Simple Self Help Measures
Simple Measures may help provide some temporary relief. We have suggested some useful tools below.
Relaxation is perhaps the single most important key to health and well-being. It is the antidote to stress which is known to contribute to the development of disease. When we relax, our body has an opportunity to unwind. The benefits of relaxation have been well researched and some of these are summarized below.
- gives the heart a rest by slowing the heart rate
- reduces blood pressure
- slows the rate of breathing, which reduces the need for oxygen
- increases blood flow to the muscles
- decreases muscle tension
With the rushed busyness of our hectic lifestyle, we often underestimate the power of relaxation. Most of us have a massive to–do list each day, and we feel we can’t afford to slow down our pace or we’ll quickly fall behind.
However, we fail to acknowledge the ways that relaxation can increase our stamina, clear our thoughts, and allow us to get much more accomplished with less effort.
There are many approaches to learning to relax, no ‘one thing’, is right for everybody; it is about finding out what works for you. Relaxing baths, listening to music, deep breathing, guided imagery, meditation and yoga.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is a battery powered portable unit which uses pads placed onto the skin to deliver electrical impulses to the nerves underneath the skin. When used properly TENS can often reduce pain significantly and allow an improved quality of life. It is not a cure but could help you gain control over your pain.
You can get a TENS from a chemist or supermarket from under £10 - a fully adjustable machine like the TPN 200+ is under £30
Please see link below for instructions on use of TENS machine.
Please click HERE for links to buy your own machine.
Heat & Cold Therapy
Heat and cold are the two most common types of non-invasive and non-addictive pain relief therapies for muscle and joint pain. Which one you use depends on whether the pain is new or recurring and also personal choice.
HEAT opens up blood vessels, which increases blood flow and supplies oxygen and nutrients to reduce pain in joints and relax sore muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Methods of heat therapy - Hot Water Bottle, Hot Baths, Gel Packs, Gels & Rubs, Wheat Bags, Heat Lamps, Heat Pads
COLD therapy slows circulation, reducing inflammation, muscle spasm, and pain. It should be used if the area is swollen or bruised.
Only use cold/ice packs for periods of 20 – 30 minutes at a time, any longer can result in burn injuries. It is important that the skin is allowed to return to normal temperature before re-applying. If you have problems with circulation in your hands and/or feet, speak to a health professional before using a cold pack.
Methods of cold therapy - Ice Packs, Gels & Rubs, Cold Gel Packs, Cold running water
*There have been incidents where patients have reported burns as a result of incorrect use of Heat/Cold. Please always follow the Manufacturers instructions.*
*If there are areas of altered or reduced sensation on your skin – DO NOT USE ICE as a treatment and be more careful when using HEAT.*
*Test the heat on a NORMAL AREA of skin first.*
Lumbar Rolls - The D-Shape roll is made from high density foam and is therefore quite firm, reduces pressure in the lower back. Can be placed on a back rest at waist level against the lumbar spine.
Seat Wedges– This wedgeshaped pad for placement on the surface you are sitting on reduces pressure in the lower back by having your hips slightly higher than your knees and thus tilting the pelvis forwards slightly promoting a more spinal neutral position.