The Magic Pill
At some point, and I don’t know when this occurred, we began to believe that a Magic Pill exists for whatever ails us. We do have some evidence of the existence of this Magic Pill for patients suffering from musculoskeletal pain, and some further evidence that forces beyond our control are restricting our access to the Pill. Since we are unsure when the Pill will be available to control our muscle, bone, and joint pain, I wanted to provide some alternatives that just might help us through the distress of not yet having access to the Pill.
- Chip away at the pain: Combined or alone, application of ice and heat can be effective to modulate pain. In addition, your physician may prescribe an anti-inflammatory to assist in decreasing pain secondary to the inflammatory process. An alternative to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory is Turmeric Root, available in capsule form for ease of use.
- Moving Your Body: Waiting for the Magic Pill frequently causes stiffness. Moving may be difficult, but it is essential to help restore joint health, blood flow, and muscle length to prevent internal resistance to movement. And, you will probably find that the more you move, the better you feel, and the more you will try to move.
- Getting Strong and Staying Strong: Over time, waiting for the Magic Pill can render us weak, which only magnifies the underlying pain. Basic strength for getting out of chairs, off the floor, up steps, lifting overhead, carrying a child. When strength fails, more load is placed on joints and other supporting structures, often exacerbating the underlying condition.
- Eating Better: While searching for the Magic Pill, consider what goes into your body and how that affects your overall health. Healing requires a balanced diet with plenty of protein and green leafy vegetables. Too much salt, sugar, gluten, processed foods and alcohol may be detrimental to healing, and may in fact be increasing bodily inflammation. Also consider your bodies needs for water unsullied by caffeine or sugar.
- Sleeping Better: Many people searching for the Magic Pill are not sleeping well, whether due to pain, medication, other medical conditions, or because they are too busy. Our bodies require 8 hours of sleep, and many of us only get a fraction of that. Practicing good sleep hygiene by changing your bedtime routine may inch you towards your bodies required amount of restful sleep, which is bound to make you feel and function better.
- Setting Goals: Waiting for the Magic Pill contributes to delaying or giving up on life goals, including time with family, work responsibilities, travel, leisure, recreation, and fitness. Setting tangible and attainable short and long-term goals helps us to scaffold our way to a greater enjoyment of life’s riches. Many studies have connected longevity to having strong and meaningful connections and life goals, and the same is true for recovery from injury or illness.
- Developing and Maintaining a Positive Outlook: Frustration and depression can follow in the wake of the long-term search for the Magic Pill. Focusing on your ability to control your circumstances through positive self-talk, imagery, and meditation can be helpful ways to generate an outlook that promotes healing and wellness. If you find yourself unable to generate positive thoughts that translate into action, you may be suffering from depression. In this case, you need to speak with your primary care physician about your concerns.
In the end, the search for the Magic Pill is meaningless if we don’t do the heavy lifting necessary to make ourselves better, whatever our circumstance. Chipping away at the pain, moving your body more, getting strong and staying strong, eating better, sleeping enough, setting tangible goals and developing or maintaining a positive outlook will always move us in the right direction towards better health. Of course, there are times that a Magic Pill is necessary, perhaps in the form of medication, injections, or surgery. But Rehabilitation is primarily about effort and making wise decisions that are 100% in our control, and of course finding the right people to guide the process.
If your search for the Magic Pill has been fruitless, consider letting us help guide your search. With 15 expert and caring providers in 5 locations, the Magic Pill may be closer than you think, and the good news is that you hold the key to finding it!