Body and Health

The physical and pathophysiolgic aspects of the body. We only have one body, and thus, it is important to learn how to use it and not abuse it. To help protect the body, we have an elaborate pain system including the nerves, muscles, and joints. They provide both an on-off switch and a volume control to tell us if we are using our using the body properly. The first step is to understand your body and be aware of sensations that come from different areas such as pain, achiness, and tightness, and what it is telling you. There are many specific types of exercises and ways to use your body to improve or prevent chronic pain.

Goals to attain

The goals that you may want to attain in the body realm include;

  1. Posture: Maintain balanced relaxed posture daily
  2. Relaxation: Hold the muscles relaxed most of the day
  3. Flexibility: Be flexible when moving
  4. Strength: Be stronger with more agility,
  5. Conditioning: More endurance and energy to do things
  6. Agility: Be more agile when you move around and less prone to injury
  7. Injury: Be less prone to injury and overuse

Reduce risk factors

Physical risk factors such as repetitive strain, muscle tensing habits, and eccentric postures will cause chronic pain in specific areas of the body. These risk factors will contribute to tightness, tension, weakness, strain, and frequently lead to chronic pain in the back, neck, head, jaw, knees, and other areas. Here are some examples of risk factors that need to be considered to prevent it;

  • Poor Posture (e.g. forward head, shoulder slouching, sunken chest during sitting, standing, and computer use)
  • Weak muscles (e.g. weak arms, legs, shoulders, spinal core due to lack of strengthening)
  • Back strain (e.g. repetitive bending, twisting, tensing neck or back repeatedly)
  • Jaw, head and neck strain (e.g. repetitive bracing of the phone on shoulder, clenching, grinding, holding teeth together or forward)
  • Overuse injury (e.g. too much forceful exercise or use without rest)
  • Tight muscles (e.g limited range of motion of hips, shoulders, jaw, neck)
  • Sleep position (e.g. Sleeping on the stomach will strain the neck and jaw
  • Weakness and fatigue: (e.g. medical conditions, lack of conditioning, nutritional deficiencies)

Strengthen Protective factors

Physical protective factors associated with your body include exercise, relaxed muscles, and good posture are associated with improved range of motion, strength, relaxation, energy, and healing of muscles and joints to help prevent chronic pain. The following protective factors may reduce your risk of chronic pain:

  • Relaxation: Practice deep breathing, relaxation technique, or meditation daily
  • Stretching: Practice stretching exercises maintain flexibility (e.g warm-ups, yoga)
  • Strengthening: Practice strengthening exercise to maintain agility (e.g. weights, resistance, yoga)
  • Conditioning: Practice exercises such as brisk walking, running, swimming, dancing, aerobics
  • Sitting posture: Maintain good sitting posture with sitting all the way back, leaning back, and head and chest up with balanced relaxed position
  • Computer use: Maintain good computer use posture by varying posture, keep head and chest up, shoulders down, and arms level with floor
  • Lifting: Maintain good lifting posture by bending at the knees not back.
  • Jaw: Maintain good jaw posture by keeping tongue up, teeth apart, and jaw relaxed
  • Sleep: Maintain good sleep posture by sleeping on the back or side, not stomach