I was asked recently if I had any hints and tips for someone with general aches and pains, that didn’t involve pain killers. These are my top 5.
1. Ice. This is really good for achy joints, rather than using heat. If there is an underlying inflammatory process going on heat will only fuel the process. For necks and small joint like elbow knees etc get a bag of peas and wrap in a tea towel place over the joint for 5 mins remove for 5 mins and repeat this 3 times as one dose do this at least twice a day. For your low back increase the time to 10 mins.It works to reduce inflammation often part of the process which causes the pain, reduces nerve ending sensation so helps to reduce the pain and in the low back there is some evidence to suggest that it promotes healing. NEVER use ice on your tummy, seek advice if you are pregnant. Using ice at the base of the skull at the first signs of a head ache can also help but apply as for small joints or neck. The thaw in between is important so don’t skip it.
2. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and high sugar content drinks. 2lt for ladies. This will help to ensure that the discs between the vertebrae are hydrated. Sounds like a lot but once your system gets used to it the fluid will go where it should ie your cells rather than your bladder.
3. Exercise. Walking for 20 mins each day unladen is good all round exercise swing your arms and wear sensible shoes / trainers. Pilates is very good also but I would recommend you do a class with a good coach first.
4. Good nutrition. This goes without saying really but we are what we eat. IF all joints in the body are affected it may be worth exploring whether or not you may have any food intolerances. Dairy and wheat are the most common.
5. Sleep. Getting a good night sleep is really important for our systems to regenerate. Support your neck with a rolled up towel no more than you can get between your fingers and thumb of both hands, use only one other pillow. Then use another pillow under your legs below your knees when on your back and as you roll to one side either put this between your legs or fold it over and place below the upper knee and the bed. avoid sleeping on your tummy.
I hope this is helpful to you. If you would like to make an appointment to see me please call 01733 254239
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