It’s that time of year again when we dig our snow shovels out of storage and find our snow suits. While this season can be one of the prettiest times of the year, frigid temperatures and snow-filled driveways can also make this season one of the toughest on backs and achy joints.
When shoveling those snowy driveways and sidewalks this winter, don’t forget to wear well-supported shoes with good traction to reduce the risk of a fall. Also, when lifting heavy snow, don’t forget to bend your knees and keep your back straight. If you must turn, pivot with your feet and do not twist your back.
If you do experience some extra aches and pains this season, here are a few tips from The Pain Management Group to help you find needed relief:
1. Apply cold. Icing the area for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours can reduce pain and swelling.
2. Apply heat. For chronic pain and stiffness, applying heat to the area can increase blood flow and relax the muscles. Apply heat to the area for 20 minutes and then let the site rest for 20 minutes. Alternating heat and cold can also be soothing and beneficial to areas of inflammation.
3. Compress. Applying braces and elastic bandages can help add support and minimize swelling.
4. Elevate. For pain in an extremity, positioning the injured area above the level of the heart when sitting or lying down can reduce inflammation.
5. Stretch and strengthen. Gentle mobility can stimulate healing and, when tolerated, exercising can increase flexibility and muscle strength.
6. Medicate. Taking an anti-inflammatory medication, after consulting with a physician, may also help reduce pain.
The Pain Management Center at The Bellevue Hospital is here to help if you do experience back and joint pain this season.
Speak to your physician about a referral to the Pain Management Center at The Bellevue Hospital.
Vimal S. Kumar, M.D. is our pain management intervention physician and creates a balanced treatment program for each patient. Dr. Kumar is board certified in both pain management and anesthesiology with over 20 years of pain management experience.
For more information, call 419.484.5903 or visit: Pain Management Center Services