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End Everyday Pain

Q1: Do I still need to do strengthening exercises if I’m always on the go?

A: Yes, being active can prevent you from getting weaker faster, but typically won’t strengthen you. Unless you’re continually challenging your muscles to do work they cannot currently do, they won’t devote the resources necessary to get stronger.

Q2: Is it normal to feel sore after stretching?

A: Stretching does challenge and change your body, a process that in the short term can create soreness. Stretching should never be painful, however, and as long as you’re consistent, any soreness that occurs should fade within a week or two.

Q3: How often should I take breaks while gardening or doing yardwork?

A: I recommend taking breaks every 20 minutes, especially if the activity you’re engaged in is repetitive—like raking leaves, sweeping, or pulling weeds.

Q4: Do you recommend wearing a knee brace if I’m having knee pain?

A: Bracing parts of the body—knees, low backs, wrists, thumbs—serves to protect a sprained or strained area, and is designed to limit inflammation and provide support (satisfying the R and the C in the RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation—mnemonic). I recommend braces as a short-term aid, especially if you have to engage in activity that could irritate the area. Ultimately, you want to address the underlying problem and strengthen the surrounding muscles to provide the bracing.

Q5: Should I get an x-ray or MRI for my shoulder pain?

A: Other than to rule out serious injury or complications, most of the information gleaned from x-rays and MRIs for shoulders as well as necks, low backs, hips, and knees, is useless. Unless you’re in so much pain that you’re contemplating surgery, differentiating between arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, or soft-tissue tears will not be of much help. An extended trial of conservative therapy will take care of most issues.

Top 5 Q& A's