12/28/2009

The Difference Between a Travel Pillow and a Neck Pillow


Often people call a travel pillow by the name neck pillow, however it’s not correct. A neck pillow is a pillow for sleeping that helps relieve pain and improve spinal posture by having a built-in neck roll that supports your neck. They are often called support pillows or orthopedic pillows. They help maintain the correct curvature in your spine on your back and keep the spine in alignment when on your side.

A travel pillow is a U-shaped pillow that you can use for neck support when on a plane, traveling by bus, or a car. You can call it a travel neck pillow, but calling a travel pillow a neck pillow or calling a neck pillow a travel pillow is not technically correct.

So to make sure you don’t make a mistake when trying to find, order, or recommend one of these, you now will know what a true neck pillow is versus a travel pillow.


Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.



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12/20/2009

How can Increasing my Water Intake Help with my Neck Pain?

Our Bodies Are Made Mainly Of Water

Great question, and a very important question. If you didn’t already know, increasing your water intake helps lubricate joints of the neck. Water intake helps with the flow of fluid in the joints, as well as into the discs.

The real key is not only to increase your water, but getting motion in the neck and putting it into proper alignment. Normal alignment allows everything to communicate and flow as it should. Motion in the neck from exercises, neck tractioning, or stretches helps mobilize the water and lubricate the joints better.

Throughout the day discs become dehydrated because the weight of the head from gravity weighs on the spine pushing water out of the discs. Moving the head back into extension helps create a vacuum affect in the spine, pulling water into the disc.

Keeping the discs hydrated is extremely important because they create a space or hole (foramen) for the nerve roots to travel out of. Keeping that space open equals no nerve pressure; allowing it to close down (stenosis) equals nerve pressure and because of this Pain will follow.

Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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12/09/2009

Recent Study Shows that Biofreeze Reduces Pain and Blood Flow & Increases Muscle Function

Biofreeze is Natural Pain Relief Gel that Reduces Pain and increases muscle functionFor tight muscles, sore muscles or tender trigger points, on treatment option is to use a natural pain relief gel like icy hot, bengay, or biofreeze.

A recent University of Louisville study compared Biofreeze and ice, and their effect on pain, blood flow, and muscle function.
While they both reduced blood flow, Biofreeze Natural Pain Relief Gel actually did it much quicker. Both the ice and Biofreeze reduced pain. The one difference was that Biofreeze showed significant increase in muscle function where the ice did not.

Biofreeze works similar to ice in how it helps to heal. Ice therapy initially constricts local blood vessels and decreases tissue temperature. This constriction decreases blood flow and cell metabolism, which can limit hemorrhage and cell death in an acute traumatic injury.
The fact that Biofreeze was able to help restore muscle function was significant because allowing muscles and ligaments to work like they should reflects that nerve function is also better.

In our Central CT office, we use ice after muscle therapy and sometimes following adjustments, or we give home icing instructions. We also do the same with Biofreeze. The reason is to speed the healing process. We have found both to be natural means of getting our patients better faster. One of the nice things is that you don’t need to be in the office to use them; both can be utilized right at home.



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Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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12/03/2009

The Cervical Traction Neck Pillow Makes it To Goa India

The Cervical Traction Neck Pillow Makes it To Goa India
Arc4life ships its pain relief products all over the world. Beautiful destinations like India, Thailand, even Kenya. Recently we received feedback from a husband that purchased the cervical linear traction neck pillow for his wife. They live in Margoa, Goa India:

"My wife suffers from degeneration of the C 5,6,& 7 discs and was in constant pain.One night she gasped and said "I rather die than have such pain". The Cervical Linear Traction pillow is a miracle cure. It took just 30 minutes for the pain to dissipate.My wife asked me to post this as a token of her appreciation for the product and the relief it brought. We are forever indebted to Arc4life."

- Edgar & Emma Soares - Margao - Goa - India


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11/23/2009

I See A Chiropractor, But My Neck Still Hasn’t Improved?

This can often happen if heor she hasn’t prescribed you with any traction or exercises. The key to getting rid of the neck pain is taking pressure off the nerves.

Essential to relieving nerve pressure is putting the spine in alignment. The chiropractic adjustments often do this temporarily, but without stretching the ligaments and strengthening certain muscles, it won’t hold.

So the best bet to not only relieve the pain, but also correct the alignment, is to utilize some adjustments but also have a regimen of cervical traction. My recommendations for best results are to 1) use the traction pillow at night, 2) work up to 10 minutes – 20 minutes of the posture pump home neck traction 3-5 times per week in the beginning and 3) see your chiropractor periodically or as recommended.

There are some other options out there as well. You may find one chiropractor works better for you than another, you may discover another doctor that helps you correct the spine, reduce stress, and improve your health. But the two best tools I have found thus far to help hold your adjustments and/or maintain your neck alignment are the cervical traction pillow and the cervical traction posture pump.

Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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11/17/2009

Need a Pain-in-the-Neck Cure? Arc 4 Life’s Soft-Yet-Effective, Polyester-Filled (Non-Memory-Foam), Cervical Linear Traction Pillow


Introduction (feel free to skip ahead):

Sitting before a PC monitor now and again prompts many a computer user to lean forward more than they should. I know that's been the case with me. Compounding the problem is the fact that the configurations of many chairs don't encourage the sitter to hold his/her neck in an optimal position. The same could be said regarding car seats. And then there's the fact that the (more or less) conventional pillow on which a sleeper typically rests his head might very well exacerbate the problem.

These are likely only a few reasons why some folks--including me--eventually begin to experience a pain in the neck (and I'm not speaking figuratively). Such discomfort can also extend into the shoulders. Starting in the mid nineties I began using one or more versions of those ubiquitous "neck" pillows, some of which were made with cheap, low-grade foam, and one of which used ostensibly high-quality "memory" foam. The latter pillow had seemed to suffice; however, after using it for more than three years, I belatedly noticed that its foam had gradually collapsed to the point of being scarcely better than nothing.

Thus it was that two months ago I woke up with "suddenly" serious neck pain and stiffness, which got so extreme that I was pretty miserable for several days. I initially ran, er, drove to Wal-Mart and impulsively bought a couple of relatively cheap memory-foam pillows: one in a smallish, "neck-support" configuration, and the other in a larger, "traditional" configuration. Neither of those items seemed to help much (though they were at least slightly better than the worn-out memory-foam "neck" thingy I'd been using).

It was then that I went searching online and fortuitously found the subject of this review.

Arc 4 Life's "Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow"

Where to buy it?

Though you could certainly order this "Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow" via Amazon.com (if not still other third-party vendors), I myself ordered it directly from Arc 4 Life via their website (arc4life.com). [Note: Although nearly any conventional pillow slip would surely suffice, I simultaneously ordered the matching white-cotton, zippered pillow slip that Arc 4 Life's site mentioned vis-a-vis this pillow. That slip fits perfectly and looks and feels fine. Incidentally, once you've got a pillow slip installed over this unusual pillow, you'll scarcely discern the middle "V" ("traction" area) that's so conspicuous in the above photo. (But you'll still gratefully feel it.)

The pillow (together with the slip) was protectively packed in a box and delivered via FedEx (Connecticut to Kansas City) after only a few days. The pillow came cleanly enclosed in clear plastic.

In case you're wondering, this product comes with Arc 4 Life's "30 day money back guarantee."

Dimensions & contents:

This "non-allergenic" pillow measures (by my own, hands-on inspection) approximately 23 x 15 x 3 inches and weighs 2 pounds, 2.5 ounces.

One of its two sewn-in labels indicates that this pillow's permanent cover comprises 65% polyester fiber and 35% cotton, while its "hand-stuffed," "all new" filling is 100% polyester fiber. (There are no foam, rubber or latex fillers.)

Regarding "care," the other sewn-in label states:

"This pillow will last you a long time if you wipe it clean with a mild solution of soap and water instead of soaking or machine washing it. And if you let it dry naturally or tumble dry at the warm temp setting for 10 minutes tops. That's all the care this pillow needs if it ever gets soiled."

How does it work?

Another customer reviewer has aptly asserted that such "linear traction" benefits the neck by opening up the cervical disc spaces and removing pressure from the nerves while putting the neck into optimal alignment. The Arc 4 Life website itself asserts this pillow will stop your neck pain and improve your posture while you sleep. From my own experience over the past two months, I basically agree; however, I want to emphasize that such relief might not occur during the first night or few; moreover, for all I know, some individuals might not experience the same degree of benefit--if any.

A Tale of Three Pillows (in one):

The "support" side

You can opt to rest your head and neck upon this pillow's so-called "support" or "neck pillow" side (i.e., edge) simply by keeping the pillow flat upon your mattress while rotating it 180 degrees from its more conspicuous V-shaped "side." Actually, I myself virtually never use this "support" part of the pillow. For, while I don't exactly dislike it, its configuration and feel strike me as being fairly comparable to those ubiquitous "neck pillows" that you could easily find at neighborhood bricks-and-mortar stores--including Wal-Mart--for less money. [Well, to be fair, those cheaper "neck pillows" are generally fashioned from basic "foam rubber"--or a low grade of "memory foam"--that doesn't really match the comfort or longevity of this pillow's touted "top quality, hand-stuffed, polyester fiber;" thus, even if you only use this (arguably least significant) "side" of the pillow, you'll still likely end up feeling you've gotten your money's worth.]

Perhaps if I were a full-time "back sleeper" I'd be using that "support" side of the pillow pretty regularly (alternating its use with that of the "traction" side). But, frankly, I didn't shell out sixty bucks for this pillow merely to have it emulate the common "neck" pillow; nay, I bought it primarily for its V-shaped ("traction") side, which--along with the two adjacent "wings" (for "side sleeping") that I'll discuss shortly--is the portion of this pillow I myself actually use nightly.


The "V-shaped" ("traction") side

Whenever you're lying on your back and looking directly at the ceiling (i.e., with your head properly nestled in the primary, "V-shaped" area), that's when this pillow is at its best. Mind, you don't necessarily have to be staring directly at the ceiling (though that's likely the optimal--most beneficial--position); you can, instead, somewhat turn your head left or right, such that you're looking upward at this or that angle. Again, keep in mind that (regardless of the slightly forbidding appearance of the above photo) that V-shaped part of the pillow is actually quite soft and reasonably "forgiving" whenever you turn your head somewhat leftward or rightward.

That said, I should stress that the middle "V" does pretty effectively and admirably encourage you to hold your head in such an "optimal" ("balanced" or "centered") position that your neck's cervical structure is more or less naturally, correctly aligned.

After having fully adjusted to this pillow's special configuration more than about six or seven weeks ago, I myself do find its V-shaped portion (and the "perfectly-centered-neck" position) to be suitably comfy. Nevertheless, my innate nature is such that I can only remain in that ostensibly "optimal" position for a while--not for the entire night. But methinks even some "cervical centeredness" is better than none. In any case, whenever I'm not thus "back sleeping" (using the "V" portion of this pillow), you can rest assured I'm instead "side sleeping" (using either the left or the right "wing" portion of this pillow.

The two "wings"

Indeed, regarding this pillow's left and right "wing" areas (on either side of the middle "V"), I do use them continually throughout each night as I alternate sleeping on my back with sleeping on either of my sides. Those "wings" feel very satisfying and comfortable, even if they do sort of seem to constitute a mere "adjunct" to this pillow's raison d'etre (i.e., its middle "V" or "cervical traction" portion). Using either of the "wings" (for side sleeping) generally necessitates that I slide the pillow a few inches leftward or rightward (so that my head is no longer upon the middle, V-shaped area). But this is very easily--and, by now, virtually habitually--done.

How quickly can it help ease neck/shoulder pain?

Again, don't necessarily expect miracles immediately. Although I myself adapted easily to this pillow after only two or three nights, some people might need up to several weeks before they feel fully comfortable with this pillow's "traction" side; and still other people (presumably a small minority) might never be able to use it. During your first night or few, you might want to use the " traction" side of this pillow for only an hour or so, allowing your neck vertebrae gradually to adjust to the "optimal" alignment.

CAUTION: You likely won't read this anywhere else, but please be careful not to use this pillow on a "slick" mattress with nothing "behind" (in back of) it, such that this pillow can slide (more or less) entirely off of the mattress while you're tossing and turning. This could result in your waking with your neck and head in an awkward, painful position, sort of dangling off the upper edge of the mattress. That actually happened to me when I'd initially experimented by using this pillow on a brand-new, four-inch-thick, memory-foam mattress that I'd temporarily placed on a carpeted floor. After that unhappy experiment, I temporarily placed a couple of concrete blocks directly "behind" that same memory-foam mattress (and simultaneously behind this pillow) so that the pillow couldn't slide off again. But, in more recent weeks, I've abandoned that memory-foam mattress altogether and have instead been using this pillow upon a conventional, high-quality, coiled-spring mattress whose proximity to a bedroom wall conveniently keeps this pillow from sliding off the bed. Since then, all has been going rather well, and my neck-and-shoulder discomfort is now greatly diminished.

"User manual"

I'd be remiss not to mention that a modestly illustrated, eight-page, black-and-white booklet is included with this pillow. Whatever pertinent information isn't sufficiently conveyed at the Arc 4 Life website is more than adequately explained (and illustrated) in this helpful (albeit obviously rather cheaply printed) little instruction booklet.

The upshot:

This unique pillow--once you've obscured its significant "V" by covering it with Arc 4 Life's matching pillow slip (or, for that matter, virtually any conventionally sized pillow slip of your own)--has an outwardly traditional size and shape that should appeal to consumers of a certain age who wistfully recall the "old-fashioned," full-size pillows of their youth but who now sorely need something better.

Regarding my neck discomfort that flared up two months ago, though it's by no means "100%" absent, it's now (knock on wood!) much more tolerable, such that I only occasionally notice it. I should note that this improvement is surely partly because I've simultaneously made some changes involving my body's daily "ergonomic" positioning (e.g., whenever I'm using this computer), plus I've dropped the bit of surplus weight that I'd recently regained, etc. But I do think this Arc 4 Life pillow has played a significant part in making me feel so much better. In any case (no pun intended), this pillow's more likeable than any other type I've tried, and I fully expect to stick with it hereafter.

After two months of nightly use (not to mention the occasional after-lunch nap), the middle "V" section of this pillow feels--agreeably--a bit softer than it did at first. Nevertheless, the modest, V-shaped depression (into which the back of the head comfortably nestles whenever you're on your back) remains effectively prominent in relation to the adjacent surface areas. Likewise, both of the contiguous, left-and-right "wings" continue to feel soft-yet-resilient whenever I'm using this pillow in either (left or right) "side-sleeping" mode.

Assuming that this pillow does last at least a year or few before evincing seriously significant wear, I'll likely be ordering an identical replacement when the time eventually comes. After all, isn't it well worth sixty bucks to be rid of a royal pain in the neck?

I wish you good health and blissful sleep!

Recommended:
Yes

Source: Epinions Contributor Mike, Olathe, KS USA November 1, 2009


Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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11/04/2009

What is a "Pinched Nerve"?

What is a "Pinched Nerve"? This is a condition where there is nerve pressure, typically from spinal degeneration or a disc herniation, or both.

When a disc herniates, or protudes (disk protrusion) it travels into the area occupied by the nerves or nerve roots. This then creates the "pinching" effect. This pinching can also be created by a buged disc, as well as bone spurring or arthritis. In fact, someone asked me which pillow might work best for a person with arthritis and osteophytes in the neck. My response- The Cervical Traction Neck Pillow.

The traction pillow can help to open up the nerve holes slightly more giving relief from osteophyte, bone spurs, or deteriorating spinal bones. With this particular pillow you also have the option to use the slightly softer Linear Gravity side if that gives more comfort (just rotate the pillow 180 degrees).

As you may have guessed osteophytes is the medical term for boe spurring. As breakdown or arthritis occurs the bone starts wearing down and the discs often flatten and therefore bulge out. Any one of these thing can then cause a pinched nerve. This can not only happen in the neck, but anywhere in the back. When it is in the neck you may have shoulder or arm pain; in the low back, you may have leg pain or sciatica.

Keeping the spine healthy and in a healthy position is paramount to preventing pinched nerves.

Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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11/02/2009

Tinnitus or Ringing in the Ear – Can this Be Coming From My Neck?

This blog post is written by Dr. Matthew Bellinger, a chiropractor in Glastonbury Connecticut.
Ringing in the ears is called Tinnitus
For years my own father suffered from ringing in the ears. I remember him describing it more like the sound of a train coming through when it was bad. I know it was very disturbing and difficult for him to deal with. Looking back it kind of makes me think of a serious migraine sufferer; when it was bad he used to have to go up to his bedroom and lay down for awhile until it subsided. Sadly, there were many times where my father missed out on a family function or something else he might have enjoyed, because of his tinnitus.

His history involves years of physical work as well as contact sports. He was a wrestler which involves a lot of head and neck twisting is one particular thing that sticks out. He also took a big fall as a kid which may have injured his neck. Another factor was that he spent four years in the navy on submarines which can irritate the inner ears in certain circumstances.

He was examined by a chiropractor and it was shown on his xrays that he had a significant misalignment of the atlas (the top bone of his spine). The atlas is extremely important because in the upper cervical spine there is a very rich bed of nerves and nerve impulses. Pressure on nerves in this region can cause a number of serious health issues. Not to mention, nerves in the upper neck do also communicate to the ear, sinuses, eyes, etc; all areas that are closely connected.

Through treatments at his chiropractor’s office and recommendations of things to do at home and work, he was able to eliminate his ringing in the ears and function normally again.

- Dr. Matthew Bellinger, Glastonbury Chiropractor

Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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10/14/2009

"Should I Only Use My Neck Pillow When I’m In Pain?"

Normal Neck Alignment From The Anterior Or Front View

I personally would use it all the time, or at least the majority of the time. Your neck pillow can be a big help when you are having pain but it is also very important for improving and maintaining posture and spinal alignment. This in turn prevents pain and muscle tightness because it allows the cervical spine to stay in its natural alignment allowing the nerves to be in their natural positions. The natural normal alignment of the neck is straight up and down when looking at a spine from the front or back. From the side, or lateral view, there should be a smooth “C” like curvature. Normal Neck Alignment From The Lateral Or Side View


The spine in this position helps the spinal cord to stay relaxed and allows your body to withstand the forces of gravity when upright. Keeping your spine in its normal healthy alignment at night sleeping helps train the spinal bones to stay in position during the day.

So pain relief is very important but maintaining and preventing neck pain is just as important as well. Remember the old saying: “An Ounce of PREVENTION is worth a Pound of CURE”!


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10/10/2009

The Scary Truth About The Nerves In Our Neck: THEY DON’T ALL DETECT PAIN!

This can be very scary because there can be problems going on and you don’t know it. Then on day you may awake with pain and wonder; “What happened, how and why do I have this, I’ve been pain free for years”.

What’s been happening is that you’ve had pressure on nerves that don’t necessarily relay pain. Often I’ve come across people who seem pain free and “healthy” but they get an x-ray that reveals horrible degeneration for example. Degeneration is arthritis and it takes years to accumulate. And once you get to a certain level I can guarantee you will get pain.

If we leave pressure on a nerve it will break down itself and once we affect enough different nerve fibers you will irritate one that relays pain. The good news is we can spot some of these thing ahead of time. The main way is by looking at posture. Posture is a doorway into your spinal alignment. You always hear me talk about forward neck posture (that’s the most common shift of our neck spine). Someone with forward neck or head has that going on in their spine, or even a military neck or maybe a cervical khyphosis. Is this bad – Yep. Can this lead to pain or some other unwanted symptom like muscle irritation, loss of ranges of motion, or headaches, or worse – You bet!


Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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10/01/2009

I’ve Got: Spondylosis, Spondylolithesis, Subluxation, Kyphosis, etc… What Can I Do To Get Rid Of It?

Above are a few common terms used to describe certain neck conditions. Let’s go over what each one is and how to correct it.

1. Spondylosis – This is a term used synonymously with degeneration. So if you have cervical spondylosis you simply have degeneration. Arthritis is degeneration. To date there really is no known cure but keeping mobile, eating right and maintaining your spine health prevent and slow the degeneration process.
2. Spondylolisthesis - is when one spinal vertebrae shifts forward or back on the vertebrae below it. Often times is it is mild or degenerative in nature (vs from a trauma) it is stable and doesn’t necessarily cause a major problem. Neck traction and keeping your neck posture good help maintain your spine health and prevent this from occurring.
3. Subluxation – This is a misalignment of the spine. A spondylolithesis as well as a kyphosis are subluxations. A Vertebral Subluxation if left uncorrected will often continue to cause nerve pressure leading to symptoms of pain or something more serious depending on how severe it is and how long it’s been there. Seeing your chiropractor and maintaining your posture will make the biggest difference.
4. Kyphosis – A cervical kyphosis is a reversal of the normal neck curve. Instead of the normal “C” curve of the neck it would be back wards. This can put severe pressure on nerves and even tension the spinal cord. The spinal cord is in it’s normal relaxed state in proper alignment but when you straiten or reverse the normal “C” alignment it stesses the vertebral column and spinal cord. Neck traction is a must, as it helps you to get the proper alignment (in the neck or lower back).

The cervical linear traction neck pillow is what I would recommend at home also to supplement any other treatments or methods you might be currently using to correct or prevent the above neck conditions.


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9/18/2009

Best Treatments for Your Lower Back by Dr. Oz

Dr.Oz's recommendation for lower back pain relief include chiropractic, PT and stress relief...
This week, I want to post an article that was presented by Dr. Oz: Treatments for Your Lower Back Pain

Defining low back pain: About 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their life. The connection to a physical source isn't always clear, since some people show no spinal abnormalities on an X-ray yet suffer excruciating pain. Here are the treatment options:

Chiropractic treatment: Even when the pain is in the lower back, the problem tends to be with the entire spine, says Victor Meir Nazarian, a Los Angeles–based chiropractor. Chiropractors employ manipulation—adjustment of the vertebrae— to help align a patient's spine, and often prescribe regular visits. "People come in only when they're in pain," Nazarian says. "But we need to think of our spine the way we do our teeth, using preventive care to stay healthy."

Physical therapy: The lower back must flex, extend, and rotate, says physical therapist Peggy Brill, author of two books on managing pain through exercise. Yet most of us sit immobile for hours at a time. That's why physical therapists prescribe walking and other gentle exercise, such as stretching and core strengthening, following a flare-up of back pain. Usually, after 72 hours patients will begin to feel better, says Brill.

Stress relief: Stress is the source of most low back pain, according to John Sarno, MD, professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine at New York University. Though Sarno doesn't dispute that the pain is real, he believes it stems from buried emotional issues that trigger tension in the body and ultimately deprive nerves and muscles of oxygen; relief comes through understanding this link and by learning to deal with negative emotions constructively.

Surgery: "Think of this as the last resort," says Paul McCormick, MD, a professor of neurological surgery at Columbia University. Surgery may be necessary in some cases of curvature of the spine, narrowing of the cavity that surrounds spinal nerves, and nerve inflammation or disk degeneration—but these conditions are rare, McCormick says: "Ninety-nine out of one hundred patients will recover without surgery."

My Recommendation: The research is positive on chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, and stress relief—they all help ease back pain. (As Paul McCormick says, with rare exceptions, surgery is unnecessary.) The key is to get moving again as soon as possible after the pain hits, and then make sure you take steps to prevent a return. I see low back pain as a warning about overall fitness: If you're active, your hips and back are flexible, your core strength is good, and you're coping well with the emotional challenges in your life, your back probably won't bother you. Overlook one of those areas, however, and your back will let you know. And while the emotional link to back pain is controversial, there's no question that stress can play a part in muscle tension, especially in the lower back and hips, leading to trouble.

Source: Treatments for Low Back Pain by Dr. Mehmet Oz

Additional Resources


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9/14/2009

The Right Neck Pillow For Support

First let’s describe what a neck pillow is. A Neck Pillow is a special pillow designed to give you adequate neck support when you sleep. It may come in various shapes and sizes and made out of many different types of material.


Our most successful pillow for people is our Cervical Traction Neck Pillow. This pillow is made out of a synthetic fiber. It’s not too hard like sometimes foam pillows are, not too soft like a down or feather pillow, but just right. It has a built in neck roll with slightly more fiber to hold support in the neck.

This neck roll is the key ingredient to a good neck pillow. It’s this neck roll that will maintain the proper neck curvature as well as improve it. This is important because keeping your best neck alignment ensures that the nerves in the neck are free from pressure and therefore keeps you pain free.

The traction pillow also has a built in “V” which allows for gentle neck traction and prevents you from moving around too much at night. The traction helps open up those nerve holes slightly giving additional nerve pressure release.

This pillow is also essentially 2 pillows in 1 because if you rotate it 180 degrees you have the Linear Gravity Pillow side. This side consists of only the neck roll and not the “V”.

The Linear Gravity Pillow is our 2nd most popular and comes in a small, medium, and large size whereas the Traction Pillow only comes in the medium or standard size. If you are over 6’2” we recommend the large; if under 5’1” we recommend the Linear Gravity small neck pillow.

Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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9/12/2009

Can Poor Posture Lead to a Loss of Height?

“My doctor examined me this year and it looks like I’m an inch or two shorter, how is that possible?” “I’ve had poor posture, forward head especially for some time, but over the years I’ve never noticed I lost height.”

The statement above is more common than we think. Over time, poor posture means more pressure on the discs in our spine. Those discs are between every bone of the spine and actually make up 1/3 the height of your spine. Because of this, losing a little height from each disc can make a change of your height significant.

Also misalignments are a root cause. Misalignment are either created by poor posture or actually force you into poor posture. The normal spine alignment keeps you upright and tall; someone with a scoliosis automatically loses some height just because of a curve in their spine. Not to mention, when their are misalignments or shifts the disks are not held in place as well which leads to nerve pressure and degeneration (flattening and bulging of the disc).

Prevent disc degeneration and flattening of your discs by using a good neck pillow, the posture corrector for the upper and mid back, and a back rest for the lumbar spine.


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8/10/2009

Non Surgical Treatment Solutions for Neck Pain

Today’s blog post about neck pain treatment solutions comes from Dr. Bellinger’s monthly newsletter, In Good Hands.

There are many treatment options for those suffering from neck pain. There is conventional medical care where the family doctor will usually prescribe a muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, and/or pain killer to help patients through episodes of acute neck pain. However, many patients with neck pain have been through the process of treatments associated with medications and simply cannot tolerate the adverse side effects of stomach pain common with anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, Mediprin, etc.), Aleve (Naproxen), or aspirin. Others don’t like the groggy, drunk-like feelings associated with pain killers or the sleepiness associated with muscle relaxants. Therefore, these patients often turn to complementary / alternative care.Alternative Treatments for Neck Pain Do Work


As noted in the May, 2009 issue of Consumer’s Report for low back pain, chiropractic was the most sought after form of treatment, but there has been no extensive review of neck pain regarding evidence-based treatment approaches – at least not until February, 2008. An international “team” representing 9 countries screened over 31,000 titles of articles published between 1980 and 2006, reviewed more than 1200 articles and eventually reported on 552 studies in their final report. Their findings included the following:


  • In the US, 54% utilized complementary (alternative) treatment approaches compared to 37% that obtained conventional medical care.
  • Neck pain was the 2nd most common reason Americans obtained chiropractic care.
  • Chiropractic was found to be the most frequently reported form of treatment for upper back or neck pain (ahead of massage therapy, relaxation therapy, acupuncture).
  • Those who obtained complementary AND conventional medical care were much more likely to perceive the complementary/alternative therapy as being helpful (61% vs. 6.4% for neck conditions and 39.1% vs. 19% for headaches).
  • Women more commonly obtained care than men for neck/shoulder pain (29% vs. 18% men) over a 4-6 year time frame.
  • Manual therapy (mobilization, manipulation, stretching) was associated with greater pain reduction in the short-term among patients with acute whiplash when compared with usual medical care, soft collars, passive modalities, or general advice.
  • For non-whiplash neck pain (without arm radiating pain), manipulation or mobilization, exercise, low level laser therapy (LLLT), and “…perhaps acupuncture…” were reported as more effective than no treatment, sham, or other alternative interventions.
  • For both whiplash and non-traumatic neck pain, supervised exercise with or without manual therapy was favored over usual medical care or no care.

As you can see there are alternative treatments for neck pain. If you suffer from neck pain or upper back pain, seek chiropractic treatment. This includes a wide array of neck pain solutions: manipulation, mobilization, exercise training, and activity modifying advice, as these approaches have been found to be more effective than usual medical care! Why waste time with a “wait and watch” with or without drug intervention approach when the evidence favors chiropractic related interventions.


Additional Reading Resources



Visit Arc4life.com for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.



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8/01/2009

Arc4life’s Spine-Worx Posture system helps maintain spinal alignment!

Your pillows have helped my neck but I still get some mid and lower back pain, what can I do?

A lot of the time fixing the neck will help the mid and lower back. Our spine all works together; our bodies are one big kinetic chain because. You know – our leg bone connects to our hip bone, our hip bone connects to our… I forget the actual rhyme but basically we are connected from our head to our toes.

It helps to correct the whole spine for faster recovery from pain. Correcting neck posture will often times help fix mid and lower back posture too. But it works in the reverse as well; correct the mid or low back alignment and it will help fix neck alignment issues.

For example, someone with sway back posture or a hyperlordosis (extra curve, individual looks like he or she lead with their belly) in the lumbar spine may develop forward head posture to compensate. Then the anterior head carriage cause the upper and mid back to hunch up.

The spine-worx posture align device is a great tool to help correct the low back and mid back issues that can lead to additional spine misalignments such as forward head. These misalignments are what cause neck and back pain by putting stress on our nerves.

Having optimal posture cannot be overstated- It allows your body to have the proper mobility, function and not to mention that it is healthy for your nervous system. In addition to getting regular chiropractic adjustments, doing exercise and using common sense during physical activity is important to maintain good posture. Arc 4 Life Is proud to introduce another posture tool that you can to realign your spine into its most natural position. Designed by a chiropractor, the Spine Worx Posture Align uses your body's own weight to apply controlled pressure to the spinal bones:

Use the Spine worx to align your thoracic and lumbar vertebrae


The Spine Worx Posture Align is only for the mid back and lower back area. The postural device works by gently aligning the bones in your midback or lower back into their natural positions. This helps to relieve back pain and improve your range of motion. With this back support system, you simply lie on Spine-Worx™ (see diagram below) your spine is pressed firmly against the length of its two unique padded and contoured rails, injection-molded to fit the natural shape of the thoracic and lumbar spine. Use just for one level or multiple levels.

Using the Spine Worx for Spinal Alignment for Better Posture
The vertebrae in the spine are gradually and gently encouraged to realign into their natural positions, which helps to relieve mid back pain and lower back , while improving overall mobility.

Having Optimal Posture is the key to having good health. The Spine Worx Posture Align can help you do that.

Additional Reading Resources

Visit Arc 4 Life for your online selection of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products, lower back supports and cushions.


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7/25/2009

Stop Progression of Disc Protrusions, Bulges, and Disc Degeneration...

The Cervical Traction Pillow Relieves Pressure in the neck, reduces pain, improves posture, and slows the process of degeneration of the discs in the neck.

The Cervical Linear Traction Neck PillowBy putting the neck back into alignment and taking pressure off the nerves, the neck can work like it should. This means the muscles, neck spinal bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and discs.

Visit Arc 4 Life.com for your online selection of all types of cervical support neck pillows, orthopedic pain relief products and Home traction units. Products for pain relief.

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7/23/2009

Poor Neck Posture Puts Pressure
On Your Discs

Forward Head - One Example Of Poor Posture In The Neck That Puts Extra Stress On Cervical Discs
Forward Head Posture is on of the most common misalignments out there, but there are other common neck abnormalities like head tilt and a neck that is shifted laterally. THEY ALL PUT EXTRA PRESSURE ON THE DISCS!

This spine is built in a way that it can withstand various forces on it such as gravity pushing down, turning, jumping, twisting, etc…

Any shift in the spine, whether it’s forward head or another misaligned posture, puts increased pressure on the spine and discs makingyour chance of getting neck pain or problems greater.

Use one of our neck pillows to align your neck preventing pain, poor neck posture, and disc degeneration. Our most popular pillow is the Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow. Read what others have said about the Traction Pillow.


Visit Arc4life.com for neck pain solutions: get better sleep and better posture with our products.

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