Pain treatment and care

HANDY TIPS

Regular stretching and strengthening exercises for your sport, fitness or work activity, as part of an overall physical conditioning program, can help to minimise your risk of sprains and strains.

If you have a physically demanding occupation, regular conditioning can help prevent injuries.

You can protect your joints in the long term by working to strengthen and condition the muscles around the joint that has been injured.

  • Remove any jewelry from the affected area (e.g. watches and bracelets).
  • Wrap some ice in a cloth and place it over the injured area. This can help to reduce swelling and bruising. Ice the affected area for
    20 minutes every hour while awake.
  • Rest the muscle and avoid movements that cause pain.

Stand smart13

  • If you must stand for long periods, place one foot on a low footstool to take some of the load off your lower back. Alternate feet. Good posture can reduce the stress on back muscles.

Sit smart13

  • Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base.
  • Consider placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back to maintain its normal curve.
  • Keep your knees and hips level. Change your position frequently, at least every half-hour.

Lift smart13

  • Avoid heavy lifting, if possible, but if you must lift something heavy, let your legs do the work.
  • Keep your back straight (no twisting) and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight may strain your back muscles.13
  • Continue as much as possible with normal daily activities and avoid prolonged bed rest.14
  • Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees, or on your back with a pillow under your knees may help to make you more comfortable at night.14
  • Avoid wearing shoes with high heels.14
  • Simple analgesics and muscle relaxants can help relieve the pain.14,30
  • Wrap a compression bandage around the affected muscle (not too tightly).
  • Elevate the painful area (e.g. put your foot up while you are sitting or rest your arm in a sling).

Regular low-impact aerobic activities which don’t strain or jolt your back can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are good choices.

Abdominal and back muscle exercises (core-strengthening exercises) help condition these muscles so that they work together like a natural corset for your back.

Flexibility in your hips and upper legs aligns your pelvic bones to improve how your back feels.

  • Maintain a good posture – sit up straight.11
  • Take frequent breaks to relax and exercise your neck and shoulder muscles.11
  • Applying a warm towel, or hot water bottle to your neck and shoulders may help to relax the muscles.11
  • Ask a friend to massage your neck and shoulders.11
  • Try to manage your stress levels.11
  • Simple analgesics and muscle relaxants can help relieve the pain.11,30
  • Get pleanty of rest.11
  • Try to manage your stress levels.11
  • Try to plan ahead and organise your day.11
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve in 1 day.11
  • Allow yourself more time to relax.11
  • Have a warm shower or bath.11
  • Massage/acupuncture can help to relieve stress and relax muscles.11
  • When sitting or standing, maintaining a good posture will help to prevent muscles from tensing up.11
  • Simple analgesics and muscle relaxants can help relieve the pain.11,30