Long flights or car rides can be daunting for those who experience back or neck pain. Standing, sitting, or lying in awkward positions for long periods of time is hard on your muscles, joints, and spine. Seats in airplanes, trains, buses, and cars can aggravate back and neck pain as they are not the most comfortable or ergonomically correct.
Here are a few steps that you can take to help reduce pain while traveling:
- Drink water: Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your trip. Water helps to lubricate and cushion muscles and joints. Staying hydrated will also help keep headaches away.
- Sit with support: As we mentioned, seats in planes and cars are often uncomfortable and worn out with poor lumbar support. Bringing a lumbar cushion such as our Self Inflating Back Rest will provide support during long car rides and flights. Using a U-Shaped Travel Pillow will give your neck the proper support it needs while also providing comfort. If you’re planning a long road trip and your car has bucket seats, the TravelLite Wedge Seat Cushion will allow for proper spinal alignment. This seat cushion allows you to sit in the ergonomically correct “S” curve position, with added support under your hips.
- Pack light: Heavy luggage can cause unnecessary strain on your neck and back muscles. Instead of packing one large suitcase, pack 2 smaller bags. Lifting bags into and out of your trunk or overhead bins, and off of the baggage carousel will be much easier. Also, when lifting your bags be sure to lift in stages and never twist your back. Instead, pivot your feet so that your entire body moves. If possible, avoid lifting by asking for help from a flight attendant or a passenger nearby.
- Get up and move: Occasionally changing positions can help prevent leg cramps, blood clots, and stiff muscles. Try this every 20-30 minutes, if possible. Movement helps stimulate circulation, which brings oxygen and nutrients into the muscles. This helps to prevent aches from sitting for long periods of time. When available, book an aisle seat to make getting up and out of your seat easy and accessible. If you’re driving, make pit stops to get out of the car and move around.
- Stretch: Speak with your doctor prior to your trip for safe and easy hamstring and hip stretches that you can do while traveling. Stretching will loosen muscles and provide relief during long periods of sitting.
Gifts of comfort come in all sizes. Whether you are buying for your daughter, father-in-law, or family friend, we have gift ideas that everyone will be happy to find in their stocking on Christmas day.
Below we’ve listed our favourite stocking stuffers to help relieve pain and discomfort this holiday:
- Sleep Mask by Tempur-Pedic ($29): Soothing sleep makes the perfect gift! Cool and comfortable, this mask is made with pressure-relieving TEMPUR material, so you can nod off in total darkness. Perfect for loved ones who travel often.
- ErgoTravel Keyboard ($40): This waterproof, flexible, and worry-free keyboard prevents strain on arms, wrists, and back while providing ergonomic support for your hard-working loved one.
- Moji 360 Foot Massager ($39): Know a loved one that can never have too many foot massages? The Moji 360 mimics the touch of a professional massage therapist to revitalize sore, tired, and aching feet.
- Self-Inflating Back Rest ($40): For work, at the movies, or in the car, this lumbar support is easy-to-use and easy-to-store. This is a gift that keeps on giving, long after the holiday season.
- TEMPUR All-Purpose Pillow ($49): This pillow’s unique “peanut” shape allows for multi-purpose ergonomic support. Its space-saving size makes it a perfect travel neck roll, lumbar cushion, or leg spacer.
Add these great gifts to your loved ones (or your own) stocking 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 specific needs. Also be sure to visit us online (www.relaxtheback.com) and on Facebook and Twitter.
The holidays are fully underway, which means aches and pains due to overexertion are more likely to occur. Shopping and preparing for the holidays is not only stressful but it can also contribute to unwelcome muscle pain and fatigue.
Here are a few tips to prevent pain during the holidays:
- Stay hydrated: Water helps to lubricate and cushion joints and muscles. Inflammation and chronic muscles spasms can be linked to dehydration. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces per day. If you weigh 150 lbs. aim to drink 75 oz. of water.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine: Don’t push aside your regular eating habits and workout routines. If you’re attending holiday parties, eat in moderation and beware of your nutritional needs. Perform gentle exercises such as these foam roller exercises to help keep muscles loose and prevent pain from happening.
- Stress less: Anxiety and stress can creep up during these busy times. Enjoy the holidays and reduce stress with these tips.
- Vary positions when wrapping presents: While there is no Ideal position for wrapping gifts, you should remember to vary positions as often as possible. Alternate wrapping one gift on a countertop while standing and another gift while sitting at a table. Avoid sitting on the floor to wrap gifts as this can cause unwanted aches and pains and promote poor posture.
- Make sleep a priority: Inadequate sleep can cause pain to worsen over time. It is important to make sure you are continuing to get quality sleep during these hectic holidays. Treat yourself to an early present and ensure better sleep with these sleep products. If possible, try to sneak in a nap during the day. You’ll increase alertness and stamina to help keep you going.
Visit us online at www.relaxtheback.com or stop by your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained associates for pain relief solutions this holiday season. Enjoy Black Friday savings now through December 1st!
At Relax The Back, we truly believe nothing brings joy like the gift of comfort. Show your loved ones how much you care with a gift that keeps on giving. We’ve put together a list of our favorite affordable gifts that are sure to relieve pain and discomforts, aid in relaxation, and bring comfort to all members of the family. If you’re wondering what to get friends and family this holiday season look no further. Here are some great affordable gifts to wrap up relief:
- Theracane ($35): Relieve stiffness and pain as you control the pressure to massage deep into tense muscles. Perfect for anyone on the go.
- CoreStretch ($70): Perfect for the office or while on vacation, the CoreStretch helps you safely stretch muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your back, shoulders, hips, and legs. Reduce pain, enhance mobility, and increase flexibility with this lightweight, portable tool.
- Slatted Footrest ($69): Footrests help align feet with the rest of the body to help reduce strain on your back and neck muscles.
- Lumbar Extender ($99): 5 minutes, 2 times a day is all you need to relieve back pain with the Lumbar Extender. Targeted pressure is applied along your vertebrae to release tension and enhance muscle relaxation.
- Neck & Shoulder Massager ($149): Find relief after your holiday travels with the powerful percussive action of this Neck and Shoulder wrap. With built-in heat and 20 automated programs, you’ll loosen muscles and quiet aches.
- Haven Foot Massager ($249): Give tired feet a comfortable treat with total reflexology. The Haven Foot Massager uses rejuvenating rollers, kneading air massage, optional deep heat therapy and two tension-relieving programs.
- Sit-to-Stand WorkPad ($299): Give the gift of mobility in the workspace. This ergonomic work stand can be rolled anywhere. The single-handed height adjustment allows for immediate and effortless transition from sitting to standing.
Treat your loved ones (or yourself) 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 specific needs. Also be sure to visit us online (www.relaxtheback.com) and on Facebook and Twitter.
Are you one of the 31 million Americans who have suffered from low-back pain at least once in their life? There are many factors that can be associated with back pain but one in particular is gravity. Over the course of the day, gravity compresses weight bearing joints and the spine, which can cause low back pain and discomfort.
Inversion therapy is an age-old practice that involves hanging at an angle to allow the body to be in line with the downward force of gravity. This position can aide in reversing the negative effects gravity has on the spine.
By hanging at an inverted angle, one can elongate their spine and relieve pressure that builds up throughout the day. Inversion therapy helps prevent and relieve pain in the neck and shoulders, chronic low back pain, herniated discs, and sciatica. It can also help with postural problems.
Benefits of using inversion tables include:
- Improve circulation
- Relieve stress
- Heighten mental awareness
- Increase flexibility/range of motion
- Improve posture
Once familiar with the different angles of the inversion table, simple exercises can be done to relieve pressure, realign the spine and pelvis, and increase mobility and flexibility. Hold these each for 1-2 minutes, slowly building up the amount of time and degree of inversion.
- For a full body stretch, raise your arms over your head.
- For a gentle back stretch, raise your back to a slight arch.
- For a side stretch, turn your body to one side, turn to the other side and repeat.
Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists and feel the benefits of an inversion table firsthand. While inversion tables generally provide relief and relaxation, it is best to speak with your doctor before use.
Are there correct and incorrect positions to sleep in? Experts say there is no “right” way to sleep however, if you experience pain or have nagging injuries there are positions that can help alleviate pain and discomfort. Certain sleeping positions can also aggravate pain and affect the recovery process. At 57%, a majority of Americans sleep on their sides, while 17% sleep on their back and 11% on their stomachs. Generally, sleeping on your stomach isn’t recommended due to constraints placed on the neck, but each sleep position has advantages and disadvantages.
This helpful graphic breaks down different positions based on any aches or pains that may be keeping you up at night:
Whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, it is important to choose a pillow or a bed wedge that fits your preferred sleeping position to further relieve aches and pains.
For more information on sleep, the affects it has on your mind and body, and tips on improving your sleep quality, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists.