When trying to handle stressful situations, we often start to feel neck pain. Especially when we are using our phones excessively or looking down at our laptops constantly. Here are 3 easy and helpful tips to ease your neck pain!
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
Yes we know that drinking water is good for us. But did you know it can also specifically help your neck? Drinking plenty of water helps your vertebrae because it keeps the disks hydrated! When they’re hydrated, this increases their strength and endurance!
Tip #2: Hot Shower
A hot shower directly aimed at your spine and neck can help relax the muscles in your neck. A hot compress or a heating pad would also work!
Tip #3: Magnesium is essential
Magnesium helps relax the muscles therefore lessening your neck pain. You can receive magnesium by immersing yourself in a bath filled with Epsom salt. Your body will soak up the magnesium. You can also eat foods high in magnesium! Beans, whole gains, soy products, vegetables, and fruits are all high in magnesium!
It’s important to get some good stretches in as soon as you wake up, if you want to fix your back pain! People often overlook stretching, but it is a vital part of relieving pain and tension. Not only does stretching help you ease your current pain but it can also stop future back pain as well! If you suffer from a sciatica nerve damage, stretching and massaging is the only fix!
Stretching helps loosen up your ligaments and muscles! It also lessens the pressure on your joints and it enhances the movement of nutrients and blood flow in your body. Not stretching can lead to restriction of motion, pain in the body, additional pain to existing pain, or stiffness.
Make sure you’re wearing loose fitting clothes that will not restrict your mobility. Clothes that are easily elastic are best when stretching out! Also it’s best to be cautious when stretching. Don’t do anything that feels unnatural or puts your body in an uncomfortable position.
By practicing these stretches your body will slowly start to become more resilient and flexible. It may take some time for your body to become increasingly flexible but don’t quit! Your body will eventually adjust and you’ll start to see a difference with your back pain over time.
*Los Angeles Orthopaedic Surgery Specialists (@LA_Orthos) does not endorse any of the mentioned therapists or exercises in this social media post. @LA_Orthos does not suggest these exercises as a treatment for injury of any type. @LA_Orthos does not recommend exercising when injured. This is not a treatment plan, nor prescription provided by @LA_Orthos. Please consult your personal physician for details about your health.
Day 2: Adjusting Eating Habits (Lighter Meals, More Snacks)
Today’s the day to say goodbye to junk food and fast food! With a healthy back, you need a healthy diet! Processed foods, foods with high saturated fat, soda, wheat, eggs, and dairy can cause an inflammation reaction affecting the joints. When there is inflammation in the joints, this can cause pain to areas like the back.
Since we mentioned the foods that you shouldn’t eat, we’ll also mention some foods that you should eat! You should eat foods that contain high amounts of magnesium. Foods that are high in magnesium are bananas, salmon, eggplants, and spinach. Magnesium helps back pain by relaxing the tense muscles.
Another suggestion that we recommend you do is frequent feeding! With frequent feeding you are switching from 3 big meals to 5 smaller meals. These mini meals will help you lose some weight in the long run! Big meals tend to aggravate the digestive system. It causes your body to have a decreased amount of energy and it can also invoke bloating. So for these smaller meals, you’ll want to eat fruits, sandwiches, soups, and nuts!
Also, make sure that you do not sleep after you eat! I know it might sound like a great idea to take a nap after eating but it’s not. Digestion works best when you’re in an upright position because that’s what your body is most comfortable with. Sleeping after you eat can cause digestion problems.
Below is a 1 Day Meal Plan that you can follow!
The 24-Hour Meal Plan:
Pick 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, and 1 snack. It should be around 1,200 calories in total. Make sure you’re only drinking zero-calorie beverages.
1 granola bar
1/2 cup light ice cream
1 mini bag popcorn
50 very thin pretzel sticks
2 whole-grain toaster waffles (approximately 90 calories each) topped with 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt or light yogurt and 3/4 cup raspberries or sliced strawberries
1 cup Cheerios, Bran Flakes, or Wheaties
McDonald’s fruit’n yogurt parfait (no granola)
3/4 to 1 cup fat-free milk
Oatmeal: Prepare 1/2 cup instant oats with 1 cup fat-free milk. Top with 1/3 cup sliced fresh or unsweetened frozen peaches and 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
8 medium strawberries or 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Soup: Heat half of a 19-ounce can of lentil soup with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon dried dill. Garnish with 1 tablespoon feta cheese
Sandwich: 1 whole wheat pita; 2 ounces turkey breast or extra-lean ham; 1 ounce part skim mozzarella cheese; 1/2 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into strips; 2 teaspoons light mayonnaise; baby spinach leaves
Salad: Mix 3 cups salad greens with 3 ounce pouch of water-packed albacore white tuna; 1 small tomato, cut into wedges; 3 red onion slices; 1/2 medium cucumber; and 1/4 cup seasoned croutons. Drizzle with a mixture of 1 teaspoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
6 ounces light yogurt or 1 cup fat-free milk
Large Wendy’s chili
1 Wendy’s side salad with 1/3 packet low-fat dressing
Honey-Mustard Chicken: 6 ounces roasted skinless chicken breast, sliced drizzled with a mixture of 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Medium baked potato (5 ounces) topped with 2 tablespoons salsa and 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups steamed green beans tossed with 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil and a sprinkle of lemon juice
Fish Olé: Lightly sprinkle top side of a 6-ounce fillet of white flesh fish, such as cod or flounder, with fajita seasoning. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Broil until fish is opaque throughout
Shrimp and Pasta: Simmer 8 medium peeled shrimp in 1/2 cup meatless spaghetti sauce until shrimp are opaque throughout (about 5 minutes). Toss with 1 cup cooked linguine and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chicken flavored or brown ready-to-heat rice (like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice)
8 asparagus spears, steamed or grilled
Any frozen entrée with 260 to 300 calories (like Lean Cuisine Three Bean Chili with Rice, Smart Ones Lasagna Florentine, Healthy Choice Beef Tips Portabello)
2 cups salad greens with your choice of the following: cucumber, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers; and 2 tablespoons fat-reduced dressing (no more than 40 calories per 2 tablespoons)
When people sit in an office chair or desk chair for too long, this affects their lumbosacral discs. These discs in your body become stacked and bring about pain. The lumbar support helps you maintain good posture while sitting. Bad posture while sitting can lead to lower back pain. It causes lower back pain because it puts too much pressure on the joints and soft tissues in your spine.
Due to the shape of our spine, there is a gap between the seat and the lumbar spine. The lumbar support occupies that gap and gives you the extra support you need! Having a lumbar support will keep your posture in check! So you should get one ASAP! Whether you buy it at the store or order it online!
Wearing a posture brace is great because it’s a tangible item that makes sure your posture is always good. What’s also great about a posture brace is that it helps improve the muscles in your back by strengthening them! It also strengthens your spine a great deal! A strong spine is essential because it helps you handle the improper weight distribution and stress that your spine endures.
The reason why you have lower back pain is because when you slouch, the blood vessels in your lower back become constricted. When they become constricted, this slows down your blood circulation. A slower blood circulation can lead to less oxygen to the brain. Less oxygen to the brian can cause the body to feel tired and fatigued.
Bras that don’t support you can lead to pinched nerves and back pain. They can also cause poor posture! The main part of the bra that supports your posture is the bands of the bra! If the bra bands feel too tight on your shoulders then that is not the band size for you. You’ll need a band size that properly fits you!
It is also suggested that you use thick bands for your bras. Also find a bra that has separated cups. By separating the cups, this helps distribute the weight evenly, which can then reduce back pain. Another plus is if your bra closes in the front! This eases your back pain by making things more convenient. Check to see if your bra straps press uncomfortably against your shoulders. What this means is that your bra is not supporting you enough. You’ll need a bra that lifts the weight of your breasts, effortlessly.
Day 4: Posture
The challenge for today is maintaining 15 minutes of conscious posture control! What this means is that you should maintain good posture for a total of 15 minutes today, without any tools or support items. Just you being aware of your posture for a good 15 minutes!
Posture tips for standing:
Have your knees slightly bent
Make sure your stomach is tucked in
Hang your arms naturally down the sides of your body
Put most of your weight on the balls of your feet
Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart
Pull your shoulders back and stand tall
If you stand for long periods of time move your weight from your toes to your heels or you can shift the weight from one foot to the other foot
Make sure your head is in line with your shoulders
Your head should not be backward, forward, or leaning to a side
Posture tips for sitting:
Make sure you don’t cross your legs
Ankles need to be in front of your knees
Keep your shoulders relaxed and forearms parallel to the floor
Don’t sit in the same spot for a long period of time
Adjust the chair so that it supports your low and mid-back area
Make sure you have your feet on the floor or on top of a footrest if your feet can’t reach the ground
Leave a space between the front of your chair and the back of your knees
Keep your knees at either a lower or the same level as your hips
Today is pamper yourself day!!! Basically having someone else take care of you for once! Here are some examples of what you can do:
Treat yourself to a massage! The masseuse can massage all of the tension out of your muscles. With more relaxed muscles you have better flexibility. This is good because constricted muscles cause pain, so relaxed muscles will relieve pain.
A massage spikes your endorphin levels. Endorphins are the chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. So with a higher endorphin level, your mood is also improved! Having a better mood can increase recovery time and ease pain.
Massages also increase the speed of circulation and blood flow. This is essential because it brings nutrients to the tissues and muscles. This helps ease the pain of sore muscles.
For back pain, a chiropractor readjusts your spine. This is either called spinal manipulation or spinal adjustment. This is a great way to realign the spine because there is no surgery involved.
What your chiropractor will do is use the pressure from a tool or his hands to realign your spine back in place. This process is called sublaxation. By putting your spine back in the correct place, this gives more space for your pinched nerves to breathe, and in turn, decreases pain.
The way acupuncture works is that, an acupuncturist will insert needles into your body at certain points. By hitting these points with the needles, it is said to increase stimulation in the nervous system. When an acupuncturist hits these points, it either makes you feel a sense of peace or there are substances that manipulate your awareness of pain.
A sobador can with help back pain because they specialize in treating strained muscles. They’ll use things like tea, oil, poultice, or their own hands to massage away the pain. What’s so special about a sobador is that they seem to heal not only the physical well-being of a person but also their psychic level.
Starting Tuesday November 28th, we are going to provide a 5 day back pain fix that you can do at home for free. By spending 15 minutes a day and making some slight lifestyle adjustments you should feel an improved back!
Starting Tuesday you’ll be stretching as soon as you wake up! This is light stretching, no huffing and puffing, no exercise involved! Simply to get you started in the day.
By Thursday you’ll be incorporating adjustment tools to help with your back posture. By the end of the 5th day, which is Saturday, you’ll be relaxing in a spa getting a massage! Below is an overview of the next 5 days.
Tuesday (Day 1): Stretching As Soon As You Wake
Wednesday (Day 2): Adjusting Eating Habits (Lighter meals, more snacks)
Garlic is great for minimizing inflammation! Simply get garlic, blend it with mustard seed oil, then apply it to the area of pain.
Home Remedy #2: Cherries
Cherries also reduce inflammation and arthritis pain because they are a source of Potassium and Magnesium. You can eat either fresh, frozen, or caned cherries. Eat approximately 8 to 10 cherries a day. You can also make a cherry syrup! Just take the cherries, put them in water, and then boil them until they turn into a dense gooey syrup.
Home Remedy #3: Turmeric
Turmeric is another ingredient that’s good at reducing inflammation. Turmeric has curcumin which contains anti-inflammatory attributes. You can take turmeric powder and blend it with a cup of milk or numeric juice.
Home Remedy #4: Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds have curative properties that alleviate joint pain. Immerse the seeds in clean water and keep them in there overnight. Then you can chew on them the next day!
Home Remedy #5: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar maintains the health of your bones. It includes phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Not only is it good for your bones but it also helps ease arthritis joint pain. It gets rid of the toxic that accumulates between your connective tissues and joints. You can combine the apple cider vinegar with honey and warm water. To get the best outcome, drink this daily every morning.
Make sure to take frequent breaks from typing and doing work. Shake out your hands every now and then. Don’t sit in your chair for too long!
Tip #2: Typing Technique
Be aware of your typing technique. You can get a tool that supports your wrists by keeping your hands in the right position. You can also get a keyboard that comfortably suits you. Make sure your wrists are in a neutral location and try to reframe from bending them too much when typing.
Tip #3: Short Fingernails
It’s better to keep your fingernails short. Typing can be hard on your wrists when you have long fingernails. Your wrists have to compensate for the uncomfortable position that your long nails put them in. Not even wrist support tools can help because you have to bend your wrists anyways.
Although it’s normal to do yoga on an empty stomach, it’s actually more beneficial if you drink fluids and eat snacks that keep your body hydrated and well nourished! Snacks and fluids should generally be consumed 30 minutes before class starts. Another tip is that you should not have a large meal before class, unless it’s been more than 3 hours. Here are the foods that are great to eat before yoga:
Great source of potassium and magnesium, contains a low level of fiber
Prevents bloating, cramps, and helps with fluid balance
Almonds (palm full)
Contains large amounts of vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium
Assists in helping you keep your energy through yoga movements
Juice (4 ounces)
Contains a simple carbohydrate (Do not take if you have GERD)
Gives you a quick boost in energy
Decent amount of carbohydrates and fiber
Ex. Clif Z bar, kid version
Cereal (low fat, with either low-fat dairy milk, soy, or unsweetened almond)
The injury “text claw” is a name to explain a repetitive strain injury. You feel this injury when your fingers start cramping and feel pain. This injury derives from using your hands frequently so it’s not specifically directed towards smartphones, but smartphone users are susceptible to this injury.
“Smartphone Pinky” is mainly a result of holding large smartphones. When you have a large phone, your pinky needs to support it’s backside to keep the phone upright. Holding your pinky in that position for a long period of time can cause your pinky to become deformed or dented. This injury might be an indication of a separate condition called Dupuytren’s contracture. Dupuytren’s contracture is when specific tissues start to tighten up in the hand.
Cell Phone Elbow
“Cell Phone Elbow” is also known as cubital tunnel syndrome. It’s basically a nerve compression syndrome that affects your elbow and forearm. With “Cell Phone Elbow” you feel tingling, numbness, or pain in that general area.
Exercise 1: Form an “O” shape
First start off with your fingers out straight. Afterwards, start bending your fingers into an “O” shape. Keep this form for several seconds then repeat! Switch up your hands and do this exercise a couple times a day.
Exercise 2: Finger lift
Put your hand flat on a surface. Then you are going to raise each finger one by one off the ground, starting with your thumb. When you raise each finger, make sure to hold it for one or two seconds before dropping it. Repeat this exercise with both hands!
Exercise 3: Form a fist
Have your hand out and fingers straight. Then you’re going to make your hand into the shape of a fist. Make sure your thumb is on the outside and not the inside of your fist. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each hand!