Heat and Ice
August 14, 2017
Sometime in your life you will have an injury, pull a muscle, tweak your back, or hurt yourself in some other way. Getting hurt is inevitable, so it is important to know what to do after your injury. Depending on what a person is used to from their childhood, some tend to lean toward using heat, and others tend to lean toward using ice. So…which one works better? Are they used for different things? Can using the wrong one cause more damage? These are some of the questions people typically ask, so let’s find out more.
Ice is mostly used for injuries that just occurred, or in other words, acute injuries. The main reason for this is because when someone injures themselves, the body’s safety mechanism is to immediately send white blood cells and other fluids into the area and cause it to swell and become red and warm to the touch. When you put ice on the area that has inflammation, it constricts the blood vessels which helps to calm down aggravated, inflamed tissues and numb some of the pain. Examples of injuries where ice should be used include pulling a muscle, IT band syndrome, gout flare-ups, headaches, fresh strains and sprains, tendinitis, and more. If you don’t have an ice pack at home, some alternatives you can use are a bag of frozen peas or corn or ice cubes in a baggy. It is recommended to ice for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for 48 or more hours until the swelling and tenderness are gone. In general, use ice for injuries under 6 weeks old.
Heat is typically used for stiff and aching muscles, stress, or chronic pain. It is important to use heat when there is no inflammation because heat dilates the blood vessels which causes more inflammation and therefore more pain and delayed healing. That’s why it’s important to first use ice on an injury when it occurs in order to reduce the inflammation. Then, once the inflammation has gone away, it’s okay to begin using heat. As a general rule of thumb, heat is good for healing injuries and arthritis that are more than 6 weeks old. Heat helps the healing process by increasing blood flow circulation to the area which promotes healing, relaxes tight muscles, and relieves aching joints. Heat can be used for injuries greater than 6 weeks old, arthritis, and stiff muscles. It can also be used for relaxation! Some ways to use heat other than a heat pack is to include moist heat such as a shower or bath or an electronic heating pad. Moist heat has a deeper penetration into the muscle and is a better option than electronic heating pad when available.
People often get confused on when to use ice vs. when to use heat, and it’s important to know the difference to prevent further pain! The most important thing to remember is to always use ice for fresh injuries or for any type of inflammation. NEVER use heat when there is swelling. Here at Duncan Chiropractic, you can get your own dual heat/ice pack for just $10, so make sure to ask about it next time you are in! We can also help diagnose and treat your injury using chiropractic care and other techniques depending on the injury. Schedule a free consultation to determine how we can help!
Kinesio Taping 101
August 7, 2017
Have you ever been walking through a crowd and suddenly see someone with a colored tape on their body? Chances are, it’s Kinesio Tape. Kinesio Tape is a latex-free, 100% cotton elastic adhesive tape that has become much more popular within recent years. It is wearable for days at a time and is used for many athletes, geriatric patients, pediatric patients, and patients with orthopedic, neuromuscular, medical, and neurological conditions.
It can help with conditions such as sports injuries, lower back pain, knee and shoulder conditions, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, shin splints, and so much more. It’s incredibly versatile, and depending on its placement, can even treat a number of conditions at once.
One of the most common questions we get at Duncan Chiropractic is exactly how this tape works. The Kinesio Taping Method was designed to help the body heal itself while supporting and providing stability to the muscles and joints without restricting any range of motion.
Unlike other tapes, the Kinesio Tape has very similar properties to skin in terms of elasticity, so your movements are never limited. You may not even notice you’re taped after a few hours or so! To relieve discomfort, the tape lifts the skin up microscopically which creates a tiny little space. This lifting of the skin decreases the pressure that is put on the pain receptors, blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain, and decreases inflammation by allowing more blood flow into the area and allowing lymphatic fluid to drain out.
This whole process allows a person’s body to heal faster, prevent or relieve muscle spasms and cramping, and it can even enhance strength and muscle tone in weak muscles. Not only does it help the body heal, it allows the person to remain active because it has the properties to prevent over-stretching or an over-contraction of the muscles that are injured.
Pretty cool, right? We would have never thought tape could do all of that either!
Kinesio Tape has so many benefits for such a wide variety of injuries and conditions, plus it is inexpensive to buy and lasts for several days on your body. Before using Kinesio Tape, make sure your skin is free of oil, sweat, or lotion, and apply is approximately 1 hour prior to activity or shower.
Since the technique used in the Kinesio Taping Method will make or break the results, it is important that you go to someone who is licensed in this method to ensure that the application is done properly to maximize your benefits! Here at Duncan Chiopractic, we can help you experience the amazing results of Kinesio Taping and get you back on your way to feeling great again!
Aside from helping you just apply the Kinseio Tape properly, we can also help determine the cause of your pain and help treat it along with Kinseio Taping for maximum results and pain relief! Contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation!
Why Incorporating Exercise into Chiropractic Case Management is Important
March 16, 2015
Different chiropractors have different ideas of what type of treatment their patients may need. There are the basics, of course, but outside of that, some chiropractors choose not to do certain things, while others swear by them. One of these variables in chiropractic is exercise and doing the proper stretches to supplement any adjustments or treatments that are being done.
One reason that exercise is so important for many chiropractic patients (depending on their specific situation and circumstances) is that it gets the patient actively involved in their own healing. The reason that this is important is because when a person understands why a certain treatment plan is being used for their care and can feel the effects of it, it makes them more likely to come back and continue to get the care they need.
Exercise works alongside treatments and adjustments to help strengthen the body further and keep the effects lasting. Exercise adds to the mobilization of the joints and assists in increasing the range of motion. Any treatments or adjustments done by the chiropractor will be the base of working toward fixing your pain, but the exercises that the chiropractor gives you are the things that will extend the length of time pain-free between adjustments and also what will make the adjustments last in the long run.
Many chiropractors deem exercise unnecessary with treatment plans, and of course, it is on a per-case basis, but exercise that is approved by the chiropractor can really add to the treatment to give it an added and lasting quality. It also helps the body recover more quickly from an injury, so you can start feeling better faster with the help of your chiropractor and the exercises he/she teaches you.
At Duncan Chiropractic, we think that if exercise is healthy and safe to do with your injury, ailment, and pain, it can really help with the treatment. For more information on how Dr. Duncan can help you with your pain management, please schedule a free consultation or an appointment for evaluation.
Chiropractic Care Can Help Depression
February 13, 2015
When people hear the word chiropractic, they tend to think of help for back and neck pain. Did you know, though, that chiropractic can also help people who suffer from depression?
Around the world, over 350 million people suffer from depression. This number includes people of all ages, and of course, depression can stem from many different causes. Many people experience pain so debilitating and chronic that it begins to wear on them both mentally and physically, and 30%-80% of people with chronic pain syndrome suffer from depression; this isn’t even including those not officially diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome who still
suffer from horrible pain.
Chronic pain can not only be limiting, but it can become absolutely incapacitating, and when that leads to signs of depression such as an overall feeling of sadness, changes in appetite, and fatigue, it may seem like nothing can help.
When depression is caused by chronic pain, help may be possible. Depending on the nature of the injury, chiropractic care may be able to help lessen or even eliminate the pain. This may even be possible without the addition of surgery or pain medications.
Of course, chiropractors can’t fix everything, but when chronic pain is causing depression, a sense of worthlessness, and lack of pleasure in life, going into a chiropractor for an exam will determine what the nature of your pain is and how it can best be treated. It will be important for the chiropractor to know how long you have had the pain and what event (if any) triggered the beginning of the pain.
Of course, we always recommend going to see a professional who can help treat the depression as well, as this is serious and needs to be addressed. Once the pain begins to subside, however long that may take, your body starts feeling better as a whole. This includes physical and mental health, and when there is not a constant drain on your body, and you are not feeling miserable all the time anymore, the depression (if caused by pain) may lessen. This is especially true if the pain is stopping you from physical and daily activities; if the pain is able to be treated, feeling better could mean getting moving again, which not only helps the body physically feel better, but it also releases endorphins that make you happy.
Stay Moving to Alleviate Pain in the Winter (And Year-Round)
January 30, 2015
Staying active in the winter can seem difficult with the cold weather and the snow making everyone want to bundle up and stay inside. This is especially true if winter sports like snowboarding or skiing don’t particularly appeal to you. The cold weather can bring aches and pains with it, especially when it comes to joint pain, and when immobilization is added to that, people end up downright miserable by the time spring rolls around.
Sitting in a desk chair all day may seem comfortable, but when it starts to add up, and your body is stuck in the same awkward position all day (especially if you don’t sit up straight), the pain begins. Sitting all day can cause pain in the back, neck, shoulders…or really anywhere depending on the position in which you are sitting, and it can be very difficult to undo this pain once it has set in.
The trick is to keep moving. If your desk job (or winter blues) have you sitting in a chair or on the couch all day, it is important to stay mindful of how much you’re moving. This is when technology like Fitbits, Pebbles, or your phone’s exercise and step counter come in handy. Make a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day (it’s not as much as it seems), and get up for movement breaks every half hour or so. Even if it is just a walk upstairs and back, it gets you moving and stretching. Bundle up and go on a walk during your lunch break to stretch out and soak up some Vitamin D, walk up and down the stairs, or go to the gym for a good workout. Try out those new yoga poses for the added benefit of added strength and flexibility to your lifestyle. Yoga is also excellent for stretching out all the muscles in your body. It’s important to keep your body mobile and stretched out throughout the day to avoid stiff muscles.
The truth is, even though it may seem counter-intuitive to get up and force yourself to exercise through pain, it actually helps to alleviate pain. After checking with a doctor, athletic trainer, or physical therapist to be sure it’s safe for you to exercise, try different things. Start with stretching and walking then branch out from there. Stability balls are great for increasing strength and flexibility and also for stretching out those sore and aching muscles.
More chronic or serious conditions may not be able to be fixed just by exercising, but as long as a professional approves your desire to get moving, it will at least help to alleviate the pain slightly. Heat and ice are also helpful in treating pain, and these combined with exercise can create a good regime toward a happier, less painful life.
When stretching and moving throughout the day don’t seem to help with your body aches or pains, chiropractic benefits are substantial and can help to lessen and sometimes even completely eliminate pain. For a free consultation or to set up an appointment to see how a chiropractor can help you, contact Duncan Chiropractic.