During an acute (new) attack of back or neck pain, Dr. Underwood recommends the following:
- Schedule an appointment, where a detailed history and thorough examination will be performed to determine your condition. In acute situations, we will make every attempt to see you as soon as possible. Spinal adjustments restore proper motion and function in spinal joints, reducing inflammation and pain thus increasing range of motion and muscle tension. Active Release Technique (ART), massage therapy, and physiotherapy are available to address tight muscles and muscle spasms while rehabilitative exercise and stretches will taught once you are of severe pain to help prevent re-injury.
- Use ice to control pain and decrease swelling. Though heating pads, hot packs, and hot whirlpools can all feel good while you are using them, they actually increase the selling resulting from acute injury. Ice therapy, when used properly, decrease pain, swelling, and muscular spasms. Ice should be used for 15 to a maximum of 20 minutes, but may be applied each hour. Also, it is important you do not apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap the ice pack in a wet paper towel or then damp cloth prior to applying to the injured area. Ice will decrease swelling and pain but will not restore the proper motion and function to the joints of the spine and body.
- Reduce or modify your activities. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to alter your work and other activities significantly. Continuing to work or do labor could make your condition worse. If necessary, work or activity restrictions will be given by Dr. Underwood for employees and/or employers.
Sprains, Strains, and Sports Injuries
If you have suffered a recent sprain, strain, or sports injury, you should make an appointment to be seen at Underwood Chiropractic within the first 24 to 48 hours. A thorough history and examination will be performed to determine your condition(s). Before your visit, the following self-care advice is crucial to decrease pain and swelling and to speed the healing process. It is easy to remember as PRICE.
If there is a wound due to injury, clean and dress it properly. In severe injuries immobilization of the joint may be beneficial.
Avoid further injury by reducing all stress or strain as much as possible. Staying off your feet and/or avoiding nay activity involving the injured area may be necessary for the first few days.
Ice therapy or cryotherapy is the therapy of choice for new injuries. However, ice can be very effective for longer term injuries as well. Ice constricts blood flow to the injured tissues which reduces swelling, pain, and muscular spasms. However, Ice must be used correctly or it can actually increase swelling in the area. It should used for maximum of 20 minutes, but may be applied each hour. Also, it is important that you do not apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap the ice pack in a wet paper or thin damp cloth prior to applying to the injured area.
Compression is important to decrease swelling, especially if you have injured your knee or ankle. Wrap the area with an elastic bandage using firm pressure. Be sure not to cut off circulation to your feet. Before going to bed, loosen the bandage a bit to prevent circulatory problems.
Elevation also helps to decrease excessive swelling, which can interfere with the healing process. As much of the time as possible, elevate the body part as close to as or higher than the level of your heart.
After your visit to Underwood Chiropractic:
It is important that you follow the recommendations may by Dr. Underwood seriously. Recommended ice therapy, stretches, exercise, or nutritional changes can be a very beneficial effect on your condition but must be done at the proper frequency. Also, you might not see the effects immediately. Like a new exercise program, it takes time for the body to react to these therapies. For that reason, it is very important that you follow the recommendations consistently.