October 7, 2011
Therapies To Try At Home

Dr. Benjamin Venger of The TriState Pain Institute is dedicated to not only helping his patients while they are in his office, but educating them on therapies they can use at home to increase their functionality and improve their quality of life. At-home therapies can fit into the puzzle of Dr. Venger’s treatment plan for chronic pain patients in Fort Mohave, Arizona, Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada and nearby California cities.

For all pain conditions, Dr. Venger recommends the use of hot or cold therapy. The benefits of hot and cold therapy are numerous, including low-cost, no side effects, and a therapy that can be done at home. However, hot and cold therapy can be confusing if the patient doesn’t know which form of therapy to use.

Heat therapy should be applied if the nature of chronic pain involves muscle pain. If the muscles are sore or feel tight, heat therapy will increase circulation and loosen up tight muscle systems. Through increasing blood flow, the muscles will initiate the healing process faster. Muscle spasms can usually be alleviated with heat therapy, and pain from headaches will sometimes be improved with the application of heat therapy on the neck.

To apply heat therapy, electric heating pads are available at drugstores and superstores and are generally inexpensive. The most inexpensive way to apply heat therapy is to soak a towel in hot water, wring it out and then apply to the sore or tight muscle. Heat can be applied to the affected area for periods of 15 to 30 minutes 3 to 5 times a day. It is important to remember to be careful with heat therapy - take care that the heat source is warm, but not too hot. Additionally, electric heating pads should never be used while sleeping.

Cold therapy is appropriate if inflammation is present, such as is the main symptom with injuries like a sprained ankle and conditions like arthritis. Inflammation is recognized as swelling, localized heat, pain and/or redness. Many arthritis sufferers will find pain relief when cold therapy is applied to their painful joints.

Cold therapy can be obtained in many forms and can be purchased at drugstores or superstores. However, the easiest way to create cold therapy is to simply place ice in a zip-loc or similar bag and place on the affected area, making cold therapy by far the most inexpensive pain treatment. Like heat therapy, cold therapy has no adverse side effects, but care still must be taken. Damage to the skin can occur if you do not place a towel between the cold pack and the skin, or if the cold therapy is applied for too long. Cold therapy should only be applied in 15 minute increments a few times a day, and always with a barrier on the skin.

Because Dr. Venger and the staff at The TriState Pain Institute understand that their patients may not always be able to afford clinical treatments, they are dedicated to educating their patients with inexpensive treatments and therapies that can safely be administered at home.

If you suffer from chronic pain and live in Fort Mohave, Arizona, Henderson, Nevada, Las Vegas Nevada or nearby California cities, know that Dr. Venger is available to you for pain relief and education on your chronic pain condition. To take the first step toward getting your life back from chronic pain, call 928-788-3333 to schedule your first appointment today!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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