Posts tagged neck pain

We’ve Got Your Back

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At Relax The Back, we know the importance of living life free of aches, pains, and daily discomforts. Many of us live a sedentary lifestyle working 9-to-5 jobs, commuting daily, and spending time in front of the television or computer when at home.  We are seeing little to no physical activity in our everyday life.

The decisions we make, from morning to night, have a lasting affect on our overall health and wellness. Over the next three months, we will be providing around the clock product solutions and tips for a pain-free and productive day. These tips and solutions will help you sleep better, maintain a healthy workspace, keep you moving throughout the day, and relaxing more at night. When it comes to relieving daily discomforts and improving home, office, and sleep comfort, we’ve got your back

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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.

Common Neck Pain Myths Debunked

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Neck Pain MythsWhether a dull ache or a sharp stab, many of us will experience some form of neck pain sooner or later. Solutions for relieving pain aren’t always the most straightforward, with some people finding relief quickly and others dealing with nagging pain for longer periods of time. Below we debunk some of the more common neck pain and treatment myths.

 

 

Myth: The best way to deal with neck pain is with rest

Truth: While short periods of rest can help ease acute pain of the neck or back, doctors generally do not advise more than one to two days of bed rest. On the contrary, general inactivity and rest can cause more pain and allow for an unhealthy cycle of pain/inactivity/more pain/more inactivity to occur. Physicians recommend for most conditions a long-term rehabilitation program consisting of physical therapy and exercise.

Myth: Pain is inevitable so I should just tough it out

Truth: Chronic neck and back pain (pain lasting more than 2-3 months) is very debilitating and can interfere with one’s ability to complete daily activities. If this is the case, treatment for pain must be sought out right away. Allowing the pain to worsen and go untreated can impede the healing and rehabilitation process by interfering with exercise. There is also a risk of increased psychological distress such as depression, stress, and sleeplessness.

Myth: The spine is easily injured due to sensitive nerves

Truth: Muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround the spine provide a great deal of support, flexibility and strength. Smoking, lack of sleep or nutrition, and other generally unhealthy factors along with poor posture and body mechanics (ex. Improper lifting techniques) can harm the spine. Proper conditioning such as stretching, aerobic exercises, and strengthening are required in keeping the spine healthy and injury-free. Proper ergonomics and neck supports, such as Dr. Riter’s Real-EaSE Neck Support, can help keep neck pain at bay.

Myth: The pain must all be in my head since the doctor found nothing wrong

Truth: Regardless of a physician finding the anatomical cause of pain, pain is always real. It is especially important to proactively seek treatment for pain if one is suffering for more than 2-3 months. It is important to look at all options, , including nonsurgical treatment options, when searching for ways to help alleviate pain.

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.

 

5 Pillars of Ergonomics

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Ergonomics is the foundation for all of our back and neck pain solutions here at Relax The Back. Accordingly, it’s important to understand the 5 pillars of ergonomics. Read on to find out more about these fundamentals so you too can understand how ergonomics leads to maximized comfort and performance.

  • Pillar 1: Posture is dictated by what you do (and see)
    • Posture will follow what you are doing and seeing. For example, tablets and smartphones are smaller devices so there will be a change in physical body alignment, such as curved shoulders or straining your neck forward, to meet the screen. This can lead to increased neck pain.
  • Pillar 2: Movement is absolutely necessary – Intuitive Engagement
    • We know the importance of movement however the problem is we don’t do it.
    • Stand Up Desks, rocking footrests and chairs that move with you intuitively allow you to engage in movement throughout your day.
  • Pillar 3: No one-size fits all
    • Anthrometrics is the measure of man – no one is built the same.
    • All ergonomic products are made to fit the 5th – 95th percentile of consumers, but no one is built the same and they do not do the same things.
    • Everyone has a different body type and a different way of doing things – it’s important to find what works for you.
  • Pillar 4: Education is key
    • Without education and reinforcement, we simply forget.
    • A person may not know how to readjust a chair’s alignment after somebody else has used it.
    • We need ergonomic reminders.
  • Pillar 5: Neutral posture is the template (and the priority)
    • No matter what body part we are talking about, in regards to pain and health problems, the solution is to get your body back to a neutral posture position which allows for the least strain on you body.

Visit your local Relax The Back store location for an in-store ergonomic assessment or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Tablets Can Hurt Your Neck

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As you’re reading this article, observe how you’re seated and viewing it.  Chances are you’re slumped over your chair with curved shoulders and your head tilted forward at an uncomfortable angle. If you’re accessing this on a tablet, the chances are likely higher. This poor posture called “tech neck” is caused by straining your neck forward to meet your screen. While we cannot deny the ever-increasing demands and convenience of mobile work and play, we can make sure that technology makes our lives easier and not worse.

Staying in this “tech neck” or “forward head posture” can cause muscle strain, disc herniation, pinched nerves, upper back pain, and vascular disease as slouching can reduce lung capacity. So what’s a plugged-in generation and workforce to do?

  • Take frequent breaks – About every 20 minutes, break your eyes from your screen to roll your shoulders and neck. Take a short walk – your work will be there when you return.
  • Bring the screen to you – Consider using ergonomically designed mounts such as the Monitor Mount iPad Holder to minimize eye/neck strain. For those who prefer to work on your favorite sofa, the Tablet Floor Stand works well as a freestanding table.
  • Stretch Your Neck – Some easy neck stretches include chin tucks, tilting your head side to side by bringing your ear close to the shoulder, rotating your chin towards each shoulder, and pushing your chin down towards your neck with your finger.

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.