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Top 7 Tips To Manage Your Back Pain
By Raymond Lee
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A person who has a severe physical problem may manage to live a fulfilling life, whereas a patient with a much milder disorder may have a great deal of limitation and trouble. The difference, it seems, is that the first individual has developed strategies for actively managing the physical problem to minimize its effects. The second person considers the problem not as a situation to be managed, but as a limitation that cannot be overcome. Here are some of the tips that you can consider to adopt to improve your quality of your life.
- Managing Your Condition
Managing your own back pain does not mean “going it alone,” however. In the business world, managers do not do everything themselves. Rather, they work with others, including staff members and consultants, to gather information and then get the job done. Your role should be much the same when managing your back pain. You will need to gather information, as you are doing right now. You will need to seek help from consultants such as health professionals or other people with back pain. But in the end, you will choose which advice to follow. You will plan ahead, choose your tactics, and follow through.
- Setting Goals
The first step in the process of learning to manage your situation – deciding what you want to accomplish – may be the hardest for you. Begin by allowing yourself to think of all the things you would like to do. Maybe you would like to go on long bike rides, improve the quality of your sex life, sleep better, or start gardening again. Depending on your situation, your goal may require days, weeks, or months to accomplish.
- Working Towards Your Goals
A good manager considers all the possibilities before deciding on a plan of action. Once you have set a goal, try to think of as many options as possible for achieving it. If you like, ask friends, co-workers, family members, and health professionals to help you come up with ideas. Then, choose the ones that you think will work for you.
- Make A Plan Of Action
The next phase is to create a short-term plan that calls for specific actions you can realistically expect to accomplish within a short time, usually a week. In your action plan, do not list such vague items as “having less back pain” or “being happier.” Focus instead on behaviours and activities easily under your control, such as walking around the block, visiting a museum with friends, or practicing stretching exercises. The action must be something that you want to do, that you feel you realistically can do, and that is a step toward one of your long-term goals.
- Rate Your Confidence
Once you have made your plan, ask yourself the following question: On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being not at all confident and 10 being totally certain, how confident am I can fulfil this plan in the time provided? If your answer is 7 or above, then your plan is probably realistic. If your answer is 6 or below, you might want to set an easier or more realistic goal. Or you can ask yourself what problems you foresee. Try to come up with possible solutions to the problems. You may want to ask for suggestions from friends, coworkers, or a health professional. Then pick one of the possible solutions and try it out for a week or so. If it works, you are on the way. If not, try another solution.
- Yardsticks For Measuring Your Progress
Once you are happy with your plan, write it down and post it where you will see it every day. Ask your family or friends to check with you on how you are doing. Having to report your progress to someone else is good motivation. While carrying out your plan, keep track of how you are doing, and note any problems that arise. At the end of the time you allocated for your plan, ask yourself if you are any closer to accomplishing your overall goal. Are you able to walk further? Are you socializing more regularly? This process of taking stock is important, if something is not working, however, do not give up. Instead, try something else. Modify your short-term plans so that the steps are easier, or give yourself more time to accomplish difficult tasks.
- Reward Yourself
Finally, you should reward yourself well for you hard work. Of course the best reward is accomplishing your goals. But it is also a good idea to reward yourself frequently along the way. You need not spend money on yourself on this. Instead, choose something that is pleasant and meaningful to you. For example, if you enjoy reading the newspaper at the end of the day, you might decide that you will hold off reading the paper until after you exercise. This simple, pleasurable act then becomes a reward.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: November 12, 2007