Back Pain

Simple Steps You Can Take To Relieve Upper Back Pain

Should you suffer from upper back pain you might want to consider these simple actions in order to obtain some relief. Please note that before embarking on any exercise routine however, you should talk to 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 recommended that you get into a regimen where we consciously stretch the spine to strengthen the back. Try doing this several times daily, when you initially wake up, after being seated for any amount of time and before you go to bed. It also has a positive effect on stress levels, frequently 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 exercises and Pilates are disciplines which are based upon stretching out the muscles of the body thereby strengthening your back.

Poor posture is a key factor in aggravating back pain, slouching while sitting down will put a strain on your upper back and neck muscles. If you’re female and well endowed make sure the bra you are wearing is the right size and is providing you with the support you need so that the strain is not put on your back making you slump forward. Keep your bodyweight inside your recommended Body mass index as carting around those extra few pounds is difficult work and often will affect your posture. Standing up and sitting straight will make you look slimmer and also will strengthen back muscles. Remember to wear comfortable shoes that allow you to walk correctly. There are many types of footwear on the market these days that are designed to enhance natural posture and also to correct any walking imbalance.

In addition to our waking hours, we have to think about protecting our neck and back when we are sleeping. It is important to make sure that the mattress we sleep on is supportive because if it slumps in the middle we will too! Many people recommend memory foam, it feels soft and comfortable yet gives the necessary support to the spine. Pillows are important too, memory foam pillows suit some people although personally my neck felt more painful after trying one. No matter which pillow you choose make certain you go for a good quality item that will support your neck comfortably. Your sleeping position should really ideally be either on your back or your side, lying on your front gives virtually no support to your spine and twists your head to one side so it’s advisable to avoid this.

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

David A Griffiths has extensively researched upper back pain relief and contributes to a good many online resources to assist sufferers.

Fibromyalgia Pain: Real or Not?

by Erik Dalton, Ph.D.
as published in Massage & Bodywork Magazine

Now that rheumatologists have granted legitimacy by labeling and classifying this hazy and controversial syndrome current, beliefs regarding possible origins must be discussed.

Fibromyalgia chiefly manifests as pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons — the fibrous tissues in the body. FMS was originally termed fibrositis, implying the presence of muscle inflammation, but contemporary research proved that inflammation did not exist. Some in the complementary medical community believe that fibromyalgia should be a main consideration in any client/patient presenting with musculoskeletal pain that is unrelated to a clearly defined anatomic lesion. Conversely, many researchers question the very existence of the condition since fibromyalgia sufferers typically test normal on laboratory and radiologic exams.

For more than a century, medical science has continued to move forward in its ability to recognize, categorize, and name painful patient disorders. Technological advances have made it much simpler for medical doctors to rule out specific maladies from a variety of symptoms presented in the clinical setting. Additionally, modern testing methods have allowed researchers to become more certain in their ability to determine what is and what is not a disorder or disease.

Psychosomatic or Physiologic

Fibromyalgia has come under fire in a bunch of circles including medical, psychological, and manual therapy. There are two camps firmly at odds on their beliefs as to the cause and treatment of the disorder while a third group of researchers and medical practitioners reject the existence of fibromyalgia altogether. Simply put, one camp believes that FMS is a mental health issue without a biological origin whereas the other camp is firmly convinced that it is a physiological disorder – even though researchers have yet to identify definitive diagnostic criteria. While each side squabbles over the fibromyalgia conundrum, thousands of Americans suffer diverse and sometimes disabling symptoms each year with little help coming from the medical and insurance industry.

Meanwhile the debate as to the true reality of the disorder carries on as scientific evidence continues to accumulate in favor of the physiological aspect of fibromyalgia. Currently, traditional and complementary medicine success rates in treating the disorder point to the fact that it is primarily a physiological condition with biological origins.

In the face of the dispute as to the origin of disorder, the American College of Rheumatology comprised a list of criteria for the purpose of classifying fibromyalgia. The list includes basic symptoms such as having a history of widespread pain for more than three previous months. The college went on to describe a series of 18 checkpoints (tender points) for the pain sites.

A client is required to have pain in eleven or more of the eighteen sites to be considered a confirmed case of fibromyalgia. Since the symptoms are relatively simple to recognize, why the continued debate? Part of the trouble lies in the fact that the symptoms are sometimes unclear and reminiscent of other musculoskeletal complaints.

Confusing Symptoms

From the massage therapy office to the traditional medical facility, clients and patients alike are appearing in increasing numbers with a surplus of unexplained symptoms. But there are definitely some shared symptom commonalities, such as predictable tender points, extreme fatigue, poor sleeping patterns, and whole-body pain upon awakening. Regrettably, musculoskeletal pain research generally lags behind well-funded scientific projects that promise more profitable outcomes. It often takes years to definitively confirm and classify conditions with vague, widespread symptoms like fibromyalgia. As a result, this confusing disorder continues to be poorly understood, and clients often suffer for several years before a medical diagnosis is made.

Fibromyalgic symptoms have been described as steady, radiating, burning, and spreading over expansive areas of the body. The pain often involves the neck, shoulders, back, and pelvic girdle. Clients say that pain seems to emanate specifically from muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursa, and joints. Most identify pain as their central symptom. Fibromyalgia pain seems to worsen with cold temperatures, increased humidity, weather changes, overexertion, and stress. Many clients report symptomatic pain reduction with…

Erik Dalton, Ph.D., Certified Advanced Rolfer founded the Freedom From Pain Institute and created Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques to share his passion for massage, Rolfing, and manipulative osteopathy. Visit for workshop, book, massage home study courses and bodywork training videos.

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Erik DaltonMassage Therapy Home Study800-709-5054 /

Joint Pain Symptoms Causes, Remedies and Treatments That Work

Joint pain is a common disorder experienced by millions in varying degrees and due to various causes. Both children and adults suffer from this problem either from any physical injury, some internal disorder or due to aging. Age related joint pains or Arthritis comes in various forms and features that start showing its symptoms from the age of 50 reaching the peak at 75. Such pains can pose great problems leading to general debility. People suffering from osteoarthritis type joint pains go through agonizing moments due to severe attacks of pains that last for hours.

Main joints like shoulders, knees, hands, back and hips are mostly affected by this condition arising from Arthritis reducing the free movement to a great extent. Painful elbows, fingers, ankles and heels are also experienced by some due to this.


Many factors are responsible for this condition like –

1. The reduction of the synovial fluids due to aging that reduces the lubrication of the joints allowing more friction between the joints and thus results in the pain.
2. Natural wear and tear of the joints and weakening of the cartilage due to aging leading to osteoarthritis.
3. Autoimmune disease like Rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Drop in the estrogen levels in women after menopause.
5. Unhealthy food habits and life style that leads to gout.
6. Sprain and dislocation due to physical injury
7. Bursitis
8. Leukemia and bone cancer.


The symptoms of the joint pains vary a lot depending upon the locations and the causes behind them. General symptoms observed are as follows –

1. Swelling and inflammation of the joints that can arise due to arthritis or any physical injury.
2. Stiffness and tenderness in the joints.
3. Experiencing moderate or acute pain due to dislocation, fracture or arthritis.
4. Extreme difficulty in moving the joints.
5. Free movement gets impaired due to age related arthritis.
6. Experiencing difficulty in turning over in bed due to arthritis or spondylitis.
7. Patients suffering from osteoarthritis may experience creaking noise in the joints.
8. Fever, weight loss, fatigue, muscle aches along with the pain and inflammation of the joints is observed in case of Rheumatoid arthritis.
9. Joint pains in younger age may also result from bone tuberculosis, sickle cell anemia etc.
10. Localized severe joint pain and inflammation may be caused due to dislocation or sprain in the joints.

Remedies and Treatment

This involves –

1. Dietary and life style changes.
2. Taking anti- inflammatory drugs.
3. Massaging the affected areas with eucalyptus oil, menthol and camphor.
4. Supplements of herb Devil’s Claw is highly effective in treating this condition.
5. Hot and cold compress.
6. Physical workouts
7. Surgical procedures in some cases.

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Keeping the Beat: Simple ways to Preserve your Heart Healthy

Instead of discussing about love stories that we already know where it will end, this write up will talk about tuning up your heart to be healthy. Here are some basic tips you can sing your heart out.
Movement- Long periods of inactivity can hamper blood flow to some parts of the body and cause the heart to struggle. So if you’ve been sitting in front of the TV or the computer for more than 2 hours now, you might want to consider standing up and doing a bit of stretching and probably walking just to make sure blood traffic’s smooth.
Don’t eat your heart out – There’s a reason why prime pork and lobster are called “rich foods”. They are not just for the rich: they are rich in cholesterol. And as any doctor will tell you, too much cholesterol can clog the arteries and cause heart diseases.
Watch the scales – Try to slim down the body fat and maintain a healthy weight.. Talk to your doctor about losing weight if you are obese and find it difficult to lose the excess weight needed. Obesity and cardiovascular disease often come hand-in-hand, as excess weight places an extra burden on the heart. Think of it as an engine designed for a compact car. When the car turns into a truck, it will obviously get strained with every mile. Weighing more than 30 percent over your ideal weight can double your risk for developing heart disease.
Exercise regularly – Medical and fitness experts suggest at least a 40-minute exercise routine, three to four times a week. Start slowly if you are not used to exercising, then increase the tempo as your fitness improves. If you have any serious medical problems, or obese, you should consult a doctor first. try not to rush into a heavy exercise schedule, as this may just lead to complications.
Routine checkups – If needed, have your blood pressure checked regularly. If medication is needed to control high blood pressure, make sure you take the medication and follow any other suggestions given to you by your physician. You should also have your blood sugar levels check if you suspect you may have diabetes or if your family has a history of diabetes. People with a diabetes history are more prone to getting heart disease, and high blood pressure can be a major problem.
Stick to no one: Smoking has never been a healthy habit and it brings a lot of diseases, primarily cancer and heart illness. If you’re a smoker, learn how to stop it before it’s too late. For non-smokers, never give time to study how to puff a stick or two. Also, it’s better stay away from second hand smoking because it is dangerous too.
Reduce Stress: Recent studies suggest a relationship between the risk of cardiovascular disease and environmental and psychosocial factors. Among these factors are job strain, relationship issues and social isolation. In addition, acute and chronic stress may lead to a domino effect, affecting factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating. Try to consciously observe when you are getting stressed and take steps to relax yourself.
DANCE PAD – No, it’s not an intermission but a nifty way of recognizing early heart problems. It stands for Dyspnea (difficulty of breathing), Anxiety, Nausea, Crushing chest pain, Elevated temperature, Paleness, Arrhythmias (irregularities in heart beats) and Diaphoresis (profuse sweating). When it comes to DANCE PAD, don’t dance off the signs: consult an expert immediately.
Remember that in real life, you can’t mend a broken heart. So make sure you care for yours.

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Bauerfeind Back Supports

back pain is the the leading cause of job-related disability and the
most common contributor to missed work.  Eight out of ten people suffer
from back pain and Americans spend an average of $50 billion on this
ailment every year.  Wearing a brace is inexpensive way to provide
support and prevent injury.

There are a variety of back braces
out on the market today, however, none can match the engineering and
comfort of those made by Bauerfeind. 
They are an industry leader in medical supplies that help people live
active and fulfilling lives at any age.  Their back braces are designed
for maximum comfort and support and come in two models.

The LordoLoc
brace is engineered to stabilize the pelvis, spine and lower back
muscles to relieve stress and pain while eliminating muscle spasms. The
adjustable tension straps are made with Velcro and target areas that
need more compression.  Made of breathable elastic, this porous
material adapts to your body form to provide the highest level of
support while still remaining comfortable. 

For more specific lower back pain, the LumboTrain
brace is the perfect solution.  Meant to assist with for lumbar
syndrome, lumbago, muscular imbalance, and ligament degeneration this
brace uses the combination of support and viscoelastic massage pads to
relieve pain and ease tension.  This brace is made of lightweight knit
that does not roll or retain heat.  The silicone inserts adjust to your
body’s contours to support and stabilize your muscles.  The raised
nodules help increase circulation by providing light compression to
soft tissue. 

By Anonymous