Over the years we have found certain actions that patients can take which will generally help them in overcoming their presenting complaints. If something listed here increases your symptoms or of which you have questions, please stop the activity until you consult with your therapist or M.D.
1. Eliminate or decrease the frequency of activities which cause pain. This just perpetrates the inflammatory and degenerative process. Ask your therapist to provide you with different strategies to perform those activities.
2. If you get a delayed onset of pain, play Sherlock Holmes and discover what activity you are performing that causes your pain. Ask your P.T. to provide you with different movement or postural suggestions to help decrease the irritation.
3. With acute or recent injuries always apply ice, no more than 15 minutes at a time, every hour, most authorities advise.
4. Ice is also helpful with chronic or inflammatory pain, especially pain which comes on after an activity.
5. Heat helps with stiffness and achiness, but should not be used with acute symptoms as it causes swelling.
6 If you do not get increased symptoms with walking, you should take therapeutic walks. The ideal is twice a day to tolerance or 15 minutes. It is okay if you want to walk longer if it does not increase your symptoms.
7. To improve you must do your exercise program as prescribed by your therapist and utilize pain free and proper body mechanics. This is your part of the team approach to solving your problem.
8. Many patients have found that drinking more water has helped them reduce the soreness from treatment and to assist their problem. Drink up to eight tall glasses of water a day, especially on treatment days.
9. Many M.D.s recommend taking vitamins during the recovery stages of a physical injury. Vitamin C, which is important in developing scar tissue has been recommended to assist the healing process. Some recommend as much as 2-3 grams if it does not cause loose stools.
10. Become aware if your pain is increased by muscle tension and stress. If you tend to hold the area of pain tightly, begin to train yourself to keep the muscles of the area relaxed. If you find this difficult, bio-feedback can often be helpful in training you to be more relaxed.