Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Healthy Relationships

Trust, commitment and good communication skills are the foundation of a healthy relationship. Invest in these skills every day, because good relationships improve your health and increase your happiness.

Overview

If you have a loving relationship, you are more likely to enjoy a healthier life. People in successful relationships are usually healthier and happier because each person appreciates what the other brings to the relationship. As a couple, they make the effort to keep the relationship spark alive and also recognize that trust and dedication are necessary to nurture their partnership.

These tips are good for people whose relationships are going well or for those who might have gotten into a rut. If you are being hit, hurt or threatened in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence hotline 1-800-799-7233 for more information. 

Strengthen Your Relationship Every Day

As you grow in your relationship, you will learn to do some of the following each and every day:

  • Listen carefully to what your partner wants to discuss and show your interest by looking directly into your partner's eyes, nodding, and responding with "uh-huhs."
  • Be thoughtful about how you disagree. Listen to their point of view before you state your opinion. Listening is an important part of accepting someone's point of view. You don't have to agree, but try to see where your partner is coming from.
  • Accept that your partner is a unique individual with their own set of experiences. Be patient with them. Some things may not change, but you can figure out ways that the two of you can accept each other's differences.
  • Show affection in small ways like running a bath after your partner has a long day, touching their back as you walk by, caressing their cheek or arm, kissing, or holding hands. These can all send big messages of love and let your partner know that you appreciate their presence.
  • Appreciate your relationship and tell your partner how he or she pleases you, makes you happy, and makes you feel good. Telling them this helps them feel loved, appreciated, and confident enough to show love in return.
  • Surprise your partner with hidden love notes, a special meal, flowers, or small gifts or plan a special date.
  • Be gentle and understanding, especially when they are stressed or worried. Show that you support them even if you do not agree. The thing that they need most is to feel supported and loved by you.
  • Fight fair by listening and responding with respect. Emotional responses rarely help solve any problem.

Listening Is Just as Important as Talking

When we are involved in a difficult conversation, we are often thinking about what we want to say next. Listening requires you to be fully present and open to what the other person is saying. It also requires some degree of concentration. Becoming a better listener can improve your relationship with your partner.

Here are three keys to help you become a better listener:

Ask for clarification to get more information when you do not understand. This will encourage the other person to share their position. It also shows that you are interested in what they have to say. Try using any of the following in your next conversation:

  • "Can you tell me more about that?" 
  • "Can you give me an example?" 
  • "I don't understand. Can you clarify?"

Some people get defensive when asked questions, so be gentle and supportive. Be careful with "why" questions. Instead of asking, "Why do you say it like that?" try instead, "Have I done something to make you angry?"

Tell the person what you understand to be the issue in your own words. This is not the same as repeating them. This helps to correct any misunderstandings. Here are some examples:

  • "So even though it is over budget, you think that taking this route is a better option." 
  • "If I understand you correctly, you are unhappy with our living situation and you would like us to move." 
  • "It sounds like you need my help with the project. Is that right?"

Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Ask yourself: "If I were in this same position, how would I feel?" This can give you some much-needed insight.

Fighting Fair

All people in relationships can have unresolved problems, but how they handle them is more important than the disagreement itself. By developing the ability to understand and respect one another's position, you build greater trust in your relationship. This can happen by carefully listening to each other and talking about the topic, even if you don't resolve your disagreement. 

Think before bringing it up. Decide what your real issue is and how you would like to see it resolved free from emotion. For example, your partner came home late and did not call to let you know. Be clear about your expectations. Ask yourself what you hope the outcome of your discussion will be.

Set a time to talk when you are both open to discussion. "Can we talk about you coming home late last night? How about after the kids go to bed?"

State the problem as clearly as you can. "You came home really late last night."

Explain how the problem makes you feel. "I was afraid you had been in an accident or something. Then I got mad at the same time. I was angry about not knowing when you would get home."

Suggest a change. "Here is what I would like in the future, OK? When you know you'll be home after 6:15, give me a call and let me know. Even if all you can say is 'I'll be late,' that's better than not knowing."

Talk about positive outcomes. "If you call, I can stop worrying. You won't come home to me being so angry."


Healthy Sex

Many of us think that good sex should just come naturally – we should instinctively know how to be good lovers without instruction or practice. Though we do have a primary biological drive for sex and procreation, satisfying lovemaking is more often something we must learn over time. 

A healthy sexual relationship can:

  • Improve your mood and sense of well-being. 
  • Improve your satisfaction with your relationship. 
  • Reduce a sense of isolation. 
  • Reduce pain, as well as menstrual and reproductive problems. 
  • Possibly reduce your risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety, and hostility.

Lovemaking is about sharing emotional closeness through physical interaction. Healthy sex is:

  • Freely chosen 
  • Respectful 
  • Erotic 
  • Playful 
  • A way to be closer 
  • An expression of love 
  • Caring 
  • Thoughtful 
  • Conscious of consequences

Good sex does not always have to mean intercourse, orgasm, ejaculation, or even sexual arousal. It can be satisfying just to hold your partner and concentrate on the physical and emotional closeness that you feel.

Good sex depends upon good communication. Don't assume that your partner knows intuitively what will sexually satisfy you without your saying what that is. Take the time to ask:

  • What turns you on? 
  • Does this feel good? 
  • What would you like to try that we haven't tried? 
  • What would you like to do again? 
  • Do you want to make love now?
Keep lovemaking fun

You can keep the romantic spark alive if you make good sex a priority and add some romance and surprise. You have to deliberately break the routine. Here are some ideas for how:

  • Make love in a room outside of the bedroom. 
  • Make love in the morning before work. 
  • Eat dinner by candlelight. 
  • Send your partner a suggestive note.
  • Surprise your partner with an overnight or a distraction-free weekend. 
  • Create an intimate scavenger hunt for your partner.  

Sexual abuse occurs when you are forced to have sex or perform sexual acts against your will.  Attempts to control your birth control is also abuse. 

If you think that you are a perpetrator or a victim, there is help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. 

Additional References:

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If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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