Doing things that are good for you in an excessive manner is one extreme way to treat your body if you have chronic pain. For example, embarking on a vigorous course of exercise that might result in an injury, losing weight by starving yourself, or engaging in myriad activities that you haven’t done before, such as acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, or chiropractic, spending money and time without developing a consistent plan. Taking medications in excess of the recommended dosage and relying on them for your well-being, to the exclusion of exercise and stretching, is another common example of an extreme physical behavior. Probably the most common extremes are patterns of unhealthy behaviors that cause damage to the body, including:
- Inactivity (which causes joints to stiffen and muscles to weaken and atrophy).
- Overeating or eating nonnutritious foods.
- Smoking and ingesting toxic substances.
- Not sleeping enough or sleeping too much (napping throughout the day, resulting in the inability to get extended, restful sleep at night).
- Taking mood-altering drugs.
This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).