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Pain, Heat - and Hair Height!

Hey drivers- a couple quick tips today, mainly focused on heat and hair.

Did you know ice is generally recommend for the first day after a new injury? That’s to help address swelling and inflammation. Ice can also help numb the area to feel less painful.

After you’ve had pain for a few days, you can probably change to heat. And if the problem is muscle related (soreness, tightness, etc), heat if often a good choice because it helps to relax muscle fibers.

The best way to generate some soothing heat is through gentle activity. Does your back hurt? Walking or using a recumbent bike may help. Do your neck and shoulders hurt? Nodding, turning, and tilting your head may get you feeling less stiff and sore.

Need to get out on the road? Commuting to work? Hours of ride share or food delivery coming up? Here are a few quick tips for brief relief.

Why brief? Because you still must figure out WHY you had pain and address the cause. If you have shortened muscle length or weakness, you will still need to do your exercise homework to make a long-term change. Don’t know what to work on? You can get a referral to a local Physical Therapist for a comprehensive evaluation. They will work with you to develop a personal treatment plan. Now, back to the tips!

A microwaveable hot pack can help get you some relief for your neck and shoulders. Stop off somewhere with a microwave to warm it up again later as needed. I received this one by Earth Therapeutics as a Christmas present a few years ago and pull it out from time to time. You can get one of your own through Amazon!

Does your car come with seat warmers? Seriously, I never want to go without them again. Not only are they great for warming up on a cold or wet day, but the heat in the seat is so soothing for my morning low back pain!

I had bad neck pain for a few weeks (thus my use of a neck hot pack on my way to work). Thankfully I was able to get two of my fellow PT's to help with the mobility of the bones in my neck in addition to my focus on stretching, heat, and mobility activities.

Okay, we've talked about heat, but what does hair have to do with it? I put up my hair in one of those popular big buns on top of my head to go to Irish dance class, and couldn’t fit in my car without tilting my head at an awkward angle! Check out how I had to solve the problem:

Thank goodness it wasn’t raining!

Next time I want a tall bun, I’ll put it up AFTER I get there.

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