Understandably, there can be a considerable about of pain and so it may be asking too much asking patients to be patient and tolerate pain whilst the body heals when they have things to get on with. It can be useful to try some of the following.
Wheat bags or heat packs (both microwaveable) purchased from local pharmacy or supermarket;
Warm damp tea towel;
Hot water bottle (NOT boiling water from the kettle unless you have a decent bag to cover the bag in after);
Water bowl, shower or immerse in bath tub (sea salt, magnesium salt or oil spray can help provide ease to muscles).
Bag of frozen veg/peas (anything small enough to get around nooks and crannies to fully cover the affected surface area;
Cold damp tea towel;
Cold showers (if you can brave it for a few minutes or even just on the area);
Water bowl (to keep it cold, place a few ice cubes in).
The general consensus is 10 minutes of each and ending on the cold. It is important to ensure your modalities are not too hot or too cold to avoid skin irritation and burns. Research indicates that for benefits to occur from use of hydrotherapy cold should be maintained at 13°C for 10 minutes and warm should be between 40°C and 43°C .Of course most of us don’t have time to get out our thermometers and test out every single parameter. However a general rule of thumb is to ensure that your modality feels ‘therapeutic’. Therefore, comfortable enough to keep on the skin for that period of time although, you may have to brave it for the cold as most people struggle with this one.
Seek medical advice if you have any existing medical conditions such as:
Have a history of heart disease or deep vein thrombosis
Take caution if:
You are pregnant
You suffer from Raynaud’s disease
You have been diagnosed inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, or vasculitis
If you have had a fall and are elderly, been diagnosed with osteoporosis in the past, have a history of long term steroid treatment for illness then it is advised you should seek medical attention in case of possible fractures. Also, if your fall was from a considerably height, high impact or fell awkwardly in such a way that you suspect fracture or dislocation seek medical advice. If you have any open wounds, take care to keep it clean and dry or seek medical attention depending on its depth and severity.
If your pain persists over weeks, progresses or changes in symptoms such as, pins and needles, weakness and loss of muscle power, changes to bladder or bowel function, confusion, dizziness, vomiting – please go to your GP as soon as possible.