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Foam rollers are available for purchase at Optima Rehabilitation.
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Cold and hot therapies are both effective treatments for home use in reducing pain, but patients are often confused when to use ice or heat. The following guidelines discuss when each method is appropriate and important safety precautions.
What does it do?
Cold therapy slows down the blood flow to an injury, which reduces swelling and pain.
What are the types?
Ice pack, gel pack or cold water
What do you use it?
- Immediately after an injury
- To reduce muscle soreness following therapy or massage
- Good for bumps, sprains, strains, nosebleeds or minor burns
- Treatment should not last more than 20 minutes
- Do not place ice directly on the skin
- Check skin frequently and to prevent freeze burn
- Wait one hour between cold treatments
What does it do?
Hot therapy opens blood vessels, increases blood flow, reduces pain and relaxes muscle tightness and spasms.
What are the types?
Heating pad, heated gel pack or hot water bath. Moist heat is best.
What do you use it?
- To reduce stiffness and muscle spasms
- Best for ongoing or chronic pain
- Treatment should not last more than 30 minutes
- Do not place heat directly on the skin
- Check skin frequently and avoid falling asleep to prevent burning
- Do not use heat if you have swelling, no feeling or open wounds in the affected area
Understanding neutral posture is important in determining the best way to set up a computer workstation. It is a comfortable working posture which keeps your joints naturally aligned and reduces the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Change postures frequently
Prolonged sitting is not healthy, even with excellent posture. It is recommended you slightly change your posture every 15 minutes, by adjusting your chair height or leaning back further into the backrest. For one to two minutes every hour, you should stand up and stretch or walk around.
Neutral sitting posture
- Keep your head level or tilted slightly downward. Place your work in front of you so that you are looking straight ahead.
- Sit with your shoulders relaxed, not elevated, hunched or rotated forward.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides and bent at about a 90° angle, not extended out in front of your body.
- Use the chair’s backrest to support your lower back.
- Sit with your entire upper body upright or leaning slightly back.
- Keep your wrists straight while working, not bent up, down or to the side.
- Sit with your knees at the same level or slightly below the level of your hips. There should be no pressure points along the backs of your thighs or knees.
- Place your feet slightly out in front of your knees and make sure they are supported, either by the floor or a footrest.
Two new studies have been published that examine the role of diet or exercise in headaches. The first1 was a survey given to 112 migraine sufferers. The researchers found that 70% of migraine patients felt that diet played a role in their headaches, and the most common triggers of a headache attack were: 1) chocolate, 2) skipping a meal, and 3) alcohol. The second study2 examined the role of aerobic exercise in tension-type headaches in seven women. The women maintained a daily headache and medication diary for two weeks pre- and post-intervention, as well as during a six-week aerobic exercise regimen. This class consisted of “10 to 15 minutes stationary and moving warm-up and stretches; 20 to 30 minutes of low-impact cardiovascular training, and 10 to 15 minutes of cool-down and stretching exercises.” The women attended the class three times a week. Headache levels did not change for the women. However, there were significant reductions in medication usage, depression, and anxiety. “…clients may turn to exercise in lieu of analgesic medications to manage their headache pain. With respect to decreased anxiety and depression levels, it is possible that engaging in aerobic exercise may improve mood which may alleviate some of the distress caused by chronic headache, and thus improve the quality of these patients’ lives.”
- Ciervo CA, Gallagher RM, Mueller L, Perrino D. The role of diet in treated migraine patients. Headache Quarterly, Current Treatment and Reseach 1996;7(4):319-323.
- Peters ML, Turner SM, Blanchard EB. The effects of aerobic exercise on chronic tension-type headache. Headache Quarterly, Current Treatment and Reseach 1996;7(4):330-334.
Beginning January 1, 2009, Colorado Auto Insurance policies have included $5,000 of Medical Payments (Med-Pay), which are benefits paid to healthcare providers for injuries sustained in an auto collision. These benefits are paid to providers who evaluate and treat any auto collision related injuries, saving the injured party the hassle of trying to get care without coverage, and ensuring quality, uninterrupted care. All providers in our clinic qualify as providers of Med-Pay benefits.
- We suggest you also opt to obtain at least $25,000 in Med-Pay coverage. This is a minimal additional fee, protects your access to care, and prevents the injured party from payinghigh deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket costs. A study of the auto insurance system in Colorado showed that many health insurance policies have extra deductibles or no coverage for auto accident injuries, and that many people had no health insurance coverage at all. Med-Pay assists vehicle owners and their passengers with injury costs – otherwise the vehicle owner is personally responsible for these costs.
- Add as much liability coverage as you can afford to protect your assets if you are at fault in an auto collision.
- If you have significant assets, consider an umbrella policy. This is a supplemental insurance policy, in addition to liability coverage, that further protects you against suits and claims against your personal assets, in the event you are at fault in an auto collision and do not have sufficient liability coverage.
- It is important to add under and uninsured motorist coverage, so you can obtain care if involved in a collision with a person that is at fault but does not have insurance or enoughinsurance.
- If you are in a collision, do not settle your claim until you have had an evaluation by a doctor to ensure you do not have injuries that may manifest later. Our office is always available to help you with any pain or injuries you may have.