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If I have right knee osteoarthritis, do I have to work out my left side as well?
I was recently asked by a patient why he had to work out both sides of his body in physical therapy if only his right knee hurt. I can understand some of the confusion. After all, if your right shoulder were painful and inflamed and required an injection, the medication would only be put at the site of inflammation -- in your right shoulder. You would not be a candidate for a right and a left shoulder injection! However, physical therapy, for the most part, is much different. I'll explain.
There are two basic components to physical therapy -- passive and active. In the passive component, the therapist may apply ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and other modalities to the painful area. For the most part, these modalities are only placed at the site of injury (there are a few exceptions that are beyond the scope of this blog). So, in this sense, physical therapy is functioning si...
Tough workouts can leave you sore for days afterwards, so sore that walking, dressing and sleeping become difficult to do. Even the professional athletes cannot avoid the muscle pain that comes after strenuous physical exertion. But everyone can ease the discomfort with massage therapy.
Physical exertion causes muscle pain for 5 to 7 days because of a series of reactions that take place in the body. First, there is an inflammatory reaction to extreme muscle work. Inflammation causes swelling and soreness immediately. This is followed by oxidative stress from free radicals and lactic acid build up. As a result of both the inflammation and oxidative stress, blood flow to the area is impeded. The lack of blood to the muscle is ultimately what leads to soreness for days.
Massage therapy targets this mechanism that causes muscle pain after physical exertion. There are many different types of massage therapy. The most popular style is Swedish massage. This soft, kneading style...
Alternative Names Muscle pain; Myalgia; Pain - muscles Home Care For muscle pain from overuse or injury, rest that body part and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Apply ice for the first 24 - 72 hours of an injury to reduce pain and inflammation. After that, heat often feels more soothing. Muscle aches from overuse and fibromyalgia often respond well to massage. Gentle stretching exercises after a long rest period are also helpful. Regular exercise can help restore proper muscle tone. Walking, cycling, and swimming are good aerobic activities to try. A physical therapist can teach you stretching, toning, and aerobic exercises to feel better and stay pain-free. Begin slowly and increase workouts gradually. Avoid high-impact aerobic activities and weight lifting when injured or while in pain. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and try to reduce stress. Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to help you sleep and relax. If home measures aren't working, call your doctor, who will consider prescriptio...
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