Safe Ways to Manage Pain

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Safe Ways to Manage Pain

Too often, we run to the medicine cabinet at the onset of any pain. While there are times when this might be the best course of action for you, there are alternatives that are better for your overall health. It’s National Safety Month, so we want to take the time to talk about safe ways to manage pain for a variety of common ailments so you can enjoy your summer with less pain!

 

Back

Often, our first instinct when our backs are aching is to lay down. Not only is this not an option for many, but it does a disservice to your pain relief. Although it can vary depending on your diagnosis, often the best course of action to relieve back pain is to keep moving. You will want to avoid extremely strenuous activities, but keeping the back muscles strong can help to relieve a lot of pain. Your physical therapist can show you some movements to help strengthen and take the pressure off of problem areas in your back.

 

Joints

Arthritis comes in a variety of forms and can impact many areas of the body. People of all ages can have arthritis, although it is incorrectly thought of as a condition that impacts solely older Americans. Maintaining a healthy exercise regimen will keep your weight at a healthy level, thereby reducing the pressure put on the joints. Another option that can help with the pain is stretching the pain points in order to increase and maintain your range of motion. If you are wanting instant relief, you may want to consider hot and cold therapy. This is where you alternate between a heating or ice pad on the impacted area.

While the area is in pain, you may not think it would feel good to have the area massaged. However, regular massaging can help reduce the pain and stiffness. You can either have this done by a professional masseuse or have your PT show you some self-massage techniques.

 

Head

When you first feel the onset of a headache or migraine, you should ask yourself how much water have you drank that day? Often, our headaches are caused or worsened by dehydration. The recommendation for daily water intake is 12-16 cups a day depending on your BMI. A headache can be a sign that your body is not getting what it needs in terms of water, nutrition and sleep. Try to make sure these factors are met before treating the problem with unnecessary medication. If those needs are being met, it is time to apply a cold compress to the neck to reduce inflammation. If you find your head hurting frequently, you may want to consider relaxation yoga, which can relax the tense muscles and promote flexibility in the neck. Your PT will also be able to provide some movement recommendations for you at the onset of head pain.

 

Managing your pain in a safe way could be what defines your healing process. If you need help with your healing process, contact Core Physical Therapy today.

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