Ouch! What was that? I’m in pain! What do I do?
“Am I dying?” Determine this first. Joking aside, please seek medical advice if you feel you are experiencing something seriously wrong.
Now that we’ve determined everything is ok, how do we manage our less serious aches and pains?
Is this a new or acute pain? Or is this pain chronic or recurring over a longer period of time, more than a few months? If your pain is chronic, you can use these tips, but it might be time to seek medical advice such as your primary care doctor or a physical therapist. If you have an acute pain from a non-serious injury or problem, try these tips.
Take a rest day between your workouts. Rest the body area that is giving you pain. Give yourself 1-3 days of rest before you ease into your activity again.
Maybe you are in pain from being in one position for too long. When you are in one position for a prolonged period, some areas of your body get good blood flow while other areas may have restricted blood flow. Try stretching or going for a walk to get blood flowing to your whole body.
If you are sitting for a while, stand or walk. Inversely, if you’ve been on your feet, sit or lie down. Place yourself in a position where you can relax and find relief from your pain. You may even want to meditate or practice deep breathing in this position to release tension and relieve stress which may be contributing to your pain.
Identify the body area that feels painful and stretch. Hold your stretches for at least 20-30 seconds.
Use an ice or heat pack. Put it directly on the area where you have pain. The recommended time is 10-20 minutes. Be careful to check the skin and not leave the pack on too long to avoid ice or heat burns.
Ah! Take a nice deep breath. Doesn’t that feel better?
By Dr. Laurel Mines, PT, DPT