Catchy tag line, huh? Well there is a way to decrease pain for free and most people like free. If you have a recent strain or sprain, pulled muscle, whiplash, acute neck pain, upper back pain or low back pain there is a way to decrease the pain you are in without cost.
New injuries, or acute injuries, will be inflamed and therefore hot. There will be swelling due to the injury and the chemicals that come into the injured area. If you look at the area it will most likely be a little red and if you touch the skin it will be hot and clammy. Most of the patients I have treated in my 19 years of practice will put heat on the injury. This will only bring in more blood, therefore increasing inflammation and also increasing pain. This will also cause more tissue destruction and you will heal slower.
So what is the answer? Ice. Simple and free. The best thing to remember is RICE. No, not a rice bag, RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Take an ice pack and put it on the injured area but make sure you have something between you and the ice pack or you will burn your skin (I just did this to my foot). Ice for 10 minutes. Then compress the area. If it is your back that is in pain, sit with the ice pack between you and a chair. Rest only for the time you are using the ice. Rest also means not stressing the injured area. Rest does NOT mean sitting and doing nothing all day! Elevation really only concerns the extremities, but in regard to the back DO NOT lay down and ice.
While you are on the ice you will experience increased pain, freezing, burning and then numb. Sounds like fun!? Remember do not put the ice direclty on the skin.
This may seem simple, but at my chiropractic clinic in Everett I still get a couple patients a week who have used heat on a new injury and they are getting worse. These patients are always amazed when I have them sit with ice on their painful area and they feel better in ten minutes.
Your next step for long term pain control and ultimate healing may be chiropractic care. If you have a recent injury please give us a call at Advanced Chiropractic, Everett Wa, 425/353/7246