18, March 2011
This should come as no surprise but the old adage "you better move it before you lose it" is really true. Especially as you get older, the best way to combat those sore muscles and aches and pains is to get off that couch!
In a study published by the Mayo Clinic, a connection was found between physical inactivity and the common complaints of sore bones, ligaments and muscles. The study found that those with chronic conditions like common neck pain, back pain or arthritis also experienced chronic fatigue and depression. If you don't exercise regularly you will experience a lack of mobility and the muscles surrounding your joints can shrink which can cause pain in your joints.
The best way to start is to get flexible. Stretch and try to extend your range of motion. Yoga is a great way to stretch and limber up for more strenuous movement and as you progress you will find that the little aches and pains disappear. Once you regain that old flexibility you can take on more substantial conditioning and aerobic activity which will allow you to lose weight and further condition your muscles and improve your circulation. Don't worry if you have to start slow, concentrate on making progress - you're just trying to progress.
So get up and get moving! Do a little more every day and soon those aches and pains will fade away!
7, December 2010
One of the most important things to consider in terms of a healthy back and neck is posture. Good posture involves training your body to sit, walk, lie and stand in positions that put the least strain on your body as possible. To practise a healthy standing position:
- Stand against a wall with your heels approximately 2 inches away from the wall.
- Move the small of your back toward the wall by tilting your pelvis.
- Keep your knees slightly bent – not locked in a straight position.
- Ideally, your shoulders are in a straight line with your torso - not rounded forward and slumped over.
- Your head is centred over the top of your chest and in a level position, and your neck is fairly straight, with a slight forward curve.
- Always try to move about and alternate your position every few minutes if you have to stand for a long period of time. This keeps your muscles and spine relaxed.
Managing Back or Neck Pain
Suffering with back or neck problems can be painful. Try some of the following tips to help reduce the pain:
- Use ice or heat. Both ice and heat can reduce muscle pain and make you more comfortable.
- Start moving around. Gradually increase your activity as soon as you can – walking is one of the best and safest exercises. Gradually increase your activities until you return to normal levels.
- Use a supportive pillow. A good quality cervical pillow will help to keep your spine and neck in a neutral position. The Mediflow Waterbase Pillow has been shown to be effective in reducing neck pain and improving quality of sleep. It’s made with a layer of super-soft Dacron polyester fibre fill that floats over a thin water layer to provide a comfortable and supportive night’s rest.