. A good bra will have a wider strap for the shoulder, or crisscross in the back. A flimsy bra can soon cause neck, shoulder, and or upper back pain. In current society, we all are in the position with our arms in front of us for long periods of time, and, in fact, almost everything we do is in that position. Add that to an unsupportive bra, and it really pulls on your upper back and shoulders, bringing the shoulders forward, causing pain.
Watching your posture, and modifying activities that you do repetitively that bring you out of good posture, is a good start in helping to decrease your pain. Sometimes your muscles have become used to those positions, and are weak and tight, and may have to be addressed with manual therapy. But try changing your posture first!

Dr. Cheryl Jeane is a physical therapist with 21 years of experience and treats patients at Triton Health Care on Florida Blvd. in Denham Springs.

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