cryotherapy ice, heat therapy for pain relief

ICE or HEAT: Which Treatment to Choose

Ice Or Heat

Whats Your Choice Of Treatment?

Ever had any doubts regarding application of ice or heat in case of acute pain?

We hear this question very often as to howto choose ice vs heat as a choice of treatment. Well, remember ice is for fresh injuries & heat is for stiff, chronic aching muscles.

Acute injuries cause the soft tissues to inflame, turn red, hot & swollen. Icing is mostly a mild, drugless way of dulling the pain & inflammation. On the other hand, chronic pains usually involve a lot of tension in the muscles & soft tissues.Comfortable bearable heat will likely soothe these tensed muscles.

More importantly remember-WHAT ICE & HEAT ARE NOT FOR

Both ice & heat are pointless when not needed. Heat can make acute inflammation significantly worse & ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness & stiffness. In fact it can also make any pain worse when its unwanted.So, if you add heat to a fresh injury, watch out: its going to get worse. Instead apply ice & CHILL !

 

fibromyalgia chronic pain

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that presents itself as a syndrome, characterized by body aches and pain, weakness, stiffness, tender points around joints and stressful mind. We at ReLiva Physiotherapy and Rehab help you deal with the various symptoms of fibromyalgia present at any point of this chronic condition in the best possible ways at our clinics in Thane, Vashi, Nerul and Navi Mumbai.

While there is no definite cure of this condition, physiotherapy helps in reducing the symptoms as well as improving the quality of life of an individual suffering from fibromyalgia. Something as easy as postural correction and correct postural habits taught by the physiotherapist helps the patient in relieving the stress placed on the tissues as well as relaxes the body.

Pain, which is the most disabling symptom of this condition, is dealt aptly by using hydrotherapy in the form of moist hot packs that is applied at the painful area or also by using cryotherapy, as per the patients’ condition and need. Along with this, myofascial release techniques may be used to release the tension off the muscles as well as produce relaxation. Tender point release therapy is used to treat the tender points while is followed by cryotherapy to reduce pain, promote healing and prevent any muscle soreness. Pain may also be treated with the help of electrotherapy equipment like Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) depending on the severity of the pain.

Stiffness is reduced by incorporating various stretching exercises that help improving the flexibility of the muscles. By loosening up the tight and stiff muscles, it helps reduce the tension built up in the muscles and helps relieve any stress placed on them. This also leads to pain reduction and induces relaxation. Various active and passive stretching exercises are done and also taught to the patient with the correct dosage and method. Along with this accurate range of motion (ROM) exercises are taught to the patient that helps in keeping the joints healthy and preventing any stiff joint conditions in the future. Strength training of the muscles forms the basic line of treatment for the weakness that the muscles develop in fibromyalgia. Gradual and slowly progressing strengthening exercises are taught to the patients, starting with free exercises and moving on to resistance training.

Aerobic exercises (low-speed, low-impact) also form a very important line of treatment in patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Aerobic training not only prevents the deconditioning of the body but also helps induce relaxation. They have significant beneficial effects on physical function, well being and potentially reducing pain. Stationary bicycle, steppers (to perform graded and controlled stair-case climbing) and other devices are used to perform aerobic training. Aerobic exercises help improving the overall quality of life by training the lungs and heart and increasing their ability to function.

Relaxation techniques that are taught to the patients help relax their mind and body and hence bring the stress levels down. This in turn induces good sleep and helps fight sleep disturbances. In this way it helps the patient maintain good health by taking necessary rest periods along with supervised physical activity. Lifestyle modification would be incorporating activities like walking, cycling, swimming, gardening, etc in leisure time that not only help in relaxing the mind but also maintain the body strength to fight fatigue and pain. Outdoor sports should be taken up to maintain good body functioning, as well as aid relaxation.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. It is a chronic condition diagnosed by the doctors based on patient’s symptoms and physical examination. Fibromyalgia mainly includes widespread muscle pain along with painful point around the joints, which is not actually joint pain but pain in the tissues around the joint. It is usually referred to as ‘fibromyalgia syndrome’ as it presents with a group of symptoms together. Common fibromyalgia symptoms may include generalized aches and pains and crippling fatigue. Presence of tender points, disturbed sleep, mood disturbances and depression is also seen. Muscles give the feeling of being over worked all the time. There may be pain and achiness around joints in the neck, shoulder, back and hips which make it difficult for the patient to sleep or exercise. Other symptoms may include abdominal pain, chronic headaches, and dryness in mouth, nose and eyes, incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, stiffness, numbness/tingling in fingers and feet. Tender points at specific areas around the joints give a clear picture of the condition.

Diagnosis is mainly made on comprehensive physical examination and on the patient’s medical history. Research still continues on devising any specific blood test that could help confirm the diagnosis (e.g. FM/a) to rule out any other serious condition, your doctor may ask you to carry out a compete blood count(CBC), tests for thyroid, etc. Also, since the pain and symptoms are similar to that seen in arthritic conditions like Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, specific tests to rule out these conditions is also done. A detailed FAQ regarding fibromyalgia can be found here.

What causes Fibromyalgia

It is still unclear why people develop fibromyalgia but theories suggest that it is not the outcome of a single factor but combination of factors working together. One of the researches suggests that poor physical conditioning leads to the symptoms of fibromyalgia while other suggests that continuous microtrauma leads to ongoing cycle of pain and fatigue. Combination of many physical and emotional stressors is believed to be responsible for the condition. Genetics is also believed to be one of the causes and fibromyalgia is seen running in families. Environmental factors like trauma, infections, etc are also believed to be contributing to causing fibromyalgia. Hormonal and chemical disturbances are also responsible in causing pain.

It is mainly thought to be a glitch in the way the body perceives pain. One of the main theories suggests that people suffering from fibromyalgia have developed changes in the way the Central Nervous System (CNS) processes the pain messages carried out by the body. Also low level of hormones like serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain lead to alteration in mood, appetite, sleep, behave and response to stressful situations. Also hormones help regulate the processing of pain messages in the brain.

Benefits of Physiotherapy Treatment for Fibromyalgia patients

The benefit of physiotherapy is that it allows a person with fibromyalgia to work closely with a trained professional who can design a fibromyalgia-specific treatment program. The therapist documents your progress and gauges whether you are performing/practicing good therapy habits, alignments, and movement patterns when doing ‘homework’ or exercises at home.

Anne Reicherter, PT, DPT, PhD, a licensed physical therapist and associate professor in the department of physical therapy in the School of Medicine of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, says physical therapy can help fibromyalgia patients “manage” their daily living with less pain and generally make life more enjoyable”. She explains that people with fibromyalgia pain are often caught in a vicious cycle: Pain and fatigue prevent them from being active and exercising, but inactivity can trigger more pain and fatigue.

ReLiva Physiotherapy and Rehab helps you deal with fibromyalgia by using the following in their tailor-made and effectively designed treatment program:

    • Stretching Exercises
    • Strengthening Exercises
    • Pain Relief Methods
    • Aerobic Training
    • Myofascial Release
    • Relaxation Techniques

Myths and Facts about Fibromyalgia

1.   Myth: Fibromyalgia is rare.

Fact: Fibromyalgia is one of the most common types of chronic pain disorders. Census reports more than 10 million cases per year in India.

2.   Myth: Fibromyalgia is “all in the head.”

Fact: Fibromyalgia has been described for centuries. But it wasn’t until 1981 that the first scientific study formally confirmed fibromyalgia symptoms and tender points in the body. Since then, researchers have future tested pain reaction in people with fibromyalgia.

  • Imaging studies show that the brains of people with fibromyalgia have more activity in reaction to pain.
  • Studies also have shown that people with fibromyalgia feel pain more intensely at lower levels than people without the condition.
carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Early diagnosis and treatment is important in order to avoid any kind of permanent damage to the wrist nerve. As they say, prevention is better than cure, one should take care of their wrist positions while working. Alteration of activities is important. This includes taking frequent breaks from repetitive activities, and stretching before and after activities. A therapist may be helpful in reviewing ergonomic tips or performing a work place evaluation. For people with mild CTS, stopping or doing less of a repetitive movement may be all that is needed. Physiotherapy is often recommended as part of your treatment plan to reduce the pain, swelling and help in stretching the muscles and retinaculum around and strengthening them. A good physiotherapy program would include Navi Mumbai and Thane.

Physiotherapy is often recommended as part of your treatment plan to reduce the pain, swelling and help in stretching the muscles and retinaculum around and strengthening them. A good physiotherapy program would include

  • Carpal bone mobilization and flexor retinaculum stretching to open the carpal tunnel
  • Nerve and tendon gliding exercises to ensure full unrestricted nerve motion is available.
  • Muscle and soft tissue extensibility.
  • Comprehensive upper limb, wrist and hand ROM strengthening and endurance exercises.
  • Grip and pinch, thumb and forearm muscle strengthening in later phases.

A wrist splint can be worn to support and brace your wrist in a neutral position so that the nerves and tendons can recover. Splinting can work the best when done within three months of having any symptoms of CTS.

Generally, surgery is only an option for severe cases of CTS and if the other treatments have failed for a period of at least six months.

 

Ergonomics for carpal tunnel syndrome

Physiotherapy at Reliva involves three main components -: passive treatments, active treatments and education and self management. Passive treatments like heat/cold packs and electrotherapy (Ultrasound, TENS) are used to decrease acute pain and swelling. If you’re experiencing acute pain, you’ll most likely start with passive treatments as your body heals and/or adjusts to the pain. However, our goal is to take you towards active treatments which are therapeutic exercises including nerve gliding and stretching exercises with the strengthening of the muscles around prescribed in accordance with your overall condition and with changing dosage as you become stronger.

We also spend time in educating you about your condition, home exercises and dos and dont’s, so that you can continue to remain healthy at your home even after the treatment is complete.

exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome

ReLiva physiotherapist will help you to:

 

  • Quickly relieve pain and swelling
  • Nerve gliding exercises
  • Loosen stiff muscles and ligaments
  • Strengthen your wrist and hand muscles
  • Improve your everyday living

What is carpel tunnel syndrome?

Our wrist is made up of eight small bones. A ligament (also called retinaculum) lies across the front of the wrist. Between this ligament and the carpal bones is a space called the carpal tunnel. This carpel tunnel is a cramped up space, crowded with the muscle tendons attaching the forearm and the fingers and a median nerve.

The median nerve gives sensation to the thumb, index and middle fingers, and half of the ring finger. It also controls the movement of the small muscles at the base of the thumb.

Any tension in this canal due to various reasons can compress the median nerve giving rise to the symptoms. This is known as Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

The main symptoms are pain, burning sensation, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring finger. Pain may extend up the arm. Weak grip strength may occur and after a long period of time the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away.

Typically, burning, acing, tingling sensations in the hand are present in the night. It is relieved by shaking or massaging the wrist.

 

carpel tunnel             carpel tunnel syndrome

 

What causes carpel tunnel syndrome ?

As stated above, the symptoms occurring in carpel tunnel is due to the nerve compression leading to inflammation. This in turn produces pain, swelling and at times obstructed blood flow. Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are:

Congenital: the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others

  • Obesity
  • Rheumatoid
  • Repetitive movements: repeated use of vibrating hand tools; poor positioning of the wrists while using keyboards, mouse; repeated movements at the wrist such as playing piano, typing
  • Development of a cyst or tumor in the canal.
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause
  • High blood pressure
  • Fractures or trauma to the wrist

    Something you may not know:

    Women are three times more likely to have CTS than men. It may be that the wrist bones are naturally smaller in most women, creating a tighter space through which the nerve passes. Women also deal with strong hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause that makes them more likely to suffer from CTS.

Ask for a callback

Name Contact Email Message: I authorize ReLiva representative to contact me. I understand that this will override the DND status on my mobile number.