Should I heat? Should I Ice? Is it better to rest in bed or get up and stretch? Here are some helpful first aide treatments and home remedies for common aches and pains:
Neck Pain – In the age of computers and cell phones, most of us spend far too long staring at a screen throughout the day. If you neck starts to hurt, take a break and stretch your neck. Gentle range of motion exercises and bending your head side to side can alleviate muscle tension. Moist heat also works well to decrease tightness.
Headache – Just like neck pain, headaches can be the result of tight neck muscles so stretches may relieve that as well. Dehydration can also contribute to headaches so be sure you are drinking at least 8, 8 ounce glasses of water per day. Eye fatigue may also cause headaches so taking a break and lying down with a cold compress over the eyes may help.
Arthritis –There are many types of arthritis, but the most common one that affects the majority of us is osteo or degenerative arthritis. This is the result of wear and tear over time or even traumatic injury. The symptoms can be pain or stiffness in the joints. The best treatment for arthritis is exercise that involves movement of the joints to keep them lubricated and decrease inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet or hot/cold therapy is also helpful. Supplements such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Omega 3s are also helpful
Sprained Ankle – A sprain to any joint will benefit by the RICE pneumonic. Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. Compression can be done with an ace bandage or elastic brace. Kinesiotape is extremely helpful during the recovery phase of these types of injuries as it provides support but encourages normal motion, lymphatic draining and muscle strengthening.
Lower Back Pain- Pain in the lumbar spine can be acute from an injury or chronic from years of wear and tear. In an acute injury, the best treatment is ice and rest for the first 24 hours. After that walking and range of motion exercises are beneficial. For chronic pain, heat and mobility/stability exercises are the best course of home treatment.
Nausea or Upset Stomach-There are many causes of tummy aches from food allergies to bacterial infections or flu. Regardless of the cause, home remedies such as ginger, licorice or peppermint are helpful. These can come in the form of food, teas or supplements. A warm compress to the stomach or abdomen is also reduce the pain.
Should your symptoms not resolve with home treatment in a day or two, it is best to see your health care provider. At Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, we offer Primary Care, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Orthopedics and Acupuncture. For an appointment or more information, call 2539270660.