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

Help! Back Pain Keeps Me Up at Night

Athlete with back painEver woke up and thought you felt you wrestled a large animal in the night? Have you had your back so sore and stiff, you retrace what you did the day before? These are common signs your back is keeping you up at night, and you need to evaluate how you sleep or prepare to sleep, to get a good night’s rest. Chances are these tips will help you alleviate back pain so you can sleep at night.

6 Tips for Alleviating Back Pain

  1. Put a pillow between your knees. A little fun fact for your back and hips. If you put a pillow between your knees, you take the pressure off your back and hips so you can rest. A very easy task with great results.
  2. Put a pillow top or egg crate top on your mattress. There are times when you change the cover on your mattress, and you are pleasantly surprised. By adding a foam egg crate to the top of your bed, you can eliminate back pain. This is not the answer for everyone, but if you are not comfortable on your mattress, then give it a shot.
  3. Keep your neck in a neutral position. By not having your neck twisted and turned awkwardly, you can relax and sleep. When your neck is not neutral, you open the door for not only neck pain, but back pain for the next day. Now is the time to invest in a pillow that eliminates the gap between your neck and back.
  4. Invest in a firm mattress. The rule in mattress purchasing is you find the firmest mattress and go down a notch or two. You don’t have to have the hardest, firmest bed, but one that is firm is best for your back. Otherwise your back gets bent and feels tired when you wake up, and you have not even started your day!
  5. Establish a routine for bed. If you are going to bed the same time, or relatively the same time each night, your body responds. Your body likes the system of a routine and muscles will relax so you can rest. A routine on bedtime helps keep your body on track and let it relax so you can sleep and not have a stiff back in the morning.
  6. Time to meditate. This is the easiest solution with great results. If you spend 5-10 minutes before bed just meditating and relaxing, you will be surprised how great your back will feel in the morning. Meditation gets a bum wrap, but it a very effective tool to keep your back and core healthy.

Tired of not getting rest at night? Maybe you should try one of the techniques above.

The other day we had a mom come in the store who could not stand still because her back hurt badly. We recommended TheraBeads so she could get instant relief. Stop in New Visions Medical in Coldwater today to get help on your back pain.

 

For the month of September we also have $50.00 off LaserTouchOne and BioFreeze is marked down. Stop by and see what we can do to help you with your pain management.