All of us have suffered from muscular aches and pains at some point in our life. These are often caused by unaccustomed use or over usage of ligaments, tendons, or the soft tissues which connect the muscles. However, when muscle pain is severe, it can be accompanied by some form of swelling or even restricted movement, which can indicate that the muscles, tendons, or ligaments have been damaged, torn, sprained, or even strained — most commonly as a result of some trauma or a sports injury. Before considering treatment, you should consider whether the pain is stemming from overuse of the muscles or if it is a result of something serious, such as an injury.
If you suspect that you have injured yourself, it is advised that you follow the RICER approach as soon as possible as described further below. Sometimes further detailed investigation by a health professional is recommended, even if the findings confirm there is nothing seriously wrong.
1. What does a pain management specialist do?
You should see your doctor or pharmacist immediately if any of the following apply;. Most of the time, general muscle aches, stiffness, or soreness caused by an overuse of the muscles can be relieved by simple anti-inflammatory gels or heat rubs which are available to purchase over the counter. Some experts also recommend a combination of gentle exercise, massage, and medication to restore mobility.
However, to avoid aggravating the condition further, you should avoid heat, alcohol, exercise, and massage for the first three days as they can limit healing if undertaken too early.
If the pain is in your back, you should ensure you adopt a good posture and appropriate lifting methods in the future to prevent further pain. The RICER approach is recommended within the first two to three days after a sprain, strain and soft tissue injury;. Once the swelling has finally reduced and you feel your injury has healed, you can begin exercises, which can strengthen and promote flexibility in the affected area.
Acupuncturists will needle you. Massage therapists will rub a bit, and though massage feels good, it hasn't been shown to influence the outcome. Psychologists and psychiatrists -- well, let's just say that blaming your parents, spouse, or boss won't make either of you feel better.
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It is not my intent to bash respectable professionals, and there may be times when you need one or more of them. In many cases they can be of great help, but too often they have trouble seeing beyond their standard practice. And in an unfortunate and ironic way, standard practice may be the greatest contributing factor in today's chronic neck and back pain epidemic. The key is to find the right professional, for the right reason, at the right time.
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