Wellness Tips: Muscle and Joint Pains


I’m going to continue mixing in these general wellness tips into the blog in an effort to get our culture back into energetic balance.

It’s amazing how common physical ailments can completely overwhelm lives in a downward spiraling manner. In today’s wellness tip, I’d like to address all non-emergent musculoskeletal problems.

While nothing here will sound altogether novel at first, the emphasis and priority of actions can be make or break. Details are everything in the art of medicine.

When someone tells me, “I have knee pain” for example, I usually ask them, “How many times have you iced it in the last 24 hours”

It’s often a rhetorical question as most people forget that ice is one of the most powerful weapons available. Even if they do remember, they often can’t find an easy and quick way to make it happen in their busy schedule.

So while telling someone to use ice on and off all day is not a new idea, if they aren’t motivated to actually do it, it’s completely new for them regarding this particular ailment. (another example of knowledge vs. action)

If you are having muscle or joint discomfort, try icing 5 times in a day on and off. Remove it after 10 minutes or until it’s too cold to handle.

Details: Try pinpointing the exact tender spot with your finger and then focus the ice pack in that specific area. Ziplock bags, paper towels, blue gel packs, and frozen peas are all options to dial in the exact temperature and location.

If you are having any non-emergent muscle ache or joint pain, here’s a quick recipe to try today:

1) Ice multiple times a day as mentioned above.

2) Ibuprofen with food as recommended on the bottle or by your physician.

3) Home Physical Therapy: The act of safe strength training to relieve pain is another powerful underutilized weapon. Try to find exercises that do not cause irritation to the affected muscle or joint. Try strengthing muscles that are in the surrounding area to increase blood flow and to give support.

4) Cardio: If your legs are injured, make sure to find an arm bicycle, ab class, pool class, or any upper body exercise that will give you a minimal of 30 minutes of cardriovascular activity per day. The act of moving blood, bringing nutrients, and removing wastes through cardiovascular exercise is the fastest way to heal any ailment.

Bottom Line: Ice is one of the most powerful and underutilized weapons in musculoskeletal medicine. Sitting on the sofa makes joint and muscle pain worse as the sluggish blood flow slows down any healing or balancing process of the body.

hope this helps,
-Dr. Neal

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©2011 “Wellness Tips: Muscle and Joint Pains” by Dr. Neal Schwartz

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