This Article’s take-aways in two sentences
You may not need to live with backache, joint pain, arthritis or other aches and pains.
While the medical profession can give you medication that eases short-term pain, you can often relive long-term stiffness, ache or pain using other methods.
This article explores what can be done…
A deeper dive into how to stop aches and pains
Many people go about life, living with a level of pain, believing there is little or nothing they can do. This can be changed if we begin to understand that aches, pains, niggles and twinges are a method by which the body communicates a problem.
It’s likely that at some point in your life you have tweaked a muscle or hurt yourself in some way. It’s also possible that you have been involved in some form of accident where you fell or were hit. This could be anything from falling down a step to being thrown off a horse, a sporting injury or a car accident.
Some occupations can create aches and pains. Occupations where you stand for long periods can lead to back ache. Jobs where you repeat actions over and over can also lead to Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI).
Injuries can also occur through overuse of muscles, tendons or ligaments that become chronically fatigued. This can happen in sport or exercise as well as at work. Soft tissue injuries can happen due to a sudden, unexpected or uncontrolled movement like stepping awkwardly off a curb and rolling over your ankle.
As we age we can become more susceptible to injuries, aches and pains as well as twinges and niggles.
Conditions like Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, can affect the joints as we age too. The joints can become damaged, swollen and stiff. Movement can also become painful. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the knee, hip, foot and hand joints. Arthritis Research UK estimate that a third of people aged 45 years and over in the UK have Osteoarthritis. Of those aged 75 years and over, 49% of women and 42% of men have sought treatment.
What level is your ache or pain at?
Some aches and pains are acute, others are a lower, more manageable ache that we can put up with or work around. Sometimes a pain can seem to come from nowhere, such as during a run, for no apparent reason. Other times it’s obvious, such as when you pick up a box and pull a muscle in your back. Aches and pains can date back many years. Some pain you experience now, may have resulted from an injury when you were much younger. Muscle damage for example can leave scare tissue under the skin and where this damage lays it can cause restricted movement or be susceptible to a later injury or recurring injury.
How to stop aches and pains
Often, by listening to the body, conditions can be improved, changed or transformed. It just needs a little exploration and patience.
For example, a condition like Osteoarthritis may be considered as structural and irreversible, yet many nutritionists argue that the problem actually arises in the gut and that the symptoms can be relieved by a change in diet, simply by removing food that aggravates inflammation and introducing foods that calm it.
Some aches and pains could also be avoided by taking preventative measure. Hilda Kalap, an award winning massage therapist from the Healing Space, based in South Devon says: “Body pain is a common side effect of our stressful modern lifestyle, often caused by long working hours sitting at a computer.”
Hilda adds, “Massage is one of the best alternatives to medication such as painkillers for pain relief. It relaxes muscle tissue which reduces painful contractions and spasms. Touching the skin or applying pressure relaxes ligaments, muscles and tendons.”
A foam roller is an affordable way to give yourself a deep tissue massage. By slowing rolling over various areas of your body, you’ll help break up adhesions and scar tissue and speed up the healing and recovery process after your workout. See this video for more on foam rollers.
Deep tissue massage, like sports therapy, can work deep into the tissue. Sports massage therapists can also use a variety of techniques which can be really helpful where aches and pains are prolonged.
This video shows an ankle injury treatment and a couple of different techniques to release the pain.
Another alternative is osteopathy. This tends to focus on the joints, muscles, and spine and can help treat arthritis, back pain, headaches and tennis elbow.
Questly is a great resource for exploring aches and pains and really understanding them. They have a whole quest dedicated to aches and pains and how to remove them. Questly includes research including Government Guidelines as well as input from wellness professional.