Coming into a chiropractor’s office to get treated is a great start to minimizing pain and improving your health. But what can you do at home to help yourself? Everyone knows the basics such as eat well, get plenty of sleep, exercise, drink water, etc. But I am talking more about what to do if something new comes up. “I slipped on ice and now my back hurts. I tweaked my ankle stepping off a curb. I have a weird looking growth on my arm, etc.”
I want to start by saying this. The internet can be your friend, but be cautious. Just because your neck hurts doesn’t mean you have bone cancer. If ever you have concerns about something, get it checked out. Go into a healthcare practitioner who sees those sorts of ailments/conditions on a daily basis. But here are a few rules of thumb to consider until you can get evaluated and treated by a professional.
- If it hurts, don’t do it!
- Ice usually won’t hurt injuries, but heat can. Ice no more than 20 minutes at a time with at least a 20 minute break between sessions.
- Heat only for muscle spasm or muscle tightness. Heating inflammation significantly increases inflammation and most likely pain as well.
- If something feels wrong, listen to your gut and seek immediate medical care, even if that means urgent care or the emergency room. Better safe than sorry.
- Both mental and physical rest can do a world or good. Don’t push yourself.
- For sprains/strains, RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
- Most insurance plans have a toll free nurse hotline to call for advice. Use it.
- Don’t mess with the problem area. Don’t test your limits, don’t pick at lesions, and don’t assume everything will get better on its own. Every injury and every person is different.