Easing The Pain Of Small Stresses

“When we think of the word “stress,” we often think of the big causes: workplace tensions, family relationships and such. But if you pause awhile to consider the seemingly small reasons you are not feeling well, you are likely to find a rather long–and surprising–list of possible culprits.

Here is my list: do a quick check to see which of these you need to notice and change:

  • High heels. No doubt they look great and help you walk tall, but be warned–those perfect, pointy 4-inch heels can be bad for your health and comfort. According to Natalie A. Nevins, DO, an osteopathic physician from Hollywood, California,”Extended wear of high heels and continually bending your toes into an unnatural position can cause a range of ailments, from ingrown toenails to irreversible damage to leg tendons. Additionally, cramming your toes into a narrow toe box can cause nerve damage and bunions.”

  • The label on your shirt collar, grating against your skin. That gorgeous shirt might boast a cutting edge design, but the label on it can feel like a razor edge that cuts. The result: itchy, red skin and a sense of daylong annoyance. If you have sensitive skin, the problem can be much worse. An article in the Wall Street Journal reports that retailers blame inferior label materials and manufacturing processes for the hazardous label attack. “Instead of old-fashioned silk or some other naturally soft material, the apparel industry turned in the 1960s to less-expensive polyester for its labels. Today, polyester accounts for 75% to 80% of all labels found in mass-market stores, label makers say.” The solution: invest in good quality clothing, and make sure the labels are soft and easy to remove.
  • Ill-fitting innerwear. Data published by the British Osteopathic Association lists poor fitting bras as a common source of mid back pain, or pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, often accompanied by headaches, according to the Daily Mail“Women with larger beasts need to ensure that they are well supported with well-adjusted shoulder straps that off load and spread the weight from the back fastener,” suggests Kelston Chorley, Head of Professional Development at the British Osteopathic Association.

  • Tight headgear: WebMD points out that a tight ponytail or braid can strain the connective tissue in the scalp, leading to a “hairdo headache.” Then there are hairbands that look pretty but feel like clamps around your temples. There’s more.  The International Headache Society conducted a study on 82 policemen, who reported compression headache when asked to wear tight helmets, and felt relief simply by removing the uncomfortable headgear. While most of us are not required to wear tight helmets and hats as a job requirement, the study also showed that tight goggles, hats and bands that exert external pressure on the scalp can cause headache and discomfort.  The solution: let your hair down!

  • Heavy handbags that cause your neck, shoulder and back to hurt. The weight of a big bag strains muscles, and causes you to shift your posture to help you carry the load. This can lead to back pain, shoulder strain, and irritability. An article in Prevention magazine quotes Martin Lanoff, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and a clinical assistant professor at Rosalind Franklin University Medical School in Chicago, as saying, ”When you carry something heavy every day, the accumulated stress can lead to significant injuries that require medical attention.”

Bodily aches and pains are somewhat inevitable, but those caused by items of clothing and personal use can definitely be avoided. Why not be gentle on ourselves? The body, mind, heart, and spirit are all intimately connected. If your neck hurts from a big bag you have been lugging on your shoulder, can you really think creative, happy thoughts?

I rest my case.”

From “5 Small Daily Discomforts That Can Cause Pain & Stress” By 

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