There’s no one who hasn’t experienced occasional aches and pains abrupt pain is an essential reaction of the nervous system that alerts for the possible injury. Every time an injury occurs, pain signals travel up your spinal cord then to your brain.
What is chronic pain?
Pain caused by injuries is different from chronic pains. Chronic pain typically continues to send pain signals to your brain even after a healed injury. Chronic pain possibly lasts several weeks to years limiting your mobility and reducing the strength and endurance of the body.
The primary symptom of chronic pain is persistent pain sharp or dull, burning or aching sensation in the affected areas. The pain can be steady or periodic, it keeps coming and going without any clear reason. Headache, post-surgical pain, lower back pain, arthritis pain, cancer pain, neurogenic pain and so forth are some of the most common types of chronic pain.
What causes chronic pain?
Generally, an initial injury causes chronic pain to occur such as a back strain or pulled muscle. Nerve damage could cause severe chronic pain, in that case even treating the underlying injury may not resolve the pain.
However, a study found that people have experienced chronic pain without any prior injury which can happen due to an underlying health condition.
So, how can you cure these uninvited episodes of pain making your day to day life difficult? Have a look at these exercises that may help you ease your pain and may cure with time.
Cardio exercises have a lot of physical as well as mental health benefits. These exercises can especially be helpful for people suffering from chronic pain. Cardio exercises move muscles of your body and increase your heart rate and that is what the body sometimes needs in order to heal. It increases metabolism and also burns calories. Try these simple and effective cardio exercises that come handy and can be done any time requiring the least effort:
Walking or Jogging
Walking and jogging require minimal effort. Add 30 minutes walk or a jog 3-5 times a week in your schedule. Walking frequently will help to build strength and endurance and improving heart health. If that is challenging for you to try and take baby steps towards it, start slow and work your way up to longer walks as you build the strength. And in case you use a walker or a cane, ensure to take it with you.
Swimming and water aerobics
Swimming can be an extremely good alternative to walking, it is especially great for people who have mobility issues. It is a low impact cardiovascular exercise that can help you in moving without adding stress to your muscles or joints. There are numerous other benefits of underwater exercises, swimming can be therapeutic and helps clear your mind.
Strengthening your core becomes essential if you need to be stabilized joints to prevent you from future injuries. Building core strength is especially important for people with chronic pain issues. Strengthening your core will help you in maintaining posture and balance and also reduces the risk of injuries that can cause more pain. Try exercises that work up the muscles of the abdomen, hips and back can help improve core strength and stability. Try these exercises mentioned below:
The dead bug exercise involves lying on the floor on your back with your arms in the air reaching towards the ceiling. Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees angle above your hips. The exercise requires you to extend one leg towards the floor without touching it and taking the opposite hand above your head in a controlled manner. Repeat the same with other hands and legs too and do 10 repetitions on each side. This will strengthen your core muscles and helps build stability.
Leg raise is another strength-building exercise that focuses on the iliopsoas. Since the abdominal muscles are used isometrically to firm the body during motion. This exercise helps people with chronic pain in maintaining balance and stability and in strengthening the internal and external oblique muscles.
Stretching relieves the stiffness and tension if you have chronic pain in your lower back or neck. Stretches that are equipment free improve your overall mobility and promote proper movement which helps heal the entire body and chronic pain
Lower back and glute stretch
When the glutes are tight and fatigued, it causes lower back pain, sore hamstrings, and poor balance. Try exercises that involve stretching your lower back, hamstrings, and glute.
Lie on your back on the floor, bend your knees and bring them closer to your chest then wrap your arms around them like you are giving your legs a gentle hug. Then rock side to side, this will stretch your hips and lower back.
Several studies show relaxation exercises help lessen chronic pain and reduce stress which causes chronic pain. Even visualization is suggested by many doctors that help cure chronic pain. The perks of this type of exercise are that it can be done anytime, anywhere.
Relaxation, deep breathing and visualization
Lie down on your bed or floor or try any position that is comfortable to you. Relax the entire body, including your shoulders and feet, then close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose. Now make sure you exhale through your mouth and release all the air. Continue this, inhaling deep from your nose and exhaling from your mouth and feeling your stomach rise under your fingertips with each breath you take.
Now comes the visualization, all you have to do is keep continuing this pattern and visualize the pain leaving your body with every breath. Repeat this exercise every day before going to bed or throughout the day.
We would recommend that you always consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine. The exercises and stretches and its intensity may differ depending on the origin of your chronic pain. Your chronic pain might require a physiotherapy ultrasound machine and exercise may worsen the pain. It is better to consult a physiotherapist for a personalized exercise program.
What is Ultrasound Therapy?
Sound has been therapeutic and known to cure the body and mind in the form of music over centuries. However, little did we know about using its technological application until the late 19th century, ultrasound has been radically used in diagnostic and therapeutic measures ever since. As we know, as a matter of fact, millions of people all over the world suffer from chronic pain making their daily lives difficult. For years, experts have been seeking solutions to tackle this problem which has led to the discovery and practice of ultrasound therapy.
Because of the numerous benefits ultrasound therapy offers it is a breakthrough for everyone and is extremely important.
Home Ultrasound therapy
Ultrasound therapy machines for home use are portable which helps in the medical and physical procedure that uses very high-frequency sound waves, beyond the upper limit of hearing in humans; it provides a therapeutic effect and pain relief.
As per the basic physics, the sound is a form of energy and energy can be converted from one form to the other. The sound wave is mechanical energy that needs a medium of propagation and transmission like air, metal, wood, and water. The vibrations that come from these sound waves are perceived as sound in the ears, at a frequency of about 20 Hz – 20 kHz.
In ultrasound therapy, the ultrasound uses frequencies that are higher than 20 kHz. this super high-frequency wave is proven to be good for structures like ligaments, muscles, and tendons due to their positions in the body.
How does it work?
The ultrasound machines have a transducer that contains piezoelectric crystals. These crystals get exhilarated by a small electric current, leading it to emit the ultrasound waves (piezoelectric effect). For the process of healing these waves hit the various structures in the body, then they are reflected back to the crystal based on the density of the tissue or organ. This primarily has two effects:
1.Deep heating effects
1.Deep heating effects: when these waves hit the soft structures of the body, they generate heat. The generated heat helps improve blood circulation and oxygen of that part of the body. Blood has many nutrients and nourishing abilities that helps promote the healing and growth of the injured structures there. It also helps in reducing pain, joint stiffness, inflammation, and any muscle spasms.
2.Non-thermal effects (cavitation): a Sound is a form of energy so when it is introduced with the body, microscopic bubbles around the tissues expand and contract very fast which produces cavitation. This helps to speed up the cellular processes that the body undergoes, thereby facilitating healing.
Is there any side effect of using ultrasound therapy?
There’s no medical procedure that comes with 0% risk. However, there are some extremely low-risk routine procedures and ultrasound therapy fortunately is one of them. Ultrasound therapy is safe for all age groups and special groups like pregnant women too. The home ultrasound machine uses pulsed ultrasonic waves that have been proven to be safe. On the other hand, the ultrasound machine for medical diagnostics, which use continuous-wave which produces an increased risk to the person.
The rare side effects are mild heating and tissue vaporization. There are some precautions you must take into consideration like never using ultrasound therapy on an open wound, around the eyes or other sensitive areas.
Ultrasound therapy is painless
The home ultrasound therapy is totally safe, harmless and painless. When you keep the probe on one spot of your body that might cause some discomfort, which is why it should be moving slowly and not remain static. However, ultrasound therapy definitely does not hurt.
How to use an ultrasound therapy machine at home?
Below are the steps to use ultrasound therapy machine at home:
- Read the manual: Machines always come with manual, written instructions on how to operate them. Likewise, with the ultrasound machine, you would want to know the required preparations you need to carry out before you begin the therapy. The process may involve connecting the machine to the power outlet, ensuring the gel is ready for use, and leaving a damp towel you would need to clean up after the session is over.
- Apply the gel: Gently put the gel on the parts of the body you want to focus this treatment on which will ensure that the body part is adequately primed to receive the revitalizing therapy of the home ultrasound machine.
- The therapeutic session: Place the probe of the ultrasound on the affected areas where you have already put the gel after the preparatory phase. Start moving the head over the place slowly. You can either do it in a circular motion of linear fashion whichever is convenient for you. It should cover a skin surface area of about 1 inch per second. While moving over the bony prominences take caution since that can cause you a little discomfort.
- Post-session clean up: After finishing the session of about 20-25 minutes, clean the areas that have had therapy with the damp towel. Along with that, remove any extra gel from the body and clean the machine with a cloth, as a part of the care for it. Then put off the machine from the power source.
With this amount of information you can certainly decide what is right for you, the home physiotherapy ultrasound machine cures the affected areas with regular 10-15 minutes session. Generally, this method of ultrasound therapy is safe and has been used as a form of physical therapy for years now. The machine is helped a countless number of people while promoting healing and wellness. Make sure you make a wise investment in yourself.
How Body Pain and Weather are Closely Related
Science has proved that barometric pressure has an impact on the human body. Changes in pressure or the weight of the air pressing against the surface of the earth can trigger joint pain or headaches in some people. The cold weather makes our immune systems less effective, and since people tend to spend more time together indoors with the windows shut, it makes it more likely that they will spread infections between one another. However, apart from that, the weather change also contributes to physical pain.
Science says, we cannot feel the barometric pressure, but we can feel the temperatures that affect the gases in our bodies. Low-pressure is associated with cooler air; it gives the gases in our tissues more room to expand. The change is so subtle that people with healthy tissue won’t feel any effects. So when you remember your elders telling you they could ‘feel’ the storm coming, they were likely right.
The key role of physiotherapy here is to enable safe exercising for the vulnerable population in such environmental or climate change.
How does bad weather cause pain?
Many types of research have noticed that the change in barometric pressure affects the musculoskeletal system of the body. Cold weather contributes to low atmospheric pressure. Less force is exerted on our tissues and joints by the atmosphere when the pressure drops. Therefore, our tissues expand, which results in more pressure on joints; all this happens to us at a microscopic level. However, the people who have compromised joints have less scope to cope with the added pressure. The sensitize nerves become even more so, and they constantly send pain signals to the brain.
The deal is that it will have diverse effects. Mood swings might take a toll on individuals. We tend to feel happier when the sun is out, and it hugely impacts on pain perception centers in the brain. And this might be the reason why people with chronic pain are always encouraged to stay as active as possible. People with pre-existing conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia will have a hard time to get out and about. And with a long time of inactivity due to lousy weather stiffness, weakness and pain follow. Since it is not the actual temperature of the air that causes the pain, cold air is a sign of low barometric pressure which is why pain and cold are associated closely.
What to do to prevent it?
No one can do anything to change the barometric pressure; we could put more efforts towards defending ourselves by defending ourselves with heat. Taking hot baths, using heat packs and keeping the house warm will all contribute to a reduction in swelling and stiffness. One way to aid the pain is by keeping the affected area elevated to facilitate the flow of blood and lymph. Exercise is an effective way to relieve pain. Physiotherapy tens machines are used for nerve stimulation; it is a method of short term pain relief. This is an excellent option for older people who cannot move for more extended periods and cannot bear the cold and pain.
There indeed appears to be a link between pain and barometric pressure but it is likely aggravated by the fact that people often tend to be less active during winters and spend more time sitting which leads to stiff muscles and joints. Any movements or exercising can help counteract this, whether it be going for walks, or just moving around a little more than usual. This will help keep your body warmer.
The best way to combat pain during winters is moving around more often and engaging in exercises that increase blood flow in your muscles, stretching, running, etc. Also, a proper diet always plays a role; foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory effects also help.
Any damage to muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the vertebral column (spine) lead to back pain. Here are some common causes of back pain that can throw some light on pain-generating conditions.
Every time we get involved in rigorous activities or something that requires more of physical energy, we push our body and muscles. So at times, this excessive push causes tension in muscles and ligaments that in turn causes pain. So when we lift bags again and again, or fall on our back or feel a sudden jerk or exercise without warming up, our back muscles and spinal ligaments sense the pressure, which leads to muscle spasms. This condition gives you back ache. So make sure that every time you are to hit a gym or work out at home or are about to push your body, stretch a bit.
2. Discs issues:
Our spine has got 33 bones that are stacked one on top of other. This frames the spinal column. All these bones are supported by small soft discs. They work as cushions for our bones. So when you damage your discs, you experience back pain as healthy discs are the shock absorbers for the body; when they are damaged, you bone sense the shock and you are in pain. Damaged discs include ruptured or bulged discs. This condition is called herniated disc. To keep this menace at bay, get involved in healthy diet and light exercises. Also, if you are habituated to smoking or drinking alcohol, then you better quit.
3. Arthritis and Osteoporosis:
Spine arthritis- osteoarthritis is a condition wherein the cartilage (connective tissue) breaks down. You might find it comforting to sit or sleep or make any movement with your back. This condition also causes formation of spurs (bony outgrowth) and stenosis (narrowing of spinal canal). Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the vertebrae and hence, you can’t handle normal stress or jerks; so you can easily become a prey of injuries. To avoid these conditions, get comfy bed and have nutritious diet. Also, focus on maintaining your weight.
Spinal infection- Osteomyelitis is again a condition that weakens your spine muscles. Here, there is overgrowth of bacteria and fungi in the spine, due to spine surgery or procedure. These organisms also spread in the entire body through blood that further worsens the situation.
5. Pinched nerve:
Nerves work as signal-sending tool and at times when they are compressed, they send you signal of pain. Basically when your body remains static in one uncomfortable position, you experience compression of nerves. Unattended injury, heavy weight, repetitive stressful activities fuel this condition.
Do not take your back pain lightly. No matter how minor it is, get help instantly to avoid major damage. Physiotherapy is one of the soundest therapies that you can use to curb your back pain or can also use latest technology pain relief devices through which you can treat all kind of pain by yourself. Besides, consulting a doctor in case of extreme pain shouldn’t be given a miss.
Hectic schedules, improper postures, irregular food habits, accidents and injuries or any other reason can lead to neck and shoulder pain. No matter how mild or extreme the pain is, it can eventually grow into something more dangerous. So here are some natural, easy to practice and drug-free solutions that can provide you relief from neck and shoulder pain.
1. Take breaks
If you are into regular desk jobs and have to sit in front of a computer for long hours then try to take short breaks. It is not that difficult as such. If you get up from your seat to address a nature’s call or attend a personal call or even to meet or greet someone, then do 2 to 3 rounds of neck and shoulder rolls. That’s it! Such mini breaks if utilized wisely, can do great miracles in bringing relief from neck and shoulder pain.
2. Rest and sleep well
If you are into taking naps then make sure that you are resting on a right kind of surface. Buzzing off on a desk or chair or sofa can cause neck or shoulder pain. The same applies for sleeping too. Sleeping on a firm mattress can keep the upper body symmetrical and away from pain.
3. Hot shower
A hot shower after a tiring day seems to be ideal. And it definitely is. Hot shower can give you relief from muscle stiffness and tension. It can also boost oxytocin levels. Basically it soothes your stress and gives relief from pain.
4. Ice pack trick
If you are experiencing extreme neck and shoulder pain, then try the ice pack therapy. It numbs the area and inflammation that causes pain. Do not let the pack rest on any part for more than 15 minutes. Practice ice pack therapy for 2 to 3 hours in a day.
5. Gentle stretching
If you are not that much into core exercising then it is advisable to perform stretching on every day basis to keep neck and shoulder pain at bay. Besides, if you are already suffering from the pain, then try gentle stretching to get relief from the ache. Do not push yourself. Small reps for short duration of time can be useful and safe.
What better than yoga to be flexible! Practicing yoga every day can not only keep you away from pain but can make your body flexible and improve blood circulation that can help you to reduce the intensity of pain.
Visiting a professional massage center or spa can definitely be useful in bringing relief from pain. Home massages can also work. Apply any pain relief ointment or lavender oil and massage the affected area gently for 15 to 20 minutes then have a hot shower and you will feel relaxed and relieved.
One of oldest and most reliable natural pain relief therapy is physiotherapy. Do not hesitate to turn to physio-devices in case of chronic and acute pain.
Human body as we all know has got 3 primary joints; Knee, shoulder and back. However, what all of us don’t know is their mechanism, which often leads to damage and diseases. So today, let us learn about their functionality.
The largest and one of the most complicated joints in the human body, the Knee, joints the thigh with the leg. It has got 3 main components mainly kneecap, patellar groove and the medial and lateral tibiofemoral articulations. All of its components work in synergy to ease our horizontal and vertical body movements. Besides, there is another important factor, the cartilage. It is a thin tissue that bears the pressure of body movements and keeps the joints healthy. The common knee problems that people have is of sprains and strains that affect the knee cap. Minor accidents are often the reasons for the same. Tearing of ligaments, fractures and kneecap dislocation are also connected to kneecap. Another major knee problem includes arthritis. When the cartilage gets damaged, bones get rubbed against each other and that causes the disease. Poor eating habits, unattended injuries, sedentary lifestyle can be counted as the major causes here. So all in all to keep your joint healthy, eat right and exercise well.
One of the most mobile and flexible joint of our body, the shoulder joint is the socket joint of our body. It joints our shoulder blade and upper arm bone. Due to the high flexibility of the movements, many people suffer from shoulder pain. At times, there is a tissue break down and shoulders stop moving. Shoulder dislocation, frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis are considered as major shoulder troubles. Apart from that, wrong postures, odd sleeping positions and jerks causes temporary muscle pain. Ice pack massage, regular stretching and nutritious food along with taking care postures can keep shoulder pain at bay.
The back joint, is one of the most common trouble maker for maximum people. In fact, 9 out of 10 people suffer from back pain. Cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), lumbar (lower back), sacral spine (tailbone) frame our back. In most of the cases, back pain is acute or semi-acute. Major accidents, herniated disks and stenosis or surgeries gone wrong lead to chronic pains. It is also a leading cause of disability. Studies have proved that obesity, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of back pain. Smoking is again one of the causes of back pain. Post pregnancy pain if left unattended can also lead to major issues. In fact, stress also is considered as a major reason of back pain.
Joints are vulnerable and require regular care. Eat healthy food, work out regularly, and do not take any injury for granted. In case of pain, consult a doctor and you can always rely on physiotherapy for natural and drug-free relief.