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Now that summer is heating up, Canadians are flocking to the great outdoors to enjoy the activities they love. But, many may feel they are being held back from getting active because of long-lasting pain in their muscles, joints and back – or by flare ups after a particularly physically demanding day.
Some might see this pain as unavoidable, but according to family physician, Dr. Jeff Habert, there are simple ways to help prevent or manage pain and achieve all that you want to!
- Get physical – To slow or prevent muscle and joint problems, try a moderate exercise program that helps you maintain strength, flexibility and balance. Consider low impact activities like walking or stretching, but always consult your health care provider before starting a new exercise program to ensure the activities are right for you.
- Watch your diet – It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet, and this is especially true as we get older. A diet rich in calcium – from dairy products, leafy greens and various types of nuts – can help strengthen bones and relax muscles. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to bone pain and muscle weakness, so consider options such as eggs, tuna, salmon and fortified orange juice to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
- A combination of therapies – Research has found that a mix of treatment methods, including physiotherapy, massage therapy and medications, show the best results when managing body pain. Be sure to speak with your doctor about which of these complementary therapies might help you.
- Treat the pain – Try a non-prescription pain reliever. Advil® 12 Hour offers a one-pill solution with an immediate release layer for quick relief and an extended release layer to help you make it through your day. As Dr. Habert puts it: “Some of my patients tell me that they are tired of taking multiple doses of pain relievers in a day to manage their pain, but just one Advil 12 Hour pill keeps working for up to 12 hours.”
- Fire and ice – The cooling properties of an ice pack can help to ease pain and reduce inflammation, and Dr. Habert recommends applying ice packs within the first 48 hours. Direct heat from hot packs or a warm bath can help to relieve tension and soothe aching muscles.
These tips are suggestions. As always, consult your health care provider with any health concerns.