Pain Therapy: Tracking Your Muscle with Apps

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Physical pain is complex; there are many different sources to pain and treatments for it. If you are struggling with pain and are now considering therapy, you may be wanting to learn more about the different types of pain therapy available to you.

Neck Pain Therapy

The objective of neck pain therapy is to reduce pain and stiffness, improve head and neck range of motion, develop dynamic strengthening of the neck muscles, and develop strategies to prevent pain from recurring. Neck pain therapy may be recommended when the pain is lingering or continuous. If you are recovering from a serious injury like whiplash, then neck pain therapy may be a good solution. Whiplash occurs when the soft tissue in your neck and joints are damaged and leave you in pain; this is why neck pain therapy may be recommended. Another use for this is if you are recovering from a surgery. If a surgery leaves you with extreme lingering pain or stiffness, then neck pain therapy may benefit you during your recovery process. When your muscles are recovering from surgery, they may spaz in an attempt to recondition and neck therapy can reduce the spasms.

Symptom Tracker for Neck Pain

Using a symptom tracker when you are experiencing neck pain can be valuable to you as it allows you to identify the negative signs that you are experiencing. CareClinic comes with a built in symptom tracker. You will no longer need to create a bullet journal or print symptom tracking templates in PDF form to track your symptoms.  The CareClinic app will provide you with all the necessary tools to track your symptoms. At the first sign of pain, you should log the symptom and track it; this will help you know the severity of the situation from how long these symptoms are being experienced by you.

Using the symptom tracker allows you to rate the sensation of pain on a scale from one to ten. When this gets tracked, you can see if the pain is growing in severity or recovering overall. All of your logs will be timestamped, so you will know exactly when you experienced the symptom.

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Symptom Tracker Example

Let’s look at example of how you can use CareClinic’s symptom tracker to assist you. This is Jack’s story. Jack is a 40 year old man that works at a desk, on his computer all day. He does not have good posture, and suffers from neck pain as a consequence to this. Jack is considering pursuing neck pain therapy but would like to understand his neck pain symptoms before starting. He uses the CareClinic symptom tracker to log his symptoms. On his first day of tracking his symptoms, he creates four logs throughout the day.

The first time he experiences symptoms is at 9:30 am, a little while after he started work; he rates this sensation a 5 out of 10 because it was noticeable but not excruciating. Jack then noticed that the severity of his pain increased with each log, ending the day with a 9 out of 10 for his neck pain at 11:00 pm. As the days go by, Jack sees a similar trend and is glad he tracked his symptoms because now he knows that he needs to pursue neck pain therapy.

Shoulder Pain Therapy

Shoulder pain is a common joint problem that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or lifestyle. When you experience shoulder pain, it may include your cartilage, ligaments, muscles, nerves, or tendons. It is important to identify the pain you are experiencing early on to see more timely results. Utilizing specific exercising techniques and stretches can be beneficial for your progress; shoulder pain therapy can involve different movements to help your situation.

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It is important to note that you should stop exercising or stretching if you feel more pain in your shoulder than you did prior to exercising or stretching. A way to avoid experiencing additional pain is by keeping the proper form for the given exercise; if you move incorrectly, you may cause additional strain to your muscles, leaving you with more pain in your shoulder. Exercising may not be incorporated in all shoulder therapy, but stretching is common and helpful to loosen muscles.

Activity Tracker for Shoulder Pain

Using CareClinic’s activity tracker, you can keep track of the exercises and stretches you do throughout the day.  It is important to know what you are doing and when you are doing it; this way you have consistency throughout your should pain therapy. When you stretch or exercise, you can log your activity to track the exact sets you did, along with the calories burned. You can also add notes to your logs; you can use this feature to know if a certain exercise or stretch made your shoulder pain better or worse.

An example of a way to use the activity tracker for shoulder pain therapy can be see through Laura’s experience. Laura is a 32 year old woman who has recently been experiencing shoulder pain; she decided to engage in shoulder pain therapy to alleviate her negative symptoms. After talking to her doctor, she started an exercise plan and was tracking her progress. Laura used CareClinic’s activity tracker to keep a log of the individual exercises and stretches she did. After completing her workout, she jotted down which exercises and stretches were most beneficial in the notes section. Laure gained clear insight of her workout and was able to see the progress.

Back Pain Therapy

If you have experienced back pain that has lasted between two and six weeks, back pain therapy may be necessary. Another sign that this may be needed is if you are experiencing frequent and recurring back pain. In general, the objective of back pain therapy is to decrease pain, increase function, and provide knowledge on a preservation program to prevent further pain or injury to your back. A doctor may recommend you to focus your main recovery efforts on reducing pain with passive back pain therapy. Passive therapy is when a therapy is performed on you. An example of passive back pain therapy is alternating between a heat and ice pack.

Active back pain therapy is also necessary to restore your spine. Exercising and stretching with a focus on your back is an example of this. The majority of individuals who have suffered from back pain should stretch their hamstring muscles once or twice daily. Executing basic hamstring stretches does not take a lot of time and it is integral to active back pain therapy. Doing hamstring stretches at the same time every day is beneficial for a consistent recovery. It is important to ensure that you are not straining your back further when engaging in active therapy.

Diary Entries for Back Pain

While taking part in back pain therapy, you can use CareClinic’s diary entry feature to write about your progress. The diary entry feature allows you to write freely about your back pain symptoms. Using this tool, you can track your passive and active back pain therapy by writing about what you are doing. You can also attach pictures to your diary entries to allow you to have a visual representation of the things you are writing about in your diary. This can give you a thorough and holistic view of your progress and journey.

Tom’s experience using the CareClinic diary entry feature is a good example of how this tool can be utilized for back pain therapy. Tom, a 51 year old man, noticed that he had severe back pain and decided to see his doctor; while there, his doctor told him to use active and passive back therapy methods to help his situation. He knew that tracking his progress would give his doctor a better opportunity to fully understand what is helping and what is not. Tom downloaded the CareClinic app and decided to track his therapy using the diary feature.

On his first day of tracking he tried active back pain therapy by exercising and stretching the muscles in his back. He wrote about how the activity made him feel and the benefits he gained from it. The next day he tried passive back pain therapy by alternating a cooling pack and a hot compress in the affected areas. Tom wrote about the instant relief he felt from the experience and took a picture of the cooling pack and hot compress to add to his diary entry.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as Chronic Pain Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective method of chronic pain therapy that can reduce pain psychologically. This type of therapy involves talking with a therapist to help you identify and develop skills to alter negative thoughts and behaviors. The practice of cognitive behavioral therapy states that individuals create their own experiences including pain. Pain may not be the result of outside situations and events. By changing your negative thoughts and behaviors, you can change your awareness of pain and develop better coping skills; even if the actual level of pain stays the same, you can change your perception of the pain.

There are a few ways that cognitive behavioral therapy helps you with pain relief. First, it can change the way you view your pain; cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain therapy can change your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are related to pain. It can teach you how to develop coping tactics, and put the discomfort in an improved mindset. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also change your physical response in your brain that makes your experienced pain more severe. Essentially, this may make your body’s natural pain relief system and response more dominant. Talk to your doctor to see if cognitive behavioral therapy as a chronic pain therapy is right for you.

Diary Entry for Chronic Pain

If you have considered cognitive behavioral therapy as a means of chronic pain therapy, then tracking your progress can help. You can use the CareClinic app to log diary entries on your thoughts and feelings associated with your chronic pain. After each session with your therapist, you can jot down a few notes on how you think it went and if you feel improvement. You can also use the diary entry feature to remember how you feel throughout your week so you won’t forget detail in your next session.

The diary entry feature allows you to write freely about anything that you are experiencing. You are able to tailor the entries to focus on your chronic pain therapy by writing about your pain or the progress of your treatment. If you are having trouble thinking of what you can write about, you can use the prompts feature. The prompts provide you with a list of questions that you can answer in your diary. An example of a prompt that you can utilize to track your cognitive behavioral therapy is as follows:

  1. Pick an emotion or feeling you find hard to accept and write it, such as a breakup, loss of a loved one, or anything else.
  2. Identify what you engage in when you refuse to accept this new reality (anger, tantrum, sadness)?
  3. How do these behaviors cause you to have negative emotions or cause you to suffer?

Using these prompts will allow you to get a starting point for your diary entries. Once you answer the questions, you can either log the entry or add your own additional notes or pictures to be logged.

Laser Pain Therapy

Laser pain therapy works by using light energy from a laser to reduce pain and inflammation. Along with that, it accelerates healing in damaged tissues, relax muscles, and stimulate nerve regeneration. There are two main types of lasers being used. The first type of laser uses less than 500 milliwatts in power. This laser is generally used for LLLT which stands for low-level laser therapy. On the other hand, the second type of laser is more than 500 milliwatts. This laser is mostly used for HPLT which stands for high-power laser therapy. In general, most conditions will respond better to a higher power laser and a higher dosage. A 10-minute treatment with a 30-watt laser will give you meaningful pain relief, anti-inflammatory and healing effects.

Laser Pain Therapy Precautions

If you and your doctor decide that laser pain therapy is right for you, then you will need to understand the precautions to take in order to stay safe. You and your therapist will need eye protection; it is  a requirement. Laser pain therapy should not be executed over malignancies, pacemakers, spinal stimulators or over certain areas of pregnant women.

Symptom Tracker for Laser Pain Therapy

This process may be a new concept to you. You may want to track your pain to see if you are making any improvements. The CareClinic app has a symptom tracker. Which allows you to track your pain symptoms throughout the process of your laser pain therapy. By using the symptom tracker, you can see the progression of your pain symptoms. Learn if the laser pain therapy has improved your wellbeing.

An example of a way to use CareClinic’s symptom tracker to log your experience with laser pain therapy is Linda’s experience. Linda is a 47 year old woman who was experiencing severe pain in her muscles, so she went to a doctor. Her doctor recommended that she do laser pain therapy to help lessen her symptoms. Linda followed the recommendation and booked an appointment. She had a week until her appointment so she decided to track her symptoms throughout the week. At the beginning of the week, she was still experiencing extreme pain in her muscles. She tracked her pain symptom by logging it in the symptom tracker feature as a ten out of ten. After a month of tracking and recovering from the laser therapy, Linda noticed that she was logging her pain as less severe over time. She knew the laser pain therapy worked.

Final Thoughts

There are many different things that can cause pain and treatment methods can be complex. Pain therapy is different depending on which part of your body is injured. There are many ways to approach the situation. If you notice your pain is getting worse or it becomes severe, consult your doctor for a better understanding of your pain. Tracking pain is a good avenue to take for your recovery. Using the CareClinic app will make this process easy for you.

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Nicole Rachner