Posts tagged Posture

A Guide to Good Posture at Work


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:

5 Pillars of Ergonomics


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.

Spinal Stenosis

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.



INFORGRAPHIC: Lower Back Pain by the Numbers


Did you know, 61% of Americans experience low back pain? Sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association, this infographic provides insight into the overwhelming number of people who experience back pain, its causes and what is affected in your daily life.

Back pain can affect every element of your daily life from exercise, sleep, work, intimacy, travel and family time. Physical Therapists can design an individual treatment plan once an initial examination is completed but there are also many products on the market today that can help relive or eliminate back pain, in addition to products that can prevent.

For example, spending hours a day at the office can be a cause for back pain and discomfort. There any many office products from ergonomic office chairs, stand up desks, and back cushions and more that can transform you workspace into a comfortable work environment that is not strenuous on your back.

Doc Talk: An Easy Guide to the Anatomy of the Back


The health care community is now in the age of prevention, and patients are now being asked to take an active role in their own recovery to ensure treatment success. Today’s medical community is diligently educating the public in topics such as nutrition and exercise, and – for those experiencing back pain – preventive back care measures.

For years, back and neck problems were treated without the benefit of knowing or addressing the causes of recurring pain. Therapies to relieve pain were not given with education in daily prevention, and pain would often return. Doctors had only the “triggering events” like lifting to blame, and educated patients to modify or avoid these behaviors.

However, the sheer numbers affected by back and neck problems point to the presence of common daily causes that touch all lives.

One primary cause is that of poor resting postures. Every day doctors would listen to their patients describe their problems caused or aggravated by the excessive “mechanical stress” of poor posture. Imaging studies using M.R.I. and C.T. showed that the majority of spinal joint deformities are worsened by flexion stresses (being bent forward).

To understand this, look at the design of spinal tissues. The spine is made up of four different tissues performing diverse mechanical work:

The disc: Sitting in-between the vertebra contains a jelly-like material that shifts around. This changes the disc shape allowing the spine to change positions. In sitting or standing each disc also transfers the majority of the weight placed on the vertebra above them to the vertebra below them passing the weight down to the pelvis.

The muscles: Attached to the back of the vertebra, they contract (shorten) to either pull or sustain the spine in place.

The ligaments: Strap-like bands running up and down the length of the spine connecting the entire vertebra together. Their purpose is to stabilize and limit movement when the spine is bent to the end of its ranges.

The vertebra: These bones of the spine bear weight like the foundation of a house. The muscles attach to them for movement, and they contain and protect our delicate spinal cord.

Having the entire system in good working order is necessary for total back health. A particular incident will usually just hurt one part of the back, while poor posture is a detriment to all four. This is why posture – not just one particular harmful event – is the most common cause of back pain.

For more on back-related health conditions, please visit our Pain Relief Center.