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Category: quick pain relief

How to set goals to relieve pain and actually reach them

How to set goals to relieve pain and actually reach them

Goal Setting –

a topic that comes up every January (or perhaps December for my fellow ambitious entrepreneurs. I see you!)

You might be wondering, why do I need to set goals to relieve pain? Or, I don’t need this, I know my goal is that I want to get rid of the pain.

Okay, that’s cool and everything but the importance of setting a goal is to give you some direction, kinda like GPS, so you know where you are going. This helps you figure out which things you need to do daily or weekly to get closer to where you want to be.

Without actually setting a goal, it’s like getting in your car and just driving without a destination. While it’s fun and exciting along the way, you probably won’t know where you want to go.

Step 1: Choose where you want to go. This is your end goal.

In order to choose the right goal for you, many things come into play.

How much time do you have to dedicate?
How bad do you really want it?
Are you willing to make changes to your lifestyle or current habits?
How quickly do you need it to happen?


These are just a few questions you need to start thinking about.

When it comes to chronic pain, the shortest amount of time it takes (typically) to heal is 3 months to a year with a strategic plan working with a practitioner. Working on your own without any help, it could take 1 year to several years. Just some things to keep in mind when you choose your timeline.

You also want to make your goals SMART.

Specific – exactly what you want to achieve

Measurable – using objective measures to know when you have reached your goal or can see yourself making progress, for example a pain scale from 0-10.

Achievable – something that is actually possible for you depending on where you are on your health journey.

Realistic – you can’t hit your goals magically. There is work involved no matter what it is you want to do. How much effort are you willing to put in? It has to make sense with your lifestyle and what changes you are willing to make.

Time-bound – You want to have a loose deadline. It doesn’t need to be set in stone. This just gives you an idea of how much work it might take to get there. If you choose 3 months from now, you’ll be working a lot harder than someone doing the same thing as you but chooses the slow path of 1 year to reach the same destination. Neither one is wrong. It depends on what you want.

Take some time and write out what you want. Here’s an example below to give you some more guidance:

Jessica has been feeling pain for 4 years now. She has tried a bunch of stuff at home but she hasn’t really found anything that really takes the pain away. It is always temporary relief and she wants a better solution. An actual fix to the problem. No more band-aid solutions or pain meds. This is Jessica’s goal broken into it’s SMART components:

S – manage pain to the point where daily activities are pain-free

M – get down from 7-8/10 constantly to a 1-3/10 occasionally

A/R – I am willing to spend about 1 hour a day to reach this goal and make all the changes necessary by following a plan laid out for me

T – I can do this within 3-4 months since I am working with a coach or practitioner

Now that you have your end goal, we can work backwards from there to know what is needed to get to it.

Step 2: Figure out which areas you need the most support in

In this case, Jessica in the example above wants to speed things up as much as possible. Why be in pain longer than is necessary!? She’s willing to spend the money in order to save time and achieve better health so she can actually feel good. She’s done the whole lone-wolf thing and she’s over it because she’s in the exact same position as she was 4 years ago, maybe even slightly worse.

Jessica has an idea of where she is going because she set up her goal. Now when she works with her coach or practitioner, they can give her the next steps to take and in the right order so she isn’t wasting her time.

If you are doing this on your own, these are the areas that you will need to look at and make some changes for yourself:
Quick Pain Relief

Find something that works for you to relieve pain quickly at the beginning. This can also be helpful on the days where the pain gets worse and you feel like you are moving backwards in terms of progress.

Nutrition

Following an anti-inflammatory protocol or at the very least, removing the processed foods, sugar, and alcohol causing inflammation.

Your Environment

The environment you surround yourself in – both people and things. Are they toxic? Full of chemicals? Negativity? Try to avoid, minimize, or remove these from your life.

Get Aligned

Increase the positivity and get aligned with your soul. Gratitude and affirmations can move things forward here as well as looking at what you spend your time doing. Do you really love it?

Stress

Address the stress. Not stressed? Your body probably would tell you otherwise. Just because you don’t perceive stress mentally, it doesn’t mean your body can’t feel it physically. Meditation and breathwork can be really helpful.

Move your body every. single. day!

This is non-negotiable. It can be anything you love – walking, yoga, dancing, weight-lifting, running, whatever it is. Stretching is helpful but it won’t solve your problems.

Posture

It could be helpful to look at your posture. Change positions frequently. You don’t need perfect posture.

Sleep

Are you sleeping 7-9 hours a night? Do you wake up feeling stiff, sore, tired, or achy? Are you waking up through the night? Can you find a position to sleep in that’s comfortable? What bed and pillow are you using? Do you find it difficult to fall asleep? Try working on your sleep.

Support Your Entire Body

Make sure you are supporting your ENTIRE body and all its systems. Pain isn’t a separate thing. Everything you do/do not do can contribute to your pain. This is why you need a holistic approach to get rid of it for good. That includes your lymphatic system, liver, and guts.

Strengthen

Strengthen your body. Do specific exercises for the area of concern. If you have back pain, you need to do back-specific exercises. These don’t need to be boring or hard. Look into mobility exercises and core strength.

Supplements

Add in supplements once you’ve done the above. Work with your practitioner to choose what’s right for you and your specific needs. Popular ones can include magnesium, fish oils, and curcumin.

Now that you know what areas you might need to look at, focus on the top 3 things that are in need of the most support and start there. Once you hit those 3 goals, focus on 3 new areas.

Step 3: Break down the areas into smaller monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

For example, working on your sleep. Here is how you could break that down.

Lets say your sleep is totally garbage and you can’t remember the last time you slept well. This might be your current biggest priority. If you are willing to spend even 15 minutes a day working on your sleep, that’s better than nothing.

Breaking down that 15 minutes you’ve dedicated to sleep:

Monthly goal:

This month I want to go from sleeping at 1am to 11pm.

Weekly goal:

I will spend each week focusing on one particular habit to change in order to do this in one month – reducing screen time, incorporating a bedtime routine, blocking blue light, and reducing caffeine intake during the day.

Daily goals:
Week 1: Reduce screen time
  • no screens 1 hour before bed
Week 2: Incorporate a bedtime routine
  • incorporate relaxing things into a short bedtime routine such as meditation or breathwork
Week 3: Block blue light
  • install or setup blue light filters on all screens after sunset (including the phone, computer, TV, tablet, etc.)
Week 4: Reduce caffeine
  • no caffeine after 12pm each day

Now that you are sleeping better, you might notice that you have less stiffness in the morning, more energy throughout the day so you can get more done, you feel better when moving your body, and you are able to fall asleep faster. So many wins! Oh, and of course – less pain 😉

Be Consistent

After doing these tasks consistently (consistency is key), you start creating new healthy habits. For more info on how to create healthy habits that stick, make sure you read or listen to one of my fave books, Atomic Habits by James Clear.

This is how you make changes stick and this is how you get closer to your goals.

In no time, you’ll be feeling much less pain by actually focusing on the things that will get you closer to that goal instead of following the advice of Dr. Google or that Insta influencer with that bomb new unsustainable workout routine that has nothing to do with your health goals.

Need help? Book a free call with me. I’d be more than happy to help you how to get closer to your goals, even if that doesn’t mean working with me.

Disclaimer

How to reduce pain flare-ups for neck and back pain quickly

How to reduce pain flare-ups for neck and back pain quickly

3 STRATEGIES TO HELP REDUCE PAIN AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

Are you struggling with pain flare ups or re-aggravation of previous injuries causing pain that stops you from doing your daily activities? Keep reading to find out some of my strategies that may help reduce pain immediately.

Acute pain and pain flare ups can be annoying to deal with, especially if they prevent you from doing your daily activities, such as cooking or playing with your kids.

Knowing what works for you and your body can be critical in reducing pain during these stages. When pain happens, you’ll want an instant solution.

Keep reading to learn 3 different ways that may help in these situations.

The first step is always to get assessed by your healthcare practitioner to rule out anything serious. Once you know that it’s something you can deal with from the comfort of your own home, you’ll feel much more comfortable trying to manage your own pain. It also helps to get an idea of what types of treatments are going to be the most effective and you don’t have to experiment or play the guessing game, because that can take a really long time to figure out!

Remember to use your own judgement. If things feel worse, discontinue and see your healthcare practitioner.

1. HEAT/ICE

Heat and ice are easily accessible and you don’t need to buy anything fancy for this to work. You can use a shower or bath, soak a towel in water, something from your freezer, etc. to have an effect. There are even inexpensive products you can buy such as a hot water bottle or hot/cold packs you can throw into the microwave or freezer.

Heat helps to increase blood circulation to the area that has pain. It opens up the arteries and that may help with healing. It also helps tight muscles feel more relaxed. Heat can be a great way to reduce pain quickly. Keep in mind that it is not safe to use for all conditions and can also make things worse so it’s always best to see your practitioner. Discontinue using heat if you feel worse.

Ice can help to temporarily numb the sensation of pain at the site of an injury. It can also reduce swelling and constrict the blood flow temporarily. Once the body realizes that this area needs warmth, it sends a rush of blood flow to that area, allowing it to potentially heal quicker.

2. GENTLE MOVEMENT

A lot of times, pain increases due to sedentary behaviours or avoiding movement, which can happen if you feel like moving might make things worse or moving causes pain to increase. In most cases, moving is beneficial to healing. Not moving means we allow for our muscles to waste away because they need to be moving in order to be stronger. When the muscles go through a period of immobility, they get smaller and weaker. That means they can’t support your body and simple activities such as walking and gentle movement can become more painful. In the long-term, movement is essential to reducing and getting rid of pain but for right now, focus on easier movements just to get blood circulating.

Working with your practitioner will give you more specific exercises that will help you depending on where the pain is coming from and what parts of the body you need to add specific movements into.

Sometimes walking can be enough to help reduce pain. It helps to get blood circulating in general through the entire body and engages muscles that need movement. Even a few minutes can make a difference.

Some resting positions may also be helpful here, such as child’s pose, legs up the wall, lying down on your back with knees bent, or Savasana (corpse pose).

Gentle moving exercises such as cat-cow and knee to chest may also be helpful.

Depending on what is going on in your body, some of these things might work better than others.

None of these types of movements require more than 5 minutes!

3. CHIROPRACTORS

Chiropractic adjustments to areas where joints are not moving well or muscle work in the areas where pain is originating from can help to temporarily reduce symptoms of pain, speeding up healing. It also releases endorphins which make you feel good and your body also produces oxytocin which helps relieve pain.

They can instantly remove pressure off joints and increase range of motion (ROM) immediately.

Initially, you may need more frequent adjustments until your body gets used to the new sensations from having better joint mobility.

Adjustments can very quickly reduce pain, especially if they are done as soon as you start to feel the pain. There are many other health benefits to adjustments besides instant pain relief.

WANT MORE STRATEGIES?

I created this quick reference guide that summarizes this post and provides a couple of extra ways that may help you to reduce pain. You can download it right here and refer to it the next time you need a strategy that may help to reduce pain quickly!

The key to using any of these strategies is consistency and practice. You’ll want to know how something works while you have relatively less pain so you aren’t thinking about the options you have. Once that intense pain or the flare-up hits, it’s hard to think. Practice so it becomes second nature and you know exactly what you need to do to start feeling better right away.

This blog is only for educational purposes only and is not to be taken as medical advice. Please read the Disclaimer here.

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