Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ice is Nice

I have gotten enough minor injuries in my life that I'm familiar with the mantra, "Put ice on it." Whether it was a sprained ankle or a broken elbow, I'd do it for a day or two, but quickly get bored with the concept. You have to stay in one place. And it's cold. And it drips.

But recently, I've become a believer.

I'd been having some issues with bursitis in my hip. With daily doses of Tylenol/Motrin/Aleve, it wasn't too bad; it would get stiff after sitting for a while, but didn't slow me down too much. The medicine also helped with some residual pain I was having from shoulder surgery.

But recently, my stomach let me know that it wasn't too happy about the multiple doses of painkillers. So now I had a choice: hip and shoulder pain, or stomach pain.

Then I remembered the wisdom of Terry, my physical therapist (of Fauquier Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). "Try putting some ice on it," she suggested. This sounded familiar. My orthopedist, Dr. Ralph Garretson, had urged me to do the same. So, belatedly, I reached into the freezer and followed their advice.

I still have to stay in place for 20 minutes at a time, it's still cold and it still drips. But it doesn't hurt anymore.

I'll put up with the drips.

Just one 20-minute session a day with ice packs draped over my shoulder and hip, and I'm good to go for the whole day. And no more damage to my stomach. Amazing. Thanks to Terry and to Dr. Garretson for reminding me that ice is nice.

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