While the winter season continues, snow will pile up around homes, driveways and sidewalks. Colder temperatures paired with the strenuous activity of keeping those driveways and sidewalks clear puts you at a higher risk for aches, pains, and injury. Each year, nearly 11,500 injuries relating to snow shoveling are treated in the Emergency Room. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to prevent unnecessary pain during this time of year. Take a look at the infographic below to see how you can avoid injury during winter:
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.
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!
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.
If last year was spent dealing with pains, aches, and discomforts, vow to make this year a healthier, pain-free year with these 6 resolutions.
- Resolve to listen to your body: No one knows your body or your discomforts more than you do. Be sure to listen to your body when it is giving you signs – take a break, change your eating or exercises habits, or make adjustments to your workspace or schedule.
- Resolve to be active: Maintaining a regular workout routine will not only help you feel more energized and productive throughout the day, it will also help prevent future injuries. There are different exercises that can be done to help different parts of the back and spine. While cardio aids in losing weight that would otherwise drag down tendons, muscles, and ligaments in the lower back, a strong core will help support and protect the spine.
- Resolve to make quality sleep a priority: Make sure you have a proper mattress and pillow to allow for a comfortable night’s rest as well as adequate support of the muscles and ligaments that support the spine. The positive effects of quality sleep include tissue repair and healing, reduced recovery time for injuries and improvements in mood and personal performance, to name a few.
- Resolve to evaluate your workspace: For desk job workers, back, neck, and shoulder pain may be caused by a poor ergonomic workstation. Resolve to put an end to these aches and pains by setting up your workstation accordingly. Follow this visual guide to office ergonomics to maximize comfort, movement, and productivity.
- Resolve to stretch: There are many benefits of daily stretching. This allows for flexibility in spinal muscles, helping ensure good posture and proper/normal alignment. Increased range of motion and flexibility help to prevent injuries from occurring. Stretching also relieves muscle tension, reduces fatigue and increases blood flow.
- Resolve to drink more water: Staying hydrated not only helps with digestion and concentration but it is also very important for muscle recovery, spinal health and injury prevention. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces throughout the day. For example, if you weigh 130 lbs. aim to drink at least 65 oz. per day.
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:
Studies have shown on average we are sitting at least 56 hours a week. Even if you have an active lifestyle outside of work, you can still be susceptible to pains and strains from prolonged periods of sitting.
Having a proper ergonomic workstation is key to preventing aches and pains. Common pains that happen due to improper ergonomics include: back, shoulder, and neck pain, headaches, eye fatigue and strain, spinal curvature, poor circulation, contact stress, swelling and numbness of the legs and tingling of the arms, hands and fingers.
While it isn’t always easy to avoid improper ergonomic behavior, there are ways to help ease the pains. Here are some solutions to the most common pains you may have caused by your work environment:
- Properly align all desk components to follow correct ergonomic guidelines to maximize comfort and productivity.
- Move throughout the day:
- Take breaks to do some simple office stretches at or around your desk.
- Take the stairs up to your floor when you can.
- Use a Stand Up Desk at work.
- Daily exercise outside of the office can help with tension and pain. There are many benefits of practicing yoga for back pain.
- Reduce stress and painful aches with a Kneading Back Massage Cushion or self-massage with foam roller exercises.
Many suffering from back pain find yoga intimidating, especially when imagining back bending. But yoga is more than just body twisting – it’s a mind-body practice that combines poses, deep breathing, and meditation. Yoga is also very much a personal practice, and can be easily modified to fit your abilities and limitations with the help of simple props.
The fundamentals of physical yoga teach you precise alignment and posture to correct any bad and harmful habits in body movement. Overall, stretching and holding poses help increase flexibility, muscular strength and joint mobility while specific poses work to strengthen abdominal and lower back muscles for much needed back support.
Yoga incorporates slow and deep, diaphragmatic breathing that balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which can reduce your perception of pain.
Meditation helps you relax, focus, and manage stress that could result in back pain and tension. It can also improve your mental and emotional health to help you keep up with the demands of a busy life impeded by back pain.
Use of Props
Simple props such as pillows, blankets, blocks, and foam rollers can help you hold modified poses according your ability. This allows your body to relax and strengthen in comfortable positions. Relax the Back’s Exercise and Therapy Foam Rollers in particular can be used for abdominal and spine stretching and balance exercises in yoga.
As with any physical activity, the addition of hot and cold therapy can relieve stress on your muscles and body that Yoga may cause. Consider using a Therabeads Moist Heat Pad for muscles aches, arthritis pain and tension. To stay cool, try substituting your yoga mat with the Shield Life Cool Pad.
You should also exercise caution. There are many variations of yoga and finding the right regimen can be confusing. To maximize the healing benefits of yoga, consider practicing with an experienced yoga teacher who can help address your problems and tailor poses and sequences to your needs.