Pain in the neck causes Andy Roddick to sit game out

CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Andy Roddick's, master tennis player had to call it quits at the Cincinnati Masters because of neck pain on Tuesday.Tennis Player Andy Roddick: Out with neck pain

Said Roddick "I fell asleep last night and woke up with the lights still on,"

"I kind of passed out and I'm guessing I was in the wrong position."

"I woke up this morning with something in my neck and shoulder and any kind of activity is causing it to flare up. It's kind of a helpless feeling."

Even great athletes like Andy Roddick have neck pain flare up's every once in a while (even with the best trainers, chiropractors, and massage therapists at their fingertips !). So lets give Andy a little advice about how to deal with his neck pain.

It appears Mr.Roddick has a gentle muscle sprain/strain- pain in the neck plus decrease in range of motion in all motions. Sleeping in an incorrect position puts great stress on your neck muscles, upper shoulders, and face. The neck needs to be in a proper position when sleeping- on your back or on your side. Sleeping on one's stomach is not the best idea- this can crank your neck into a very uncomfortable position causing neck pain and muscle spasm.

Here are some simple tips to combat this neck pain: Try to take a hot shower and do some gentle stretches with your neck specifically: forward flexion (bringing your chin to your chest), bending your head to each sideNeck Exercises provide gradual neck pain relief
, and extending your head back. You do not want to do any of these to the point of pain- only to the point of feeling a stretch. Also, try to use biofreeze natural pain relieving gel for the muscle spasms in your neck.

Finally, get a good cervical support neck pillow for sleeping so that you can sleep with your head and neck properly supported- try a traction pillow. Try neck exercises that include neck stretching and neck strengthening. A proper cervical support pillow for your neck- it can make a big difference.

The wonderful news is that Mr.Roddick will bounce back with full recovery- and continue to be an unbelievable tennis player that is already is !

Picture Source: Flickr JGirl4858

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Chronic Pain Can cause shrinkage of the brain

A pain in the neck, a pain in the lower back, a headache...Did you know that 75 million people in the US suffer from chronic pain or pain that reccurs. Chronic pain can rob you of a normal fruitful life. Physically and mentally it can wear you down. A 2004 Study showed that people who suffer from chronic backaches have brains that are 11% smaller than those people who do not suffer. Chronic Pain can cause shrinking of the brain
It is not understood why. "It is possible it's just the stress of having to live with the condition," said study leader A. Vania Apkarian of Northwestern University. "The neurons become overactive or tired of the activity."


The Positive Connection between Exercise and Alzhiemers Patients

Ahh...the benefits of exercise...enough just cannot be said about exercise.

Alzheimer's disease is one that robs a patients mind, their friends, family and loved ones. The International conference on Alzheimers Disease in Chicago recently revealed that patients with early Alzheimer's disease who exercised regularly saw less deterioration in the areas of the brain which control memory.The Benefits of Exercise and the connection with Alzheimer's

The study involved 121 people 60 and over, who were exposed to fitness tests while at the same time measuring measuring their white and grey brain matter and overall brain volume using MRI. Fifty-seven of the participants had early-stage Alzheimer's while the rest of the participants did not have dementia.

Reading the MRI's showed that a positive effect on the hippocampus region of patients' brains, an area which is important for both memory and balance. In an Alzheimer's patient, the hippocampus part of the brain is one of the first parts to suffer damage. Physical exercise has shown to slow age related brain cell death in healthy older adults.

Most importantly, a correlation was made between size of key brain areas associated with memory and fitness. Researchers discovered that patients with early onset of Alzheimer's had significant atrophy of brain tissue.

"This is the first study to get an inside look into specifically where these changes occur in the brain — we're able to locate the changes associated with fitness to the actual memory region, the hippocampus, which is a key area for Alzheimer's-related atrophy," said Robyn A. Honea, PhD, a lead investigator on the study. "This suggests that maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness may positively modify Alzheimer's-related brain atrophy."

The Study also noted "Higher fitness through increased physical activity has been associated with enhanced neuronal survival to brain insults, increased vascularization, and elevations of growth factors in areas important for memory,"

At present there is no cure for Alzheimers disease, and it is devasting for the patient and their families. It is reassuring to see that research continues to be done in this very important disease that affects so many. Simple exercise can allow early stage Alzheimer's patients to preserve their cognitive function longer.

Source: Neurology, July 15 2008

In case of Emergencies: Medical Alert can Save lives

Today I want to talk about a special website that can help to save lives. Medical alert is an emergency response system available in Canada that is perfect for elderly patients, anyone with medical conditions and anyone who has difficulty moving around. This service can even remind you to make sure you take your medications on time. If ever there is an emergency, you can simply press a button, and medical trained professionals will communicate with you to assist you or alert a friend, a family member or other emergency contact. You can simply get a medical alert bracelet- this device will be able to connect you to your family members, medical professionals, trained people who can help you in an emergency. Enough cannot be said about peace of mind, especially when looking after a loved one. Visit Direct Alert for more information on this valuable service that help out when you need it the most. -NJ


The Top 10 Reasons Why you need to have a good cervical support pillow

Sleep is very important and for good sleep you need a good cervical support pillow. I am not talking about the flat standard pillow you sleep on everyday. Today I want to discuss 10 reasons why you need to have a good neck pillow when sleeping:

  1. For proper support of the head and neck while you sleep
  2. Wake up pain free, because your head and neck are not in a uncomfortable awkward position
  3. Breathe properly while you are sleeping
  4. Maintain the proper cervical curvature while sleeping ( on your side or on your back)
  5. For a sound sleep at night, allowing your body to get the proper rest that it needs after a stressful day
  6. Prevents headaches and stiff neck
  7. Improves circulation by decreasing pressure points in the lower neck area
  8. Maintains flexibility in the neck with good range of motion when you wake up
  9. Allows you to get into a deep sleep that includes REM Sleep- so that your body can heal properly
  10. Maintains good posture while you are sleeping for your head, neck and upper back area
The Top 10 Reasons why you need a good Cervical Support Neck Pillow for sleeping

Visit Arc4life to view the most recommended cervical neck pillows.


Treatment of Neck Pain after a Whiplash Accident: Results of Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010

Whiplash and neck pain are complex injuries that involve the delicate soft tissues and nerves of the neck. They are often due to a motor vehicle accident or another type of trauma. Even car accidents at low speeds can produce significant neck injury. These patients also suffer with midback pain, lower back pain, arm pain, as well as headaches and vertigo (dizziness). For some people, the symptoms go away quickly, but for others their suffering can last for years.

There are many different treatment options for neck pain. Chiropractors, Medical Doctors, Osteopaths, and Surgeons all treat neck pain in a different fashion. Some neck pain sufferers will try home remedies, physical therapists, personal trainers, and massage therapy. It can be fustrating to decide what type of treatment to persue and what will work for you.

The Medical Journal SPINE recently published the results of a best-evidence review of all neck pain treatments. The Bone and Joint Decade task force reviewed literature of non surgical non-invasive treatments from 1980-2006. 139 papers were considered scientifically valid for review and covered topics such as:

  • educational videos
  • mobilization (deep stretching movements)
  • manual therapy (done by hand)
  • low level laser therapy
  • exercises
  • accupuncture

Also, researchers also looked at costs and safety of treatments. There conclusion was that treatments involving manual therapy and exercise are more effective than alternative strategies for neck pain patients.

So before you make a decision as to how to treat your neck pain consider non drug, non surgical options for recovering from your whiplash.

Source: SPINE (Hurwitz, et al. Spine 2008;33:S123-52)


Large Handbags- A Pain in the Neck

Today's Blog comes courtesty of another health blog: Healthy LifeStyle by Borzack. Large Handbags, although Desirable, can be a pain in the neck

One of the biggest fashion trends this season is to be seen toting a huge handbag. Jumbo sized bags are the rage and all leading designers have come up with exquisite pieces that may just be a strain on the pocket, and elsewhere.

Hefty bags can cause back pain, shoulder and neck pain, headaches and even arthritis, warns Dr Jane Sadler of Baylor Medical Centre in Garland, Texas.

“I see so many women with neck pain and headaches, and what I usually do is look for their bags and pick them up,” says Sadler. “Their bags generally weigh anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds!”

Such extra large bags mean that women are carrying more items and this can cause an imbalance when walking or standing, another case of poor posture and ergonomics.

“If you can think about how you carry a bag, it’s usually on one side and you kind of pull your neck to one side and lift your shoulder. It’s a very unnatural position,” says Sadler.

The extra weight creates a strain on the neck muscles and the nerves. Being fashionable has its price, but it should only be for the exorbitant purchase of the items rather than a hefty doctor’s bill for pain treatment.

What Is Too Heavy?

Sadler says if you are carrying a mobile phone, makeup and wallet in your bag, it’s already too much. A quick peek into a woman’s bag reveals all of the offending items, including a book, a bottle of water, an organiser, a digital camera, a mobile phone, a laptop and unidentified pieces of paper!

Sadler says if your bag is uncomfortable when you sling it on and you can feel the weight pulling your shoulder, it’s good time to downsize.

“We’re really going to see women with more and more problems later on if we continue the big bag craze.”

Suggested ways of shedding your bag’s weight is to be more organized, downsize your wallet and carry only essentials. That means leaving large makeup kits at home and carrying your mobile phone on a belt clip.

Source: Healthy LifeStyle Blog
Picture Source: Couturier.Tiffany

Visit us online at www.arc4life.com


End Your Neck Pain and Improve your Health with True Neck Traction

First, to completely understand neck tractioning you must be aware that there are two types of neck traction. One that simply stretches your neck out and two, one that stretches your neck but also helps restore the proper neck curvature at the same time. The latter is what I call "true" neck traction.

It is the second type, true neck traction, we will want to focus on and use. Why you may ask? Simply stretching the neck can be helpful because you relieve nerve pressure temporarily. However, when stretching is completed gravity takes over - and neck and nerve pressure returns and often times your pain returns.

Neck traction that works to restore the natural curve of the spine ( your body's optimal alignment ) keeps pressure off the nerves continually allowing one to be pain free and function 100%.

You see, health is defined as 100% function of your nervous system. It is this system-your brain, spinal cord and all the nerves that gives us the ability to work, eat, sleep, play; everything ! When we put unwanted pressure or stress on any of the nerves it will inhibit our ability to function and therefore our health.

Pain or some other symptom like headaches, tingling in the arms or hands, muscle weakness or soreness are simply warning signs saying that something is wrong.

Studies have shown we should have 40-60 degrees neck spine curvature for our spinal cord and neck nerves to function best. By just stretching our neck vertically we may take some pressure off some nerves but we aren't going to help re align the neck to that optimum curve or alignment.

By doing neck traction where we add in the elements of putting the curvature in the neck while stretching it we can restore neck alignment therefore improving our overall health and keeping us pain free.

Arc4life's Pronex Cervical Traction unit for neck pain relief
True neck traction can be acheived with traction units such as the Posture Pump 1000 or the Pronex Pneumatic Cervical Traction Unit.

Visit us on the web at Arc4life.com


Help, I woke up with a Stiff neck ! How do I get rid of it?

Help me i have a bad stiff neck ! how do i get rid of it???? please help!!!!
Imagine, you wake up one morning, and you have stiffness in your neck and you cannot move your head. stiff neck

You probably slept uncomfortably in an awkward position. A stiff neck often results when you have slept incorrectly, thereby straining the muscles of the neck. It can also result after being on the telephone for too long, or for driving long periods. You want to first of all deal with this stiff neck. Take a warm/hot shower and slowly flex your head forward and backward as far as you can without pain. Also laterally bend and turn your head side to side. Use a natural pain relieving gel like Biofreeze. To properly use this read this Neck Pain Support Blog Post on how to decrease muscle spasm using biofreeze. Also, get used to doing some sort of neck stretches every morning to prevent a stiff neck in the first place. Read our Neck Pain Support Blog for Fast and Easy Stretches for the Cervical Spine. Finally, you need to have a good cervical support neck pillow while you sleep: Try the Cervical Traction neck pillow. It is the best neck pillow for sleeping and preventing a stiff neck. This neck pillow will keep your neck in the proper position while sleeping.

Visit us at Arc4life.com for informative articles on neck pain as well as neck pain relief products.


True Neck Traction - The Right Kind Of Neck Traction For Long Term Pain Relief

Many people get traction at a therapist’s office or do home traction. One kind of traction is where the neck basically only gets stretched. The other is where you get stretched but also it helps restore the neck curvature.

In the neck there should be a 40-60 degree C curvature. This is the best position for the neck spine because it leaves the spinal cord relaxed and all of the nerves can travel out of the back of the spine with no pressure or interference.

True neck traction is traction where the goal is to restore the cervical curvature because this can be a long term fix for nerve pressure and neck problems like pain and muscle tension.

Traction where the head is simply stretched is a short term fix. Often the most common type is “overhead traction” or “over the door traction”.Over the Door Neck Traction This is where some sort of harness is strapped onto your neck or head and there is a weight on the other end of the harness (usually over a door) creating the pull. Sometimes it’s done with small weights, or a water bag. This is similar to having someone gently pull upward on your head. It gives temporary relief.

By using true neck traction you can get relief that will last much longer. It has been said that any loss of the normal neck curvature is classified as a misalignment or subluxation of the spine. Any misalignment or subluxation puts pressure on nerves. Even a tiny misalignment can take away that nerve or those nerves’ ability to send the brains message to that particular part of the body.

This is why neck traction is often used by only people in pain and discomfort a lot of the time, but also used by people who show no symptoms of neck pain or soreness and the like.

A simple lateral x-ray of someone’s neck can show us what their neck curvature looks like.lateral neck x-ray
Otherwise looking at one’s posture from the side can tell us a lot. The middle of the ear should approximately line up with the middle of the shoulder. A vertical line should be able to be drawn between these two points.

If it doesn’t line up then it’s another case of the dreaded “forward head posture”. If that head is protruded out forward there is a great chance there’s loss of some of the adequate neck curvature and alignment.

Neck Pain and Sitting at the computer
One day of working on the computer or reading with your head down most likely won’t change your neck curvature but prolonged poor posture or a whiplash type injury can.

Take the football quarterback example. The quarterback gets sacked, hit from behind as he was about to throw. His back arches back, his neck arches back, as he is hit at the torso level. Then his body is flung forward as the momentum and force of the tackler moves in that direction. His neck whips back, forward, and then back again as he hits the ground (“whiplash”). So the quarterback’s spine was completely contorted, but he gets up, brushes himself of, and his spine shifts back into place.

The body is pretty amazing! A lot of the time it will shift right back into alignment. Sometimes, however, the spine doesn’t go back into place and we now have a misalignment. This can be of solely one vertebra (back bone) or most often, a group of the segments or vertebrae of the spine.

With loss of the neck curve (cervical lordosis) it’s often a group of segments that are misaligned. Again, this can happen through some kind of trauma, like taking a hard tackle to getting rear ended in your car. And it doesn’t always take much force at all actually. The loss of neck curvature can also be due to poor postural habits over time. Things like working on a computer multiple hours a day without a break; or continuous reading with your head down; or long drives that are stressful, to give a few examples.

This is why neck traction is so often used now. It’s the best way to restore the neck alignment to what it should be.Pronex Cervical Traction Unit Correcting the curvature takes pressure of the nerves, reduces the inflammation, and relaxes the muscles. Neck traction not only helps people that have had trauma to the neck and clearly have sever neck pain, but it also helps prevent unwanted neck problems from arising.

Dr Matt Bellinger is a Chiropractor in Connecticut. He has written many articles on how to easily and naturaly relieve pain, and has helped hundred of patients in his clinic end their neck and back pain. He recommends specific pain relief and posture improving products at http://www.arc4life.com. Read more articles related to neck pain and cervical neck traction here. He recommends the Pronex Cervical Traction Unit for his patients home traction use. This neck traction device creates an even distraction in the anterior and posterior cervical discs while supporting the cervical curve. It is a lightweight, simple to use, pneumatic device that has revoultionized the at-home cervical traction unit.

Source: Ezine Articles: http://ezinearticles.com/?True-Neck-Traction---The-Right-Kind-Of-Neck-Traction-For-Long-Term-Pain-Relief&id=758533


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