Pain Spasm Cycle

iStock 000011259901XSmall 150x150 Pain Spasm Cycle

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Chronic Neck and back pain is a common problem that has many people seeking relief. It is important first to understand the pain spasm pain cycle.

Pain can develop in muscles by any number of causes such as injuries, overuse, surgery, fatigue and stress. The muscle perceives all these things as an injury and responds by contracting the muscle to protect it. This causes a decrease in blood flow to the area depriving the muscle of oxygen, nutrients, and the ability to flush out waste. And that causes pain.

The brain perceives this pain to be a new injury and responds by tightening the muscle, which cause more pain, which causes the muscle to tighten, and so on.

This is known as the pain spasm pain cycle.

The only way to stop the pain is to break the cycle.

Both heat therapy and cold therapy reduce the pain signals to the brain. When the brain stops receiving those signals it no longer tells the muscle to contract and this breaks the pain spasm pain cycle. Then real healing and pain relief can begin.

Cold therapy is most commonly used for acute injuries. Use cold therapy for the first 48 to 72 hours to help control swelling and pain. Cold is also good for flare ups of chronic injuries and for overuse injuries. Active people with chronic pain or injuries benefit from cold therapy after strenuous activities.

Good sources for Cold Therapy are,

*Bag of ice or bag of frozen vegies.

*Microwave Heating Pad kept in freezer in plastic bag.

*Bucket or pan filled with ice water, this is excellent for easy to submerge body parts such as hands, wrists and elbows.

Heat therapy is typically used for chronic conditions that have no swelling. It is effective on sore, stiff, achy, muscle, joint and back pain. Active people with chronic pain or injuries benefit from heat therapy before strenuous activities.

Good sources for heat therapy are,

*Hot Bath

*Sauna

*Heating Pads

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Always check with your doctor first before seeking any kind of treatment,

including self care.

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