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Daily pain management regimen

Ask Your Chiropractor

With Dr Chris Davis

Sunday, August 24, 2014    

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USING cold therapy in combination with chiropractic spinal adjustments and therapeutic ultrasound speed up healing and reduce pain faster.

Follow this daily pain management regimen for new injuries as well as exacerbations of chronic conditions. Do this concurrently with your recommended chiropractic adjustment regimen for the best results possible. Note: you will only be able to perform RICE steps outside of the chiropractic office. Step one will be performed in the clinical setting at the time of your chiropractic appointment.

Step 1: Ultrasound (5-10 minutes)

Step 2: Rest (often)

As much as you may hate sitting still, for new injuries, you must sit and lie down as much as possible. Even with old injuries or aches and pains that you're trying to rehab, you need to allow your body to rest.

It is during these times of rest that your body is hardest at work repairing itself. Sometimes the best thing for your injury is doing nothing. So let you body's natural healing process take over and "give it a rest".

Step 3: Ice and Compress (20 min)

If you do not wish to purchase reusable cold packs, then you can make your own at home for virtually nothing. There are several methods: ice cubes in a zip lock bag; freeze tap water in plastic drink bottles of various sizes/shapes; frozen vegetables.

Ice Therapy: Apply for no more or no less than 20 minutes, at least three times a day, to reduce local swelling and pain of new injuries and chronic ones as well. Ice can be applied every hour if symptoms persist; but, still, only for 20 minutes exactly.

Compression Therapy: Simply wrap an ace bandage or cloth firmly around the ice pack to keep it in place and compress the injury. Compression helps prevent further swelling and damage from occurring. Do not compress tightly enough to impede or stop blood flow.

Step 4: Elevate (often)

When sitting or lying down, you should try to elevate your injury above heart level, if possible. The elevation helps reduce and prevent further swelling. Raise the affected limb as often as possible.

For edema, such as swelling of one of the ankles, you will want to create a natural pump (dilation/constriction) to move the pooled blood and tissues out of the area. You can accomplish this by alternating hot and cold water several times. For instance, place your foot in a bucket of very hot water for 5-10 minutes, then immediately place it in a bucket of very cold water for another 5-10 minutes. You can repeat this several times or until desired effect is accomplished. You would not want to use this method if you have bilateral swelling of the legs and ankles, as this could be an indicator of congestive heart failure that would warrant proper medical attention.

Don't forget to "Ask Your Chiropractor" every week where your questions may be published and answered in subsequent articles. Address questions to: Dr Chris Davis, the Spinal Mechanic and lead doctor, at movethebone@gmail.com; or, Dr Michael Harvey, director, at dr.michael_harvey@yahoo.com.

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