Tips for Living with Fibromyalgia

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Tips for Living with FibromyalgiaNearly 5 million people in the US alone suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a common arthritis-related symptom that causes fatigue, abdominal pain, chronic headaches, insomnia, dry eyes, stiffness, and joint and muscle pain. Not only do sufferers of fibromyalgia experience physical pain, emotional and mental pain is also a result of this condition.

These tips can help you cope with the daily challenges of living with fibromyalgia:

  • Exercise Regularly: Many suffering from fibro become physically unfit due to pain, ongoing fatigue, and stiffness. However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, engaging in regular exercise is an important component in easing symptoms. Aerobic and conditioning exercises, such as swimming, biking, or walking, provide feelings of well-being and control. Exercise improves endurance, reduces pain, and keeps you fit.
  • Make Sleep a Priority: Ensure your bedroom is set up for optimal sleep conditions. Think cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in pillows, such as the ContourSleep Cervical Pillow, which provide support for your head, neck, and spine while easing fibro pain.. Pressure relieving mattresses, like TempurPedic, reduce pressure on tender points and improve restorative sleep.
  • Heat Therapy: Heat helps you to move more easily, relax tense muscles, and reduce pain. MediBeads Moist Heat Pads provide fast, therapeutic relief for up to 30 minutes. Soaking in a warm bath will also help relieve pain, increase levels of endorphins and decrease levels of stress hormones. Studies show a warm bath before bedtime aids in a more restful sleep. Combining heat therapy with a Kneading Back Massage Cushion provides similar benefits as a warm bath.
  • Find Family and Peer Support: If family members suffer from fibromyalgia, look to them for support and advice through this syndrome. Local support groups can provide this same type of guidance; half educational, half support system. Meeting others with the same condition can provide an emotional boost, as well as encouragement and pain relief tips. Don’t see a local group in your area? Start your own!
  • Minimize stress: Many people see their fibro symptoms flare when they are feeling nervous, panicked, or anxious. These stresses can play a big role in triggering these flare-ups. Consider adding meditation to your daily routine to help keep stress levels down. Learn to slow down and say “no” to engagements that may cause more stress than happiness.

 

Memorial Day Sale – 15% Off Hundreds of Items!

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With Memorial Day Weekend only a few days away, all of us at Relax The Back would like to make your holiday a little more enjoyable. If you suffer from neck, back, or shoulder pain, or simply would like to spend more time stress free and relaxing, we have the perfect products for you. So, whatever your holiday plans may be this weekend, add some extra relaxation and comfort – from Friday through Monday (5/23-5/26), enjoy 15% off nearly everything (some restrictions apply), plus free white glove delivery on purchases of $1,000 or more.

Memorial Day Weekend Sale

In addition to receiving 15% off, save up to $300 during our TempurPedic TEMPUR-Breeze event, plus 60 month financing (in-store only). Also, receive bonus gifts, a $350 value, when you purchase a Perfect Chair by Human Touch.

Visit your nearest Relax The Back store this weekend for great savings. If you don’t happen to live near any of our locations, visit us online at www.relaxtheback.com and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for other promotions.

Exercises for Neck Strain

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The neck, also called the cervical spine, supports the full weight of your head and allows for full range of motion and a high degree of mobility. Due to this mobility however, your neck is very vulnerable to injuries. Neck strain is a common complaint and rarely is it a serious injury. Pain can be caused by poor posture, sleeping in an awkward position or car accidents, to name a few.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to relieve some of the discomfort associated with neck strain. Neck therapy products can be used daily to reduce further pain and stress on the important muscles in your neck. Simple exercises for neck strain, like the ones found below, can also help to reduce and relieve pain:

neck pain exercises

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more pain relief tips or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained associates who can offer recommendations tailored to your physical needs and abilities.

Gifts of Comfort for Moms and Grads

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Shopping for moms and soon-to-be grads can be stressful. Instead of only sticking to the traditional flowers, breakfast in bed, or money cards for your grad, consider giving a gift that will continue to provide comfort and relief throughout their busy lives.

At Relax The Back, we have the perfect gifts to help relieve and prevent back, shoulder, and neck pain while promoting overall relaxation. From body pillows to back massagers, here are our top 6 gifts for the mother(s) and soon-to-be grads in your life:

  • Kneading Back Massage – after a long day of working at the office or around the house, give the gift of soothing, heated massages anytime they want.
  • Theracane – for anyone on the go, this portable tool will melt away knots in their back and relieve muscle tension, stiffness and pain.
  • PureFit Wedge System – help your mom or grad find relaxation and the optimal rest position with a custom comfort wedge system.
  • Sit-to-Stand WorkTable – designed to fit wherever they need to be, this table offers a mobile workstation while providing sit-to-stand health benefits.
  • Snoozer Body Pillow – for ultimate ergonomic support and comfort from their neck to their lower back to their feet, this pillow also helps to alleviate pain from headaches, insomnia, fibromyalgia and more.
  • PureRelax Mattress Topper – give your hardworking mom or grad countless nights of quality sleep with this eco-friendly memory foam mattress topper.

Treat the women and soon-to-be grads in your life with something special this year. Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained specialist who can help you find the perfect gift based on their specific needs. Also be sure to visit us online (www.relaxtheback.com) and on Facebook and Twitter.

Swim Away From Back Pain

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When the weather starts to warm up, consider incorporating swimming into your exercise routine. Unlike many forms of aerobic exercises, swimming is easy on the joints and spine since there is practically no impact on spinal structures. Water resistance allows for increased range of motion while strengthening weak back and neck muscles.

Although therapeutic, this aquatic exercise can also cause back pain. Likely causes are hyperextension, or over stretching, of the back and jerking motions in the neck during certain strokes. To prevent further injury, practice proper form and technique.

Freestyle (Front Crawl): Keep your body lying flat in the water and hold lower abdominal muscles up and in, and keep your head straight rather than lifted. When taking a breath, slightly roll your body along with your head to reduce neck strain. Inexperienced swimmers or those with severe back pain should consider using a snorkel or breathing device.

Breaststroke: A wider stroke helps strengthen back muscles and reduce pain. Make sure to gently raise the head and neck during breaths.

Backstroke: Start slowly and gradually increase the length of distance to avoid neck muscle fatigue associated with the backstroke.

Remember to properly stretch beforehand and avoid overdoing your workout. Using Exercise and Therapy Foam Rollers can help massage sore muscles and enhance flexibility and strength before and after your workouts. Be sure to speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise to determine if swimming is right for you.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain While Golfing

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Preventing Pain when Golfing

Golf is a favorite hobby among many men and women. Unfortunately, back pain is a common injury among the golf community. Many golfers will experience some form of back pain at some point during their lives, with one report stating nearly 80% of amateur golfers have back related injuries. There are many different muscle groups involved when swinging a golf club, as it requires a smooth, repetitive motion. Keeping these muscles stretched, well rested, and flexible is key to injury prevention.

Follow these steps to ensure you never miss a tee time:

 

  • Take it slow: If you haven’t played golf in awhile or are new to the sport, don’t overexert yourself. Start with short sessions on the driving range, working your way up to a full round of golf.
  • Incorporate Conditioning Exercises: Strengthening your core muscles, which include the muscles in your back, abdomen, buttocks, and pelvis, with conditioning exercises can help prevent injuries. Add exercises that focus on rotation to prepare your body for the twisting motions of swinging a golf club.
  • Don’t forget to stretch: A balance of flexibility and strength is required in the game of golf. Having a regular stretching routine will help your muscles remain flexible. Foam rollers are a great way to enhance flexibility and strength. Maintaining a routine before and after a golf game will help alleviate muscle tension and prevent strains or sprains.
  • Invest in an Inversion Table: A recent study by GolfTest USA showed golfers that use Inversion Tables, such as the Teeter HangUps, averaged 3 fewer strokes per round, improved their total distance by an average of 10% and increased driver speed by 69%. Inversion Tables help to improve flexibility while relieving back, shoulder, and hip pain.
  • Take a breather: Swinging a golf club isn’t a natural motion and putting your body through this day after day puts strain on your muscles. Allow some time for you to recover between games. If you are experiencing back or neck pain, be sure to consult your doctor before stepping back on the course.

A Brief History: The Evolution of Ergonomics

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In the 1940s, an advancement of machinery and equipment during and post-World War II lead to a disharmony between people and the equipment they were using. There was an increased risk of human error and poor user performance. In order to avoid negative effects of human limitations, equipment had to be designed to take advantage of human capabilities consequently, establishing the scientific discipline we know today as Ergonomics. While the early focus of ergonomics was on aviation and aircraft controls, it has become a standard practice in designing computers, cars, and other consumer products.

With 33% of work-related injuries being caused by poor work station setup, occupational ergonomics is a top priority for many employers and employees. Over the years, there has been a shift in the way companies look at ergonomics. Companies were reactive when addressing proper ergonomics, oftentimes waiting to react to injuries or employee complaints, whereas today, the approach is proactive. Companies use tools, equipment, and best practices to prevent injuries and reduce the level of exposure. Companies are now encouraged to have integrated design phases, which take equipment, products, layout, and standard ergonomic guidelines into account when designing workspaces. Another shift in the discipline has been the method of assessment. Years ago, employees would attend classroom training sessions, in-person evaluations by a certified staff member, and chair-fitting rooms. Today, there is a stronger emphasis on employee-driven, in-office assessments. Chairs and workstations offer full range of adjustability, workstation design is based on computer use, and employees are able to assess and adjust their own workstations.

Here at Relax The Back, we continue to learn and improve our knowledge on ergonomics, and the tools and equipment that can be used to reduce and prevent injuries.  Read more information on ergonomics or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists about a free workstation assessment.

 

Prevent Pain When Gardening

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Spring is officially here, which means more time spent working in the yard. While gardening can be a leisurely, therapeutic activity, it can also lead to aches and pains. Hauling wheelbarrows, wrangling hoses, and constantly kneeling over to weed, mulch, and plant puts strain on your lower back, spine, and shoulders. Fortunately, there are techniques and tips to help prevent pain and keep you enjoying your favourite hobby:

  • Lift with your knees when picking up heavy objects such as a wheelbarrow or bags of soil. Avoid lower back strain by lifting with your knees and hips, as they are better equipped than your back when lifting heavy objects. A posture support like the Cybertech Spine Brace encourages proper posture, which also helps prevent back injuries.
  • Invest in quality tools. Old or broken tools with lot of wear and tear can make simple jobs a lot more difficult, so the next time you see that rusty rake, think about investing in a new set of tools that are ergonomically designed and have cushioned grips. In the end, taking tool shortcuts can only cause more damage than good.
  • Weed on your hands and knees to keep your spine elongated for less strain and pain. Pay attention to the placement of your shoulders over your wrists as they bear most of the responsibility when reaching, grasping and supporting your body weight. If you begin to feel unnecessary, uncomfortable tension, slowly ease out of your current position to avoid straining any muscles.
  • Stay hydrated will help you maintain energy throughout your gardening work as well as keep muscles and joints lubricated. Try to drink 6-oz of water every 20 minutes if you are working hard and sweating. Also, try taking a few minutes every half hour to cool off and rest in the shade.
  • Plan a circuit to avoid repetition. Stiffness and soreness can be linked to repeating the same task, over and over again, for long periods of time. Set aside time to alternate between tasks: weed for an hour, plant for an hour, rake for an hour, water for an hour. Breaking up your time spent in the garden into different to-dos will reduce muscle strain as well as help keep down feelings of being overwhelmed.
  • Stretch and ice after you’ve completed your tasks for the day. Gentle stretches will help you avoid strained muscles and stiffness the next morning. If you are feeling a strain in a muscle, apply and ice pack, such as these reusable cold therapy pads, to the sore area before bed. It will help reduce inflammation.

As always, we recommend you talk with your healthcare provider to determine if gardening is safe for any pain conditions you may have.  For more tips on pain prevention and relief, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists.

Relax The Back Celebrates 30 Years

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30 years ago, in 1984, the first Relax The Back location opened in a small house in Austin, TX. What started as one retail store has grown into nearly 100 franchise locations across the United States and Canada. Built on physical therapist Robin McKenzie’s philosophy of back and neck self-care, Relax The Back believes in patients taking control of their spinal health by strengthening, stretching, and supporting the spine throughout the day.

In 1986, Virginia Rogers bought Relax The Back and began to transform the business into what it is today. As an avid traveler who experienced back pain daily, she did not want to let pain control her life. After using Relax The Back products, she found relief and took control of her chronic back pain. She wanted to share this knowledge to help others live pain-free. Many franchisees started as customers who found relief using our products and want to provide this relief to others.

Relax The Back began franchising in 1989, when professional basketball player and former Antonio Spur, Coby Dietrick, became the first franchise owner.  Being an NBA player, he experienced constant back pain due to his height and career in basketball. He too found relief and was transformed by the Relax The Back lifestyle.

One of first stores in Austin, TX was formerly a women’s boutique.

Today, a core value and top priority has been maintained since we first opened our doors – providing individualized attention to all of our customers in order to pin-point what their specific pain relief needs are and help them find the proper solutions. Our ties with the medical community have strengthened our ability to provide product solutions to improve our customers’ outcomes. Through proper ergonomics, neutral posture support, and education customers can find daily relief from pain and discomforts. 

To celebrate 30 years of providing ‘round the clock relief we are giving away 30 prizes over a 30-week period in our “30 for 30” Facebook Giveaway.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for promotions and tips to relieve daily discomfort. Or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists.

30 for 30 Facebook Giveaway

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Since opening our first location 30 years ago, Relax The Back has become a leader in back and neck pain relief solutions. We owe much of our success to you, our loyal customers, for your insistence on quality, service, and integrity.

To celebrate making like more comfortable and to thank our loyal customers, we will be giving away 30 products over the next 30 weeks. Prizes will be announced weekly on our Facebook page. To enter, simply Like or Comment on the Facebook post to be entered to win that week’s prize. You may enter to win as many products as you would like.

Watch the video below for a sneak peek at the giveaway products to help you live more comfortably and pain-free:

Terms and Conditions: No purchase necessary to enter to win. The giveaway is open to legal residents of the United States, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry. The giveaway will begin on 3/20/14 and end the week of 10/13/14. You can enter the giveaway on our Facebook page by Liking or Commenting on the active prize post. You may enter to win as many prizes as you wish. Winners will be selected at random weekly, prior to the new prize announcement. Once notified, the winner will have five (5) days to provide requested information or a new winner will be selected.