Man in gray shirt and sweatpants stretching while facing a window, knowing the benefits of stretching when you wake up.

Benefits of Stretching When You Wake Up

First thing in the morning, your brain is struggling to wake up, so you might not realize your body is doing the same thing. Stretching is a preemptive strike against lethargy – one that will also help stimulate that sleepy brain and ease pain. Consider some practical reasons of benefits of stretching when you wake up.

Muscle Tightness

Think about how your body feels after sitting through a two-hour movie and how good it is to stretch your legs. Now, multiply that stiffness by four and you’ll understand the importance of a morning stretch to relieve muscle tightness. Stretching elongates the muscles, making them more flexible and that is a positive way to start your day.

Joint Stiffness

Joint stiffness is one of the biggest problems after a long night of almost no movement, especially when you tack on things like having slept in a cold room. Stretching improves range of motion for joints, eliminating the stiffness and pain in those problem areas like your lower back, neck, and knees.

Full Body Flexibility

When you head to the gym to work your shoulders and chest, you start with a warm up, right? The Mayo Clinic explains that exercise causes your muscles to contract and that makes them tight. Your day is fraught with tiny workout sessions that you don’t even think about. When you walk from your car to work, you are exercising your legs and stressing your knees. When you sit down in front of your computer, you exercise your arms and shoulder joints.
While daily movement is not as strenuous as working out in the gym, it still challenges the muscles and joints.

Enhanced Circulation

Improving circulation to the extremities makes movement easier and relieves the muscle tension that builds up during eight hours of inactivity. A few stretches in the morning increases the muscles demand for blood increasing your heart rate.

Waking Your Brain Up

The brain works as a computer to control every function in the body including respiration, muscle movement, and heart rate. A morning stretch activates all those things to bring the brain back online. It’s a powerful way to clear the cobwebs and wake up your central nervous system even before you have your morning coffee.

Without that few minutes of stretching, you probably feel tight and sluggish until midmorning. Why not give your body a morning wakeup call instead? Reach your arms towards the ceiling and then drop down to touch your toes. Ten minutes before breakfast is all you need.

At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, we are proud to take a comprehensive and highly progressive approach to healing and pain management that allows us to treat each patient’s pain effectively. To learn more about methods to reduce pain or the benefits of stretching when you wake up, give us a call at 770-590-1078 or visit us here to schedule a pain management consultation.

The word pain in puzzle pieces, highlighting post-surgical pain treatment.

Post-Surgical Pain Treatment

After any type of surgery, pain is to be expected. The amount of pain that you have and its duration often depends on the type of surgery, your age, and the evasiveness of the procedure. However, there are many ways to cope with post-surgical pain treatment to make your recovery time more pleasant.

Begin By Asking Questions

Before your surgery, your doctor will be able to tell you what kind of pain you will experience and approximately how long it will last. Once you have this discussion, your doctor can consult with you about a pain-management plan. This may include medications, massages, and other ways to relieve pain that allow you to rest and recuperate more effectively.

Taking Pain Medication

One of the most effective ways to manage pain after surgery is to take your prescribed pain medication as ordered by your doctor. Many patients make the mistake of waiting until they feel pain before taking their medication. However, by waiting until you are in pain, you will have to suffer through it until your medication begins to work. That’s why it is recommended to stay ahead of the pain and to take the medication on a set schedule. Be sure that you understand exactly how often to take your medication and to keep track of what time you have taken it.

Anxiety After Surgery

Developing depression or anxiety after surgery is a common occurrence. This can make it harder to become active after your surgery and slow your recovery. Depression and anxiety can also worsen your pain. If you need treatment for these conditions, speak to your doctor and find out about medications that are available to you. These can also help lessen your post-surgical pain in many cases.

Physical Therapy

After some types of surgery, physical therapy may be helpful. This can lessen pain over time and help the healing and strengthening process. If your pain and/or stiffness persist, ask your doctor whether physical therapy could help you to heal and to feel better.

Stay In Contact With Your Doctor

If your pain persists after your doctor’s estimate, call your doctor. If you have pain after the healing should have been completed, there may be another issue that is causing it. There is no reason to go through pain alone and without help from your doctor. Keep your doctor informed about how you are recovering and about your level of pain.

At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, we are proud to take a comprehensive and highly progressive approach to healing and pain management that allows us to treat each patient’s pain effectively. To learn more about methods for post-surgical pain treatment, give us a call at 770-590-1078 or visit us here to schedule a pain management consultation.

A hot summer sky on palm tree, highlighting how hot weather affects pain.

How Hot Weather Affects Pain

While you may not think about it, spring and summer can mean more than just hot weather—it can mean extra suffering for those who suffer from chronic pain. Why is this? We’ve put together some basic information about why and how hot weather affects pain.

How Does Hot Weather Affect Pain?

  • Temperature Regulation – First and foremost, many people who have chronic pain also suffer from problems regulating their system in regards to temperature changes and moisture in the air. So, whether the temperature is moving from cold to hot or hot to cold, chronic pain sufferers will have a problem with the change of seasons.
  • Arthritis – One particular pain problem that is made worse during summer is arthritis. One theory is that there is a change in the level of fluid that lines the joints based on the temperature. As the temperature rises, there may be a change in how your joints feel and move. For some people, summer is worse.
  • Ozone Levels – Another theory regarding chronic pain and weather has to do with the levels of ozone in the environment. High heat and humidity increase the levels of ozone. For some people, particularly those who have fibromyalgia, MS and other chronic illnesses, this change in ozone levels can make symptoms more severe and makes life more difficult.

Tips for Managing Pain During Hot Weather

If you are the one suffering from pain, it does not matter to you what causes your pain to worsen—you just want relief. Consider these tips to help combat the pain as temperatures rise.

  • Avoid the Hottest Weather – If you can stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, you may be able to avoid the worst pain.
  • Use Your AC – While you may hate paying higher electric bills, the AC can be a huge help in reducing your level of pain and keeping you comfortable during the spring and summer months.
  • Eat and Drink Right – Eating a smart diet and drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling your best. A hydrated, nourished body will be able to handle the heat better than one that is starved for nutrients.
  • Consider Mint – Mint offers a natural cooling sensation. Mint products such as teas, lotions, and soaps can help you cool down and lessen the pain.

While warmer months may never be your favorite time of the year, a little knowledge can go a long way towards helping you combat heat-related pain during spring and summer months. At Alliance Spine & Pain Centers, we are proud to take a comprehensive and highly progressive approach to healing and pain management that allows us to treat each patient’s pain effectively. To learn more about methods to reduce pain or how hot weather affects pain, give us a call at 770-590-1078 or visit us here to schedule a pain management consultation.

Person clutching knee in pain, sitting in chair, wondering living with knee pain.

Living With Knee Pain

Knee pain is one of the most common complaints from people as they get older. However, knee pain can occur at any age and can be caused by a wide range of conditions and injured. Chronic knee pain is a difficult condition to live with, but it can be managed with the right care. If you aren’t sure what has caused your knee pain, an examination can determine the cause.

Prevention of Knee Pain

One of the best ways to avoid chronic knee pain is to prevent it before it begins. One way to prevent it is to stay a healthy weight. Excess weight can put unnecessary pressure on the knees and cause chronic pain and stiffness. Another common cause is exercise injury. By learning to exercise properly without straining your knees excessively, you can avoid this type of injury.

Torn ligaments and broken bones can also cause this pain. Extreme sports and workouts can cause these injuries. With the right stretches before you are active, you can avoid some of these types of injuries.

Living With Chronic Knee Pain

While many types of knee pains, such as those from broken bones, are temporary, other types of knee pain last far longer. Conditions such as arthritis can cause pain that continues to worsen over time. This kind of pain can drastically alter your lifestyle and get in the way of living an active life. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment for your pain.

Relieving Your Pain

To manage this chronic pain, it’s important to consult with your doctor to determine the cause and develop a course of treatment. Your knee pain may be relieved or lessened by surgery. There are also many medications that can lessen your pain. Many people with arthritis take a daily medication to mitigate their pain and get more motion from their knees.

Another way to manage chronic knee pain is to get physical therapy on the region. With regular therapy, you can strengthen the muscles around the area to give you a better range of motion and more stability. Physical therapy may require only a few sessions or may continue for months, depending on the degree of damage to the knee.
Sometimes, injections to the knee can help with pain and stiffness. Lubricant or corticosteroid injections can often help to relieve pain and allow for a more active lifestyle. Corticosteroids can help with inflammation that often causes knee pain and stiffness.

At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, we are proud to take a comprehensive and highly progressive approach to healing and pain management that allows us to treat each patient’s pain effectively. To learn more about methods to reduce pain or tips for living with knee pain , give us a call at 770-590-1078 or visit us here to schedule a pain management consultation.