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When Pain Flares

by Michelle Marcotte HHP MSTOM L.Ac.

When Pain Flares, MARCOTTE ACUPUNCTURE $40-60 sliding scale in El Cajon, La Mesa. Santee, Lakeside, san diego

Whether you are experiencing a brand new ache or pain or suffering from a flare that's part of a chronic pain issue, there are some steps you can take on your own to manage your pain symptoms.

1. Rate the pain. On a scale from 1-10, with one being "barely noticed" and 10 being "knock me out and give me surgery," rate the worst your pain gets. If the number is 5 or above, take 500 mg of an over the counter NSAID in doses through the day as needed for pain, for 3 days. This helps to break the pain cycle.

2. If your pain is below a 5, at its worst, stretch. Be sure to stretch when your muscles are warm, that means after 5 min. of exercise or after a warm shower/bath/jacuzzi.

3. If your pain is a 5 or above, at its worst, DO NOT STRETCH. There is a good chance you can aggravate the tissues involved.

4. Use pain patches and linaments. Salonpas pain patches are affordable and effective. They come in small boxes of 40 or in large singles. Use as directed to help manage your pain, especially when you know you will be doing things that aggravate the area. Use cooling linaments for hot, inflamed areas with pain and warm linaments for areas that show no signs of inflammation.

5. Gauge your progress. If your flare does not begin to improve after a week, see a professional, like me. Acupuncture has a lot to offer in reducing and managing pain. And if you get acupuncture regularly, it's best to see me as soon as you flare. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you'll be pain-free.