Thursday, September 22, 2011

Self-treating pain

My relatives and pals and I are all gimping around and ooo-ing and ow-ing…is it the
“Arthur-it-is” as we used to joke (when it was funnier)? Probably. I also stepped on my foot wrong and now it hurts or threatens to. Everyone I know has some back pain.

Apart from the usual mantra of lose weight and sleep at night (both tall orders), what can a person do?

In the book End Back and Neck Pain by Vincent Fortanasce, DPT, David Gutkind, and Robert Watkins, MD, they recommend deciding if you are feeling pain—or is it stiffness? Pain means a cold pack, but stiffness can respond to heat. Heat promotes circulation to the area, carrying off substances in your muscles from spasms. If you use a heating pad on your back, be careful not to have it too hot or to fall asleep—people get burned from those!

Analyze your activities. Maintain activities you can tolerate. Poor posture may be an element.

Properly done exercise can almost work magic. Common sense + professional instruction.

Sleep well. When you sleep deeply, you get painkilling serotonin. If you are anxious or angry, painy cortisol spurts.

Long slow stretches before sleeping have a neurological effect.

My sister scoffed at all this….but when I spray hot water on my knees in the morning, I swear they squirt out more goo inside and hurt less.

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