Self Management Strategies
What Can You Do To Help? Rest. Ice. Rotate Duties. Heat.
Treat your complaint like a sprained ankle or broken leg. Give it some time and let the inflammation settle down with appropriate treatment. We will commence care on your next session with Dr. Hooper – The Report of Findings.
In the mean time, rest up and avoid prolonged and repeated use of affect areas. Exercise or unnecessary overuse, especially in the acute stage, may cause further injury. So try to avoid obvious sources of aggravation.
Frequent Rotation of Duties
Whatever the work or home duties/tasks you perform, do not do them for extended periods. Frequently change or rotate the various duties that you have to do during your day. Implement the following modifications to any tasks:
- No repetitive bending, lifting or handling objects more than 10 to 15% of body weight
- Frequent job task rotation, at least every 20 to 30 minutes (10 to 15 mins if acute pain)
- Avoid unilateral repetitive use of the body in associated work tasks
- Avoid repetitive use of injured areas particularly in work or commercial activities
- Avoid tasks that keep hands and arms above the waist or shoulder level
- Avoid repetitive squatting, sitting, standing or kneeling
- Avoid stretching and reaching forward or laterally to the side
- NEVER, EVER bend forward and twist from the lower back
Do Not Underestimate the Value of Ice and Heat
There is often a great deal of confusion as to when to apply heat and when to apply ice. For clarity, think of the football or soccer field. Heat is used to warm up prior to the game, ice is used after the game to reduce inflammation or when there is an acute injury.
If you have an acute injury it is important to use ice as soon as possible. Crush the ice, place in a plastic bag, then wrap in a tea towel. Gel packs are also available at the Clinic. Ice can be applied to the affected area in 20 minute intervals for one hour (20-on/20-off/20-on). We recommend icing for 1 to 2 hours of an evening after work or Rehab care.
Heat is good to warm things up and get you going for the day. Continuous low level heat in the form of Flexeze heat plasters (available at the clinic) is well supported by current research and clinical experience to manage pain and keep you moving.
Remember; the use of Rest, Ice, Heat and Rotation of Duties is recommended throughout your care at The Spinal Centre. These are very effective self management strategies.