Pain Fighting Tricks from Physical Therapists

Posted on in Industry News, News

injury preventionA physical therapist is probably the last person you would think to see when you are in pain, but they are often the ones that will give you [almost] immediate and lasting relief from pain. Prevention magazine recently asked PTs from across the United States to weigh in on the pain fighting tricks that work the best for them and for their patients. Here is what they had to say:

  1. Find the root cause of your pain – where you feel pain is often not the source of the problem. Knee pain is a perfect example of this. Knee pain is often caused by something either above or below the knee. Whole-body stretching programs designed by a PT can help you find the root cause of your pain.
  2. Assess your desk – many of us spend most of the day sitting at a desk in front of the computer. Many of us also experience pain in our back, shoulders, and necks as a result of poor posture while sitting in said desks. Danielle Weis, a physical therapist based in New York City, recommends making sure your workstation is ergonomically sound. That means:
    • Your computer and keyboard are in front of you. The top of your computer screen is in line with your eyes
    • Your elbows are bent at a 90-degree ankle and your wrists are in a neutral alignment.
    • Your hips and knees are bent at about 90 degrees with your feet resting comfortably on the floor.
  3. Bite your tongue – you reduce pain by causing more pain? Not exactly. When something starts to ache, stick your tongue out and gentle bite down. Next, use your thumb to irregularly tap the soft spot under your chin. This technique is based on the Primal Reflex Release Technique. This works by creating muscle confusion and relaxing your jaw muscles, which tighten when you are in pain.
  4. Get plenty of sleep – sleep is your body’s natural way of fighting inflammation, a big role in pain and pain management.
  5. Avoid pushing through the pain – before you try to stretch or foam roll the pain away, rest it for a few days. If your symptoms improve try easing back into your regular routine. If they don’t, it is time to see your primary healthcare provider.
  6. Take a salty soak – there isn’t a lot of research behind the use of Epsom salts, but many people have reported that taking a bath with salts feels soothing and relieving.
  7. Get moving – rest is good for an injury at first (see number 5) but it is also important to get moving to prevent muscles getting short and tight, and joints from getting locked and stiff.
  8. Eat a lot of anti-inflammatory foods – foods such as vegetables, fish, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranates are essential for relieving pain.

Click here to read the full article in Prevention.