Whether your pain has developed slowly over time or seemingly overnight, here are a few tips and things to consider to jumpstart your recovery and get back on track.
- Create a healing environment! Here are some things you can start doing to accomplished this:
- Temporarily reduce stress to the area. If you know certain movements or activities that exacerbate the pain, reduce the intensity/frequency/range of motion of those movements/activities. We initially want to try and limit activities/movements that are interfering with our ability to heal.
- Stay hydrated, get enough sleep (is there such a thing?! Yes, and it is a major contributor to healing), and maintain a balanced diet to help fuel the healing process. For more info, check out: Tips to Maximize your 3 Pillars of Health – Movement, Sleep & Nutrition
- Keep it moving. Keeping nutrient rich blood moving into the area and pumping out waste products is an important part of the healing process. Sure, you may have found a great excuse to lay on the couch, maybe moving even causes pain.. But if you’re able to find an activity that allows you to move without increasing pain, you’ll allow the healing process to happen more efficiently. Some ideas for activities could be: walking, biking, swimming, rowing, etc. Not to mention, these activities can also be a great way to get achy joints to loosen up. The repetitive nature of these movements allows for synovial fluid to rush into the joint being used, acting as lubricant to allow these joints to move a lot freer.
- Things we can help you with to continue to promote healing:
- Restoring movement limitations contributing to increased stress and strain on the area. We’re all structured differently and inherently have different movement biases and compensatory patterns… we’re only human after all. These can contribute to muscular imbalances and joint restrictions throughout our body.
- Improving the strength and neuromuscular control of the surrounding muscles to help take stress and strain off the painful area. These are two different things, and each one is developed differently. Regardless of which one you may need more of, having the foundational competencies for both is a must!
- Manual therapy and dry needling are other ways to help reduce pain in the short term and promote local healing to the area.
3. Gradually reintroduce the movements or activities that used to cause pain. Make sure to take a structured approach to this, as too much too soon can often re-exacerbate pain. For certain exercises that cause pain, this could also mean reducing the range of motion associated with the exercise and/or reducing the weight you’re using.