Frequently Asked Questions From My Patients
I hope your weeks have been going great so far!
I wanted to write about a few frequently asked questions that I get in the office with patients.
SHOULD I USE ICE OR HEAT?
In general, icing is most effective within the first 24 hours, but can still impact healing in a positive way within 72 hours. After this time period icing can start to restrict blood flow and delay the natural healing processes of the body.
So after 3 days, switch to heat. Heat will also be effective in easing muscle tension, so it can be helpful to do before any mobility exercise.
If you have had pain for years and use heat or ice, I suggest heat unless you REALLY like using ice and get relief. It is there for pain relief, not treating the root cause of your problem.
WHY SHOULDN’T I STRETCH?
In a real acute situation, such as a spasm or pulled muscle, you don’t want to stretch. The muscle will loosen up temporarily, often only for 20-30 seconds and then immediately seize back up again. Continuing to stretch will actually cause more pain and your muscles will become tighter than they originally were.
Another example would be – don’t stretch if you think there is any nerve involvement with your pain. This is why those piriformis and hamstring stretches for sciatica often don’t help. They stretch the nerve which does not like stretching and can tighten up more after the stretching.
HOW TO NOT WAKE UP FEELING STIFF IN THE MORNING?
The best thing to do is to stretch and/or perform your exercises before bed. Stiffness is a sign that you need to move more, not less.
Getting your body moving more the day before should help with your stiffness the next day.
If you’re not sure which stretches or exercises to do, then contact us and we can troubleshoot the best solution for you.
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