Things you can do at home to improve soft tissue pain

Keep moving

Avoid being in one position for long periods of time. Walking, even just for 10 minutes around the block after you get up, will help make you feel better, especially with back and hip pain.

Apply heat

Apply heat via a wheat bag, or a hot water bottle. If it is tricky to make the wheat bag or hot water bottle stay in the right place (for instance on your neck)  lie down or lie on top of it.  If you have neither of these, whet a small hand towel and microwave it then wrap it around the area. Have a bath if you have a tub and gently move the affected limb while it is comfortable in the heat.

Do gentle stretches

Click on the following links to find a number of stretch sequences that may give you some relief: Neck, Arms, Spine (long), Shoulder, Hip, Spine (short). For individual stretches follow this link.

Treat your trigger points

If you have very aching pain, there is a good chance you have trigger points. A trigger point is an area in your muscle that is overly contracted and has become “jumpy” and hypersensitive. You know you have hit the trigger point when the pain temporarily increases or radiates. Compress it with moderate pressure a few times in a row, wait each time until the pain diminishes, then release / repeat.

How to find trigger points

Feel for a tight or knobbly band in the muscle, then gradually press into it until you feel the sensation increase. Unfortunately trigger points are sneaky things. They may not necessarily be in the area where you feel the pain. If you have felt around in the immediate area but you cannot find any particularly sensitive spots, click on the link here to look at a chart that might help you “find your pain”.

How to treat trigger points you can’t reach

If you have nobody in your household that can help, use any of the following: Spikey ball, tennis ball, golf ball or any other hard, round object that you have to hand. Place the object on the floor or against the wall and position yourself on it. If you are using a ball against the wall, place it in a sock and dangle it behind your back. This helps with the positioning and stops the ball from dropping down.

Take a pain killer

If the pain drives you crazy and you can’t sleep, this will help your body get out of the cycle of “pain / more tension / more pain”. But PLEASE don’t go out and exercise vigorously or dig out an old tree stump while the pain is sedated! As painkillers only MASK the pain you could make things worse while “under the influence”.

Avoid foods and drinks that aggravate your nervous system

Muscle tension is regulated through a feedback loop via nerves. Therefore if you hype up the nervous system, you also hype up the muscles. Foods that kick the nervous system up a notch or two are caffeine, sugar, alcohol. Yes, I know, all the fun stuff!

Get enough sleep

Human Growth Hormone is released during sleep, which helps tissues sort themselves out.

Further Tips

For additional tips and ideas check out the Home Care page.

Some of the Yoga Centers also offer online classes during the Covid19 lockdown.

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