Five Reasons Not To Crack Your Neck

Guest Post by Dennis Hamming With the Central Texas Spine Institute

Our neck is one of the most important parts of our body. It supports our head and is where the main arteries that provide blood to the brain reside. Without this vital connection between the heart and the brain, we would be dead, so to say that our neck is vital for good health is pretty much an understatement.

Our neck muscles are worked constantly throughout the day, and depending on the type of work or activities that we do each day, can tire easily. This is why we should try and get a good relaxing night’s sleep, where we give the muscles some time to rest and recover.

Why do we crack our necks?

Lots of people crack their joints due to habit. Some people enjoy cracking their knuckles, others their toes or even backs. Some people also like to crack their necks. The reasons why we do this is sometimes a reaction to a stressful situation. Other times, it’s to help relieve pressure that we may be feeling in our neck or shoulders.

If you’ve cracked your neck in the past, you may have experienced a brief period of euphoria. This is because cracking your neck actually releases endorphins into your body joints. This sensation can provide a brief release to pain that you might be feeling. 

For example, if you find that your work has you sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours a day, you might feel the urge to stretch and crack your neck to let off a little of the built up pressure. 

5 reasons you should NOT crack your neck

Though it can be somewhat pleasant, there are actually a number of reasons why a person should NOT crack his/her neck. Cracking one’s neck over a long period of time can lead to a loss of motion in the neck, or even the development of long-term pain. University and medical studies, such as one with the Central Texas Spine Institute on neck joint cracking called Is Cracking Your Neck and Other Joints Actually Bad For You? have  proven that there can be some serious health risks with cracking your neck.

You can damage the nerves in your neck

If you crack your neck with a lot of pressure, it can actually pinch a nerve in your neck. For those who have experienced any kind of nerve pain in the past, you will know that it can be extremely crippling. Nerve pain in the neck can potentially cause a people to have difficulty moving their necks,  or simply turning their heads even slightly.

You may experience tightness

Constant cracking of joints such as your neck could lead to gradual tightness of the muscles around the bones. Though it won’t be to the extent of developing something such as arthritis, it will certainly be enough that you will experience a noticeable difference with how your neck muscles feel, as well as a degree of restrictiveness in the movements of your neck.

You can puncture the blood vessels

As mentioned earlier, the neck is a very important part of the body in that it helps deliver blood to the brain. If you crack your neck with too much pressure, there is the potential that you might puncture a blood vessel. If this happens, it can lead to a blood clot forming, which in turn can block the flow of blood to the brain. Though the possibility of causing a stroke is minimal, it is still possible and something to be aware of.

You could pull a muscle

It’s very easy to accidentally pull or overstretch a muscle when cracking your neck. Over stretched ligaments can cause a lot of pain, and can certainly restrict your mobility. This condition is known as ligament laxity, and over time, when your joints have become loose, your muscles will overwork through contraction to help stabilize the joints. 

You may develop perpetual instability

If we overstretch our ligaments, which is what naturally occurs when we crack our joints, then there is a risk of developing osteoarthritis, which is caused by your ligaments being constantly stretched and being damaged over time. This can lead to a lack of mobility in the neck and simple motions such as nodding can become very painful and difficult.

Some final thoughts

If you do enjoy the sensation of cracking your joints, then it might be worth considering paying a visit to your local chiropractor. They will be able to offer professional advice and help, and can manipulate your joints in your neck or back to make sure that everything is aligned properly. 

If they are able to achieve this, it will often lead to a reduction in the desire for you to crack your own neck or joints. They can also offer practical advice about ways in which you can reduce the pressure on your neck, and how best to help it rest after a hard day’s work.

 

Stopping the Pattern of Neuropathic Pain and Sleeplessness

Those who suffer with nerve pain may notice that they feel more uncomfortable during the evening hours. Nerve pain may include a creeping crawling sensation, tingling, shooting pain, pins and needles, burning, and/or an aching.

According to WebMD,

“People with diabetes-related nerve damage may experience worse pain in the evening hours, preliminary research suggests. If confirmed in larger studies, the findings suggest that people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy might need more pain medication late at night.”

If you are one of those people who have nerve pain, damage and/or neuropathy, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get through the night and calm those nerves.

1.) Lesson your distractions around bedtime.

If you are too riled up it can contribute to your sympathetic system going into overdrive and keeping you wired and awake. By lessoning distractions and starting a calming bedtime routine like going to bed at the same time every night, using white noise, listening to calming music, meditating or praying, lighting some candles, the parasympathetic nervous system has a chance to kick in to bring about calm. Read more about it here.

2.) Avoid too low of temperatures when trying to sleep. When temperatures drop, blood flow slows to the extremities and your circulation decreases. When the body perceives lower temperatures, nerves may misfire and cause pain.

According to SpineUniverse.com, “a large study conducted in Sweden and published in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health surveyed almost 135,000 male construction workers. The researchers found that the men who worked in low temperatures reported higher incidences of neck and low back pain compared with those working in higher temperatures. A similar survey in Finland produced the same findings.”

Muscles may also stiffen up during the colder weather causing discomfort or aching sensations.

3.) Calming the sympathetic nervous system may be as simple as taking a few deep breaths before bed, counting sheep, visualizing a safe place or something wonderful like a beautiful scene or place you’ve been to or want to go. Turn off all lights and electronic devices. Ear plugs and a face mask may help to drown out excess noise or light.

4.) New treatments for nerve pain include INF, or Intramural Facilitation which can help restore lost blood flow to damaged nerves.

For more of the article, read here.

 

10 Fun Things To Do This Fall

Fall is upon us.

Despite the pandemic, there are still fun and festive things to do in almost every city across the country.

Look for an activity guide such as TimeOut Chicago to spot fall and winter activities that are sure to meet you— and your family’s fancy— such a corn maze, apple orchard, pumpkin patch, or winter wonderland.

Here are some creative ways to enjoy the fall and winter months ahead

1.) Enjoy the fall foliage

2.) Go to a corn maze

3.) Go apple picking at an apple orchard

4.) Check out a local pumpkin patch and bring home pumpkins to carve with your loves ones

5.) Go on a pie tour around town and look for the best tasting pies

6.) Go on a tour at a local brewery

7.) Check out Oktoberfest

8.) Attend one or all of the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s parades

9.& 10.) Enjoy a Christmas Wonderland set-up, an ice skating rink and/or a real Christmas tree lot

Essential Ways To Maintain Your Back and Spinal Health

According to Dr. Brent Wells, D.C., — founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Juneau, Alaska — many people neglect their spinal health, but most don’t realize how crucial it is to their overall health. A person’s spine is one of the main components of the body. The spine consists of 24 separate bones, as well as, fused bones of the sacrum and coccyx, making a total of 33 vertebrae.

The spine consists of four parts: bones, joints, discs and nerve and connects to the central nervous system which regulates a person’s mood and most body functions. Because of this, it’s important to ensure your spine stays healthy. Below you’ll discover some of the most common problems that tend to affect one’s spine and a few ways you can ensure it stays in the best shape possible.

What Causes Back Problems?

Back problems can be the result of many things. Some of these are:

  • Incorrect posture
  • Poor lifting techniques
  • Herniated disc
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Trauma

Signs Your Spinal Health May Be Suffering

There are a few symptoms you can look for if you’re concerned your spinal health might be suffering:

  • Severe muscle aches or weakness
  • Shooting pain down your arms and legs
  • Pain that only improves when you sit or lie down
  • Trouble bending, moving or breathing
  • Loss of sensation or bladder and bowel function

Spinal Anatomy

To better understand what causes back problems, it’s important to understand spinal anatomy.

Your spine is broken up into three sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar and two fused sections called the sacrum and coccyx. The cervical portion is on the upper part near your neck and helps you move your head. The thoracic section is the middle part of your spine and runs from the lower neck down to your abdomen. The lumbar section is in your lower back and connects to your pelvis.

Each of these portions contains a specific amount of vertebrae. All of these vertebrae are surrounded by nerves and muscles. If one of these vertebrae are injured or slip out of place, it could result in back pain.

5 Ways to Maintain Your Back and Spine Health

Practice Good Posture

One of the best ways to maintain your back and spine health is to use good posture. Good posture ensures that your spine stays aligned which can prevent a disc from sliding out of place.

Using good posture is easier than you might think. All you need to do is stand as straight as you can while keeping your shoulders slightly back. Make sure your feet are evenly spaced and that your body’s weight is evenly distributed on them.

You can also use these posture tips when sitting. However, make sure that when you sit, you keep a small open space between the back of your leg and the edge of the chair.

You might also want to visit a chiropractor or a massage therapist.They can do adjustments that relieve pain and encourage proper posture.

Exercise

Gentle exercises can be very useful for strengthening your spine and improving flexibility, which may help you move without pain.

One type of exercise to help keep your spine strong and healthy is water aerobics. Thanks to the water’s buoyancy, it will keep pressure off of your body so you can move with more ease. Moving with ease is especially helpful if you suffer from back pain. Movement will also increase blood flow through your body and provide your spine with healing nutrients.

You could also try doing a leg lift with a stretch. This helps to toughen the connective tissues around your spine. To do this stretch, lie with your back flat on the floor. Lift one leg up and try to move it toward your head as far as possible. Hold this position for five seconds and then slowly lift it back down. Repeat this process with the other leg. You’ll want to continue this stretch about ten more times.

 

If you prefer to not do anything extreme, walking can be just as beneficial as the other exercises. Walking encourages spinal stability and builds up the muscles around your spine. It can also help you to improve your posture.

Consume Plenty of Calcium

To help keep your spine healthy, make sure to consume plenty of calcium. This mineral is crucial for healthy bone development and can prevent many serious spinal ailments, like osteoarthritis. If you don’t have enough calcium, it could also cause back muscle to contract which could lead to serious pain.

To ensure your bones get enough calcium it’s important to eat food high in it. Some of the best options for this include:

  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • Kale
  • Soybeans
  • Figs
  • Oranges

You could also consume calcium supplements, however, it’s best to get your calcium from food that naturally contains it.

Watch How You Lift Things

Another way to ensure your spine stays healthy is to watch how you lift things. Improper lifting techniques can put intense pressure on your spine. This could result in anything from muscle strain to a bulging disc.

The secret behind lifting objects is to use your knees. To do this, stand in front of the object and then squat. Take your arms and wrap them around the edges of the item. Once you have a secure grip on it, use your legs to lift your body back up. While transporting the item make sure to use your feet to move your body in different directions. Twisting your back to move will only result in muscle strain.

Use Lumbar Support

If you need to sit for long periods of time, especially for your work, it might be good to use lumbar support. Lumbar support is designed to help cradle the lumbar portion of your spine. This will ensure it stays aligned and can prevent a potential injury due to strain.

 

To help with this, you can invest in a chair built with lumbar support. You can tell if a chair has it by looking at the bottom part. If it’s curved, it has lumbar support.

If you don’t want to buy a chair, you could instead try a lumbar support cushion. This cushion is constructed out of memory foam and helps to keep your pelvis aligned. Because this body part is connected to the lumbar portion of the spine, it will ensure your lower back stays in place.

Keeping your spine healthy is vital if you want to prevent pain and improve your overall health. By keeping these tips in mind, you can be sure that you can prevent common back pain and injuries.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Juneau, Alaska and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated different musculoskeletal and other health problems through physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy for Juneau patients.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury, trauma, and more.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3488633/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10040-spine-structure-and-function

https://www.christopherreeve.org/living-with-paralysis/health/how-the-spinal-cord-works

Pain Free in Three Weeks Using the Foot MedMassager

Everything You Need to Know About Our MedSterilizer With Sid Scheck

Our MedSterilizers have been out for a few months, but we— MedMassager and Sid Scheck from SidsTips — wanted to fill you in on all the important details about how to use them!

For a limited only, please use promo code UVC for $40 off of our wands when purchased off of our website: MEDMASSAGER.COM.

1.) Our wands sanitize up to 99.9% of disease-causing germs and pathogens including viruses like the Coronavirus, bacteria, and mold.

2.) The clicking noise you hear is the Automatic Safety Off button, which is disabled in Mode 2 and enables you to get in those hard to reach areas— like under doorknobs, etc.

3.) The batteries need to be placed inside the wand correctly, or the wand will NOT work. Please refer to the instructions in this video and the photo we show on IG for proper placement. The flat side of the battery or negative side will need to be placed in the wand on the same side as the coil. The non-flat side—or positive side of the battery— should be placed on the side where there is no coil.

4.) The UVC lights we use in our wands should last 10,000 hours, and batteries are not included with your purchase.

5.) Please refer to the instruction manual for the proper usage of our wands. Note*: While our wands are safe to use on almost every item in your home, they are not safe to use on human skin, in your eyes, or on animals. Please use caution when operating and do not use other than “as instructed.” ****

Motivational Quotes to Help You Tackle Fear, Focus on Success and Get Through the Monday Blues!

Here are a few motivational quotes to help you tackle fear, focus on your goals, apply yourself by working hard, think positively, and get through those Monday blues!

Enjoy!

Quotes To Inspire Success:

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” – Carl Gustav Jung

“Great things never come from comfort zones.” – Success.com

“Dream It. Wish It. Do It.”- Success.com

“The harder you work for something, the greater you will feel when you achieve it.”- Success.com

Overcome Fear:

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” – Mark Zuckerberg

“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” —Rosa Parks

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” —Henry Ford

Focus on Mindset: 

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish. The time will pass anyway.” – Ignitespot.com

“Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.” – Jon Sinclair

“Stay in the habit of asking yourself: ‘Does this support the life I am trying to create?”

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

Work Hard:

“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Work hard in silence; let your success be your noise.” – Ignitespot.com

“Work harder than you think you did yesterday.” – Alex Elle

Think Positively:

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Ignitespot.com

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

The MedSterilizer: Using UV-C Light to Effectively Kill 99.9% of Germs

MedMassager Unveils MedSterilizer That Uses UV-C Light to Effectively Sanitize Surfaces and Your Home Chemical-Free

We have some BIG NEWS!

As a response to this global pandemic, MedMassager has taken steps to ensure we do our part to keep everyone safe.  We have developed a sanitizing device that is 99.9% effective at killing mold, bacteria, and viruses— including influenza and Coronavirus— in your home and personal environment without the need for toxic chemicals.

Using the same technology of UV-C light—the sun’s most destructive light range— that hospitals use to sterilize equipment, surfaces, and instruments, we bring you  MedSterilizer. Click here to learn more and PRE-ORDER.

Here are a few details about these amazing devices—and keep in mind pre-orders START TODAY. We will be shipping them out from our warehouse in North Carolina on 4/27.

Important Details and Questions Regarding the MedSterilizer:

1.) These devices use Ultra Violet light to completely sanitize any surface

2.) The specific light wave is known as UV-C and exists at 254nm (nanometers)

3.) This technology is used in hospitals and laboratories to sanitize and sterilize equipment, instruments, and surfaces.

4.) Our MedSterilizers are 99.9 percent effective in destroying viruses, bacteria, and mold— including influenza and Coronavirus

5.) Using UV-C light is the only effective way to sterilize a surgical, or N95 facemask, without compromising its efficiency

6.) The government has contracted with several UV manufacturers to provide equipment to sterilize facemasks while we are in short supply of PPE.

7. ) The MedSterilizer units use four AA Batteries (not included with purchase) and are good for up to 30 hours of use.

  • The bulb is good for 10,000 hours (2 years if left constantly on) and quality alkali batteries are good for 2 – 3 months based on average consumer use

8.) The units use a cold cathode mercury vapor lamp to produce the UV-C light

9.) One should never shine UV-C into the eyes since it may damage. These units have a safety feature that turns them off if they are side-down.

10.) The effectiveness of a device is a product of the intensity of the UV tube and the amount of time exposed.

The lower the power of the UV-C source, the more time is necessary for effective sterilization. We use very expensive, very intense mercury vapor cold cathode tubes to ensure the purest 253nm wavelength light, guaranteeing ultra-effective sterilization. This means that five-10 seconds of exposure at 6” from the lamp is optimum for effective eradication of virus, bacterium and mold spores.

11.) The MedSterilizers come with a 1-year warranty. (No extended warranty is available at this time.)

12.) Unlike an enclosed bag, this wand-style is specifically designed to be portable and to be used on surfaces that can’t fit into a small enclosed device.

Examples include your kitchen countertop, the steering wheel of your car, gas pump, a box of cereal in the supermarket, toilet seat or bus, train or airplane environment (when we start to travel again).

13.) This device can be dangerous if used incorrectly. 

The  CORRECT way to use the MedSterilizer – ALL sterilizing and sanitizing products are very dangerous if used improperly. By their very nature, they destroy living organisms. In fact, all cleaning products, bleach, and household cleaners can be more dangerous and carcinogenic if used improperly

Prolonged, direct exposure to UVC light can cause temporary skin redness and eye irritation, but does not cause skin cancer or cataracts. If you are exposed to direct germicidal light, it can burn the top surface of your skin. If your eyes are exposed, it would be similar to a “welder’s flash”, and your eyes can feel dry or gritty. At no time do our UV-C lamps cause any permanent damage. However, the unit should not be used on humans— NEITHER adults, children, or pets— under any circumstances.  Fortunately, our devices have a unique safety feature that turns the lamp off when the sterilizer is turned upside down, thereby rendering the device inert if attempted to be used improperly. Additionally, there is a ‘turn on’ sequence that can help discourage a child or inexperienced user to turn it on.

14) Q: Will Costco have them?

       A: We are planning to make the MedSterilizers available through Costco but supplies are limited and demand is so high that we’ll sell directly for now.

 

Our MedSterilizers have been heavily discounted from the MSRP price of $129.95 to $79.95 because we would like everyone to be able to afford to have this technology in their homes.

For more info on how UV-light and proper PPE effectively disrupts the transmission of viruses, read the NIH article here.

Check out the product page to ORDER here.
Do you have any questions? Please email me at Erin@medmassager.com!

 

Study Finds Foot MedMassager Effective in Treating Restless Legs Syndrome

Study finds that Foot MedMassager is an effective treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome.

Restless Legs Syndrome —or RLS— is a nervous system condition that is marked by abnormal sensations in the legs and feet, and occasionally in the arms. These sensations can be described by an irresistible urge to move one’s legs and may take the form of a “creepy-crawly” or itchy feeling, or even pins and needles. Sufferers of RLS, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, say that the abnormal sensations are usually worse at night and improved by movement. Research shows that RLS contributes to poor sleep quality and can impact quality of life.

According to WebMD, RLS is also known as a sleep disorder. Ten percent of people in the United States have been diagnosed with RLS. It is more common in women and middle-aged individuals.

Because RLS can have such a negative impact on one’s sleep quality, RLS can also lead to sleep deprivation, which may produce anxiety or even depression.

On April 2, 2020, PLOS ONE—a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science— published an article that looked at the efficacy of MedMassager’s Foot massager and heat therapy for restless legs syndrome. While the results showed that heat therapy only produced measurable results with the sleep group, the MedMassager Foot improved sleep quality and quality of life compared to the control group.

According to the study, “Four weeks post-randomization, participants in the massager group had significant improvement in the RLS severity score and sleep scale compared to the no intervention group.”