It’s Saturday night, your back pain is killing you, pain medication is barely taking the edge off, and the thought of being like this until Monday is unbearable. Sound familiar?
Fortunately, there are several things that you can do at home to help make life less miserable until you can get an appointment.
Cold/Hot Contrast Therapy: helps reduce inflammation and muscle spasms
- 10-15 minutes with an ice pack on the painful area
Wrap ice pack in a towel to avoid direct skin contact and frostbite
- Follow with 6-8 minutes of heat with a hot water bottle, heating pad, or even a DIY hot pack using a sock filled with rice that’s been heated 1-2 minutes in the microwave
Caution: don’t burn yourself with hot things!
Avoid laying on the heating pad/bottle/pack to prevent burns
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 two to three times, starting and ending with ice
Stretches and Exercises
- Try any stretches or exercises your practitioner has recommended.
Pain free active range of motion
- Try moving the painful body part in its normal motions in the pain free range.
- Bring your chin to your chest
- Look up at the ceiling
- Look over one shoulder, then the other
- Tilt your head to one side, then the other
- Poke your chin forward
- Pull your chin back with your head slightly tucked (if you’re doing it right you should make a nice double chin)
- Reach for your toes
- Lean back
- Twist your trunk to one side, then the other
- Tilt your trunk to one side, then the other
- Bring your arms up overhead in front of you
- Extend them back behind you
- Bring your arms overhead with them to the side
- Starting with your arms in “T” position, bring your arms across your body
- Starting with your arms in “T” position, push your arms back
Try rolling your shoulders forwards and backwards
Using a tennis or lacrosse ball, put the ball on top of a painful, tight muscle and use the floor or a wall to put pressure through the ball on the muscle.
- You should not be crying while you do this. Keep pain levels below a 7/10 NRS (10 being the worst pain imaginable and 0 being no pain).
Increase your water intake
- Water helps keep your joints moist and hydrated, reducing joint pain
- Water helps flush out waste and toxins, such as inflammatory chemicals
If pain does not subside, pain is severe, or if you lose muscle, bowel, or bladder function go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room immediately.
Even on the weekends, you can always call the office and leave a message requesting an appointment for Monday. Our great receptionist will give you a call bright and early Monday morning. You can also request an appointment on our Facebook page.
Breaking Muscle HQ. (2017, June 18). 10 Life-Changing Reasons to Drink More Water. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/10-life-changing-reasons-to-drink-more-water