Please call Compass Chiropractic at 515-309-1217 if you are experiencing a chiropractic emergency. We will do our best to get you in as soon as possible. Weekend or after-hours appointments may be available.
The information below is not a substitute for an exam and recommendations by a health professional, but may help you reduce pain and further injury until you are able to be seen.
Home Care for New Spinal Injuries
During an acute (new) attack of back or neck pain, Dr. David Krohse at Compass Chiropractic recommends the following:
- Schedule an appointment at Compass Chiropractic, where Dr. Krohse will perform a detailed history, thorough examination, and X-rays if indicated to determine your condition. In acute situations, we will make every attempt to see you as soon as possible. Spinal adjustments restore proper motion and function in the spinal joints, reducing inflammation and pain and increasing range of motion and nervous system function. ART and physiotherapy techniques are available to address tight muscles and muscle spasms while rehabilitative exercises and stretches will be taught once you are out of severe pain to keep you from ending up like this again.
- Use ice to control pain and decrease swelling. Though heating pads, hot packs, and hot whirlpools can all feel good while you are using them, they actually increase the swelling resulting from a new spinal injury. Ice therapy, when used properly, decreases pain, swelling, and muscular spasms. Ice should be used for 15 to a maximum of 20 minutes, but may be applied each hour. Also, it is important that you do not apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap the ice pack in a wet paper towel or thin damp cloth prior to applying to the injured area. Ice will decrease swelling and pain but will not restore the proper motion and function of the joints of your spine so schedule a visit to Compass Chiropractic.
- Reduce or modify your activities. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to alter your work and other activities significantly. Continuing to work or do labor could make your condition worse. If necessary, Dr. Krohse can fill out a sheet with recommendations to modify or take time off of work for you to present to your employer or coach.
Sprains, Strains, and Sports Injuries
If you've suffered a recent sprain, strain, or sports injury, you should make an appointment to be seen at Compass Chiropractic within the first 24 - 48 hours, if possible. Dr. Krohse will perform a thorough history, examination, and X-rays if necessary to determine your condition. Before your visit, the following self-care advice is crucial to decrease pain and swelling and to speed the healing process. It is easy to remember as PRICE:
If there is a wound due to injury clean that and dress it properly. In severe injuries immobilization of the joint may be beneficial.
Avoid further injury by reducing all stress or strain as much as possible. Staying off your feet and/or avoiding any activity involving the injured area may be necessary for the first few days.
Ice therapy or cryotherapy is the therapy of choice for new injuries. However, ice can be very effective for longer term injuries as well. Ice constricts blood flow to the injured tissues which reduces swelling, pain, and muscular spasms. However, ice must be used correctly or it can actually increase swelling in the area. It should be used for a maximum of 20 minutes, but may be applied each hour. Also, it is important that you do not apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap the ice pack in a wet paper towel or thin damp cloth prior to applying to the injured area.
Compression is important to decrease swelling, especially if you've injured your knee or ankle. Wrap the area with an elastic bandage using firm pressure. Be sure not to cut off circulation to your feet. Before going to bed, loosen the bandage a bit to prevent circulatory problems.
Elevation also helps to decrease excessive swelling, which can interfere with the healing process. As much of the time as possible, elevate the body part as close to or higher than the level of your heart.
After your visit to Compass Chiropractic:
It is important that you take recommendations made by Dr. Krohse seriously. Recommended ice therapy, stretches, exercise, or nutritional changes can have a very beneficial effect on your condition but must be done at the proper frequency to see that effect. Also, you might not see the effects immediately. Like a new exercise program, it takes time for your body to react to these therapies. For that reason, it is very important that you follow the recommendations consistently for the trial time that Dr. Krohse recommended.