Tag Archives: back pain

Pain Awareness Month: Taking Care Of Your Back

Every September, the U.S. Pain Foundation sponsors Pain Awareness Month as a way to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding pain and pain management. Their goal is to break the isolation that often comes with chronic pain. At Relax The Back, we’re focusing on raising awareness for back pain and the importance of spinal health. Your spine is the foundation of your body and because of this an episode of back pain can also manifest itself as shoulder, neck, hip, or knee pain.

80% of Americans suffer from chronic back pain with eight out of ten people experiencing it at some point in their lifetime. With numbers remaining consistent year after year, it is clear back pain can affect people of all ages. Whether pain is caused by sciatica, scoliosis, a herniated disc, or just simply stress, there are simple solutions people can take to relieve pain and improve their overall health and wellness.

Being proactive with spinal health can help reduce and prevent pain. The key to spinal health is having strong spinal muscles to support your frame. While it is true that physically active people are less likely to deal with back pain and discomfort, they are not risk free. Back pain can affect all people regardless of how active they are.

By incorporating conditioning and strengthening exercises into your routine, you can rehabilitate the spine, alleviate and prevent pain, and reduce severity of future episodes. Acting as a natural stimulus to heal the back, exercise keeps muscles, ligaments, and discs healthy as well as relieving stress and improving our mood and overall happiness.

At Relax The Back, we believe in helping people take control of their spinal health through stretching, strengthening, and supporting their spine throughout the day. Our spinal health product consultants are passionate about helping you get back to a healthier life. They will work with you to educate you on spinal health and create custom solutions based on your unique lifestyle. When it comes to relieving daily discomforts and improving home, office, and sleep comfort, we’ve got your back.

6 Exercises For A Healthier Back

Exercise plays an important role in keeping your body and mind healthy. Targeting specific muscles groups such as your back and core can help strengthen these muscles to protect your spine. Restful nights, rejuvenated days, refreshed mornings are some of the positive benefits of a healthier back and taking time for self-care.

There are simple ways to maintain a healthy back and counter the strain of sitting at the office and during our commutes. These exercises and stretches focus on promoting spinal health, increased flexibility, and improving overall wellness.

Exercise Benefits For A Healthier Back

  • Cat-Cow Variation: Relieve tension in the spine while reducing stiffness in the back and hips. Do 6-10 reps.
  • Bird-Dog: Improve balance and strengthen your core. Do 6-10 reps.
  • Child’s Pose: This restorative yoga position promotes a neutral spine. Stretch out along your side-body, relax tension in your shoulders and neck, and relieve pressure along your spine. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
  • Plank: This move works your entire body but the biggest benefit comes from strengthening your core and back muscles. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
  • Bridge: Stretch and strengthen muscles in your lower back, quads, hips, and abs. Do 6-10 reps.
  • Supine Knee-Twist: Stretch your spine and back muscles and open tight shoulders. Sink into this position a little more with each exhale to relax at the end of this exercise series. Hold each side for 10-30 seconds.

For more information on how to improve your overall back health, make sure to visit your local Relax The Back store. Our trained specialists will work with you one-on-one to find a product or solution that works best for your specific needs.

Our Top Travel Products + Tips For Pain Free Flying

Long flights can be hard on your back, neck, and muscles; especially for those who already experience pain in these areas. Sitting for prolonged periods of time stiffens muscles in the back and legs while putting pressure on your spine. Carrying heavy suitcases around from one destination to the next also puts you at risk for lower back injuries.

Relax The Back offers a wide-range of travel products that will increase your comfort levels and support. Easily portable, these products will provide you with the proper support wherever your journey takes you.

  • Self-Inflating Back Rest: Easy to use, easy to carry, and always readily available. One of our most popular travel products, this back rest can be deflated and rolled up for easy transport.
  • U-Shaped Travel Pillow: Made by Tempur-Pedic with their patented material, this pillow is perfect for long flights. TEMPUR material conforms to your head and neck for ultimate comfort and support.
  • Cohens AcuBall Kit: Find relief with heat. This heatable self-massage ball provides post-travel relief by increasing blood flow, enhancing joint motion, and relaxing tight muscles.
  • Theracane: This portable pressure point massager will work wonders on knots and tense muscles caused by prolonged sitting.

In addition to these products, the great infographic below by Thomas Cook provides also tips on how to prepare for your flight and highlights simple exercises you can do on the plane to relieve or prevent pain and stiffness.

If you’re traveling soon or have a long work commute, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists. They will help you find the product solutions for your needs while providing more information on ways to stay pain-free.

Is My Pain Sciatica? Ways To Find Relief

Is My Pain Sciatica? Ways To Find Relief

Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. It is a common reason customers visit Relax The Back seeking relief. The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back and travels down the back of the legs into each foot.

Sciatic Symptoms

Sciatica symptoms are highly variable. Common symptoms can include the following:

  • Pain varying from mild aches and tingling to sharp, burning sensations that occur in one leg.
  • Numbness in parts of the leg and hip.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Worsening pain from coughing or sneezing.
  • Pain triggered by prolonged sitting or standing.
  • Pain beginning in the lower back or buttocks and continuing down the back of the thigh into the lower leg or foot.

Sciatica is a symptom of other medical conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, etc. Therefore, the underlying cause of your sciatic pain must be determined in order to tailor treatment and exercise programs to your needs.

Sciatic Relief Now

There are exercises and treatment options to help reduce pain in the near term. Find relief from pain while also working towards preventing pain in the future.

  • Stretch Often: Keep your muscles loose and warm with simple, gentle stretches done daily. Inversion Tables offer instant relief allowing your joints and spine to elongate and decompress.
  • Stay Active: Maintaining a regular exercise routine helps keep sciatica pain away. Work on strengthening your core and back muscles to provide support for muscles in your back.
  • Hot/Cold Therapy: When you first notice a flare up, ice the area during the first 48-72 hours. Follow up with a period of heat to relieve tension and pain. PROTOCOLD Reusable Cold Therapy Pads, the Deluxe Heat Pad, and the Far Infrared Back Wrap can help provide you with relief where you need it most.
  • Quality Sleep: Invest in a Bed Wedge System. Find customizable support in bed and reduce excess pressure on your spine and sciatic nerve so you can sleep easier.
  • Ergonomics: Maintaining proper posture and having an ergonomic workstation set up will help reduce pain. A footrest keeps your legs active while you work, improving circulation and reducing pressure on tired feet.

It’s important that you speak with your doctor before performing any new exercises or health regimens. A spine specialists or a physical therapist can find the underlying cause of your pain in order to create a plan suited to your needs.

If you’d like more help in relieving sciatica while at home, at the office, or commuting, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists. We will make sure you are equipped with the perfect product solutions and information so you can get back to living your life free from pain and discomfort.

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6 Common Back Pain Myths

6 Common Back Pain Myths

Did you know 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time? There is a wealth of knowledge and information online regarding back pain however, finding the correct information isn’t always easy.

Below we are debunking a few of the most common back pain myths.

MYTH #1 Bed rest is the best solution until the pain goes away

TRUTH: Although resting for a day or two after an injury is expected, longer periods of bed rest can actually cause more damage to your back. Inactivity weakens the muscles and slows down your recovery time. Simple, gentle exercises for a few minutes a day will help keep your muscles actively engaged. Speak with your doctor or physical therapist to see what exercises you can perform.

MYTH #2 I work out regularly, I won’t get back pain

TRUTH: While physically active people are less likely to deal with back pain and discomfort than those who have a more sedentary lifestyle, they are not risk free. Back pain can affect all people regardless of how active they are. Sports like volleyball and golf are more likely to cause pain. Be sure to include conditioning and strengthening exercises for your back and abdominal muscles to prevent pain and injury.

MYTH #3 All back pain requires professional treatment

TRUTH: While there are many causes for back pain, there are also a variety of possible solutions to relieve pain. Studies have shown that stretching, yoga, and spine-friendly furniture, such as ergonomic chairs for the office and home and well-fitted mattresses and pillows, can provide the same amount of relief as medications.

MYTH #4 Surgery is the only option for long-term relief

TRUTH: Most back related pain can be treated with non-operative methods. Physical therapy and activity modification have proven to be incredibly successful in helping patients find relief and prevent pain in the future. Fitness and therapy products like the Mastercare Back-A-Traction Inversion Table or lumbar extenders have also provide lasting relief to customers. Spine surgery is a risky procedure and oftentimes, patients are overprescribed medication for simple back pain.

MYTH #5 Exercise is bad for your back

TRUTH: One of the most effective forms of back pain prevention and treatment is exercise. By strengthening the abdominal and back muscles, your spine is protected, lowering the risk of pain or injury – especially in the lower back. If starting a new routine, begin with gentle exercises that are low impact. As always, consult your physical before starting a new workout or stretch program.

MYTH #6 Back pain is unavoidable as I age

TRUTH: Back pain may be more prevalent with age however, there are ways to reduce the risk by looking at the common causes. Studies have found a number of causes that lead to age-related back pain. Inactivity, smoking, being overweight, high stress, inadequate sleep, and poor posture can all lead to major pain problems in the long run. By addressing these risks early on, you can prevent back pain and discomfort as you get older.

While many people may suffer from back pain, no two people will have the same experience with pain or recovery. At Relax The Back, we understand back pain can affect people differently. When you visit our stores, our trained specialists will work with you to determine what is causing you the most pain and product solutions to provide the most relief. Personalized comfort, personalized relief. Find a Relax The Back location near you and say goodbye to back pain.

5 Ways To Reduce Back Pain During The Holidays

The holidays are filled with family gatherings, gift exchanges, relaxation, and parties. While it is a wonderful time of year, it also provides ample opportunities for back pain to flare up. From holiday shopping, cooking, traveling, and decorating, all of the hustle and bustle can contribute to unwelcome muscle aches and fatigue. Here are a few ways that you can reduce back pain during the holidays, so you can truly enjoy this time spent with friends and family.

5 Ways To Reduce Back Pain During The Holidays

  • Maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and stay hydrated: We know it can be easy to get wrapped up in holiday treats and merriment however, sticking to your workout routine and healthy eating habits will help keep excess weight off. Treat yourself every now and then but be thoughtful when eating. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and your spine, leading to pain and discomfort. Chronic muscle spasms and inflammation can be triggered by dehydration.
  • Vary wrapping positions: While there isn’t one ideal position for wrapping gifts, varying positions as often as possible will help reduce unwanted aches and poor posture. Alternate wrapping one gift while standing near a counter and another gift while sitting at a table.
  • Make sleep a priority: It is very important to make sure you continue to get adequate sleep during these hectic holidays. Lack of sleep can cause pain symptoms to worsen over time. Treat yourself to an early present and sleep easier this year with one of our great sleep products. If you can, sneak in a nap during the day. This helps increase alertness and stamina when you need it most.
  • Make a plan: With a little planning, most holiday stress can be prevented. Plan ahead and ask for help when it comes to holiday activities that require heavy lifting. Bringing gifts to the post office, hauling heavy shopping bags around, or moving boxes of decorations, can all lead to straining your back muscles. Ask for a helping hand to prevent injury.
  • Put products to reduce back pain on your wish list: Ask for gifts that will provide lasting comfort and relaxation this year. Here are some gifts for every body and budget to help you get started.

Need more help finding products that offer relief and relaxation? Head to your local Relax The Back location to speak with a specialist. They will help you pick out the perfect gift for your loved one, or yourself. And be sure to enter our ‘Tis The Season of Relief Giveaway going on right now! Pick your giveaway prize on Facebook each week. Visit our page to enter.

Affordable Gifts For Lasting Pain Relief

Affordable Gifts For Lasting Pain Relief

At Relax The Back, we truly believe everyone deserves to have a pain-free holiday as we head into 2017. Gifts that provide lasting pain relief do not have to cost a lot of money. We have put together a list of some of our favorite affordable products that will help you and your loved ones relax, reduce pain, and bring comfort to all of your friends and family.

  • Theracane Massager ($30) Find relief from muscle tension, stiffness, and soreness. Perfect for those on the go or for loved ones (or yourself) who are looking for a compact and lightweight self-massage tool.
  • McKenzie Lumbar Roll ($16) Support your spine’s natural curvature and relieve lower back pain with this portable spine alignment roll.
  • Lumbar Extender ($80) All you need is 5 minutes, twice a day, to relieve back pain with the Lumbar Extender. Targeted pressure releases tension and enhances muscle relaxation.
  • Moji Pro Foot Massager ($40) Relief for tired feet. Reduce foot pain by stretching and massaging your foot over the stainless steel massage spheres. The steel allows this tool to be chilled for a refreshing ice massage.
  • Sleep Mask by TEMPUR-Pedic ($29) Soothing sleep is on everyone’s wish list. Cool and comfortable, the TEMPUR foam material conforms to your face shape to help you sleep easier and more peacefully.
  • Self-Inflating Back Rest ($40) A great gift for loved one’s who travel often or have a long commute. This lumbar support is easy to use and even easier to store.
  • Rock-N-Stop Footrest ($69) For your hard-working loved one, this rocking footrest helps align feet with the rest of the body to reduce back pain and muscle tension in the neck.

Add these affordable gifts to your gift list, or wish list, this year. Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists who can help you find the perfect gift based on specific pain needs. Also, be sure to visit us online, www.relaxtheback.com, and on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Gift Guide: Products For Relief, Rest, And Relaxation

Gift Guide: Products For Relief, Rest, And Relaxation

‘Tis the season of relief! At Relax The Back, we believe that there is no greater present than good health and comfort from aches and pain. These products will help you, and your loved ones, relax, release muscle tension, relieve back and neck pain, and improve overall health and wellness.

Here are our favorite gifts for relief, rest, and relaxation.

  • CoreStretch: Stretch into good health and away from stress. Elongate the back muscles, ligaments, and tendons for a deeply relaxing stretch.
  • Human Touch Perfect Chair: Give the gift of zero gravity comfort with one of our Perfect Chairs. Improving circulation, relieve back pressure, and minimizing strain on the spine are a few of the reasons to love zero gravity.
  • Kneading Back Massage Cushion: This kneading cushion provides a relaxing back massage any place and anytime. Heat delivers instant back tension relief after a long day.
  • Foot Vibration Massager: Tired feet deserve this soothing heated massager. Perfect for under your desk or at home.
  • Teeter Hang Ups Contour L5 Inversion Table: Relief is on everyone’s wish list. Inversion tables decrease pressure on the spine to relieve muscle, shoulder, and back tension. Adjustable acupressure nodes target tense muscles for ultimate relaxation.

Visit your local Relax The Back store for more gift guide ideas for you or your loved ones. Our trained specialists are there to help you find the perfect product for specific pain needs. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for tips to reduce pain and stress during the holidays.

Don’t Shop ‘Til You Drop: Holiday Tips & Gift Guide For Pain Relief

 

Don’t Shop ‘Til You Drop: Holiday Tips & Gift Guide For Pain Relief

The holiday season is officially here. While this time of year is filled with traveling, gift giving, family time, and merriment, it also brings up a lot of stress and anxiety. Did you know the average American will spend roughly 42 hours a year on holiday activities alone? That’s one standard work-week spent shopping, wrapping gifts, traveling, and attending parties.

The stress and demand of the holidays can take a toll on your body leading to back pain, muscle aches, headaches and more. We’ve put together a few helpful tips to prevent pain as well as a gift guide for stress-free shopping ideas.

  • Plan ahead: Make a list of items you wish to purchase to cut down time spent wandering crowded malls and stores. Online shopping can help you cut down on your list without dealing with holiday crowds.
  • Take breaks: Set aside time for your favorite workout class, a movie, soak in a warm bath or listen to soothing music. You’ll enjoy the holidays more if you take time to relax and de-stress.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydrated contributes to chronic muscle spasms, fatigue, and anxiety. Set reminders on your phone to drink or track your water intake to be sure you’re drinking enough.
  • Say “no”: Often, we feel we have to say yes to all social events around this time of year. This can leave you feeling more stressed than cheerful. Instead, make plans with friends and family after the holidays wind down.

Gifts for Every Body and Every Budget:

Need more help with holiday shopping? Head to your local Relax The Back location and our trained specialists will help you find the perfect gifts for your loved ones (or yourself)!

Visit us on Facebook starting November 14th to enter our ‘Tis the Season of Relief Giveaway for a chance to win products so you can find relief and relaxation this holiday season!

Autumn Raking: Avoid Back Pain This Fall

Autumn Raking: Avoid Back Pain This Fall

With summer officially behind us, seasonal chores are beginning to show up on our to-do lists. Changing out bed linens for warmer sheets and blankets, bringing in jackets and scarves and putting away your summer wardrobe, and clearing the yard and gutters of leaves and debris.

The risk of back pain during this time increases due to raking leaves and other labor intensive yard work. Lack of exercise during cooler months, bending and twisting to clean up leaves, or slipping on wet surfaces from rain, can all lead to injury and pain.

Avoid back pain and injury this fall with these autumn raking safety tips.

Autumn Raking Safety Tips

Sleeping With Back Pain

Blog-Sleep

When you suffer from back pain, restful sleep can feel more like an aspiration than a reality. Pain can either keep you from falling asleep or it can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Regardless of the time of night, there are a few methods you can follow to help you get a peaceful, full night’s rest.

Sleep Position

Your preferred sleep position may be causing you more pain than you realize. Find the position that makes you feel most comfortable, taking into consideration these simple modifications to relieve pressure on your spine.

  • Back sleepers: Use a pillow under your knees or try a Bed Wedge System to help maintain the natural curve of your lower back. A small, rolled up towel placed under the small of your back will also provide additional support. Sleeping on your back is considered the healthiest option for most.
  • Side Sleepers: Place a pillow between your knees, such as the ContourSleep Knee Spacer, to add additional spinal support. Bring your knees up slightly towards your chest to help elongate the spine.
  • Stomach Sleepers: If you must choose this position, reduce strain on your back by placing a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis. This position makes it difficult to keep your spine in a neutral posture, which can lead to pain throughout the night.

Maintain A Schedule

Create a sleep routine that works for your schedule and stick with it every day – even on the weekends! By following a nightly routine, your body is able to follow a natural sleep-wake cycle. This makes it easier for you to fall asleep. Pick a bedtime that allows for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and make sure you finish any strenuous exercise at least 2 hours before bed. Caffeine and exercise can make you feel too energized to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Sleep Better with These Products

In addition to the ContourSleep Knee Spacer and the Bed Wedge System, Relax The Back offers numerous sleep products to help you have your best night’s sleep.

  • Adjustable Bases and Foundations: Reduce pressure on your spine, improve circulation, and relieve muscle tension with a personalized sleep system. Find ergonomic comfort and support where you need it most.
  • Snoozer Body Pillow: Deep, relaxing, ergonomic support no matter the sleep position. Perfect for those who suffer from chronic pain, are pregnant, or have injuries.
  • PureRelax Mattress Topper: Made with eco-friendly materials, this topper decreases body-to-bed motion transfer while relieving muscle and back pain. This mattress topper reduces allergens and does not produce any carbon emissions during its creation.
  • Tempur-Pedic Mattress: TEMPUR material adjusts to your body weight and temperature, reducing pressure on your back, shoulders, and hips to improve sleep quality. From soft-as-a-cloud, to ultra-firm, to cooling material for those who sleep hot, there is a mattress that fits your sleep needs.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to test out these products and speak with our trained specialists. They will help determine the best product solutions to help relieve pain and provide quality comfort for a better night’s sleep.

6 Tips to Prevent Pain While Golfing

golf pain

Golf is one of America’s all-time favorite sports. Like many sports, golf can cause back pain and discomfort. Many golfers will experience some form of back pain at some point during their lives. Even the pros, such as Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson, have complained of back pain when playing. Many different muscle groups are activated when you swing a golf club. Keeping these muscles stretched, flexible, and well-rested is key to injury prevention.

These steps can help you prevent pain and ensure you’ll never miss a tee time:

  • Warm up: Remember a few easy stretches you can do before hitting your opening tee shot to warm up muscles and prevent injury. These stretches from com only take about 2 minutes. In addition to helping get your muscles ready for the game, they can help you play better golf.
  • Take it slow: If you’re new to the sport or haven’t played in a while, try not to overexert yourself. Start with short sessions on the driving range while working your way up to a full round of golf.
  • Incorporate conditioning exercises: A strong core, which includes muscles in your abdomen, back, buttocks, and pelvis, helps keep back pain and injuries away. Add conditioning exercises to strengthen your core as well as exercises that focus on rotation to prepare your body for the twisting motions of swinging a golf club.
  • Stretch: It’s important to have a balance of strength and flexibility when it comes to the game of golf. Having a regular stretching routine before and after the game will help alleviate muscle tension and prevent future strains. Foam rollers are also a great way to release muscle tension and improve flexibility.
  • Invest in an inversion table: Inversion tables help to relieve shoulder, back, and hip pain while improving flexibility and decreasing pressure on our spines. Studies have show that golfers who use Inversion Tables, like the Teeter Hang Ups, averaged 3 fewer strokes per round, increased drive speed by 69%, and improved their total distance by an average of 10%.
  • Rest: With any sport or physical activity, rest is essential. Give yourself some time to recover between games.

When you visit us in-store, we can help you find product solutions for your specific needs. Head to your local Relax The Back location to speak with one of our trained specialists and try out our inversion tables or our numerous fitness and therapy products first-hand to see what works best for you. You’ll leave the store with a better understanding of how you can relieve pain and discomfort at home or on the go.

If you are experiencing back or neck pain, be sure to consult your doctor before stepping back on the course or starting any new stretching routines.

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Back Pain During Pregnancy

pain during pregnancyBack pain during pregnancy is common for most women; between 50% and 80% experience some form of pain. Your growing baby and hormonal changes can be tough on your back. Hormones affecting the joints and relaxing the ligaments in your pelvis, changes in your center of gravity, and weight gain associated with a growing baby add stress to your lower back and spine.

Find Relief

From exercise to proper posture, there are a number of ways to relieve back pain:

  • When sleeping use a pillow, such as the Snoozerpedic Body Pillow or the CountourSleep Knee Spacer, to provide support where you need it most.
  • Regular exercise can boost flexibility, strengthen muscles, and ease stress on your spine. Walking, stationary cycling, and swimming are safe exercises for most women. Speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimens.
  • Lumber support cushions provide extra support, reduce upper and lower back pain, and promote proper posture.
  • Heating pads can ease muscle spasms, pain, and tension.
  • Cold therapy helps to reduce inflammation.

How We Can Help

When you visit your local Relax The Back store, our trained specialists will work with you one on one to find a product solution to fit your specific needs. Whether you have pain in your upper or lower back, or discomfort and aches in your legs, a specialist will show you a selection of products to relieve pain as well as ways to maintain relief throughout your pregnancy.

As always, before beginning any type of back pain treatment or exercise, be sure to consult your doctor.

 

Understanding Proper Posture

Take a moment to notice your current posture. Are you slouching or hunching over your keyboard? While at work, you may not realize you’re slipping into these poor postures. Creating a health, comfortable workspace doesn’t stop with ergonomic office products. Your posture also plays a role in your overall health.

Poor posture can lead to a number of health concerns including chronic neck and back pain, headaches, and muscle fatigue. Proper posture allows our bodies to be aligned in a neutral position, which is the body’s most natural position. Working towards maintaining this posture throughout the workday can help reduce strains and stress on your tendons, muscles, and spine.

Spot the signs of poor posture and ways you can work on it in the helpful infographic below. If you’re looking to create an ergonomic, spine-friendly workspace, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists and receive an in-person workstation assessment. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more ergonomic tips and pain-relief solutions.

Understanding Proper Posture

5 Tips for Back Pain Relief at the Office

5 Tips for Back Pain Relief at the Office

After the common cold, back pain is the second most common cause of missing work. Back pain, whether sharp, dull, or achy, can make it difficult to concentrate at the office. While many occupations can contribute to or worsen back pain, there are tips you can follow for back pain relief at the office.

There are a number of causes of back pain at the office. Poor posture, repetitive movements, and exerting too much force on your lower back are the most common causes of pain.

If you experience back pain at the office, find relief and prevent future pain with these five tips:

  • Stretch Daily: There are many benefits of daily stretching. Increase flexibility, relieve pain and tightness, and increase range of motion by incorporating stretches into your daily routine. Office stretches can offer relief right where you need it most.
  • Maintain Posture: Keep posture in mind while at the office. Maintaining posture helps prevent low back pain as well as improve muscle tone and circulation. Follow these tips for maintaining proper posture in different positions.
  • Move Often: Set timers or alarms as a reminder to move during the day. Staying in any position, sitting or standing, for prolonged periods of time can cause muscle stiffness and pain. Plan to move around for a few minutes, every hour.
  • Proper Ergonomics: Setting up an ergonomic workstation will help ensure you’re working the least compromising position. Lumbar support cushions, ergonomic office chairs, and standing desks provide proper ergonomic support at different price points.
  • Listen to your body: If there are days where you are feeling under the weather, take breaks when needed. If you’re sitting for long periods of time and you start to feel pain, stretch or stand up for a few minutes. Changing positions occasionally throughout the day can help you stay comfortable at the office.

Is Back Pain Keeping You Up at Night?

Sleeping with back pain

When you have throbbing back pain, sleep may seem like an impossible feat. Aches and discomfort not only prevent you from falling asleep but they also make it difficult to stay asleep. If you are one to lose sleep due to pain, you are not alone. Two out of three people with chronic pain have trouble sleeping, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

While there is no universal sleep position to alleviate pain, there are a number of positions that can help you rest easy. A general rule to follow is to listen to what your body is telling you. Try out different positions until you find one that relieves the most pain.

Sleep Positions To Relieve Back Pain

  • Side Sleepers: Sleeping on your side allows your spine to elongate, which helps prevent back and neck pain. Placing a pillow between your knees, such as the ContourSleep Knee Spacer, will add additional spinal support. When your spine is in a natural, ergonomic position, tense muscles begin to relax, hip, leg, and joint pain is decreased, and circulation is improved throughout the night.
  • On Your Back: While this may not be the most popular sleep position, only 8% of people sleep on their backs, it is the healthiest option for most. Sleeping on your back allows your spine, head, and neck to rest in a neutral posture. If you are experiencing lower back pain, try a Bed Wedge System or an adjustable base. These will help maintain the natural curve of your lower back and provide great support while in bed, reading, or just relaxing. A small, rolled up towel placed under the small of your back will provide additional support.
  • On Your Stomach: This position can lead to pain throughout the night, as it is difficult to keep your spine in a neutral position. If you must sleep on your stomach, you can reduce strain on your back by placing a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis. As with any sleep position, be sure to choose a pillow that reduces strain on your back and neck.

A key element of a good night’s rest is a sleep environment that promotes comfort and relaxation. Be sure to visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists. They can help you find the perfect pillow and mattress for your specific needs.

Further Reading:

5 Reasons to Love Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity

When our bodies are properly aligned, our bones, rather than our muscles, support our weight. Reclining to a Zero Gravity position allows for our bodies to reach this state. Developed by NASA, the Zero Gravity, or “neutral position”, concept takes stress off of your spine by elevating your feet to the same height as your heart. Investing in back-friendly products and furniture that promote a neutral posture will improve back health and provide significant relief.

For more benefits, take a look at these 5 reasons to love Zero Gravity:

  1. Correct Spinal Support: Unnecessary strain and discomfort is avoided when our spine is properly aligned and supported. Zero gravity minimizes strain on your spine, muscles, and ligaments.
  2. Back Pressure Relief: By raising our feet to the same level as our heart, our spine is able to decompress to align in a natural S-shaped curve. This reduces tension in your lower back and cervical.
  3. Improved Circulation:  Stress on the heart is minimized in this position. Oxygen-rich blood is able to reach fatigued muscles easier, which allows for faster recovery times.
  4. Expanded Lung Capacity: Being in a zero gravity position opens the angle between the torso and the thighs, thus improving breathing and increasing blood and oxygen.
  5. Recommended by Doctors (and astronauts): Zero gravity allows for a perfectly balanced state in which the body experiences an absolute minimum of internal and external stress. It is the optimal position to prevent and relieve back and muscle pain.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists and test out one of our Zero Gravity chairs. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more pain relief tips and products.

Resolutions For a Pain-Free Year

new years resolution When you look back on 2014, was part or most of the year spent dealing with aches and pains? Other than the common cold, back pain sends more people to the doctor than any other condition. Living with less pain can be an attainable goal. Add these resolutions for a pain-free year to your list and vow to have a healthier year while managing your pain.

  • Make sleep a priority: Over time, lack of sleep can lead to serious health risks. Invest in a supportive pillow and mattress to help your body take full advantage of restorative sleep. Create a sleep environment that promotes comfort and relaxation to ensure the best night of sleep possible. Adequate, quality sleep helps improve mood and personal performance, cardiovascular health, and recovery time from injuries, to name a few positive effects.
  • Be active: There are numerous exercises that can protect the spine in different ways. Maintaining a regular workout routine can help prevent future injuries while also helping you feel more productive and energized throughout the day. Focusing on exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles will support and protect your spine. Cardio exercises will aid in losing weight that can drag down muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the lower back. Follow these tips to stay active throughout the day.
  • Create a spine-healthy, ergonomic workspace: 33% of work-related injuries are caused by poor work station setup. Sitting for long periods of time takes a toll on our bodies. Back, neck, and shoulder pain can be avoided with a proper ergonomic workspace. Resolve to end these aches and pains by creating a space that allows for maximum flexibility, comfort, movement, and productivity.
  • Stay hydrated: Water is vital when it comes to the spine. Over time, our spinal discs can shrink if they do not get enough water. This results in an increased likelihood of ruptures or bulges due to less “padding”. Staying hydrated will also help with concentration, digestion, 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.
  • Stress less: From anxiety, depression, physical pain, and chest pain, stress can present itself in many different ways. These tips to relax and de-stress can help reduce the negative effects stress has on the body and mind and improve your overall quality of life.

Reduce Pain While Traveling

Long flights or car rides can be daunting for those who experience back or neck pain. Standing, sitting, or lying in awkward positions for long periods of time is hard on your muscles, joints, and spine. Seats in airplanes, trains, buses, and cars can aggravate back and neck pain as they are not the most comfortable or ergonomically correct.

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.

 

Gifts of Comfort: Stocking Stuffers

Gifts of comfort come in all sizes. Whether you are buying for your daughter, father-in-law, or family friend, we have gift ideas that everyone will be happy to find in their stocking on Christmas day.

Below we’ve listed our favourite stocking stuffers to help relieve pain and discomfort this holiday:

  • Sleep Mask by Tempur-Pedic ($29): Soothing sleep makes the perfect gift! Cool and comfortable, this mask is made with pressure-relieving TEMPUR material, so you can nod off in total darkness. Perfect for loved ones who travel often.
  • ErgoTravel Keyboard ($40): This waterproof, flexible, and worry-free keyboard prevents strain on arms, wrists, and back while providing ergonomic support for your hard-working loved one.
  • Moji 360 Foot Massager ($39): Know a loved one that can never have too many foot massages? The Moji 360 mimics the touch of a professional massage therapist to revitalize sore, tired, and aching feet.
  • Self-Inflating Back Rest ($40): For work, at the movies, or in the car, this lumbar support is easy-to-use and easy-to-store. This is a gift that keeps on giving, long after the holiday season.
  • TEMPUR All-Purpose Pillow ($49): This pillow’s unique “peanut” shape allows for multi-purpose ergonomic support. Its space-saving size makes it a perfect travel neck roll, lumbar cushion, or leg spacer.

Add these great gifts to your loved ones (or your own) stocking 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.