High impact sports can be murder on knee joints. Among all the joints in your body, the knee joint supports the most weight. Add to that the stress and pressure of high impact sports, and you have ripe conditions for knee injury.
Whether it's a backache, football injury or something else entirely, no one likes living with pain. And sometimes, the only way to get relief is with the care and treatment that can only be provided by a physician - especially if that pain is debilitating and severe.
But there are other times, like in between doctor's visits, where it's okay to take pain relief into you own hands.
Give these at-home remedies a try the next time your sports injury or spinal condition causes a pain flare-up:
- Hot and cold therapy. Heating pads, hot water bottles, ice packs and warm baths with Epsom salt are just a few examples of hot and cold therapies that offer some relief from chronic pain. Heat therapy can help increase blood flow, decrease muscle spasms, and encourage a fuller range of motion - making it ideal for back aches, stiff joints, and muscle pain. Cold therapy helps to reduce swelling and pain by restricting blood flow - making it ideal for pains, strains, and certain types of sports injuries.
- Moderate exercise. Assuming that you're not injured, light to moderate exercise can help ease pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Why? Your body produces natural painkillers called endorphins when you exercise, increasing your ability to tolerate mild aches. It also helps in weight management, which can help relieve pain, especially in those suffering from certain arthritic conditions. Stretching can help, too.
- Deep-breathing. Taking a breath might not seem like it would help much, but deep, meditative breathing has been shown to help alleviate pain and stress in some sufferers, like those living with fibromyalgia. Researchers say that this isn't because the breathing and meditation actually remove what's causing the pain, but rather changes how you perceive it, helping you to become less sensitive to pain and therefore better able to cope.
- Get some sun. Studies have shown that getting enough vitamin D (400 to 800 IU) may help to relieve pain, potentially because of it's role in calcium absorption (calcium helps build and repair bones and tissue).
- Try to get enough sleep. Even though it can be tough getting rest when you're aching, adequate sleep plays a huge role in many of our body's systems, including the ones responsible for pain management. Getting enough shut-eye helps promote healing and reduces stress, a known trigger for pain. If pain is keeping you from sleep, skipping caffeine, limiting alcohol and smoking, and keeping electronics out of the bedroom can help you get better ZZZs.
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