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Contact Me:
Tripti Gyan MCSP HCPC Reg
Chartered and State Registered Physiotherapist
Nottingham YMCA Health and Fitness
4 Shakespeare Street
Nottingham
NG1 4FG (map)

Tel: 07866 464 385 (Within the UK)
Tel: +44 (0) 7866 464 385(Outside the UK)

Email: tripti@triptigyan.com

5 Household items that help recuperation and rehabilitation

When it comes to medical expertise, we've never had it so good. Advances in medical technologies and knowledge throughout the course of the 20th and 21st centuries have almost completely revolutionised the way we think about health and wellbeing. But it's not all about the equipment at our disposal. In fact, look hard enough around your home and you'll soon find plenty of aids should you need to employ some DIY physiotherapy. Here are 5 of the best household items for treating injuries and alleviating pain or discomfort.

household items to aid recovery

  • Frozen peas/plastic bottle of water kept in the freezer
    Cooling down the body can have a number of benefits. A pack of frozen peas can act as a great substitute ice pack, helping to numb pain, prevent swelling and flush toxins out of the muscles. Apply a thin layer of body oil onto the skin and use a towel between the ice pack and the skin to prevent an ice burn. The optimal time for applying an ice pack is 15 minutes. The process can be repeated as many times as necessary, so long as the area is warm to touch and has normal sensation before repeating - typically an hour between applications is sufficient.
  • Hot water bottle
    Loosening tight muscles is a common problem for sportspeople and the elderly in particular. Pressing a hot water bottle on to muscles can be an effective way of reducing discomfort in the legs, arms, back or neck - just like a heat pack. A water bottle or heat pack should be applied long enough for the heat to penetrate down into the muscles as simply increasing the temperature of the skin will do little to decrease discomfort. This length of time can depend on the type and/or magnitude of the injury. For very minor back tension, short amounts of heat therapy may be sufficient (such as 15 to 20 minutes). For more intense injuries, longer sessions of heat may be more beneficial (such as 30 minutes). Ensure that the water bottle is warm rather than hot to the touch as this can cause burning of the skin.
  • Old tights
    If you are a gentleman living alone, then this item might be missing from your house. However, elasticated sports socks will also do the trick. In the absence of resistance bands - important tools in the rehabilitation of patients needing to strengthen and improve flexibility - tights can go some way towards replicating the function of resistance bands. When using free weights, gravity dictates that the resistance is greater during one part of the movement than another (such as the upswing of a bicep curl as opposed to the downswing). With bands, the constant tension increases the difficulty and improves the evenness of the exercise. In this respect, bands work much like cable machines. An added benefit to this is that it demands a greater reliance on stabiliser muscles to keep the band in alignment throughout. Bands also offer more variety because you can create the resistance from all directions. For a list of resistance band exercises, visit www.pattersonmedical.co.uk.
  • A cushion/pillow
    Wobble boards are used by physiotherapists to improve ankle stability, balance and proprioception. Proprioception refers to the feedback loop between the body telling the brain what position the joints are in and the brain making rapid adjustments to the joints' position depending on the external and internal circumstances. A good substitute to use at home is a firm cushion or a pillow - but it's a good idea to make sure your feet are clean before standing on expensive soft furnishings!
  • A tennis ball
    If you don't have access to a Foam Roller, the humble tennis ball can be used as a self-massage aid. When used to apply pressure to trigger points they encourage myofascial release in the same way as a massage. A tennis ball is firm enough to provide the correct level of pressure without damaging soft tissue. The goal of the tennis ball massage is to achieve a feeling of 'release' or 'softening' of the tissue by applying just the right amount of pressure for a sustained period of time. The sensation or feeling you're after should be satisfying, not painful or sore. Avoid using excessive pressure, though. If a tennis ball isn't achieving lasting relief it is worth visiting your physiotherapist for some hands-on treatment.

TG Physiotherapy Care is a leading physio in Nottingham. As a Chartered and HCPC registered Medical Professional we offer a range of services including, sports massage, acupuncture and important advice to help patients with their general health and wellbeing. If you're looking for a physiotherapist in NG1 or the Nottingham area, call us on 07866 464 385 to book an appointment now.