Monday, August 08, 2005

Sports Injury Solutions: How To Eliminate your Back and Neck Pain by Changing the Chair you sit in!

How To Eliminate your Back and Neck Pain by Changing the Chair you sit in!

The ergonomic kneeling chair actually encourages you to sit with an upright posture, which leaves your back, shoulders and neck aligned correctly. Your hips are in a forward tilt position, which allows you to sit in a more upright way. When we sit at the computer for long stretches of periods hunched over the keyboard we are at high risk of damaging our backs. Doing this makes us more susceptible to strains, headaches and body aches. I am sure you know what I am talking about. Especially if you are in front of the computer working for hours at a time like I am. The ergonomic kneeling chair actually starts to give you the relief you have been looking for all of these years. There is no choice, if your business is on the internet, or your working 8 hours or more a day in front of a computer or desk, why suffer if there is a solution. Nobody wants to feel these aches and pains that's why they designed ergonomics.

Sitting for Long Periods of time Makes Your Back and Shoulders feel Weak. The Ergonomic Knee Chair Can Help.

Believe it or not this weak feeling can be because of your posture, the way that you sit. I am not a doctor so I am in no way telling you that this is the cause of all your back, shoulder or neck pain. But I will tell you about the way that we sit that can cause these types of pain. When you sit in that slumped over way that you sit, your muscles are tighting up to prevent us from falling over. You are basically, working out your muscles, but not in the way that you would want to. Your necks natural position is to go down. This will then cause the shoulders to follow and then of course your back. Doing this leaves you sitting the way that you don't want to be sitting, hunched over. Sitting this way is the cause of the all the pain. Look at it this way, when you work out your muscles work out what happens? They become sore! You also run the risk of straining a muscle when you work out as well, don't you? Yes! Well you run the same risk of straining muscles from sitting the way that you are probably sitting right now as you read this. Neck forward, shoulders pulled down and your back is arched.

Well sit up straight, pick up that neck and keep it straight, keep your back touching the back of the chair, bring those elbows in, and square out those shoulders. It would be nice if you could stay that way, without the need to buy a new chair. Not that it is not possible, but trust me I know how hard it is to sit up straight, that's work enough. You eventually end up feeling worse then you did before, but that's only temporary. You need to train yourself to sit up with good posture and it will take some time to get use too. And most of us don't have the time or the patience to do things like that. This is what the ergonomic kneeling chair does. It's an aid to help you to sit up straight, right away. There is no practice there is no time consuming procedure. It's such a great thing. This ergonomic chair has no back, you sit on it and then there is a cushion that you rest your knee's on. It's unconventional, but very effective. You may look at this ergonomic chair and say to yourself, or maybe even out loud, "This chair can't be what you are raving about!". Well it is! These ergonomic chairs are referred by physical therapists, doctors and ergonomists. I would highly suggest taking a test drive on this ergonomic chair. You may just be as surprised as I was, and you may just find the relief you have been wishing for. You have nothing to lose but the nagging pain in your back, neck or shoulders, by checking into it.

So go and start searching for this ergonomic kneeling chair. I would suggest that you come to your own conclusion from your own research, but I can almost guarantee that you will be as amazingly and delightfully surprised, just like I was and still am. For once you need to invest in something that will help you to feel better. It's not a selfish act if the ultimate goal is to have a clear mind to accomplish your goals of the day, pain free. Something that will give you the relief that you have been searching for even if you didn't know it was going to be in a chair. Now stop with those hand-me-downs from your family and friends, splurge on for your own chair this time. I believe that your office chair is the most important piece of furniture in your office; this is not an area that you want to skimp out on. Think about it you spend on average 7 hours a day in your chair, 35 hours a week if you work only a 5 day week. That's an awful lot of sitting. So take your friends filing cabinets, your brother's printing stand, but pass on the brown leather executive chair, and get yourself into an ergonomic office chair, preferably the ergonomic knee chair.

What is ergonomics? And the reason we need them.

Ergonomic is (also known as human factors engineering), is the science of refining the design of products to optimize them for human use. Basically ergonomic chairs are designed to fit your body type, your size and designed to make you comfortable. Ergonomic was intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. So why would you want to go with any other chair, but the ergonomic chair. It would be crazy if you did.

Nobody wants to work, but we don't really have a choice. Do we? So choosing an ergonomic chair will make the time, well... less painful. I can not ask this enough, "Why suffer if you don't have too?" Ergonomic chairs offer many adjustments that can make the chair just right for your needs and your body. These ergonomic chairs are well designed to support your body and does not restrict your movement, with built in pressure points for the best support possible. The seat and back offer much support that is necessary for your back and lower limb, without this you will suffer from lower back and shoulder pain. People have been known to get migraines from the bad posture due to the lack of proper support.

Sitting with good posture without the ergonomic knee chair is possible. Just relax your shoulders, keep your wrists straight, your legs must remain in contact with your seat, your feet must be on the floor (both of them) at all times, your back will have to touch the chair's back, keep your elbows at right angle's while typing (this will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome), your upper arm's and elbow's need to remain close to your body, and your head and neck must be straight. It's not an easy task as I have mentioned before, but these are effect techniques. At first it will feel weird sitting this way but with some practice this will become a natural way of sitting, and your back, neck, and shoulder pain will be a thing of your past.

About the Author
Check out You will find many tips and resources to make your home office efficient, stylish and comfortable. This website offers detailed reviews of office chairs and is full of articles, news and many resources.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sports Injury Solutions: What Do Gladiators and the Weekend Warrior Have In Common?

What Do Gladiators and the Weekend Warrior Have In Common?

by Louise Roach

Strip off the tie and grab your running shoes, golf clubs or baseball mitt! The weekend has arrived. You look forward to extra time on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy your favorite sport. And you probably cram in as much activity as possible before Monday morning rolls around. You’re a weekend warrior!

If you find yourself nursing a painful knee or strained muscle at the office, you are in the company of gladiators.

Favored gladiators were considered the sports heroes of their day. If a gladiator survived serious injury, they were attended to by sports physicians for common problems such as sprains, torn ligaments and muscle strains. The first doctor to gain notoriety for treating gladiators was Galen, acclaimed as the father of sports medicine. Living from 129 to 199 BC, Galen traveled throughout Rome bandaging-up gladiators. Although Galen used a form of traction to set bones and was considered way ahead of his time, he was not aware of the simple principle of R.I.C.E. (rest-ice-compression-elevation) to treat sports-related injuries.

Today, it’s easy for weekend warriors to take care of minor sprains and strains using the recommended technique of R.I.C.E. According to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, “more than 10 million sports injuries are treated each year in the USA. Athletes and non-athletes share many similar injuries…Immediate treatment for almost all acute athletic injuries is R.I.C.E.”

Here is the four-part method for using R.I.C.E.:

Rest: Stop the activity causing pain and allow the injured area to rest for 2 to 3 days.

Ice: To decrease swelling and numb pain, apply ice in the form of ice packs or ice massage as soon as possible. Treat for a period of 48 to 72 hours after an injury happens. Ice applications should last for 10 to 30 minutes until the point of numbness. Longer icing periods should be avoided as this could result in tissue damage. Allow the skin to return to normal temperature before reapplying an ice pack.

Compression: To decrease swelling and bruising, compression should be applied immediately using a compression or elastic wrap, or athletic tape. Do not apply compression to the point of cutting off circulation (a feeling of numbness or tingling). Compression can also be used at the same time an ice pack is being applied.

Elevation: Raise the injured area to above heart level to minimize internal bleeding and swelling.

Unlike yesterday’s gladiators, today’s weekend warriors who survive the trials of running too hard, pitching a no-hitter or shooting too many hoops, are better prepared. With a reusable ice pack in hand and knowledge of R.I.C.E., every warrior can triumph over pain.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical treatment or consultation. Always consult with your physician in the event of a serious injury.

About the Author
About the Author: Louise Roach is a health and fitness editor, marketing specialist, and product development consultant. She helps others find pain relief through the use of SnowPack reusable, chemical-free ice packs, the SnowPack SportCover and SnowPack Body-n-Ice Kits. Learn more about the benefits of ice therapy at
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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sports Injury Solutions: Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Pain

Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Pain

by Dr. Michael L. Johnson

Problems with the neck, shoulder and arm are often called different things by patients: neuritis; bursitis; neuralgia; rheumatism; frozen shoulder; fibrositis; sprained, strained or sore muscles, or “poor circulation.” Some people may blame their shoulder (or other joint) problems on “old age” even though their other shoulder, which doesn’t have any problems, is just as old.

The brain “talks” with the rest of your body through a vast telecommunications system made up of nerves. Nerves come out of your brain in a large bundle called the spinal cord and travel down your back inside the spinal column.

As the nerves from your brain travel down your spinal cord, they first have to pass through holes (foramina) between the spinal bones (vertebrae). Some nerves go straight to their point of destination, but some first mix with other nerves to form complicated nerve networks that anatomists call a nerve plexus.

The brachial plexus is made up of nerves which come out of the middle and lower neck and upper back. After they interconnect to form the brachial plexus, they branch off to supply different areas, especially the shoulder, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, and fingers. The most common form of brachial plexus damage is to the nerves that make up the brachial plexus as they exit the spinal column through the foramina plexus. In the foramina, the nerves are surrounded by a ring of bone and meninges (tough coverings), and if the ring becomes smaller, the nerves may become compressed or “pinched.” What causes the nerves to get “pinched?" Many things: long-standing spinal stress; old injuries such as falls from childhood; new injuries such as sports mishaps or car accidents (especially whiplash - a situation where the head and neck are suddenly “snapped” forward and backward); arthritis; being twisted, pulled or shaken; or even sleeping in an awkward position as well as many other stresses and strains of daily living.

The right brain controls the left side of the body, and the left brain controls the right side of the body. If the patient is experiencing pain on one side of the body (right or left), the opposite brain may be firing at an abnormally high rate. In order for a patient to perceive pain, an area of the brain must fire at a higher frequency of firing. If the pain is bilateral, or on both sides, there may be different central structures involved such as the brainstem or cerebellum.

About the Author
Dr. Michael L. Johnson is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist with over twenty years of experience in private practice, over 850 hours of neurological studies, and 3800 hours of postgraduate education. His best-selling book "What Do You Do When the Medications Don't Work? - A Non-Drug Treatment of Dizziness, Migraine Headaches, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic Conditions" is available wherever books are sold. © 2005 M. L. Johnson

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sports Injury Solutions: Ten Quick Fixes to Save Your Running Knees and Joints Long Term

Ten Quick Fixes to Save Your Running Knees and Joints Long Term

1.Take at least 1-2 rest days per week. This means no impact giving your joints a rest from the pounding forces that running produces. Less experienced runners may need 2-3 rest days per week.

2.Perform no more than 1-2 "break through" or high intensity interval work outs per week. Speed work puts more stress and the body, and requires more recovery time. This type of work must performed prescriptively and carefully. Try to schedule your speed work or intervals work outs the day prior to a rest or recovery day.

3.Train in 2-3 day cycles, with a rest or recovery work out in between cycles. This allows your body to adapt to the stress of training. Some athletes will need more rest and less training, especially as intensity increases.

4.Change your shoes out frequently. A good rule of thumb is at least 3x per year for a high volume runner. You may want to write the date you purchased your shoes in permanent ink on your shoes for reference. Buying shoes is expensive, but so is your insurance deductible.

5.Take the supplements Chrondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine. I don't recommend a lot of supplements, but this combination has shown promise in clinical studies, and in control groups of people suffering from knee pain. One works as an anti-inflammatory; the other helps regenerate cartilage. I know of several orthopedic surgeons who are recommending the supplement to their patients. It is definitely worth a try.

6.Increase your volume of endurance training by less than 10% per week. Bringing your mileage up too quickly is a sure fire way to promote injury. Your body adapts to stress (training), compensates for it, and builds or gets stronger. If you put too much stress on your body, it can't compensate and breaks down further instead of getting stronger.

7.Listen to your body. In my experience your body gives you an indication that you are about to sustain an overuse injury. This may be in the form of a slight or nagging pain. If you stop training at that point, you will more than likely be all right after a bit of rest. If you try to push through the pain you may end up with a more serious injury.

8.Periodize your training. Periodization means training in specific cycles that move towards a goal (race). Your training moves from the general to the specific and from low intensity to higher intensity as you approach your peak. The implications are that you only perform your most intense work late in the season near your goal race or peak. This means less stress on the body throughout the year because you are not performing high intensity training all year long. Have a licensed running coach work with you on an annual training plan.

9.Perform strength exercises to keep your knees strong. One of the more common overuse injuries is "runner's knee." This can be caused by a patella tracking problem, much like a tire that is out of alignment. By keeping your quadriceps strong you can prevent this condition. If you are an endurance runner you do not need to overwork these muscles or use a lot of weight, but light strength work performed correctly can help prevent injury.

10.Cross train. One of the benefits that multi-sport athletes have over runners is that they are able to perform swim and cycling work outs in between run work outs. This helps reduce the stress caused by the pounding of running, but the athlete still receives the aerobic benefit of training. A good time to cross train is when you have a recovery work out scheduled or a low intensity work out. If you use a heart rate monitor you can stay in the same heart rate zone as your run work out. Swimming, cycling, stepper, elliptical trainer, or even hiking are all good examples of cross training work outs.

About the Author
Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes around the country and internationally. He currently holds licenses by USAT, USATF, and is an Expert level USAC coach. Matt has coached athletes for CTS (Carmichael Training Systems), is an Ultrafit Associate. Visit for more information.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sports Injury Solutions: Another 10 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain by Kim Standerline

Another 10 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain by Kim Standerline

Many people who start off with underlying back weakness go through repeated bouts of back pain. This is usually because of a combination of poor posture and the excessive stresses they place on their back.

We know different positions and loads affect our back and can lead to back problems but we can teach ourselves how to minimise those stresses.

How we sit and stand is extremely important and it can really affect our ability to cope with back pain.

My Top 10 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain

Standing upright with head facing forward, keeping our back straight and avoiding slouching goes a long way towards minimising back problems.

At work if you're working at a bench ensure it is high enough for you to stand with a comfortable working posture and more importantly you can stand upright.

If working at a desk, it should be of adequate height with plenty of leg space so you are close enough to sit upright and work comfortably. There should also be enough room beneath the work surface so you can get close enough to your work without having to bend forward and allowing plenty of room for your legs and feet.

Try to move about as much as possible, as sitting in one position for long periods of time can cause aching, stiffness and back pain. If sitting at a desk for long periods of time, invest in a good chair which has good lumber support and assists you in sitting upright.

Avoid soft squishy armchairs, they may look comfortable and inviting, but in reality they are not. They hold your back in a rounded position with no support which can after a short period of time cause severe back pain, aching and stiffness.

Check your shoes; women who suffer back pain should never wear high heels as they tip the lower part of their body forward. They then arch the upper part of their body to compensate which adds stress to their back. Cushioned soles and heels or shock absorbing insoles are good as they reduce the shock to the spine when walking or running.

Driving your car can be a real pain in the back especially if you drive for long periods of time. Seats are very often poorly designed and don't hold the spine in a natural position. Some sports cars for instance are super to look at, but a real pain to drive.

Learn to lift properly. Many back problems develop over a period of time and are due to incorrect lifting techniques. They frequently arise when lifting loads is combined with bending forwards and twisting the spine.

Keep as fit as you can. Many cases of back pain are caused by the unhealthy lifestyles led by many people. Try walking or swimming, take a class in Pilates (Excellent for strengthening your back). Making a determined effort to improve your fitness levels can work wonders for your health and reduce your back pain.

About the Author
Kim Standerline is a Registered Nurse and Back Care Advisor living and working in the UK. Please visit and for further information Please feel free to use this article on your website or ezine, but ensure this resource box is left intact

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sports Injury Solutions: The Baby Boomer Athlete: Prevention and Treatment of Minor Injuries by Louise Roach

The Baby Boomer Athlete: Prevention and Treatment of Minor Injuries by Louise Roach

Are you a Baby Boomer? If you were born between the years of 1946 to 1964, you are part of the 79.1 million Boomers, comprising 29 percent of the total US population. According to the AARP, every seven seconds a Baby Boomer turns 50! And, about one-third of Americans who take part in sports activities are Boomers.

As this generation grows older, they are working harder to keep their youth and vitality, are staying active with physical activity, and unfortunately are experiencing more injuries than the generation before them.

A US Consumer Product Safety Commission report states there were 1 million sports injuries to persons between the ages of 35 and 54 in 1998. This is a 33% increase over the same statistics of 1991. While this sounds like distressing news for aging bodies, many sports-related injuries are minor aches, sprains and strains that can be treated or even prevented using self-treatment techniques. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a lifelong athlete, the following suggestions may help you stay limber and relatively pain-free.

Warm-up before stretching or an activity. Muscles that are warm through slow-paced pre-exercise such as jogging or walking, will be less likely to tear.

Stretching before and after exercise. Stay limber and flexible. Stretching is one of the best preventive measures against injury.

Get fitted with the proper shoe. This is a top priority especially for running, hiking, and cross training. Go to a running store with someone on staff who will analyze your walk, arch, and how your foot turns in or out during activity. They will then fit you with a shoe having the right amount of support or cushioning for your particular body type. This alone can substantially reduce the incidence of injury.

Start daily conditioning. Do some type of activity every day to help condition your body for more strenuous weekend exercise.

Try adding low-impact activities to the mix. Such as: Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Elliptical Trainer, Recumbent Cycling, Spinning.

Add strength training to your weekly routine. Stronger muscles mean better joints and a more energized body.

Create a workout program with balance. Combine stretching, strength training and cardiovascular exercises to keep your body in balance.

Use R.I.C.E. If pain does creep into your body after an activity, use the technique of R.I.C.E. immediately to reduce inflammation. Never use heat in the first 48 to 72 hours after an injury occurs, as this will increase swelling and bruising. Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation can make the difference in a fast, effective recovery from a sprain or strain.

Try massage. For tight, stressed muscles, massage therapy can be a relaxing and helpful treatment for minor pain. Self-message is easy to do on legs, ankles and feet.

Give cognitive behavior therapy a go. This therapy works on the concept that you can reprogram your mind to increase performance or decrease pain triggers, incorporating relaxation and other visualization techniques. Professional athletes have been using it for some time to rehearse a perfect performance in their mind before an event.

Physical activity may produce its own set of challenges for Baby Boomers. But inactivity itself is a threat to health. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke and some cancers. Regular physical exercise helps Boomers strengthen muscles, which in turn stabilizes joints, increases flexibility and keeps age-related diseases at bay. Better to be a buff Baby Boomer than a middle-age couch potato!

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical treatment or consultation. Always consult with your physician in the event of a serious injury.

About the Author
Louise Roach is the editor of an on-line health and fitness newsletter. She has been instrumental in the development of SnowPack, a patented cold therapy that exhibits the same qualities as ice. For more information visit: or NewsFlash*SnowPack at:

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sports Injury Solutions: Are You Too Old to Pump Iron? by J. Bowler

Are You Too Old to Pump Iron? by J. Bowler

Are you too old for weight lifting? Will weight lifting help
you stay and look younger? The answer to the first question is
no and to the second is a resounding yes. Weight lifting will
help both men and women stay fit and supple and might even help
you look younger. And, no matter what your age, you’re not too
old to start.

Dr.Walter Bortz, in The Journal of the American Medical
Association, 1982, stated that a number of the physical
changes we undergo as we age, such as loss of muscle tone,
organ deterioration, and osteoporosis are “indistinguishable
whether caused by age or inactivity.” He believed that exercise
could delay many of the diseases associated with aging, adding
“at least a portion of the changes commonly attributed to aging
are in reality caused by disuse and, as such, subject to

As we age, we lose bone density and muscle mass. We get stiff
and our joints creak. Instead of using our body, we “rest” it
even more, starting a very dangerous downward spiral. The
synovial fluid dries up, the tendons become brittle, the sinews
grow weak. It hurts to move, so we don’t.

More recently Dr Henry Lodge and Chris Cowley published a new
book on this theme, "Younger Next Year: A Guide to Living Like
50 Until You're 80 and Beyond". The premise of this book is that
weight lifting will help reverse the loss of both bone density
and muscle mass that begins to take place as we get older. And
they’re not talking about light weights, but rather big heavy

In July 1983, Terry Todd wrote in Sports Illustrated that “Anyone
who has spent much time in what is sometimes called the "Iron Game"
has, of course, seen weight trainers over 40 whose physiques were…
surprisingly youthful. Apparently there is something about the act
of regularly stressing your body with heavy exercise that gives it
the wherewithal to resist the visual manifestations of advancing
age…research in this area suggests that men and women of middle age
will respond to systemic progressive resistance with weights by
becoming more powerful and more flexible, with more endurance and
less fat.”

In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control reported that strength
training "can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of
numerous diseases and chronic conditions, among them:arthritis,
diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain and depression."

Strength training will also increase your flexibility and balance,
which decreases the likelihood and severity of falls. One study in
New Zealand in women 80 years of age and older showed a 40% reduction
in falls with simple strength and balance training.

I don’t agree that we need to undertake heavy weight training to
see substantial benefits.

The American College of Sports Medicine strength training
guidelines say we should start with at least two days a week of
any type of resistance exercise by doing 8 to 10 different exercises
and doing 8 to 12 repetitions per day. A repetition is how many times
you lift the weight or do the exercise.

So start off with a weight that you can lift correctly for at least
8 reps, even if it’s only 2 to 5 pounds. Rest between each set of
repetitions and between each exercise. If you can't make it to 8 reps
during the first few tries, don't give up. Do as much as you can do.
You'll be suprised at how soon you will feel like you need to add a
bit more weight.

But the goal is not to become a body builder, but rather to restore
your muscle tone and joint movement. You can gradually work your way
up to heavier weights if you desire, but you will obtain the best
benefit by avoiding injury and sticking to the program – lifting
weights every two or three days.

An excellent resource on this subject is Getting Stronger: Weight
Training for Men and Women by Bill Pearl and Gary Moran, Ph.D. I have
the edition that came out in 1986. A newer one is now available.
I have referred to it constantly over the last 19 years.

The book gives you tips and pointers on how to set up a strength
training regime. There are illustrations of every exercise with step
by step instructions on how to do them properly.

You can either learn beginning to advanced body building, sports
fitness routines to help you do better in 22 different sports,
exercises to help prevent injuries at work or just the principles
of general conditioning and strength training.

And you don’t need any fancy equipment to get going. Almost all the
exercises use cheap dumbbells and weights that are available in just
about every sporting goods store. All in all, this is a very
comprehensive book on weight training and is especially helpful to
those of us who have never lifted weights before.

If you have any disease, injury or physical disability, consult the
doctor who has been treating you before undertaking these exercises.
Follow his advice on how to get started and do not strength train if
he says not to.

Start off slowly with light weights. Follow the diagrams in the book
to make sure you’re positioning your body correctly to avoid injury
and obtain the best result from your workout.

After several weeks, you will be well on your way to improving your
appearance, physique and general attitude toward life, while doing
wonders for you internal organs and maybe even fighting off disease.
“Use it or lose it” applies to just about every part of your body.
Don’t “lose it” because of inactivity and disuse.

This article is for informational purposes only. It does not purport
to offer medical advice. Consult a qualified physician before
undertaking any exercise program.

By: Jean Bowler

About the Author
Ms Bowler has taught ballet, gymnatics and aerobics and has been a personal coach.

She is very interested in antiaging research.