» Introduction : Methods of Treating Musculoskeletal Pain

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Introduction

Methods of Treating Musculoskeletal Pain

Heat or Ice

Depending on the type of pain, applying heat or ice can offer relief. Aching muscles can benefit from warm compresses or heating pads to increase blood circulation and promote muscle relaxation.  In order to prevent burns, take care to ensure that there is a towel between the skin and the heating pad.  Heating pads are only safe on skin that has normal sensation. The use of heating pads, rice bags, hot tubs or even warm baths and showers can relax muscles and reduce pain. Headaches or perineum pain can often be relieved with the application of an ice pack or cool compress.

Massage

Massage can be very helpful in relieving stress and reducing associated muscle aches and pains.  Post-partum massage is not a luxury, it is a genuine treatment intervention that can reduce pain and facilitate relaxation plus a more balanced muscle length.

Relaxation Techniques

Yoga, deep breathing, and meditation are all good techniques for new mothers suffering from pain. Relaxation techniques can also help mothers deal with other stresses related to having a new baby in the house. During the baby’s nap, resist the temptation to take care of housekeeping tasks. Instead, close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and supported, and focus your mind on the present, noting the thoughts that pop into your mind without making judgments or dwelling on them. This type of "mindful meditation" has been shown increase relaxation, as well as improve your mood and pain tolerance [9].

Medications

If you are experiencing pain that can not be relieved by other means, you can speak with your doctor about the possibility of over-the-counter or prescription medications that can help. Many medications can end up in the breast milk as well, so make sure you speak with your health care provider before taking any medications or natural supplements to ensure that they are safe for both you as well as your baby.

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