Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Joint Pain? Knock It Out!!

Happy Wednesday, time for another health post....

Everyone overdoes it now and then and comes up limping or with a sore elbow, shoulder or wrist.This usually happens when you simply do too much of something, like shoveling snow or playing a sport.

You may have an inflammation of the bursa sacs, which feels like a dull ache, or an inflammation of the tendons, which feel like a sharp pain.

The most confusing thing when you have an injury is whether to use heat or ice.What follows are tips and tricks to get you back in the swing of things quicker than usual....

First of all, keep the swelling reduced as much as possible. One way to do this is to wrap an elastic bandage around the injury, then elevate it higher than your heart. Use pillows for propping, if necessary.

Ice the joint. You need to keep this treatment up for several days, if possible. This will reduce pain as well as inflammation. You can wrap ice in a towel and place it on the joint for 10 minutes at a time, leaving it off for 20 minutes. Do this a couple of times per treatment. You can also use a commercial ice pack, or make your own flexible ice pack. Apply this treatment every four hours.

After about three days of icing, or when the joint is no longer warm to the touch, begin the cold/hot alternating treatment. The heat will increase the blood flow to the injury, speeding recovery. Use a heating pad or commercial hot pack.

Some find relief with menthol pain creams such as Tiger Balm. They have never helped me, but a lot of people use them.

If you will follow these steps, you will reduce swelling and help your body to start healing much quicker.

Please see your physician if, after three or four days, your joint is red, warm and sore to the touch. You may have developed an infection.

Do you have a special treatment that works? Please respond and let us know!

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