Whiplash Can Be Caused By More Than Just Car Accidents

What image pops into your mind when someone says the word “whiplash?”

If you’re like most people, the image is of a neck brace, and the first thing you think of when you hear the term is “car accident.”

It’s no surprise, really. Auto accidents are indeed the leading cause of the injury, but the simple truth is that you can get whiplash from a variety of other sources as well.

Before we get to that, it’s important to take a moment to explain exactly what whiplash is.

In the simplest terms, it’s a type of neck injury that results when your head and neck are suddenly and unexpectedly jolted forward, then backward with considerable force.

The force of the movement puts tremendous strain on the muscles of your neck, which causes the soreness and makes it difficult to turn your head for a considerable period of time until those muscles have had a chance to heal and recover.

Based on that description, it’s easy to see how many other activities could potentially cause the condition.

Horseback riding is an example, especially if you’re riding at full gallop. Horses don’t come with shock absorbers after all, and that repetitive bucking and rolling motion can easily be of sufficient force to make your neck unexpectedly sore after a ride.

The same is true from, say, falling off of a bicycle. Granted, if you’re wearing a helmet, that’s going to minimize the chance of serious head trauma or concussion, but the helmet does absolutely nothing in terms of preventing the whipping motion of your head itself, which is where the pain in your neck ultimately comes from.

For that matter, any type of trip or fall can potentially lead to whiplash. It all depends on how violently your head was forced back and forth during the course of your fall.

The good news is that whiplash is easily treatable, and your chiropractor can recommend a reliable course of treatment that will have you feeling better in no time, so don’t ignore that pain in your neck – you don’t have to just live with it!

Travel With Less Pain With These Simple Tips

Vacationing is supposed to be all smiles and fun, but the reality is that traveling to get there can be a real pain in the neck (and back). If you’re flying coach, the seats are tiny and not very comfortable.

If you’re driving, you may find yourself sitting in the same position for hours on end, and that’s before we even mention the act of loading and unloading the luggage, and toting those heavy suitcases up and down stairs.

Fortunately, travel doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Here are a few simple tips that can help you avoid the pain, so you can focus on the fun.

• Take Regular Stretch Breaks – This is easier to do if you’re driving, but you can usually arrange it if you’re suffering through a long flight too. Just get up and stretch about once an hour. It doesn’t have to be a long break; you’ve just got to provide a bit of relief to those cramped muscles at regular intervals.

• Say No To Duffels – A lot of travelers use a simple duffle bag as an overnight bag, but this is a suboptimal choice as far as your back is concerned. A backpack, worn properly, is a much better option that will virtually eliminate the possibility of strain or sprain.

• Be Mindful Of Your Posture – There’s a right way and a wrong way to lift and carry luggage. Too often, people get in a hurry and don’t think about posture or proper lifting techniques when handling luggage, and that’s unfortunate, because it’s one of the leading causes of vacation-related back injuries. That’s a shame, because a little mindfulness can avoid most of the trouble!

• Ship It – One simple way to avoid the issue altogether is to simply ship your luggage ahead of you to wherever you’re going. While this doesn’t completely eliminate your need to handle it, it does minimize the amount of time you have to spend dealing with it, and every little bit helps.

While these tips won’t completely eliminate your chances of back injury on vacation, they’ll certainly go a long way toward minimizing them, which means you’ll get to spend more time focusing on relaxing and having fun.

Parenting Pains Can Be Felt In Back, Neck and Shoulders

You’re probably aware that you can get RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries) from playing a variety of sports such as golf or tennis. Those kinds of injuries are fairly common and often talked about. What’s less commonly mentioned is the fact that the act of parenting carries its own risks, and some of your regular parenting tasks may be causing or contributing to the aches and pains you’re feeling.

Think about it for just a moment. How many times have you picked up your toddler and toted him or her around on one hip?

How many times have you hefted up your baby’s car seat and walked it, fully loaded, up or down a couple flights of stairs?

If you have an infant, both of those questions probably brought vivid images to your mind’s eye, and with good reason. They’re incredibly commonplace, and unfortunately, they can wreak havoc on your body.
At the root, the problem comes down to one of posture.

Think back to the example of carrying a child on one hip, while you’re walking through a store, for example. That extra weight added to one side of your body causes you to be off balance. You compensate by adjusting your position to accommodate the child, but your body is simply not accustomed to being aligned that way, and because of that, it won’t take long before walking like that causes stiffness and soreness.

The same is true of our second example, carrying a heavy child carrier up and down one or more flights of steps. All the weight is out in front of you, which puts tremendous strain on your neck and shoulders, which again, over time, can lead to chronic pain. Who knew that proper posture was such an important part of good parenting?

If you find yourself suffering from RSI’s because of acts such as these, there’s good news. The problem is entirely fixable, and your chiropractor can give you tips and guidance on how to properly perform those tasks without straining your muscles or mucking up your posture.

Best And Worst Positions To Sleep When Having Back Pain

If you are suffering from back pain now, or have suffered from it in the past, then you know how miserable it can be, especially when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.

It’s virtually impossible to get comfortable. No matter how you move, the pain just seems to follow you. In fact, how you sleep may be contributing to the problem, and it could prolong the duration of your pain.

That’s especially true if you’re a stomach sleeper, as that position has the unfortunate disadvantage of straightening out, and putting added strain on your spine, which can make the pain you’re already feeling even worse.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help alleviate your back pain and get a better night’s sleep.

The first and best solution is that if you sleep primarily on your back, place a pillow under your legs at the knee. This allows your spin to maintain its natural alignment.

If you’re primarily a side-sleeper, then be sure to use a full body pillow between your knees, and draw them up slightly as you drift off. If you’re a stomach sleeper, the best advice is to stop altogether. Although, if you just can’t sleep in any other position, then you can help mitigate the strain by putting a pillow under your pelvis. It’s not perfect, but it helps some.

The biggest thing, though, is to move at regular intervals. No sleep position is optimal if held for an excessive period of time, and when you move around, you’re giving your back and various muscle groups a chance to rest and recover.

Also note that finding the “right” mattress and pillow will go a long way toward getting a better night’s sleep, back pain or not, and it’s well worth spending a little extra to get something that really works for you.