What Is Spinal Decompression? Answers To Your Questions About Spinal Decompression

Modern lifestyles have been heavily blamed for a plethora of health complaints. One of these areas is the highivalence of back and neck pain which has pervaded society at an alarming rate. Due to the constant strain that contemporary lifestyle puts on our body, the American Chiropractors Association (ACA) has reported that one half of all working Americans complain about back pain every year and that this is one of the main reasons for missing work. If you are accounted for in these statistics, you might be looking for a solution to your back pain and spinal decompression, which has created a reprieve for many patients, could work for you. So, what is spinal decompression?

The Basics of Spinal Decompression
Simply put, this is a spinal disc rehabilitation technique used by chiropractors by utilizing FDA approved equipment and technology. This technique works by stretching the spine and relieving pressure on the spinal discs. The procedure can either be surgical or non-surgical and due to the effectiveness of non-surgical spinal decompression, this analysis will focus on the same. The technique works by unloading due to distraction and positioning which separates the spinal vertebrates from each other and create a vacuum effect, or negative intradiscal pressure, inside the disc that is being targeted.

The effect of this negative pressure is retraction of bulging or herniated discs, which cause much of the pain and irritation, into the main disc. This is what chiropractors aim to achieve during spinal decompression. The pain diagnosed in most of the lumbar region emanates from the pressure applied on the nerves in this region and when that is relieved, through sequential sessions over some time, you will feel better and your mobility will be greatly enhanced. Spinal decompression is also critical in preventing more oxygen into this region and this can eventually lead to healing of the degenerative discs.

How a Spinal Decompression Session is done
At this point, you might be wondering what will happen during this therapy. Many advances in medical technology have been made since the 1980s when the technology was first used. You will not need to undress and a pelvic harness will be fitted as well as a thoracic one across the chest before you lie on a table face down. The table is automatically controlled through an on-board computer which determines the angle and force of distraction. The table that enables the application of transaction force to the spinal disks which over time will induce the vacuum effect. Each session takes about 30-45 minutes though this can vary depending on your condition.

Now that you appreciate what spinal decompression is, the obvious question is whether you can benefit from this therapy option. A consultation with your doctor and chiropractor is essential before undergoing spinal decompression. Some of the conditions that might be improved upon include back and neck pain, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, worn spinal discs among others. However, if you have a fracture, tumor, mental implants or advanced osteoporosis you can not undergo spinal decompression due to the heath risks involved.

This is one of the safest and most convenient therapeutic solutions for your back pain and the fact that all the equipment is FDA approved makes it even more ideal. The cost is also lower than surgical procedures which might lead to complications around the highly sensitive spinal region.

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Top Back Pain Causes And How to Avoid Them

Are you that person, who can not enjoy your time due to never ending pain in your back? Maybe you are not aware of what caused the pain or how to avoid it. Back pain also known as dorsalgia, is a pain in the back that originates from nerves, muscles, joints, bones or other spine structures. Back pain is not a new phenomenon in the health circle and many are the times when people complain of this pain. This pain can be intermittent or constant, radiating to other areas of the body or staying in one place. Sometimes it can be acute, dull, sharp or a burning sensation.

With a back pain, there is no smooth sailing and it can dismantle all your day plans leaving you unable to your normal duties. This pain may affect your working ability by affecting your arms, hands, feet or legs making you unable to handle most effort needing duties. Anatomically, Dorsalgia is classified into middle back pain, tailbone pain, neck pain or neck pain. Let us now narrow down and look into those factors that may cause a back pain. These basic factors must be avoided your daily endeavors.

It is evident that back pain is triggered by everyday's activities, either at work or at home. Firstly, bending awkwardly can cause such pain.This is more often than not, one of the causes of such pain. It is inevitable to engage into activities that require us to bend. Definitely, we are at no position to avoid bending but we can ensure we do it cautiously to avoid any damages. Secondly, carrying, lifting, pulling or pushing incorrectly is another case for the pain. When you do the out activities without due care, you might frustrate your back and this may result in back pain.

Thirdly, bending or standing for long times can be a cause of such pain. This has an effect of causing strain in your Spine, which may trigger some acute pain in the back. It may also cause arm, neck or tailbone pain. Fourth on the list is over-stretching. Over-stretching may cause some intermittent pain on the back, which may be constant if not taken care of. Finally yet importantly, the pain can be caused by overuse of muscle, which can be caused by repetitive movements or sporting activities. So, in order to avoid it, you must keep on eye on your activities and make sure you do not overdo any sporting activities.

With the above causes, back pain can be eliminated by stimulating them and may leave you smiling and with energy to do your tasks efficiently.

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The Key To Lower Back Pain Relief

The quickest and easiest way to get lower back pain relief is to take a packet of Nurofen, or if the pain is breath-takingly excruciating, a packet of Oxycontin. This is the medical industry gold standard treatment for lower back pain.

Whilst a lot of doctors encourage people to take the drug route, and to be sure, if the pain is bad enough, it might be the only thing that brings sufficient relief to start getting on with life, it will be a tortuous route if it's the only one you take.

On the one hand lower back pain is not caused by a lack of Nurofen or Oxycontin. On the other hand taking a drug to mask the pain diverts people's attention away from doing what they really need to do to permanently treat their pain.

The medical industry logic goes like this; 'Take the tablet, pain goes away, problem fixed! Next! '

Well, it does not work that way. A problem masked is not a problem fixed. It's the great medical industry legerdemain. The pain in the foreground may have gone, but the problem that caused it is still lurking in the back ground, ready to flare up again at the slightest provocation.

Then there's the big worry. Not only does taking Oxycontin not treat the underlying cause of the pain, you could compound your problem with an opiate addiction problem.

But, turning attention away from the quick fix, the key to lower back pain relief comes in two parts.

First find out what's causing the pain.

No motor mechanic would stay in business for long if they did not know the cause of a particular problem. In fact motor mechanics are much better at diagnosing the causes of misalignment in various moving parts of motor cars than doctors, radiologists and surgeons are at diagnosing the causes of misalignment in the moving parts of human bodies.

In the sit down society the cause of the problem is rarely at the site where it's painful. So rubbing, crunching, heating and vibrating the bones in your lower back will not do much to fix the undering cause of the pain.

It's highly likely that the cause of your lower back pain comes from a pelvis that's been drawn out of alignment. Once the pelvis moves out of alignment the bones above it are drawn out of alignment as well, stretching ligaments, tendons and muscles beyond their pain threshold and causing discs to herniate.

You think there's something wrong with your lower back, which there is unduly absent, but the cause usually lies in weak and tight muscles attached to your pelvis – front, back and sides.

Tight muscles have taken the pelvis out of alignment. Weak muscles have fallen down on the critical job of giving support to its structural alignment.

Which brings us to the second key to lower back pain relief, which is, to start doing the strength and flexibility exercises designed to support the bones through your body, and particularly your pelvis, in better alignment.

Loosening tight muscles can be done with a range of exercises, some of which, like 'static back' and the 'supine groin stretch', require absolutely no effort at all. All you have to do is lie on the floor for an hour each night while you watch TV and let gravity do the work for you.

Most of the other exercises you need to do do not take much effort either, exercises like the 'hip crossover', the 'wall sit', the 'sit up straight' buttock stretch and the 'prone frog'.

So how long each day do you need to spend waiting for pain relief to kick in?

I'd say that if you spent a couple of hours a night on the stretching program and if you went to the gym three times a week to do a good set of strength exercises, in a couple of months you should be feeling a whole lot better.

Most people say they do not have two hours a day to spend on an exercise program, yet the average American spends well over three hours a day watching TV. You can do your exercises while watching your favorite programs. It's called multi-tasking and it's not all that difficult.

Large number of people have been conned into believing they can not fix themselves, so they put themselves in the hands of the rubbing and crunching industries. It does not work that way either. Sooner or later you have to do something to yourself.

So, if you knuckle down, buckle up and spend a couple of hours each day, on the floor while you're watching TV or reading a book, letting gravity and your own muscles do the work, then in 10 years time youll be able to look back and say you've been pain free for the last 9 years and 10 months.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and remember, I can give you the exercises but I can not do them for you.

John Miller

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Yoga – 3 Easy Poses to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Sciatica pain anyone? If so, I can refer, ouch! For those of you who are unsure exactly what Sciatica pain is, it is usually described as a pinched, compressed or irritated nerve at the base of the spinal that causes pain in the low back, buttocks, hip and continuing down the leg through the thigh and in some cases all the way down to the foot. No matter if you have one of these symptoms or all of them, it is painful, irritating and can often hinder daily activities and disrupt sleep.

So what can you do? That's an easy one, Yoga. Of course not all posts are recommended if you're having sciatica pain, but there are several you can choose from depending on your level of pain. Personally I have found 3 posts that work without fail for me and I can practice them no matter the level of pain I'm experiencing and still find relief.

3 Easy Yoga Poses for Sciatica Pain Relief

  1. Extended Child's Pose – Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heads. If this is painful, sit on a pillow between your legs and bottom to modify. Slowly bend at the waist, extend your arms out in front of you sliding down until you can rest your forehead on the floor. Do not forget to breath long slow inhales and exhales. Breath into where your pain is and concentrate on relaxing all of the muscles in the back and shoulders.
  2. Downward Facing Dog – Start this position on the floor on both your hands and knees. Tuck your toes and slowly lift your knees off the floor and keeping your hands where they are. Slowly lift into a pike position making sure your ears are even with your elbows and lift your hips towards the ceiling. You can deepen into this position by slightly moving forward and then pushing back to deepen the stretch. Stretch only to the point that is comfortable for you and not painful. Again breathe into where your pain is and concentrate on relaxing all your muscles into the pose.
  3. Sage's Pose – Start sitting on the floor with your legs together and straight out in front of you, feet flexed. Cross your left leg over your right knee and place your foot on the opposite side of your right leg. Take your right arm and twist towards your left knee. Breathing in, turn back towards the front, exhale twisting to the left again. Work a few minutes on twisting into the pose with each breath. Then switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.

It is important to remember that all of these posts need to remain comfortable for you and modify when necessary. Practicing these poses a couple of days can relieve pain and in some cases eliminate sciatica pain completely. If you are interested in other pain relieving poses please click here . Sciatica pain is a symptom of another problem I would recommend that you seek medical advice to determine the source of your pain.

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Back-To-School Safety: 4 Tips Every Parent Needs To Know

It's that time again. No, I'm not referring to those pre-dawn wake-up calls, rushing your kids to school on time, or shopping for school supplies. I'm referring to the time your kids complain about their backs hurting again. Unfortunately, your child's time in school, when you can not observe, is likely injuring his or her back. Children attending school frequently suffer from back and neck pain. In fact, injuries related to backpack use have approximately 300% in the past 10 years. And, children with back pain are proven to have a higher likelihood of developing back pain as an adult. The good news: there are easy steps to ensure your child does not hurt his or her back during their school day.

Step 1: Ensure your child is wearing a proper backpack

Your child's backpack should not be larger than your child's torso; the width and length of the backpack should not exceed the size of your child's back. Specifically, a backpack should not hang lower than 4 inches below his / her waist or extend beyond the width of his / her shoulders. In addition, the backpack should have two, padded straps that allow the backpack to fit properly in the center of his / her back.

Step 2: Make sure your child carries less than 10% of his or her bodyweight in a backpack

Children are likely to suffer from upper and mid back pain if they repeatly carry greater than 10% of their body weight in backpacks over their shoulders. There is a correlation between backpack weight (greater than 10%) and an increase in missed school days. And, as mentioned, children with back pain are more likely to develop back pain as an adult. Luckily, there is an easy solution: keep less than 10% of your child's bodyweight in the backpack!

Step 3: Carry backpack loads correctly

Evidence shows that there is a particular way to carry objects in your backpack based on the environment in which you are walking. If you are walking over “rough ground,” you should carry the load of your backpack at the very bottom of the pack. If you are walking over “smooth ground,” carry the load high in your pack. The different walking environments produce varying pressures on the body. Placing the loads to accommodate the terrain can prevent back problems. Obviously, your child is walking over “smooth ground” at school, so keep the loads high in the backpack. And, do not forget to keep the larger, heavier objects closest to your child's body.

Step 4: Sit Properly

Believe it or not, the perfect separated position is one that changes. There is no ideal seated position, because it is the act of sitting that is inherently bad. However, your child is most likely not allowed to get up and move around, while sitting in class. In this situation, there is a way to sit that will do the least amount of harm. To clarify, this advice applies to the person who is not able to stand up and stretch for a break break. In this instance, the perfect seated position involves having perfect posture. Perfect post starts with your child keeping a balanced head. A balanced head is in neutral position, meaning it's not too far forward or backward. Neutral position involves a slight chin tuck-almost as if you are on the verge of a double-chin, but not as extreme.

The back is erect with the shoulders folded back, hips are moved back at 90 degrees (avoiding a “C-shaped” hump in the low back), feet are flat on the floor, shoulders are not shriggged, elbows are at 90 degrees and wrists are not bent. If your child is not working at a computer, you need not worry about your elbows and wrists. It is critical to prevent slouching.

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Healing Lower Back Pain

Over the next few paragraphs, you are going to learn what causes lower back pain and more importantly, how to begin long-term healing. It is going to sound very simple, but I assure you that it is also extremely effective.

Millions of people suffer with lower back pain everyday. There are many reasons for this, but no matter what has caused it, there are always a few things that are present. There is always:

  • excess fluid around the cells
  • lack of oxygen
  • the hips are out of place

You are probably asking yourself how you can heal from your lower back pain. Before explaining how, it is important to explain why the technique will work, and why it is so effective.

Just as there are many causes for why people have lower back pain, there are also many types of treatments, but for a treatment to have positive results, there are certain things that must take place. In order to remove the pain, one must first remove the cause of the pain, which is lack of oxygen. So how do you get oxygen to the cells. In order for the oxygen to really get to the cells you must remove the excess fluid around the cells that is impeding the oxygen to get to the cells, which brings us to another question. How do you remove the excess fluid from around the cells? The answer is by activating the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing all dead cells, poisons, and excess fluid from around the cells, and is critical for our health and well-being. Without it, we would be dead within 24 hours. So how do you activate the lymphatic system? There are several actions that activate the lymphatic system, including:

  • deep breathing
  • bouncing
  • compressing tissues
  • energy

Sometimes it is good to apply more than one of these methods at the same time, but a method that seems to work every time to relate lower back pain, get oxygen to the cells, and put hips in place is done by doing the following:

  1. place the hands on the back, with the thumbs facing outward
  2. stroke down the right side with the left hand in place 7 to 10 times
  3. stroke down the left side with the right hand in place 7 to 10 times
  4. stroke down the middle with both hands 7 to 10 times

Whether you start with right or left does not matter, but you should stroke both sides, as well as down the middle, equally. This will begin the process and generally will hold the hips in place for about 5 minutes. In order for healing to take place, one must be consistent, and it is recommended that you do this at least every 5 minutes for the first half hour and every half hour for the rest of the day. You can not do this too often, and generally for healing, more is better. Yes, it takes consistency, but the healing is worth it. There is a reason that being consistent is important, but it would take quite a long time to explain. To summarize, if one is not consistent, the problem and the pain will return. There is a point however, where healing takes place, and from that point forward one should only improve. This is where the real long-term healing can take place.

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How To Rehab A Bulging Disc To Relieve Back Pain

When you are young and flexible, you usually do not think twice about back pain. But after a few years, it's very likely that you will feel a twinge once in a while. There is a lot of gravity pulling the spine down over the years, and the disks tend to collapse leaving the vertebrae rubbing against one another. After a while, the twinge may turn into real pain, sometimes in the back but sometimes down the leg. When there's a bulging disc, it can press on a nerve and cause sciatic pain that can be excruciating. A bulging disc occurs when one of the disks between your vertebrae develops a weak spot and pops out.

This article will give you the information you need to help you decide how to take care of your spinal problems. Sometimes you need surgery, but that is generally a last resort. It is also possible that you just need a bit of physical therapy or chiropractic care to realign the vertebrae so that the disks do not bulge anymore. That will take the pressure off the nerve so that your pain gets better. Doctors and therapists will teach you how to exercise and carry yourself so that you stay in good health over time.

Depending on the location of your protruding disc, it can cause significantly more than just pain. In the lower back it may cause leg and hip pain as well as urinary and bowel incontinence. Many people who have a bulging disc may not even know it as long as the bulging area does not press on any surrounding tissue. About ninety percent of bulging discs are in the lower back which is the lumbar area of ​​the spell.

If it is in the upper back, the pain will radiate from the neck down the arms and into the fingers. It's important that you go and see a doctor if you experience symptoms so that you can be properly diagnosed.

Are you having pain in your back? Has the pain become? Does it show no signs of getting better? If this sounds like you, you might have a bulging or herniated spinal disc in your back. Or the injury may be related to muscle strain or tearing. This kind of condition is not usually a huge problem unless it is left untreated. If you do not address the cause of the problem it is going to recur and get worn over time.

If you do not go through the processes necessary to allow the bulge to heal the result may be your only option is surgery.

Once an injured spinal disc has been resolved there are numerous factors to remember and practice. Good posture while sitting, standing or walking is critical. It is important to avoid high heels whenever there is a chance you may be standing for extended periods of time. Bending to lift something requires thought, squatting, and lifting with your back straight. Finally, carry any heavy object close to your body.

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Really Effective Ways to Relieve Back Problems

There is nothing quite as annoying or frustrating than an achy back. It can make simple tasks like sitting in a chair or standing unbearable and painful. While a lot of people rely on medications in order to tie back pain, there are more natural ways to do so. The most effective methods are based on preventive measures as opposed to strict pain relief.

Hand Massages

Oftentimes back pain occurs because the muscles are tight and have no way to release this tension. Hand massages administered by registered massage therapists can help to alleviate tension and bring on more relaxation. A good therapist should be able to pinpoint the areas that are the most tight.

Core Exercises

When people have back problems, they are often attributed to weak core muscles. As a way to compensate for this, it is a good idea to do exercises that work the abdominal regions. The stronger one's core becomes, the less he or she has to work the back muscles.

Massage Chairs

There are times when the back needs relief, even when an individual is sitting down. A good massage chair should be able to release tension while a person is watching television or just relaxing. The more a back is worked and massaged, the better it will feel in the long run.

Stretching and Yoga

Instead of strictly targeting the back, it is a good idea to work on strength in the entire body. Stretching helps to elongate the muscles so that they are less constricted. Yoga focuses on connecting the muscles so that the back and the areas surrounding it remain strong and flexible. The more exercises an individual does, the less pain he or she will feel in the back regions.

Pain Relief Supplements

There are times when the pain is so severe that some medical relief is necessary. Instead of taking traditional pain killers, a person should consider supplements and vitamins. Advances in the supplementary industry have allowed for all natural pills that effectively treat pain. A few capsules can make the pain bearable so that an individual can continue to live his or her life effectively.

There is no reason why a person has to be defined and constracted by his or her back pain. There are natural ways to find relief in the form of exercises, massages, and supplements. Attending to your back will ensure that pain decreases while strength and endurance increases.

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The Truth About What Causes Lower Back Pain

When it comes to the causes of lower back pain, one of the first things to keep in mind is that in most cases you're dealing with a fitness problem, not a medical problem.

If you've got lower back pain it's highly likely it's caused by a lack of strength and flexibility. Weak and tight muscles have allowed bones to move out of alignment, putting pressure on ligaments, tensions, muscles, discs and joints.

The medical industry writes prescriptions because it does not have a clue what causes lower back pain. Rarely will a doctor check to see how strong and flexible you are, test wherever your body is out of alignment or prescribe a set of strength and flexibility exercises that will get you back in better alignment.

You are probably aware that back pain is not caused by a lack of Celebrex and yet for millions of people that's all they end up with after a visit to their doctor. This is junk medicine, dedicated to symptom masking not the restoration of poor function to good.

You may be given the only exercise they teach in medical school – bringing your knee up to your chest. It may provide temporary relief but will not fix the underlying causes of the problem.

You need a different technology, a fitness-based technology.

Question: what's the underlying problem?

Answer: bones that are out of alignment.

Question: what causes bones to move out of alignment?

Answer: weak and tight muscles somewhere in your body.

Question: which muscles are weak?

Answer: probably most of the muscles in your body. If you do not have a regular and systematic strength training program, gradually muscles become weaker and can not support the body in correct alignment. Certainly you need to strengthen trunk muscles – front, back and core, but your best bet is to embark on a good, general, all-round strength training program for your body – at home and at the gym.

What about tight muscles? When muscles become tight they pull bones out of alignment. That's the bad news. The good news is that once you loosen the tight muscles there's a good chance the bones will move back into alignment.

Question: which muscles need loosing off?

Answer: any muscles attached to your pelvis and lumber vertebrae, but particularly hamstring, buttock and hip flexor muscles. These are the muscles most likely to move your pelvis out of alignment. When that happens the bones above it move out of alignment. The symptom, back pain.

What you've got to do is focus on raising the undering cause not the symptom.

The musculo-skeletal ecosystem

If you treat your body as a musculo-skeletal ecosystem and start loosing the tight muscles and strengthening the weak muscles, typically over the days, weeks and months you'll move bones back into better alignment. As you become stronger you'll be able to support your body in better alignment.

This is the real primary health care for joint and muscle pain. Any other therapy is complementary to this process, whether it be rubbing, crunching, heating, vibrating or doping.

In a nutshell, if you start doing the strength and flexibility exercises you need to do to get your bones back in better alignment, there's a good chance your pain will go away. Doing nothing is not an option. Neither is simply masking the pain. You want to get better, not worse.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if you're experimenting joint and muscles pain, start doing the exercises.

Regards and best desires for a pain free life

John Miller

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Improve Your Health – Don’t Sit All Day, Stand Instead!

Do you sit at a computer for several hours a day? Are you forced to work on a computer for long periods of work? If so, you may be suffering adverse health effects from sitting down for so long.

Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time is no good for our health. There are many health issues that can crop up because of staying closed for a long time. These include neck and back issues because the neck compresses more while sitting. Other issues inclue increased risk of diabetes, distal colon cancer and rectal cancer.

On top of that standing up is simply good for us. Humans were not meant to remain sedentary for very long periods of time. Our bodies are in an unnatural state while sitting in a chair, despite how relaxing or good it may feel at the time. It's good for us to get up, stand up, walk around or do some light exercises every once in a while.

Take away the fact that eye strain is another issue that people who stare at computer screens for a long time typically develop, but taking a break from the computer is a very good thing.

Add to that the fact that if we are merly stand up while working on our computers, we can burn more calories while counteracting the negative effects of sitting all day. Some estimates say that you can burn up to 50 calories an hour while working at a stand-up desk. That may sound insignificant, but over the course of 6 hours you could burn 300 calories.

Sitting for a long time can also lead to heart disease and other issues. Standing while working solves many of these problems while at the same time making you more healthy, can help burn calories, and help you feel more positive about yourself.

If making the switch to a stand-up desk there are some important things to keep in mind. Do not try to stand up all day long right off the bat; work up to it. Start by standing for 15 to 30 minutes at a stretch. Build up to an hour, then longer and longer. The important thing is to just start doing it.

And really, you do not want to stand all day long either. That can lead to other adverse effects like foot and ankle problems. In life moderation is usually the key to just about everything. If you can build up to standing for 4-6 hours of your workday, you'd be doing great!

Remember too that doing some light exercises while working would be good to do. You can incorporate little things through your day. For instance, if you're on the phone and can not do anything else anyway, why not move around, pace, or even dance a little bit. You could take a quick break to do a few situps or pushups. Instead of instant messaging or emailing a co-worker, walk over to their desk. After all, it's nice to chat face-to-face and many of us are losing the art of talking to people IRL (in real life); if you can get healthy while improving your workplace, then you can kill two birds with one stone!

Many companies offer adjustable height desks. These are desks that can be raised or lowered depending on if you want to stand or sit. Other desks are permanently built to be stand at. We recommend getting an adjustable version so you do not always have to stand. An alternative would be to simply build your own temporary stand-up desk using a few cardboard boxes you may have laying around. Just remember that you'll want to have the display at eye level and the keyboard and mouse at about stomach level. This may require boxes at different heights. Using laptops like this is a bit tricky, but you could always use a second display or a second keyboard.

In the end, it's all about your health and living a good, long, healthy life. If by simply standing up while working you can greatly improve things, why not?

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Prevent Back Pain In Children With The Right Backpack

Back-to-school shopping rings with it the search for the perfect backpack. This year, place the emphasis on ergonomics when weighing your options.

Back pain may not seem like a big concern for kids, but their postural habits and body mechanisms when young can lead to pain both in the present and future. According to Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, 10-30% of children and teens experience back pain. If you've ever walked down a crowded school hallway or seen children get off the bus, you know that backpack design and use is a prevalent cause.

The first step to preventing backpack-related pain in your child is to look for an ergonomically-designed bag. This does not have to be a $ 150 purchase; any pack with the following features may be considered ergonomic:

Wide, padded shoulder straps: This feature prevails straps from digging into your child's shoulders while spreading the weight of the bag's contents over a wider area. A U-shaped connection at the top of the straps is a bonus feature, as it further reduces strain on the child's shoulders and neck.

Padded back : This novels book corners and other objects from stabbing the child's spine and back muscles. This stabing can not only lead to bruises but can also cause the child to shift and jerk the weight of the bag around repeatedly, risking strain to the muscles.

Compartments : A bag with compartments allows for organization and stability. It is best to keep heavy items at the bottom of the bag and close to the child's back; the hips will carry the weight, relieving strain from the back.

Adjustable straps: This allows the bag to be held at the proper height and, therefore, the contents to be kept close to the child's center of gravity. Bags that sag below a child's hips cause the spine to arch backwards and the muscles of the back and shoulders to work overtime trying to support the weight and stabilize the load.

Range of sizes: Adjustable straps will not compensate for a bag that is just too big for your child's torso. To find out what dimensions are right for your child's body, see the guide at http://ergonomics.about.com/od/ergonomicsforchildren/ss/cbpfitguide.htm .

Waist and / or chest straps : These features stabilize the shoulder straps and hold the bag snugly against the child's body.

Check out the preschool backpack at http://www.amazon.com/O3-Pre-School-Backpacks-Integrated-Cooler/dp/B007AAMXTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1344788160&sr=1-1&keywords=ergonomic for an example of an ergonomically-designed backpack.

Getting the right backpack is half the battle; the other half is including it's used properly. Talk to your child about the importance of using both shoulder straps and not overloading the backpack. For young kids, it is best to load the bag for them, at least at first, showing them the best places to put certain items. Check the bag frequently to see that your child is packing it correctly.

It is also important to know your child's weight and the weight of the bag. The American Chiropractic Association states that a child should carry no more than 10% of his or her body weight in a backpack; other organizations cap it at 15%. If your child's bag continuously weighs more than that, it might be time to contact the school about providing lockers or allowing more time for your child to drop things off in it.

Set your child up for back health early on. Education and ergonomics help kids grow up pain-free.

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How to Choose the Right Backrest for Your Office Chair

You have come to the realization that it is time to purchase a new office chair, but with the large variety of options available it can become overwhelming to determine which chair will work best for you. Although it may seem like a simple purchase to make, there are many components on an office chair that should be considered prior to purchasing. The four main parts of an office chair are the seat, the armrests, the mechanism, and the backrest. All of these parts combined can lead to a healthy and comfortable sitting experience, but if one is overlooked or ignored it can also lead to pain and discomfort. Perhaps the one part of an office chair that is most often overlooked is the backrest.

A good backrest will provide the support needed to keep you sitting comfortably for extended periods of time. When determining which backrest is best suited for you it is important to keep a few things in mind. The first aspect to consider is if you have any prior medical conditions that affect how you sit through the work day. Many workers in the United States have sat in a cheap office chair that does not properly fit them for most of their careers which inadvertently leads to experiencing back pain and aches throughout the work day. Others have suffered from injuries or accidents that also affect their seating experience. Luckily, with the vast assortment of ergonomic chairs available there are may different models and designs specifically tailored for all different types of injuries and back pains.

For those that suffer from lower back pain, it is best to find a backrest that is going to provide lumbar support. The most common type of lumbar support found on many different office chair models is a contoured backrest. The back forms an “S” shape which molds to the natural shape of the spine. It is crucial to find a backrest that can be adjusted in height in order to properly position the lumbar support to meet your body's specific needs. Another unique option that is available for lower back pain sufferers is an inflatable lumbar support, which is a small air pump inserted into the lower part of the backrest that can be inflated or deflated depending on the level of support that is needed. This option is available in high-end ergonomic chairs .

For those that suffer from upper back pain and shoulder pain it is advisable to find a backrest that is going to provide full back support. An office chair that is considered to have a high back will support both the upper back and shoulders. Chairs that are deemed to have a mid back or low back are a good option for those that do not suffer from upper back pain but should be avoided by those that do. Another option for those that need extra neck support and like to lean back in their chairs is a headrest.

Whether you suffer from upper back pain, lower back pain, or no back pain at all, the backrest is one of the most important aspects of any office chair and should be taken into consideration when searching for your next new office chair.

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Sciatica, Sciatica Pain And Its Management

It is important for a person to understand about physical changes that they are experiencing. There is chance that one may experience pinching and irritation at their lower back proportion, legs and toes. The reason behind this is compression of the sciatica nerve. Sciatica is the largest and longest nerve in human anatomy. It is good to have knowledge on sciatica pain management techniques to stay away from the severe and acute pain it causes. To understand this one must be in a position to learn the different symptoms, causes and reasons for its occurrence.

Sciatica pain management will help a person overcome the situation of acute pain. Provided below are few of the common symptoms that may point at the presence of sciatica in a person.

1. Pain in rear lower portion of the back. This is elevated during sitting and becomes worse.
2. Tingling sensation, pins and needles sensation, burning and irritation in legs and toes.
3. Weakness and numbness. Makes it difficult to move legs freely.
4. Constant pain experienced in the rear end to one side.
5. The pain is shooting and searing.

Depending on the symptoms one will be in a position to understand the origin of the source for sciatica. Sciatica pain is devastating and upsets normal life. Understanding the origination will be helpful in appreciating it with proper medication and exercises. There are different exercises which target at different muscles depending on the root cause of the ailment. For some people, the pain is temporary and irritating. This can be due to stress developed in the muscles and can be easily cured with right kind of exercises. Due to this sole reason, all the exercises are tailor made and provided by experienced spinal therapist who has gained good expertise over the years.

The main source for sciatica pain is compression of nerve roots present at the end of the spinal canal. If the pain does not subdue with regular exercises and medication, one will have to look for surgical treatment to overcome the situation. Exercises prescribed target at improvement in strength and flexibility in the affected region. This will help reduce sciatica in few weeks or months that include constant sessions with the therapist. Overweight is another factor that adds to the ailment. Maintaining good health is the key and plays a vital role in preventing occurrence of sciatica. Pain management will be helpful to follow a schedule of exercises that prevent sciatica.

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Cervical Disc Replacement: Risks and Benefits

People who have tried and failed conventional non-surgical treatments such as exercise, anti-inflammatory medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, etc. to tie their neck pain can benefit from cervical disc replacement surgery.

Discs in the entire spinal column, which are 23 in total, 6 of which are cervical discs, act as cushions or shock absorbers between the bones (vertebrae) of the spell. These discs may deteriorate due to cervical disc diseases like failed cervical fusion and degenerative disorders in the cervical, which can cause neck pain, arm pain, arm weakness or numbness.

When non-operative methods like physical therapy and drugs fail to provide back or neck pain relief, patients suffering from neck (cervical) disc disease often turn to replacement surgery as a last resort.

The Surgical Overview
Cervical disc replacement involves inserting an artificial disc in the space between two vertebrae (spinal bones) to replace the painful, diseased or damaged disc while keeping your normal neck motion. The artificial disc mimics the function of a natural spinal disc.

In the surgery, the damaged disc is completely removed including any impinging disc fragments or osteophytes (bone spurs) and the disc space is returned to the height it was prior to disease.

The cervical disc (s) may degenerate or damage as a result of direct trauma, arthritis, gradual changes or an unknown cause, leading to neck pain from inflammation or muscle spasm and severe pain, weakness and numbness in the arms from pressure on the cervical nerve roots.

Surgical replacement of a disc with an artificial device is a relatively new procedure. The first replacement surgery for the low back (lumbar spinal) was approved by America's Food and Drug Administration in June 2004 for use in the country.

As a matter of fact, disc replacement surgery is not a procedure suitable for everyone. Patients with brittle bones from osteoporosis or other significant diseases may not be good candidates for this type of surgery. Problems like infection or sever degeneration of the spinal joints may also keep a patient from having this operation.

Potential Risks and Complications
As with any spinal surgery, cervical disc replacement surgery is not without risk. A variety of complications with an artificial disc may occur, either alone or in combination. Although rare, but these complications can be severe.

The potential surgical complications may include:

Wound infection
Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
Spinal fluid leak
Blood loss
Nerve injury or paralysis
Need for further surgery
Injury to the spine's nerve tissue and veins, and arms near the spine
The injured spinal cord or the nerves can result in injury or complete paralysis of all four limbs.
Paralysis of certain muscles in the arms or legs may also occur following the injury to the nerves.
Inability to resume routine activities, including sexual activity, following the surgery.


Normal neck motion can be maintained
The artificial disc absorbs some of the daily stresses of the neck.
The procedure eliminates the need for a complex and painful bone graft, which can be difficult to heal and has a risk of an infection transmission from grafting material.
Following cervical disc replacement, the adjacent spinal discs do not have to bear the extra stress (versus a fusion procedure).
The artificial disc surgery patients recover more quickly than the spinal fusion patients.
The surgery has fewer chances of requiring a revision surgical procedure.
The chances of device failures (breakages) are significantly less.
Lesser number of cervical disc replacement patients need a hard collar surgery.
Since the healing time from a cervical disc replacement is quicker, the patient is able to return to almost every type of activities faster.

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Chiropractic Very Effective For Back Pain

Low Back Pain is a common condition that can be very challenging to treat. It affects almost everyone in their life time. Chiropractic is an excellent safe and natural form of treatment for low back pain. Several research studies indicate that chiropractic is one of the most cost effective and quickest methods of treatment for this condition. Chiropractors perform specific hands on manipulation of the spine and other joints in the body to help correct alignment and restore normal function in the body. Chiropractic is often recommended as the treatment of choice before resorting to more invasive methods such as drugs and surgery.

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed days of work. It is the second most common reason for a visit to the doctor's office next to an upper respiratory infection. There are multiple causes for it. The back is very complex and is made up of various structures including ligaments, muscles, nerves, bones and joints. Any of these structures can be injured resulting in back pain. Injuries may include a strained muscle, bulging disc or pinched nerve to name a few.

Traumatic accidents such as an auto injury or fall commonly result in injury to the back. Poor ergonomics or bad post habits are a more common reason for it. These bad habits can result in degenerative changes in the spine over time. Once these changes occur, even the simplest movements such as picking up a pen may result in pain in the back.

These changes do not usually happen over night, but take years to develop. Emotional stress and obesity can also result in back pain. Extra weight around the abdomen pulls on the spine and can affect the structures in the back. Smoking is also associated with problems in the back because it causes decreed circulation to the tissues of the back. Internal organ diseases can cause referred pain in the back.

Chiropractic treatments to the spine are effective in relieving back pain quickly. Joint manipulation has consistently demonstrated to be effective in helping treat pain. The chiropractor may also recommend therapy modalities such as ice, electric stimulation or cold laser therapy to help healed injured soft tissue in the low back. Chiropractors also provide instruction for proper ergonomics, posture and daily activity modification to help prevent further injury. They can also recommend specific therapeutic exercises and stretches to help the low back.

Chiropractors look at the body as a whole rather than just treating the area of ​​symptoms. This is important because a problem in one area of ​​the body can result in problems to other areas of the body. This is called the domino effect. For example, a fallen arch in the foot or a knee problem can affect your gait and cause compensations in other areas of the body resulting in low back pain. Chiropractors have used spinal manipulation for over one hundred years to treat back pain. It is becoming more accepted in the medical community as an effective form of healthcare.

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