Posts tagged back pain

Exercises for Upper Back Pain

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Upper back pain may not be the most common spinal disorder but when it occurs it can still cause substantial pain and discomfort.  This pain can be caused through strain, poor posture, or sudden injury. Most complaints come from those who work at computers most of the day. Whatever the cause of pain, doing exercises such as these can help ease and prevent pain and discomfort:

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.

Back Pain during Pregnancy

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Experiencing back pain during pregnancy is not uncommon for most women; between 50% and 80% experience some form of pain. Hormonal changes affect the joints and relax the ligaments in your pelvis, your center of gravity changes, and weight gains associated with a growing baby adds stress to your spine and lower back.

From proper posture to staying as active as possible to heat therapy, consider the following ways to help relieve your back pain:

  • Stay as active as possible with regular stretching and exercise routines
  • Practice proper posture at all times when standing and sitting
  • When sleeping, use a pillow, like the Dreamweaver By Snoozerpedic Body Pillow, to put support where you need it most
  • Wear comfortable shoes – avoid high heels
  • Use a lumbar support cushion while seated
  • Only with your doctor’s consent, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Heat therapy to ease muscle tension, spasms, and pain
  • Cold therapy to reduce inflammation

It is important to note that before you begin any type of back pain treatment or exercise, you should speak with your doctor. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more pain relief solutions. Or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists.

Exercises For Low Back Pain

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Did you know 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time? There are many causes of back pain but the good news is there is relief out there. While we have previously highlighted the benefits of using foam rollers for back pain, we’d like to highlight another way to relieve pain.

Among other relief methods, gentle back exercises and stretches like the ones below can help prevent and ease low back pain:

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more pain relief tips or visit one of our trained associates at a local Relax The Back store for recommendations tailored to your physical needs and abilities.

 

 

 

Office Work Habits: Desk Habits

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For many, sitting at a desk for work is unavoidable. A desk that is appropriately adjusted in addition to being well designed is an important part of an ergonomic workstation. A well-made desk should provide proper clearance for your legs, minimize awkward exertions and postures, and allow for proper placement of computer accessories.

A desk that isn’t properly set up or well designed can cause shoulder, back, and neck pain, which can lead to discomfort and performance inefficiencies. Generalized fatigue and contact stress are also a result of a poorly designed desk and the inability to change working positions.

Follow this ergonomic guide to avoid unnecessary strain and pain:

  • Frequently used devices (phones, keyboards, and mouse) should be within comfortable reaching distance.
  • Work surface depth should allow the monitor to be viewed at a distance of at least 20 inches.
  • If necessary, remove center drawers or insert stable risers under table legs to create clearance for your thighs and legs.
  • Use a height-adjustable desk, such as a Standing Desk, to have the ability to change working positions from sitting to standing throughout the day.
  • Standing up from your desk every hour for 2 – 3 minutes can help reverse the negative effects of sitting all day.

For more information on Ergonomic workstations and solutions, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit your local Relax The Back store to receive a custom adjustment of the proper Ergonomic workstation.

 

Office Work Habits: Chair Habits

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More than 50% of office workers say their chair is the #1 thing they would change. A chair that can be appropriately adjusted and one that is well designed is a vital part of any ergonomic workstation. A well-made chair should support your legs, back, and arms while reducing forceful exertions, contact stress and awkward postures.

Chairs that are made poorly can cause back pain and fatigue as well as restrict circulation in the legs and cause swelling, numbness and pain. Inappropriately adjusted armrests can cause awkward postures or fail to provide sufficient support.

Follow this ergonomic guide to avoid unnecessary strain and pain:

  • Use a removable back cushion if your chair does not have a lumbar support.
  • Consider a backrest that is easily adjustable and is able to support your back in a variety of seated postures.
  • The seat should be height adjustable and wide enough to accommodate various hip sizes.
  • If the seat is not height adjustable, providing a footrest can help elevate the knee to relieve pressure on the back of legs.
  • Use a height adjustable lumbar support so it can be appropriately placed to fit the lower back.
  • Armrests should support lower arm and allow upper arms to remain close to torso.
  • If armrests interfere with workspace or cannot be adjusted, remove them or stop using them.
  • Chairs should have a strong, five-legged base.

For more information on Ergonomic workstations and solutions, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit your local Relax The Back store to receive a custom adjustment of the proper Ergonomic workstation.

 

Top 5 Gifts for the Busy Mom in Your Life

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Every year flowers are bought, breakfast in bed is made, and cards are given to Moms on Mother’s Day. But why not get her something that she can enjoy all year long?

Relax The Back has the perfect gift for any mother who could use more relaxation in their life. These products will help relieve back, neck, shoulder, and other physical pains she may have. Give a gift that will last her years to come and provide comfort and relaxation whenever she needs it.

Here are 5 of our favourite Mother’s Day gifts:

  • Kneading Back Massage Cushion – after a long day working at the office or around the house, give the gift of soothing massages anytime she wants.
  • Monitor Mount iPad Holder – for the tech savvy mom, this eases and minimizes eye and neck strain.
  • Original Backnobber II - a simple, portable tool for self deep-muscle massages that any on-the-go mom will enjoy.
  • Foot Log – busy moms who are on their feet all day, whether in the kitchen or running errands can relieve the pressure in aching feet anywhere, anytime in just ten minutes.
  • Wrap-Around Neck Pillow with Lavender – offer the hardworking mom a relaxing, spa-like experience with comfortable head and neck support.

To treat the mother(s) in your life to something truly special this year, visit us in-store, online (www.relaxtheback.com) and on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of a Personalized Sleep System

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Whether you’re a couple with different sleep habits and needs or an individual looking for a more comfortable night’s rest, you might want to consider an adjustable bed. Adjustable beds allow you to personalize your own sleep system, providing that perfect position to ensure a very convenient, comfortable, and even therapeutic experience. Here are the numerous benefits:

Lifestyle Benefits

  • Massage: Enjoy a relaxing massage to ease tension and anxiety as most adjustable beds provide massage options.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Snoring: Sleeping with your head raised slightly will decrease or eliminate snoring. It will also help with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
  • Watching TV, Reading: Spend more time being comfortable as adjustable beds make it very easy to watch television or read in bed.

Medical Benefits

  • Back Pain Relief:  Raise and/or lower your head and feet any way you want, including the zero gravity position which is the most ideal position for rest. This position redistributes pressure across different parts of the body, which can help reduce back pain.
  • Heart Health: Raising your legs while asleep allows your heart to work less difficultly.
  • Increased Blood Flow Circulation: The adjustable positions and massage feature promotes increased circulation and blood oxygen levels.
  • Swelling: Raising your legs above your heart can help with swelling 

Adjustable bases are simple to operate, and you can even program it to automatically recline into a pre-set position, so all you have to do is push a button and fall asleep. Learn more about which adjustable base model is the right one for you. And now through May 5, 2013 you can SAVE up to $400 on TEMPUR-Ergo™ Advanced.

Spinal Stenosis

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As a specialty health care retailer, we take our job seriously when it comes to providing solutions to customers seeking relief and prevention of back and neck pain. One pain culprit we commonly hear about is spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal canal. It’s most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to aging. For those with spinal stenosis under the age of 50, genetics diseases affecting bone and muscle development play a role. Spinal Stenosis can be difficult to diagnose (an MRI or x-ray may be required), as people who develop it usually have no history of back problems or recent injury. Often, unusual leg symptoms are the best clues as stenosis may pinch the nerves that control muscle power and leg sensation. These include back, neck, and leg pain, including numbness in the posterior, thighs or calves, and difficulty maintaining balance while walking.Treatment options for spinal stenosis pain relief include:

  • Physical Therapy – Exercises for stenosis pain relief are designed to increased flexion strength. Follow these simple stretches as demonstrated by Madden Physical Therapy.
  • Postural changes – Leaning forward while walking helps flex the spine and relieve some of the symptoms.
  • Cold/heat therapy – Applying heat and ice with our Moji Back Pain Relief System can relieve some of the flare-ups.
  • Medications: In the case that pressure on nerves is caused by inflammation, take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Surgery: If other treatments do not ease the pain and the pain becomes worse, surgery may be the next option to recreate space in the spinal canal. Talk with your doctor about how much relief surgery can provide.

Explore one of our more than 100 stores for additional information and a personal assessment by one of our trained associates.

 

 

Degenerative Disc Disease

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Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) can be painful, but it’s not quite as dire as it sounds due to its misnomer. The term “degenerative” implies to most people that the symptoms will get progressively worse with age, but this is not the case. And technically, it’s not a disease, but a condition of a degenerative or damaged intervertebral disc. This occurs as a natural part of aging due to strain, overuse, and maybe even misuse. As you age, discs – which act like pillow-like cushions between your vertebrae – start to lose its flexibility, elasticity, and its ability to cushion your movements.  DDD occurs when the outer layer of a disc becomes structurally unsound, usually with small cracks and tears. These tears in the disc can cause nerve inflammation or irritation, making it uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time. Over time, this can cause instability and misalignment of the spine. Fortunately in many cases, people with DDD actually improve over time.

If you find yourself having back pain flareups generally made worse with sitting, consider talking to your doctor to get officially diagnosed with an MRI scan. In the meanwhile, here are some tips to help manage degenerative disc disease pain:

  • Physical Therapy – Seek out a physical therapist that can help design exercises and movement habits tailored to your evaluation and physical needs.
  • Seat Cushions – Make prolonged sitting at home, at work, or in the car more bearable with seat cushions. We have a variety to choose from to match you wherever and anywhere you’re seated.
  • Cold/heat therapy – Sooth flare-ups and tired muscles with hot & cold therapy. Alternate with our ProtoCold Reusable Cold Therapy Pads followed by our MediBeads Moist Heat Pads. They’re both safe, effective, clean, convenient, and easy to use.
  • Medications: In the case that pressure on nerves is caused by inflammation, take over-the-counter pain relievers.

Explore one of our more than 100 stores for additional information and a personal assessment by one of our trained associates.

 

Pregnancy & Back Pain

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Most women experience back pain during pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you should expect suffering when you’re expecting. Regardless of whether you or your loved one is pregnant, it’s helpful to understand the common causes and treatments to make pregnancy more exciting and less stressful for the whole family.

Throughout pregnancy the body undergoes many changes, taking a toll on the body via:

  • Weight gain – On average, women gain about 30 lbs, which the spine has to support. The growing baby and extra weight puts pressure on important blood vessels and nerves around the lower back.
  • Postural changes – As the belly grows, the center of gravity moves forward, which can lead to gradual shifts in posture and the way you walk and move.
  • Hormone changes – Pregnancy results in the body making the hormone called relaxin, which loosens the connective tissue around the pelvic area in preparation for birth. This same hormone can cause the ligaments and joints in the spine to stretch and become loose, leading to more instability and pain.

The good news is that backache during pregnancy can be easily treated, and should gradually subside closer to when you give birth. Here are our top pregnancy back pain relief tips:

  • Exercise – Regular exercise can help strengthen your back and abdominal area to help address some of the body changes mentioned above. Your doctor can recommend exercises, but safe activities for pregnant women include walking, swimming, and stationary cycling.
  • Cold/heat therapy – Soothe sore muscles and backache by applying cold with our ProtoCold Therapy Pads to painful areas in the back for the first 48-72 hours, followed by heat with our MediBeads Heat Pads.
  • Watch your posture – When sitting, make sure to use chairs with good lumbar support or take our Self-inflating back rest wherever you go for optimal comfort. Use a footrest to elevate your feet slightly, and don’t cross your legs as it can cause your pelvis to tilt and exacerbate strained muscles.
  • Wear the right shoes – Put the high-heels away in your closet and stay away from completely flat shoes. Opt for comfortable shoes with adequate support to keep your body in proper alignment.
  • Maternity belt – Talk with your doctor about a maternity belly support belt to help take the burden of a growing belly off your lower back.
  • Sleep on your side – Avoid sleeping on your back and instead, turn to your side to help with weight distribution. For extra support, look for J or U-shaped body pillows that will help accommodate your belly. We recommend our Snoozer Body Pillow, one of our most popular items especially amongst pregnant women!