After being a chiropractor for 24 years I can tell quickly which patient will achieve the results they want in the time frame desired and this usually is directly correlated to the time between when the pain starts (injury) and when that patient presents to the office. The longer one waits to begin formal treatment, the longer it will take to heal.
What is formal treatment? Many patients will attempts home care for neck, upper and low back pain. Or for whiplash. With good intentions. Unfortunately so much of home care without proper guidance includes early heat, Tylenol and rest. This is a prescription for not only prolonging the pain, but also a prescription for chronic pain and loss of range of motion.
New back pain and new injuries need specific types of care. Pain is caused by inflammation. Inflammation will cause heat, add more heat to heat and what do you get? More heat, more inflammation, more tissue destruction, more pain and prolonged heal. Answer to the problem, use ice. Ice the area of pain for about 10 min, make sure there is something like a paper towel or shirt between your skin and ice or you will burn the pain. Ice is a great pain reliever and decreases the inflammation. Ice as much as you want. Compress the ice to the area. Most every patient I have ever used ice for low back pain has risen out of the chair where they are icing and has some form of immediate pain relief. Especially if they had been using heat. Do not ice your back laying down. Too many patients over the years have not been able to arise off the floor when icing their back while laying down.
Tylenol is a pain reliever only. Yes decreasing pain is good, but an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen is much better. Make sure you can take an anti-inflammatory prior to taking one in regard to kidney and stomach issues. There are many natural anti-inflammatory products out there like ginger or bromelain, but that is for another blog. Or you can research that.
Rest is not good for any neck or back injury unless you are broken. Rest will lead to a loss of range of motion of the injured joint or muscle. Will lead to increased scar tissue, another reason for long term pain. And rest will create weakness of the area, which again will lead to long term pain in the area and translate to pain in other areas.
I have not even touched on the need of a good chiropractic adjustment for new injuries, but again that is for another blog. In general, if you have a new pain or new injury, or a whiplash. Avoid rest, use ice not heat and after the first 72 hours use anti anti-inflammatories.
I hope this information helps and is useful. Stay active, use is and no heat! If it is pass it along. If you are a professional proof reader contact me privately in regard to poor grammar and punctuation!
If you live in Everett area and have neck pain, low back pain, headaches, suffered a whiplash or car accident or other types of spinal or shoulder pain it would be a pleasure to help you. Give us a call or email.