Pain is the number one debilitating factor worldwide and the most common reason for physician consultation in developed countries. Much of these physical pains are a result of our hectic or sedentary lifestyle. These pains can easily be avoided by following few healthy habits and adhering to a healthy lifestyle.
Bright Side brings to you 18 everyday habits that can keep you pain-free, healthy, and happy.
Avoid staring at screens for long periods
Eyestrain is a common cause of computer-related headaches. Whеnever you work a set of muscles fоr а long period оf time, they eventually gеt tired аnd start tо hurt, same is true for the eye muscles. To avoid it, follow the 20-20-20 advice: every 20 minutes, look at something that’s at least 20 ft away for 20 seconds.
Reduce your exposure to the sun
Exposure to the heat of the sun can cause the blood vessels in your brain to dilate and raise your skin temperature, thereby causing pain. The sun’s glare can also lead to irritation in your eyes, leading to a headache. Wearing a hat and using sunglasses while you are out in the sun can protect you from these headaches.
Take warm showers
Taking a warm shower helps relax tense muscles and can relieve a headache. Also, using hot packs and heating pads may have a similar effect.
Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
Nicotine present in cigarettes is a vasoactive substance. That means it changes the size of blood vessels in your brain, causing a headache. Cigarette smoke can also trigger a headache by causing an allergic reaction by irritating your nose and throat. Similarly, alcohol also causes the blood vessels in your brain to swell, causing a headache.
But the worst headache trigger is red wine because it contains tyramine, histamine, and sulfites — substances that have been linked to headaches.
Cut back on caffeine
In small amounts, caffeine can help relieve a headache and is therefore included in some headache medications. But consuming caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, or soft drinks can get you addicted to it. And, as researchers from Johns Hopkins University found out, headache is a common caffeine withdrawal symptom, occurring in 50% of regular coffee drinkers.
Drink enough water
Dehydration is a common cause of headaches. To keep such headaches at bay, keep yourself properly hydrated. But, keep in mind that overhydration can lead to hyponatremia, a condition in which sodium present in the blood becomes too diluted. This can lead to a headache, nausea, and bloating —symptoms that can easily be confused with those of dehydration.
Click here to understand headaches better.
Exercise for strong neck muscles
Neck and shoulder strains are the most common causes of neck pain. The best way to counter it is by doing neck exercises to strengthen the neck muscles.
Strive toward having a better sitting posture
While sitting, it is important to sit straight. If possible, pick a chair with back support. If you work on a computer or a laptop, adjust its height so that you do not end up bending your neck while working.
Yoga helps by strengthening your neck and back muscles and relieving them of any tension.
Improve your sleeping habits
Sleeping on your back is the best position followed by sleeping on your side.
To better support your back, try putting a rolled towel under your knees. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Use no more than one pillow and do not use a thick pillow. Using a special orthopedic pillow is preferable.
For an in-depth knowledge on how to get rid of neck pain, click here.
Maintain neutral body position while sitting
While sitting, always maintain a straight posture. It helps reduce stress on the spine and keeps back pain away.
Stretch the muscles that support your lower back
Various exercises like lying spinal twists and psoas stretches help stretch muscles that are crucial to maintaining a pain-free back.
Stretch your hamstrings
Hamstring stretches can reduce your back pain by lengthening your thigh muscles. Longer muscles relieve pressure on the lower back and ease the pain.
Practice the cobra pose
This pose helps stretch the muscles in your shoulders. It also removes stiffness of the lower back and flexes and strengthens the spine.
Swimming and other aquatic exercises strengthen your back and core muscles. Also, the buoyancy of the water takes stress off the joints.
For a comprehensive daily routine to get rid of back pain, click here.
Wear comfortable shoes
While we walk, stand, or run, the pressure is always on our feet. Wearing ill-fitting and uncomfortable shoes can make matters worse. Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems.
Perform toe stretches
Sit on a chair or on the floor with your right leg crossed over your left thigh. Interlace the fingers of your left hand with those of your right toes. Squeeze the toes and the fingers together and hold for 10 seconds. Then stretch wide for 10 seconds.
Perform this routine 3 times on each foot.
Stand over a tennis ball directly under the second toe of your left foot. Slowly roll the ball around the sole of your foot for 3 minutes. Repeat this exercise on your right foot.
For more exercises to alleviate foot aches, read this.
It is very critical for a person to know how to stay healthy and avoid harmful habits. Make sure you share this information with your friends and family!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin and Natalia Tylosova for BrightSide.me