Here is some information and advice on how to look after yourself and manage your pain condition whilst suffering with a common cold.
The average adults suffer with between 2 and 4 colds per year, children tend to get between 5 and 6, and if you have really little ones at nursery they can get up to 12 colds a year, which leaves you more susceptible.
They usually start with some clear mucus which can develop into a thicker more yellow/green, and this often comes with fever, headaches, aches and pains, a sore throat and a cough. This often lasts 3-4 days, although coughs generally linger on longer, anything up to 2 to 3 weeks. So if you are already struggling and in pain with a back, neck, joint or muscle condition this can be a real pain, literally!!
I recommend you rest, your body is then able to use all its energy to heal itself. There is a real culture of encouragement to keep going even when you are ill, and this does not help anyone, rest if you can and you will recover more quickly. BUT if you are struggling with back, neck, joint or muscle pain you need to be careful about too much inactivity. You need to stay relaxed but keep mobile. So gentle walking and fresh air will not do you any harm. And keep stretching, do not give up on your stretch routine, if it is uncomfortable or harder to do then do it more gently, but do keep moving and stretching. Having said that, do not over do it – its a fine line.
Hydrate, drink lots of water, good hydration helps the body maintain optimum health. It helps level your temperature, allows your body to remove waste and it lubricates your joints. Hot drinks are good too, they will sooth your throat and chest. I recommend avoiding caffeine, so drink decaf or herbal teas. Hot honey and lemon drinks are really soothing and have a little vit c added bonus.
Eat well, it is easy to turn to comfort food when you feel unwell but if you want to get better quickly you are better off eating lots of fruit and veg, plenty of protein and whole grains, and avoid sugar. Our bodies struggle with processing sugar so it is better to only eat very small amounts, especially when unwell.
Vapour rubs and oils are effective in clearing congestion in the nose and chest, this can help you feel more comfortable, breath more easily and achieve better sleep. Steam inhalation can also help clear congestion, its important to do this safely so if using hot water take care.
Over the counter medications are fine to use, so ibuprofen, paracetamol or mild decongestants. If you are already taking prescribed medications for your pain condition then you MUST speak to your pharmacist before you take any additional medications. Different meds have different ingredients that may interact badly so it is very important to check.
Lastly but definitely not least, ensure you get a great nights sleep. Some great ways to help with this include not eating after 7pm, so your body has time to wind down before bed. Get an early night so you get a great sleep window opportunity, and avoid screen time in bed so leave your phone, tablet or television out of the bedroom. If you are struggling with pain at night ask your healthcare provider for advice on how to arrange pillows etc to encourage the most comfortable nights sleep possible.
If you would like to arrange a free chat to talk about how to manage your pain condition whilst unwell, or a longer consultation to discuss in more detail please call the clinic on 07919163053 or visit the website www.so-osteopathsyarm.co.uk