When it comes to heel spurs, the shoes you wear make a difference. Supportive and comfortable footwear can improve your pain level and prevent further injury. From athletic shoes to sandals, and even professional footwear for work, this post will cover heel spur shoes for every lifestyle and budget.
What are heel spurs?
A heel spur is a bony growth that results when the connective tissue of your foot begins to disintegrate, allowing calcium to build up on the underside of the heel bone. Over time, this calcification can protrude into a sort of “spur” shape, typically about a quarter of an inch long.
While some patients have heel spurs that aren’t painful, others experience chronic pain that persists for three or more months. Other symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and an affected area that is warm to the touch. A large heel spur can affect your movement, preventing you from walking or even standing properly.
In general, heel spurs develop over the course of long-term wear and tear. With time, certain types of exercise (such as running and jumping on hard surfaces) can lead to heel spurs. Other heel spur risk factors include:
- Wearing poorly fitted or worn out shoes
- Wearing shoes that don’t provide arch support, such as high heels
- Standing for prolonged periods on a daily basis
- Excess weight or obesity
- Gait imbalances
- Intense athletic training routines
All of these factors can increase your risk of repetitive stress injuries that lead to the formation of heel spurs. Plantar fasciitis is a fairly common condition that often coincides with heel spurs, but one doesn’t lead to the other.
What shoes are best for heel spurs?
Comfortable shoes are key to managing pain associated with heel spurs. The more support you have, the better off you’ll be. Talk to your doctor about the best heel spur shoes for you, as your condition may necessitate different types of inserts or orthotics.
In general, though, here are a few things you should look for:
- Arch support
- Lightweight design
- Back straps or a closed heel
- Contoured and cushioned footbeds
- Flats or low heels of no more than two to three inches
Above all, the best shoes for heel spurs are going to be shoes that work for you personally. We encourage you to visit stores that carry a range of brands and styles in order to find the right footwear.
If you buy online, remember that you can typically return as well. It’s always important to buy from a provider that allows returns in case you realize you haven’t found the right fit.
Note: PainDoctor.com does not endorse, nor do we make any money off the sale of these products. This information is provided for the benefit of patients based on patient reviews. Always ask your doctor if you have questions. Prices shown are at the date of the post’s publish date, and may differ.
4 of the best walking shoes for heel spurs
For those getting in their daily steps, these are some of the best walking shoes.
Why you should consider these: These casual heel spur shoes are great for everyday wear. They feature a soft-cushion outsole with bounce back and durability.
Features: Lightweight, breathable, affordable, easy to slip on and off
What users say: “I have been searching for sneakers that are easy on my heel spurs. Since buying these sneakers I can walk so much longer with no pain…”
Why you should consider these: KURU shoes feature a rounded heel patented to perfectly match your own heel shape.
Features: Moisture wicking lining, breathable mesh, lightweight outsole with traction
What users say: “This was truly the best shoe purchase I have made to help with my heel pain! Immediate relief…”
Why you should consider these: ABEO allows you to choose your footbed, making these shoes a custom fit with advanced digital scan technology.
Features: Reflective detail for increased visibility at night, lightly padded tongue for extra support
What users say: “These shoes have helped my back, hips and feet to heal.”
Price: Varies depending on style, starting at $159.95
Why you should consider these: This design is ideal for both inferior, as well as posterior, heel spurs.
Features: Latex foam footbed, moisture-wicking lining, leather upper, rubber outsole
What users say: “I bought these for my husband who has a heel spur and he is very happy with how they don’t rub. He is a manager of a warehouse and can walk many hours without his feet getting sore.”
Price: Varies depending on style, $48-$146
4 of the best running shoes for heel spurs
If you’ve added running to your routine, look to these heel spur shoes for support.
Why you should consider these: Available in styles for both men and women, these trainers are great for walking, running, and everyday use.
Features: Foam cushioning, breathable mesh, colorful variety
What users say: “The 990 New Balance is a truly a blessing…A nurse recommended the New Balance 990 for my plantar fasciitis…”
Price: Varies depending on style, $100-$175
Why you should consider these: These ASICS use gender-specific cushioning. The women’s model features a lower-density top layer in the midsole for better compression.
Features: Wide variety of colors, Heel Clutching System™ designed to improve support
What users say: “It’s one of the only shoes I’ve owned that helps with the pain in the knees and my heel spurs.”
Why you should consider these: KURU specializes in shoes designed for people with frequent foot pain.
Features: Lightweight, good grip, performance mesh uppers, breathable
What users say: “…I just recently bought my third pair within a year’s time. They are so much more comfortable than popular name brands sold in stores and have helped my plantar fasciitis and heel spur immensely!”
Why you should consider these: Brooks shoes provide unique cushioning to help propel you forward while giving you the support you need for heel spurs.
Features: Soft and stretchy knit heel collar wrap, springy cushioning
What users say: “At almost one hundred miles in my feet and legs are happy, I didn’t know running shoes could be this good…”
4 of the best work shoes for heel spurs
Many of us have to go to the office everyday. Finding great work heel spur shoes is vital. Here’s some of our recommendations.
Why you should consider these: These low wedge heels are comfortable and stylish for work or special events.
Features: American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) approved, accommodates most standard and custom orthotics
What users say: “…This is the first time in YEARS that I have been able to wear heel/dress shoes and stand/dance at a wedding and not be in pain during or after…”
Price: Varies depending on retailer, $90-$150
Why you should consider these: Orthofeet comes highly recommended by podiatrists for a variety of conditions that lead to foot pain.
Features: Two sets of spacers allow for an adjustable fit, removable orthotic insoles, pillow-like support
What users say: “So far, I’ve walked around quite a bit in them and the best description of my experience that I can provide is that they look like dress shoes, but feel like sneakers…”
Why you should consider these: This classic style comes in nearly 40 colors, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice professionalism and style for comfort.
Features: Easy to clean leather, promotes forward foot motion for shock absorption and energy return
What users say: “Incredibly comfortable shoes, I have had so many coworkers and patients comment on how they love the look of my shoes.”
Why you should consider these: The Dr. Scholl’s brand is widely known for creating products to reduce foot pain, whether through insoles, inserts, or shoes.
Features: Extra support under the toe, high-recovery foam at the ball of the foot, dense foam cradling the heel
What users say: “Nice looking shoes for the office. They do have extra padding on the tongue and heel area where you pull the shoes on which is a plus.”
4 of the best sandals for heel spurs
When summer hits, you need heel spur shoes that you can wear comfortably in the heat. Sandals aren’t always necessarily the best types of shoes for preventing or managing pain, but these work well for many.
Why you should consider these: These sandals feature built-in orthotics custom fit to the contours of your feet. Choose between neutral, metatarsal, and posted heel.
Features: Adjustable hook and loop straps to keep your feet in place, breathable leather lining
What users say: “This shoe is very light and comfortable. It’s like walking without shoes at all, yet it gives enough support to avoid tired feet.”
Why you should consider these: Abeo prides itself in developing biomechanical footwear. Built-in orthotic comfort supports your feet and aligns your body.
Features: Water resistant leather, adjustable hook and loop closures for optimal fit
What users say: “Bought these before a week-long trip to Hawaii. I walked every day with great comfort and nice support for my high arches…”
Why you should consider these: With more than 10 million pairs sold, ECCO has fans who purchase these sandals over and over again.
Features: Stretch-fit material lining, lightweight, durable outsole for grip and traction
What users say: “This is my third pair of these great sandals that provide excellent support. I have problem feet (bunions and heel spurs), and these sandals allow me to do the walking I need when I travel…”
Price: Varies depending on style, $60-$135
Why you should consider these: Designed with rugged terrain in mind, these are a great option if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
Features: Compression molded midsole for superior comfort, patented toe guard
What users say: “These shoes provide the support I need. I found that they needed to be broken in and breaking in happened after wearing them a couple times…”
Price: Varies depending on style, $69-$225
4 of the best heel spur insoles and inserts
Finally, you may benefit most from heel spur insoles and inserts to help with your pain. Look to these options for relief.
Why you should consider these: These inserts feature “shock guard technology” to protect your heels from impact. Wear with sneakers, work boots, and other shoes.
Features: Provides immediate and all-day relief, treats your pain at the source
What users say: “I love these! I am on my feet all day and have heel spurs and Achilles tendinitis. I have not had any issues with my heels since this purchase.”
Why you should consider these: Customers report a satisfaction rating of more than 90% when using Heel Seats to resolve heel pain.
Features: Made for daily wear, fits into any closed heel shoe, machine washable
What users say: “…They don’t move or slip when walking and how the heel fits in the pocket is amazing. I was running out of options and not wanting to have surgery on both feet…”
Why you should consider these: These molded heel cups can be worn with or without socks in most shoe styles.
Features: Two sizes to choose from, self-adhesive base, latex-free
What users say: “…They give me support and I have experienced no new pain. I would recommend these to anyone with minor heel issues…”
Why you should consider these: With a thin, low-profile design, these insoles fit in most casual, dress and athletic shoes.
Features: Dual-layer cushioning, heel cradle, semi-rigid arch support
What users say: “My foot doctor started me with these years back when I had some heel spur problems. Now I won’t wear any shoes without them. They make even cheap shoes feel great…”
Find help for your heel spur pain
If you’re suffering with severe pain due to heel spurs, it may be time to get specialized help beyond heel spur shoes. There are treatment options for heel pain that will give you the relief you’re looking for.
To find a pain doctor in your area, click the button below or look for one using the tips provided here.
TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is a non-invasive, drug-free option for pain management. A TENS unit replaces pain signals with a side effect-free tingling or buzzing sensation that is controlled by the user. Although the TENS unit mechanism is fairly straightforward, there are some important things to keep in mind. Knowing how to use a TENS unit correctly is the key for long-lasting pain relief. Here’s answers to your most frequently-asked questions.
What is a TENS unit?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a cell phone-sized unit with two wires attached to it. At the end of each wire is a self-sticking pad that you place on your body. A gentle electrical current moves through the wires and onto the pads. Patients place the pads on the area of their body with pain and active the electrical current with a button on the unit.
This simple device has been shown to relieve nerve pain without side effects and with no possibility of interaction with other treatments.
Research has established its potential effectiveness in the following conditions:
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis
- Cancer pain
- Shoulder pain and frozen shoulder
- Nerve pain
- Migraines and headaches
There is also some indication that TENS may be helpful for people with diabetic neuropathy.
Most patients find that a 30-minute session with their TENS unit relieves pain for hours. Some might use their TENS unit during their daily activities that might otherwise cause them pain.
How does a TENS unit relieve pain?
For all of its effectiveness, doctors are not 100% sure how TENS unit therapy works. The battery-powered unit delivers a patient-controlled mild electrical current that is not strong enough to stimulate muscle movement but it likely does confuse the nerves.
This stimulation and confusion keeps the nerves too “busy” to send pain signals to the brain. The nerves focus instead on the immediate sensation of the electrical current – the mild buzzing from the TENS unit. Essentially, pain is replaced by a buzzing sensation that the brain remembers for hours after the stimulation occurs (instead of the pain).
Another way that a TENS unit likely works to relieve pain is by stimulating the production of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers, the same substance responsible for a feeling of euphoria after exercise (also one of the reasons exercise is recommended for chronic pain).
Finally, the TENS unit can improve circulation in the area of its use (which promotes healing of injury) and also reduces or completely eliminates painful muscle spasms.
How to use a TENS unit
The first step in learning how to use a TENS unit is to talk to your doctor. They can help you decide if TENS unit therapy is a good treatment option for you and also help you to use the unit safely for best results.
General safety guidelines
In general, the electrical current delivered by a TENS unit is safe and does not pose a threat for electrical shock. There are some general safety guidelines to follow to reduce the risk of burns or other unrelated side effects, however.
Many patients find that using their TENS unit during daily exercise improves its effectiveness. Walking and other low impact exercise like riding a bike or hiking can be a great time to utilize this treatment.
Do not use a TENS unit in the bath or shower. This can damage the unit, and electricity around water is always a bad idea.
Keep your TENS unit patches for your own use. Do not share them, even to demonstrate what the buzzing sensation feels like on a non-painful part of someone else’s body.
Make sure the TENS unit is off when you are applying, removing, or otherwise relocating patches on your body.
Stop using your TENS unit and let your doctor know if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Irritation of the skin
Finally, only use the TENS unit on yourself as instructed, and keep it away from children.
TENS unit electrode placement is of paramount importance. Proper placement of electrodes can make or break this therapy’s effectiveness.
Before you begin, make sure batteries are properly installed in the unit (or the unit is fully charged). Place the wire leads all the way into the electrode patches (no exposed metal), then plug the leads into the top of your TENS unit.
Skin should be clean, dry, and free of lotions, oils, or powders.
Electrodes should be placed directly on or very near the painful area. It is important to mix up where you place the electrodes to avoid potential skin irritation.
In order to make a complete circuit, you need to use either two or four patches. Changing the distance between these patches changes the amount of electricity that flows between them as well as the intensity of the current. Although the patches should be at least one inch apart, do note that the farther apart they are the less effective they will be.
Remember that the closer you are to the painful area, the exact spot of pain, the more effective this treatment will be.
Avoid these areas
The electrodes should not come in contact with any metal on the body (e.g., a belt or jewelry).
There are also some areas that should be avoided when considering TENS unit electrode placement. These include:
- The eyes and the throat
- On cuts or sores (and broken skin in general)
- On a tumor
- Directly on the spinal cord
- Inside the body
- Directly over bones
When you first use your TENS unit, your doctor will help determine which strength to set the electrical current.
You may find that your body gets used to it and the tingling or buzzing sensation decreases. When this occurs, you can ask your doctor if it’s okay to turn the strength up so that the sensation is present but still comfortable.
How long is it safe to use a TENS unit?
A TENS unit can be used as long as it is providing relief. As noted below, if pain relief begins to diminish, taking a break can help. This allows your nerves to relax a little and settle down. If pain returns after the break, you may find that your TENS unit helps to relieve it.
TENS units can also be used in conjunction with other treatments. Talk to your doctor about a coordinated treatment plan that includes a timeline for using your TENS unit.
Can I use my TENS unit while sleeping?
It may seem practical to use a TENS unit while sleeping, especially if your pain condition flares up at night, but this is not a good idea. The gentle buzz of the electrodes may turn into a skin irritant if they become pressed too firmly on the skin or one of the patches becomes detached.
It’s better to be fully awake and in control of your TENS unit to monitor any changes or sensations that might be different or unusual.
How often can you use a TENS unit?
You can use your TENS unit daily as long as it is providing relief. Some patients find that a 30-minute session provides relief all day, while others may need to use their unit every other hour or so. The best guideline for how often you can use a TENS unit is your comfort and pain relief.
Some patients find it helpful to take a break for three to five days periodically. If you find that your TENS unit has stopped being effective for pain relief, a short break may restore its effectiveness.
How do I care for my TENS unit?
There are several considerations when caring for and maintaining your TENS unit. After each use, the wire leads can be removed from the patches after the unit is turned off, but the patches can remain on the skin if you will use the unit again within a couple hours. If you want to remove the patches, peel them carefully off your skin and store them in their plastic liner. These patches will last longer if you use them on clean skin and store them properly after use.
Your TENS unit does need to be cleaned periodically. Makes sure it is turned off, then wipe with a moist, soft cloth. Do not use cleaners or abrasives on the unit. If you store the unit for a long time, remove the batteries and keep the unit and wire leads in a cool, dry place. Take care to not bend or crimp the lead wires.
Are there side effects or potential risks?
The only potentially common side effect of TENS unit therapy is the mild tingling sensation that can range from a pleasant buzz to slightly annoying tingle (depending on the patient). Most patients who find relief prefer the buzz over their pain and get used to the tingling at any level. However, it is important to work with your doctor to determine the proper level of electrical stimulation to avoid irritation to the skin or electrical shock.
While TENS unit therapy is safe for the vast majority of patients, there are a few who should not use this device. Cardiac patients, including those with pacemakers, may not be able to use a TENS unit. Patients with implanted metal devices or indwelling pumps or other types of monitors should not use a TENS unit for pain relief.
Pregnant women should also talk to their doctor about the safety of a TENS unit (including those that can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription).
Could TENS unit therapy help me?
TENS unit therapy can be a great option for patients who prefer a non-invasive, non-pharmacological treatment.
Even though these units are available over-the-counter, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis of your pain before diving into treatment. It makes no sense to reach for a treatment that won’t be effective for your condition – even if it is safe and side effect free!
If you have more questions, including how to use a TENS unit safely and effectively, 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/.
Back pain is, unfortunately, a very common condition. According to NIH, lower back pain alone afflicts at least 80% of adults at some point in their lives. Some back pain causes can even lead to symptoms in other parts of your body. There are many reasons why this happens, and one of them is foraminal stenosis. That’s quite a mouthful, but what does this condition really mean for you and your health? Read on to learn what foraminal stenosis is, what it feels like, how it’s diagnosed, and how you can treat it if you do have it.
What is foraminal stenosis?
Your spine is made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae. Between each vertebra is a small space, or foramen, that allows nerves to thread through your spine. In a healthy spine, the foramen are large enough to comfortably accommodate these nerves. But sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a foramen becomes compressed. The bones press closer together, potentially putting pressure on the nerves between them.
Foraminal stenosis is a type of spinal stenosis, which occurs when the spinal column narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord. But there are differences between the two conditions. As already discussed, foraminal stenosis, also called neural foraminal stenosis, occurs when a foramen (rather than the spinal column) narrows. This can happen anywhere in your spine, from your lower neck all the way down to your lower back.
The location of the compression will determine where in your body you feel symptoms—assuming you feel any symptoms at all. Neural foraminal stenosis can be asymptomatic; you might not realize you have it unless and until a nerve gets caught in the narrowed foramen.
However, you may see this condition referred to by more specific names depending on whether the affected nerve is, such as your:
- Neck (cervical foraminal stenosis)
- Upper back (thoracic foraminal stenosis)
- Lower back (lumbar foraminal stenosis)
The most common of the three is lumbar foraminal stenosis.
In most cases, symptoms only manifest on the side of your body where the nerve is compressed. But in cases of bilateral foraminal stenosis, the nerve is pinched on both sides of the spine, so you will experience symptoms on both sides of your body.
What causes foraminal stenosis?
There are many reasons why this condition develops. You might already have an idea of what the cause is in your case; for example, if you’ve been diagnosed with a bone condition, such as arthritis in your back, that could be the reason.
But regardless of whether you have a strong suspicion or no idea at all, it’s important that you go to a doctor for an examination and a formal diagnosis. We will discuss the diagnosis process and why it is so important later in this post.
Here are a few of the most common foraminal stenosis causes.
Arthritis is one of the main culprits behind foraminal stenosis. This condition can affect your vertebrae in numerous ways. It is best known for causing joints to become inflamed, but it can also weaken the bones, as is the case with osteoarthritis.
Weak bones are more likely to move out of place than strong ones. Also, sometimes arthritis leads to bone spurs. These are bony protrusions that grow over existing bone. When they develop in the spine, they may block the foramen.
Injury or trauma
A back or neck injury may also cause the foramen to tighten.
If you have suffered trauma to your back—for example, if you were in a car accident, or if you hurt yourself while playing a sport—you may be at increased risk for foraminal stenosis.
There are numerous conditions that can affect the bones in your spine and that, in turn, can lead to foraminal stenosis. Herniated discs (where the cushioning spinal disc between vertebrae slips out of place) and degenerative discs (where the vertebrae themselves move out of alignment) can both put pressure on spinal nerves. Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra in your lower back shifts down onto the one beneath it.
As with foraminal stenosis itself, all of these conditions may be completely asymptomatic unless and until the vertebra or spinal disc starts to press on a nerve.
Illness and other rare causes
Some illnesses can increase your risk of foraminal stenosis. Various bone diseases—including Paget’s disease of bone, when your body produces bones that are weaker than they’re supposed to be—can lead to a narrowed foremen.
Tumors have also been known to cause this condition, but try not to worry too much about that. Only in very rare cases is foraminal stenosis caused by cancer.
4 common foraminal stenosis symptoms
Symptoms will vary depending on your condition’s severity and the location of the affected foramen. Your symptoms may ebb and flow, and they may never go away entirely.
Four of the most common foraminal stenosis symptoms are:
- Pain, including burning pain
- Tingling, or a “pins and needles” sensation
- Muscle weakness
Other symptoms include muscle spasms and trouble with walking or maintaining your balance.
In cases of cervical foraminal stenosis, your symptoms will likely be focused in your upper body, particularly your arm and hand. You may feel pain, tingling, or numbness radiating down the affected limb.
Thoracic foraminal stenosis symptoms will manifest all the way around your upper torso. Symptoms may worsen during or immediately after performing certain activities.
The symptoms of lumbar foraminal stenosis often radiate from the lower back into the leg, foot or glute.
And finally, in cases of bilateral foraminal stenosis, whatever symptoms you have will manifest on both sides of your body.
Is foraminal stenosis serious?
The good news is that this condition is typically very manageable. Symptoms are usually controlled well with conservative therapies. We’ll discuss some of the most common treatment methods later on.
There are some rare cases where foraminal stenosis becomes serious enough to warrant a reevaluation of your treatment regimen. Your symptoms may get worse over time, necessitating more drastic treatments to keep symptoms in check.
Dealing with a worsening medical condition can be difficult and upsetting, and you should keep your doctor updated on how you’re feeling so that they can guide you towards better, more effective treatments. However, gradually worsening symptoms do not generally require an emergency trip to the doctor. By contrast, if your symptoms begin to rapidly get worse, seek medical help immediately.
Sometimes, lumbar stenosis leads to cauda equina syndrome. The symptoms of this serious condition include:
- Extreme pain
- Numbness and/or weakness in the lower extremities
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
If you are experiencing these symptoms, get help immediately. Delaying treatment of cauda equina syndrome can result in permanent nerve damage, including paralysis.
Do I have foraminal stenosis?
Only a physician can formally diagnose you. If you suspect you have this condition, let your doctor know and explain what symptoms you have been experiencing.
Your doctor will review your medical history and run tests to determine if you do have foraminal stenosis. These tests may include one or more of the following:
- A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create a picture of your internal organs.
- An X-ray utilizes radiation to create a picture of your bones, enabling your doctor to see your spine without surgery.
- A computed tomography (CT) scan also utilizes X-rays, but a CT scanner will take many different X-ray images and combine them into a more detailed picture than a single X-ray could produce.
- A bone scan involves injecting a radioactive tracer into your bloodstream. This will make the resulting image clearer so any abnormalities are easier to spot.
- A myelogram is another kind of X-ray. Your doctor will inject a contrast agent into your back before taking the X-ray. As with the tracer used in the bone scan, the contrast agent will result in a better image.
- An electromyograph determines if there is damage to your nerves or muscles. Your doctor will first apply electrodes and then needles to the affected area to test how your muscles and nerves interact with each other.
Your doctor will decide which of these tests is right for you. The types of tests they run will depend on several factors, including your health, other medical conditions you have, and where in your body you are experiencing symptoms. Some of these tests will help your doctor directly diagnose foraminal stenosis, while others will eliminate other potential causes of your pain.
Even if you already feel completely sure that you have foraminal stenosis, it is important to let your doctor perform their own examination and tests. This way, they can rule out potentially life-threatening pain causes, including cancer.
How do you treat foraminal stenosis?
Once you have an official diagnosis, you and your doctor can discuss which treatment options are right for you. Foraminal stenosis treatment options range from holistic methods you can do on your own at home to more interventional measures performed in a clinical setting. Always check with your doctor before starting any treatment regimen, as not all treatments are safe for all patients in all situations.
One critical treatment is exercise. Certain exercises can ease pain and strengthen the body, making it better able to cope with illness and injury. Medications, either over-the-counter or prescription, may help relieve pain as well. If these treatments are not enough to relieve your pain, you can also try heat/cold therapies and physical therapy.
In extreme cases, as a last resort, your doctor may recommend either injections or surgery to relieve foraminal stenosis pain. Injections deliver medication, such as corticosteroids, directly into the painful area. Your doctor may also suggest performing a temporary spinal nerve block. Spinal nerve blocks may treat chronic pain that doesn’t respond to other kinds of treatments. The temporary type usually involves a surgeon injecting an anesthetic directly into the affected area.
When it comes to surgery, your doctor may decide to perform either a permanent spinal nerve block or a foraminotomy. Unlike the temporary spinal nerve block, the permanent type involves surgically cutting off or damaging the affected nerve. A foraminotomy is when a surgeon physically enlarges the foramen to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
Again, both surgery and injections are not first-line treatments for foraminal stenosis pain. In the overwhelming majority of cases, you will find pain relief with at-home or conservative treatments.
If you have or think you have foraminal stenosis, you don’t have to face your pain alone. Click below to get in touch with a pain doctor in your area. They can help you manage your foraminal stenosis pain and map out next steps in your treatment plan.
The post What Is Foraminal Stenosis? Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments appeared first on Pain Doctor.
Piriformis syndrome can cause sharp, shooting pain all the way down to your toes. While some people might immediately reach for medications or other invasive interventions, there are stretches that can provide relief and help your body heal. Here are 15 piriformis syndrome stretches and exercises to help you find relief.
What causes a tight piriformis muscle?
The piriformis muscle is located deep with the buttocks, just underneath the gluteus medius. Running underneath the piriformis (and sometimes threaded directly through) is the sciatic nerve. If the piriformis muscle becomes tight, irritated, or inflamed, the sciatic nerve bears the brunt of it.
Symptoms of an irritated sciatic nerve may include:
- Pain that worsens following prolonged periods of sitting
- Pain where the piriformis attaches to the top of the femur or base of the spine
- Numbness in the feet
- Pain walking up an incline
- Muscle weakness in the lower limbs
- Difficulty walking
- Reduced range of motion within the hip joint
- Radiating pain (sciatic pain)
- Abdominal pain, pelvic pain, or groin pain
- Muscle spasms
- Pain during bowel movements
- Pain during sex in women
Piriformis syndrome has a variety of causes, the most common of which is overuse (or misuse). People who are very active and regularly lunge, jump, or run may see an increase in the likelihood of developing piriformis syndrome.
Even sitting too long can cause a tight piriformis that becomes painful and shortens your range of motion in the hips.
How can I relieve piriformis pain?
If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, the best thing to do is head to the doctor. If you don’t make any changes, the condition may linger and lead to other problems.
Once you are diagnosed with piriformis syndrome and cleared for some targeted piriformis syndrome stretches, use the following guide to help you get started.
3 easy piriformis stretches for beginners
Once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, these piriformis syndrome stretches can be a great place to start. They are designed to be done lying down, a posture that allows gravity to gently aid in your stretch.
As always, listen to your body and keep your breath even, steady, and deep. You may feel some therapeutic irritation while completing these, but if the pain is sharp and stabbing or you cannot catch your breath, take a break.
Start with these three piriformis syndrome stretches that help you gently ease into the muscle.
1. Knees to chest
Knees to chest pose is a great place to start, especially if you are feeling very sore anywhere in the hips.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Breathe here for a couple breaths, then on an exhale bring one knee to your chest and then the other. If your back and hamstrings are tight and knees don’t quite come to the chest, that’s okay. You can use a strap around the outside of your knees, or extend your arms. Your lower back should stay comfortably resting on the ground. Your shoulders and head should be relaxed on the ground as well.
Take ten full, slow breaths, then place one foot on the ground at a time. Repeat at least once.
2. Reclined figure four stretch
Use reclined figure four in stages as a way to gradually increase the stretch of your piriformis and hamstrings.
Start on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width distance apart and about a handprint’s distance from your hips. Take a few deep breaths here, then on an exhale pick up your right foot and place the right ankle on your left knee. Keep the right foot flexed, and gently press the right knee away from you.
If your piriformis is very tight, you may not be able to apply any pressure to the right knee. You might feel the stretch when you place your ankle on the knee. This is a great place to start.
As you progress, there are deeper options to explore. Once your right ankle is on your left knee, intertwine your hands behind your left thigh and pick the entire shape up, bring it closer to your chest. Keep both feet flexed and breathe.
From the lifted shape, you can extend the left leg towards the sky, with that foot “standing” on the ceiling. This gives a bit of a hamstring stretch, especially if you walk your hands towards your calf. Only do this if you can keep your lower back, shoulders, and head on the ground.
Whichever variation you choose, hold the shape for ten full, even breaths before switching sides.
3. Easy twist
The last easy piriformis stretch on the ground is an easy twist. Bring your knees into your chest and open your arms out into the shape of a T. Inhale deeply, then on an exhale with good control, lower your knees to the right.
Try to relax your left shoulder down to the ground, and breathe here for ten full, even breaths. On an exhale, press the bottom leg into the top leg to come to the middle, then lower to the other side, also on an exhale.
If your hamstrings are open, once you are twisted you can extend both legs straight out from the hip. This is not necessary to get the benefits of a stretch to the piriformis but can be a nice variation.
Sitting piriformis syndrome stretches
Because the piriformis muscle can get sore from too much sitting, sitting piriformis syndrome stretches are great to break up your day.
These can be done throughout the course of your day, even at work. Sitting piriformis stretches are also great for people who have trouble getting down to or up from the floor.
4. Seated figure four
This pose comes up from the ground but has the same principles. Sit in a chair with both feet on the ground, ankles directly beneath the knees. Make sure you are sitting tall with your belly lightly engaged.
On an exhale, lift your right leg and place your right knee on your left ankle. Apply gentle downward pressure to the right knee, but not too much to hurt.
If you are alone in your office and would like a deeper stretch, you can fold forward over your right leg. If your lower back is tight, make sure your hands are grounding into something – a block or a big book can be used here.
Take ten deep breaths (or stay here as much as feels good), then release and switch sides. Make sure to spend equal amounts of time on both sides of the body.
5. Seated twist
There are two versions of this sitting piriformis stretch. The first one is good for sitting in a chair; the next is a variation for the floor.
- In a chair: Sit with both feet flat on the ground, ankles directly beneath the knees. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then on an exhale begin to twist to the left. The right hand can come to your left thigh, and your left hand can move behind you, either to the seat or the back of the chair. Take ten deep breaths, then release on an inhale and switch sides.
- On the floor: Sit up tall with both legs extending long on the floor. Cross the right knee over the left, bending the knee to place the right foot on the floor near the left hip. Hug your right knee towards your chest on an inhale, lengthening the spine. On an exhale release the right hand to the floor behind you and begin to twist your body to the right. Keep the crown of the head reaching towards the sky and the lower belly engaged. Hold for ten full and even breaths.
Release on an inhalation, then switch sides.
Standing piriformis stretches to try
Standing piriformis stretches combine targeted stretching of the piriformis with strengthening work that involves balance.
6. Hip flexor stretch
This stretch requires a bit more balance and control, but it stretches the long sides of your body as well as the psoas muscle. The psoas muscle is the only muscle in the body that directly connects the upper and lower body, and it is famously responsible for the fight-flight-freeze response when under stress. This muscle is also responsible for stability and can get very tight.
Come to all fours (you can pad your knees with a blanket if they are sensitive). Bring the right foot up between your hands (keep the back knee on the ground for now). Make sure the knee is directly above the ankle.
Inhale and engage your lower belly to bring both hands up to your right knee. If you do not feel a stretch in your left hip flexor, you can move your left foot back to increase the stretch.
Inhale to lift your arms overhead, then exhale to drop your right hand to your hip and reach the left arm overhead. Move slowly and keep your lower belly engaged for stability. Take at least five breaths here, more if you can keep the breath even and steady, then inhale to come up. Exhale back to all fours, then switch sides.
As you get stronger, you can lift the back knee off the ground before you lift your arms and stretch to the side. When you do this, press back through the back heel while pressing forward in the front knee to keep the hips balanced, stable, and strong.
7. Half chair pose
Half chair pose builds on the previous figure four poses and adds an element of balance (which means the lower belly must be engaged).
Stand tall and inhale your arms above your head. On an exhale, sink your hips back (like you are sitting in a chair) and bring your hands to your heart. You should be able to look down and see your toes. Carve your tailbone under a bit to lift and engage the lower belly, and roll your shoulder blades onto your back.
Shift some weight to your left foot and begin to lift the right foot up to place the right ankle on the left knee. Keep your lower belly engaged, shoulders and jaw relaxed as you transition. Press the right knee gently towards the earth and sink deeper in your chair. Hold for at least ten breaths, then slowly release the ankle and fold forward on and exhale (deeply bend both knees). Repeat on the other side.
Yoga postures for piriformis syndrome
Because most yoga poses work the entire body, there are many yoga poses for piriformis syndrome. Here are two of our favorites. Find even more in our post on yoga for hip pain.
8. Baddha konasana
Also known as bound angle or cobbler’s pose, baddha konasana is infinitely variable for everyone. Sit on the floor and bend your knees. Open knees wide and bring the soles of your feet to touch. If the feet are closer to the body, you will feel the stretch in the inner thighs. Farther away and you will feel a stretch on the outer thighs. You can use blocks under your knees if that makes the stretch more comfortable. If you want to go deeper, inhale to sit tall, then reach forward with your heart, hinging at the hips to fold forward. Keep the lower belly engaged when folding, and tuck your chin slightly to lengthen the back of the neck. Take ten full breaths, and come up on the inhale.
9. Prasarita padottanasana I
This standing wide-legged forward fold releases the adductors (inner thigh muscles) to loosen tension on the piriformis. Keeping your feet parallel to each other, step wide and extend your arms out from the shoulder (wrists should be directly above your ankles). Bring your hands to your hips. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale, hinging at the hips and folding forward. Release your hands to the ground (or to blocks) and bend your knees as much as you need to.
You should feel a nice stretch in the center of your hamstrings (not at the top of them or behind the knee). Relax the crown of the head (shake your head no, nod your head yes) and breathe here for at least ten breaths.
To come out, bend your knees deeply and inhale to come halfway up, hands to hips. Pause for the exhale, then press into your feet and inhale to come all the way up, lifting with the back of your heart.
Piriformis syndrome exercises to add to your routine
Piriformis syndrome exercises utilize a variety of tools to provide relief. Try some of these after your stretches.
10. Foam rolling
Foam rolling is a great way to release tight muscles in the hips, thighs, and buttocks.
11. Tennis ball release
For more targeted pressure, place a tennis ball underneath you and lean the weight of your body on it (see below for video on this). This can be very intense, so proceed with caution.
12. Stretchy band walking
This exercise requires an exercise band. Place the band around your ankles and your hands on your hips. Take ten steps to one side, then ten to the other. Rest and repeat.
3 piriformis syndrome stretches: video routines
Maybe you need a visual for some of the above exercises, or perhaps you’re looking for a full workout. We’ve got you covered with the following three videos.
- Five-minute daily routine
- How to release the piriformis with a tennis ball
- Full-body yoga practice to release tension in the hips
Need more guidance? A pain specialist can help you diagnose the cause of your hip pain and suggest alternate treatment options.
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/.
The post 15 Piriformis Syndrome Stretches And Exercises To Find Relief appeared first on Pain Doctor.
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:
- Silk or satin
- Organic cotton
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
The post 15 Fibromyalgia Clothing Choices You Can Make To Prevent Pain appeared first on Pain Doctor.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 primarily involves joint manipulation and adjustments. Look for a well-trained, licensed chiropractor to see if they can help with your hip pain.
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/.
The post Do I Have Hip Tendonitis? Causes And 8 Treatment Approaches appeared first on Pain Doctor.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Camel pose: Camel pose places a tremendous amount of pressure directly on the knees
- 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)
- 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/.
The post Yoga For Knee Pain: 9 Gentle Poses To Soothe And Relieve Your Pain appeared first on Pain Doctor.
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.
- 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.
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:
- In person at your local social security office
- By phone at 1-800-772-1213 -or- TTY 1-800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing
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:
- Speed of information processing
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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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
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.
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.
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/.
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:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Referred pain
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 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.
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 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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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