Archive for the ‘Back Pain’ Category


When you get in and out of a chair, you are actually using a fairly large amount of muscles. Just think for a moment about all the actions that you perform to use a chair. You use your ankles and legs to support your weight. Your thighs are used when your knees become bent. As you get closer to the chair your abdominal muscles start to support you, making sure that you don’t fall over. You might well place your arms on to the arms of the chair to make the journey down a little slower.

As you can see, you are really using a quite a lot more of your body’s resources than you might have thought. If any one, or perhaps more than one, of these muscles, or parts of your body are causing you pain then getting in and out of a chair can be difficult and something that you might fear.

Perhaps you need to think about getting a riser recliner chair as a means of alleviating your pain when using a chair. They are beneficial because they do all of the hard work for you, so that you can relax and enjoy sitting down again. You will feel comfortable and in control again.

Buried beneath the fabric of the chair are some complicated pieces of machinery. A remote control is all that you need to raise and lower the chair. By pressing the ‘raise’ button the chair slowly starts to rise off the ground and gets higher. This is not all though! The ‘seat’ of the chair will lean towards you so that it is easy to get in. You just lean your body against it whilst you are standing up. You then press the ‘descend’ button, and the chair will straighten out return to the floor.

Because the chair has done all of the work, your legs and torso and other parts of your body which might cause you pain, are not working hard at all. This means that you greatly reduce the pain and levels of stress that you might feel.

When you are in the chair, you have the option to lower the back of the chair, thus taking the weight off your hips. That’s not all though. Usually these riser recliner chairs have a concealed leg ‘platform’ which can be used with another button to lift your legs off the ground. Now you are in a chair which is just about flat, rather like a bed would be. Unlike a bed though, this riser recliner chair will return you to standing whenever you push the buttons.

With so many options, it is important that you do some research to make sure that the model that you purchase has all of the features that you require.

A major point to think about when buying one of these chairs is whether or not you have a point outlet close to there you want it to be positioned. Mind out for that power cord though, we don’t want to trip over it.


If you are suffering with sciatica or lower back pain, believe it or not the best thing that you can do to get relief is to start some gentle stretching of the tight muscles that are contributing to your pain. Now I know that the last thing that you think that you would want to do is exercise, especially if you are suffering with intense sciatica pain. But resting or lying in bed is actually more likely to make the problem worse rather than better.

Sometimes getting out of bed itself is difficult; let alone starting an exercise regime. In that case start your stretching in bed. I always found that bringing my knees up to my chest and holding them there for a steady count of 10 or 20 seconds starts to loosen things up. I would repeat this 2 or 3 times. If you can not manage both knees at once, start with one at a time. This should loosen you up enough to get out of bed and start some more adventurous stretching.

Getting out of bed can also be difficult to negotiate. So put your feet and legs over the side of the bed before trying to sit up. The weight of your legs will help pull you up and put less strain on your lower back.

When you first get a flare up of sciatica the pain can be excruciating and your instinct is to rest in bed or flat out on the floor. Older remedies have included the advice to lie on a board. But all of these suggestions of inactivity were actually not the best. Initially some rest may help to reduce the inflammation of the sciatic nerve and surrounding muscles and tendons that are taking the strain because of some underlying spine problem. But this rest should be coupled with some proactive action to reduce the swelling. Cold packs or ice packs will help and will numb the area to reduce the pain. Hot packs will increase the blood flow around the problem area and this in turn aids recovery as well as relieving the pain.

At this stage pain killers and analgesics are largely ineffective. Even the strongest pain killers are only likely to reduce the pain, not completely alleviate it. And don’t forget that strong pain killers do have side effects, like drowsiness and even possible addiction, if taken for long periods. Of course you also need to be careful if taking pain killers when you are pregnant or if you are taking any other medications.

So once you can move begin with your bed exercises, then get up and get into a routine that concentrates on loosening the Hamstrings and Piriformis muscles. The Hamstring muscles run down the back of each thigh and the Piriformis runs through the buttocks.

The most suitable exercises are sourced from Yoga and can be provided to you by your doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor. There are also numerous sites and videos online that describe and illustrate these exercises.


Sciatic nerve pain is often excruciating and may leave sufferers desperate for relief. Several causes exist for sciatica, but most cases are caused by either lumbar disc protrusion and/or contraction of the piriformis muscle, located in the lower buttock.

  • Disc protrusions, also called disc bulges or herniations, occur from major traumas such as falls and auto accidents, as well as from repeated “micro-trauma” over a long period of time, such as sitting in a slouched position, or bending and lifting with poor body mechanics. In extreme cases, disc protrusions can progress to extrusions – full disc ruptures, which often cause sciatica symptoms so severe that they can leave the person almost totally incapacitated. Disc protrusions and extrusions can cause direct pressure on one or more of the nerves that combine to form the large sciatic nerves which pass through the lower buttock area and down each leg. Depending on the site and severity of nerve compression, pain and other symptoms such as tingling and numbness can extend anywhere from the buttock to the foot. In addition to direct irritation caused by disc material pressing against the nerve, disc protrusions often cause inflammatory swelling, which can increase pressure around the effected nerve.

Exercises to help reduce disc bulging and medication and cold packs to reduce inflammatory swelling will usually provide sciatic nerve pain relief within a week or two. Some exercises that are promoted for relieving sciatica should not be used in cases of disc protrusion though. For instance, the “Downward Facing Dog” yoga position required forward flexion of the spin which can increase disc bulging and make sciatic nerve pain worse.

  • Long periods of sitting or unusual exertion of the hip muscles can trigger contraction of the piriformis and cause sciatic nerve pain. The location of the piriformis varies from one individual to the next. In some people the muscle crosses over the top of the nerve, and in some instances the nerve may even pass through the piriformis muscle, making it susceptible to compression from contraction of the muscle. Stretching exercises and deep massage of the piriformis muscle will usually provide sciatic nerve pain relief due to muscle contraction.

Although sciatica can be extremely painful, the vast majority of sufferers can get relief without resorting to surgery. By identifying the underlying cause of symptoms, the appropriate home treatments can be employed, and sciatic nerve pain relief can be obtained relatively quickly in most instances.


If you are suffering from upper back pain you may want to consider these simple steps in order to obtain some relief. Please note that before embarking on any exercise routine however, you should discuss it with your health professional first to ensure that you don’t do yourself any further damage.

Stretching is very important, it is something we tend to do involuntarily but it is a good idea to get into a routine where we consciously stretch the spine to strengthen the back. Try doing this several times a day, when you first wake up, after sitting down for any length of time and before going to bed. It also has a positive effect on stress levels, quite often when we are tense and worried we tend to carry it on our upper back so getting into this routine will help alleviate our muscles getting locked up. If you want to take this even further, yoga and Pilates are disciplines that are based on stretching the muscles of the body thereby strengthening the back.

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Bad posture is a major factor in aggravating back pain, slouching when seated will put a strain on your upper back and neck muscles. If you are female and well endowed make sure the bra you are wearing is the right size and is giving you the support you need so that the strain is not put on your back causing you to slump forward. Try to keep your weight within your recommended BMI as carrying around those extra pounds is hard work and will affect your posture. Standing and sitting straight will make you look slimmer and will also strengthen back muscles. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes that allow you to walk properly. There are many types of footwear on the market these days that are designed to enhance natural posture and to correct any walking imbalance.

As well as our waking hours, we need to think about protecting our back and neck when we are asleep. It is important to ensure that the mattress we sleep on is supportive because if it slumps in the middle we will too! Many people swear by memory foam, it feels soft and comfortable yet gives the required support to the spine. Pillows are important too, memory foam pillows suit some people although personally my neck felt worse after trying one. Whichever pillow you choose make sure that you go for a good quality item that will support your neck comfortably. Your sleeping position should ideally be either on your back or your side, lying on your front gives absolutely no support to your spine and twists your head to one side so it is best to avoid this.

Making these small changes can have a positive impact on our spinal health so it is well worth incorporating them into our daily lives.


Okay, so you’ve got some back pain. What’s the first thing that pops into your mind? If you’re like most people, you probably think about a visit to the chiropractor. But is chiropractic care actually safe?

Did you know that chiropractic manipulation of the neck is actually quite dangerous? There are certain plaque deposits and small blood clots that form naturally in your neck, and it is possible for chiropractic adjustments to loosen those. If they get released into the blood stream, these plaque deposits or blood clots can travel up to your brain and cause a stroke, serious disability, or even death.

In fact, a study conducted in Switzerland, showed that 1 in every 400,000 chiropractic patients suffer a stroke. That may not sound like much, but when you compare that to the overall average of stroke incidence (only 1 in 1,500,000) it is quite shocking. If you see a chiropractor, you may be nearly quadrupling your risk of a stroke. Is back pain relief worth that risk?

It is important to know as well that chiropractors are not medical doctors. Surprisingly a lot of people do not realize this. Chiropractors are trained in their own way, however, it is to understand that they do not have the same basic training and schooling that a medical doctor would have.

Many people may visit a chiropractor complaining of numbness or pain in their back, neck, or hips. The chiropractor examines the patient and many times will recommend that the patient be treated with chiropractic manipulation. However, often times the diagnosis from the chiropractor is completely wrong and might even overlook obvious conditions that even a first year medical or nursing student could diagnose.

This causes people that in some instances may be at risk for serious medical diseases to put off proper medical treatment or delay it until the condition worsens. Unfortunately, many people place the trust of their medical health in the hands of someone who is not a medical doctor.

This is incredibly dangerous. Spinal adjustments can help to correct certain problems, but you should always seek medical attention first from a medical doctor to rule out any serious cause of your symptoms. Discuss with your medical doctor if chiropractic care would benefit your situation, and if your doctor believes it would help, then you can seek the help of a chiropractor. That is, of course, if you ware willing to accept the risks of stroke and death discussed earlier.


Stamina Inversion Tables are inversion tables which are designed to look like cozy chairs. This type of conversion table is complete with padding and handle bar aides that help the user turn the table to an inverted position to treat back pains. The inversion table can be used as a treatment for people who have muscle aches and stiff backs due to bad posture and stress. Muscle sore and stiff back can be experienced by people who remain sitting down for a long time in the workplace. This can also be experienced by those who carry heavy objects or those stuck in a traffic for a long time. Among the results of bad posture are neck spasms, back pain, headaches, shoulder aches and tension.

The equipment are used to treat pains on the shoulders, neck and back and to help a person regain balance. The “table” can be inverted upside down and recline back in comfortable positions that will help extend the backbone, as well as relax the back area. It is recommended by hospitals and medical professionals as safe and efficient machine to be used in alleviating the pressure on bulging discs, nerve endings and ligaments. With only after ten seconds on the machine, the patient will start to feel better and the soreness in the muscles will decrease. The inversion table can be inverted from different angles- from twenty five degrees to a complete 180 turn. The machine can be used daily for a couple of minutes to lessen muscle tension.

Stamina inversion tables have handlebars for easier inversion. Thus, returning back to the original position is also easy. The legs and heels are secured safe in place with a comfortable strap. Height can also be adjusted to fit the size of the patient. As compared to the Alexander technique, inversion tables are better in alleviating stress and fixing posture. The Alexander technique is performed with the patient sitting in an upright position. This helps a person to use the right amount of activity required for a specific effort. With this, the person is said to gain enough energy to last through all the workloads of the day. The technique also improves posture a mode flexible and coordinated movement. This can be used while lying in bed, walking, sitting, standing or lifting.

The nordictrack is an exercise machine that can incline to a certain height for an optimum effect while walking, running or jogging on the machine. This is used to tone abs and legs and lose fat in many regions in the body. After a hard work out in a nordictrack machine, the inversion table can be used to relax the muscles.


With so many mattress companies claiming to have the best mattress for back pain, it is difficult to find the real deal. To know that numerous companies tend to give false reports and false hopes to consumers is also not helpful. As a consumer, you should become more vigilant in identifying the right mattress that can alleviate back pain problems.

In order to find the best mattress for back pain, you should check out the following ideas:

1. Get unbiased opinion

You should not ask for advice from sales representatives. Before buying, you should do your own research and seek for advice from people who have the same back issues as you. Reading reviews help a lot. Consumers who have tried the mattress can give their honest opinion about the comfort level of the mattress. They can also give advice on how to maintain the bed and avoid sags and depressions.

You can also ask a medical practitioner that specializes in treating orthopaedic problems. Some orthopaedic organizations have their own mattress recommendations. Ask the best comfort level that can alleviate back aches and pains.

2. Take advantage of comfort trials

Comfort should be at the top of your priority. But it is difficult to find a comfortable mattress just by trying the bed in the store for a few minutes. This does not always work in helping you find an ideal one.

A good solution to that is to find a store that can offer 30-60 days of comfort trial. You can test the mattress for a few weeks before completely sealing the deal. You can return the mattress before the trial period ends.

There are also some stores or manufacturers that makes mattresses with layers of foams. After the trial period, you can remove the topmost foam and have it exchanged for something a lot more comfortable. This is a better way of tweaking the comfort of the mattress.

3. Look for mattresses with scientific technologies that can determine the comfort level your back needs

Today, you can find numerous scientific sleep technologies that can correctly determine the right comfort level needed by your back. One example is the Sleep Number technology by Comfortaire. You can identify your sleep number through a series of questions. Once you have computed your correct sleep number, you can inflate the air bed to the right number. Sleep number technology accurately depicts the right comfort level your body needs.