Subluxation, Strain and Sprain
An injury to the muscles (strain) and/or tearing of the ligaments (sprain) that support the joints, as well as misalignments of the bone and joints (subluxations) are common causes of pain in the neck, back, or any joint in the body. This usually begins after a sudden turning/bending force (such as a car accident or fall) or sometimes after a simple awkward movement. In either case, muscle spasm is commonly present and contributes to the pain.
- Rest and relax the muscles. Use a comfortable pillow that supports the head and neck and keeps the spine in a neutral position. The position of the head should not be tilted forward or backward. Use a pillow under your knees if lying on your back and between your knees if lying on your side. If lying on your side, also put a pillow in front of you, your hand in your pocket or your hand behind you to prevent your upper shoulder from falling forward.
- Ice packs (crushed or cubed ice in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel) are best for 20 minutes every 2-4 hours during the first two days after a new injury. Local heat (hot shower, hot bath or heating pad) and massage will help reduce muscle spasm. You can start with ice packs then switch to heat after two days. Some patients feel best alternating treatments.
- Normally, we recommended ice on area when the pain is sharp and/or stabbing or the area is swollen and heat when movement feels better and/or on the muscles. If unsure, we recommend icing the spine to calm the nerves down and then heat on the muscle to relax them. Use the method that feels best to you.
- Follow up care is necessary to reduce muscles spasms and tension, increase motion in your spine and joints, to restore your spine and joints to their normal position, and to prevent early degenerative changes in your spine and joints.
All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. We cannot and do not give you medical advice. In case of an emergency, seek immediate medical care. Should you have any health care-related questions, please feel free to call our office or see your physician or other health care provider.