I remember when I was younger; I used to love to play racquetball. It was my favorite sport, not necessarily the one I was best at, but my favorite nonetheless. When I was in university, my first two years I lived in a dorm which was next to the university sports center, which had several indoor racquetball courts.
My roommate and I used to play frequently, at least a couple times a week. Normally in racquetball, the games are played to fifteen, and you usually play best of three, or five, or sometimes seven if you have the time and the energy.
My friend and I would play one game to one hundred and one. No breaks, no rests, just keep playing until one of us (usually my friend) made it to 101. They usually lasted a couple of hours, and more often than not I had a serious elbow problem that evening. I would usually get a very large icepack and strap it to my elbow with an ace bandage and leave it there when I went to sleep.
Usually, being young and able to bounce back from things like that, when I woke up the next morning the pain was gone, and forgotten (except for the puddle from the melted ice).
Being older now, I really appreciate how much abuse I gave my body when I was younger. I’ve had several cases of achilles tendonitis, and several knee problems. Nothing serious, nothing that I handful of Advils won’t take care of (or at least make bearable) but sometimes I long for the days when I could bounce back from a seriously over worked joint or tendon with only an ice pack.
I thought that I would have to pretty much accept that my body wouldn’t ever bounce back as much as it used to, and that living with joint pain (albeit tolerable) was going to be a normal part of life.
Then, through a chiropractor friend of mine, I found this really good book. It is completely filled with all kinds of stretches and strengthening exercises to rehabilitate (on your own) almost any kind of physical problem.
There is even as section in there in carpal tunnel syndrome. I once had a really severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome, and because at the time I didn’t have any insurance, I wasn’t sure what to do. A friend once had carpal tunnel and went to the doctor, and right off the bat (right off the bat after they checked to make sure she had enough insurance to pay) they schedule her for two surgeries, one for each hand.
In my case, however, I turned to this book, that had a section on several exercises, gripping exercises, hand-flexing exercises, that virtually made my symptoms vanish within a couple weeks. Granted I had to spend about twenty minutes a day on these exercises, but I would much rather do that than have two surgeries, one on each hand.
One of the exercises was to crumple up newspapers. Depending on your strength level, start with a whole newspaper page, or a half, or a quarter, and then grab the corner, and with only one hand, crumple the page into a ball.
Do this ten times a day with each hand. Yes, your hands will get dirty, and yes you’ll end up with a pile of crumpled up newspapers, but you’ll be surprised how much it can get rid of wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome rather quickly.
Another fantastic way I’ve found to remove pain without the need for drugs or surgery is finding a really good acupuncturist. Unfortunately, this can be hard to do depending on where you live. I found an acupuncturist who had a really good reputation, and he helped me several times with tendonitis, and even blood pressure.
When you can step back and avoid the automatic reaction to “see a doctor” you’ll be surprised how many natural remedies you can find. And especially in today’s raging debate about health care, with everybody trying to stay profitable, it can be easy to find these things.
Of course, if you have a serious medical problem, you should always see your doctor first. There is a place for western style medicine, and even surgery, if you really need it.
I’ve had my appendix taken out, and if I thought I could relieve my appendicitis by exercise or acupuncture, I might not be here today. But for joint pain, tendonitis pain, ligament pain, there is a lot more available to you that doctors, drugs, and surgery.