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Do you start having back pain when you are sitting for a while?   Here are a few quick tips that can help.

We will start with a couple of little videos that I made for you:  (Just click the green links.)

Circle Arms  has arm movements to do when you are home.  It will help relax the muscles around your chest, shoulders, arms and upper back.

Noodle is a type of stretching movement to do at home unless you have a private office at work.  It will help you open and stretch your chest muscles.

If you go to this website and scroll down about half way you will see a woman pressing her head back.  That’s a useful way to get your forward head back where it belongs.  (A picture is worth a thousand words.)

Also, imagine there are long, strong cords attached to your breastbone and to the crown of your head and they are pulling you up to heaven.

Do you feel that correction to your posture as you imagine those cords pulling straight up?  Your chest lifts and your natural curve returns to your lower back behind your waist.  🙂  Your head moves back over your body where it belongs.

A rolled towel placed behind your waist when you are seated will also help you sit up straighter.

Now you have some nice and easy ways to correct your posture when you are sitting.

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Would you like a good stretch for your neck and upper back pain?  Would it surprise you if I told you the real problem could be the muscles in your chest?

Chest Muscles Cause Pain In Neck & Upper Back

Chest muscles tend to get short and tight and this can cause neck and upper back pain.  So part of the solution to get rid of the pain in your upper back and neck is to stretch the muscles in the front of your chest and the fronts of your arms.

When these chest muscles are tight and short they cause you to have rounded, forward shoulders and that stresses your upper back.

This picture shows the chest muscles that you will target with these stretches.  It’s the pectoralis minor muscle.  There may also be other soft tissues in the chest and arm that will stretch at the same time.

Here are two ways to stretch your chest and arms so you can start getting rid of your neck and upper back pain.

1. Lie on the edge of bed with your shoulder at the edge of the mattress so your arm if free. Only your shoulder should be off the bed; your body should be securely on the bed.

Let your arm gently drop off edge of bed. (One arm at a time.) Pretend your arm is a butterfly wing moving from your leg to your head.

Do this with your palm up if you can.  At least do it with your thumb pointing to the ceiling.

You will feel stretching in various places in your upper, front arm and your chest muscles. It’s okay to wait a bit when you feel something stretching to let it stretch. Gravity helps you stretch when you do it this way.

Always Continue Reading »

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Why do you want to have better posture anyway?

  • You will feel better. You will have less pain.
  • You will function better. Your joints will be in neutral instead of overloaded by poor posture.
  • Your organs will work better.  You will be able to breathe and digest better and your heart won’t be squashed.
  • You will look younger.

What’s the best way to improve your posture?  Here are seven ways:

1.  Remember the old ‘walk with a book on your head’?  This is a variation on that.  Present a string is attached to the crown of your head and is lifting the crown of your head to the sky.

2.  Pretend a string is attached to your breastbone and is pulling you to the sky.

3.  Have you lost the small curve behind your waist?  Stick your butt out a bit to get it back.  (You are supposed to have a small curve behind your waist.)

4.  Get arch supports for your shoes if you have flat or fallen arches.  The arches of your feet are the support structure of your body.  If your arches have collapsed, your posture collapses, too.  You Continue Reading »

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Trigger Point Causes Breast Pain

Do you have pain in your breast that’s in about the same pattern as the deep red in the picture?

All the little red dots indicate an area of discomfort but the more solid red indicates an area of more pain.

You have muscles behind your breast tissue.  You might not have thought of muscles causing your breast pain.  Most people don’t.  Not even most doctors.

Regardless, muscles are responsible for most pain, one way or another.

Do you see the “X“?  That is the location of a trigger point.  A trigger point is an area of extremely irritated soft tissue that causes or “triggers” pain at a distance away from itself.

The X is where you want to focus.  The muscle that harbors the trigger point is on your chest, on the ribs, toward your armpit.

How can you treat the X–the trigger point-to get rid of the muscle pain behind your breast?

You may be able to apply pressure from the outside of your chest.  Just press into the tissue.  It’ll be tender.  Tender means tight.

But if you are the one doing the pressing you can easily control the amount of pressure.  You definitely want it to be uncomfortable.  If you don’t feel any discomfort it won’t help.  If it’s too much discomfort, it won’t help as much as if you keep it around a “7” out of  “10.”

That’s the goal whether you do this yourself or have a professional massage therapist or someone else help you.

Alternatively, you can reach behind your chest muscle from the armpit side.  Curl your fingers toward your heart.  Pull the muscle toward your breastbone.  See if you can get your fingers into a tender place.

This is not a job for people with long fingernails!  Ouch!  🙂

You can help the muscle with the trigger point relax by massaging, pressing or pushing into it where the X is.  Hold the pressure for about 12 seconds.  You can always go back and do it again.  When the muscles on your chest relax, the pain from the trigger point will start to go away.

That’s how you can get rid of the muscle pain behind your breast naturally.

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Imagine you are a bone.  Muscles keep pulling on you.  Why?

Because that’s what muscles do.

But sometimes a muscle is a bit ‘too tight.’  So it pulls a bit too much where it attaches to your neck or spine.

What can you–a bone–do?

Well, you can make a little more bone tissue to take the pressure off yourself.  You can grow a little nub of bone where the muscle attaches to you.  That has the effect of creating a little more slack in the tight muscle.

It’s called a bone spur.

If the spur grows into a large bony growth it can cause discomfort.  If the bone spur is in your neck or back it might even press on a nerve.  In that case it can cause tingling, nervy-type pain or numbness.

If a spur is large and is causing problems for you it may need to be corrected surgically.

But if the bony growth is small it can go away (be absorbed back into your body) if you take the muscle pressure off the bone.

How can you take the pressure off the bone?

Spurs usually start with poor posture.  Correcting your posture–getting your head and shoulders back where they belong–can make a big difference.

Poor posture causes muscles to be out of balance.  Some are too weak (in back) and some too tight and short (in front.)  The tight muscles pull on bones.

The bones create spurs to relieve the pulling.

And that, in a nutshell, is what causes bone spurs.

By the way, most of us would have bone spurs if our doctors took x-rays.  That doesn’t mean the pain you have is caused by the bony growths, though.

Muscles are still the most common cause of pain.  If your doctor says your pain is caused by the spur he sees in your tests, he may be right.

Or maybe it’s just muscles, as usual.

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This email is from a reader who was looking for information to help understand why she had pain in her back around her shoulder blade (scapula) and ribs.

Keep reading to get lots of tips about how to get rid of upper back and shoulder blade pain naturally.

“Hello, it is so nice to read information that makes sense. I have been searching for so long, trying to make sense of what could be going on with me. I think I have a much clearer understanding now.

I am a 56 yr. old postmenopausal woman. About a year and a half ago is when all my pain started. I woke up from sleeping on my side. (like I always did) I had such excruciating pain. I thought for sure that it was my lung. I went to the E.R. and was given x-rays, blood test and had a bone scan and everything was normal. I still thought that I had lung cancer because of my ribs in my back were hurting also.

The pain was on the side of my right back scapula and below my right scapula down to my ribs. Sometimes, when Continue Reading »

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Pain in your jaw after visiting the dentist

Perhaps the dentist held or propped your jaw and head in such a way that it aggravated the muscles of your jaw.  That can cause pain after a dental treatment. Sometimes they really prop a jaw wide open.

Here’s why you have jaw pain following dental work

If you were to hold your fingers and thumb stretched wide open for half an hour, the muscles in your hand would hurt, too.  Muscles get strained when they are stretched too much.

And you have muscles all around your head, jaw and neck.

How can you get rid of the pain in your jaw?

If you tried heat and that makes your jaw feel a little worse then switch to cold packs. I know it’s not as pleasant but heat can cause muscles to feel worse. It can actually cause a little more inflammation or swelling  in the muscles.

Use cold therapy on a wide area for the most benefit.  Place cold packs or a bag of frozen peas on your jaw, temple and neck.  When you feel numbness remove the cold pack.

Did you know the muscles in your temples are also jaw muscles?

If the dentist says he doesn’t see a reason for your pain following your dental treatment that’s good.  Why?

Because muscles don’t show up on x-rays. But, they are most common cause of pain.

If you feel the need for a pain reliever, my personal favorite over the counter muscle pain reliever is Continue Reading »

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What causes your shoulder muscles to get all knotted up?

You don’t just “get a knot.”  Muscle knots happen for a reason.  Something that you did or did not do made your muscles unhappy and now they are complaining.

A knot in your upper back or shoulders is a complaint.  It’s a symptom.  A symptom indicates that something is wrong.

Most often the thing that’s wrong is what you are doing…or not doing.

The thing you are doing wrong could be the way you sit, sleep, drive or work.  This is changeable.

The thing you are NOT doing is this:  You are probably not working to keep your back strong.  A strong back can hold its own against daily living.  A weak back has poor posture and gets strained muscles and knots in the upper back.  This is changeable, too.

Your body CAN get better.  It CAN heal!

Why do muscles get knots?

Muscles like to balanced.  That means that they are all working together holding your body in a neutral posture or position.  No area is stronger than another area.  They are in balance.

But real life is often different.

Some muscle groups get too short and tight and strong–like chests and the muscles in the front of necks.  They cause other muscle groups–like your upper back and shoulders and the back of your neck–to be overstretched.

Overstretched muscles get knots.

Here’s an article I wrote that will give you more information about the most common cause of upper back pain.

How can you get rid of the knots in your upper back?

And here are six easy tips to help relax your upper back and shoulder muscles.

While you are at that website check out all the other articles.  There is a lot of good information about the causes of muscle knots in your upper back and shoulders and how to get rid of them, naturally!

 

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When you have pain, there is a reason.  But, when you go to the doctor he or she might not look for the reason at all.  Instead, the doctor may give you medicine to treat your symptoms.

However, your body is a whole unit.  That’s what the word “holistic” mean:  whole.  It’s also spelled wholistic.

Here’s an email I received from Gregg.  He has a good way with words.

Thanks again for this, Kathryn.  The more I learn, the more I realise
that your holistic approach is patently better than the specific
symptomatic approach taken by most health professionals.  I love its
inclusivity!  Which, once you’re aware of it, is just simple common
sense, too!

Well, it’s not just “my” holistic approach but that is what I do.  I help you look at your whole body to figure out possible causes for your pain or dysfunction.

Over the years I realized that most of us just don’t understand how bodies function.  I didn’t, either.  But education from brilliant minds in the natural pain relief field showed me how logical the body is.  How simply it functions.  How beautiful it is.

When you understand the causes of pain you can get rid of them holistically.  Naturally.

It’s simple.  Common sense.  🙂

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Vitamin D3 can help you get rid of muscle pain, feel better and live longer.  Wow!  Did I just say you could live longer with Vitamin D3?

You bet your boots!

Where does Vitamin D3 come from?

Here’s a hint:  it’s also called the Sunshine Vitamin.

But it’s not really a vitamin.  It’s a hormone that your body makes when you get sunshine on your skin.

See the problem?  We spend more time indoors than ever and when we do go out, most folks use sunscreen.

And that, dear reader, is why most people in the United States and Canada are deficient in this important vitamin.

Here’s what William Campbell Douglass II M.D. (a real doctor) said in a recent article about about D3 research.

In 2009, researchers found that senior men with low D levels were more likely to become frail. A 2001 study found that women with low D were more likely to suffer disability and problems with muscle function.

In 2006, a study found that D levels could be used to predict who’d be sent to a nursing home and who’d remain independent, while another study that same year found that seniors with low D levels were more likely to suffer physical weakness.

And in 2010, a study found that boosting D levels in seniors also boosted physical function.

So, there it is, straight from Dr. Douglass.

Get enough sunshine on your skin and/or take a Vitamin D3 supplement and you will be stronger and less frail with fewer muscle function problems.  You will feel better.

Will You Live Longer If You Have Enough Vitamin D?

People who have stronger muscles will Continue Reading »

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