If you have recently injured, you are likely to have an inflammatory response with pain, swelling, redness and often stiffness. Ice is the recommended form of treatment to decrease inflammation, block pain and reduce swelling. Whilst heat may afford some relief, it may encourage inflammation and therefore prolong your recovery. It is therefore not recommended at this stage.
Wrap an icepack, freezer pack or frozen peas in some kitchen towel and apply over the injured site for 10 to 15 minutes only. This can be repeated every forty-five minutes in the early stages of the injury (48 hours). The time between icing can be increased accordingly as your symptoms improve, however, this should be discussed with your chiropractor.
In the early stages of an injury, your body will tell you which positions are comfortable. If you are in discomfort with standing, then sit. If there is pain with sitting, then try lying down. Often bending the knees provides relief to low back pain sufferers. Try placing a pillow underneath the knees if you are lying on your back or, alternatively, if you are side-lying, place a pillow between the knees to help reduce stress on the spine. Do not stay in any position for too long, try to keep mobile and potter around for approximately 5-10 minutes every 20-30 minutes.
When your symptoms start to subside, it is important that you think more about your posture. A good posture when sitting, driving, bending and lifting will all help reduce the likelihood of your symptoms recurring. If you need any further advice or guidance, please feel free to contact Bodymotion.
If you are in severe pain, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication may be beneficial. Speak to your pharmacist prior to taking any medication to ensure that it is not contraindicated to any other existing medical conditions, i.e. do not take ibuprofen/nurofen if you are asthmatic.
You may also want to visit your GP for stronger pain relief/anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). However, this may only mask the pain that you are feeling and may not get to the root cause of your complaint. Only short term ingestion should be considered, as long term use can lead to many negative side effects, which are highlighted below:
• On average, 1 in 1200 patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) for at least two months will die from gastro-doudenal complications (e.g. ulcers) who would not have died had they not taken NSAID’s (Trammer et al, 1999, Pain journal).
• The risk of ulceration due to therapeutic doses of NSAIDs is estimated at 5- to 10-fold (Hirshowitz,1994 Sep;2(3):207-23).
• More people die each year from NSAIDs-related complications than from AIDS and cervical cancer in the United States.
It is therefore imperative that the instructions on the medication are closely followed and that the anti-inflammatories are taken with food, even in the middle of night. If any abdominal discomfort or acid reflux is noted, stop taking medication immediately.
If your symptoms persist, contact Bodymotion, where they will be pleased to advise you on managing your injury prior to an appointment.