If you are the victim of a trauma, such as a lifting injury, a car accident, a slip and fall your body goes through a series of events that cause the pain and stiffness you feel from the injury. The first thing that happens when a tissue is injured is inflammation takes place. This is the first part of the healing process.
Because inflammation causes a lack of mobility in a joint, such as the back or knee, this leads to pain. Pain is also caused by the release of certain proteins in the tissue when they are irritated. This pain and inflammation lead to muscular tightness. This tightness is felt as difficulty in moving, such as a stiff neck that can result from a car accident. Because of the fact that motion is painful, it causes you to move the injured area less, leading to more pain and less motion.
After an l while adhesions will develop in the muscles and tendons of the injured area. This further restricts the motion and increases the pain. eventually, this will lead to cellular degeneration and mental stress. When soft tissue injures heal, collagen is used by the body to repair the damage. This is not as flexible as elastin which is found in healthy tissue. As a result, there is less mobility in repaired tissue.
So how do you treat this sequence of events and prevent it from getting to this end-stage?
Immediately after an injury the first thing to do is apply ice. This reduces inflammation and pain. It should be applied 15 minutes on and 45 off, several times a day. Mobility is also important. The worst thing to do for an injured back is to lay in bed. This promotes swelling and makes movement much more difficult. As you walk around and keep the joints in motion you will feel a decrease in pain and stiffness
If you have pain radiating into an extremity(arm or leg) consult a Health Care Professional. Chiropractors are skilled in dealing with radiating pain that may be the result of a pinched nerve. Pain medication may relieve some symptoms but it will not remove the cause of the problem and because the medication makes you feel better you may overdo activities which can cause more pain and injury