Do I use heat or ice on an injury?

The short answer is both.  Ice is typically used for a newly injured, swollen tissue, and/or muscle spasm to reduce inflammation. Heat is typically used for stiffness and muscle pain greater than 72 hours post injury.

Ice is typically used for a newly injured, swollen tissue, and/or muscle spasm to reduce inflammation. It can be applied for 20 minutes at a time no more often than every 2 hours. Icing is most effective when the area is rested, iced, compressed, and elevated.

Heat is typically used for stiffness and muscle pain greater than 72 hours post injury. Heat promotes blood flow to the affected area in order to heal and decrease muscle tension. This therapy can be applied for 20 minutes no more often than every 2 hours.


Natural Stress Reduction Tips

Question: How Do I Reduce Stress Naturally?

Answer: Get out, smell the roses, relax, laugh, and get a support system.

Natural Stress Reduction 101

Get Out and Enjoy Nature

natural stress reliefWhile modern civilization has made our lives more convenient, it has deprived us of an essential source of stress reduction and relief—connection with nature. Studies show that interacting with nature can help lessen the effects of stress on the nervous system, reduce attention deficits, decrease aggression, and enhance spiritual well-being.

“Smell the Roses” for Better Mood

Aromatherapy, or smelling essential plant oils, recognized worldwide as a complementary therapy for managing chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and stress-related disorders, can help you unwind. Orange and lavender scents, in particular, have been shown to enhance relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Relax with a Cup of Tea

During stressful times, coffee helps us keep going. To give yourself a break, however, consider drinking tea. Research shows that drinking tea for 6 weeks helps lower post-stress cortisol and increase relaxation improving your stress reduction. Habitual tea drinking may also reduce inflammation, potentially benefiting your heart health.

Laugh It Off

Humor relieves stress and anxiety and prevents depression, helping put our troubles in perspective. Laughter can help boost the immune system, increase pain tolerance, enhance mood and creativity, and lower blood pressure, potentially improving treatment outcomes for many health problems, including cancer and HIV. Humor may also be related to happiness, which has been linked to high self-esteem, extroversion, and feeling in control.

Build a Support System

stress reduction by support systemRelationships are also key to health and happiness, especially for women. Women with low social support, for example, are more likely to increase blood pressure under stress. Loneliness may also contribute to stress in both men and women, also leading to poorer outcomes after a stroke or congestive heart failure. On the other hand, active and socially involved seniors are at lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Social support also helps cancer patients to boost the immune system and maintain a higher quality of life all which promoting stress reduction.


Peripheral Neuropathy

Do you suffer from pain, numbness, tingling or burning in the hands or feet? Been treated without success? Been told to “live with it?” Tired of taking drugs that don’t fix the problem? Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy is the term used to describe disease and death of the peripheral nerves – the ones that control your arms, legs, hands and feet.  Even though over 20 million people in the US suffer with peripheral neuropathy, information is hard to come by and mainstream treatments only manage symptoms at best. Peripheral neuropathy is not just a disease of diabetics, many people using statin pills, also known as ‘cholesterol drugs’, are affected and millions of others have no explanation as to why they have peripheral neuropathy. Idiopathic (unknown origin) peripheral neuropathy is perhaps the most frustrating type to have and most difficult to treat.

A diagnosis of neuropathy means different things to different people. To some neuropathy means daily pills that treat symptoms and not the cause, anti seizure medications like gabapentin (neurotin) and lyrica (pregablin) can help for a time but dosages seem to increase and side effects can be irritating to harmful. To others neuropathy means missing out on activities they used to enjoy (chalking it up to ‘just getting older’) while knowing its because they are afraid to fall, can’t walk properly, or get tired easily because the nerves are dying in the legs. Maybe it’s missing feeling the sand between your toes or losing sleep because the neuropathy is now your nighttime ‘friend.’

Neuropathy is not just another diagnosis, it is a disease that sneaks up on you, eventually robbing you of your quality of life.

In it’s early stages neuropathy can be managed easily with medication and can trick someone into thinking “all is well” until the stages inevitably progress from the initial tingle or change in sensation to burning, numbing, and electric-like shocks, to stages 3 and 4 where motor functions cause trips, stumbles and eventually falls. Stage 5 is the end stage of neuropathy where a loss of independence and wheelchair use occurs. Most of these cases end up in nursing homes to spend their last days.

Many patients have been told that their peripheral neuropathy can never be cured. That is absolutely true – nerves that have already died cannot be restored. However, neuropathy is a progressive disease where nerves go through stages of dying creating different symptoms through different stages of death. Each stage of the nerve dying explains the myriad of symptoms a patient with peripheral neuropathy may experience. For those suffering with peripheral neuropathy you need to know there is hope beyond the medicine you take, if there are nerves dying and not dead yet they have the potential to be saved. Two things are necessary for nerves to survive and heal from damage – those two things are blood and oxygen. When treatment is aimed at helping the body to heal at the site of the problem, to slow, or even stop progression of the disease, relief can be found and quality of life can be restored.

At Back in Action Medical Center you will find innovative, customized treatments for peripheral neuropathy. Our Board Certified Neurologist, Dr. Hal Tobias, MD heads our team of physicians. The team will first classify whether or not you have enough nerves that are viable for treatment. We will then build a customized plan addressing the root cause of the problem and discuss with you expected outcomes.

Neuropathy is a progressive, degenerative disease with a terrible ending. Some choose to ignore that fact, others choose to do something about it. Relief beyond medication is possible and quality of life can be restored!  If you live in Palm City, Stuart, or surrounding areas, call for your free consultation today and find out if you are a candidate for our program.