Never. It is never OK to ignore pain. And by ignore, I’m including taking over the counter or prescription medication to alleviate pain, since this does nothing to fix the problem that is causing the pain. Pain is a signal from the body that something is wrong. So, whether it is the pain of a broken leg or a headache, the pain is an important signal from the body that something is wrong. A broken limb is an extreme example because the pain signals that your body sends are impossible to ignore. But other pain signals, like headaches or a stiff neck, are no different. Your body is telling you that it is under distress and is asking for you to make a change or get some help, just like with a broken limb. When you break a limb, that help is in the form of a doctor to properly set the bone, immobilization of the limb to prevent further damage and a change in your behavior (you are not going to go out and go jogging with a broken leg). Other pain signals should be treated the same way, but we have become accustomed to pushing through a headache, taking pain medication or muscle relaxers for a painful back or neck. We get used to these aches and pains and call them “normal”, just part of getting older. I often wonder if, when we were say 18 years old, all of these things manifested at once, what would it feel like. They normally happen so insidiously, over a long period of time that we get used to ignoring or managing them. I’ve listed help you can get and changes you can make below.
Exercise, especially things like yoga and tai chi, can help stretch and strengthen your body, stabilizing joints and preventing pain from tight muscles. Exercise also reduces stress and can help with reducing or maintaining a healthy weight.
In my experience, most people who are dealing with a chronic pain issue are dealing with an inordinate amount of stress. As mentioned above, exercise can help. Mindfulness practices like meditation are also great for stress reduction. Simply connecting and maintaining healthy relationships has also proven to reduce stress.
Western medicine does not have a whole lot to offer other than medication and surgery but there are other forms of health care that are better able to help with chronic conditions. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine excel at treating chronic pain conditions that western medicine cannot help. Massage, chiropractic care, nutritional counseling and even talk therapy can also help you reduce or eliminate pain.
At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, we have developed treatment strategies that are fast, effective and provide lasting relief. Call today to discuss your situation with us, we offer a 30-minute consultation, so there is no risk or investment. Remember, the pain is there for a reason, sometimes it is a challenge to find out what that reason is but with the right help, you can leave your pain behind!
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!