How to ease pain and sleep better

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Pain that stops you from enjoying sweet slumber is no joke. A twisted ankle; a slipped disc, a piercing headache; post-marathon stiffness... our bodies (and minds) can experience pain in so many, many ways and in so many places!

Often it is the transition from 'awake and sore' to 'asleep and comfortable' that is the biggest hurdle. Harnessing the power of ice and heat may be all you need. Investing in an ice pack and heat pad is the way to go.

These packs can be used over and over again with the correct preparation. Most require a little heating in the microwave or overnighting in the freezer and voila! You have a powerful pain management team that have no nasty side effects (like anti-inflammatories and analgesics).

Ice numbs... it turns off the pain messages going to your brain giving you relief.

Heat soothes... it increases blood flow and brings healing nutrients to aid healing.

Ice reduces swelling... it shrinks angry tissues calming the site of pain.

Heat relaxes... it takes the edge off and feels good.

What you didn't know is that alternating hot and cold is a great way of managing terrible pain. So, if you suffer from chronic pain you may find relief by following this process:

  • 1 minute of heat followed by one minute of cold.
  • Repeat this process a few times until the pain subsides.

You can get clever and use the shower to blast your back with warm/cold water or, if you are kinder to yourself, have a warm bath and follow it up with an ice pack, or jump in the pool and then into the warm jacuzzi? Whatever your methodology I hope you find yourself pain-free soon.

If you still cant manage a good night's sleep you may want to give your doctor/chiropractor/physiotherapist/occupational therapist a visit to try a combination of pain management techniques.

Pain, or no pain, you need  your rest!

Tip: Print out this useful chart from Cleveland Clinic and keep it near your medicine box.

heat pain copy

 

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