Hello and welcome to my new blog on living pain-free and moving with ease. As a pain clinician, I am asked this question frequently by patients on how to live pain-free and move with ease so this blog is all about it. Here are a few things which have helped me and my patients and I hope they help you too.
Research shows that moving regularly throughout the day has significantly more benefits than packing all your movement in an exercises session of an hour or more. This is because we have movement maps in the brain and these maps get activated and sharpened as we move regularly. These maps make our moments smooth coordinated and efficient. So whatever your goal is whether it is to lose weight or to be pain-free move regularly. An ideal would be to move for 2 to 5 minutes every 60 minutes throughout the day. Your movement could be quick push-ups or an on spot jog or even a walk around the block.
Move with the purpose
Purposeful movements like walking to and fro to get groceries has more benefit than just walking as an exercise or on a treadmill this is because our brain activates centres of memory on previous experiences of movement, so there is better neuromuscular coordination and efficiency. this creates a state of balance and generates feel-good hormones like Serotonin, Dopamine, and Endorphins which help us remain pain-free.
Belly breathing is the best natural painkiller as it stimulates the parasympathetic system. When we push the belly out while breathing-in, we allow the diaphragm which is the respiratory muscle to come down. This gives more space for the lungs to fill with air. When we breathe out gently talking the belly in we allow the diaphragm to go back to its resting position and make the exhalation full and better. This is a safe movement for a brain which is in a state of overdrive trying to fight pain. It also makes breathing efficient and generates feel good hormones. To belly breathe; start in a comfortable position like lying or sitting. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Breathe in through the nose such that the belly moves forward and breathe out gently while talking your belly in. Make sure to have movement in your belly rathan than your chest. You can also add a count to your inhalation and exhalation of about 4 seconds.
Vary your Movements
Put in a variety of movements in your day. You can sit, stand or even walk differently to add variety for e.g. Cross-leg sitting, side-sitting or long-sitting can be variations to regular floor sitting. you can also try walking in a figure of eight or heel to toe touch pattern. Stand with the outer border of your feet parallel to each other. Make a note of the movements which you don’t typically do and try to add them slowly during the day. By adding movement variety we use different motor patterns and many more muscles to complete tasks. This makes the movement patterns efficient and helps us to be pain-free.
Put in at least 10 minutes of balance work in the day these are whole-body movements and they greatly improve our movement quality and coordination.
Some of them are Stand on one leg without support of the wall or furniture and without leaning to any side for at least 30 seconds to a minute switch sides and repeat three to five times
In the same way you can raise 1 leg to the side about 5 to 10 cms from the ground. Hold and repeat as above.
You can raise one leg to the back and repeat as above.
Try to walk on your heels or toes for a change for 3 to 5 min.
I hope these hacks help you be pain-free and be what you have always wanted to be.