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Preventing and alleviating back pain

Preventing and alleviating back pain.

Preventing and alleviating back pain

Many people spend 16 to 18 hours each day in the office and in bed. Because of that time expenditure, the items you are sitting and sleeping on can have an enormous impact on the state of your neck and back. According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In the U.S., it accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year. While there are several serious conditions that can affect the back, such as inflammatory arthritis, the experts at ACA say most cases of back pain are mechanical.

“Americans are very busy, and we don’t always listen to or take care of our bodies. Even those that do might not be paying attention to body mechanics such as how they work at home, sit in a car or sleep at night,” says Kay Nuñez, general manager of Relax The Back in Buckhead.

Prevent future or alleviate existing back pain by evaluating your daily digs for ways to improve posture. Since the majority of time is spent in the office and bedroom, Nuñez recommends outfitting these spaces with ergonomic products to better support your body and reduce stress on the back. Office items can include an ergonomic chair that has armrests at the right height. “A lot of people put the armrests higher, but 90 degrees is best to reduce neck and shoulder tension,” Nuñez says. A sit-to-stand desk is another option that allows your body to change position and promotes posture change throughout the day. “This adjustable desk also works well for shorter individuals, or a footrest might be an essential tool for sitting ergonomically at a regular desk,” Nuñez says.

As for the bedroom, simply upgrading neck pillows could make a huge difference. Consider getting fitted for a contoured one or anatomic cervical pillow that varies based on a person’s frame, build and sleeping posture. “These pillows help with neck and shoulder issues of the spine,” Nuñez says. The bed itself is also a main component of sleep support. Nuñez recommends “alternative sleep” mattresses such as Tempur-Pedic and Technogel because they naturally envelop the contours of the body.

When dealing with back pain, you may need to consider a hybrid approach. In addition to home and office products, lifestyle factors such as inactivity, weight gain, smoking and wearing high heels could be contributing to the discomfort. Treatments such as chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, red light therapy and topical creams may help to manage or reduce pain. Before doing anything, pay a visit to your doctor to rule out something serious.

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CBD Relief

“Most people use a CBD cream for two reasons: pain and inflammation. Topical pain relievers are applied to the skin over the painful area and help to treat and manage the pain as a part of an overall treatment,” says Joe Salome, co-founder of The Georgia Hemp Company in Sandy Springs.

Sympleaf Wellness Hemp Extract Relief Salve, $50,

Light Therapy

“Red light therapy has been around since the ’70s, originally gaining popularity for its healing potential after being used by NASA. It can be used to increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and relieve chronic and acute pain,” says Karl Chen, founder and CEO of Prism Light Pod, available at RegenCare in Buckhead. “Traditionally used as a hand-held device, Prism Light Pod is a powerful, full-body red light therapy system.”

Prism Light Pod at RegenCare, $45 per session or $99 for three consecutive-day sessions (recommended),

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