Sitting for long hours while driving or working creates compression in the back and neck – often considered a root cause for pain and stiffness. Here’s a gizmo you can use at home, work or in the car specifically for easing or preventing low back pain. Also great for sciatica and hip pains.
These cushions are simple foam wedges over a washable cover and are available under the names tailbone cushions or sacro-iliac cushions on major purchasing sites for $15- $20. The simpler the better for most people. Fancier designs and thicker material can lead to new and odd pains from new and odd compression sites. I often find these at stores such as drug, general discounters, etc.
Epsom soaks or Epsom lotions Topical Epsom salts, which are magnesium sulfate, help reduce soreness and tension in muscles. It is well-known as nature’s natural muscle relaxer. A 20-minute warm soak in the tub is a great post-stress or workout relief. Available at supermarkets, drugstores, etc.
But what if you don’t have a tub? Or getting in or out would risk injury? Magnesium spray, which is a chloride form of magnesium offers a great alternative. This spray is used on sore or cramp-prone areas. Because it is a salt, avoid recently shaved or broken skin. Simply spray on after shower or before bed. Be sure to read the label directions. Health food stores often stock these sprays.
Epsom lotion is an option as well. This is a sulfate form of magnesium, typically mixed with other ingredients to stay in lotion form. Drugstores such as CVS usually have this ii the first aid section.
Passive stretching: A fun and effective method for improving range and making the effects of a massage treatment last a long time. You relax, I gently stretch you. No surprises, no speed, just easy movement with breathing.
Relaxed, mindful movement: For once in our lives, discover the joy of a good C-minus. Gentle, slow waving movements of the arms and legs assist with circulation and reduce soreness. These are Tai chi-like movements, a bit slow-motion, no windmills or sudden stops. I can show you how to “Wave Hands like clouds” a Tai Chi move. Or imagine you are the Queen waving regally to the masses. Ahem.
Breath: For some, holding breath while lifting, stretching, or any effort seems to be a way of life. Pardon me while I sound a gong: No. Breath from the navel upward massages your internal organs and makes massage, stretches and exercise more effective. If everyone would breathe easy we would live in a different world.
Active stretching: Another introduction to the world of good a C-minus can deliver. When I first began trying to stretch, nothing worked, because I was stretching like Grant too Richmond. Let me show you how not to make tension worse with overstretches. It helps to slack off a bit and taking the easier stretching road.