Tuesday, June 12, 2012

5 Steps to a Successful Workout

5 Steps to a Successful Workout
  1. Perform a Warm-up for at Least 10 Minutes
    Prior to starting any physical exercise a total body warm-up should be implemented. The warm-up should consist of large muscle dynamic type movements such as jumping jacks, jumping rope, brisk walking or riding a bike.
  2. Do Light Stretching Prior to Exercising
    By stretching for a few moments before your actual workout, this may reduce the possibility of injury(strains/sprains), as well as, ready the muscles for any load bearing exercises they encounter. Remember your goal is not to obtain flexibility, but injury prevention. Stretch major muscles for approx 30 seconds.
  3. Have a Great Workout
    Regardless of your type of workout(cardiovascular/weight training), it should be safe, challenging and fun. Please contact Capstone Pain for additional information regarding a specific exercise program custom fit to your needs.
  4. Cool down is a must
    It is always a good idea to perform a 5-10 minute cool down. This will again serve as injury prevention, as well as, help alleviate muscle soreness.
  5. Moderate Stretching for Flexibility
    This portion of flexibility should be a little more strenuous that the previous stretching but it should never feel difficult. Proper stretching can help prevent major muscle and back injuries. Stretch all major muscle groups for a minimum of 1 minute for 2 sets. Remember don’t bounce, stretch and hold, and don’t forget to relax.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Choose the Right Mattress for Back Support & Sleep Comfort

I am often asked by patients what mattress is best for their back or neck pain. The answer is it depends on what works for you. There are many brands of high end mattresses using foam, air and springs for support. They vary in thickness and density. As we sleep, pressure points occur on the back of the head, shoulders, hips, knees and ribs. The mattress and pillow that reduce the most pressure on these sites in whatever your favorite position to sleep in will reduce joint and back pain and is the best one for you. The key is to get uninterrupted sleep that allows you to get into a restful REM sleep state.

Some tips:
  1. Keep your neck (cervical spine) in line with your upper back (thoracic spine). Try different pillows to get the proper alignment. You will likely need a thinner pillow for back sleepers vs. a thicker pillow or a specialized neck pillow for side sleepers.
  2. If you are a side sleeper keep your knees apart with pillows to reduce pressure on hips, knees and ankles.
  3. If your mattress sags in the middle, but you can't afford a new firmer mattress, try placing a flat pillow under the ribs or flank for side sleepers to keep your spine straighter.
  4. When buying a new mattress think about the temperature of the mattress material. Foam mattresses tend to retain heat from our bodies and can become uncomfortable during the night. If you are warm natured this may significantly affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
  5. VERY IMPORTANT: FOR ANY PURCHASE OF A NEW MATTRESS, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A TRIAL PERIOD OF AT LEAST THREE MONTHS PREFERABLY SIX MONTHS DURING WHICH YOU CAN RETURN THE MATTRESS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN CHANGING FROM ONE MATERIAL TO ANOTHER.