THE BIG BAG EFFECT

Following the trend of carrying the “big bag” these days? It indeed looks glamorous and trendy. But do you know, apart from paying a heavy price for that pretty bag, you are actually paying another price, which is heavier, and not so pretty for your health?

The American Chiropractic Association said that using heavy purses, backpacks, and handbags is an “unhealthy fashion statement” that can cause improper balance. Heavy bags cause 31 million Americans to experience back pain at any point in their lives, leading to one of the most frequent reasons to miss out on work and decreasing earning capability. Not only back, but neck and shoulders are also affected.

When you carry a heavy shoulder bag, it causes a lot of strain on the shoulder carrying it, tilting the shoulder low. This results in pain in the shoulder and upper back musculature. Also, carrying a heavy bag on the elbow can lead to tennis elbow. Victoria Beckham loves carrying super-sized and heavy handbags on elbow. This condition is called “Poshitis”. This pose can cause inflamed shoulder tendons, muscle pulls, and severe back and neck pains.

As per a survey done in 2010, researchers found that average women handbags weigh about 23 pounds, which is actually the weight of a 15 months old toddler. Ideally, handbags should not weigh more than 10% of the body weight.

What could you possibly do to overcome this?

  1. Choose a handbag that is proportionate to your body size, in which you can carry your basic stuff. Do not stuff your bag with all the unnecessary things. There is no need to carry your world along in your small handbag.

  2. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises of the neck and shoulders can prove very helpful

  3. A bag with a wide strap will distribute the weight across the shoulder better

  4. Swap the straps from one shoulder to another periodically so the shoulders get ample chance to relax

  5. With backpacks, use both the straps

  6. Try to avoid high heels while carrying a heavy bag as it can cause hyperextension and back strain

  7. Keep the bag close to the body to prevent swaying

  8. While going for shopping, you can use clutch purse only, as shopping with a big bag means continuous strain to the shoulder and neck muscles

Your health is your most expensive possession, everything else including your style statement comes later. Try to keep it light.

 

 

Oh! that crick in my neck 

Almost everyone has gone through this pain at least once in their lifetime. A stiff neck can surely be considered as one of the worst things to wake up with in the morning. There can be many reasons ranging from a wrong sleeping posture to a bit too much of exercises the previous day, muscle weakness, poor posture and flexibility, heavy work or an unknowingly straining of some muscle. Turning the neck becomes a nightmare. Neck gets stiff, a popping sensation is at times felt when the person moves or rotates the neck in a specific direction. Worries and stress that makes you tense up increases the likelihood of a crick in the neck.

Another reason that may possibly cause this problem is a sedentary lifestyle. Working on a computer for long hours with inadequate exercising causes minor injuries worse, or may prevent neck crick from healing. In around 15% cases, neck stiffness and pain are caused by an underlying medical condition like disc herniation, fracture, stenosis, osteoarthritis or spondylolisthesis.

Neck crick is best treated with physical therapy. Heat and ice can be given as it may decrease inflammation and increase blood flow. Moving neck slowly within pain-free limits keeps you going. Stretching of neck muscles and massaging the effected area is quite beneficial.

PREVENTION

Best ways to spare yourselves from this horror are:

  • Adjust the sleeping position: One firm pillow is better for the spine and back than sleeping with multiple pillows.

  • Expert Advice: Contact your Physical Therapist for postural corrections if you slouch a bit too much or have difficulty in sitting straight for long periods of time.

  • Use ergonomically correct chairs that support your neck.

  • Professional Help: Have your exercise form observed and assessed by a professional if you get a crick in your neck often after working out.

  • Strengthen: Some studies suggest that exercises to strengthen your neck can reduce chronic, recurring neck pain that occur without a cause.

  • Stretch: Try stretching your neck muscles gently several times a day, especially when you wake up in the morning and when you’ve been sitting for long hours. This exercise warms up the muscles and makes them less likely to get stiff.

Most people recover from a crick in the neck in 1-3 days. When stiffness is due to an injury or associated with muscle pain, recovery may take a longer course. Though a stiff neck usually heals completely, taking appropriate precautions can make you For More Info Visit. https://www.theranow.com/

Tailbone Pain (Coccydynia) – Symptoms and Treatments

Tailbone pain coccydynia

Tailbone Pain- Does your job demand you to sit for long hours in front of your computer? Do you sit at your work station for seemingly endless hours? If yes, then you most probably what this pain feels like. The tailbone pain, also known as coccydynia, is pain and tenderness at the tip of your tailbone, the area between the buttocks. Although mostly an occupational hazard, it can also be caused by falls, any injury, or during childbirth.

The Study

A study done on 2000 cases of back pain referred to hospital stated nearly 2.7% were diagnosed as coccydynia [1]. This pain occurs five times more frequently in women than in men. It can occur at any age, but the mean age of onset is around 40 years [2].

The Symptoms

The most common symptoms are:

  1. Pain in the tailbone, that may get worse with sitting or leaning back against something
  2. Tenderness and redness in the affected area
  3. Discomfort during bowel movements
  4. Difficulty in standing from resting position

The Things That Can Help

Let us now list out the things that can help you get rid of your tailbone pain:

  1. Avoid any strain or re-injury in the area of constant pain
  2. Avoid sitting for a long time in the same position
  3. Sitting on hard surface on daily basis can trigger the pain, please avoid
  4. Use a cushion specially designed for coccydynia
  5. Use OTC pain pills for severe pain
  6. Eat healthy fibers to avoid applying pressure during bowel movements
  7. Posture correction is very important, sit in a way to avoid overpressure on your tailbone
  8. Exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes is very important. Jogging and walking are the best options
  9. Physical therapy can help you overcome your tailbone pain. Ultrasonic massage can also be helpful
  10. Surgical intervention can be recommended in unresponsive cases

Various approaches employing physical therapy, ergonomic adaptations, medications, injections, and, possibly, psychotherapy leads to greater chances of success in patients with refractory coccyx pain. Conservative treatment is successful in 90% of cases. Although new surgical techniques are emerging, more research is needed before their efficacy can be established. Its prognosis is good and patient can recover fully but this condition can reoccur if precautions are not taken. So, stop ignoring your pain, as now you can get treated right from your home after work conveniently and effectively.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Ghormley RK (1958). “An Etiologic Study of Back Pain”. Radiology. 70(5): 649–653.
  2. Patel, R; Appannagari, A; Whang, P.G. (May 2008). “Coccydynia”Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 1(3–4): 223–226. doi:1007/s12178-008-9028-1PMC 2682410  . PMID 19468909.

Common Injuries In Cheerleaders

Common Injuries In Cheer Leaders

Cheerleading is a gymnastic activity that is done by trained girls to cheer for their team. In 2002, an estimated 3.5 million people in Unites States participated as cheer leaders. However they are so vulnerable for injuries. Not as frequent as injuries in other sports, injuries in cheerleaders tend to be more severe making up more than half of catastrophic injuries in female athletes. Common injured areas includes head, shoulders, neck, wrists and ankles.

Injuries that commonly occur are ankle sprains, knee injuries (anterior cruciate ligament tear and overuse injuries like patellar tendinitis), wrist injuries, low back pain 9spondylosis and stress fracture of spine) and head injuries (concussion). Apart from all this they are prone to catastrophic injuries that can occur if a cheerleader falls from top of pyramid, lift or basket toss. Concussion, skull fracture and spine injuries like fracture or paralysis may occur after severe fall.

What to be done?

  1. Stunt should be restricted – You should not aim for insane stunts and hurt yourself. Practice and be perfect in it before doing it at your final show. During practice session, mats should be placed on the floor so that impact of fall should be lessened.
  2. Proper training – Proper training is required before doing any stunt. This should include proper stretching and strengthening of appropriate muscles. You should expertise in your technique in technique training. Before practicing or final game always remember to do warm up and afterwards proper cool down phase.
  3. Core strengthening – It should be done regularly to keep the core strong and prepared.
  4. Break time – There should be break for rest from repeated high-impact activities whole session should consist of both high and low impact exercises.
  5. Physical therapy can do wonders when it comes to injuries in cheerleaders. Consult your physical therapist today if you have suffered any injury while cheerleading.

Is Your Shoulder Pain Because Of Your Sleep?

Is Your Shoulder Pain Because Of Your Sleep

A sound sleep is probably the best part of the day in our busy schedules, and we will never agree if anyone tells it can cause serious health issues. But it is the fact, although it may sound bizarre just at the thought of it. Recently I met a patient, Christine who was complaining of mild shoulder pain and stiffness in the right side of the shoulder. As a studious college student, she was not involved in any workouts or sports, so it was difficult for her to understand the cause of the pain. On thorough assessment, she revealed the habit of sleeping on her right side. She is so habitual with this that she cannot sleep straight and follows the same pattern every night. She was oblivious to the fact that it was affecting her.

So why and how it occurs? Is our shoulder that delicate that sleeping on one side over a period of time can cause pain? Actually, our rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons of the shoulder that keep the ball of the upper arm bone well within the joint socket and helps in controlling complex motions and maintain the stability of shoulder joint. While sleeping on any side, that shoulder becomes more prone to injuries. More significantly in those who sleep on the same side. This consistent pressure can cause the tendon to become inflamed or fray. It is called rotator cuff tendonitis or impingement.

Symptoms may include mild pain, stiffness, and/or pain with lifting arm or putting pressure on the shoulder. How to deal with it? Avoid sleeping on the affected side that may aggravate symptoms. If you have a habit of sleeping on the affected side, it is going to be very difficult but not impossible. You can start with lying down in a supine position or opposite side. This will relieve the symptoms. You can also apply ice to the affected area to relieve symptoms. Consulting your physical therapist for your shoulder pain to get proper rehabilitation is very important. The best part to this is the availability of online physical therapy treatment through telerehabilitation these days which saves a lot of time, money and trouble.

8 tips to defeat winter aches and pains

TheraNow 8 Tips to defeat winter aches and pains

Do you too dread winters as they dig up the pains we had even forgotten existed long back? How come winters that bring so many joys with the fun-filled holiday season be cruel enough to bring about pain and suffering along? Well, it’s not winters that cause these health issues at the root level. Winters just increase the possibility of feeling more pain. Although joint pains can occur anytime throughout the year, the frequency increases with cold weather. Change in weather in winter does NOT cause arthritis or spondylosis but it increases the intensity and severity of symptoms.

Apart from all this, the scientific evidence may at times be conflicting. Research from Tufts University suggested that changes in barometric pressure worsen knee pain in people with arthritis while colder temperature can cause painful changes in joint fluid thickness. Whereas, other studies showed little or no link between weather and joint pain.

These debates probably require more research to support their findings. At this time, more important is to reduce your discomfort in this cold weather and give you some warmth of a pain-free life.

Here are few things you can do:

  • Be active – Do not stop activities but you can mellow down the intensity of your workout. It is harder to exercise in the winters so you will need to push yourself some more. Stay indoors for the workout if that suits you, but be active.
  • Resist your urge to sleep or sit down – Resist that urge to spend few extra minutes in the warmth of your bed. Do not sit like a couch potato, get up and exercise.
  • Lengthen your warm-up time – Not only winter aches or pains, winter-related injuries can also take a toll on our bodies. Warming up before any activity is a must to avoid straining ligaments and tendons. Increase your warm-up time, it increases blood flow to muscles we want to fire up.
  • Dress up warmly – Cover yourself up nicely, stay warm, especially the injured/affected body parts.
  • Hydrate yourself – It is very important to hydrate yourself. Keeping yourself hydrated can help you stay active. As per a study published in September 2015 issue of Experimental Psychology, you tend to be more sensitive to pain even if you have mild dehydration.
  • Maintain good posture – Maintain good posture while doing exercises. Some people tend to adapt kyphotic posture during winters.
  • Eat healthy and avoid junk food.
  • Consult your therapist in case you feel more pain.

Follow these tips and tricks for happy and pain-free winters.

 

 

Massage Therapy – the Benefits you did not know

massage therapy

How does a head massage after a long tiring day feel? Or a foot massage after a mall trip? A head massage can relax you and help to get good sleep, and a foot massage can ease out all the muscle tension. Massage is no magic, though the effects of massage feel like magic. It is a form of therapy that helps in decreasing pain and anxiety, headaches and muscle tension, muscle spasm and insomnia, and increasing endorphins. Massage has an amazing effect on chronic and acute injuries alike. It induces relaxation and a feeling of wellbeing. However, of note, you need to remember that massage is not just a relaxation technique, but can also be therapeutic.

 

While performing clinical rehabilitation, physical therapists utilize massage techniques to initiate recovery from intense exercises. Massage in sports can help in preparing an athlete for competition, and also helps an athlete to recover from the competition. After trauma, muscles may act as mini-splints that limit motion as a protective mechanism. A perfect daily-life example is when a person works for long hours on his computer, it mostly results in having a stiff, aching and sometimes a very painful neck. Taking periodic breaks to rub and stretch the neck can promote blood circulation to the muscles, that brings down the spasm.

 

Now, let’s have a look at all the wonderful things massage can do. Massage can-

  • Increase tone, blood circulation, and tissue elasticity
  • Improve sensation
  • Promote relaxation
  • Initiate healing
  • Treat tight muscles and break down adhesions
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Improve recovery after exercise injury or surgery

 

As per many researches, it has been evidenced that massage has been very helpful in sportsperson in both pre-conditioning, and the conditioning phase itself.

 

So, be it for just relaxation, or a therapeutic massage for any specific medical condition, a good massage by skilled hands can work miracles, rejuvenating your tired self or for taking away those aches, pains, and stiffness.

 

 

TEXTING NECK – THE DIGITAL AGE PROBLEM

texting neck

Are you addicted too to your cell phones? Does it feel like something important is missing when you are not carrying that highly smart I-know-everything-you-could-think-of gadget of yours? Well, you are not alone in this. A study showed that 79% of the United States population between 18 to 44 years of age have their cell phones with them almost every time with only 2% of wake-up time spent without them.

Now, let me tell you my real-life experience. One day when I woke up, I had a sudden onset of severe acute upper back pain. Even after a lot of thinking and recall, I could not figure out the possible reason behind it. I went to see my doctor, and after a thorough interview and assessment, he told me I had “texting neck”. I just could not understand what it meant. On seeing my confused expressions, he explained that it occurs due to hours of spending time on phones, laptops, and tablets etc. It is a kind of overuse injury. He also advised that if left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of neck ligaments, nerve irritation and improper curvature of my spine. This information was enough to get me worried.

The problem is not only limited to adults. Smartphones have enough reasons to have our kids hooked on them for gaming and watching videos. About 52% of the 0-8-year-old kids spend about 43 minutes a day on mobile devices.  Texting neck usually affects upper back, shoulder region and if cervical (neck) region nerves are involved, it can lead to radiculopathy (numbness, tingling, pain radiation, and many more symptoms) and involvement of occiput region.

Ways to prevent it

We understand it is very difficult to stay without a cell phone and you will probably not return to our blog if we suggest you do that. There are some simpler ways to deal with it:

  • Hold/keep your cell phone, laptop, and tablet in such a way that the screen is at eye level.
  • Take frequent breaks, avoid working/staring at your screen for a long time.
  • Stand up straight and maintain good posture. It is always good to stretch those muscles a bit.
  • Flexible and strengthened neck and back muscles are able to bear extra stress.

Exercises you can do at your workstation

  1. CHIN TUCK-IN – Tuck your chin down to your chest, then slowly tilt your head back, chin towards the ceiling.
  2. NECK ROTATION – Slowly rotate neck on both sides.
  3. SHOULDER ROTATION – Shrug your shoulders and rotate them. Rotate 10 times each clockwise and anticlockwise.  Consider this as one set and repeat it 5 times.

Texting neck can be efficiently managed by physical therapy including mobilization, posture correction, massage of soft tissues, taping techniques, and neck stabilization exercises.

The Sad part is, this is not the only side-effect of prolonged use of mobile devices.  It was blamed for an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths in the US in the year 2011 as people used to text while walking.  There also is “texting thumb” that causes repetitive strain injury during texting, and “iPad hand” aches and pains caused by swapping and typing on the tablet. Technology is great and has made life easier for sure, but as we know, nothing in ‘excess’ is good. So choose wisely, make the best use of it but avoid addiction.

 

 

8 TIPS TO SAVE YOUR EYES FROM WORK STRAIN

EYES STRAIN

An average American worker spends about 7 hours/day on the computer either in the office or working from home. But did you know if you spend more than 2 hours/day in front of a computer, you have 90% chances of developing computer vision syndrome?  What is this syndrome?  How is this going affect your eyes? Well, it is a collective group of syndromes experienced in relation to use of computers. Nearly 60 million people suffer from this syndrome globally, eventually resulting in reduced productivity at work and reduced quality of life of a computer worker.

Also known as digital eye strain, its symptoms include blurred or double vision, dry or red eyes, eye irritation, headaches, neck and back pain.  As per American Ophthalmometric Association, it is recommended to follow 20:20:20 i.e. take 20 seconds break to view something 20 feet away for every 20 minutes.

 

You can easily overcome this if you take a few precautions like, at your workstation, your computer screen should be 15°-20° below the eye level, with proper lighting while working, and the system should have an anti-glare screen to avoid overstrain.  Also, take rest breaks in between. Use natural tear drops easily available in the market whenever your eyes are irritated.

Few exercises that can help:

  1. PALMING – Sit comfortably. Rub your palms together and create a bit of warmth.  Cup hands and slightly press them over closed eyes.  Relax for a few minutes like this.
  2. BLINKING – Try to blink once in every 4 seconds. This helps keep your eyes lubricated.
  3. EYE-ROLLING – Close your eyes and roll eyes in circular motions. Do 10 repetitions.
  4. VISUAL SCREENING – Take a break, sit back and observe the room you are in. begin to outline every single thing in the room.  Do this for 1-2 minutes and then start working again.
  5. FOCUSING – Take a visual break! Look few feet away for a few seconds before returning back to that spreadsheet.
  6. GLANCING – Close your eyes, glance upwards, and after a few seconds, glance downwards. Open your eyes.  Repeat the same for 10 times.
  7. FOCUSING EXERCISE – Improve eye flexibility. Start with 2 deep breaths.  Sit with feet shoulder-width apart.  Breathe normally throughout the exercise.  Hold your thumb 6 inches away from the eyes, directly in front of the nose.  Gaze at the thumb and take a deep breath, then focus on a distant object at least 10 feet away and take a deep breath.  Change focus with every breath.  Do 8 repetitions.
  8. FIGURE OF 8 – Increase eye flexibility. Take 2 deep breaths.  Sit with feet shoulder width apart with hands on sides.  Imagine a figure of 8 lying horizontally at about a 10-feet distance (just like the sign of infinity).  Trace that figure.  First in clockwise and then anticlockwise direction.  Continue taking deep breaths with each round and blink whenever required.  Do 10 repetitions.

 

By taking a bit of care and by following some simple tips you can save your vision. Work is important, but if you take care today, you will be able to cherish the beauty of this World longer tomorrow.

8 Great Tips to get rid of that unsightly Double Chin

double chin

Tired of deleting those ugly selfies because of your double chin? Hate that chubby chin that no make-up can hide? Do not hate, love yourself and do the right thing to become the same old beautiful you.

The myth is, if you have a double chin, you have become overweight and need to lose few pounds. The fact is, in some cases, it is just the lack of muscle tone. However, in most cases, the reason is excessive weight gain.

This is one of the biggest concerns women face these days because it leaves them looking more obese than they actually are. Let’s see what can help you get rid of that flabby double chin.

 

  1. Make an “O”
  • Sit with your back straight, and shoulders retracted in line with your body
  • Look towards the ceiling and make your lips into an “O”
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds. You should be able to feel the contractions on both sides of the neck.
  • Relax your mouth and lower your chin
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Press the tongue
  • In sitting, look towards the ceiling
  • Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and lower your chin to chest as far as possible
  • Hold until contractions are felt in the front of neck muscles and the chin
  • Relax and return to the initial position
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Kiss the ceiling
  • In sitting, look towards the ceiling and pucker lips into a kissing position
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and then return to initial position
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Pout and tilt
  • In sitting position, stick out lower lip to make a pout
  • Hold the contraction for 1 second
  • Lower your chin to chest and feel the contraction, hold for another second
  • Come back to initial position
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Jaw release
  • In sitting, move your jaw up and down as you do when you chew. Keep lips together.
  • Inhale deeply through nose and exhale through mouth while humming
  • When you finish exhaling, open mouth as wide as possible with the tip of the tongue pressing against bottom of the lower front teeth
  • Hold this position, inhale and exhale with an audible “aaaa” sound
  • This should take a total of around 90 seconds
  • Repeat this only twice

 

  1. Chin rotations
  • In sitting position, leading with your chin, slowly and gently rotate your head so it moves in full circle
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Side neck stretch
  • In sitting, wrap opposite arm over the top of your head so that palm rests on the opposite site ear
  • Keep head in alignment with neck, bend your head towards your shoulder, using palm to gently press down your head to shoulder
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. “Stick out your tongue”
  • In sitting position, open mouth as wide as you can and stick out tongue as far as you can
  • Keep tongue stuck out until count of 10
  • Repeat 10 times

 

These are few of the best exercises you can do for “double chin”. Losing double chin would definitely be one of your best loses, as it brings with it a lot of confidence and helps you look slimmer. If done in proper way regularly, you would see visible results within a month’s time.