Running Woes: How to Recover from a Sprained Knee and More

Maybe you stepped on a sewer grate while running? Perhaps you came down on someone else’s foot while playing basketball? Whatever the case may be, you’re dealing with a sprained knee.

Now, you’re doing everything in your power to return to full strength. The only problem is, you’re not sure of what it takes to recover from a knee sprain.

That’s where this article comes in. Below, we’re not only going to tell you how to recover from a sprained knee, but we’re also going to provide you with a wealth of other relevant information. Let’s go!

What Is a Sprained Knee?

“Sprained knee” is the term used to describe the overstretching or tear of ligaments which connect the thigh and shin bones. A painful condition, it comes in many severities. When severe, it can lead to long-term health issues, and arthritis, in particular.

There are four ligaments in the knee, all of which can be overstretched or torn. These include the anterior cruciate ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament, the lateral collateral ligament, and the medial collateral ligament.

Common Symptoms of a Sprained Knee

There are several symptoms of a sprained knee. The most prominent of these symptoms include the following.

Stiffness

One of the most common symptoms of a knee strain is stiffness. If you have trouble straightening or bending at your knee, there’s a fairly good chance that you’ve strained it.

Swelling

While it’s not always present with a strained knee, swelling is fairly common. Of course, swelling could be indicative of a number of other problems as well, so you have to think critically.

If the swelling is mild, a sprained knee should be assumed. On the other hand, if the swelling is severe, you could be experiencing a full ligament tear.

Weakness

Another sign of a knee sprain is general weakness. If you have trouble placing weight on your knee, there’s a good chance that it’s sprained. Again, however, there could also be more severe problems present.

Bruising

In some cases, a sprained knee will be accompanied by bruising. However, if the bruising is extreme, you’re likely dealing with a more serious issue than a sprained knee. A trip to the doctor would be warranted.

Pain

The most common of sprained knee symptoms is pain. When you sprain your knee, you will experience physical discomfort, usually on the mild to moderate part of the spectrum.

How to Recover from a Sprained Knee

Recovering from a sprained knee isn’t always easy. However, with a lot of hard work and dedication, full recovery is likely. The components of recovery include the following.

Diagnosis

In most cases, when you have a sprained knee, you’re advised to schedule a doctor’s appointment so that you can receive a formal diagnosis. During your appointment, your doctor will test your knee in a number of ways, comparing it against your uninjured knee. Not only will your doctor carry out physical tests, but x-rays and other imaging tests as well.

He or she will also try to get a feel for the nature of your injury, inquiring as to what you were doing when you were injured and how severe the pain associated with your injury is.

Then, your doctor will rate the severity of your injury, giving it a 1, 2, or 3 rating. While a 1 rating indicates an overstretched ligament, a 2 indicates a partially torn ligament, and a 3 indicates a fully torn ligament.

Pain Relief

Regardless of the severity of your injury, you will be advised to institute some pain relief measures. These will help to stave off discomfort while your knee heals, allowing you to live a fairly productive life.

In many cases of a sprained knee, doctors will prescribe over-the-counter pain medication. However, this isn’t a certainty. If you’re not prescribed medication, you’re advised to take something such as ibuprofen or Tylenol.

Other pain relief measures include applying ice and heat to the affected area. You might also consider wearing a compression band over the sprained knee.

Rest

One of the most vital parts of recovery will be rest. You need to keep activity to a minimum, as you need to remove as much stress from your knee as possible.

Sit or lay down when you can, and, when sleeping, consider raising the affected knee slightly. Raising your knee will help to reduce swelling, allowing it to heal and curbing some of the pain.

In some cases, patients will be advised to wear braces such as the ones found on this website. Braces prevent the ligaments from stretching too far, allowing them to heal.

Exercise

To return your knee to its optimal state, you might have to engage in some specific exercises. These exercises will strengthen not only the muscles around the knee but the ligaments around the knee as well.

Common exercises for sprained knee recovery include but aren’t limited to leg lifts, calf stretches, thigh stretches, hamstring curls, and knee bends. To spur on recovery, you’ll have to perform these exercises on a regular basis.

Surgery

In cases of a severe sprain, surgery will be required. However, this is only necessary when the ligament is torn.

During the procedure, small holes will be drilled into the bones around the knee. Then, the surgeon will take the severed ligaments and reattach them. In some cases, grafts will be needed.

If you do undergo surgery, you will be out of commission for a few months. While you may be able to work, you won’t be able to engage in physical activity.

On the Search for More Health Tips?

Now that you know how to nurse that sprained knee, you might be searching for more health tips. If so, you’re in the right place. We have you covered.

Our site contains info on everything from fitness to health to dieting to medication and more. Browse some more of our articles now!

How to Relieve Muscle Pain and Soreness After Exercise?

Experiencing pain after any workout is quite normal and most of the time the pain subsides on its own in a day or two. But if the aching muscles do not get better within a few days of rest, then it could mean there is a more serious injury than you had initially anticipated.

We have listed below a set of techniques that will help you get rid of mild muscle soreness and pain.

Techniques to relieve muscle soreness and pain:

Use Hot or Cold Therapy:

The first thing you need to know as soon as you notice anything unusual like swelling in the area is to immediately apply an ice pack for about 15 minutes. On the other hand, if there is no swelling but just soreness of the muscles, apply a heat pack instead to boost blood circulation in the area.

Stretch Properly:

Stretching before and after a workout session is very important to prevent soreness of muscles. Take 10 minutes before and after the workout session to stretch. Remember this is the most important thing to do every day before you exercise or else you will face extreme muscle soreness or pain after the workout.

Take a Massage:

A good and relaxing massage can also help to relax the sore muscles as it helps in increasing the blood circulation in your body which in turn helps in providing more oxygen to the muscle. Taking massage every week if you work out regularly is a good practice to make sure that your body is not overexerting and getting the pampering it needs.

Exercise (Cardio):

So, you did a bit too much strength training and your muscle is really sore, so you decide to take a few days to break from workout routine to get rid of the pain. This approach is absolutely wrong. To get rid of the pain, you need to continue exercising but only stick to cardio. Strength training results in a build-up of lactic acid in muscles which causes muscle soreness and pain. When you do cardio, lactic acid burns up thereby reducing your pain hence always remember, strength training should be followed by cardio on the next day.

Try a Steam Bath:

Steam bath after workouts really helps in boosting blood circulations to muscles which may provide you temporary relief and help in loosening the tight muscles. 

Try Ointments and Painkillers:

You will find ointments in the market or oils which helps in relieving muscle pains. There are painkillers also available to help reduce the pain. If the muscle soreness is not extreme, these techniques can help get rid of the pain in a day or two but if it prolongs more than that, it is better to go for more aggressive pain treatment.

If the pain still persists for a longer time than advisable, we suggest you join an effective natural pain eradication program such as Back To Life Program which is well researched and has helped many others get rid of their pain through natural techniques. But if your pain is extreme, then it is no brainer, consult a doctor immediately.

Physio for Nerve Pain and Injury

Nerve Pain and Injury

Nerve pain is a broad term for a variety of conditions causing symptoms such as pins and needles, burning, electric shocks, weakness or numbness. These conditions can affect the legs, arms or face.

Pinched Nerve

A ‘pinched’ nerve is a common term used to describe an experience of nerve like pain. This experience can happen anywhere in the body but the most frequently seen is the sciatic nerve or the nerves running from the neck to the arm. When the sciatic nerve located in the back is sensitized this will often result in referred leg pain. This may be caused by something non-structural like overstretching, local swelling or sensitivity of the nerve or it could be something more structural like an arthritic spur or disc protrusion. The term ‘pinched’ is really only a true description when there is a structural impingement on the nerve. This only happens in a small percentage of cases when an individual is experiencing nerve pain.

A pinched nerve in the neck can cause arm weakness, pain, and altered reflexes. Symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck can often be confused with other common conditions such as tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and rotator cuff injuries.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on your median nerve which runs through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Symptoms include pins and needles, numbness and pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome has many causes, including anything that causes swelling in the wrist such as arthritis or repetitive hand movements.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is an injury to the muscles that are responsible for extending the wrist and fingers. The injury usually occurs on the bony bump located on the outside of the elbow where the muscles attach. Tennis elbow usually causes pain when performing gripping tasks and wrist or finger extensions. Tennis elbow can be caused by repetitive tasks such as painting, typing or repetitive gripping and can be a result of poor muscle strength or poor technique during certain physical activities.

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injuries are a common shoulder problem. The shoulder joint is relatively unstable in structure compared to other joints in the body to allow for the large range of motion required at the joint. The joint consists of a ball and socket joint which is controlled by a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff. The muscle and tendons in this area are vulnerable to tears and other injuries, depending on the loads placed upon them. A rotator cuff injury can include mild inflammation or tendinitis, local shoulder bursitis or more severe injuries such as partial or complete tears.

Symptoms of Nerve Injury

There are many symptoms that can be caused by nerve problems. Some symptoms can indicate that the nerve is inflamed by sending signals such as:

  • Pins and needles
  • Pain
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Burning sensations

Other nerve injury symptoms can indicate that the nerve has become compressed or its signals are being blocked or interfered with. These symptoms may include:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Reduced reflexes

Physio Nerve Treatment

A highly skilled physiotherapist can treat many conditions related to nerve pain, including carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, chronic pain, referred pain, and restless legs. Nerve physiotherapy aims to improve the environment of the nerve with manual therapy, including dry needling. It also aims to prevent any future nerve problems by teaching corrective exercises to deload the affected nerve structures.

Nerve physiotherapy is an effective way to treat and manage many different types of nerve pain and injury. Como physiotherapy has highly trained and qualified physios who provide expert care to patients. Physio nerve treatment identifies the cause of the nerve pain and applies treatment techniques to help relieve pressure, pain, and discomfort, returning the patient to their normal activities as quickly as possible.

3 Sciatica Nerve Pain Facts

If you have ever felt a sharp pain, tingling or numbness running down your leg from your spine, you may have discovered your sciatica. The sciatica nerve is the longest nerve in your body, so it if is acting up, you are going to feel discomfort in a large area of your body. A sciatica massage is one treatment you can try to alleviate the discomfort.

Here are three sciatica nerve pain facts to consider.

What is the Sciatica?

The sciatica nerve runs from the spine down each of your legs. Even though there is a nerve on each leg, patients who report pain, only report it on one leg or the other. A herniated disc is often the culprit of the pain because it presses down on the nerve. If you feel discomfort, you can visit your doctor for a consultation. In the best case scenarios, the pain fades away on its own. It usually affects individuals over the age of 40.

How Do You Know the Sciatica Nerve is Acting Up?

It is almost normal to feel sudden twitches or pinches in your body at odd intervals. When any of those symptoms become frequent and are more than sudden, it is time to take notice. Someone whose sciatica nerve is acting up will have trouble sitting or walking comfortably. The discomfort can range from mild to severe, and it will be concentrated on one side of your body around the back, hip and lower portions.

Treatment

Once you believe it is your sciatica nerve acting up, it is a good idea to seek a consultation with your doctor. He can diagnose the severity, and then, recommend solutions. He may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine or something to relax the muscles. Self-care and physical therapy may be recommended.

You also have the option to receive a sciatica massage. Some patients respond quickly to this treatment while others require a few extra sessions, but it is a holistic approach worth trying.

For sciatica nerve pain, a sciatica massage may alleviate some or all of the discomfort you are experiencing.

Why try dry needling for pain relief?

Dry needling, also known by Intramuscular Manual Therapy is one of the efficient neurophysiological treatment used to relieving pain. In the procedure, a needle is inserted into the skin to the myofascial trigger points. The myofascial trigger points usually have a number of knots, which are responsible for the pain cycle of the body.

When the needle is inserted in the knot, they are released and the pain is relieved. It is very necessary to get dry needling done from any professional to avoid the risk of any potential damage. Most of the times, people suffering from extreme pain undergo dry needling physical therapy.

How does dry needling work?

The process of dry needling is unknown. However, the procedure does work on some biochemical effects. When the injections are given to release the knots, it leads to a biochemical reaction which has a positive impact.

The biochemical reaction further helps in easing the pain. Moreover, you should also keep a check on the local twitch responses or the spinal cord reflexes. If you get the twitch responses with the dry needling response, you will be able to get over the pain.

Why should you try dry needling therapy?

If you are suffering from chronic pain, you should definitely try dry needling, as it will help in relieving a lot of stress. Some of the prominent reasons for trying dry needling treatment include the following:

Relaxes the muscle

Usually, our body muscles if inactive for a long time tend to become tight. These tight muscles are known as knots or trigger point. Therefore, dry needling physical therapy can help to loosen these knots and calm them down. Basically, it brings back the normal length of the tight muscles.

Relieves pain and releases neurotransmitter

Dry needling calms the body and encourages it to release opiate peptides such as dynorphins, enkephalins, and beta-endorphins. The neurotransmitters further help to prevent the pain signals, which reach out to the brain or spinal cord. Therefore there are very fewer chances of pain occurring again.

Enhanced blood flow

The tight muscles can cause extreme pain in certain parts of the body. Dry needling physical therapy finds the trigger point and releases them. It works in the method of the ultra-thin acupuncture. Since it relaxes the muscles, it contributes towards making the blood flow of the body smooth.

Treats chronic pain

Dry needling treatment is known to treat acute as well as chronic pain. However, it is one long treatment which needs to operate on a long-term basis. Dry needling can help to treat various and different conditions such as back pain, neck pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis and even more.

Encourages movement

If you have a problem in moving, dry needling physical therapy can be of great help. Although it isn’t the same as that of acupuncture, it can work in similar ways. It is also known to enhance the range of motion in people. Since dry needling helps to release the trigger point and improve the blood flow it helps in moving. Moreover, it can also help in lowering the pain of the body.

What problems can be treated by dry needling?

Dry needling Atlanta is known to treat various musculoskeletal problems. The major factors that increase the symptoms of pain are the muscles and myofascial pain. It can treat various acute and chronic conditions such as arm pain, back and shoulder pain, neck pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel.

In some cases, dry needling physical therapy can also treat stress and migraine. Apart from these, it also treats buttock pain, jaw pain and various leg pains such as calf spasms, sciatica, and hamstrings strains.

How long does it take to work?

Dry needling treatment takes a long time to work. Therefore, you will need to make various visits to your doctor to see the effect. It causes both mechanical and biochemical changes to the body for better convenience.

If you have been suffering from chronic pain, you can consider going from dry needling physical therapy. Although you may feel comfortable after some treatments, you should keep a check on it. The musculoskeletal systems are constantly affected by gravity, therefore the chances of pain reoccurring are high.

How To Treat Back Pain Naturally

Back pain is a very apparent condition to many people. In fact, 1 out of 4 Americans claims to have experienced pain in their lower back. And according to research, there is an 84% chance of you experiencing back pain in your lifetime.

Although, in some cases, back pain is caused by injuries and serious conditions, more often than not, mild and acute back pains are caused by daily routines and activities. Nevertheless, these conditions can largely affect your way of living and the quality of your life.

This is the reason why a lot of people would resort to medications and conventional treatments. But little did they know that back pain can be treated naturally. Whether its through a back brace or other natural methods. And if you are having this kind of physical concern, these are some of the best natural ways that you can do to relieve, treat, and eliminate back pain:

  1. Keep moving

Your spine is meant to move, just like any parts of your body. If you are experiencing sore and pain in your back, do not be mistaken for taking it to rest and decreasing your mobility. As it happens, it will only make things worse for your back.

Conversely, one of the best and natural ways to relieve and even treat the pain that you feel in your back is to simply move around. Do some chores, engage in activities, and practice exercises.

You do not actually need to join marathons or fun runs to increase mobility. Simple activities and movements will do.

How To Treat Back Pain Naturally massage

  1. Get regular massages

Aside from making you feel good and great, getting regular massages can do a lot of wonders to your back pain. This is because massages improve blood circulation, relax the muscles, and increase the production of endorphins or natural pain reliever in your body.

When the pain is much more apparent when having massages upon lying down, you may instead request for a massage chair. But regardless of the position, having regular massages is found to be very beneficial and helpful to your back pain.

Another fantastic, drug free way of reducing back pain and tension is to use a Posture Brace. We recommend the Posture Hero as it is FDA and MHRA approved and is proven to correct posture by pulling the shoulders back, aligning the spine and reducing pain, tension and fatigue in the back and shoulders. Designed by the prestigious London Spine Clinic on Londons Harley Street, the Posture Hero brace also not only instantly corrects posture and reduces pain, but it also trains your shoulder and back muscles to adopt a correct position giving long term benefits, meaning you will be pain free even when not wearing the brace (which can be worn directly under clothes for maximum discretion!). For more information on the Posture Hero by BackPainHelp please click here

  1. Have a good laugh—with yoga

Yoga routines and good laughs have a lot of things in common. They naturally relieve stress, increase oxygen consumption, encourage the production of your happy hormones. And all of these things are found to be helpful in relieving and treating back pain.

In the yoga world, laughter yoga programs are already introduced which are very in demand to people who usually suffer from chronic and acute pain. Normally, the yoga routines are combined with laughing exercise to further increase the efficiency and effectiveness.

Also, this is very suitable for people who find exercise routines and workouts too painful for their joints and backs.

How To Treat Back Pain Naturally crunches

  1. Stretches to improve your symptoms

Exercising and stretching are very prominent solutions to treat back pains. And many people have already attested to this since these routines can largely improve your symptoms.

Some of the most beneficial exercises that you may do regularly are the following:

  • Press-Ups
  • Cobra Pose
  • Walking on Flat Ground
  • Standing Backends

Apparently, utilizing these exercises can loosen muscles which usually is an important thing in relieving back pains. However, if the pain persists as you do these routines, you may want to stop doing these exercises and resort to consultation.

But even so, many have already claimed that exercising has helped them to relieve and treat their back pains.

  1. Take a relaxing Epsom salt bath

Epsom Salt bath is one of the most natural ways that you can do to treat your back pain. According to studies, it is seen that Epsom Salt or Magnesium sulfate can dramatically ease the pain that people feel in their backs.

However, it is very much recommended for you to utilize warm water when having this kind of bath. Anything lower or higher than 92 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit will either cause your muscles to swell or cramp. So, be mindful of the temperature ratings, especially if you have just performed exercise routines.

Epsom Salt baths are also great for the skin since it moisturizes, hydrates, and exfoliates your skin.

  1. Change your sleep position

Another best and natural option that you can do is to change your position as you sleep. It has been found that your sleeping position has a lot something to do with your back. Sometimes, the reason why your back would sore is that you slept in a bad position.

So, you should try changing it since it could really help you a lot. You may also want to have an adjustable bed for a much better sleeping position. Although it may cost much higher than ordinary beds, it could benefit your back.

Final Thoughts

All in all, back pains can range from simple to serious conditions. But, if you are just starting to feel pain, then these natural ways might help you in resolving the pain that you are experiencing in your back.

Even so, it is still important that you pay attention to what your body is telling you. So, it is always practical that you consult with a specialist to ensure that the pain you are experiencing is not entirely serious.

What to Do When Your Recovery Doesn’t Go to Plan

If you’ve ever suffered a bad injury or battled a serious illness before in your past, then you’ll know just how important it is to undergo a period of recovery once the ordeal of treatment is over. Sometimes, however, people aren’t afforded such a healthy time of recuperation, as, occasionally, the healing process doesn’t go to plan.

If you were to ever find yourself in a position where your time in recovery isn’t doing anything but make you feel worse, then you have to be proactive in the way you deal with the situation. The longer you allow for poor convalescence to impact you, the harder you’ll make the task of one day returning to full health. Here’s what you need to be doing when your recovery doesn’t go to plan:

Seek continued medical assistance

First of all, you need to get the idea that you are wasting anybody’s time out of your head — if you feel that you need further medical assistance to straighten out your recovery process, go out and seek it.

This doesn’t mean only returning to the medical professional that originally treated you, either. If you find other problems stemming from the struggles that you have with your recovery, for instance, then it’s okay to go and find other appropriate forms of assistance elsewhere to help you battle them — an example of this could be you unintentionally becoming addicted to the medicine that you were prescribed, and then seeking assistance from an addiction center such as Inspire Malibu to help you beat it. Or, if you feel like you could benefit from other medical professionals reviewing your case and them then possibly offering you other forms of recovery assistance, then go out and look for it.

Seek other forms of pain relief

As a person living in the 21st century, you should count yourself very lucky to have so much relief made readily available for you should you suffer from any pain. When you have a headache, you grab for paracetamol. If you were to ever break your arm, the treatment you would receive in hospital would stop you from suffering any further agony. However, the standard forms of relief might not necessarily do much, if anything at all, for you or your recovery, and for this reason, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek other forms of it.

You could try non-invasive forms of pain relief, for instance. There’s cold and heat therapy, which would see you applying different temperatures to the area of your body that is pain; there’s physical therapy, which would see you preserve or improve the strength and mobility of your afflicted area through different exercises; or there are mind-body techniques, which would see you channel your inner-thoughts in a way that’ll help you better control the pain that you feel.

If your recovery after illness or injury doesn’t exactly go to plan, then you need to be putting the advice above into practice. Doing so could see you get back the standard of life that you deserve.

Robotic Surgery Improves our Health and Quality of Life

Today’s society is more technically advanced than ever before.  We’re able to use technology to make our lives safer and easier in countless ways. Within the healthcare industry, this advanced technology helps us all be healthier. One major technological advancement that benefits the health industry is robotic surgery. This is a new surgical system which uses a camera mounted to a mechanical arm. Doctors can attach surgical instruments to the robotic arm, and perform a wide variety of complex surgeries with enhanced steadiness, precision, and flexibility.

Robotic surgery was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2001. Over the years, this strategy has been adopted by many hospitals in the United States and throughout Europe. Movements of the robotic arm are extremely precise, and the technology is fascinating. The surgical robot creates a magnified high definition 3D view of the site, providing the human surgeon and his staff with an enhanced view as the procedure is performed.

There are many advantages when it comes to using this type of surgical technique. Surgeons appreciate how a delicate operation, such as hand surgery, can be performed more quickly and easily. The chances of an error or mistake are decreased dramatically. Robotic surgery is also considered to be minimally invasive, which means the incisions are as small as possible. This allows for faster recovery of the patient.

Despite its many benefits, it’s important to note that robotic surgery is not entirely risk-free. Complications can still arise from a bad reaction to the anesthesia. Despite being minimally invasive, anytime the skin is cut there is a risk of infection– especially if the equipment is not properly sanitized.  When the tools are not disinfected, the surgery may result in excessive bleeding, infection, and possibly even death. It’s important to know how to use CIDEX OPA to disinfect medical equipment. This medical solution specifically targets a wide range of micro bacteria, and can completely sanitize equipment in five minutes when used in conjunction with an automatic endoscope reprocessor at 25º C.

In addition to the normal, inherent risks of surgery, robotic arms have been known to malfunction– though such instances are extremely rare. According to the Department of Human and Health Services, the mechanical malfunction rate of robotic arms is 0.1%–0.5%. This data suggests that the benefits greatly outweigh the small chance of a problem occurring.

As technology advances and improves within society, we are able to do more, and enjoy more, as we go about our daily lives. Within the healthcare industry, we use technology to simplify the most complicated surgeries and procedures. As robotic technology improves, our overall health improves along with it. Doctors can now offer better treatments, perform faster, more accurate surgeries, and continue to minimize the risks associated with complicated medical procedures. The future of medicine will increasingly rely on robotics as we learn to rely on and appreciate the accuracy, precision, and mechanical versatility the technology provides.

Robotic surgery may not be 100% risk-free, but it has proven to be an extremely effective method for performing a variety of complex surgeries. It’s also important to note that choosing any type of surgery can be a potential risk. But with an extremely low rate of malfunction, robotic surgery has proven to be enormously beneficial for both doctors and patients. If you have a medical problem and are in need of surgery, be sure to research and ask questions about the best options available for you.

Keeping Fit When You Have Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can have a devastating effect on every aspect of your life. It’s not just the pain itself, which in some cases can be almost unendurable, but there’s the fatigue, headaches, a general feeling of being unwell, and very often depression and feelings of despair. It feels as if all the joy has been sucked out of you, and you exist from day to day rather than living your life as you would wish. Added to the physical and mental symptoms of chronic pain, you may also suffer from side effects due to medication such as strong painkillers, anti-depressants, and muscle relaxants. Very often, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising, but it can be one of the best ways to help with the self-care of chronic pain.

What is chronic pain?

The causes may be varied, but the common characteristic that defines chronic pain is that it is no longer (and in some cases never has been) serving a useful function, or that the feeling of being in pain outlasts the damage that caused it in the first place. Pain serves an essential role in the body because it alerts you to illness and injury, making you take action to prevent further harm to yourself. If you break a bone, it will be agonizing to start with; then as healing begins, the pain will reduce to a more manageable level. Once the bone is healed, the pain should disappear. In some people, for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear, the pain signals continue to transmit to the brain despite the fact they are not performing a useful function anymore.

What causes chronic pain?

It can arise from a variety of conditions, sometimes following injuries, especially those involving nerve damage, or illnesses that are acutely painful. Neuropathic pain develops when nerve endings grow pain receptors instead of ordinary sensors, resulting in hypersensitivity and the perception that stimulus that would normally not cause pain, such as a light touch, is intensely uncomfortable. In conditions such as fibromyalgia, the entire body can be hypersensitive, and the feeling of pain is constantly present to varying degrees. The root cause can’t be isolated to any one factor, or at least research has yet to find any common denominator for chronic pain. Theories that show promise include the role of inflammation, a natural response that helps heal damaged tissue, but that can persist after the repair has been affected. Research is ongoing, but for now, there is no simple cure for chronic pain.

Painkilling drugs

When you first visit your doctor with chronic pain, they may well send you for tests and scans to see if there is any identifiable cause for the pain. If nothing can be found, but the pain persists, then one of the first steps is often the prescription of painkillers. Strong opioids that have similar effects to morphine used to be prescribed quite regularly, but in recent years, it’s been shown that the risk of addiction and abuse of these drugs is very high. It’s now becoming much harder to get a prescription for opioids, but in some respects, this has advanced the efforts to find alternative treatments rather than just disguising the pain without addressing the underlying cause.

The importance of moving and exercising

When you are struggling with chronic pain and its related symptoms, it can be very hard to motivate yourself to take actions that could help. If your back pain is making you miserable, then the idea of attempting yoga poses seems ludicrous and probably impossible without making the pain much worse. It seems counter-intuitive to make your body work when the pain is usually a signal that you should rest, but with chronic pain, the opposite is true. The pain is real, and just as unpleasant as if you were in an acute state of illness or injury, but those signals being sent to your brain are meaningless. You won’t suffer any harm or damage yourself further in any way by moving as freely and normally as possible. In fact, if you remain in a protective posture, or avoid movement and activity, your pain will worsen as other muscles start to feel the strain. Learning to relax your muscles and maintain as normal and correct a posture and gait as you can are the first steps in learning how to live with chronic pain.

Potential treatments for chronic pain

As research gathers data and evidence is found, a better understanding of how chronic pain manifests itself is developing. This has, in turn, led to far more options for treating pain, rather than depending on painkillers, physiotherapy, and rest. Some of the treatments that have shown good results include:

  • Prolotherapy: this involves injecting painful ligaments and tendons with natural compounds such as Xylocaine and Sodium Morrhuate, which increase the production of prostaglandin in the affected tissue. As prostaglandin is a healing substance produced in the body, it works to rebuild tissues much as a scab would cover a skin wound.
  • PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma): platelets and white blood cells are used by the body to start the healing process following tissue damage. A PRP device extracts these healing substances from the patient’s blood and concentrates them into an injectable form. This is then directed into the painful areas, stimulating the release of tissue growth factors that accelerate and enhance healing.
  • Spinal cord stimulator: a device that is implanted into the patient, where it interacts directly with the nervous system. The stimulator sends electrical pulses along the spinal column and works by interfering with the transmission of pain signals and how your brain receives them. Practitioners have had good results, particularly with chronic back pain.
  • Stem cell transplant therapy: Stem cells have been hailed as something of a miracle, as they have the ability to transform into any specific cells the body requires. It means they have the potential to regrow body parts that have been damaged or are diseased, although this application is still being studied. For chronic pain treatment, stem cells can be extracted from the patient’s own bone marrow or fatty tissues and concentrated in a centrifuge before being injected into the painful area. This stimulates repair and new tissue growth, and thus reduces pain.

Risks and side effects

Like any other medical procedure or treatment, there is a degree of risk involved with undertaking these therapies. However, they have been shown to be very safe when carried out by experienced therapists who are qualified in carrying out the procedure. Occasionally there may be side effects to treatments, so you should always make sure you’re fully informed and discuss any possible problems such as spinal cord stimulator side effects with your doctor.

Dealing with depression and low mood

Coping with the pain is only half the battle; suffering from depression can be just as hard, if not harder, than dealing with the physical pain. Trying to find the motivation and energy to exercise or undertake any physical activity can often seem impossible when you are low, but again, the act of taking exercise will help with your mental wellbeing in the long run. If you are finding it difficult to cope because of your mood, see if you can get some help from a therapist, and talk to your doctor to find out if anti-depressant medication would be helpful for you.

What kinds of exercise can you do?

You may not feel like a vigorous bout of cross training when you are in the grip of chronic pain, but there are plenty of other ways to keep yourself supple and fit. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are all excellent ways to stretch your muscles and loosen joints, while at the same time relaxing and de-stressing. Don’t be put off by thinking you have to contort yourself into bizarre positions like an expert; there are plenty of easy poses, and they can all be adapted to take account of any particular difficulties you may have. Running and other high impact activities may well be too uncomfortable, the concussion alone would make a person living with fibromyalgia weep, but you may find an exercise bike or treadmill that you can set to a gentle pace will keep you toned without overdoing it. Toning tables are another great way to stretch and exercise your body without putting undue strain on it. Perhaps the favorite activity for many chronic pain sufferers is swimming. Just being in the water can relieve the worst of your pain, and swimming is one of the best all-round forms of exercise for anyone.

Chronic pain is not something that can be shrugged off, and there’s no easy way to treat it as yet. If you are unfortunate enough to be living with some form of chronic pain, remember that exercising is one of the primary ways of helping your body to stay strong and cope with your condition, so be good to yourself and find the activity that gets you moving and helps you beat the pain.

Causes and Prevention of Neck pain

The continuous hustle-bustle in life lets an uncalled for guest (called ‘stress’) to permeate through the recesses in one’s mind. Mind and body work in tandem with each other. Hence, the disturbance that begins to occur in the mind also causes a certain amount of annihilation in the body. This uneasiness can appear as disparate natures of pain, suffering and similar incongruities in the human body.

Neck pain can usually occur due to such a disagreement between mind and body. The primary reasons for the occurrence of the neck pain may be a lack of sleep (or vice-versa) or stress due to work. Several studies have also pointed that prolonged Neck pain can result into an irreversible disability. Scary, huh!

Neck Pain as a Health Issue

Continuous episodes of Neck pain slows down the pace of life. If not addressed at the right time can result in spondylitis, sleep disorders, headaches, depression, indigestion, etc. It has been observed that women are more likely to get Neck pain (almost 50%-75%) than men. There may be a variety of causes catapulting the occurrence of neck pain, such as ergonomics (or incorrect body posture), long hours of working with laptops, mobiles and other electronic devices, so on and so forth.

The Cure for Acute and/or Chronic Neck Pain

As per the recommendations of doctors, therapists, even surgeons the use of the correct pillow (especially cervical pillows) can help cure Neck pain to a great degree. The role of pillows in inducing a state of relaxation through sleep is kosher. The function of a pillow is to support one’s neck in alignment with the cervical spine in a neutral or unprejudiced position.

How to Prevent Neck Pain?

  • Cervical Contour Pillows. Pillows function as a proper support to prevent neck pain. As the name suggests, these pillows are designed to keep the head in alignment with the body in a neutral position. This alignment reduces the release of biochemical sleeping disorders or stresses and thus induces a good sleep for the person in pain.
  • Pillow Height. It has been scientifically proven that when the body is in the sleeping position, the cervical vertebrae (neck bones) should be in line with the thoracic vertebrae (spinal bones). A high pillow may disturb this calibration and thus, result in acute and/or chronic neck pain.
  • Memory Foam Pillow molded and cooling gel-based. These pillows are therapeutic in nature as they help regulate the body temperature of the person suffering from neck pain and incite a relaxed sleeping pattern. These Pillows enables a person to meet his or her daily sleep requirement of an average 7-8 hours.
  • Hypoallergic Memory Foam Pillow. The Memory foam pillow is designed to induce the human to a sound sleep state. It is responsible to keep the air clean and temperature moderate. The Memory Foam Pillow enables the person to attain a comfortable and safe sleeping position and thus helps reduce neck pain to a larger extent. These pillows are made up of Hypoallergic bamboo.
  • Pillows with Latex Foam. The conventional pillows stuffed with latex foam keeps the temperature of the pillow moderate, eliminating any heating issues of the pillow while you are asleep.
  • Water-based Pillows. These pillows also serve the function of creating a favorable environment for the person suffering from severe neck pain. These pillows are quite soft and bendable and provide a proper support to prevent neck pain.
  • Use of Body or Side Pillows to improve sleep posture. As discussed earlier, a wrong adaptation of the sleep posture causes neck pain to a larger extent. During the state of unconsciousness (when you are deep asleep), you may find a comfortable position for yourself, e.g., sleeping on the stomach, or even acquiring a side-lying position. In such cases, using a body or side pillow can completely prevent you from attaining an incorrect posture and thus, helps battle neck pain.
  • Visiting a Chiropractor. Chronic neck pain calls for medical aid. A chiropractor is a qualified professional who helps treat the neck pain (also, back pain, and other muscular pains, respectively) via spinal manipulation. Chiropractors help relieve pain by using treatment techniques to correct the positioning of the musculoskeletal structure (spinal coherence) without the use of any oral medication.

The pillow types which may or may not provide resistance to the cause of neck pain and keeps the neck in line with the spine/body are Feather Pillows (Not recommended), Memory Foam Pillows (Recommended), and the Functional pillow (Recommended) respectively.

It is evident that the body posture, stress determinants, sleeping pattern, and by and large the total sleep duration give enough reasons to identify the cause of uncomfortable neck pain. By following a healthy and stress-free lifestyle can take care of such bodily aches and pains quite efficiently. One should strive towards maintaining a balance between, work, health, and diet to eliminate any causes or symptoms of neck pains.