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.
If you have had episodes of pain lasting longer than six months, you may be one of the 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain. Pain levels and consistency can vary from person to person. While some may suffer mild, continuous pain, others may have unbearable, sporadic pain.
Symptoms of chronic pain can include feelings of stiffness, soreness, and discomfort, mild to severe pain that doesn’t go away, and shooting, aching, or burning pain. Fatigue, sleeplessness, and a weakened immune system may also occur.
Cleveland Clinic pain and wellness specialists offer 9 ways to tame chronic pain without medications or procedures.
Do you wake up with back pain? Toss and turn throughout the night? Your preferred sleep position may be the culprit. Sleep experts suggest sleeping on your side to decrease the chance of interrupted sleep and to rest more comfortably. This sleep position aides in maintaining a neutral posture while taking pressure off of the spine. The same benefits can be achieved with an adjustable base or bed wedge. However, if you prefer other positions there are ways to ensure a restful sleep. Depending on your sleep position, knee spacers can also alleviate back pain by supporting the natural curve of your spine. This helpful infographic presents some more insight into the different sleep positions.
Visit us online at www.relaxtheback.com or stop by your local Relax The Back location to see our full collection of sleep products and speak with one of our trained specialists to help you sleep easier at night.
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of deaths worldwide. Some reports have estimated American adults spend roughly 55% of their time being inactive. This is a key risk factor for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Staying on top of your healthy habits while working at the office or at home can be hard. While we may set goals in the morning to take breaks and walk around during the day or workout during our lunch break, it isn’t uncommon to get lost in work and before we know it the day is over.
From tracking your water intake to sending reminders to take a break from the computer, these apps can help you be on your way to a pain-free and productive workday while staying on top of your health goals:
- Healthier: Break Reminder and Time Out: By periodically reminding you to take a break from your computer, these apps will help increase productivity and reduce health risks. Using Windows? Download Rest Break to find the same benefits.
- Move: While the above apps remind you to take short breaks from your computer screen, Move sends daily activity reminders. The app provides over 300 exercises for little workout reminders all day long. Daily Exercises provides similar features for Android users.
- Waterlogged: Track your daily water intake with hydration reminders. Staying hydrated helps you maintain energy throughout the day while keeping muscles and joints lubricated. Water Tracker is a similar app available for Androids.
- Office Stretches: Find relief from muscles stiffness and tension while at the office with this collection of short near-desk stretching exercises. Android users, download Stretch Exercises to find the same relief while at work.
- Fitbit and Jawbone: While these are not standalone apps, these wearable tech devices act as guides to a better, healthier you. Track your steps and daily activity, sleep cycles, and food and drink intake with handy phone apps that are synced to your device.
Stop by your local Relax The Back location and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how you can have a pain-free and productive day.
Nearly 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.
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.
Over time, ongoing back and neck pain can develop due to poor posture while sitting and standing. It is very important to be aware of your posture at home and on the job. Not only can poor posture cause back and neck pain but it can also cause damage to your spinal structure. Fortunately, these pains and discomforts can be avoided with a few simple tips.
This infographic by Greatist can help you improve and maintain good posture during the workday:
Traveling can be hard on your muscles, joints, and nerves. Prolonged sitting puts stress on the spine and stiffens muscles in the back and legs and lugging heavy suitcases puts you at risk for low back injuries.
These tips can help you reduce pain and stress while traveling:
- Pack Light: Instead of packing one large, heavy suitcase, pack 2 smaller bags. This will make lifting bags into and out of the trunk of your car or overhead bins, and off of baggage carousels much easier.
- Lift luggage in stages: Move slowly and in stages when lifting luggage into the overhead bin. In separate motions, start by lifting the bag to the armrest of the seat, then to the top of the seatback, and finally up and into the bin. Remember to reverse this pattern when you remove your luggage.
- When lifting, never twist: Pivot your feet so that your entire body moves instead of only twisting your back. Twisting is a common cause of lower back injuries. If possible, avoid lifting all together by asking for help from a flight attendant.
- Relief with ice and heat: Bring a Ziploc bag and ask a flight attendant for some ice or stow a cold pack in your carry on. Place between your lower back and your seat for 20 minutes to reduce inflammation caused by lower back pain. A heatable self-massage ball such as Dr. Cohen’s Acuball Kit can provide post-travel relief.
- Move Around: Change positions occasionally when seated to help avoid leg cramps and improve circulation. Massaging your legs and calves and doing shoulder rolls will also help. Consult your doctor for a few safe and easy hip and hamstring stretches you can do while traveling. During long flights and if possible, try to get up and walk about the cabin to stimulate blood flow and help prevent blood clots.
- Get aisle seat: An aisle seat allows you to easily get into and out of your seat. This makes it easier for you to move about the cabin.
- Sit with support: Airline seats are often worn out with poor lumbar support. Place a small rolled-up blanket or use an inflatable back cushion, like a Self-Inflating Back Rest, to find proper lumbar support during flight. Using a U-Shaped Travel Pillow will also provide proper support.
- Drink water: Be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water as it helps cushion and lubricate joints and muscles.
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.