Do you ever find that sitting at your desk all day can be really taxing on your body? Below are some stretches you can do whilst at your desk to help reduce pain and discomfort. Why not get the whole office involved!
Carrying a bag around on a daily basis is essential for most, particularly as a convenient means to hold many items. Whether it be your gym bag, computer bag, briefcase, tote, or handbag, these necessities may be contributing to your physical pain.
Even your wallet can be causing you pain!
When carrying your bad for long periods of time, move your bag from shoulder to shoulder. This will avoid one shoulder having to strain itself the entire time. Depending on the bag you are using, you may be able to sit the strap diagonally across your body, which would also be ideal to avoid straining one shoulder over the other.
Avoid Thin Straps
A thicker strap distributes the weight of the bag evenly over your shoulder. Thin straps or 'chain' handles are likely to dig in to your shoulder, causing pain and irritation.
Using a smaller bag limits the amount of objects you can fit. This is more desirable than carrying a larger bag, which can fit more, resulting in a much heavier bag. You may even consider using a clutch which will allow minimal objects. Just be mindful that you should alternate hands used to carry it.
Consider Other Bag Styles
Different decorations or fabrics can add to the weight of your bag. Consider shopping around for a bag that feels lighter in weight. It's also important to consider the placement of inner compartments. If they are distributed evenly around the bag, this will avoid one heavy load.
Consider A Backpack
A backpack, or a bag with evenly distributed straps, is always preferable to avoid straining one side of your body. In saying that, it is also important that backpacks are worn appropriately. Using both straps, keep the back of the backpack against your back. When packing your backpack, heavier items should be placed so that they are closest to your back when wearing your bag. Don't let the backpack fall loose, so it ends up hanging toward your bottom.
These tips are also important to consider with your children's schoolbags. Click here to discover more about the effects your child may be experiencing as a result of a heavy or inappropriately worn schoolbag. You may also find some useful information for yourself.
Empty Your Bag Regularly
Clean out your bag on a regular basis, and only leave items in your bag that you need for the day, as opposed to carrying around extra items that do nothing but add to the weight of your bag. If you require many items or heavy items, and cleaning out your bag doesn't help, perhaps consider investing in a carry bag with wheels.
When carrying a bag, never use the crook of your arms! If you're resting your bag strap over your shoulder, do not ever raise your shoulder to accommodate slipping straps. You may wish to consider using your hands to hold your bag, being sure to alternate between hands regularly.
As mentioned earlier, aches and pains from carrying around a bag can be felt throughout the body in various ways.
In addition to the solutions provided above, visiting your Myotherapist can also help alleviate some of the unpleasant symptoms experienced with carting around your belongings all day.
But don't give up hope! There are a number of strategies to look out for to determine if you have poor posture, and many helpful tips on how to correct it.
To make it easier for you, we have compiled a detailed, easy to refer to guide with all the information you need to know.
Click here to find out more about what you can do to help your posture, which leads into many other natural health benefits.
So why not do the same with your body? Your body cannot be replaced, but can certainly be maintained and improved for optimal wellbeing and health. Regular maintenance with your Myotherapist can give you better quality of life and long term pain relief. If left untreated for long enough, you'll be burdened with significant pain, restriction, loss of muscle tone, stiffness, sleepless nights, and eventually increased costs associated with a poorly maintained body. This can be avoided by having regular treatments with your Myotherapist which is not a luxury but a necessity of LIFE.
Your Myotherapist can decrease the pressure in your muscles and loosen those stiff joints that can cause debilitating pain such as arthritis and many more.
Why not not call your body mechanic (myotherapist) now for a service and reap in ALL the benefits today.
As our society advances, so does our understanding of health care and the human body. It is for this reason that many people have now turned to a more holistic and preventative approach to their health, such as Myotherapy. Rather than taking medication that will only help once your health is already compromised. Myotherapy can be used to prevent injuries to the body, and aid the body to recover on its own.
Myotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of disorders including:
A lot of the time, people are only aware of a problem with their body once they are already in pain. Regular myotherapy visits can help reduce the cause of muscle pain, tension and even injuries before they become problematic.
By targeting trigger points in the body your myotherapist can release pain and tension.
Trigger points are generalised as the irritability in muscles and their associated fascia. Trigger points are activated directly by overloading the muscle, overworking, fatigue and direct trauma. Myofascial trigger points can create different types of pain. It could be knife-like or stabbing, dull and achy, burning, numb or even tingly.
Trigger point pain can include headaches that are often diagnosed as tension, sinus or migraine, neck pain that radiates into the arm and forearm and into the lower back, thigh and leg.
Not only can a myotherapist treat you during a consultation, they can also teach you and show you many techniques to promote wellbeing and allow you to help yourself and strengthen your own body against illness and injury.
Click here to book and see for yourself.
Treatment for Lower Back Pain Often pain medication is the first option people think about when treating back pain to get quick relief. This may be fine for short term, however until the cause is addressed and treated, the symptoms will continue to appear.
There are many different options for treating back pain, and depending on the cause, a combination of different therapies may be required. Since everybody is different, what works for one person may not work for the next, so it is important to find what works for you.
Trigger Points in Lower Back
Myotherapy is extremely helpful in reducing pain and tension through the body, as when muscles are tight, they can affect posture, and therefore tension throughout the whole body. Tightness through the psoas, quads, rectus abdominus, gluts and diaphragm tend to be muscles that are neglected in treating lower back pain. Working through these soft tissues with your Myotherapy can bring about great results, even after one session.
Risk factors for developing lower back pain
There are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing back pain, or aggravate it once you have it, including:
Self Care for Lower Back Pain If you are suffering lower back pain, these are some of the things that your myotherapist can recommend to you to help, it if you can’t see a Health Professional straight away.
Call your doctor if:
Preventing Lower Back Pain
It is good to take note of what you have been doing (or not doing!) that affects your back pain. Some ways to prevent lower back pain include:
Lower back pain does not have to take over your life. In many cases, there are ways to get the help and support you need, if you choose to find it. If you are suffering from lower back pain, why not try Myotherapy and see for yourself how it can help you. You can make a booking online or you can call us on 9440 9453.
If you are experiencing lower back pain, you are not alone…
Did you know that 80% of people over the age of 35 experience lower back pain at some point in their lives? And 1 in 4 people will be suffering from it right now…
There is also a link between chronic pain and depression, and they commonly occur together. Depression is often associated with decreased function due to chronic pain, as people are unable to do the many things they would normally have been able to do without pain.
Back pain can refer to both upper and lower back pain. Upper back pain affects the mechanics of the lower back, so sometimes they will co-exist. This blog will focus on lower back pain.
What is Lower Back Pain?
Acute Back Pain vs Chronic Back Pain
Lower back pain can be experienced as pain or tension around the lower back area (lumbar spine) and can affect the spine, joints, ligaments and muscles as well as nerves.
Commonly, the muscles that are responsible for creating pain in the lower back area, include:
Fascia connects via Myofascial Lines or “Fascial Trains”, whereby muscle fibres that run the same direction connect via the fascia. Looking at the picture of the Superficial Back Line (one of 12 different Myofascial Lines”), you can see that fascia connects your head to your toes – literally! Fascial line tightness can contract not only the fascia covering the muscle, but can contract a whole line of fascia, creating overall tightness throughout the body, which creates musculoskeletal imbalances.
The thoracolumbar fascia is a diamond shape of connective tissue that is located directly over the lumbar spine area. It forms the attachment of the Latissimus Dorsi Gluteal muscles, and the Transverse abdominus muscle (core). This area can also become tight and contract, creating postural imbalances.
It’s sometimes hard to know exactly what causes back pain. It’s usually thought to be related to a muscle strain or mechanical dysfunction in one of the structures in your back, rather than just a nerve problem.
For many people with back pain, there isn’t any one specific underlying problem or condition that can be identified as the cause of the pain. Lower back pain can have many causes including:
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Symptoms of lower back pain can depend on the cause. Some common symptoms include:
If you are experiencing these symptoms, book in to see our Myotherapist today who can start treating you for your lower back pain.
In “Part 2″ our next blog will cover treatment options, self care and prevention of lower back pain, so stay tuned!
Ask yourself these questions:
Did you know the muscles that move the TMJ are the same muscles you use to chew food (muscles of mastication), the masseter, medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid and the temporalis muscles? Your Myotherapist will address these muscles when you visit Inner Outer Health.
How do I locate the TMJ?
You can find this joint yourself by placing a couple of fingers in front of your ear, and open and close your mouth. You can also placing your index finger in your ear. When you do this action you will feel the TMJ move form under your fingers.
What is TMJ dysfunction/ TMJ Syndrome?
The best ways to describe this is to view the YouTube video below.
Generally speaking, pain or restriction around the jaw (joint or muscles) that occurs over an extended period of time can be termed dysfunctional.
Over time, the disc of the TMJ can wear and become very thin, or changes may occur to the disc due to dysfunction, which may create impaired movement of the joint. When there is dysfunction present, if it is not treated early on it could lead to disc degeneration and TMJ Syndrome.
TMJ dysfunction can be classed into three different categories:
Any one or more of these categories may be present at once. Most people have fairly mild cases of the disorder, whereas others may have persistent and chronic issues with their TMJ. Disc displacement is not uncommon.
Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction
Symptoms of TMJ can be very diverse, however the most common symptoms include:
Causes of TMJ dysfunction
There are many possible causes for TMJ dysfunction, including neurological, muscular, vascular, problems with the joint itself or hysterical conversion . Other causes could include:
How to treat TMJ Syndrome
Often, jaw problems can resolve in several weeks to months. The TMJ.org site states that “less is best” when it comes to TMJ treatment
If you have recently experienced TMJ pain and/or dysfunction, you may find relief with some or all of the following recommendations. Treatment for TMJ Syndrome / TMJ Dysfunction / TMJ Disorder can include:
The following recommendations are ways that you can self-treat your TMJ disorder.
At Inner Outer Health, we offer Myotherapy which can help in the treatment of TMJ dysfunction by working through trigger points (knots) in the muscles around the jaw, neck, shoulders, and back and other techniques. Your Myotherapist can also give you specific exercises and stretches to do at home for your own self-treatment in between your sessions.
If you or someone you know is suffering from TMJ dysfunction, please share this information with them.
Headaches are not just a pain in the neck for many of us, but they are an increasingly common health problem in Australia. Even 18 years ago in 1995, having a headache was the illness or condition most commonly reported by individuals according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics survey. Almost 15% of the Australian population reported taking medication to treat their headaches and the age group that was most likely to report having a headache was between 25-44 years. Headaches are described in a variety of ways and occur for a variety of reasons.
The most commonly described headaches are tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches and sinus headaches.
Tension Headaches are frequently caused by muscle contractions or spasms over the neck and head, and can be precipitated by emotional or physical stress, by worries or anxiety such as pressure at work or a family argument. People describe tension headaches as a tight band of pressure around their head as a weigh on top of their head or shoulders. The pain tends to worsen during the late afternoon and evening.
Migraines are a severe, throbbing headache which often affects only one side. Migraines can be triggered by certain foods, sounds or emotions. People who suffer from migraines often experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise at the same time. One of the distinguishing features of a migraine is that the person experiences a warning sign known as an “aura” sometimes up to an hour before the onset of the headache itself. The aura manifests as flashing lights or tingling and/or numbness down one side of the body.
Cluster headaches are not the same as migraines. They occur in bouts or clusters lasting for 10 minutes up to 3 hours and can occur again several times within a 24 hour period. A cluster headache can cause severe pain behind one eye or one half of the head, with accompanying redness and watering of the eye and sometimes blockage of the nostril on that side.
Sinus headaches are caused by an increased production of mucus within the sinuses or in more serious cases, the increase in mucus causes blockage of the drainage system of the sinuses. The sinus headache produces a severe feeling of pressure building up over the face and eye. Ear aches sometimes go hand in hand with sinus headaches.
Common Causes of Headaches
There are many possible causes of headaches. As pain receptors are located in the head or neck, when something stimulates these receptors headaches can occur. Possible triggers of the pain receptors can include:
Treatment of Headaches
Your Myotherapist may use a variety of options to treat your headaches depending on the cause and type. Some of the treatment options include:
If you are experiencing headaches or any of the symptoms described here, we can help you, so please contact us to make a booking.
Stretching will enable your body to perform better at day-to-day activities because the muscles are tough, strong and supple for everyday ease of function. By incorporating stretching as a part of your daily routine, you will start feeling better in your body and feel more flexible in your daily movement.
Why do muscles tighten up?
There are many reasons why muscles contract and get shorter, stiff and tight. Some common reasons include:
Benefits of Stretching
As we age, our muscles naturally become shorter and tighter, limiting our overall flexibility. This limitation in movement can create pain, and make you more susceptible to injuries. Did you know regular stretching can:
What stretches should I do?
Your Myotherapist can help you know which are the best stretches for your body. Depending on your imbalances, specific muscle stretches may be required.
When you come in for a session at inner outer health, we will be able to tailor a stretching program for you that is practical and functional, to be incorporated into your daily lifestyle. We may end up giving you one or several stretches specific to your problem/area of pain.
Here are a couple of common areas that we suggest stretching daily:
Chest Stretch (pecs):
Are You Experiencing Back OR Neck Pain? The problem could simply be the pillow you’re sleeping on.
Since we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, it’s really important to find a pillow that supports you! Imagine waking up in the morning feeling refreshed, no aches and pain, no headaches, no stiffness through your neck, shoulders or back, having more energy and feeling refreshed when getting out of bed.
Choosing the RIGHT PILLOW makes all the difference! You CAN wake up feeling rejuvenated!
Let us help you figure out if your pillow is part of your neck or back pain!
Do you wake up during the night or in the morning feeling:
Does your pillow cause you to sleep with your neck at an angle, too high or too low, too soft or too hard?
The therapeutic memory foam pillow could be your solution. At inner outer health® we are here to help you! Simply bring in your old pillow so that we can assess your neck and shoulder position, to see whether your current pillow is right for you.
If your current pillow is good, then we can look at a different solution for your discomfort or pain. If your pillow IS part of the problem, we provide you with a range of high quality therapeutic pillows to choose from to support you, and help you to get a good night’s rest. We will help you find the best pillow for your needs, and if none of our pillows are right for you, we will educate you to know how to choose the right pillow so you can look around elsewhere.
You spend one-third of your life with your head on a pillow, so it’s vital to choose the right one to keep your neck and shoulders in good shape.
At inner outer health®, we stock a range of Complete Sleeprrr Pillows, so you are sure to find the right one to suit you.
Adjustable Memory foam neck pillow
Regarded by health professionals as the perfect memory foam cervical neck support pillow. One size suits all. Adjustable to suit all physiques.
Luxurious cervical neck support pillow features removable foam inserts, giving you as many as 12 adjustment options so you can create the pillow to suit your comfort needs.
• Made in Australia
• Designed to encourage side sleeping
• Temperature-sensitive viscose elastic memory foam ‘feeling is believing’
• Viscose memory foam responds to your body’s warmth and moulds and shapes to
your head and neck giving your spine support
• Encourages the natural alignment of your spine by providing even support
• Super-soft cervical neck support pillow
• Comes in a ‘breathing’ open weave cover
Complete Sleeprrr… the totally adjustable memory foam contour neck pillow that is designed to help reduce snoring through side sleeping.
Adjustable memory foam neck pillow
Slightly firmer feel than the original version. Popular with males and broader shouldered individuals, or those who prefer a firmer memory foam pillow.
Luxurious neck support pillow which features removable foam inserts, giving you as many as 12 simple adjustment options so you can create the pillow to suit your comfort needs.
• Create the perfect pillow to suit your comfort needs
• Memory™ PLUS responds to your body’s warmth and moulds and shapes to your
head and neck
• Encouraging the natural alignment of your spine by providing even support and
• For those of average to above average physiques who seek a full-bodied pillow
• Comes in a ‘breathing’ open weave cover
CompleteSleeprrr Deluxe ‘Traditional foam’
One size suits all!
Luxurious pillow which features removable foam inserts, giving you as many as 12 simple adjustment options so you can create the pillow to suit your comfort needs.
• High quality traditional foam
• Encouraging the natural alignment of your spine by providing even support and
• A super-soft pillow and also for those requiring a lower pillow.
• Comes in a ‘breathing’ open weave cover
Benefits for the CompleteSleeprrr
• Features ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ sides as well as contour variance for maximum individual support and comfort for side or back sleeping
• Pillow’s clever design encourages side sleeping which is beneficial in enhancing breathing, and minimizing snoring
• Scalloped under-edges allow shoulder (when side sleeping) to slip snugly under pillow for close-knit fit
• Head and neck are cushioned and supported during sleep
• Designed to help alleviate and avoid neck and shoulder stress and muscle stiffness
• Foam ‘noodles’ in core foam surface can be removed to make for an even softer
• May assist asthma sufferers and others who require clear breathing patterns
• Pillow’s contour may help stop snoring by enhancing the airway through encouraging better spinal alignment
• Channels in core foam surface, combined with the open-weave inner cover, allow air to
circulate, for cooler, healthier sleep
• Recommended by the Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Myotherapy and Osteopathic professions
So, to find out whether YOUR pillow is causing you unnecessary pain, just bring in your old pillow when you come in for your Myotherapy session. We will look at your present pillow and how it is or isn’t working to support you, and find the right pillow to suit your needs.
If you would like to make a booking with our Myotherapist, click here. Or, if you would like to know more about purchasing a new pillow, you can also contact us or call us on (03) 9440 9453.
Women and high heels. It can be a love-hate relationship.
We love what they look like, and how they make us appear taller, sexier, our legs slimmer and our calves and butt appear firmer. They make us feel confident, sexy and fashionable.
We love the multitude of beautiful designs and colours that they come in. Open any woman’s wardrobe (or shoe-cupboard!) and it becomes apparent that we do love to own a variety of shoes including heels for different occasions that may look something like this… a few pairs of stiletto’s for evening wear & cocktail parties, kitten heels for work, pumps for that hot date, wedges to add some glamour, sling-backs for summer… the list goes on! Women do love their shoes.
The part most women DON’T love, is the feeling at the end of the day when they get home from a long day at work… or perhaps at the end of a long evening/night out!
We curse & whinge under our breath that our feet ache, we have blisters or sore knees or an aching back, or we twisted an ankle when our stiletto heel got stuck in a crack in the pavement… unfortunately high-heels are not your body’s friend. In fact, they can do a LOT of damage. (Especially, if you were to wear shoes like this. I don’t know that anyone would actually wear these…)
If you are a woman who chooses fashion over function, i.e. wearing high heels regularly, perhaps after reading this, you may decide to restrict the amount of time you wear them and leave them in your wardrobe until you have a special occasion. After all, you can choose to change your shoes when they wear out, but you only get one pair of feet, and they deserve to be loved and looked after!
Read on to learn what the true effects of wearing high heels… ladies, ignorance can be bliss, however there are some things about wearing high heels that every woman needs to know. You don’t want your feet to end up like Victoria Beckham‘s
or like any of these celebrities who have paid the price of high fashion in the form of feet deformities… it just ain’t worth the pain!
1. POSTURE. High heels shift your pelvis and spine out of alignment. They redistribute your body weight by pushing your centre of mass forward, creating an anterior tilt in your pelvis, tightening the muscles in your lower back which can lead to back pain. Depending on the height of the heel, as the height increases, so does the pressure on the ball of your foot. This extra pressure can cause foot problems, such as Metatarsalgia.
2. FOOT PROBLEMS. Extra pressure on the feet and toes can cause problems such as Morton’s neuroma which is where the tissue around a nerve in between the toes thickens, causing pain and inflammation. Bunions are commonly formed by wearing shoes that are too tight, and cause a bony overgrowth that pushes the big toe inward towards the other toes, causing pain. Hammer toes are also a common deformity caused by high heels.
3. ANKLE PROBLEMS. Not only do high heels wearing heels affect your feet, your ankles are also at greater risk for injury due to the unbalanced nature of high heels. You could also end up with a Haglund’s deformity (also called “pump bump”) where irritation over time causes a small bony growth, often caused by the pressure of pump-style heels.
4. SHORTENED CALF MUSCLES & ACHILLES TENDON. Wearing heels contacts and shortens your your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Wearing heels often can actually lead to a permanent physical shortening over time, as the muscle fibers remain stuck in their contracted state over time. This can set you up for walking difficulties, and postural dysfunction.
5. KNEE PROBLEMS. Due to the change in overall posture when wearing heels, a greater amount of pressure is put on the inside of the knee. Over time, this can lead to osteoarthritis, by the increase in joint pressure. Osteoarthritis is twice as common in women as it is in men.
6. HIP & BACK PROBLEMS. Your pelvis and especially hip flexors (located around the top front of your thighs), are affected by wearing heels. The hip flexors are forced to work harder when you are wearing heels, and can also permanently shorten over time. This can set you up for a flattening of the natural lumbar curve in your back, increasing your risk of back pain and spinal problems.
SO… is it really worth it? Are your beautiful, precious & functional feet worth the price of fashion? Short answer: No!
TIPS FOR HAPPY FEET!
To show your feet some love and appreciation since they hold you up all day long, and take you wherever you want to go, try doing some of the following:
You can read more about Myotherapy here, and make online bookings here.
A Melbourne Myotherapist explains...
An explanation of myotherapy by Inner Outer Health, in Bellfield, Melbourne-based myotherapist, providing treatments for neck and lower back pain, tennis elbow, muscle tightness, sport injuries and restricted movement.
Do you suffer from any aches, pain, muscle spasm or injuries? Are you looking for myotherapist, sports massage, remedial massage, deep tissue massage, pregnancy massage, dry needling or trigger point therapy in Melbourne?
Myotherapy can help to reduce:
• Lower back pain
• Neck pain
• Headaches, migraine
• Tennis elbow
• Muscle spasm
• Muscle tightness and fatigue
• Sports injuries
• Restricted movement
• Incorrect posture
Lena Yammine and the dedicated team are the authors of the Inner Outer Health Blog.
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