As a woman, you most likely experience aches and pains from your daily activities no matter what your lifestyle entails. In fact, a recent study shows 89 percent of women experience some type of muscle or joint pain every year, and 63 percent experience it weekly, according to ProAct, an independent marketing research firm.
But whether the discomfort stems from a day at work, strenuous exercise or housework, pain has its price -- from feeling tired and low on energy, to contributing to feelings of stress, depression and frustration.
Before discomfort gets the better of you, reduce your risk for pain and relieve the aches you already have with these simple measures:
• Avoid overexertion: Don't save all your heavy-duty chores for one weekend, especially if you're not regularly active. "If you suddenly spend the whole day cleaning out your basement, or climbing ladders to clear gutters, muscle strain or overexertion is highly likely," says family physician Elena Klimenko, M.D. "You have to let muscles build up gradually."
The same goes for working out. Consult a physician or fitness professional to build an exercise routine safely.
• Relax: Hot baths, gentle stretching and meditation can help prevent and relieve stress-related muscle tension and stiffness. Even if it means putting the kids to bed early or turning your phone off for an hour, incorporate stress-free down time into your busy day, every day.
• Relieve: Next time you experience pain, avoid popping conventional painkillers that masks symptoms. "A homeopathic medicine works with your body to relieve not only pain, but also swelling, which is a common reason for pain," says Dr. Klimenko. "It does so without the risk of drug interactions or complications, even if combined with pharmaceuticals."
For example, Dr. Klimenko recommends Arnicare Gel from Boiron, an over-the-counter gel that can be applied anywhere on the body to reduce muscle pain and stiffness, swelling from injuries, and bruises. Because it relies on a natural active ingredient, you can safely use it as a first line therapy to relieve pain. More information can be found at www.Arnicare.com.
• Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts undue stress on joints. Try a diet that promotes joint and tissue heath. Eat foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon. Add flaxseeds to salads or try cooking with mustard seed, ginger, turmeric or cayenne pepper, all of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
• Take breaks from computer work: ProAct's research shows that women's aches and pains stem more from daily activities like sitting at a computer too long than from injuries. Be sure to take periodic walking breaks or sit on a ball to keep muscles activated.
While modern life has created challenges that lead to aches and pains, Dr. Klimenko says women don't need to grin and bear it. "You can take proper care of yourself to avoid pain and treat aches naturally before they get out of hand."
For more natural health tips, follow Dr. Klimenko's blog at www.DrElenaKlimenko.com.