Tip of the Day

Spray and stretch is a technique for treating FM that uses a vapo-coolant spray on a particularly tight muscle group. The spray deadens the pain while the contracted muscle is stretched by the therapist. There are two vapo-coolant sprays available – ethyl chloride and fluori-methane. After receiving instruction on spray and stretch from your therapist, you may request a prescription for fluori-methane from your physician for home use. (Ethyl chloride is not recommended for home use because of its more flammable and explosive nature.) It is helpful to request that a family member or friend also be in instructed in this technique by your physical therapist, because it is sometimes difficult to do by yourself. Some people object to the spray, especially when it is used on their neck, shoulder and upper back because it's difficult to avoid breathing the vapors. In this case, ice can be used instead to elicit a similar response. (Source: Taking Charge of Fibromyalgia, by Julie Kelly, M.S., R.N., and Rosalie Devonshire, M.S.W.)

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