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Pain Toolkit

For musculoskeletal pain (back, leg, arm, neck etc) Apply heat and/or ice in a way that makes you most comfortable. To relieve initial pain, you could apply ice packs wrapped in damp towels for 5 minutes every hour for the first one or two days. Always make sure you have a cloth of some type between your skin and the ice, to prevent burning the skin and causing an ice burn. It is not recom- mended that you lie on an ice pack. (People with rheumatic problems may prefer to use heat rather than ice). Again, if you are not sure, seek advice from your GP or health care professional. Take it easy. Briefly cutback on normal activities, lie down for a short while and relax but not for too long. Bed rest weakens muscle strength rapidly, you lose about 1% of total muscle strength a day if you become inac- tive - remember keeping active and mobile can actually speed your recovery. 33