Pain-Proof Your Day

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By: , – Alyssa Shaffer, Woman's Day
11/12/2012 2:00 PM   :  6 comments   :  8,232 Views

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Most of the time you and your body have a good working relationship. You tell it what to do, and it obeys. But every once in a while, your body talks back: a creaky knee here, a stiff shoulder there. It's saying that something you're doing—whether you're carrying a too-heavy bag, slouching or even sleeping in a certain position—isn't quite right. Feel better with these simple fixes.

7 A.M. Stretch
After sleeping for 7 or 8 hours, your muscles and joints can be pretty stiff. To loosen things up before your feet hit the floor, do a few lower back and hip stretches: While you're still lying down, gently bring your left knee to your chest and hold for 20 to 30 seconds, and repeat with your right knee. Then drop both knees over to your left side, keeping your back flat. Hold for a slow count to 5, then drop them over to your right side. 
 
7:30 A.M. Choose the right shoes
The best ones are either a low heel or wedge (2 inches or less) or an athletic shoe rather than a ballet flat, flip-flop or casual canvas sneaker. Just make sure that your toes have enough room (can you wiggle them comfortably?) and that there's ample arch support. Strain on your arch from too-high heels or too-flat flats can lead to a painful condition called plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of your foot.
 
8:15 A.M. Adjust your car seat
Make sure the back of your seat forms a 90-degree angle, then push your rear back as far as you can. Sit tall, squeezing your abs and keeping your shoulders relaxed, your arms comfortably reaching for the wheel. Then adjust your rear- and side-view mirrors so you have a full reflection of what's behind you—this way, you'll have to sit up straighter for the best view. To keep your muscles from tensing up as you're driving, which can lead to headaches, back and shoulder pain, turn on the radio and wiggle in your seat to the beat.
 
9 A.M. Split your load
A too-heavy bag can stress your shoulder, neck and back muscles. Your handbag shouldn't be more than 10% of your own weight. If it is, pare down the contents or divide them into two bags and hold each one on separate sides of your body. Backpacks are best since they distribute the weight evenly across your back, but if that's not your style, go for a bag with a short strap (the closer to your body you carry it, the less strain it causes) and switch sides frequently.

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Comments

  • 6
    There is always pain, it is just a matter of how intense, I wish it weren't so, but that is my life now. On strength training days, add stiffness to the pain. If it weren't for my cane, don't believe I could walk... however a cane leads to wrist pain... - 12/4/2012   11:33:31 AM
  • 5
    Practice yoga. Priscilla Patrick, who is now 70 has great help on her web site at www.yogaone.com - 11/16/2012   10:15:17 AM
  • DCMSFARM1
    4
    I had not thought of stretching before getting up. I will have to try that tomorrow. - 11/13/2012   7:28:17 AM
  • 3
    I agree CECELW. But be firm also: my brother suffered various headaches for years and his doctor blew him off telling him to do all kinds of things including taking analgesics only to now be in the fight of his life diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor. Pehaps if the doctor had been a little more diligent they may have caught the tumor in an earlier stage. - 11/13/2012   7:24:32 AM
  • 2
    hmmm..You might wanna ask your dr. or at the very least tell him about your morning headaches. Just to be safe. - 11/12/2012   8:28:00 PM
  • 1
    I can relate to sleeping the wrong way. Here lately it seems I do this all the time.
    Especially with my right side. Could this be from my past paralysis on the right. I also wake up with a dull headache. - 11/12/2012   5:19:13 PM

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