15 Fibromyalgia Clothing Choices You Can Make To Prevent Pain | PainDoctor.com

Fibromyalgia causes widespread chronic pain, as well as cognitive issues and fatigue. This condition can make it difficult to complete basic everyday tasks. Sometimes just getting dressed and out the door is too much, taking up the limited amount of “spoons” you have available to you. If your days are increasingly painful because of the clothes you’re wearing, you may need to make changes to your wardrobe. A few simple alterations could make a big difference, though. Here’s what we recommend when it comes to fibromyalgia clothing choices.

Understanding fibromyalgia and clothing sensitivity

Fibromyalgia pain is typically present on both sides of the body, below and above the waistline, and along the vertebral column. In many cases, simply putting on clothes and wearing them all day is extremely painful for people with this condition. Many sufferers also suffer from touch sensitivity that makes any touch, no matter how gentle, a searing pain.

In addition, other common symptoms of fibromyalgia include heat or cold intolerance. The weather or even the thermostat can have an effect on the pain and stiffness that you may experience every day.

That means clothing for fibromyalgia sufferers must be easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and simple to remove. These are 15 fibromyalgia clothing choices that can help alleviate your pain. When in doubt, turn to your support groups or healthcare providers for more information.

1. Try ultra-soft fabrics

There are certain fabrics that are more comfortable than others. If you have fibromyalgia, you want to find clothes that won’t irritate your skin. These soft and breathable fabrics can help:

  • Bamboo
  • Modal
  • Jersey
  • Fleece
  • Flannel
  • Silk or satin
  • Organic cotton
  • Cashmere

2. Avoid denim

Jeans aren’t just tight and restrictive, they can also be itchy and rough to the touch. Most people with fibromyalgia avoid denim altogether.

Unless they’re marketed as soft and stretchy, jeans are usually too rigid to provide any sort of comfort. Leggings, sweatpants, and other types of loose fitting pants are a better option. With today’s jeggings or other super comfy fabrics, you do have options that still look like denim without the ouch.

3. Use soft layers to manage temperature changes

One symptom of fibromyalgia is increased sensitivity to temperature changes. You may find it hard to regulate these shifts and certain times of year with extreme weather can make it even more difficult.

Layering is the best way to make it through the day in a climate that changes often, especially throughout a single day. For instance, you may live in a coastal town that is foggy and cold in the morning, but sunny and warm in the afternoon. In this case, you should start with a light T-shirt or tank top and pair it with a soft sweater that is easily removable.

This method of dressing will allow you to be prepared for any weather changes as the day goes on.

4. Look into fibromyalgia friendly clothes brands

You don’t have to sacrifice style to find pain relief. There are comfortable clothes for fibromyalgia that will help you look your best, no matter where you’re headed. These are some of the best brands, according to other people with fibromyalgia.

  • Old Navy: From work clothes to casual loungewear, Old Navy offers a range of styles at affordable prices
  • Lululemon: This activewear brand is on the expensive side, but fans rave about the quality, comfort, and stretch of Lululemon leggings
  • Under Armour: If you’re looking for advanced athletic wear, Under Armour carries unique fabrics that can regulate temperature and provide breathability
  • The North Face: Because this brand is typically geared toward apparel for outdoor activities, they carry great clothes for soft warmth, such as fleece pullovers
  • Hanes: Everyday comfortable essentials, as well as undergarments, are easy to find at Hanes
  • LOFT: If you need dressy yet comfortable work clothes, LOFT carries “Signaturesoft” clothing under their Lou & Grey line
  • Target: For an expansive range of affordable clothing for any event, Target has a wide variety of comfortable clothing
  • Aerie: Whether you need undergarments, swimsuits, or loungewear, Aerie carries items that are typically around $15 to $35

Also try to add quality clothing pieces to your closet. This can be tough when you’re on a tight budget, but it will be beneficial in the long run. Quality clothes will last longer, even after consistent washing and wearing. Focus on buying a few essential items that are made with high-quality fabric. Cheaply made clothing can scratch and rub your skin in a way that will irritate your symptoms.

Shop sales, clearance racks, and use coupons to save money at stores that are usually on the expensive side. Look for gently-used consignment places that sell high-end clothing at a big discount.

15 Fibromyalgia Clothing Choices You Can Make To Prevent Pain | PainDoctor.com

5. Bring in color with scarves or jewelry

Putting comfort over style doesn’t mean you have to look like you just rolled out of bed. Find clothing in fabrics, cuts, and colors that you love. If you find a piece that is especially comfortable, buy it in a few different colors. Build your wardrobe around these items and jazz them up with accessories.

On days when you wake up with unbearable pain, turn to the clothing items that are easiest to throw on, and simply add accessories. You can wear the same loose and flowing dress dozens of different ways. Purchase a few necklaces and scarves to add a pop of color. This will diversify your comfortable closet pieces.

6. Find the best bras for fibromyalgia

Most women agree that bras are simply uncomfortable, whether you’re in good health or not. For those suffering with fibromyalgia, tight straps and underwires can actually be painful and a constant source of stress.

Luckily, there are options that can give you the support you need without the discomfort. Try these options if you’re dealing with ongoing fibro pain.

Bralettes

A bralette is a good choice for smaller-chested women because it only offers minimal support. They don’t have underwires or clasps, which means there isn’t anything that will dig into your skin.

They typically come in different types of fabrics, some with lightweight cups.

Sports bras

Sports bras provide better support than bralettes, but most of them still forego underwires and clasps.

They’re easy to slip on and off, and are usually made with comfortable, breathable fabric.

Soft cup bras

A soft cup bra can provide the necessary support larger women need, but without underwires that will dig into your skin.

These bras often feature wider side panels and straps, as well as seamless styles.

Front closing bras

Depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing, front closing bras are easier to put on and remove without excessive movement.

These are popular for women who deal with arthritis and other common causes of chronic pain. They’re another great option for bad pain days when you need to minimize excessive movement.

7. Try out compression clothing for fibromyalgia

While it isn’t the right option for every case, many patients experience pain relief while wearing compression clothing.

Compression garments can decrease chronic pain by increasing oxygenation and blood circulation. They may also reduce swelling and edema. By keeping muscles and joints stable, this type of clothing could even help prevent injuries.

Talk to your doctor to find out if this is the right method of pain relief for you.

8. Look for easy clothing for bad pain days

Some days are worse than others for the five million people with fibromyalgia. There will be times when you need to limit even the most basic of daily tasks. For those days, turn to easy fibromyalgia clothing that won’t further irritate your symptoms.

For many people, this means loose fitting clothes. Flowing maxi dresses, oversized sweaters, and drawstring pants are all great options.

Don’t be afraid to wear certain items repeatedly. If you need to diversify them for work or social outings, add a layer or an accessory.

9. In summer, look for breathable comfort

The warmer months of summer can be difficult. Whether it’s dry or humid, excessive heat can take a toll when you’re already struggling with symptoms.

Choose loose and thin fabrics for maximum breathability. Try to avoid dark colors that will absorb sunlight and heat. If you’re going to be outside, wear moisture-wicking fabrics that will keep you cool and dry from any excessive sweat.

Still hot? Carry a small battery-operated fan everywhere you go. This can cool you down instantly, even when you’re outdoors.

10. Avoid buttons and zippers

Depending on the location and level of your pain, buttons can be difficult to maneuver on a bad day. Try to avoid button-down tops that can increase pain and stiffness in your hands and fingers.

Zippers may also be difficult to wear because of the rough seam that is typically found underneath. Look for clothes that are free of clasps and connectors. Find things that you can easily slip in and out of.

15 Fibromyalgia Clothing Choices You Can Make To Prevent Pain | PainDoctor.com

11. Choose the right socks

One symptom of fibromyalgia is cold feet, but elastic and itchy fabrics can make socks uncomfortable to wear.

If you’re struggling to find the right socks, experiment with different types. Perhaps shorter ankle socks are better than high socks that squeeze your calves. Socks that are labeled as light and breathable are often beneficial to avoid unnecessary pressure.

Still struggling to find comfort for your feet? Give diabetic socks a try. Fibromyalgia pain and diabetic neuropathy are very similar. These socks are designed to provide compression and increase circulation, which may reduce pain.

12. Protect your waist

Tight waistbands can cause fibromyalgia pain to flare up, which means pantyhose and tights are a no-no.

If you need to wear them for work or a formal event, try thigh-high stockings. They offer the same clean and polished look without the tightness around your waist.

13. Go tag-free

Tags can be itchy and uncomfortable for everyone, regardless of whether or not they suffer from a chronic pain condition. However, for those with fibromyalgia, it can be even more irritating.

Some brands like Hanes and Champion are going tag-free. The brand and size are printed directly onto the fabric instead of a tag. This eliminates the need for a bothersome piece of fabric that can irritate your skin and cause you more discomfort. If your clothes do have tags, gently unpick the stitching of them and remove entirely.

14. Consider maternity clothes

Maternity clothes, particularly maternity pants, are designed with a woman’s growing belly in mind. As a result, maternity pants are made with stretchy and elastic fabric that is meant to go underneath the belly.

This provides a better option for women dealing with chronic pain. These pants usually sit along the hips and offer much more flexibility, especially while sitting.

When paired with a long and loose top, no one will even know you’re wearing maternity pants.

15. Wear the right shoes

Support and stability are important if you’re suffering with chronic pain due to fibromyalgia. A comfortable pair of shoes will cushion your feet and help you get around with ease. Some of the most popular shoe brands recommended by fibromyalgia patients include the following.

  • Sketchers: The memory foam used in some Sketchers designs can help provide comfort and support for walking
  • Scholl’s: Fans of this brand say that Dr. Scholl’s shoes offer good arch support and cushioned heels
  • Converse: A classic choice for those who love sneakers, the Converse pull-on styles offer flat and light shoes without laces that need tying
  • Birkenstocks: Unlike most sandals, Birkenstocks offer a thick cushion to ease pain associated with walking or standing
  • Uggs: Perfect for winter and colder weather, Uggs are much like soft and warm slippers
  • Nike: These walking and running shoes are designed for athletes of all types, which means they offer a range of specialty styles that can give you durable support

Get help

Living with fibromyalgia can feel like a full-time job. It alters every aspect of your lifestyle and makes simple tasks challenging.

If you need help managing your fibromyalgia pain, you can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below. You can also look for one in your area by using the tips provided here.

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Do I Have Hip Tendonitis? Causes And 8 Treatment Approaches | PainDoctor.com

There are many causes and forms of hip pain. One hip pain cause is tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis). This refers to an inflammation of the tendons in your hips. Hip tendonitis can be debilitating, but there are plenty of ways to manage and treat it. In this article, we discuss what hip tendonitis is, what causes it, and how you can treat it.

What is hip tendonitis?

Your tendons are like cords that connect your muscles to your bones. You have tendons all over your body, from your hands and feet to your legs and hips. When your tendons become inflamed or irritated, this is called tendonitis. Depending on the tendon that is causing the trouble, you may also see this condition referred to by other names. For example, other names for hip tendonitis include tendinopathy, iliacus tendonitis, and iliopsoas tendonitis.

But what does hip tendonitis feel like? Your symptoms may include hip:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness

You might notice that your pain gets worse when you perform certain activities. These symptoms don’t always stay in the hip either. Your hips are complicated joints that are crucial to the healthy function of your back and lower body. Because of this, any condition that affects your hips may also affect other body parts.

If you are experiencing pain in your legs, glutes, or groin in addition to pain in your hips, all of your pain may be the result of the same condition—hip tendonitis.

What causes hip tendonitis?

Participating in certain sports or activities can increase your risk of developing hip tendonitis.

For example, dedicated runners are more likely to develop hip pain, including hip tendonitis, due to the stress running places on their hips. Gymnasts, ballet dancers, and anyone else who moves their hips in repetitive, stressful ways is also at increased risk. This is especially true if you exercise improperly, e.g. you jump straight into the most intense part of the workout without properly warming up.

However, you don’t necessarily have to be an athlete to develop hip tendonitis. If you have an unusual gait (e.g. if one of your legs is longer than the other), the additional strain your walking style puts on your hips could lead to tendonitis.

Do I have hip tendonitis?

How can you tell if your hip pain is caused by tendonitis as opposed to something else? It isn’t always easy.

For example, hip osteoarthritis can cause symptoms very similar to those of hip tendonitis, including inflammation, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and pain that radiates out to other body parts. However, the causes of osteoarthritis are very different from the causes of tendonitis. They include age, obesity, and prior injury.

As if that wasn’t enough, hip tendonitis is frequently confused with hip bursitis. However, this condition affects the bursae (fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bone against direct contact with other body parts, including the tendons) rather than the tendons. There are two main kinds of hip bursitis: trochanteric bursitis and iliopsoas bursitis. Each affects a different bursa and a different population. Bursitis and tendonitis are closely linked, though, so it may be difficult to figure out which one you’re suffering from.

Hip tendonitis pain can also feel similar to hip flexor strain. This condition affects the hip and leg muscles. Try lifting your knee towards your chest. If your pain gets worse as you do this, then you might have hip flexor strain rather than tendonitis. Like hip tendonitis, hip flexor strain often afflicts athletes.

Because hip tendonitis shares so many symptoms with other conditions, it’s especially important to see a doctor about your hip pain. Only a doctor can diagnose the exact cause of your pain so you can get the appropriate treatment.

During your appointment, your doctor will examine you and go over your medical history. They may also use other diagnostic techniques, such as a CT or MRI scan, to confirm that tendonitis is the cause of your hip pain.

Once you receive a formal diagnosis, you and your doctor can move on to discussing possible treatments.

Do I Have Hip Tendonitis? Causes And 8 Treatment Approaches | PainDoctor.com

How do you treat hip tendonitis? 8 approaches

If you’re suffering from hip tendonitis pain, there are multiple treatment options available to you. Some are relatively basic, while others require professional help and intervention.

Try simple, noninvasive solutions first. If those are not effective or your pain is severe, work with your doctor to find other more appropriate options. Often, they’ll counsel you to combine noninvasive, complementary therapies with more invasive procedures for the best results.

Rest

The most important thing you can do to treat tendonitis is to rest. Because physical stress may cause or exacerbate hip tendonitis, maintaining your usual level of activity is not a good idea. Doing so is likely to lead to more pain and potentially permanent damage.

If your hip pain makes it difficult for you to sleep at night, there are a number of solutions you can try to alleviate your nighttime hip pain. Experiment until you find the right method, or combination of methods, for you. Some solutions include sleeping with bolster pillows or in different sleeping positions to find relief.

How long should you give your hips a break? That will depend on how severe your tendonitis is. Be sure to consult your physician, and above all, listen to your body. If a particular activity makes your hips hurt more, back off.

Once you do start feeling better, you can gradually increase your daily activity until you reach your pre-tendonitis level. ‘Gradually’ is the operative word here; as we mentioned, accelerating your workout too quickly can make hip tendonitis worse.

Heat and cold therapy

The Cleveland Clinic recommends both heat and cold therapy for tendonitis, depending on what outcome you are seeking. Heat therapy—for example, using a heat pack or wrap—is better at relieving persistent, aching pain. Cold therapy—which can include anything from an ice pack to a bag of vegetables wrapped in a towel—will numb pain for short-term periods.

Be careful when using heat or cold therapy so that you don’t accidentally worsen your pain. Placing the source of heat or cold directly against your skin, or leaving it in place for too long, can lead to burns. Generally, apply cold therapy for ten minutes at a time and heat therapy for twenty minutes at a time, unless a physician advises you otherwise.

Stretches and exercises

At first glance, it may seem strange to recommend exercise as a treatment for hip tendonitis. After all, in many cases, too much exercise is what causes tendonitis in the first place. But while some exercises, like gymnastics, can make hip pain worse, others can provide relief from tendonitis pain. This resource has recommendations for different exercises.

Make sure you are performing all exercises properly. If your hips start to hurt or tire, stop and rest a while. And when you return to doing your preferred exercise, take sensible precautions. For example, if you are a runner, don’t accelerate too quickly, and don’t wear ill-fitting or uncomfortable running shoes.

Medication

You can take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help reduce pain. These are best to use for short, acute flare-ups of pain. Don’t rely exclusively on these medications to treat your pain. Instead, use them after undergoing physical therapy or exercise that works at treating the underlying cause of your pain.

All medicines have their side effects, too, so be sure to read the labels carefully. Always consult your physician before starting any new medications. Topical treatments, such as pain-relieving creams, may also help.

Physical therapy

Many people turn to physical therapy with hip pain. A physical therapist combines multiple forms of treatment into one exercise and mobility plan that’s tailored to your specific needs.

To start, your physical therapist will examine you and design a treatment plan just for you. This plan may include any number of treatments, from joint manipulation to special exercises to recommended lifestyle changes. You may have nightly stretching regimens along with strengthening exercises. The goal for these plans are to increase mobility and range of motion, while building up strength in the area.

By adhering to the routine devised by your physical therapist, you can help ensure maximum recovery, including pain reduction and increased range of motion.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic primarily involves joint manipulation and adjustments. Look for a well-trained, licensed chiropractor to see if they can help with your hip pain.

Ultrasound therapy

This treatment involves applying heat to the affected area, but it goes far beyond regular heat therapy. A chiropractor or physical therapist will use ultrasound (sound waves) to penetrate deep into the tissues of your hip, heating your tendons.

There has been a good deal of debate about whether or not ultrasound therapy works. If you use ultrasound therapy, go into it with reasonable expectations. Ultrasound does work in the sense that it will heat parts of your body that heat wraps and hot showers just can’t reach. But it won’t speed up the healing process, and any positive effects you feel may very well be the result of a placebo effect.

That said, ultrasound therapy is not likely to do you any harm, even if it doesn’t do you any good. Just remember that ultrasound therapy is not a miracle cure. You shouldn’t rely on it as the sole, or even primary, method of treatment.

Injections and surgery

The majority of patients won’t need interventional procedures or surgeries to help with their hip pain. However, if you’re suffering from severe hip pain that hasn’t responded to other treatment approaches, these approaches might represent a treatment approach that could help. Consider them only if other treatments have failed to adequately relieve your hip pain, and in concert with other complementary techniques like physical therapy or exercise.

Doctors often prescribe cortisone or corticosteroid injections in cases where pain is caused by inflammation, such as hip tendonitis. Joint injections can help relieve inflammation in the affected area, providing short or longer-term pain relief for patients.

Corticosteroid injections, in particular, should be administered with caution. The longer you take them, and the higher the dose you are injected with, the more likely you may develop side effects. Work closely with your doctor to weigh the pros and cons of this treatment before deciding if steroid injections are worth the risks.

By contrast, cortisone injections are generally safer than corticosteroids. But as with all treatments, they still require a discussion with your doctor.

In extreme cases of hip tendonitis, your doctor may recommend tendon repair surgery. A surgeon will physically move the painful tendons into a less strenuous position, or remove anything (e.g. bone spurs) that may be irritating your tendons. While drastic, this procedure can help some patients get their life back.

Get help with hip tendinitis pain

If you’re suffering from chronic or severe pain in your hips, there is help. A pain specialist can diagnose the underlying cause of your pain and discuss the treatment approaches that could work for you.

By using a comprehensive approach that combines noninvasive therapies with interventional procedures, when warranted, a pain specialist can help you relieve your pain and get back to your life.

The first and most important step is a diagnosis. To get one, you can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/.

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Yoga For Knee Pain: 9 Gentle Poses To Soothe And Relieve Your Pain | PainDoctor.com

Your knees are arguably the hardest working joints in your body. Not only do they support the weight of our body in a variety of pounding movements, they also help propel us through our daily lives. With so much literal (and figurative) pressure applied to the knees, the possibility of injury or knee pain is high. Likewise, because we ask so much of them, knees can become painful as various parts of the joint and surrounding structures begin to wear out. Yoga for knee pain can address pain that arises as a result of improper use or pain that is a result of simple wear-and-tear over time. Here’s what you should know.

Is yoga good for knee pain?

Yoga for knee pain can be a safe and effective practice that addresses a variety of issues that arise in the knee. Contrary to what it sounds like, yoga for knees (and hips) also often works the areas around the knee. This is all to do with the anatomy of your legs.

The knee joint connects four main bones: the thigh bone, shin bone, fibula, and kneecap. These bones are stabilized by medial and lateral collateral ligaments on each side and the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments that prevent the knee from sliding forward and back.

Additionally, cartilage inside the knee joint prevents the bones from rubbing together. The meniscus and articular cartilage act as shock absorbent bone protectors.

Just as the ligaments connect the bones to each other, tendons connect and stabilize bones to the muscles. The four basic muscle groups that surround the knee include:

  • Quadriceps (knee extensors)
  • Hamstrings (knee flexors)
  • Hip adductors (inner thighs)
  • Hip abductors (outer thighs)

Many people who experience knee pain that is due to inflamed or sore tendons may find significant relief with yoga for knee pain that exercises and balances these four muscles groups. For example, the outer thighs in most people tend to be stronger and more developed than the inner thighs. This may cause significant pulling on the kneecap to the outside of its true alignment, causing inflammation due to overstretched tendons or even bone-on-bone rubbing.

Yoga for knee pain can also help balance the pull of each muscle group, strengthening their support of the knee, while increasing overall range of motion in the joint.

Should I do yoga if my knee hurts?

When your knees hurt with every step, you may stop moving. After all, if movement hurts, you should avoid it, right?

Not necessarily.

While it’s always crucial to talk to your doctor before beginning any new type of exercise, safe movement is typically incredibly beneficial for sore joints, including the knees. Regular exercises increase the lubrication in the joint, strengthen and lengthen tendons, and improve range of motion.

In the case of acute injury, it’s best to follow any of your doctor’s instructions for a period of rest. There are times when complete inactivity is necessary to give your body time to rest and restore itself. Once you get the all-clear, yoga poses for knee joint pain can be gradually added, making modifications as needed to keep you safe.

If the cause of your knee pain is arthritis, yoga can be practiced with a qualified teacher to the level that’s feels good to you. For severe pain, chair yoga is a great place to start (more on that below!).

9 gentle yoga for knee pain poses

Always talk to your doctor before starting yoga, and if you are taking a class, let your yoga teacher know about your knee pain beforehand. They can help with modifications when needed.

As always, if you experience sharp, stabbing pain or cannot catch your breath, back out of the pose and take a break. Consider taking a gentler modification if you try it again.

Here are nine yoga poses for knee pain, from least to most intense.

1. Joint warm up

Yoga for hip and knee pain often starts with range of motion exercises, and this is a good way to start a home practice.

Lie on your back, both legs extended. Inhale and bend your right knee towards your chest. Hold your right knee with your right hand and begin to make circles with the hip, in both directions. You can make these circles as big or small as feels good.

Take time to circle your ankle, too, before lowering the right leg and repeating the circles with your left leg.

2. Reclined hand-to-big-toe pose

Unlike the standing version, reclined hand-to-big-toe pose gently lengthens hamstrings and safely stretches tendons and ligaments.

Lie on your back, legs extended long. Use a strap to loop around the ball of your right foot. Inhale, and on an exhale, lift the leg (the strap can help) to the ceiling. Keep both of your feet flexed.

Breathe here for a few breaths, gently stretching the hamstrings, then place your left hand on your left hip to remind it to stay rooted to the ground as you exhale and allow your right leg to open to the right. Only go as far as you can keep the left hip rooted to the ground. Take ten deep breaths, then use the right inner thigh muscles to guide the leg back to center. Lower, then switch legs.

3. Low lunge

Low lunges stretch the hip flexors and can release pressure on the hamstrings.

Start from all fours. Use a blanket to pad the knees if you are feeling discomfort. Step your right foot forward between the hands. You can use blocks underneath your hand on any level if you need more space in the right hip crease. Make sure the right knee is directly above the right ankle.

Keeping your back toes tucked, lift the back knee and move your foot backward until you feel a stretch in the left hip flexor (the space on the front of your leg above the hamstring). Place the knee back down and breathe in this pose for five to ten breaths. You can bring your hands to your right thigh if you feel comfortable, or inhale them over your head for more of a balancing challenge.

Switch sides and repeat.

4. Half lord of the fishes twist

Sciatica is a type of pain that can travel down to the knee. Even if the knee joint isn’t the cause of your pain, this simple, soothing twist can help.

Extend both legs in front of you. Bend the right knee and cross it over the left so that the right foot is on the floor next to your left hip. You can leave the left leg extended or bend it, but if your sitting bones come off the ground when you bend it, keep it extended.

Hug the right knee into your chest, then inhale and lift your right arm above you, twisting from the torso to place the right hand on the ground behind you. Keep a tall spine as you keep the left hand hugging the right knee. Take five to ten deep breaths, then inhale to return back to center. Extend both legs long and repeat on the other side.

5. Bridge pose

Use a block in this pose between the upper thighs to increase strength and bring balance to the muscles of the legs.

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet hips-width distance apart. Heels should be about a handprint away from your hips. Place the block between your upper thighs. Bend your elbows and allow your palms to face each other across your body.

On an inhale, press into your feet and the backs of your upper arms to lift your hips to the sky. Press the roundest part of the back of your head into the mat to maintain space behind your neck. Hold for five to ten breaths, then lower slowly on an exhale. Repeat two times.

6. Chair pose

Chair pose strengthens the quad muscles, glutes, and hamstrings to support the knee.

Standing tall, bring your feet together (or keep them slightly apart if that is more comfortable). Bring hands together at the heart, palms touching, on an inhale.

As you exhale, sink your hips back behind you like you are sitting in a chair. Your toes should be clearly visible in front of your knees. Take ten deep breaths, then stand up on an inhale and shake out your legs.

7. Warrior II

Focus on safe alignment for this pose to improve strength.

Step wide on your mat, feet parallel, and ankles just below your wrists when you lift your arms into the shape of a T. Turn the toes of your right foot to the short edge of your mat (keep the other toes point to the side). Your right heel should be in line with the arch of your left foot, so adjust your stance as needed.

Inhale, then bend into the right knee, which should stay directly above your right ankle. Engage the muscles of your lower belly and relax your shoulders. Look out over the middle finger of your extended right arm. Make sure you can see the first and second toe of your right foot inside your right knee. Breathe here for five breaths, then move into reverse warrior before switching sides.

Yoga For Knee Pain: 9 Gentle Poses To Soothe And Relieve Your Pain | PainDoctor.com

8. Reverse warrior

From Warrior II, inhale deeply, flipping the right palm to face the sky. As you exhale, allow your left hand to slide down your left leg and arch back with your right hand.

Keep bending into your right knee. Breathe here for five breaths, releasing on an inhale. Switch to the other side, starting with Warrior II.

9. Triangle pose

Once again, step out in a wide stance. Have a block ready at the top of your mat. Turn the right foot to the short edge of your mat, following the same alignment instructions as the Warrior poses.

Engage the quadricep of your right leg – pull up on the kneecap and press firmly into the right big toe mound. Inhale your arms to the shape of a T, and on an exhale begin to pull your right hip back (deepening the hip crease) as you reach forward with your right hand.

Once you have reached as far as you can, pivot the right hand to a block by your right foot (or the inside of your right leg), and reach your left hand to the sky. Keep your shoulder blades on your back, and imagine that your heart and torso are twisting towards the sky. If it’s okay with your neck, turn to look at your left hand. Keep your kneecaps lifted.

Breathe here for five to ten breaths, then press into both feet and inhale to come back up.

Yoga for knee pain videos

Sometimes a video can help you jumpstart your practice. Here are three of our favorites.

1. Chair yoga for every joint 

Although not specifically for knees, this 20-minute chair yoga sequence moves through every joint in the body (including the knees) to improve range of motion and warm up the body.

2. Active chair yoga 

Another 20-minute sequence that adds more weight-bearing and stretching for the knees. A good progression from the first video when you are ready to add bodyweight exercise.

3. Yoga for strengthening knees

When you are ready to really get in more muscle strengthening, this is the class for you. Still under 30 minutes, this works the hamstrings and quadriceps to support the knees.

Videos do not take the place of a qualified and supportive instructor, but they can fill the gap when you don’t have time to make it to a full class.

3 yoga poses to avoid with knee pain

Although most yoga poses can be modified for people who suffering from knee pain, there are a few that you should avoid, especially during the most acute phases of an injury.

  1. Camel pose: Camel pose places a tremendous amount of pressure directly on the knees
  2. Hero pose: Children may have no problems with the pressure and bending of the joint in this pose, but those with knee injury or pain should avoid this posture (or only do it with lots of props and plenty of guidance)
  3. Revolved triangle: The lateral twisting forces of the spine travel right down through both legs and can be incredibly painful

Any postures that lead to hyperextension or the knee or “locking” the knee can also be injurious. These may include:

Other minimally-invasive knee pain treatments

Yoga has many benefits for chronic pain patients that go well beyond pain management. If you feel those benefits but are still in pain, there are other minimally invasive options including physical therapy and chiropractic care that can help with pain in your knees.

A highly-qualified pain specialist can help you better understand all of your options for pain relief, including yoga for knee pain. You can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/.

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Is Fibromyalgia A Disability? Social Security, Long-Term Disability, And More | PainDoctor.com

Living with fibromyalgia can make every day a challenge. Chronic pain and severe exhaustion are the two most common symptoms. However, people who suffer from the condition often experience other symptoms, like depression, headaches, memory loss, sleep disturbances, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. These can make it very difficult to go to work every day, which leaves many people wondering, “Is fibromyalgia a disability?” Depending on the situation, it can be, but it comes with some caveats. Read on for details about fibromyalgia disability benefits you may qualify for and how to apply for them.

Is fibromyalgia a disability?

When people ask if fibromyalgia is considered a disability, they’re typically referring to workplace accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Social Security disability claims. Not that this post should not be taken as legal advice, as it only scratches the surface of what you should know when it comes to benefits, work status, and qualifications. You can read more about chronic pain and disability benefits here.

The ADA doesn’t maintain a list of medical conditions that constitute a disability. Instead, there is a general definition of disability that you must meet. According to the ADA, you must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This includes people who have a record of impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability, but are regarded as having a disability.

The Social Security Administration (SSA), on the other hand, defines a disability as “a severe “medically determinable impairment,” also known as an MDI. We’ll discuss what qualifies as an MDI in further detail below.

Based on this information, the short answer is yes, fibromyalgia can be a disability in the way it affects your everyday life. But as for applying for and receiving Social Security benefits or ADA modifications, the answer will be based on factors related to your personal symptoms and overall health condition. While one person with fibromyalgia may be suffering with debilitating symptoms, another may find work and other daily activities more manageable. Fibromyalgia is a condition that can vary greatly from person to person, so the answer to the original question is also unique to that person.

Can you work if you have fibromyalgia?

Depending on the severity of your condition and the work you do, it may or may not be possible to work. Many people with fibromyalgia experience extreme tenderness when pressure is applied to the knees, thighs, hips, elbows, and neck.

For this reason, it is best to do a job that doesn’t require you to stay in one position for too long. Both standing and sitting for extended amounts of time can lead to more pain. Further, any job that requires heavy lifting or intense physical movement may also be too demanding in most cases.

If you wish to continue working, work with the Human Resources contact at your for the best methods on how to accommodate your fibromyalgia symptoms. Through ADA guidelines and recommendations, HR can work with you to offer several ways to make you more comfortable while you’re at work.

These are just a few possible fibromyalgia accommodation:

  • Alternative lighting, flexible scheduling, or a modified break schedule for attentiveness/concentration issues
  • Appropriate time off for treatments
  • Chairs with head support, standing desks, or stand-lean stools for daily movement
  • Reducing any physical requirements of the job
  • Counseling, therapy, or even a support animal for stress management
  • Walkers, scooters, or wheelchairs, as needed

This is just a sample of the many options that could allow you to continue working. Your HR team will determine the best solution on a case-by-case basis.

In order to make your condition best understood, you’ll need to provide a full explanation of your current diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, and limitations from your doctor. This documentation should be similar to what you’d provide in an application for disability.

Is Fibromyalgia A Disability? Social Security, Long-Term Disability, And More | PainDoctor.com

Do fibromyalgia patients get disability benefits through Social Security?

The Social Security Administration maintains a list of adult impairments that may qualify for disability benefits. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia isn’t included. While it is one of the harder disability claims to win, it isn’t impossible. In order to qualify, you must prove to medical examiners that you’re suffering from a severe “medically determinable impairment,” also known as an MDI.

Social Security may consider fibromyalgia an MDI if both of these are true:

  • You have evidence of widespread chronic pain that has lasted at least three months
  • Laboratory testing, MRIs, and X-rays have ruled out other possible conditions

In addition, one of these must be present in your case:

  • Ongoing occurrence of at least six fibromyalgia symptoms, such as fatigue, cognitive/memory issues (also known as fibro fog), waking up exhausted, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and anxiety
  • Positive tender point sites in at least 11 of 18 tested areas, above and below the waist and on both sides of the body

It’s important to note that even if you meet these requirements, you will still have to prove that you’re disabled. That means documenting reasons why you’re incapable of maintaining employment in any capacity, whether at your previous job or any other job.

How to apply for fibromyalgia disability benefits

The process of applying for fibromyalgia disability benefits is complex. Even if you are formally diagnosed, there are a number of factors you must be able to prove in order to qualify. This usually takes multiple visits with your doctor over a long period of time.

The following gives a brief overview of what you can expect, but it’s best to work with an attorney who is experienced with disability claims. They can give you exact guidance about how to apply for and receive benefits appropriate to your case.

Here’s what you can expect to do during the process.

Document your case

The more documentation you can gather about your medical history, the better your application will be. First, a confirmed diagnosis will be necessary. Due to the nature of fibromyalgia, which typically has no confirmed cause, doctors often diagnose it when they can’t find any other cause of your ongoing pain. This is why it’s important to have a specialist diagnose you based on lab tests and the current fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria.

Furthermore, a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) about your impairments is necessary for a thorough application. This is an overall evaluation of your capacity to complete certain job-related activities, including your ability to:

  • Lift or carry weight, and how often you’re able to do so
  • Stand, walk, or sit during a normal eight-hour work day, and how long you’re able to do so
  • Climb stairs, kneel, crouch, or crawl
  • Use fine motor skills (such as typing or using a computer mouse)
  • Reach for objects, especially those overhead
  • See, hear, and speak clearly
  • Withstand environmental conditions, such as extreme cold or heat, smells, and noise

Gather supporting information 

In addition to a formal application, your diagnosis, and an RFC, there may be a few other things that will be critical to your success. You may need to include:

  • Contact information for all of your doctors, as well as the dates of your appointments, treatments, or hospitalizations
  • Health records of lab tests, psychological evaluations, and prescribed medications
  • A summary of your job history

The Social Security Administration will take everything you provide into consideration, so provide a very clear picture of your day-to-day challenges. A journal (paper or mobile-app based) is a great way to do this. Spend time each day jotting down how you felt and how symptoms limited your activities. This can help you paint a picture of what you’re coping with on a daily basis.

File your application

After you’ve gathered all of your materials, there are a few ways to file your application:

On average, it can take three to five months to hear back regarding disability benefit claims. In some cases, you may have to supply additional evidence or documentation.

During the application process, a team of doctors for the Social Security Administration will do a thorough review of your application. A psychologist on this team may also evaluate whether your case of fibromyalgia has resulted in any mental impairments. These are based on:

  • Memory
  • Speed of information processing
  • Concentration
  • Calculation
  • Speech
  • Word-finding

Once they’ve reviewed your application, they’ll determine if you receive disability benefits or not. You can typically appeal this decision, if they’ve denied your claim. An appeal is an additionally complex process, on top of an already complicated task. Work with your local health advocates or an attorney when undergoing an appeal.

Is fibromyalgia considered a long-term disability?

Much like the other disability benefits we’ve discussed, fibromyalgia long-term disability benefits can be difficult to obtain. Most long-term disability insurance companies deny or limit these requests since the condition is usually based on self-reported symptoms. Many insurance companies specifically exclude fibromyalgia from coverage. Others consider it a mental disorder in order to limit payments to one or two years. Examine your policy carefully to understand if it is possible to receive benefits for fibromyalgia, and for how long. Work with your Human Resources team if you’re unsure about any of the language or policy coverage.

As previously discussed, if you plan to apply for these types of benefits, you will need to be prepared with as much documentation as possible. You should be seeking medical treatment from a specialist and keeping a detailed record of your symptoms. It will also help to have written opinions from your doctors regarding your limitations and current condition.

What else do I need to know?

Only you and your medical team can determine if seeking disability benefits is the right course of action for you. These are a few questions you should ask yourself before seeking fibromyalgia disability benefits.

Will I be able to maintain my lifestyle?

Before applying for disability, it’s important to take a look at your finances. Allsup provides a free online calculator to estimate how much you may receive on disability.

Ask yourself if you’re comfortable with this amount of monthly income. Will it be enough for you to continue living in the same home? Will you have enough for groceries, a car payment, and any other monthly costs? Evaluate whether it’s financially possible for you to leave your job.

Am I emotionally and mentally prepared to be on disability?

A job provides much more than just a paycheck. It often gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It’s even a form of socialization. Co-workers become friends that you confide in and enjoy spending your days with.

Some people are surprised by the fact that they feel lonely and bored when they stop working. Others need the time and space to focus on healing.

What are my job options?

Perhaps you would like to continue working, but can’t continue doing your current job because of physical or mental limitations. What are your other job options?

Take a look at your skillset and capabilities and research what else is out there. Ask your employer about other opportunities within the company, workplace accommodations they can make, or search for new jobs that allow you to work from home.

Are there treatment options I haven’t explored?

If you’re eager to continue working, there are treatment options that could give you the relief you need to do so. From chiropractic care to physical therapy, there are non-invasive options that can improve your comfort level.

If these remedies don’t work, there are currently three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella may reduce pain and improve function in some people with fibromyalgia. Talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options.

Who can help me?

Social Security benefits can be complicated. For this reason, it’s often beneficial to hire a disability attorney who can help you file the right forms and gather the information for your case. A skilled attorney who specializes in disability and other insurance benefits will be able to guide you through the process of completing applications. If your initial case is denied, your lawyer will be able to prepare you for an appeal that may require you to go before a judge.

For ADA accommodations, you’ll likely have to work closely with your company’s Human Resources team to create the best plan moving forward. While companies look to the guidance provided through federal resources, they will still have their own unique set of rules and regulations to work from.

Not sure where to start? Working with a pain specialist is a great first step. Having someone who is experienced at helping patients prepare for disability claims can be one of the best ways to get the information you need, when you need it. You can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or using the tips here.

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10 Of The Best Yoga Poses For Neck Pain Relief | PainDoctor.com

The verdict is in: tech neck is real, and it could be causing you tremendous pain. If you are one of the millions of people who spend an average of 11 hours per day hunched over a computer or looking at a screen, you may frequently experience neck pain that ranges from mildly irritating to debilitating. If you find yourself in this situation, yoga for neck pain can help. Here’s some poses you can try.

Will yoga help my neck pain?

Yoga for neck pain is an easy, side effect free way to relieve all sorts of pain in the complex area of your body that includes the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Yoga can be practiced anywhere, at any level, and with very little experience. Yoga poses for neck pain are even easy to do while sitting at your desk or while watching TV.

Better still, you don’t need special tools, equipment, or clothing. Yoga is available and accessible for every person, just as they are.

Yoga for neck pain extends to the whole body

While a pain in the neck can originate there, in some cases, the interlocking muscles, tendons, and bones of the neck, shoulders, and upper back are related and cause what is known as referred pain.

Referred pain originates in one part of your body, but you feel it somewhere different. This means that an injury to the trapezius in the upper back can cause tightness and pain in the shoulders and neck. In some cases, this referred pain can even lead to headaches and other seemingly-unrelated side effects.

Yoga for neck and shoulder pain is also often helpful for relieving headaches and other types of pain. When yoga for neck pain and headaches is recommended, this might even help with shoulder and upper back pain. In short, the entire area of the upper back, shoulders, and neck can benefit from yoga for neck pain.

10 yoga for neck pain poses

When starting off with any exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They will make sure that you are healthy enough for activity and may offer suggestions for areas to focus on. They’ll also be able to tell you if you need to avoid certain postures.

Once you get the all-clear, you may want to start by finding a qualified yoga teacher in your area. Yoga teachers are trained and well-versed in the anatomy of the upper back, neck, and shoulders and are able to clearly explain the connection between the poses you are doing and the potential for pain relief. When you attend your first class, ask for suggestions or modifications when you need them.

The most important thing to remember when starting yoga for neck pain is to listen to your body.

Sharp, stabbing pain or numbness and tingling are signs that you need to back off from the pose. This is crucial if you are using videos at home. Trying to pretzel yourself into a pose you are not ready for can cause further injury. Go slowly, and be compassionate with yourself, wherever you are starting.

Finally, as you begin the poses below, remember to keep breathing. Use your breath to move into a pose and to relax once you get there. Deep, even breathing is key. If you find yourself unable to take a full breath, that’s another sign you’re in too deep.

Start with the first pose and move all the way to number ten as you are ready.

1. Neck rolls

This can be a powerful release, but be mindful of how it feels in your neck and go slowly. Sit relaxed, either in a chair with both feet on the floor or on the floor itself. Take a deep breath in, and on an exhale, drop your chin to your chest. Inhale, and slowly bring your right ear to your right shoulder. Exhale to return to center, then inhale your left ear to your left shoulder. Repeat at least three times on each side.

Some people will feel comfortable rolling their neck in a full circle, inhaling as they roll their head back and exhaling as they roll it forward, chin to chest. For others, rolling the head back can cause painful compression in the cervical spine. Pay attention to what you are feeling.

2. Simple side neck stretch

Sit on the floor with legs crossed and arms at your side. Inhale and lift the right arm up and overhead. Exhale and drape your right hand over the top of your head, fingertips touching the left ear. Allow the weight of your hand to gently stretch the left side of your neck as your right ear moves towards your right shoulder (keep the right shoulder relaxed).

If you want more stretch, you can tiptoe your left fingertips out to the left (or wrap your left arm behind your back). Stay here for at least ten easy breaths, then inhale to gently release. Repeat on the other side.

3. Forward fold with neck stretch

This can be done seated in a chair or standing.

  • Seated: Create some space between your knees so that your torso can fold forward. Inhale, and on an exhale, fold your torso forward either between your parted knees or to rest on your thighs. Interlace your hands behind your neck just below the roundest part of your head (the occiput) and allow the weight of them to apply gently lengthening pressure to your neck. Stay here and breathe for at least ten breaths, then inhale to release your hands and slowly rise back up to seated.
  • Standing: Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart. Inhale and fold forward as you exhale. Bend your knees as much as you need to. Interlace your hands behind your neck just below the roundest part of your head (the occiput) and allow the weight of them to apply gently lengthening pressure to the neck. Stay here and breathe for at least ten breaths, then inhale to release your hands and slowly rise back up to standing.

If you have lower back pain but want to do the standing option, bring your hands to blocks or the floor to give your lower back support. Then shake your head “yes” and “no” instead of applying weight with your hands.

10 Of The Best Yoga Poses For Neck Pain Relief | PainDoctor.com

4. Forward fold with shoulder opener

As with the third pose, this can be done either seated or standing.

Start in your chosen position, then interlace your hands behind your back. Inhale deeply, then fold forward on the exhale. Your hands can slowly lift away from your back to come overhead, but do not strain. Continue to keep your shoulder blades moving away from your ears. This stretches the shoulders and creates space in the upper back and neck.

5. Cat/cow

Start on all fours with your knees beneath hips and wrist beneath shoulders. Inhale and drop your belly towards the mat or floor as your sitting bones lift, shoulder blades come together, and your gaze lifts (cow pose).

Exhale and round your back, starting as the tailbone tucks, moving up the back until your shoulder blades slide away from each other and your head releases down. Think of pressing the mat away with your hands. This is cat pose. Repeat three to five cycles, following the full length of your breath and starting the movement in your tailbone.

6. Thread the needle

Start on all fours (knees beneath hips, wrists directly beneath shoulders). Inhale and lift your right hand and arm to the sky. Exhale and thread the needle, passing your right hand behind your left wrist and bringing your right shoulder, back or arm, and cheek to rest on the floor (hips stay high).

If this is too intense, you can rest on your forearm and use a yoga block to support your head. Breathe here for five to ten breaths, then press into your left hand and sweep your right hand up and overhead to come out of the pose. Repeat on the other side.

7. Melting heart pose

Start on all fours, then on an exhale begin to walk your hands forward, lowering your chest towards the ground (hips stay high, right above your knees). You will feel your shoulder blades come together on your back.

You can place your forehead on the mat, or, if you feel very open, bring your chin to the mat. Breathe ten long, deep breaths before walking your hands back to come out of the pose.

8. Supported fish pose

You need two yoga blocks for this pose. Behind you on your mat, place one yoga block horizontally on the second highest setting, and another on its highest setting farther away from you. Slowly lower your back onto these blocks.

The horizontal block should be at the bottom tips of your shoulder blades, and the higher block should be underneath the roundest part of your head. Extend your legs long on the mat, or bend your knees and allow the soles of your feet to touch, allowing your knees to fall wide. Arms can rest at your side, palms face up.

Stay here for at least three minutes. You may be able to lower the block beneath your head to its second highest setting during this time, or you may just enjoy the support and lengthening as it is. Use your forearms to gently prop yourself up enough to remove the blocks, and then lay flat for a minute to feel the full effects of the pose.

9. Strap stretch

Sit in thunderbolt pose with a strap or belt handy. Take the strap in each hand, hands wide apart from each other (this will vary, as you will see). Inhale to raise your straight arms up and overhead, then exhale to lower them behind you, still straight. You may need to make your hands wider to keep them straight. Inhale again to bring your arms back over head, then exhale to lower them down in front.

Go slowly, and keep extending the crown of your head up towards the sky (don’t jut your chin forward). This move releases tension in the shoulders and upper back that may be causing neck pain. If you notice one spot that is particularly tender, stay there and take three full, even breaths before continuing your movement. Complete at least three of these.

10. Rabbit pose

Start by sitting back on your heels (like thunderbolt). Grab the backs of your heels, one in each hand, and take a deep breath. On an exhale, begin to round your spine forward to reach the crown of your head to touch the ground (not your forehead). Once the crown of your head reaches the floor, lift your hips and pull on your heels with your hands. Draw your shoulders away from your ears to length the neck. Don’t place pressure on your head. The action of pulling on your feet should balance your weight instead.

Another option is to interlace your hands behind your back, and as you lower the crown of your head and draw up your hips, lift your interlaced hands to the sky, lifting your shoulders away from your ears.

Take three full breaths (or as many as you can comfortably take), then round up the spine to come back out.

Yoga for neck pain videos

If heading to class isn’t an option but you want more guidance to begin with, a yoga for neck pain video can bridge the gap. Here are some of our favorites.

To stretch a sore neck

This five-minute sequence relieves soreness and tension in the neck and can be done several times in regular intervals during your day.

Find the full video at: https://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/5-minute-yoga-sequence-neck-stretches/

For neck and shoulder relief

Here’s a slightly longer video that brings pain relief to the neck and shoulders.

Yoga for neck pain, headaches, and other tension

The sweet spot in between, this eight-minute video focuses on releasing tension that causes pain (including headaches).

Two yoga poses to avoid with neck pain

Unless you are a seasoned yogi who knows how to make proper modifications, it’s best to avoid head and shoulder stands when you have neck pain. The extra pressure on the cervical spine can cause further pain and injury.

Other minimally-invasive neck pain treatments

If you are finding little to no relief with yoga for neck pain, you do have other options. These include:

When it comes to neck pain, everyone is different. The best approach is a holistic one that includes a variety of treatments (including yoga for neck pain).

If you’re suffering from severe or chronic neck pain, it may be time to talk to a pain specialist. You can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/.

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Pain On Top of Foot: Potential Causes and Solutions | PainDoctor.com

Your feet are made up of many moving parts: bones, tendons, nerves, muscles, and more. If something goes wrong with just one of these tiny parts, your entire life can be thrown out of whack. Foot pain makes the most basic of tasks more difficult or even impossible. While any part of your foot can become painful for any number of reasons, this article focuses on pain on top of foot. This is also called the Lisfrank area. We’ll discuss some of the common pain on top of foot causes as well as potential treatments.

Why does pain on top of foot occur?

There are many reasons why the top of your foot might be bothering you because it contains so many different working parts. The information below isn’t intended to take the place of professional medical advice. Only a doctor can diagnose you with a medical condition.

That being said, not knowing the cause of your pain can be stressful and scary. Hopefully, this article can take a little bit of the mystery out of your top of foot pain by providing you with a place to start your research.

Some potential pain on top of foot causes include:

  • Tendonitis
  • Gout
  • Injury
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Referred pain

Tendonitis

Tendons are cords that connect your bones to your muscles and allow the human body to move in all the ways that it does. The most famous is the Achilles tendon, or the Achilles heel, which runs down the back of your leg. However, you have tendons all over your body.

Tendonitis occurs when a specific set of tendons becomes inflamed, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. In particular, tendonitis on top of foot is called extensor tendonitis. While this condition can be caused by a traumatic injury, a more common cause is repetitive movements.

Gout

Gout is a subset of a condition that many people in the United States and around the world know all too well: arthritis. It can have a variety of causes, including injury, obesity, or even certain medicines.

Gout is characterized by swelling and intense pain, usually in the big toe, although other areas of the foot and body can be affected. One of its most distinguishing features is the fact that its symptoms regularly subside, allowing the sufferer to resume a normal lifestyle until the next flare-up.

Injury

There are many ways you can injure your foot, from dropping something on it to moving it the wrong way to simple overuse. Sometimes you might injure yourself and not realize it until later when symptoms begin to manifest. Other times, such as when you have a sprain, a fracture, or a broken bone, you’ll notice right away.

If the injury isn’t serious, your foot will likely heal on its own. But if your pain is severe and doesn’t resolve, or if you can feel that a bone is no longer where it should be, see a doctor right away.

In some cases, a ganglion cyst may form after a foot injury. This is a fluid-filled lump just under the skin. If it gets too close to a nerve, you may feel a burning or tingling pain. This is another case when you should talk to your doctor.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition in which your nerves, whose job it is to relay pain signals to your brain, have gone haywire.

For example, they might end up telling your brain that your foot is in pain, even when you haven’t done anything to hurt it lately. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include, but are not limited to, numbness and various kinds of pain (tingling, stabbing, and so forth.)

Toe pain

Pain in other parts of your foot, such as the big toe, can also lead to pain on top of foot, since they are so close to each other. We have already discussed gout, which commonly affects the big toe.

If you believe your foot pain stems from a problem with your big toe, read through this article to learn more about big toe pain causes and solutions.

How to prevent pain on top of foot

If you’re looking to prevent foot pain, it’s important to take care of your feet. But what does that mean?

Try to avoid lots of repetitive movements, which can aggravate foot pain. If you begin to feel pain while you are exercising, stop what you’re doing as soon as you can and take a break.

In the case of gout, a crucial step towards preventing future outbreaks can be changing your diet. A big risk factor for gout is the presence of excessive uric acid in the system. Eating a lot of meat and seafood or drinking a lot of beer increases the body’s uric acid content.

Finally, your footwear can have a big impact on how your feet feel, for better or worse. If your foot pain is caused by metatarsalgia, the shoes and insoles on this list may help. Shoes and insoles designed to relieve other sources of foot pain are discussed later in this article.

How to treat pain on top of foot: 9 treatments

Not all of the following foot pain treatments will be effective for every cause, and not all treatments are safe for all patients.

This is why it’s so important to discuss your foot pain with your doctor before trying any treatment for top of foot pain. Once you have a diagnosis, your doctor will be able to determine which treatments have the best chance of helping you recover.

Pain On Top of Foot: Potential Causes and Solutions | PainDoctor.com

At-home treatments

The easiest pain on top of foot treatments are those you can try by yourself in the comfort of your own home. Heat and cold treatments, for instance, are a cheap and simple solution for foot pain. But although they are often lumped together, heat therapy and cold therapy are two distinct treatments. The Cleveland Clinic has put together a chart to help you determine which one will work best for what ails you.

Another at-home treatment is to simply rest. The more you strain an already painful foot, the longer it could take to heal. Try keeping the foot elevated, and don’t walk or stand any more than you have to until it starts to feel better.

Finally, you may have to make some changes to your lifestyle. For example, obesity often contributes to or worsens foot pain. If that’s the case for you, talk to your doctor about safe ways to transition to a healthier daily routine.

Stretches and exercises

Stretching and exercising are important both for your general health and for managing foot pain. If you already exercise regularly, great! Just make sure that your current exercise habits aren’t contributing to your foot pain. For example, swimming is a low-impact exercise that will put much less pressure on your feet than, say, playing tennis.

You may also wish to look into stretches and exercises specifically designed to strengthen the top of your foot. This list might be a good place to start.

Listen to your body as you work out, especially if you aren’t used to exercising. If you feel tired or your pain gets worse, stop immediately. With a little time and patience, you should be able to develop a stretching and exercise routine that works for you.

Medication

For many people, pain means reaching for pain medication. There’s no reason not to take the recommended dose of over-the-counter medicines if you find them helpful and if you aren’t taking other, contraindicated medicines. But if the pain persists for more than a few days, you should be examined by a doctor.

In more serious cases, you might require prescription medications. If over-the-counter treatments aren’t putting a dent in your foot pain, your physician may be able to recommend something stronger.

Buy new shoes or orthopedics

As mentioned previously, proper footwear can make all the difference in preventing foot pain. But even if your feet are already painful, a good pair of shoes or insoles can still be invaluable. Select shoes that fit properly and provide good arch support. If your shoes are very worn out, don’t keep wearing them. Old shoes won’t provide the sort of support your feet need to stay healthy.

Additionally, if your foot pain is caused by extensor tendonitis, switching to lower heels can be beneficial. This is because excessive tightening of your calf muscle causes extensor tendonitis. The more time you spend in very high heels or stilettos, the more pressure you put on the top of your foot, and the more likely you are to develop extensor tendonitis.

If you can’t or don’t want to buy entirely new shoes, orthopedics may be a useful compromise. Orthopedic insoles can improve your old shoes so they support you better.

Massage

Nothing feels better than a good foot massage! That’s especially true when you’re suffering from foot pain.

Massages can release tension in your foot, thereby reducing pain. You can either visit a professional massage therapist, read up on self-massage techniques, or invest in a foot massager.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy pairs many different pain treatments—including heat/cold therapy, chiropractic, and stretches and exercises—with professional expertise and advice.

A physical therapist will assess your condition and create a customized treatment plan to give you the greatest chance of recovery.

Acupuncture

Many people swear by this ancient Chinese treatment, and experts agree that it is safe so long as the acupuncturist is experienced and reputable.

Acupuncture involves inserting long, thin needles under the skin at particular points. If you’re not squeamish around needles and you have already exhausted other treatment options, acupuncture may be worth looking in to.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic is not the best treatment option for everyone, so be sure to consult your physician before pursuing it.

If they give you the go-ahead, then you can expect your chiropractor to manipulate and adjust your trouble spots. Repeated visits may be necessary, depending on the severity and nature of your foot pain.

Foot pain injections and surgery

Finally, as a last resort, you may wish to consider injections or surgery.

Steroid injections can be helpful in some foot pain cases, including those caused by tendonitis. They work by reducing inflammation in the affected area, thereby reducing both pressure and pain. But while steroids alleviate symptoms in the short term, using them repeatedly over the long term can have serious consequences, so they’re best undertaken with other complementary treatments like physical therapy.

Surgery may also be necessary, depending on the severity of your pain and what’s causing it. Broken bones and ganglion cysts are among the conditions more likely to require surgical intervention.

These treatments are not to be used as the first line of defense against pain on top of foot. Most cases of foot pain will not require such drastic action. Talk with your doctor and try the other, less interventional treatments described in this article before considering injections or surgery for your foot pain.

Get help

Need more help dealing with your pain on top of foot? Click below to find a pain doctor in your area or look for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/. A pain specialist can provide guidance on what is causing your foot pain and how to find relief.

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12 Simple And Easy Yoga For Hip Pain Poses To Find Relief | PainDoctor.com

If you are suffering from hip pain and want to try exercise for relief, yoga for hip pain may be the answer. Here are 12 simple poses (and five videos) to get you started!

Can yoga help hip pain?

The short answer to whether or not yoga can help relieve hip pain is yes, but knowing some hip anatomy can help you better understand why.

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket type joint that consists of the thighbone (the top of your femur bone, the trochanter, is the “ball” of the joint) nestled into the three bones that combine to make the “socket” portion (the ilium, the ischium, and the pubis).

Inside the joint itself, smooth white cartilage covers the head of the femur and lines the acetabulum (the cup that receives the femur). Synovial fluid created in the joint lining cushions and lubricates movement in the joint. This helps bones move without pain or irritation. Outside of the bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles work together to further stabilize the joint and prevent dislocation.

Yoga for hip pain helps to strengthen and stabilize your entire hip joint while gently stretching and lengthening tendons and ligaments to increase the hip’s range of motion. It is low impact and easy to adjust for beginners and more experienced practitioners. Yoga also relieves the stress that comes with a pain condition, balancing the body and mind.

Keep reading for some good poses to help you get started!

12 Simple And Easy Yoga For Hip Pain Poses To Find Relief | PainDoctor.com

12 yoga for hip pain poses

These yoga poses for hip pain can be done at any level of fitness, from chair yoga to more complicated and intense stretches. It is important to talk to your doctor before beginning any new fitness program. A qualified yoga teacher can also help you modify poses to your level of experience. As always, if something does not feel right in your body, back out of the pose and try something else.

Here are 12 of our favorite yoga poses for hip pain.

1. Legs up the wall

Legs up the wall is a restorative pose that can release the lower back. Lower back tension often leads to hip pain, and this simple posture is a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day.

Sit so that your right hip is touching the wall. Lean back onto your forearms, and as you do so, swing your legs up the wall. Your sitting bones may make contact with the wall, but if that is too intense on your hamstrings, move them away as far as you need to. Allow your arms to relax at your sides and your eyes to close. Stay here for several minutes.

Variations include:

  • Bending your knees and bringing the soles of the feet to touch, allowing knees to open
  • Opening legs in a straddle up the wall

2. Chair figure 4

This posture is great for people who have difficulty getting up and down from the floor (and those who need yoga for hip arthritis).

Sit on a chair with both of your feet on the floor, directly beneath your knees. Pick up your right foot and place the right ankle on the left knee. Using your breath, place gentle pressure on the right knee to keep moving it towards the floor (but don’t press hard and back out if it hurts your knee).

Stay here for at least ten breaths, then switch sides.

3. Reclined figure 4

If you can get up and down from the floor with ease, reclined figure 4 is a great hip opening practice for you.

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your right ankle on your left knee, allowing your right knee to press away from your face. You can stay here, or, on an inhale, lift your left foot off the floor, moving your left thigh towards you. Interlace your hands around your left thigh and pull the thigh towards you as you press the thigh into your hands.

This can get intense, so go slowly. Stay here for at least ten breaths, then switch sides.

4. Baby cradle

Baby cradle is a good warm up stretch as you increase your hip flexibility. Sitting on the floor, bend your right knee and lift your right leg up so that you can wrap your right arm around your knee and your left arm around your right foot (cradling your lower leg like you would a baby).

You can move gently from side to side or in circles, exploring motion in the hip joint. Hold for several breaths, then switch sides.

5. Happy baby

Lie on your back and draw your knees to your chest. Open your knees wider than your body, and reach between them to grab the outside of your feet (or your ankles or calves). Open your feet to “stand” on the ceiling, flexing the toes toward you.

Keep your lower back on the earth and your head and shoulders relaxed. With each exhale, allow your knees to soften towards the ground. You can also apply traction by pressing your feet into your hands as your hands pull gently down on your feet. Rocking side to side can help relieve tension in the lower back, too. Stay here for at least ten breaths.

6. Seated twist

A seated twist releases lower back tension that may cause hip pain.

Start with both legs extended out in front of you. Sit tall with a long spine. Bend your right knee and stack it on top of your left knee. You can keep your left leg extended forward with the toes flexed, but if your hips are feeling open and you can keep both sitting bones on the ground, bend the left knee and bring the left foot towards your right hip. Hug your body towards your right knee with both arms.

Inhale and lift your right arm up and overhead, placing the palm on the ground behind you. You can keep hugging your right knee with your left arm if this twist is enough, or you can hook your left elbow on the outside of your right knee for a deeper twist. As you inhale, lengthen your spine until you feel the crown of your head lifting towards the sky.

As you exhale, pull your navel to your spine to deepen the twist. Stay here for five to ten breaths, then unwind on an inhale and shake out your legs before moving to the other side.

7. Twisted root

Lie on your back with knees folded into your chest. Open arms into the shape of a “T.” Cross your right leg over your left, twining them around each other (like a twisted root). Inhale deeply, and on an exhale, drop your legs over to the right. You can look left if your neck feels good.

With each breath, relax your left shoulder closer to the earth, and allow your legs to get heavy. Stay here for at least ten deep, even breaths, then switch sides.

8. Easy pose with a forward fold

Sit on the floor with legs crossed. If your knees are very high off the ground, you can support them with yoga blocks. Inhale and lengthen the spine, then exhale and fold forward, arms outstretched in front of you.

Stay here for at least ten breaths, then inhale to rise up, switch the cross of your legs, and fold forward again.

9. Bound angle

Sit on the floor. Bring the soles of your feet to touch and allow your knees to open to the sides. Hands can be wrapped around the feet or ankles. If your knees are very high off the ground, you can sit on a blanket or a bolster and place yoga blocks under your knees to support them.

Lengthen your spine, and on an inhale begin to hinge at the hips to fold forward. Do not round the spine, especially if you have lower back pain. This fold may be very slight, but that’s okay. Tuck your chin to your chest, close your eyes, and take ten deep, even breaths.

10. Firelog

From a seated position, bend your right leg and bring your shin parallel to the top of your yoga mat. Bend your left knee and place the left shin on top of the right so that knee stacks on ankle and ankle stacks on knee (like logs for a fire). If there is a gap between your left knee and your right ankle, use a yoga block or a blanket for support.

This can be quite intense, just like this, but if you would like a deeper stretch, inhale deeply and begin to fold forward. Hold either variation (upright or folded) for at least 90 seconds (but up to five minutes) before switching to the other side.

11. Pigeon pose

Start on all fours. Bring your right knee to the outside of your right wrist and extend your left leg long behind you. Try to keep your hips level. Adjust the intensity of the stretch by moving your right foot closer to your left hip (less intense) or more towards parallel with the top of your wat (more intense). You can also place a yoga block or a blanket underneath your right hip if it need support.

Stay lifted for a few breaths, then, on an exhale, slowly begin to fold forward over your right leg. You can come to forearms on the mat, onto blocks, or all the way to your forehead. Take your time and go slowly, following your deep, even breath. Stay here for at least 90 seconds (and up to five minutes).

Press into your hands to lift your torso slowly, then take any stretches or movements you need before moving to the other side.

12. Wall figure 4

Wall figure 4 can be extremely intense, even more so than pigeon. This is a directed opening of the hip that some practitioners find too intense.

To come into the pose, sit with your back against a wall and bend your knees, placing both feet on the ground. Pick your right foot up and place your right ankle on your left knee. Move your left foot out as far as you need to get your ankle placed, then gradually move your left foot toward your sitting bones.

You will feel an intense stretch of the muscles of the hip, including the piriformis. Hold for at least five breaths but up to five minutes, then release and move to the other side.

Yoga for hip pain programs

For those of us who prefer some guidance as you start yoga hip stretches, here are some video practices to try.

Chair yoga for hips (less active)

This gentle, short, hip opening practice is great for people with limited mobility who want to ease into yoga for hip pain.

Chair yoga for hips (more active)

This hour-long practice is more energetic but still offers excellent support for the hips, lower back, and hamstrings. Poses to build upper body strength are included, but the focus really is on hip opening, stretching, and strengthening.

Yoga for hips and lower back release

A full (but short) practice that works the whole body with breath and stretching through the lower back and hips. Good pace for beginners.

Hip emergency for tight hips

Good for advancing beginners, this 20-minute class explores hip opening in pigeon but also in more active poses, such as three-legged dog.

  

Three stretches for tight hips and mobility

Another short video for intermediate practitioners that explores pigeon, shoelace, and a variation on half lotus.

Yoga poses to avoid with hip pain

While yoga is a wonderful, non-invasive way to gently relieve hip pain, there are a few things to look out for. People with hypermobility in their joints may need to increase stability or risk further injury. Hypermobility in the joints means that the tendons and ligaments are exceptionally flexible. Without building strength and stability, this flexibility can result in dislocations or other injury.

Additionally, people with hip pain from arthritis may experience painful inflammation if they place all of their body weight on the joint and hold it there for an extended period of time (as in pigeon, for example). Using props to support the body’s weight can help, as can moving in and out of the posture, slowly and following the breath, to gently increase your range of motion and strength.

The best way to avoid injury and protect yourself as you do yoga for hip pain is to listen to your body. If you feel a sharp, stabbing pain in any pose, back out of it and either use props to make it more approachable or try another less intense pose or variation.

Another indication that a pose is too deep is your breath. If your breath becomes short and shallow, and you feel like you cannot draw a deep, slow breath, the pose is too intense at this point in your practice.

Ultimately, you should feel good in your practice, even as you stretch and work your hips. This doesn’t mean there won’t be effort and some “therapeutic irritation,” but you should be able to breath and work gently through the minor discomfort that arises. If not, take a break, talk to your doctor, or head to a nearby yoga class for in-person guidance.

Other minimally-invasive hip pain treatments

If yoga for hip pain doesn’t fully relieve your hip pain, there are other minimally-invasive treatments that can help. These include:

A pain specialist can help you design a holistic pain management plan that includes yoga for hip pain. You can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/.

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What To Do For A Pinched Nerve In Neck? 11 Treatments | PainDoctor.com

Neck pain is very common, so it’s unsurprising that there are many reasons why your neck might be hurting you. If you’re unsure of why you’re experiencing neck pain, check out this article for more general information on neck pain causes and solutions. In this post, we focus on one particular neck pain cause: a pinched nerve. What exactly is a pinched nerve in the neck, and what can you do about it? Here’s what you should know about pinched nerve in neck causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

What is a pinched nerve in the neck?

Pinched nerves happen when other parts of the body, such as bone and cartilage, place too much pressure on, or “pinch,” nearby nerves. They can occur just about anywhere and are sometimes caused by something serious, such as arthritis, a herniated disc, or a traumatic injury. In other cases, pinched nerves can be traced back to something much simpler, like poor posture or repetitive movements.

Neck pain can be severe, exhausting, and even scary. But it’s also very treatable. Whatever is causing your pinched nerve, there are many ways to ease the symptoms. You can even do some of them at home! We’ll go through the most common treatments later in this article.

First, however, you should confirm that your neck pain is the result of a pinched nerve. In the next section, we’ll review the symptoms of a pinched nerve so that you have a better idea of whether or not it’s the source of your pain. But remember: only a physician can diagnose you with a medical condition. Seeing your doctor is the only way to know for sure if you have a pinched nerve in the neck.

What does a pinched nerve in the neck feel like?

Pinched nerve in neck symptoms can be divided into three main categories: numbness, pain, and muscle weakness.

Numbness from a pinched nerve may manifest as a loss of feeling or a strange tingling. The tingling is often described as a pins and needles sensation, like the affected area has “gone to sleep.” Depending on how long your pinched nerve has gone untreated, the tingling may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, or it may be ongoing.

Pain from a pinched nerve can take different forms. Some people experience a burning or stabbing sensation, while others describe it as more of an ache. Muscle weakness simply means that the affected area tires more easily, and that it can’t support your usual activities the way it used to.

Some pinched nerves heal on their own with proper treatment, but they can become chronic.

Chronic pinched nerves occur when the pressure on the nerve remains constant or gets worse over time. This can lead to permanent nerve damage. If your pinched nerve in neck symptoms last for more than a few days, consult a doctor. Pain is not normal and, in the case of a pinched nerve, may lead to chronic pain and worsening symptoms if it is not treated.

What to do for a pinched nerve in neck: 11 treatments

If you suspect you have a pinched nerve in the neck, your first step should be to see your doctor right away. They will make an official diagnosis and help you figure out which treatment options are best for you. Below is a list of pinched nerve in neck treatments that your doctor might recommend.

Experiment with at-home treatments

There are several ways to treat pinched nerve pain at home. Some of them are intuitive, such as finding and remaining in a comfortable position for as long as possible. Others might require a little more effort, such as maintaining a healthy weight or learning self-massage techniques designed to reduce neck pain.

Still others involve monetary investment, such as buying a standing desk so you spend less time hunched over a computer. Experiment with at-home treatments until you find the ones that work for you. Always talk to your doctor before starting any treatment that makes significant alterations to your diet or exercise routine.

Make sleeping adjustments and buy pillows

Getting a good night’s sleep with a pinched nerve can be difficult, but it’s an important part of the treatment process. The way you sleep at night has a big impact on how your neck feels the next day. Try to find a comfortable sleeping position and stick with it. Sleeping on your back and using a supportive pillow are good places to start.

If your pillow isn’t supportive enough or is actively causing you pain, you may want to consider purchasing a new one. Pillows for neck pain are specially designed to ease neck pain not just while you sleep, but in other situations that might put strain on your neck, such as long car rides.

You might also want to take a pain reliever or do some stretches right before bed; this way, their beneficial effects will last you through the night. We’ll talk more about both of these treatment options in later sections.

What To Do For A Pinched Nerve In Neck? 11 Treatments | PainDoctor.com

Try neck stretches for pinched nerve

There are many different neck stretches designed to mitigate neck pain. After getting the go-ahead from your doctor, do a little research on neck stretches and try as many as you can. Pace yourself: don’t try them all at once, especially if you’re not used to stretching that area. If any of the stretches cause you pain or discomfort, stop immediately and take a break.

Once you’ve found the stretches that work best for you, you can use them as both a preventative and a pain-relieving measure. Take a little time every day to go through your stretches, and then also do them whenever your neck is bothering you.

Do neck exercises

In addition to stretches, neck exercises may be beneficial. You don’t need to go to the gym for this. There are plenty of neck exercises you can do at home, no special equipment required.

First, consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Then, like with the stretches, set up a time to do your exercises and stick with it. As you exercise, pay attention to how your neck feels. The minute you feel uncomfortable, stop. You may tire easily in the beginning, but the more you exercise, the stronger—and, hopefully, less painful—your neck will become.

While exercise can help alleviate pain, be cautious about which exercises you choose to do. As we mentioned earlier, pinched nerves can be caused by repetitive movements. So doing the same exercise repeatedly, or doing an exercise where you have to move your neck the same way over and over again, could cause more pain in the long run.

Use hot and cold therapy

Using heat and/or cold is one of the more affordable ways to relieve pain. They both can be applied in a variety of ways. A hot or cold towel might do the trick. You may also choose to spend some time under a hot shower or apply a bag of frozen vegetables to your neck.

Always be careful when using heat and/or cold therapy. To avoid burns, limit the amount of time you keep the source of heat or cold on your heck, and don’t let it get excessively hot or excessively cold. If you’re using a store-bought treatment, read and follow all of the instructions.

Visit a physical therapist

Physical therapy is a broad term that encompasses numerous treatment methods, including but not limited to, many mentioned in this article, such as heat/cold therapy, stretches, exercises, and chiropractic.

Receiving guidance from a professional, however, can be more helpful and more comforting than going it alone. A physical therapist is specially trained to assess your needs and design a treatment program just for you. They will also suggest lifestyle changes to prevent and mitigate neck pain in the future.

Go to a chiropractor

Chiropractors specialize in treating all manner of back and neck ailments. They can use spinal manipulation tip to ease your pain and, similar to a physical therapist, give you advice on what you can do at home to help your neck feel better.

A word of warning: chiropractic care may not be safe for everyone, so talk to your doctor before making an appointment.

Try acupuncture

This ancient therapy originated in China thousands of years ago. It involves inserting thin needles under the skin in specific places along the body. Stimulating those places can supposedly treat a variety of conditions, including pain, but whether or not acupuncture truly works that way is still under debate.

Some studies found it to be an effective treatment, but others suggest that many of acupuncture’s perceived benefits owe more to a placebo effect than to the acupuncture itself.

Regardless, acupuncture is generally considered safe, as long as the acupuncturist is reputable, experienced, and uses clean needles. If you decide acupuncture is the way to go, you will want to do your due diligence before selecting an acupuncturist. Make sure that whomever you visit is properly licensed and registered with your state. You can also talk to your doctor for recommendations.

Take medication

You may have already tried over-the-counter pain relievers before ever realizing that you had a pinched nerve. If you find those helpful, talk to your doctor about continuing to take them.

If they aren’t helping, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for something stronger. For example, corticosteroids may be able to alleviate pain that’s too severe for over-the-counter medications to handle. They can be taken orally or injected, as we’ll discuss in the next section.

Try neck pain injections and surgery

You might be anxious about the idea of needing injections or surgery. The good news is that you probably won’t need either of them! Both of these treatments are an absolute last resort. Only if all of the other treatments in this list are unsuccessful should you even consider surgery or injections.

Corticosteroid injections are used to reduce inflammation, which in turn can relieve pressure and pain in the affected area. They can be an especially important treatment to do alongside physical therapy or chiropractic care. While you manage the pain, you can go through strengthening and stretching routines to resolve the underlying cause of pain.

Note that these injections are minimally-invasive, but they still have potential side effects. This is especially true when it comes to long-term use.

If all other treatment methods fail, some pinched nerves will require surgery. In that case, a surgeon will go in and shift whichever body part is pressing on your nerve to a better, less painful position. But again, surgery is only used in “worst-case scenario” situations. You don’t have to even begin worrying about that until you’ve exhausted all of the other, less invasive treatment approaches.

Get help with your neck pain

Need some more guidance on how to deal with your pinched nerve in neck pain? You can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/. A pain specialist can help you navigate the various causes of and treatments for your pinched nerves.

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10 Beautifully Easy Yoga Poses For Upper Back Pain | PainDoctor.com

Of all types of back pain, lower back pain often gets the most press. After all, as the most mobile area of the spine, the lower back absorbs much of the shock and activity of the body. It’s also the most common type of back pain. That said, our tendency to hunch forward all day over phones and laptops is increasing the incidence of pain between the shoulder blades. Thankfully, yoga for upper back pain is remarkably effective at stretching and strengthening the muscles of the upper back while simultaneously relieving strain and pain. Here’s how to do yoga for upper back pain with ten easy poses.

Does yoga help with upper back pain?

The thoracic spine consists of the vertebrae that connect the cervical spine to the lumbar spine. It has 12 vertebrae that reach from the bottom of the cervical spine in the neck to about five inches below the shoulder blades. This area holds a tremendous amount of tension and is often ignored in discussions about middle back pain, but pain and stiffness in this area can limit mobility and lead to other problems in the body in the long-term.

The upper back muscles are also intricately connected to muscles across the tops of the shoulders and up the back and sides of the neck. Any injury or pain in these areas can result in overcompensation or adjustments in other areas of the upper back, resulting in pain and, in some cases, further injury.

Additionally, comfort and strength in the upper back does not just rely on the spine and muscles of the upper back. In a hunched forward position, the muscles in the front of the chest (e.g, the pectoralis muscles, the deltoids across the front of the shoulder, and the biceps) become short and tight, resulting in the back muscles being unable to release and relax. Over time, upper back muscles become weak and prone to injury.

Yoga for upper back pain works to bring balance to these muscles, gradually lengthening the muscles in the front of the body to release, relax, and strengthen the muscles of the shoulders and upper back. As part of a holistic pain management plan, yoga for upper back pain can be a healthy way to ease pain in the upper back.

10 yoga for upper back pain poses

As always, when beginning any treatment for acute or chronic pain, talk to your doctor. They may be able to direct you or offer suggestions for the best yoga for upper back pain poses. Certified yoga teachers can also offer modifications for your particular pain conditions and let you know when it might be best to avoid or go gently in a posture.

That said, here are ten yoga poses for upper back pain.

1. Puppy pose

Puppy pose is one of those poses for upper back tension that feels better the more you do it.

Come to all fours (pad your knees if you feel discomfort). Begin to walk your hands forward, keeping your hips directly above your knees and lowering your chest towards the ground. At first, pain between the shoulder blades may limit your ability to reach your chest towards the ground. Place a pillow or two underneath your chest and use a block to support your forehead.

Close your eyes and take five deep breaths (or stay for as long as you like, breathing deeply). Slowly press into your hands and walk them back to come up.

2. Thread the needle

Starting again on your hands and knees, inhale your right hand to your heart and then reach it to the sky. On an exhale begin to bring your arm underneath your body behind your left hand, threading the “needle” created by your left knee and left hand. If you can, allow your right cheek to rest on the ground.

However, if that stretch is too deep, come to the back of your right forearm and allow your head to relax however it feels comfortable. If your cheek is resting on the ground, you can stretch your left arm forward on the ground, or lift it up and wrap it around your lower back for a deeper stretch. Take five deep breaths, then press into your right hand to come all the way up. Repeat on the other side. This pose increases flexibility and mobility in the upper back.

3. Cat/Cow

Again start on your knees with toes tucked under. Wrists are directly beneath your shoulders and knees directly beneath your hips. Inhale, releasing your navel towards the ground, creating an arch in the lower back as you reach your heart between your arms and finally gaze towards the sky (if that feels good for your neck). This is cow pose; shoulder blades will come together on the back.

Exhale, tucking the tailbone under, rounding the lower back, middle back, and upper back, pressing the mat away with your hands and allowing your head and neck to relax. This is cat pose, with the shoulder blades sliding away from each other on the back. Repeat at least five times each, slowly following your own natural breath and allowing the tailbone to move first in each posture.

Cat/Cow is another posture that increases flexibility and mobility in the back and front of the body, balancing the length and strength of muscles.

4. Sphinx

Sphinx offers a supported way to build strength in your upper back without requiring arm strength. Come to lie on the belly before pushing your torso up with your forearms. Take a moment to make sure your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders by clasping opposite elbows with hands, then release your hands forward, palms facing down, flat on the mat.

Press into the tops of your feet and lengthen your tailbone down towards your heels. Think about lengthening up through the crown of your head, lifting the dome of the upper palate, and stretching out along the length of your legs as your upper back gently presses your chest forward through your arms. Use the strength of your forearms to gently push the floor (or the mat if you are using one) to feel your chest reaching forward even more. Breathe in this yoga for middle back pain pose for five to ten breaths, then gently lower down and rest.

If you would like to hold longer for a more yin yoga experience, use a block to support your forehead and stay here for three minutes.

10 Beautifully Easy Yoga Poses For Upper Back Pain | PainDoctor.com

5. Locust pose

Locust pose offers excellent upper back strengthening and opening across the collarbones.

Lie on your belly with arms at your sides, palms face down. Lengthen your tailbone towards your heels, pressing the pubic bone into the floor. Inhale and use the strength of your upper back to lift the torso and arms off the floor. Keep the back of your neck long by gazing down and slightly forward. You can inhale to rise and exhale to slowly lengthen and lower down, or you can hold for five breaths and then lower.

Try to relax the glutes and keep the lower back safe by continuing to lengthen your tailbone. It does not matter how high off the floor your torso rises, just that you are lifting from the strength of your upper and middle back (the whole of the thoracic spine).

6. Rag doll

Rag doll is one of the simplest yoga poses for upper back tension. Come to standing with feet about hip’s width distance apart and slowly fold forward. You can bend your knees a lot for this pose. The focus is not on your tight hamstrings but on releasing your upper back. So bend your knees deeply, and feel free to rest your hands on blocks if you need to (especially if you feel any pain in the lower back). If your hands are free, grab opposite elbows and focus on relaxing all the way down to feel your shoulder blades separate and slide away from each other.

This stretch should feel good and be relaxing, so bend your knees as deeply as you need to. You can also place a pillow on your upper thighs to rest your torso on, or separate your feet into a wider stance. Stay for at least ten deep breaths, then slowly roll up the spine to stand.

7. Eagle arms

Remain standing, then inhale your arms out wide, shoulder height. On an exhale, bend your left elbow and bring the arm out in from of you, then cross your right arm underneath your left, twining your forearms around each other. Inhale and lift your elbows slightly, then exhale and press your hands away from your face. Repeat five times, then unwind on a deep breath in. Repeat on the other side (left arm underneath).

If your upper back is very tight, you can simply place your hands on the tops of your shoulders, bow your chin, and focus on breathing space into your upper back.

Eagle arms is a great pose to release built-up tension in your upper back. Go slowly. Sometimes you might find your back is even tighter than you thought!

8. Child’s pose with a side stretch

Come back down to all fours. If your lower back feels good and relaxed, you can bring your big toes to touch and open your knees wide before sinking hips back to your heels (toes untucked) and stretching your arms forward. Otherwise, keep your knees together for less of a stretch in your lower back.

Inhale deeply, then walk your fingertips and arms over to the left. You can place your right hand on top of the left for a deeper stretch, but start with hands about shoulder width’s distance apart. Take ten full breaths here, then inhale back through center and over to the right.

This posture releases the muscles between the ribs. If you have pain in your knees from sitting in this posture, you can sit on a yoga block or a pillow to lift your hips a bit to make it more comfortable. You can also complete this stretch in puppy pose.

9. Supine twist

Come to your back on the floor with both legs extended long on the mat. Bring your right knee to your chest and inhale, then on an exhale drop it across your body to the left. Your right leg stays long, and you will be resting on the side of your right leg as you twist.

Open your arms out wide, and concentrate on relaxing your right shoulder down to the mat. Stay here for ten full breaths, then repeat on the other side.

10. Supported fish

Stay on your back with two blocks handy. Position the block closest to you horizontal on the second highest setting, and the other block on its highest setting farther away from you. Bend your knees to start, and begin to lower your body down on the blocks so that the one closest is just below the tips of your shoulder blades, and the one farthest is supporting the roundest part of the back of your head.

You can keep your knees bent if your lower back hurts, or you can extend them out long on the mat. Arms can come by your sides for at least ten full, chest-opening breaths, but you can stay as long as you like.

Yoga for upper back pain routines

Talk to your doctor about what yoga for upper back pain might work best for you. Here’s some longer yoga for upper back pain routines we like, though.

Sometimes a short yoga practice to release tension in the neck is great for helping to relieve upper back pain.

Yin yoga for upper back pain holds stretches for longer periods of time to focus on lengthening and strengthening connective tissues that could be holding tension.

Building strength in the chest, shoulders, and upper back can not only help relieve upper back pain but also prevent its reoccurrence.

What yoga poses to avoid with upper back pain?

As a general rule, it’s important to listen to your body. If a yoga pose causes stabbing pain, shortness of breath, or numbness in the extremities, back off or come out of the pose completely.

Take your time as you gain strength, flexibility, and mobility, and seek out qualified teachers who can help with modifications.

Other minimally-invasive upper back pain treatments

Yoga for upper back pain can be used safely and effectively in conjunction with other minimally-invasive treatments like physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage. Depending on the injury, radiofrequency ablation and shoulder or neck injections can provide relief for chronic pain as well.

Pain specialists use a comprehensive approach that covers multiple treatment options to help with your pain (including yoga for upper back pain!). You can find a pain specialist in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/.

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9 Ways To Prevent And Fix Neck Pain From Sleeping | PainDoctor.com

Neck pain is a common pain condition that develops often in adults, especially women. More specifically, reports show that 15% and 25% of men and women, respectively, ranging in age from 21 to 55 years experience both neck and shoulder pain during their lifetime. This condition often becomes the cause of chronic pain and discomfort. Neck pain from sleeping may seem like a small issue, but there is evidence that a large number of individuals who experience pain in the neck may continue to suffer from it up to six months after the pain has begun. Whether you are waking up with neck pain or pain in the neck prevents you from falling asleep in the first place, here are nine ways to prevent and fix neck pain from sleeping.

Why am I waking up with neck pain every morning?

The neck is made up of seven delicate cervical vertebrae surrounded by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Inside of these vertebrae, the spinal cord, with its bundles of nerves connecting the brain to various parts of the body, is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid. Each vertebra is connected to the other with bony protrusions called facet joints. All of these parts of the neck—bones, muscles, connective tissues—work in conjunction with the shoulders and upper back.

Because of the interrelatedness of these areas of the body, neck pain can be caused by issues that arise in the shoulders and upper back. The most common neck pain causes include:

  • Muscle stress or strain: Muscle stress or strain is one of the most common causes of neck pain. This can occur from improper posture (e.g., text neck) or it may be a result of injury during daily activity.
  • Degeneration of the cervical spine: Over time and with regular use, the cervical spine may suffer from naturally occurring degeneration. This occurs mainly in older adults and may happen in conjunction with some forms of arthritis (i.e., osteoarthritis) or osteoporosis.
  • Facet joint damage: The facet joints that connect the vertebrae are susceptible to damage due to injury or degeneration. This can cause significant and intractable neck pain.
  • Cervical spinal stenosis: Stenosis occurs when the spine becomes compressed and narrows the spaces between the spinal bones and the tissue that surrounds them. This places pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain that is often severe.
  • Bulging or herniated disc: This common cause of neck pain can occur due to injury or simply over time with improper use. Poor posture can result in stress that causes discs to bulge and, eventually, to herniate.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash refers to a quick jolt that causes the neck and head to jerk back and forth. Rollercoaster rides and car accidents are highly associated with the occurrence of whiplash. Whiplash can lead to persistent, chronic pain in both the neck and lower back.

These common causes of neck pain may make it challenging to fall asleep. They can also cause you to suffer from severe neck pain after sleeping. Below we will tackle the most common treatment and preventative strategies for both situations.

9 Ways To Prevent And Fix Neck Pain From Sleeping | PainDoctor.com

How to sleep with neck pain

People who suffer from neck pain even before they fall asleep may struggle to fall asleep. Their anxiety about their neck pain, when combined with the pain itself, may make a good night’s sleep just a dream. Here are some ways to sleep with neck pain.

Before going to sleep

Before going to sleep, set yourself up for restful slumber. While practicing good sleep hygiene may not solve the problem of neck pain, it can help ease your mind as you drift off.

Save the bedroom for intimacy and sleep only, and turn off electronics (your phone included) at least an hour before bed. Keep the lights low and the room cold. Some people find a weighted blanket helps them to relax and eases anxiety.

If you find that your neck pain is caused by muscle strain or soreness that increases right before bed, a simple neck massage (either self-massage or with a partner) can help relax tense muscles, too.

Best sleeping position for neck pain

There are three types of sleepers: back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers. People suffering from disc issues or cervical degeneration know that pressure on the neck from sleeping in the wrong direction can increase their pain and decrease the chances of a good night’s sleep.

Back sleeping tends to be the healthiest for reducing neck pain for all patients. However, side sleepers can often get a good night of sleep with a few modifications.

A poor night’s sleep can disrupt muscle relaxation and the process of healing that the body undergoes every night. If you find that your sleeping position makes it harder to fall asleep, take steps to make a change. In the extreme, stomach sleepers (often the most painful position) might actually place tennis balls in their pajama pockets to wake them when they roll over.

For all sleeping positions the most crucial part of getting a good night sleep is right behind you: your pillow.

Find a good pillow for neck pain

A good pillow for neck pain is crucial. You may find that a simple pillow change allows you to fall asleep faster and in comfort.

When looking for a pillow for neck pain, look for pillows that fill in any gaps between your head, neck, and back. You want your pillow to provide gentle support so you do not feel like you have to hold your head up to protect your neck. The pillow should hold your neck in a neutral position that supports the way you like to sleep. Durable pillows that don’t sag or lose their loft are best.

You can look for different pillow fillings ranging from:

  • Buckwheat
  • Down or down alternatives
  • Feathers
  • Latex
  • Memory foam
  • Microbeads
  • Polyester
  • Water-based materials

There are pros and cons to all of these. Take the time to research the best pillows for neck pain in our earlier post before heading out to replace your old pillow.

Practice yoga for neck pain

We could place this recommendation for either people who cannot fall asleep due to neck pain or those whose neck hurts after sleeping.

Yoga for neck pain focuses on gentle stretches and strengthening to help release tension and build muscle to prevent further injury or pain. Focusing on deep, even breathing as you practice also signals the brain to slow down and can help ease you into restful sleep.

How to get rid of neck pain from sleeping wrong

“Sleep injuries” may sound funny to everyone except those who suffer from them. If you find yourself waking with neck pain on a regular basis, there are ways to address that. Each of these suggestions need not be elaborate or take up a large chunk of your morning routine.

For people who suffer from muscle or ligament injuries that become stiff and painful with inactivity, the following tips can help ease your neck pain.

Add in morning neck pain stretches

Imagine a piece of chewing gum. Before you place it in your mouth and chew, it is stiff and, if cold, can even crack. The painful parts of your neck, especially muscles and connective tissues, are similar. A full night of sleep means that these muscles have been immobile, stiffening up and causing neck pain from sleeping. If you sleep the wrong way (or on the wrong pillow) this can also cause severe neck pain after sleeping.

Gentle neck pain stretches can help soften stiff muscles and stretch them gently. The following three morning neck pain stretches are a great place to start and can be done sitting on the edge of your bed.

1. Side neck stretch

Sit on the edge of the bed with your feet flat on the floor and hands resting in your lap. Gently let the head fall down to the right shoulder. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds before completing the same stretch on the other side. Repeat the stretch two to three times on each side.

Keep the shoulders down and relaxed. If you’d like a little extra stretch, place a hand gently on top of your head, letting the weight push the head down a little further. If this causes pain, come out of the stretch.

2. Rotation neck stretch

Slowly turning the head to the right, keeping the chin level. Turn the head as far as possible while looking over the right shoulder.

Hold at the maximum stretch for about ten seconds. Return to neutral and repeat on the other side.

3. Isometric neck exercises

Neck pain exercises with resistance helps build strength faster than without, but you don’t need any special equipment. Press the palm of your right hand against the right side of the head, directly above the ear. Gently push the head and the hand into each other while keeping the neck in a neutral position for about six seconds. Rest for ten seconds and repeat on the same side. Then, complete two repetitions on the left side.

After exercising the sides of the neck, place your hand on your forehead, and push head into hand for six seconds. Repeat two times. Finally, place the hand on the back of the head, pressing together for six seconds. Rest and repeat.

This is a great place to start, but there are even more neck pain exercises. Incorporate them into your daily morning routine to relieve neck pain from sleeping.

Use heat therapy

Sometimes cold muscles benefit from directly applied heat therapy. A heating pad can provide warmth in the morning.

Another option is to use a rice-filled eye pillow (or specialized pillow for neck pain), heated briefly in the microwave. Be careful and follow the pillow’s direction for this use!

Practice deep breathing and mindfulness meditation

While taking a few deep breaths and focusing on what is happening in the moment may not immediately relieve neck pain, it can, over time, reduce your perception of it.

Mindfulness mediation can decrease pain and ease stress. Even people without neck pain can benefit from a few moments of meditation every day.

What to do if you’re suffering from severe neck pain after sleeping

If you are suffering from severe neck pain when sleeping or chronic, intractable neck pain, a proper diagnosis is key. Once you have figured out the cause of your pain, taking the steps above can help, but you may need more treatment to get a good night’s sleep.

The dangers of sleep deprivation are well-documented. Fatigue exacerbates chronic pain, causes poor performance of daily tasks, compromises the immune system, and increases the chances of obesity.

If you are not getting enough sleep due to neck pain or your neck pain after sleeping is increasing, you have options. Talk to your doctor about:

If your neck pain after sleeping is not responding to your best efforts to prevent it, it’s time to talk to a pain doctor. They can help diagnose the underlying cause your pain and design an individualized treatment plan to help you get a good night’s rest!

You can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here: https://paindoctor.com/pain-management-doctors/.

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