Pain Management at Home

Introduction:

Anyone can experience pain as a result of an injury, accident, or disease at any moment. You may boost your health by doing a variety of things at home. However, see a doctor if it worsens or changes unexpectedly, especially if you have burning, numbness, or tingling, or if nothing you attempt makes you feel better. There are some exercises and modalities which we can use according to the site and severity of pain in order to manage it (Wheeler et al.,2020).

Knee pain management

Types of knee pain:

You may have had a knee injury, knee injuries, cartilage damage, or knee fracture and are now experiencing persistent knee discomfort and swelling, which is commonly associated with arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. You may require knee braces if you have inflammation around your knee joint.

Treatment:

There are some remedies that can help to reduce knee pain at home, including:

Heat. Applying a hot water bottle or heat pad on the painful area will provide temporary relief from pain.

Ice. Ice is very helpful in reducing both inflammation and pain. Although ice therapy is effective and safe, it does not use it for more than 20 minutes because it can be harmful to your skin and nerves. An ice pack in a thin towel or bag of frozen peas can be used.

Elevation. In order to reduce swelling and pain as well, try to sit in a recliner or prop your affected leg on pillows (Mayo Clinic,2021).

Compression. Use a compression bandage that should be self-adhesive, breathable, and lightweight. But be careful that this bandage doesn’t affect or interfere with the circulation.

Alternative medicine. In the case of osteoarthritis, acupuncture is very helpful to relieve knee pain. During this procedure, hair-thin needles are placed at specific places into the skin. Some anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and paracetamol are also given to these patients (Mayo Clinic,2021).

DOs and DON’Ts of knee pain:

Do exercise. Perform some stretching and weight training exercises. Also, do some cardio exercises, including swimming, walking, stationary cycling, and water aerobics. It will increase the strength of muscles that will support the knee and enhance mobility and flexibility.

Don’t rest too much. Joint pain can be increased with too much rest because it will weaken the muscles and decrease flexibility.

Don’t risk a fall. An unstable or painful knee can increase the risk of falls that can cause more knee damage. Be careful during walking and reaching somewhere (Wheeler,2020).

Red signs of knee pain:

Your muscles articulate your joints, while your ligaments, bones, and body hold it all together. When joint pain occurs during sports or everyday activities, we sometimes do nothing if the symptoms disappear. However, when these complications arise again, especially with the knee joint, this begins as minor symptoms can quickly damage. This is the red signal, or we can say that your body’s warning light is turning on. During this condition, you must go to a doctor for proper treatment.

Back pain management at home

When you have back pain, the main purpose of treatment is to relieve pain, make you feel better, and move easily and freely again. The duration and procedure of treatment will depend upon the severity and onset of pain that whether it’s sharp, acute, or sudden.

Types of back pain:

In order to treat the cause of back pain, it is very important to understand the types of pain that are as follows:

  • Vertebral fracture.
  • Spinal stenosis (Narrowing of the spinal canal).
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Compressed or pinched nerves.
  • Muscle strain due to poor posture or overuse.
  • Herniated disc.
  • Natural processes of aging (Smith et al.,2021).

Management at home:

The simple way to treat a minor injury or relieve strain is to take it easy for 1-3 days. Use ice packs to relieve symptoms and pain relievers like naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen. In the case of chronic back pain, always use a medium-firm mattress to sleep. While lying on one side, always place a pillow between the knees; it will be very comfortable. Use some other tips to relieve back pain like:

Sit up straight. Always sit up straight. The amount of stress will be reduced by doing so.

Keep good posture. If you feel stiff or sore, change your body mechanics and posture. Do this throughout the whole day (Smith et al.,2021).

Take breaks. Take some breaks during your work to relax the muscles. If you are doing your work like scrapbooking, sewing, and quilting, try to avoid looking down for a long time without a break. Stretch your body in the opposite direction after every 30 minutes.

Perform exercises. Strengthening back muscles and the abdominal muscles will help stabilize the spine. It will reduce pain and prevent further injuries. Aerobic exercises are very helpful when your back is stiff or sore. Water supports some of the body weight and is comfortable to perform exercises. It also provides some resistance that helps to increase strength. Yoga will increase the sense of balance, strength, and flexibility (Smith et al .,2021).

DOs and DON’Ts of back pain:

Do. Maintain the normal back curve when bending forward and performing such activities as sweeping, making a bed, raking leaves, or weeding your garden. Sit for a short period and place a towel at the beltline, especially in a car. Maintain the natural curve of the back when getting up.

DON’Ts. Try to avoid the jerk while lifting anything from the ground. Do not adopt a half bend position. In a sitting position, do not straight out your legs in front of you (Ratini et al.,2014).

Red flags of back pain:

There are some red flags, as when they present, you must visit a doctor for proper care. These are alarming signals of severe conditions. Some red flags of back pain are as follows:

  • Disturbed gait, foot drop.
  • Pain in the thoracic region.
  • Loss of control on bladder and bowel.
  • High-grade fever.
  • Numbness or weakness in arms or legs.
  • Previous history of cancer.
  • Numbness of genitals, perineum, or anus (saddle anesthesia).
  • Individuals of less than 20 years or more than 50 years of age with back pain (Michael et al.,2020).

 Shoulder pain management at home

Shoulder pain is very common in most individuals. Shoulder pain involves the tendon, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and cartilage. Sometimes shoulder pain radiates toward the neck, arm, and hand. Immediate treatment is very important. Shoulder pain takes eight to ten weeks to heal. It can be treated at home with simple remedies or exercises and sometimes require a hospital visit in the presence of any red flag (Minnie et al.,2018).

Types of shoulder pain:

 There are some common conditions that can cause different types of shoulder pain, including:

  • Tendinitis
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Muscle strain
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis

Management at home:

Management of shoulder pain includes muscle strengthening and soothing inflammation (redness and swelling). There are some ways you can relieve shoulder pain and take care of yourself.

Medication. Aspirin and acetaminophen are very useful for early medication. These are mainly used to relieve pain. Baclofen, tizanidine, and cyclobenzaprine are some muscle relaxants. They help relieve shoulder pain in case of muscle spasms and tension around the shoulder joint. When there is mild inflammation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin are used (Minnis et al.,2018).

Home remedies. The heat helps to soothe the shoulder’s stiff structures and relax the tensed muscle. The heat helps with arthritis and muscle pain in the shoulder. Compression is also very helpful in reducing shoulder pain at home. For this purpose, wrap the elastic medical bandage around the shoulder. Regular ACE bandages or cold compression bandages can be used. In case of sharp pain, cooling methods are used. Because it helps to numb sharp pain. A bag of frozen peas, ice cubes in a plastic bag, or frozen gel pack is used (Minnis et al.,2018).

Exercises. Regular stretches and exercises can keep the shoulder flexible and strong. Perform exercises according to the advice of a physiotherapist. Otherwise, the shoulder pain can be worsened with incorrect exercise. Pendulum stretch exercises for a range of motion and overhead shoulder stretches are used for this purpose.

DOs and DON’Ts of shoulder pain:

Do. Immediately start icing for early treatment. Perform exercises according to the doctor’s advice. Regularly attend the rehabilitation sessions without any gap. Accurate and timely exercises can differentiate between a permanently painful shoulder joint and a properly healed one.

DON’Ts. First of all, stop doing jerky movements and abrupt motions with painful shoulders. Do not carry heavy loads with the painful side. This includes carrying your child, laptop, or grocery. Please do not wrap the compression bandage too tight because it can interfere with the circulation and aggravate pain (Minnis et al.,2018).

Red flags of shoulder pain:

There are some warning signals that shoulder pain must be serious, and you should go to emergency or call 911. These warning signs appear when arm or shoulder pain occurs with:

  • Swelling of the entire arm
  • Swelling of joint along with fever
  • When infection signs present, such as warmth, red streak, or spreading redness
  • Unusual sweating or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain lasting for more than ten minutes (Minnis et al.,2018).

Neck pain management at home

Neck pain can be of several forms like an irritating and dull ache or debilitating, burning nerve pain that radiates towards the shoulder and arm. For an effective treatment plan, it is very important to understand different types of neck pain.

Types of neck pain:

Neck pain may be of the following types

  • Axial neck pain
  • Radicular neck pain
  • Referred pain
  • Myopathic pain or pain due to spinal cord compression.
  • Based on the severity it may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-lasting) neck pain (Cooper,2019).

Treatment of neck pain

Non-medical treatment:

Use of ice, heat, neck-strengthening exercises, correct alignment, and posture help to decrease neck pain by providing strength and flexibility. Traction like air bladder, pulleys, or weights provides a gentle stretch to the neck. Short-term immobilization can be provided by using soft collars will help to relieve pain by reducing pressure on the structures of the neck.

Medical treatment:

Some drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are given for early treatment. Some steroid injections like corticosteroids are injected into the small facet joint of the cervical spine near the nerve root or into the muscles of the neck to relieve pain. Surgery is rarely needed. It is only used to relieve spinal cord or nerve root compression (Cooper,2019).

DOs of neck pain:

  • Check spinal alignment
  • Keep correct and good posture
  • Use a pillow of proper height
  • Place your computer or laptop at eye level
  • Drink adequate water

DON’Ts of neck pain:

  • To relieve neck pain you must don’t
  • Stare down at your laptop or mobile phone for a long time
  • Sleep on your stomach
  • Carry bag or luggage on one shoulder
  • Sleep on an old or worn-out mattress (DerSarkissian,2021).

Red flags of neck pain:

  • Severe and sudden headache
  • Chills and fever with neck pain
  • Painful tapping on spine
  • Unexplained episodes of vomiting, nausea, and dizziness.
  • Severe pain that is not relieved by general pain killers (Ingraham,2020).

References:

Wheeler, T., 2022. Ways to Treat Pain at Home. [online] WebMD. Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/ss/slideshow-treat-pain-home> [Accessed 16 January 2022].

Clinic, M., 2022. Knee pain – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. [online] Mayoclinic.org. Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/knee-pain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350855> [Accessed 16 January 2022].

WebMD. 2022. 11 Knee Pain Dos and Don’ts. [online] Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/knee-pain-dos-and-donts> [Accessed 16 January 2022].

Simith, M., 2022. Back Pain Diagnosis and Treatment. [online] WebMD. Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/understanding-back-pain-treatment> [Accessed 16 January 2022].

Ratini, M., 2022. Tips to Avoid Back Pain. [online] WebMD. Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/features/back-dos-donts#:~:text=The%20more%20vertically%20you%20can,to%20reach%20the%20steering%20wheel.> [Accessed 16 January 2022].

Minnis, G., 2022. Shoulder Pain Remedies. [online] Healthline. Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/shoulder-pain-remedies> [Accessed 16 January 2022].

Grant Cooper, M., 2022. Types of Neck Pain. [online] Spine-health. Available at: <https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/types-neck-pain> [Accessed 16 January 2022].