How to Improve Your Posture and Fix Rounded Shoulders

Do you have constant neck pain or shoulder pain, or both? Take a look around you, and you will notice most people experience this same problem.

It’s easy to spot: people at work may have a hunched-over appearance or complain regularly about back pain.

Slouching has been prevalent even before the age of mobile phones.

From students doing homework on their desks to office workers being in front of their computers all day, slouching seems to have a soothing effect for sitting all day.

However, this often leads to poor upper body posture or “rounded shoulders.”

What are Rounded Shoulders?

Forward head rounded shoulders (FHRS) refers to the positioning of the head and shoulder with the upper body.

It is a fairly common condition. Actually, most of us can be categorized under this.

If your shoulders are rounded forward, you have misaligned body posture.

You can do a simple test in front of a mirror. Stand and let your arms hang loosely at your sides.

Are your palms naturally point inward or outward?

If they are facing outward away from your thighs, you possibly have tight chest muscles, which in turn develop rounded shoulders.

Have someone take a look at you from the side, facing either your left or right shoulder.

The deltoid muscle consists of three separate heads: the anterior, medial, and posterior head. Ideally, the medial section of the deltoid would be facing directly at them.

It would be like looking straight ahead, and your cheekbone is in a straight line slightly anterior of your clavicle or directly superior of it.

You have rounded shoulders when your shoulders appear rounded forward, and the posterior head of the deltoid is facing more anterior.

Your head is more forward than usual, which gives the appearance of a turtle-like posture.

Causes and Effects of Rounded Shoulders

In most cases, rounded shoulders are correctable. These may be caused by several reasons apart from simply slouching:

  • Poor exercise technique: not enough back exercises, too many chest exercises
  • Lazy upper body posture
  • Long hours at your desk
  • Hunching over in front of your laptop
  • Overdeveloped chest with a weak back
  • Driving a car, hunched over
  • Using a smartphone or tablet
  • Bending over repeatedly
  • Carrying heavy objects all the time

Please take note, however, that the most common mistake we do is slumping our backs.

We do this for several reasons, and the worst part is we’re not aware that we’re doing it. At times, we slouch our backs when we want to relax or when we are simply tired.

You may also do this when you speak to a friend outside in the street, and you become oblivious of how you’re standing.

Why is slouching your back that bad for your posture? The main reason here is that slouching will bend the natural curvature of your spine.

It gets out of shape and puts extra stress on the muscle that holds it together. As a result, the muscle tightens, and you will experience back pains.

Some people develop Lordosis, a posture problem that can cause the lower spine to curve out and tilt the pelvis.

Most lower back problems stem from this condition, including Sciatica nerve problems, or even worse, can cause more severe health issues.

Your internal organs will suffer if you have a titled pelvis as they can be moved out of their proper place. This can cause conditions such as acid reflux or GERD.

Common Areas of Pain

Rounded shoulders collapse the chest and decrease the capacity of the lungs. These can cause headaches, pain in your entire back and shoulders.

Tight chest muscles make your shoulders fall forward place excessive pressure on your upper back. Shoulder rounding causes a muscle imbalance between your upper back and chest.

You’re not helping the situation by hunching over when you sit.

Your muscles are lengthened when you slouch. This makes the imbalance between your stretched back muscles and tight chest more pronounced.

You place a strain on your cervical spine when you let your shoulders fall forward when you sit or stand.

Research has shown that this strain quickens the degeneration of discs in the cervical spine and may lead to more problems such as a disc herniation.

How to Fix Rounded Shoulders at Home

Exercise is essential, but remember that posture is mostly the result of how you perceive your body and your postural habits. You can only help corrective strengthening exercises by making better choices about your shoulders.

To help fix rounded shoulders, follow an exercise program that combines working with your strength and mobility, and stretching. Your goal is to strengthen your back, increase your mobility, and loosen your chest muscles.

Keep a journal of your progress and set a goal to improve your posture.

Most importantly, be watchful of your upper body posture. Stand upright, sit up straight, and keep your shoulders back.

The following exercise program is something you can do at home to help improve posture and fix rounded shoulders.

Foam-roll chest stretch

  • Lie on the floor on your back.
  • Place a foam roller under your head and run it down the length of your spine.
  • Raise your hands above your shoulders, engage your core, face your palms toward each other, and point your fingers to the ceiling.
  • Bring your arms down to the sides of your body. Your body would be cross-like.
  • Try touching the floor using the back of your hands.
  • Hold it for 5 minutes, then release.

Door frame standing chest stretch

  • In the center of a door frame, engage your core by standing up straight.
  • Raise your arms to the side of your body, and that your elbows are at shoulder height.
  • Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and face your palms away from you.
  • Place your palms, forearms, and elbows on each door frame and slightly lean forward.
  • Hold this position for 1 minute and do the same with your one arm on the door jam and the other resting on your side. Hold this for 1 minute, then switch arms.
  • Repeat single arm chest stretches using your elbow at a 45-degree angle. Hold for 1 minute then switch.

Standing T-stretch palms facing posteriorly

  • Stand up straight. Lift your arms straight to your side and engage your core.
  • Spin your arms so that your thumbs are pointing down with your palms facing behind you.
  • Gently pull your arms back as far as you possibly can. Hold this for 1 minute then repeat.

Prone Thumb Raise

  • Lie face down on the floor – this is the prone position.
  • Your body should be in a Y position with your arms out in a 45-degree angle.
  • Spin the arms outwards, clench your hands into a fist, with thumbs pointing up.
  • Pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Then lift your straight arms off the ground.
  • Move your arms up and down 15 times and remember to pinch your shoulder blades together before you raise your arms in each rep.

Prone Cobra

  • Do the prone position with your arms next to your sides, legs straight and palms down.
  • Contract the muscles of your lower back and glutes, life your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor.
  • At the same time, spin your arms, so your thumbs are pointing to the ceiling.
  • By now, the only parts touching the floor would be your hips. Hold this for 1 minute.

Reverse Chest Pull with Elastic Band

  • Grasp an elastic band with both hands and hold it at shoulder width apart. The tension of the band should be strong.
  • Engage your core, stand up straight, and lift your arms in front of your shoulders.
  • Pinch your shoulder blades together before you move your arms; then move your straight arms out to your sides.
  • Hold this outstretched position for a few seconds, and make sure you pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Bring your arms in front of your shoulders. Do this for 15 reps.

Wall Press

Stand against a wall as straight as you can and place both your arms against it.

Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle with the back of your arms touching the surface of the wall.

Slide your arms down and hold it for a second, then slide them back up the wall as high as you can until your most comfortable point.

Return to starting position and do five reps.

When you do each of the movement, your glutes, shoulders, elbows, and back of your hands should be touching the wall.

Don’t roll your shoulders forward or thrust your head forward to do this. Keep your shoulder blades together, and keep your head high.

Do this program every other day. With each week, you progress, increase the intensity. For instance, you can do 1 set of each exercise for the first week, then add a set for the next week, and so on.

When you are up to 4 sets, you can further increase the intensity by including more shoulder exercises and adding weights.

Prevent Shoulder Problems

As with almost any cure, there are preventive steps you can take. Several athletes and physically active people undergo shoulder problems – stiffness, weakness, or pain or sometimes combined.

There’s a whole different risk to avoid apart from too much activity – inactivity.

Your shoulder can also get worn down from long hours spent scrolling with your mouse, tapping computer keys, and basically not getting out to move enough.

The apparent key to preventing the development of posture related problems is to keep your muscles healthy and active. Even if you begin to notice the signs of rounded shoulders in yourself, once you have recognized it, you are one more step on your way to fixing it.

You can do this simple self-care exercise that you can perform 3-4 times a week.

  • Stand against a wall, bend your knees comfortably with 6 feet to 8 inches from the baseboard. Place your arms above your head so that your bent elbows are in a straight line angle with your shoulders.
  • Tilt your pelvic, flatten out your lumbar curve, and pull your belly button to your spine to protect your lower back.
  • Press your entire upper back, arms, hands, wrists, and shoulders securely against the wall. You may not get it right on your first try, and that’s okay. Repeat this until you see your position improve.
  • Then, keep your wrists and elbows in touch with the wall, and slowly lower your elbows in line with your waistline, or lower as you can without your elbows or wrists lifting from the wall.
  • Briefly pause, then get back to the starting position, with your wrists and elbows still touching the wall.
  • Repeat steps 4 and 5 for a couple more times, pause for a break, then return for another set.

Balance for Fixing Bad Back

For every squatting movement or forward pressing you do, superset it with a hip dominant movement or pulling to focus more on your hamstrings and glutes. You want to make sure that you work all parts of your core, especially your lower back.

This means that you will need to do a back or hip extension movement directly after a sit-up or ab crunch exercises.

It’s not as complicated as you may think. The thing to remember is that it all boils down to being in balance.

The Chinese often call it yin and yang. The same concept applies to your body.

If your front side is too strong and tight, your body becomes rounded forward, and your back becomes weak.

Therefore, it is crucial to stretch out the muscles on the front of your body, all while strengthening your back muscles.

Also, if your stomach is getting too big, it can throw your balance off as well.

Strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, lower back and shoulders by doing the various exercises in the program.

These exercises make them work in a full range of motion.

Improve your posture and fix rounded shoulders by incorporating the program into your routine.

Be sure to check on your posture throughout the day and keep your journal in monitoring your progress.

You will see a noticeable improvement in posture in no time.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief Exercises and Stretches to do at Home

Sacroiliac Joint-Pain-Relief-Exercises

Sacroiliac Joint Pain 

Although not many people realize it, sacroiliac joint pain is something they face daily.

The sacroiliac joint is found in the pelvis and connects the iliac bone (the pelvis) to the lowest part of your spine above the tailbone, which is called the sacrum.

Because of its specific position, many tend to confuse sacroiliac joint pain with other types of pain, when in fact, it’s the perpetrator behind many problems they experience, not only the pain.

No matter how bad or difficult to detect sacroiliac joint pain is, there are some stretches and exercises you can do to relieve the pain.

There are also other stretches and exercises you should avoid to minimize the risk of experiencing sacroiliac joint pain. Keep reading to find out more about sacroiliac joint pain.


Sacroiliac Joint Pain Symptoms

There is a range of symptoms related to sacroiliac joint pain, and many of them are similar or same to symptoms for other conditions, making it difficult to get the right diagnosis for sacroiliac joint pain.

However, there are some symptoms that are directly related to sacroiliac joint pain and can help you determine if you have in fact, sacroiliac joint pain or something totally different.

In general, a combination of the following symptoms is a sign of chronic sacroiliac joint pain:

Lower back pain lower back pain is a common companion to sacroiliac joint pain since the location of this joint affects the lower area of your back and can make it stiffer and more sensitive to

Sensitive lower extremities – sacroiliac joint pain often numbs your legs and makes them more sensitive than usual, which can impair their healthy function.

Pelvis and buttock pain – the sacroiliac joint is located in the pelvis, the feeling of pain in this area and the buttocks area are the most common symptoms people experience.

Hip and groin pain – because of the position of the sacroiliac joint, the pain you experience might spread out to your hips and groins, making it difficult to stand, walk, or even sit at times.

Instability – sacroiliac joint pain may lead to the irregular function of the whole area of the pelvis, which may cause you to feel like your legs are giving away or be unable to walk correctly.

Inability to sit right – as a result of sacroiliac joint pain, most people are unable to sit for long periods or in a certain pose. Additionally, you may feel discomfort while seating as a result of the sensibility of the area.

Pain going from sitting to standing – standing up can be a major struggle for people suffering from sacroiliac joint pain because of the sensitivity of the area and the irregular function of the muscles and tissue surrounding the joint.


Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

Beside treating it with pain medications, there are a few other things you can try to relieve your sacroiliac joint pain. Some of those include:

Rest regularly – it’s important that during the day, you have a 1 or 2 short rest breaks to give your muscles and joints the chance to rest.

Too much movement irritates and puts a lot of stress on all your joints, which can cause them to become inflamed, stingy and ultimately painful.

Visit a chiropractor – Chiropractors are health care professionals that help people with neuromuscular problems, so they can give a bit of relief when it comes to sacroiliac joint pain.

You can also try with osteopathic doctors or other health care professionals that can aid your sacroiliac joint pain by applying a bit of pressure and gentle massages to the right areas.

Apply ice or heat – hot or cold pads can reduce the inflammation in your lower back which can reduce any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing.

You can buy hot or cold pads from your local pharmacy or store, or make your own ones at home with ice cubes or hot bottles.

Support devices – There are a few devices, pads and wraps you can place around your back or the pelvic area to give it more support and minimize the pain you’re experiencing.


5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises for Relief

Doing some simple stretches and exercises can be of great help with your sacroiliac joint pain and relieve some of the pain you feel. If you’re experiencing sacroiliac joint pain, try out some of the following exercises:

1. The triangle

Spread your legs apart a bit wider than your shoulders with your feet pointing outwards.

Extend your arms on the side of your body parallel to the floor.

Bend to one side and touch your foot with your hand (left hand-left foot, right hand-right foot) with the other hand going over your head.

Hold this pose for 10 to 20 seconds on each side.

2. The Cobra

This pose comes from yoga and is great to relax your sacroiliac joints after overworking them. It doesn’t require much effort to do either.

It’s done by laying on your stomach and lifting your upper body with your arms as high up as your arms can extend while your pelvis and legs are on the ground.

Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds in a 3 series.

3. The bridge

Start by laying on your back with your knees bent, your arms parallel to your body and your palms on the floor.

While your palms and foot are still on the floor, lift your body up and squeeze your buttocks while bringing your torso in a straight diagonal line.

Hold yourself up in this position for 5 seconds and repeat it 8 to 10 times.

4. Quadriceps Stretch

This is a simple stretching exercise to relax your sacroiliac joint and it’s rather simple to do.

All you need to do is to put your arm on the wall, while standing against it, and grab your foot behind your body with your free hand.

5. Bird Dog

Another yoga-inspired exercise that helps strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles so they can support your body easier and result in better stability and less stress being placed on your sacroiliac joint.

It’s done by standing on all fours, with your spine and neck straight in a neutral position while you’re looking at the ground.

Stretch your left arm forward while extending your leg backward and holding them straight with your body for 5 seconds at a time. Repeat on each side for 6 to 10 times.


5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises to Avoid

While exercising is always deemed as beneficial for all the muscles and joints, there are some exercises that can irritate your sacroiliac joint and worsen your pain.

So, it’s better to avoid doing the following types of exercises:

1. Crunches and sit-ups

Crunches and sit-ups put a lot of stress on your pelvic area which makes it easily irritable and inflamed.

The whole activity of the hips and pelvis puts stress on your lower back which worsens the inflammation in the sacroiliac joint and can make it more painful than before.

2. Golf and tennis

Gold and tennis involve a lot of twisting and turning of your hips, which irritates the pelvis and worsens the sacroiliac joint pain.

It also wears down the muscles, tendons, and joints in the whole area, which can further complicate your condition.

3. Biking

Biking and long rides put pressure on your pelvis and your sacroiliac joints.

This pressure causes inflammation in the whole area, making the pain worse and causing even more discomfort than previously.

4. Weight lifting

Weight lifting, especially heavy weight lifting that involves activating the lower back can significantly damage your lower back and with it, the pelvis and sacroiliac joint.

So if you’re experiencing any sacroiliac joint pain, avoid lifting heavy weights the next time you’re at the gym.

5. Football and basketball

Sports like football and basketball bring an additional risk for an injury to your lower back, which needless to say, will make the pain in your pelvis that much worse.

Additionally, you’re constantly running, twisting and turning your lower back, hips and pelvis which puts even more stress on your muscles and joints in the whole area and makes them more worn off and easily irritable.


Conclusion

Although sacroiliac joint pain is a common appearance today and a difficult condition to live with, thanks to the development of medicine and the knowledge we have of how the human body works, we can now treat it efficiently.

Even if the mild exercises and stretches don’t work, there are many medical devices and pills that can help you with your pain if nothing else seems to work.

7 Yoga Poses for Joint Pain Relief

yoga-poses-for-joint-pain-relief

If you’ve ever experienced joint pain, you know how debilitating it can be…

It does not only generate pain and discomfort, but it also limits you from going about your day to day life as you would usually.

Needless to say, this is irritating and annoying, but in cases of severe or chronic joint pain, it can even lead to depression.

Many chronic joint pain patients have tried countless ways to eliminate joint pain, and most of them provided little or no relief. But, there is one thing that without exception has helped every single person that tried it, and that is yoga.

Yoga has had countless proven benefits for the whole body, especially when it comes to joint or muscle pain and some of the main ones are:

It increases blood circulation

When you do yoga, your heart rate increases which open up your veins and lets blood flow through them freely.

Your body, and most importantly, your joints will receive all the important nutrients that they need to function healthily throughout the day.

It increases flexibility

Yoga makes your whole body more flexible and awakens your “sleepy” muscles.

And by stretching these sleepy muscles and activating them regularly, you alleviate the pressure placed on your joints as well as the stiffness you feel in them which can later lead to discomfort and pain.

It increases muscle strength

If your muscles are weak, your body relies on the joints for support and balance, which wears them down fast and makes them weaker.

But, practicing yoga activates your muscles and makes them stronger, enabling them to support your body better and with it, minimizes the strain placed on your joints.

It improves overall wellness

Doing yoga helps your overall body and spirit. It helps you feel lighter, more flexible and stronger. It also helps bring balance between your mind and soul, which has countless benefits for the whole body.

Your body will start functioning in a healthy way, and that includes all your joints and muscles.

Yoga improves the range of motion of your joints

Every joint in your body has a range of motion that should be maintained over time.

If you don’t move your joints enough, this range will decrease and the other way around – when you move your joints, you improve the range of motion, which results in better movement overall.

You’ll be able to do things you weren’t able to do previously and that’s all thanks to the better range of motion of your joints.

Alleviates pressure placed on your joints

When you do yoga, you help your body function in the right way, as it should. This means that every part of your body can do only the job that it’s meant to do, and not compensate for the lack of other parts, which is the case with your muscles and joints.

If your muscles don’t work right, your joints work double their role to compensate for it, which wears them down faster and makes them more prone to injuries, inflammation and chronic pain.

But, if you practice yoga and maintain healthy muscles, they will support your body along with your joints, minimizing the probability of any inflammation.

yoga-health-benefits

7 Yoga Poses for Joint Pain Relief

1. Tadasana

This is one of the easiest poses to do, especially if you’re a beginner and haven’t done much exercise prior to this. All you need to do is stand on your toes and stretch your arms as high up as you can while keeping your hands clutched together.

To further stretch your muscles, you can bend your arms backward while stretching them upwards. This will help your muscles stretch and relieve the pressure from your joints by promoting blood flow through them.

Having a healthy circulation to your arms and legs lets all the important nutrients come to your joints and heal any inflammation you might have going on there.

2.Virabhadrasana

Also known as The Warrior pose, this is a great exercise to strengthen your shoulders and bring balance to your whole body.

It’s also fairly easy to do since all you need to do is turn your right foot outwards and your left foot inwards while keeping your lower torso faced forward.

Bring your arms up to the level of your shoulders and press the weight of your body to the foot facing outwards while gazing at your thumbs. Then rotate to the other side and hold the pose for 1 minute on each side.

After doing this pose for a certain period, you will start feeling your balance improving and your shoulders and arms become stronger.

This means that you’re returning the lost strength in your joints, which will minimize any pain or stiffness you might have been experiencing previously.

3. Makarasana

Makarasana is one of the easiest yoga poses out there, and one of the favorite ones too since it involves only laying down (it’s true!).

Believe it or not, this pose helps the knees and joints to stretch and become more flexible, stronger and healthier by improving circulation and bringing healthy nutrients to them.

It’s done by laying on your stomach with toes straight and your hands placed beneath your head to support it. By holding this position, you’re letting your joints rest, at the same time stretching your muscles to increase their flexibility and strength.

4. Januhastasana

This is the best yoga pose to do to alleviate joint pain. Doing this pose regularly every day helps increase circulation to the lower part of the body and bring more nutrients to your joints and muscles by doing so.

Not only will your joints be more flexible, but you will also minimize the risk of inflammation and experiencing any type of pain in this area.

It’s done by laying on your stomach and lifting your upper body with your arms as high up as you can and holding that pose for one minute in a few series.

5. Cow Pose

The cow pose helps the most important bone in our bodies – the spine. By doing the Cow pose regularly, you will promote flexibility and stretching of the spine, ultimately resulting in better circulation throughout the whole body which prevents inflammation and joint pain.

It’s also fairly easy to do and very beneficial for all muscles and joints.

To do this pose, you need to go down on all fours with your hands on the ground with your fingers spread and your hands positioned parallel to your shoulders.

Bring your chest down towards the mat and tip your pelvis up so you’re positioned with your sitting bones reaching up. Hold this pose for 30 seconds in a few series.

6. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Named after the body shape you make while doing it, the Bow pose is ideal for anyone experiencing shoulder stiffness, discomfort, or pain. By doing it, you open up the shoulders, make your back more flexible and relieve your body of stress and fatigue.

You do it by laying down on your stomach and stretch your arms and legs towards your spine by grabbing your feet with your hands. It’s good to hold this position for around 30 seconds to let your muscles relax and allow blood to flow through the parts of the body where there’s tension.

7. Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dolphin Plank pose)

This pose does wonder for the back, shoulders, arms, and legs. It does this by stretching the shoulders and hamstrings and strengthen the whole body at the same time relieving the body of any fatigue and backache. In fact, it has also shown to help prevent osteoporosis.

If you’re wondering how it’s done, it’s actually not very different from the regular plank. You lay down on your stomach, place your elbows on the ground parallel to your shoulders and lift your body up by supporting it with your elbows and toes.

By doing this, you’re making your joints and muscles stronger, which results in less pain.


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Conclusion

You can probably tell by the exercises only that yoga is a wondrous practice that helps the whole body, both physically and psychologically.

It calms the soul and strengthens the body through simple exercises that are tailored for any level of strength, both beginners and experts.

Having your joint pain taken care of can be life-changing, for you and your close ones.

It will bring a new perspective of life, a pain-free future where you can enjoy your life to the fullest and leave all the medications, sleepless night and worries behind you.

A new future where yoga is not only a daily routine but also a part of your life.

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Tight Hamstrings Lower Back Pain

Tight Hamstrings? Here’s What To Do

Back pain and tight hamstrings are two particularly common problems that get in the way of exercise.

Yet, you rely on your daily exercise routine to keep your weight down, your body toned, and your health in check.

When these problems develop, understanding connections between common health problems and pain is important.

Such as the connection between bloating and back pain, and knowing how to deal with the problems can help you find relief and get back to enjoying your exercise sessions.


What Are The Hamstrings?

Hamstrings is quite a common term used, but not everyone truly understands which specific muscles the term really refers to.

There is no single muscle in the body that is known as a hamstring, but, instead, a group of muscles that are collectively referred to in this manner.

When someone refers to “the hamstrings,” they are actually talking about a group of different muscles that are located at the back side of the upper legs.

The term is not only used to describe these muscles but also collectively include the tendons that are part of the muscle groups in the region.

The main muscles that are part of the hamstrings include:

  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris

These muscles play numerous roles in both running and walking, which is why they are so important – and why problems with tightness affecting these muscles can affect your physical abilities.

They are responsible for ensuring the knee joints can flex, and help the thigh extended toward the back of your body.

Ultimately, the hamstring muscles are crucial for allowing the legs to move effectively; thus resulting in a walking or running motion.


Who Is Affected By Hamstring Tightness?

In a recent study, 107 students were analyzed to assist scientists in determining the prevalence of tight hamstring muscles among the young adult population.

The study also looked at how tight hamstrings were connected to lower back pain.

After a questionnaire was completed, the study concluded that 40.19% of the students had tight hamstring muscles.

Additionally, 10,3% of the students also had problems with lower back pain.

The students who experienced tightness in their hamstring muscles were more likely to suffer from lower back pain.

In another study by two scientists, college students between the ages of 18 and 25 were surveyed to determine the prevalence of muscle tightness in the hamstrings among this population.

The study also focused on finding how tight hamstrings affected the overall performance of the students.

Students generally had healthy BMIs, with the mean BMI of the male students being 23.9 and among female students, the mean BMI was 20.9.

Up to 96% of the participants had experienced tight hamstrings at a recent time, with a large number of students complaining about tightness in their right extremities.


Why Do You Have Tight Hamstrings?

There are various reasons why you may experience tight hamstrings.

These symptoms may be acute and only last for a few days, return frequently, or be chronic; causing you to experience tight hamstring muscles for a longer duration of time.

One of the most common reasons for hamstring muscles to become tight and painful is the failure to properly warm up before you participate in a session of physical activity.

When you do not warm up prior to exercising, your hamstrings may become tight, and you also become at a higher risk of injuries to your hamstrings and the muscles in the close regions.

Nerve entrapment is another common reason why many people tend to suffer from tight hamstrings, which leads to a condition known as protective tension.

This happens when the nerves in the area of the hamstring are compressed.

Movements in the area would then lead to an excessive stretching sensation and cause you to experience a tightness in the region.

It is relatively easy to determine if you might have nerve entrapment that is causing your hamstring muscles to be so tight.

Simply stand up straight – with your feet apart at shoulder-width.

Bend forward and then use your hands to touch the ground beneath you.

If you are not able to easily reach and touch the ground, then there is a chance that you might have nerve entrapment.

If you find that you feel a stretch that is mainly located at the back of your knees, or even in the muscles located in your calves, then the likeliness that you have nerve entrapment is even higher.

There is another cause that is rarer, but still something that should be taken into consideration – and this is an injury to your lumbar disc.

When your lumbar disc has been damaged, it may not only cause you to experience tightness in this area of your body, but the tightness may also be accompanied by pain symptoms.

A lumbar disc injury tends to cause pain in the hamstring area that gets worse after being still for a long period of time, such as when you get up in the morning after sleeping through the night.

Sitting may also be painful, and you might experience a tingling sensation in your leg at certain times.

You may also find that the pain in your hamstrings tend to become sharper and more intense when you get up after you have been sitting down for a while.


The Connection Between Tight Hamstrings And Back Pain

Multiple studies have confirmed that there is a definite relationship between tight hamstring muscles and pain in the back, with the lower back area to be a particularly common region affected.

It is, however, important that we consider how these two discomforting and painful problems are connected.

While lower back pain may not necessarily cause your hamstring muscle to become tight and sore, there is an opposite connection that has been confirmed by scientific studies.

When the muscles that make up the hamstrings become tight, excessive pressure and stress are, in turn, being placed on the lower back area.

This can cause symptoms to start developing in the lower back, leading to stiffness, pain, and excessive discomfort.

It should be noted that when lower back pain already exists when your hamstring muscles become tight, it may cause the lower back symptoms to become aggravated.

The pain may become worse, and it might cause you to experience some level of disability when you try to get up after you’ve slept, and in cases where you practice certain types of physical activities, such as a squat.

There have also been cases where people have not experienced lower back pain prior to the development of tight hamstring muscles.

In such cases, the hamstring tightness causes pressure to the lower back and leads to the development of back pain.

Furthermore, in cases where you have suffered a lumbar disc injury, this may also be a particular cause for the development of your back pain.

While this type of injury may cause you to experience tightness in the three muscles that make up your hamstrings muscle group, the injury usually tends to affect the lower region of the back as well.

Stress is placed on the region, which leads to inflammation and pain, as well as tenderness.

Many people may experience sudden pain signals in their back, along with hamstring tightness, when they have an injury to a lumbar disc.


What You Can Do About Your Tight Hamstrings

Even though tight hamstring muscles can be very uncomfortable and even become painful, especially when coupled with lower back pain, there are many strategies that you can utilize to help reduce the severity of these symptoms.

Medication can be used to help lower inflammation and to block pain signals.

Exercises are available to help loosen the muscles and strengthen them at the same time.

Additionally, there are supplements that you can take advantage of to help you experience relief of pain and inflammation.

Medication

There are different types of pharmaceutical drugs that may be provided to help relax your muscles and to reduce inflammation in your body.

Many of these drugs can bring about effective results and help you get back to life without a constant feeling of tightness in your hamstrings or pain in your lower back region.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very popular.

These include Naproxen, Celecoxib, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen.

They help to alleviate existing inflammation in your body.

There is a lot of different muscle relaxer medications that are used for back pain and hamstring tightness.

These may include Tizanidine, Chlorzoxazone, Cyclobenzaprine, Carisoprodol, and Methocarbamol.

The specific option prescribed depends on the location of the muscle tightness and soreness, as well as the severity.

Exercises

Exercise can also aid in improving symptoms of tight hamstrings.

It may also be useful when this muscle tightness is accompanied by lower back pain.

Yoga is a particularly popular physical activity for these symptoms, with the downward dog and the extended triangle pose being some of the most recommended yoga asanas.

Specific hamstring stretches may also be helpful, which should be performed when your hamstrings are tight, as well as before physical activity as part of your warm-up routine.

Standing and seating hamstring stretches can be combined for more effective results.

Supplements

Lastly, you may also want to consider taking a daily supplement to help alleviate the inflammation that you are experiencing in your hamstrings, as well as your lower back.

There are many supplements out there that can provide you with effective results.

I personally found the Science Natural Turmeric with BioPerine supplement to the best one out of all that I tested.

This supplement contains a 1,300mg dose of high-quality organic turmeric extracts per dose, along with 10mg of BioPerine.

Turmeric is a popular spice that is used in curries and other Indian dishes and has many health benefits – with the anti-inflammatory effects being particularly potent.

The spice is also rich in the following nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Copper

Copper, potassium, calcium, and many of these nutrients will further help to improve muscle and bone function, while also targeting the inflammation that may be causing you to experience tightness in your muscles.

The supplement is very easy to take – you simply take two tablets once per day with a meal.

Be sure to take it with a full glass of water and allow approximately two weeks for the effects to start kicking in.


Conclusion

When your hamstrings feel tight, you may experience discomfort and a significant adverse alteration in your physical performance and abilities.

Muscle soreness may improve, especially with physical activity, and athletic performance can be drastically reduced.

When hamstring muscles become tight, it also increases the likeliness of back pain, leading to further disability and discomfort.

Fortunately, there are exercises, medication, and even supplements that you can use to reduce the severity of these symptoms and to help you get back out there without muscle tightness or pain getting in your way.


Foods That Help Joint Pain

Foods that Help Joint Pain

If you are suffering from joint pain, you may wish to consider evaluating your diet. What you eat has an impact on your joint pain and making the right food choices may help with sudden joint pain causes.

By learning how it starts, you can prevent it and be on your way to better management of joint pain.

Many of you may already be taking supplements and medicines from your doctor or over the counter to manage your pain and relieve stiffness and inflammation.

However, there are studies that show what you eat, including certain spices, foods, and supplements can help you in your quest for relief.

Upon speaking with a registered dietician, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic were able to determine what healthy foods were best for easing joint pain.


Idea for Relief: The Mediterranean Diet

Following a balanced diet with wholesome foods has many benefits, like greater energy, better digestion, and an overall feeling of good health and a strong body.

Following the Mediterranean diet, for example, is a great way to feel good and relieve joint pain. Reason being is that the health benefits of this diet correlate with NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

When you follow this diet, you will consume low-glycemic fruits, veggies and legumes, and many unsaturated fats. Olive oil is especially popular.

You will also enjoy a modest serving of alcohol mostly in the form of wine, high levels of fish, and low amounts of dairy and red meats.

A diet such as this consisting of real, wholesome foods is important as a whole-food, plant-based diet led to reduction of pain and greater functionality among adult patients who were suffering from osteoarthritis.

Simply put, the 2015 Michigan study that produced this evidence states that those eating well were having an easier time functioning and managing their pain.

Your best bet is to talk to your doctor, eat a whole-food, plant-based diet of legumes, veggies, fruits and grains. Stay away from refined food, which is not part of the Mediterranean diet.


Fish Oil and Veggies for Joint Pain

One example of a great supplement you can use to relieve joint pain is fish oil. These are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Studies surrounding the consumption of fish oil show that it has benefits of the anti-inflammatory type and is very helpful for those with joint pain.

You can find fish oil in cold-water fish, like sardines, trout and salmon. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can get your serving from flax seeds, chia seeds, and organic soybeans.

There was also a study from Australia dating from 2008 that indicated fish oil provided a great reduction to joint pain, an improvement to cardiovascular health, and a reduced need for NSAIDs.

Kylene Bogden, a dietitian the Cleveland Clinic consulted with regarding this topic, stated that just one serving of cold-water fish twice per week would be enough.

Daily, she recommends a high-quality fish oil supplement daily in addition to consumption of it in your diet naturally.

Another great addition to your diet will be cruciferous vegetables. You should be eating plenty of veggies-it’s just a great, idea-but you will really want to make sure you take in a half cup of stuff like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or Brussels sprouts, says Kylene Bogden.

They are nature’s powerhouses, loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins for your good health.

It was a 2005 Maryland study that showed sulphoraphane, an antioxidant compound that is found within cruciferous veggies, blocks an enzyme that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.

Aside from people suffering from arthritis, this may be a great help for athletes who put a lot of pressure on their joints in training and competition.


Herbs, Spices and More

Two of the greatest spices you can get for your joint pain relief include turmeric and ginger. They are renowned for their anti-inflammatory benefits and are often found in Indian foods.

Turmeric is also used in Asian traditional medicinal practices for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

You can add turmeric and ginger to your smoothies, sauces or morning eggs for a one-two punch of anti-inflammatory goodness.

A study from 2006 out of Arizona showed positive research that linked turmeric to prevention of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

One wonderful way to get your daily turmeric serving is by taking in Cody Bramlett’s Turmeric Capsules.

Cody Bramlett is a gym owner in San Diego, California who has helped many overcome physical aches and pains while improving their physical performance.

Known as Turmeric with BioPerine, this wonderful formula is going to help you get healthier.  When you order these supplements, you get a 60-capsule supply of these great little supplements.

They are packed with turmeric, curucumin, and BioPerine. These ingredients pack in nutrients like manganese, iron, VitaminB6, calcium, chromium, potassium and Vitamin K. The capsules are veggie-based, so those following a plant-based diet need not worry about consuming them.

This supplement not only helps to reduce inflammation, it will also help improve your concentration and focus.

The supplement is specially formulated to be potent, and its potency is enhanced by black pepper is simply packed full of helpful vitamins and nutrients.

Its combination of special spices and healthy ingredients will get your body functioning and also help melt stored fat.

Green tea is another drink you can sip to reap the benefits of good, natural joint pain relief. It is one of the world’s most beloved drinks, and the effects it has on health have been researched the world over.

In Maryland, for example, a study performed in 2008 showed that green tea brought forth changes in arthritis-related immune responses, says the Cleveland Clinic.

Using NSAIDs long-term can cause you discomfort and have adverse effects. The polyphenolic compounds found in green tea have properties of the anti-inflammatory type and are a great help when using nutritional therapy.

It is recommended you choose organic green tea, as this will reduce your exposure to pesticides.


What Should I Avoid When It Comes To Lowering My Joint Pain?

As you seek to manage your pain effectively, there are foods you will want to avoid. Some of the heavy hitters are sugars and refined grains. Examples include pasta, white bread and rice. These are the culprits which add to joint inflammation rather than fight it.

You will also wish to limit your sugar intake, six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men are the recommended amounts. Use natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar.

Red meat is also one to avoid-beef, lamb and pork are known to increase inflammation. If it comes from an animal with four legs, do your best to avoid it. You will also want to avoid partially hydrogenated oil and trans fats.

In the USA, Americans tend to eat lots of processed foods which contain Omega-6 fatty acids. These promote inflammation, and sources like corn oil, safflower and sunflower oil, peanut oil, and grapeseed/vegetable oil are the main culprits here.

Avoid these as best you can and be sure to check condiment labels like mayo and salad dressings to make sure you do not accidentally consume them.

Salt is often found in excessive amounts within processed foods as a means of preserving them and extending their shelf life. For some consumers, eating these excessive amounts of salt may result in joint inflammation.

You may benefit from reducing your salt intake to a reasonable amount. As you do with the Omega-6 oils, read the nutrition labels on each of these foods to educate yourself about what’s in them.

Although very easy to buy and store, convenience foods like microwave meals or potato chips are loaded with sodium.

Other products you should avoid are alcohol and tobacco. Many of us are fully aware of the health risks associated with smoking and drinking.

But did you know that some of these effects extend to your joint health? Smokers especially are at risk for development of rheumatoid arthritis, and those who consume alcohol have a higher probability of developing gout.

The best thing to do is to make sure you are eating a balanced diet of wholesome, real foods, getting enough rest, and taking part in daily exercise or other physical activity.

Cut back on the smokes and the drinks and start a healthy diet and exercise regimen with the help of your physician. Get enough sleep. It is not easy to give up what tastes and feels good, but your joints and overall health will thank you.


Conclusion

Thankfully, those who are suffering from joint pain and inflammation do not have to rely solely upon medicines and doctor visits to manage their pain.

While it is extremely important to stay in contact with your physician and follow his or her orders, there is comfort in knowing that pain can be managed by modifying your diet, and following a healthy, whole-foods approach.

Even if you struggle with getting your vegetables or do not know how to include various herbs and spices like turmeric or ginger into your diet, supplements like Organifi Green Juice can provide you an easy and tasty way to get what you need.

Start by speaking with your doctor to determine what is best for you. Then, clean out your home of any foods that will lead to inflamed joints and more pain.

Choose and purchase foods that will help you and aid you in your quest to live a pain-free life. You can also meet with a registered dietician for ideas and suggestions about creating a diet that works for you. By making smart choices now, you will enjoy lesser pain and better health as time goes on.


Relieve Wrist Pain and Improve Flexibility in 2 Minutes!

Have you ever stopped to think about how much you use your wrists every day? Spoiler alert: it’s probably more than you think.

Sending WhatsApp messages, swiping left on tinder and even driving your car- these things all put a lot of strain on your wrists.

And, when you begin to consider how often you repeat these movements, you’ll realize how quickly these little movements can add up!

For many people, it’s not until we get a wrist injury that we understand how vital this underappreciated joint really is to our daily life. 

Some are even unfortunate enough to suffer from conditions like RSI, carpal tunnel or tendonitis because of excess wrist strain.

These conditions can be problematic to treat and make simple everyday activities like brushing teeth and opening doors painful and difficult.

If this ever happens to you, it might be tempting to push through the pain and get on with your day but, frustratingly, what your body needs is rest.

Yes, not exactly what you want to hear when you’ve got a million things on your to do list, but, trust us, a day of rest will pay dividends in the long run.

The constant action will cause further inflammation which will sustain the problem, meaning it takes longer for you to be fighting fit again.

Some conditions, such as carpal tunnel even require medical attention and can take months to heal.

If you’re a busy professional, you’ll want to make sure you can avoid this kind of inconvenience in your life.

Luckily, there are preventative measures that can be taken.

this is an image of exercisingLike most things in life, exercise is key and the most effective way to keep your wrists fit and healthy is by doing a consistent daily wrist work out.

To help you help your wrists, we’ve created a simple stretching routine that you can do anytime, anywhere to avoid the inconvenience of unwanted wrist pain.

Since finding time to exercise is difficult in our busy modern lives, we’ve kept it short and simple.

This routine is so easy that you can do it once or twice a day- even while you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or waiting on the kettle to boil- and still make a huge impact.

Our routine will help stretch and warm up the overused muscles in your wrist. Plus, the movements are simple and easy to do, even if you don’t exercise very often.

All we ask is that you concentrate on your form and carry out the movements slowly and with precision.

It’s not a race and different bodies are capable of different things. Over time, your flexibility will improve and your wrists will become more mobile.

But, poor form from the beginning will lead to further injury- which means even more time out of action.

If you can, we recommend doing these wrist exercises in the morning as part of a daily meditation routine.

If you concentrate on your breathing while doing it, you’ll start the day refreshed and with a clear head and more mobility in your wrists.

Plus, the best way to make something part of a consistent daily routine is to find an enjoyable way to do it.

Consistency and daily practice are key to happy, healthy wrists and a more productive life! 

It’s time to start giving our wrists the love that they deserve.

Start dedicating a block of space every day to doing some basic stretching activities so you’ll never be out of action!  It’s easy to find two minutes, even in the busiest of days, to say thanks to our joints.

Make today the day and ensure that you can rely on your wrists for years to come.

Let us know, have you ever struggled with a wrist injury?

Perform this stretching routine everyday for wrist pain relief.
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