knee injury

Ask Sarah: How to Avoid Knee Injuries with Summer and Fall Activities

Dear Sarah,

My daughter is entering her sophomore year of high school and last year during one of her summer training camps, I was unfortunate enough to watch her friend experience her first ACL tear injury. Watching my daughter’s friend and teammate go through this emotional rollercoaster both physically and mentally has made me very fearful for my daughter. I do not want to see her get hurt and have to go through the same hardships and struggles that sometimes go along with sports-related injuries. Do you have any advice on how my daughter (and her teammates) can avoid developing serious injuries as they finish up their summer training camps and head into fall sporting events?

Thanks for your help.

Lisa -Coldwater, OH

 

Hi Lisa-

I am sorry to hear that your daughter’s friend had to go through the, as you said perfectly, emotional roller coaster of dealing with a sports-related injury. This is never an easy feat to overcome. Luckily, there are several ways to strengthen your muscles and lower your risks of developing a sports-related injury, which is so important with the summer camps and upcoming fall sporting events.

  1. Stay hydrated. Over half of your body is made up of water. That is why it is vital you continue to replenish your body. Good hydration will allow your muscles to continue to work efficiently and avoid secondary problems. Dehydrated muscles do not work as efficiently, which makes it more likely to cramp up or pull a muscle.
  2. Wear the proper equipment. One of the most effective ways to prevent injury is to make sure you are wearing proper foot attire. Before joining a sport, research what the right type of shoe is for that sport and purchase accordingly to reduce pain. If you have flat feet, make sure you look into specialized shoes to offer the proper support. Trips, slips and falls are the most commonly reported causes of injury, so make sure you have the proper footwear to prevent injuries at all costs.
  3. Be mindful and listen to your body. It is highly important that you know your limitations. If your body is telling you it is exhausted and needs a break, listen to it and sit out for the next 10-20 minutes. Don’t overwork yourself. Likewise, if you are experiencing even the slightest amount of pain or soreness in your muscles, ice the area as often as possible.
  4. Prepare your muscles. If you know there are certain muscles that need to be stronger for the sport you are getting into, make sure you try your best to build the target muscles ahead of time. This can help to improve performance and prevent injury. It can also allow your muscles to be prepared for the intensity of training camps, fall sports, etc., ahead of time.
  5. Be familiar with your surroundings and stay alert. Pay attention to the area and people around you at all times. Do not train with headphones; you need to be able to be cognizant of what’s going on around you at all times. If you are running down the country road, it is vital that you are able to hear whether or not a car is coming up behind you. Likewise, pay attention to your surroundings to prevent tripping, get out of the water if you see lightning (if you are swimming), etc.
  6. Warm up and cool down. Never, ever skip a warm-up or cool-down session. These two important sessions help prepare you both physiologically and mentally, reducing the chance of joint and/or muscle injury. Let your warm-up and cool-down intensity cause perspiration, but not fatigue. Good examples of warm-up and cool-down activities include walking or jogging, biking, stretching, and much more.

 

Lisa, I hope these tips help your daughter to prevent injuries this year. Please feel free to share this information with her entire team in order to prevent injuries amongst everyone. If you have any further questions on how to prevent sports related injuries, or what products we offer that can help as well, please feel free to give us a call at 419.678.4979 or visit our products page today!

Enjoy your time watching your daughter play sports this summer and fall!

Sarah at New Visions

Ask Sarah Headshot

Does Your Neck Kill? 6 Tips to a Healthy Neck

If you find yourself constantly having neck pain, consider trying these 6 quick and simple suggestions to have a happy, healthy neck again.

  1. Correct your sleep posture. Do not sleep on your stomach. If you still experience neck pain after switching sleeping positions, try using a feather pillow –which more easily allows for the pillow to conform to the shape of your neck.
  2. Sit up when you watch television. I know, I know. It’s not as comfortable to watch television sitting up as it is lying down, but unfortunately this bad habit can be particularly devastating to your neck muscles. Sit in an upright position FACING the television so that you do not have to strain your neck to turn and watch your favorite show. Believe me, your neck will thank you!
  3. Wear purses, briefcases or other bags across the body. Avoid carrying purses or other bags on just one shoulder, as it can cause extensive strain on the natural slope of your shoulder. To reduce stress and allow for equal distribution of the weight of your purse or bag, wear carrying cases across the body.
  4. Stretch your neck properly. It is important that you take the time to properly stretch your neck in order to avoid neck pain. Not only can stretching help to relieve neck pain, but it can also help to strengthen the muscles in your neck and reduce your chance of stiff joints and tight muscles in the future.
  5. Use a headset instead of a phone. Women are probably more apt to this than men, but never (and I repeat NEVER) hold your phone between your head and shoulder. I know this may be convenient as you are trying to juggle multiple tasks at once in your busy life, but this can cause extensive strain on the muscles in your neck. If you use the phone frequently, try purchasing a headset or Bluetooth device to alleviate the stress on your neck muscles.
  6. Customize your chair and adjust your posture. If you work at a desk most of the day, make sure the height of your chair is accurate so that your feet are placed firmly on the ground. Sit up straight with your shoulders back, avoiding “slumping” forward (even when you’re tired!). The head of the neck is subject to the curvature of the spine below it, therefore making it vital that you practice good posture at all times. Spend less time with a forward head posture to avoid developing neck and shoulder problems.

 

And always, seek medical attention if your neck pain is recurring. Our tips above are not meant to replace medical treatment, so if you continue to experience discomfort or pain, please reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

 

Here at New Visions, we strive to make sure you are comfortable, happy and as healthy as you can be. We offer many pain products specific to your needs. Give us a call at 419.678.4979 or contact us today to learn how we can help get your joints back to feeling healthy and happy again!

 

Resources:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/tiptalk/archive/2006/01/10/510256.aspx

http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/say-good-night-to-neck-pain

http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/daniel-baumstark-physical-injury-and-rehab/5-tips-to-prevent-neck-pain/

4 Ways to Keep Your Back Healthy

Not only do we want to be able to fix back pain when it occurs, but ideally, we want to PREVENT back pain from occurring at all. Although some back pain can be attributed to acts of trauma—such as a car accident or a severe fall—most is due to everyday activities that are done incorrectly (without you even realizing it, I’m sure!). These everyday activities can include things such as vacuuming, bending over to pick something up or even simply carrying shopping bags.

Tips to Keep Your Back Healthy

  1. Check Your Posture. Working at a desk for 7-8 hours a day, or slouching over your computer or even your cell phone when you’re texting (we all do it!) is extremely damaging to your back and could cause future back pain. If you must sit for a long period of time, be sure to have a comfortable chair that will allow you to sit with your shoulders back and refrain from slouching. Be sure to break up the long periods of time in front of a computer or other screen by participating in stretching exercises for 5-10 minutes every hour, helping you to maintain the natural curves of your back.
  2. Get Out and Exercise. Daily. I’m sure you’ve been told time and time again about the importance of exercising. And there is merit behind the recommendations to exercise daily. It’s important because not only does exercise help keep your weight down, but it also prevents back pain. Being overweight and suffering from back pain go hand in hand—extra weight, particularly around your midsection, can put a great deal of added strain on your back. Likewise, if you aren’t in “good” shape, you are far more likely to hurt yourself when participating in simple daily activities. Your muscles are meant to move, so get out there and exercise! You can record your daily exercise, and find daily motivation, on any of these 6 apps here.
  3. Quit Smoking. I’m sure you know that smoking raises your risk of heart disease and cancer (specifically lung and colon); however, it is also extremely harmful to your back. Studies show that smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebra, causing those discs to begin to deteriorate. Smoking also causes the blood vessels to narrow, which can result in reduced oxygen and nutrients to your spine. Why is this bad? Reduced oxygen and nutrients means you will be more susceptible to injury, and if you are injured, your body will take much longer to heal.
  4. Rest Well. For starters, choose a mattress that is suited to factors such as your height, weight, age and other necessary comfort levels. But getting the proper mattress is only half of the battle: try making a cognizant effort to sleep sideways rather than on your back or stomach. If you must sleep on your stomach, place a pillow under your lower abdomen to reduce the amount of stress to your back. And don’t forget, getting enough rest is always another important aspect of maintaining overall good health!

 

A few other tips for good measure: always bend your knees and hips rather than your back, lift and carry objects close to your body, sit with feet flat on the floor and, lastly, when sitting, use a chair with a backrest (feet flat on the floor), changing how you sit every few minutes.

Are you already experiencing back pain and looking for pain relief products? Check out our products page or give us a call at 419.678.4979 for more information!

6 Yoga Poses to Relieve Pain from Sports and Injuries

There’s a good chance that you have heard about some of the benefits of participating in yoga: increasing your fitness and relaxation levels and curing numerous medical conditions, just to name a couple. While yoga cannot cure ALL medical conditions, it does offer a multitude of relief for musculoskeletal issues and pain, as well as improving flexibility, strength, posture and balance, which can aid in the prevention of sports-related injuries. To stay healthy, active and engaged in sports, athletes must use proper methods for preventing overuse injuries and ensure longevity. Here are 6 poses to increase strength and relieve any pain caused from sports injuries:

6 Yoga Poses to Relieve Pain

  1. Cobra (Back pain). Lie face-down on the ground with your forehead resting on the floor and hands on either side at the middle of your ribcage. Bring your legs together, pressing the tops of your feet into the floor. Reach back through your toes, lengthening your legs, and slowly draw your elbows close to your ribcage. Using your back strength, lift your head and chest. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths and gently release back to the floor.
  2. Wall Plank (Elbow and shoulder pain). Stand and face the wall with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the wall with your arms extended and slowly lean forward. Let your body rest on your hands while keeping your arms and body in a straight line, slowly bending your elbows and inching closer and closer. When you start to feel discomfort, slowly push back to standing.
  3. Rear Arm Lift with Strap (Shoulder pain). Standing, set your feet hip-width apart. While holding the strap in one hand, place both arms behind your back, pulling your shoulders in to grasp the strap with both hands. Make sure this is in a COMFORTABLE position for you. Slowly bring your hands toward each other, opening up the chest as your shoulder blades move toward one another. Also, be sure to breathe as you continue to adjust your shoulders.
  4. Butterfly (Hip pain). Sitting on the floor, bring both soles of your feet together, keeping the knees wide so that your legs form a diamond-like shape. Slowly drop the weight of your legs while keeping your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Breathe deeply.
  5. Supported Warrior (Knee pain). Standing, lay your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Push your right foot forward so the toes are touching the wall. Bend your elbows as if you’re trying to push the wall out of your way. Keeping this same position, step your left foot a few steps behind you, slightly bending the (left) knee to the floor. Hold for 15 counts. Then, slowly straighten the left leg and bend the right knee. Switch leg positions and repeat.
  6. Standing Forward Bend, Variation (Hamstrings). Standing, cross your right ankle over your left. Bend your knees slightly and fold forward, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. If you cannot reach the floor, place a chair or block in front of you to lay your hands on. Reach your “sitting bones” toward the ceiling, moving your ribs away from your pelvis in order to keep your back from rounding. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then repeat, placing your left ankle over your right.

We hope these 6 simple exercises help get you on the road to recover with your sports injuries. Be sure to check out the yogajournal for more information on yoga poses and how they can prevent or relieve pain. And also, always remember to consult with your doctor before trying a new exercise program.

For optimal results in relieving sports related injuries, or any injuries for that matter, be sure to pair these exercises with the appropriate pain management product. Have questions about which product is right for you? Give us a call at 419.678.4979 and we would be happy to help!

 

Resources:

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/lifestyle/play-it-forward/

http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/yoga-poses-to-prevent-the-top-sports-injuries

http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/yoga-poses-relieve-aches-and-pains

http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20131230/what-yoga-can-and-cant-do-for-you?page=2

How Do I Stop My Joints From Aching?

Do you wake up in the morning feeling sore and achy? Or do you get home from a long day of work and want to do nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV because your wrists, knees or back hurt too much to do anything else? You are not alone! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults in the United States suffers from arthritis or chronic joint pain, and almost everybody experiences joint pain at some point in their lifetime.

5 Ways to Prevent Aching Joints

1.Find out what is causing the pain. Joint pain can be caused by a number of different factors, such as overuse, sprains, improper exercise form, osteoporosis, tendonitis or arthritis. Do you know what is causing your pain? Pay attention to when you notice the pain occurring and record it in a journal. If you are unable to determine the cause of the pain on your own, make an appointment to see your family doctor.

2.Treat your muscle and joint pain properly. Try using the ice therapy method: apply an ice pack on the affected area every hour for 15 minutes at a time. To avoid ice burns, do not apply the ice directly to the skin, but instead wrap the ice in a towel and then place on the affected area. Do this for a few days. You can also try using ibuprofen to reduce swelling and joint pain.

3.Include antioxidants in your diet. A couple natural substances, such as Vitamin C, are said to be effective in preventing sore muscles and joint pain. Check with your doctor before taking high doses of any vitamin. You can also try using other natural mixtures such as herbal teas to prevent or reduce joint pain.

4.Try physical therapy. Physical therapists specialize in human movement and will be able to help you determine how to navigate in order to reduce or avoid your pain. They can also show you exercises that can relieve pain. Your muscles may just need more movement in order to regain strength and create healthier joints.

5.Rest. Do not overwork your muscles and joints. Sometimes all your body needs is a little TLC: “Tender Loving Care.” Give your joints time to relax. This will help restore energy and give your body the opportunity to repair itself naturally. Do not over-demand your body to do something it is not capable of.

We hope these tips help relieve your joint pain and restore your desire and ability to be active again! Are you or a senior loved one experiencing pain from aching joints? Check out our line of pain management products or call us at 419.678.4979 today!

 

 

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/art-sore-muscles-joint-pain?page=1

http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-relieve-and-prevent-joint-pain

http://www.newportnaturalhealth.com/2012/02/6-simple-steps-to-alleviate-joint-pain/

Are Your Shoes Causing You Pain?

How often do you get to the middle of the afternoon and think to yourself, “Wow. I can’t wait to go home, kick off my shoes and RELAX!” This may be because you have had a rough day at work, you’re ready for the weekend or it could even be because your shoes are actually what’s really causing you discomfort throughout the day. Roughly 75% of people in the United States experience foot pain some time in their life. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans aren’t sure what the root cause of the pain is. Are you one of those people?

 

4 Reasons Your Shoes are Hurting Your Feet

 

  1. They’re too tight. Your feet need to be able to move comfortably and breathe. Wearing shoes that are too tight restricts the arch of your foot from moving freely. Many people do not realize that as we age our feet still continue to grow. Make sure you are constantly having your feet sized properly before buying shoes to avoid the side effects of restrictive shoes: bunions, corn and ingrown toenails. Don’t put your feet in a straightjacket!

 

  1. They aren’t the right type. People often forget: not all feet are the same. There are three common foot types: over-pronation, excessive supination and neutral. Our feet are our body’s first shock absorbers and foundation as a whole; therefore, wearing the wrong shoe for your foot type can increase your risk for developing serious back pain. Why you may ask? Because our feet have the ability to change the alignment in all of the structures above them, particularly the back. Pay attention to your foot type and buy shoes that will provide the right amount of support for not only your feet, but your entire body.

 

  1. They’re too high and pointy. The higher the heel, the unhealthier the foot. As we increase heel height, we also increase the amount of pressure being forced on our feet. Have you ever heard someone complain (or complained yourself) about how bad their feet hurt when wearing heels? Discomfort always comes at a price! Lower the heel height and you will reduce the amount of force (and pain) being exerted onto the base of your foot. Likewise, remember to allow your feet enough room to breathe and avoid the pointy (and sleek) looking shoes. After all, pointy shoes–which cause the big toes to be pushed inward–are the leading cause of bunions!

 

  1. They’re too flat. Yes, your shoes can be too flat. Remember those ballet flats you wore out last weekend? While they may have looked great with your skinny jeans, they did not give your feet the proper protection they needed. Try wearing shoes that offer more support and structure, as well as cushioning, to your feet.

 

Foot Pain Remedies

 

Remember the following steps to prevent foot pain in the future:

 

  • Buy (and wear) comfortable, properly fitting shoes.
  • Avoid ballet flats, high heels and pointy toed shoes.
  • Wear supportive tennis shoes as much as possible.
  • Do not walk long distances in anything but tennis shoes.
  • Make sure your shoes fit by getting resized at least once a year.

 

Shoe pain can also be caused by aging, being on your feet for long periods of time, injury and being overweight. If you continue to experience pain, please consult your doctor.

 

We hope these tips help you relieve your foot pain! If you have any further questions on pain management, visit our pain products page or give us a call at 419.678.4979 today!

 

Resources:

 

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/beauty/6-ways-your-shoes-are-hurting-your-feet#47E7Zb8cQ00OhRAp.97

http://www.footbalance.com/why-footbalance

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003183.htm

Carpal tunnel pain

Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis: What’s Your Pain Source?

Are your or someone you know experiencing pain in your muscles and joints? Are you unsure of what the causes this pain? Oftentimes it is hard to distinguish between carpal tunnel and arthritis. Here are symptoms of both so you can tell the difference between the two.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel

  1. Numbness in the fingers. A common symptom of carpal tunnel is the “falling asleep” of one’s fingers (the thumb, ring and middle fingers), particularly at nighttime. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with a tingly feeling in your hands or a burning pain and numbness that runs all the way up your arm, you may be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome. If the pain continues, see your doctor.
  2. Muscle weakness. As the syndrome becomes more severe, you may notice reduced grip strength, pain, muscle cramping or muscle weakness. The slowing of nerve impulses and coordination is often another common symptom.
  3. Swelling. Severe inflammation in the fingers and hands may occur, causing unpleasant pain in the joints. Loss of flexibility and decreased range of motion may also be a result of swelling in the hands and wrists.

Symptoms of Arthritis

  1. Joint pain. Symptoms of arthritis include joint pain in several different areas: fingers, wrist, hands, ankles, heels, back and neck. These pains can be both sharp or intermittent. It is common to experience excessive tenderness, swelling or stiffness in your joints and muscles.
  2. Fatigue. Feeling extra tired lately? Lacking motivation to get up and move around? You could be experiencing tiredness due to arthritis pain and joint inflammation.
  3. Abnormal growth. Those with arthritis may develop uncommon-looking bumps or outgrowths on their fingers, toes or hands. These lumps are typically fluid-filled cysts and appear, disappear and change size quite often. While they do not typically require treatment, there are treatment options available.

There are two distinct differences between carpal tunnel and arthritis: time of day and area of pain. While carpal tunnel pain is typically associated with the fingers, hands and wrists during the nighttime, arthritis can be present at any time of day and occurs in a multitude of joints and muscles.

If symptoms for both carpal tunnel or arthritis are not treated right away, it could result in the deterioration of important muscle tissue and eventually the full loss of hand motion. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, consult your doctor right away.

Still not sure if you are suffering from carpal tunnel or arthritis pain? Here is a quick quiz on carpal tunnel syndrome to help give you more insight!

 Are you looking relieve carpal tunnel or arthritis pain? This month we are offering $50.00 off the LaserTouchOne to help fix your aching pains and needs! Call us at 419.678.4979 or stop in today for a FREE trial!

 

 

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/carpal-tunnel-syndrome

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS591US591&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=arthritis%20symptoms

5 Reasons You Should Consider Regular Massage Appointments

08-back-massageHave you ever received a massage? Most of us have tried it at least once – especially women. Sometimes the experience is amazing and other times you are left feeling you should have just saved your money. Why is that? Because we all have different massage needs and benefit from different approaches. Communication with your massage therapist is key. Have a conversation beforehand and let him or her know what you like, if and where you are having pain and what you expect to get out of the experience. Once you establish that communication, you will begin to see these short- and long-term benefits:

  1. Relaxation. It comes as no surprise that our lives are busier than they have ever been. Working long hours, shuttling children here and there, taking care of our aging parents and trying to take of ourselves means we are juggling a lot of balls each day. And, unfortunately, taking care of ourselves using gets pushed on the backburner while we strive to take care of everything and everyone else. This leads to burnout, which is never good, so it’s important we make time for ourselves. Massage is a great way to do just that as it promotes relaxation and relieves stress.
  2. Pain Relief. Massage is great for alleviating pain you are experiencing. It’s common for people to experience pain in their shoulders and back as a result of carry heaving objects, sports, sitting or standing for long periods and even pregnancy. When you are experiencing pain, it tends to consume your thinking and makes it hard to focus on work or other daily tasks. Regular massage will loosen muscles and promote effective healing.
  3. Flexibility. Once those muscles are loosened up from the massage, it’s a great time to do additional stretches to help elongate them. Try this before a workout or sports activity too, even if it’s just targeted on specific areas of concern like the thighs or calves. It will warm you up before the physical exertion and help prevent injury.
  4. Better Circulation. During a massage, not only are your body tissues engaged, but so are your blood vessels. You may have noticed that massage strokes follow an upward direction. Blood vessels carry the blood throughout the body so this motion helps supply blood towards the heart. From there, your heart pumps the blood throughout different parts of your body. The blood cells carry oxygen so this promotes valuable oxygenation of the body as well.
  5. Ease Sleeplessness/Insomnia Sometimes, the occasional sleepless night occurs before a big presentation or event. Other times, pain can make it hard to sleep. Whatever the underlying reason for the inability to rest peacefully, massage can definitely help. As mentioned in 1 and 2, it promotes relaxation and pain relief, which will make getting those much needed Zs each night even easier. Our bodies need deep sleep to repair and rejuvenate. Without it we are prone to stress, illness and lack of concentration.

Whether it’s once a week or once a month, making time for a massage will benefit your overall health. I often recommend it to people who come in seeking assistance from our line of pain relief products. A multi-relief approach to any pain or stress issue will definitely accelerate healing.

Are you ready to add massage into your New Years pain management resolution?

Stop by New Visions in Coldwater to learn more about multi-relief approaches and see how our full-line of pain relief products can benefit you! We also offer $50.00 off the LaserTouchOne this month to help you get relief when you can’t get a massage! Stop by and try it today!

4 Ways to Properly Manage Knee & Ankle Pain

Therapist attending to injured sportsmanSports and other recreational activities can create overwhelming strain on our bodies. Young athletes often experience joint and muscle pain as they push themselves to improve performance. In terms of location, knee and ankle strain is a common complaint and can lead to serious injury. Knowing how to quickly address these aches and pains when they surface will help keep you healthy and active.

4 Ways to Properly Manage Knee & Ankle Pain

  • Use Ice Correctly. Most of us have heard time and time again that ice is a great way to deal with pain, but it’s also important to use ice properly in order to maximize the benefits. Ice is beneficial for decreasing inflammation and swelling. It also lessens muscle cramping or spasms and allows you to alleviate the pain. Avoid using ice immediately before physical activity, if the pain or swelling involves a nerve, if you are prone to hives from cold or if there is a wound/sore on the skin.
  • Use Heat Correctly. Now that we know there are times when ice is beneficial for managing pain, it’s important to understand when heat can also be used. Heat increases circulation, inflammation and is most useful when warming up stiff or scarred tissues before stretching. Because heat can increase swelling, it’s important not to overuse it or use it after physical activity when inflammation is already heighted. Also, avoid heat immediately after an acute injury or when they body temperature is elevated from fever or heat stress.
  • Apply Pain Relieving Gels. Topical pain killers, or analgesics, are sprayed on or rubbed into the skin over painful muscles or joints. Although all are designed to relieve pain, different products use different ingredients. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about which cream is best for your specific symptoms. Make sure you never use them with a heating pad, as this can damage the skin.  Also, don’t apply them under tight bandages or onto wounds and damaged skin.
  • Utilize TENS Therapy. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a drug-free and noninvasive treatment for pain. It works by placing electrode pads on the area of pain. Mild electrical currents generate heat to relieve stiffness, improve mobility and alleviate pain. This treatment is believed to stimulate the body’s production of endorphins or natural pain killers. This therapy can be used for both acute and chronic pain conditions but should definitely not be used by anyone with a pacemaker as the electrical current could interfere with the operation.

Local parents often ask me what it is they can do to help their young athlete manage their sports-related aches and pains. The methods of pain management I recommend definitely depend on the severity and duration of the injury, but I also strongly urge parents to have their child properly evaluated by their family doctor.

Stop by New Visions in Coldwater to see our line of pain relief products that can benefit you!

7 Steps to Manage Holiday Stress

Relaxes and stressed signIt is the time of year our to-do list grows to a length that is unmanageable. How do we start? Where do we start? If you are like me, you get so overwhelmed that you don’t ever start the never-ending list. Now you’re stuck with a list of things you need to do and want to do, but unfortunately, you’re still just staring at the list. Help! Where do you start so your body does not ache the entire holiday season?

7 tips to Help You Relax and Reduce Stress So You Can Enjoy the Holiday Season

  1. Breathe. I know this is a simple task, and you do it naturally since you have to in order to live. However, take a deep, deep breath and close your eyes and think: RELAX. A quick break to take deep breaths and unwind can do wonders for your muscles and mind.
  2. Brain Timeout. Sometimes you need to turn off your mind so you stop worrying about the list. Regroup. Relax. Think about something else for 10 minutes to just unwind your mind on the tasks that are screaming at you off the paper. Brain timeouts help us look at things with a fresh mind and different view in order to not get overwhelmed.
  3. Phone a Friend. “E.T. phone home!” No it is not the movies, but sometimes you just need to take a break and talk to a family member or friend. It is amazing how a 10-minute conversation can make you relax. You can feel your shoulders, neck, back and even your face RELAX. Call someone who is your “go to” when you need a break.
  4. Meditate. I know many people I talk to do not realize that meditation can happen anywhere. 3-10 minutes is all you need to take your mind on an adventure to a new vision or thought process. All you need to do is close your eyes and totally relax your mind and body. Think about your favorite place that gives you peace and happiness. Imagining yourself in this place is the best escape from stress. Meditation works anywhere and is a great stress buster when you feel overwhelmed.
  5. Exercise. Over and over again you hear people say exercise is the best medicine. Studies have shown the benefits of exercise to the body, mind and spirit. I know it sounds cliché, but it is very true. When I am stressed I immediately put on my shoes and walk outside to just let the air fill my lungs and allow my body to move. Exercise is the cheapest and non-evasive way to reduce stress! Don’t feel like exercise has to be that full hour workout. Sometimes you just need 15 minutes of just walking to decompress or 10 minutes of yoga to stretch and let your body feel relief from stress.
  6. Listen to Music. Take your mind off of the distractions of the crazy day and really listen to the music. It is astounding how good songs make us smile, dance, or just remember how we love the song! Music is a great escape for the holiday stress. Put on your favorite music and grab a mug of hot chocolate and relax.
  7. Time for a Good Laugh. With the internet, you can log onto YouTube or go any where on Google to listen to a joke or watch a funny video. I sometimes look at pictures on my phone and remember events that made me laugh. Next to exercise, laughter is the best medicine to stay healthy and when you are laughing, you are not worrying or stressing about life.

If your body is aching and you are stressing, STOP! It is time to enjoy the holidays and not worry about every little detail being perfect. Embrace the holiday and enjoy your time with family and friends!

 

Stop by New Visions in Coldwater to see our line of pain relief products that helps reduce muscle stress.