Recently I put my 'neck out'. I was reaching forwards to pick up my face cream & my neck & left shoulder went into spasm, leaving me frozen by pain. An osteopath would never say 'your neck is out', unless you have broken it & the bone has literally moved, thankfully this is very rare. I managed to do an acute facet lock (neck joint was restricted) causing an acute muscle spasm in my left shoulder. Quite honestly I have never been such paralysing pain. Every time the muscle went into spasm it caught my breath. Sometimes the most minor injuries/events can cause the world of pain. Just the wrong angle and the body says no.
So what can you do to help keep you going?
I can not stress enough the importance of movement. Just gentle movement, that is in the in the pain free zone. Whether this is gentle shoulder rolls, stretching the neck side to side, swaying your hips side to side, hugging your knee's to your chest drawing circles with your knee's, keeping the area moving is key. For me being at work kept me the pain down, as treating others kept the area moving, pumping inflammation away and stimulating the blood supply. Once I got home and rested, let alone tried to sleep the pain & acute muscle spasms were horrendous.
For ligaments use heat. Ligaments have a poor blood supply. Whilst ice may initially feel nice, ice unfortantly limits the blood supply so heat is better. Muscles however have an awesome blood supply so ice is fine.
- Gentle stretching
Again, same as movement, this must be in the pain free zone. Gentle stretching helps muscles loosen, drain any inflammation and stimulate blood flow to the area. Ask your osteopath which stretches are best for your pain.
- Sleeping supported with pillows
For my neck, I had to sleep on the couch sitting upright, with my head supported with a lot of pillows. For lower back back I would recommend sleeping with a pillow between your knee's. Experiment with your pillows, until you find the most comfortable position.
How can osteopathic treatment help?
I can not stress enough how important it is to seek treatment. Not only can treatment help with relieving the pain, but your osteopath can help diagnose the cause of your pain and refer you for imaging (X-ray or ultrasound) if needed or request you see your GP. In those first few days, after the initial injury the pain can be quite debilitating, thus creating your movement to be very limited. Whilst this can be a pain, it is actually your body's way of protecting you from further harm. To help you cope for the initial few days, it can be recommended to see your GP to get some pain killers to help you cope & get a good nights sleep.
Treatment is aimed at relieving the pain, improving your range of motion, reducing inflammation & advise you on how you can help yourself be cope with the pain.
Book online today to relieve your aches and pains!