Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An In-Between Pain Relief Remedy

I received a call yesterday from a woman who had back pain and wanted to schedule a massage therapy session. Of course when your in pain you want to be seen immediately but a therapist's schedule doesn't always comply with the needs of pain. On occasion, however, scheduling miracles do happen and there is an opening that day. Only yesterday wasn't the day for this woman and I felt responsible, as a therapist, to offer an in-between relief remedy before the conversation ended. (the in-between is the time from the call to the appointment) I find such a recommendation can empower people to know there is something they can do and for many of my clients who do not use medication, it offers an alternative approach to easing pain.

For this new client the in-between relief remedy was contrast therapy, a form of hydrotherapy that uses cold compress followed by heat. When pain arises you will find inflammation, which irritates the nerve endings in the affected area and there is a decrease in circulation. The purpose of contrast therapy is to reduce inflammation and draw nutrient and oxygen rich blood to the area. As such, this method acts as a vascular flush - out with old, in with the new.

This form of hydrotherapy is safe, easy and affordable to use. However, if this client had a serious disease or any 'hardware' in the affected area (ie.: pins, plates or screws) I would recommend they obtain clearance from their medical doctor before applying. But since this was not the case in this instance, I recommended 10-15 minutes of ice followed by 10-15 minutes of heat, in bag/pack form, as it will conform better to contours of the affected area and do this cycle 3-4 times when she gets home from work or before she goes to bed.

Simple self-care, like contrast therapy, can break the pain cycle and make a world of difference.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Testing the limits

The learning curve for a noob at blogging is, I am finding, quite the experience. I have watched the youtube video, read all of the posts I could, and it still has not been successful. The experience leads me to wonder, maybe I should just stick to the good ole pen-n-paper method of putting down my thoughts.