Make Pain a Thing of the Past – health – Physician Partners of America

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A new year brings new goals, a new outlook and the opportunity for a fresh start. There are many resolutions to strive for, and we understand that. With health being a main priority for many people, if you are struggling with mild to severe pain, finding pain relief should be at the top of your list this year.

Below are 7 New Year’s resolutions to help you get closer to pain relief in 2020.

1. Set attainable goals

Setting manageable goals is important when making a New Year’s resolution because you do not want to set yourself up for disappointment. How do you know when a goal is realistic? One way is to use the S.M.A.R.T. method.

  • Specific – Be as detailed as possible. Instead of “drink more water,” your goal should look more like “drink 2 liters of water each day.”
  • Measurable – Come up with a way to measure your success. “Exercise more,” is not measurable; “exercise 30 minutes per day” is.
  • Attainable – Make sure you are setting yourself up for success and you can reach the goals you set.
  • Realistic – Your goal should provide a challenge for you, but still be achievable. “Never smoke a cigarette again” may be less realistic than “stop smoking cigarettes by April 2020.”
  • Timely – Set a clear timeframe in which you want to reach your goal. Deadlines provide motivation and will help you reach your goal in a timely manner.


2. Stop Smoking

Did you know smoking contributes to back pain? Nicotine, an addictive substance found in all tobacco products, is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows blood vessels. Therefore, if any blood vessels are exposed to nicotine, they narrow and carry less oxygen. Optimal blood flow is necessary when trying to heal pain or discomfort.


3. Minimize alcohol intake

Excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to kidney and other organ issues. Kidneys, located in both sides of the lower back, filter toxins out of alcohol; but they can get overwhelmed. If they can’t do their job properly due to an overabundance of alcohol, you may feel pain in this part of the back.


4. Exercise regularly

Exercising for just 30 minutes a day can provide many benefits. It can improve your sleep and your mood, provide weight control, reduce your risk of heart disease, strengthen your bones and muscles, and even increase your chances of living longer. If you have a hard time finding the motivation, grab a buddy and bring them along. Make your workouts fun.


5. Improve posture

Over time, bad posture puts stress on your spine and causes back problems in your muscles, discs, and joints. To help maintain good posture, try sitting with proper support, use correct posture when working out or lifting, and walk tall.


6. Be proactive with your health

Between kids, jobs, friends and family, we understand it is hard to find time for yourself. However, your health is not something that should be compromised. Make 2020 the year you get those nagging pains in check. Physician Partners of America offers same-day appointments, making it easy and convenient to fit evaluation and treatment into your schedule.


7. Maintain a well-balanced diet

Nutrition is important when setting goals. Most health-based goals require a well-balanced diet as a necessary foundation because most things stem from what you are putting into your body. Did you know there are actually foods you can eat to help reduce back and joint pain?


Twenty-twenty is the year for your health. Get your most enjoyable life back with Physician Partners of America. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

For many adults who experience chronic pain on a daily basis, their symptoms are exacerbated by a poor diet and little or no daily exercise.

Being proactive in maintaining a health and wellness routine can pay off

down the road when you are older.

Pain management specialist with Physician Partners of America offers a few tips for getting on the right track to living a healthy life and minimize the risk of pain from poor health.


Question: What kind of exercises should I be doing on a regular basis?

Dr. Michels: “It’s important to find fun exercises that get you moving every day. Things like walking a dog, riding a bike or going for a swim. The goal is to progress to strength training two or three times per week. Some great strength training exercises are push-ups, pull-ups, bodyweight squats and planks.”

Question: Eating well is hard to do. What kind of advice can you give me?

Dr. Michels: “Have three moderate-sized meals per day with healthy snacks in between, The goal is to never actually be hungry. Don’t overindulge. Some healthy snacks are raw almonds; vegetables such as carrot sticks, broccoli and celery; and whey protein shakes with almond milk, fresh spinach, and dark berries. When at the grocery store, shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Don’t forget about whole grains, too.”

Q: What kinds of foods should I avoid?

Dr. Michels: “Steer clear of processed foods, sugary drinks such as soda, candy, and food containing high fructose corn syrup. Also stay way away from flours and processed grains.”

Q: How much water should I drink every day?

Dr. Michels: “Start every day with an 8-ounce glass of water to re-hydrate. You should drink half your body weight in ounces per day. We often confuse thirst for hunger. Before running to food, drink an 8-ounce glass of water and see how you feel.”

Q: What kinds of goals should I set for myself?

Dr. Michels: “Start small and set easily attainable goals. Build off of the momentum of success. Write your goals down and put them somewhere you can see them daily. Once you have accomplished a goal, set a new one. Remember, show yourself grace. If you fail, pick yourself up and start again.”

Q: I hear people talk about “cheat days” – what are those? Are they OK?

Dr. Michels: “Allow yourself to experience the joy of accomplishing a goal. All yourself to have “cheat days” where you can enjoy something that may not be the best for you (i.e. birthday cake at a party, pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.) Live by the 80-20 principal – 80% of the time eat healthy, 20% of the time eat what you want.”

Q: How can I stay focused on healthy living?

Dr. Michels: “Create a vision board: if you can see it, you can be it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Change the ‘way’ of thinking about diet and exercise – it’s not punishment, it’s reward. Think of how much better you are going to feel, look and be. By committing to a healthy lifestyle, it will enable you to finally start living. Have a “can-do” attitude. Consider healthspan vs. lifespan. It’s not the length of your life, but the quality of your life that matter.”