When it comes to alternative pain management, there are multiple modalities that may be employed to help alleviate acute and chronic pain. Modalities such as ice, heat, transuctaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and interferential stimulation therapies are just a few alternative pain management techniques that may be used to help reduce muscle inflammation and spasm. The Regional Pain Institute offers comprehensive pain management services and takes an interdisciplinary approach to assisting patients with acute or chronic pain conditions. With a team of regional medical professionals and a state-of-the-art medical center, we aim to provide the best possible care to patients in need of a better quality of life.
Using Ice and Heat for Pain Relief
Immediately following an injury, ice is preferred to reduce circulation and prevent swelling. For the first two or three days, apply ice with some pressure for 15 to 30 minutes increments while keeping the injured body part elevated. The ice will slow inflammation, numb sore tissues, and slow the painful nerve impulses in the affected area. After a 48 to 72 hour time frame, heat should be introduced to increase circulation around the injured body part. This will help remove any waste and debris to improve oxygen flow and the delivery of nutrients to speed the healing process. In addition, the application of heat relieves muscle spasms or joint stiffness that may hinder the patient’s ability to move freely.
Transuctaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and Interferential Stimulation Therapy
Electrotherapy is a stimulation therapy that uses electrical frequencies to interfere with the transmission of pain messages. The Regional Pain Institute commonly uses two types of electrotherapy – transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulations (TENS) and interferential stimulation therapy. TENS makes use of electrodes placed directly on the skin over the painful area and distributes electrical impulses to nerve fibers beneath the skin surface to reduce pain in the affected area. Interferential stimulation, on the other hand, applies a high frequency carrier waveform that can penetrate nerve tissue and increase results. The pain practitioners of Regional Pain Institute will work with you to determine which therapy may be right for you.