Resting For Pain

Woman resting in bed, suffering from back pain

With so many treatments on the market designed for pain management, it is easy to overlook one of the easiest and most-affordable methods. The art of resting is a safe, simple, and effective way to help naturally relieve pain. However, it does have its own methods to achieve optimal results.

Depending on the type of injury, rest can be more or less beneficial. Generally speaking, rest works well for injuries or pain that are associated with repetitive strain. It also works well for most ordinary injuries, such as muscle sprains or strains. Simply reduce the amount of activity and the issue will normally resolve itself. However with injuries that are not quick to heal, or pain that cannot be adequately diagnosed, rest is a harder treatment plan to consider since it may or may not yield the desired results.

Furthermore, many people reject to the notion of rest for a variety of reasons. Among one of the most common reasons is that they fear they will fall hopelessly out of shape. Usually, the people who have this fear are, ironically, in decent shape and are the least likely to actually fall out of shape. They have also been trained to believe that rehabilitation is an active force, requiring exercises and exertion. On the contrary, however, sometimes rehabilitation is simply focusing on healing first before moving on to physical conditioning.

Another common rejection to the notion of rest is the idea that bed rest is no longer a viable treatment option. Many doctors practice getting people moving as soon as possible and try to eliminate extended periods of rest. This approach may be counterproductive in some instances, since some treatments tend to be too active. That’s not to say that bed rest is the best option, but that maybe reducing activity and leaving time for rest as well, can be more beneficial to healing.

There is also a common belief that exercise is the cure for all physical ailments and injuries. It is believed, and stressed, that by strengthening the muscles around the injured area, the injury will begin to heal. While there is some merit to this idea, the problem lies in the overuse of the affected area. If the injury is due to strain, which is very common, then continuing to exert strain on the area will exacerbate the problem. Instead rest should be temporarily given to let the tissues heal, and then slow, appropriate exercises can be given.

In order to help tissues heal properly with rest while not becoming entirely immobile, the concept of relative rest should be practiced. Relative rest refers to staying active and doing exercises without straining the affected area. This means making changes to an individual’s daily exercise routine so that they are able to be active in a way that also allows them to rest the injured area. Walking, swimming, thermal workouts, being cold, vigorous breathing, power yoga, and certain types of strength training are all examples of exercises using relative rest. Although rest, relative or otherwise, may not completely heal the problem, it can usually help to reduce the symptoms.

Dr. Todd A. Bromberg, M.D. When chronic pain and spinal issues impact your quality of life, you need a team of crack spine and pain specialists at your disposal. Delaware Valley Pain & Spine Institute works with some of the most respected experts in the field to bring pain relief and restored quality of life to patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey!
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