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/

6 Apps That Can Help Keep You Active and Healthy

We know how busy and exhausting life can get sometimes, making it hard to keep one of the most important aspects of life [your health] on track. This is why we have decided to pull together the 6 best apps to help you keep an active and healthy lifestyle.

  1. My Fitness Pal [FREE] – This is one of the most common and widely used health and fitness apps on the market. The app allows you to quickly and accurately track your intake of calories, the number of calories burned through exercise and also delivers progress updates to and from your network of friends. Have a Fitbit you are using to track your steps and calories burned? Sync the Fitbit app (which comes in ranking no. 2 in Apple’s “Top Free Apps –Health and Fitness” genre) and My Fitness Pal app for FREE and take your health and fitness to a whole new level!
  2. Fooducate [FREE] – With 20,082 iOS downloads in June, Fooducate is also another food tracker, yet this tracking goes far beyond just calories. Not only does the app allow you to scan barcodes on food and see a “nutrition grade,” but it will also suggest a healthier alternative to the food you are planning to eat if your item gets a bad grade! Likewise, the app provides daily tips on how to choose healthier food items, navigate through holiday meals and much, much more. With an app like this, who needs a nutritionist!?
  3. Lose It! [FREE] – The results of LoseIt! users speak for themselves. Altogether, users of this app have lost just shy of 39 million (yes, MILLION) pounds, and it appears that number is continuously increasing. Stop the fad diets and “magic pills” and start losing weight the healthy, sustainable way with the Lose It! Fitness app.
  4. Fitness Buddy [$1.00] – Do you find yourself getting tired of doing the same workout routine over and over again? The Fitness Buddy app can solve that problem! With over 1000 workouts to choose from, you never have to repeat an exercise unless you really love it!. Trying to get stronger back muscles? No problem! With the Fitness Buddy app you are able to choose specific areas of your body that you would like to target, and the app will provide a tailored workout for you.
  5. Noom Weight [FREE] – “Noom’s scientifically based software helps people live healthier lives.” And that is exactly what the Noom Weight app does with its online coaching regimen. The app’s technology helps to break bad habits and instill better ones by leading its users down a path toward improved nutrition and increased exercise through the use of coaching as you log your diet, as well as allowing access to a group of users for more support.
  6. Fitnet [FREE] – Do you want to be one of the thousands of people worldwide who are realizing and achieving their fitness goals with Fitnet? The Fitnet app is said to be perfect for people lacking time, experience or motivation to workout. Its intuitive and addictive design will keep you constantly coming back for more workouts! The app offers intelligent, real-time feedback so that you are able to get the most out of your workout by analyzing your synchronicity with the trainer you are working with for the day. Not only are the trainers they provide you certified, but they are FREE! Fitnet is a great option for users who want to either want to get started with fitness or get back on track.

Whatever your activity level –advanced, moderate or beginner—each of these apps are able to adjust to YOUR level of experience. It is time to focus on YOU. Start today!

We hope these tips help you get started on the path of creating a healthier and more active lifestyle for a better YOU! If you shy away from exercise because you experience pain when doing so, visit our pain management products page and give us a call at 419.678.4979 today. We would be happy to help you find the best product to relieve your pain.

 

Resources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/13-best-health-and-fitness-apps-2014-7?op=1

http://www.businessinsider.com/13-best-health-and-fitness-apps-2014-7?op=1

https://play.google.com/store/apps/category/HEALTH_AND_FITNESS/collection/topselling_free

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

5 Heart-Pumping Alternatives to Your Normal Exercise Routine!

Loving Couple Dancing At HomeEver dread working out? I don’t know about you, but this time of year it seems really hard to get motivated to exercise. Sure, we all know the benefits. We know why we should do it, but have you ever taken a closer look at the unique ways we can get our heart pumping on a daily basis?

With the busy lifestyles we are faced with today, it might be a good idea for you to take a break from the normal fitness routines you are used to and give these new ideas a shot. Who knows…you might have a little fun, too!

5 Heart Pumping Alternatives to Your Normal Exercise Routine

1. Hula Hoop: This playground staple is not just for kids! Not only is it inexpensive to purchase, but incorporating a weighted hula hoop into your routine will burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes. In addition, it tones your hips, waist and glutes. Not to mention, it can be a lot of fun to do with your kids, friends or even your senior parents as it is very low impact on the joints!

2. Indoor Surfing Classes. Here in Coldwater, Ohio, we are no where near the beach, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the physical benefits of hanging ten! This exercise works by balancing a surfboard on a base while using your core muscles to mimic real surfing movements. You’ll improve your balance, strengthen your core and define muscles without the need for sunblock!

3. Kangaroo Jump Shoes. If you don’t mind looking a little silly while you break some serious sweat, give kangaroo jump shoes a try! They work by adding gravitational pull to your body, which doubles the resistance of your exercise while wearing them. This means you will get a greater workout in half the time! Looking for even more reasons to give this unique option a try? They were originally designed as a way of relieving joint stress for professional athletes!

4. Mini Trampolines. You might have a large trampoline in your backyard. It’s fun to watch the kids bounce around on it, but did you ever think about how that fun activity is actually a great workout? Mini trampolines are taking the fitness world by storm – and for good reason! Aside from the fact that they take up much less space than the traditional trampoline and they can be used in the winter months, keeping your balance while jumping around will improve leg strength and tighten your abs. No gym membership or warm sunny days required!

5. Dancing. Are you a fan of those dance competition shows on TV? I don’t know about you, but I’m always impressed by how amazing those dancers look in their outfits. It’s no surprise that dancing offers amazing weight loss and toning options that can be a lot of fun! Running out of ideas for fun date nights with the hubby? Sign up for dance class! Not only will you both get a good workout, you will have fun and strengthen your relationship. Hard to find time to get away? Crank up the music at home and start your own dance party. The kids will love it and you will get a great workout – it’s a win-win for everyone!

All these awesome new exercise methods might leave you feeling a little sore in places you didn’t know you had muscles. Stop by New Visions in Coldwater to try our line of pain relief products that can benefit you. We are offering $50.00 off the LaserTouchOne right now. Come in and try it out!

Are your Ankles Weak?

Woman stretchingWhen we get ready for activity or exercise, we don’t really think about, “are my ankles okay?” How do you avoid injury and keep your ankles healthy? The muscles and tendons around ankles are vital to keep you healthy and moving. When athletes or active people get moving, they put stress on the ankle and in order to keep from getting injured, you need strong muscles around the ankle and lower leg.

Popular Exercises to Keep Your Ankles Strong

  1. Ankle Circles. Simply sitting on the floor and stretching your legs out and then pointing and flexing your feet up and down and side to side will truly help your ankle strength. Also try doing circles with your foot, stretching the ankle even more.
  2. Alphabet Letters. Use your big toe as the pencil and try to trace in the air the alphabet 2-3 times on each foot. This is a great overall stretch.
  3. Toe Raises. While sitting and legs are straight, pull your toes back toward your body and hold for 10-15 seconds, then point feet and hold again for 10-15 seconds. This is a great stretch for your ankles and legs.
  4. Heel Raises. Point your toes away from you, and while keeping your legs straight, gently lift from the heel. Repeat this for 10-15 reps on each ankle.
  5. In and Out. Turn your foot inward and hold as long as you can and then turn it outward and hold as long as you can. Repeat this activity on each ankle 10 times. You can also do this exercise from a chair and add a resistance band to your foot to develop more strength. You can also try tying a band around your foot. Hold the other end of the band with your hand and move your foot (while pointed outward) in and out, holding the position for 10-15 seconds. Repeat several times on each ankle.
  6. Balance Exercises. Standing on one foot and trying to do a squat or throwing a ball will build strength in your ankles. If you repeat the process 10-15 times on each side and hold it for 15-20 seconds and you will build the ankle strength.

These are just some of the ways to build your ankles so you can continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Last week, we had a mother in the store that was worrying about her daughter’s ankle strength and how could she help her daughter after an ankle injury. I suggested using the LaserTouchOne, giving her the opportunity to try it out for a week and see if it helped. After just a couple of days, she came back and bought one. She said the relief her daughter had was amazing! Her daughter can now put pressure on her ankle and is on the road to recovery much quicker. LaserTouchOne is just one of the many products we offer to help with pain management at New Visions.

Stop by our store today in Coldwater and see our line of pain management products to help your athlete or active lifestyle.

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.