Fibromyalgia: What is it – and how to spot if it’s causing Fatigue and Pain that feels almost impossible to shake off?

If you’re suffering with long-term muscle or joint pain, are always tired and lethargic (even after a rest), and are frustrated with doctors who can’t find a cause, or don’t believe there’s anything “really” wrong with you, then it’s crucial that you read this message.

Unfortunately, most doctors dismiss your complaints of general joint and muscle pain and fatigue when they see no obvious cause.

Sure, a few cursory tests are done, but when they yield no pinpoint answers, you get a pat on the head and sent home with instructions to “rest, exercise and eat better.”

But if you’re one of the millions of folks who suffer with these symptoms every day, this “prescription” is worthless, and you’re left frustrated and trapped in your agony.

Many folks get so aggravated with the lack of meaningful help and answers that they begin to lose hope and start sliding toward depression (maybe you feel that way).

Yet there’s no reason for you to continue suffering with your chronic pain and fatigue.

The truth is you’re probably one of the millions of folks who suffer from fibromyalgia, lyme disease, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of these diseases:

Fatigue… muscle weakness, soreness or tenderness… joint stiffness or pain… difficulty falling asleep… anxiety… depression…

Any of those sound familiar?

If so, one of these you may be needlessly suffering with one of these undiagnosed diseases. Trouble is, your regular doctor probably won’t be much help if you are…

See, your doctor’s looking for symptoms that can be treated with drugs or medicine. When they can’t find one, they reach the false conclusion that there’s nothing wrong with you.

This all stems from the modern medical community’s definition of disease as something that can only be “cured” with a drug or medicine.

That’s a big topic for another post, but suffice it to say that this debate is raging right now, and the ones pushing for the definition stand to gain big bucks from it – Big Pharma!

Thankfully, alternative medicine is more concerned with getting you well, and allowing your body to heal itself than lining its pockets at your expense.

And there are numerous ways to diagnose, combat and eliminate the pain and fatigue you may be experiencing.

The first step is to contact a qualified alternative medicine doctor who specializes in pain relief.

Next, talk to the doctor about your unique situation, and set up an appointment so together you can figure out what the root cause of your pain and fatigue is, and the best plan to quickly get you pain free and energized.

The best news?

You can get on your way to the pain free, energy filled life you deserve today…

That’s because at Advanced Wellness Systems we specialize in helping folks just like you to find and eliminate the root cause of your pain and fatigue.

We’d love to talk with you about your unique situation, and help craft a personalized plan for getting you out of pain and bursting with energy.

Here are a few simple ways for you find out what alternatives might be best to relieve your pain and chronic exhaustion:

Just visit our website at or call our office at 240-205-7266 to set up a free, no obligation phone consult where we can talk about your specific situation and the quickest, safest ways to get you pain free, and filled with energy so you can get your life back!

Follow Up Treatments After Auto Accidents

It is hard to over exaggerate the dangers of an auto accident. The threat of very real and life threatening injuries is immense, and the aftermath of an accident can cause significant heartache and stress for anyone involved, especially if the accident was caused by the negligent driving of someone else. Fortunately, there are legal pathways for the victims of an accident to receive compensation for injuries and other damages caused by a negligent driver.

If you have been hurt in an accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Going to a hospital is not only important for your own safety, as many injuries such as concussions or spinal damage may not seem obvious at first, but doing so helps to document your injuries for any legal action you may have to take against the driver at fault. If the doctor recommends that you come back for follow up treatment, it is crucial that you follow their orders. Again, this is not only because of the importance to your health but for the strength of your auto accident case. If the injuries you received from an accident were severe enough that you were required to make several trips to the hospital for treatment, this will be reflected in any compensation you receive from any successful legal action.

However, if you neglect to go to follow up appointments and this leads to a deterioration in your condition, it can greatly hinder your case. Failure to obey doctor’s orders may be construed by the insurance company as you contributing to your own injuries, and can be used to detract from the settlement you need to fully recover.

Damages from a car crash can go beyond medical expense and can also include pain and suffering or loss wages depending on the case. After an accident, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident attorney Dekalb County GA to see what the best legal path will be for you. Every single case is composed of a multitude of unique factors, and without the help of an attorney it can easily seem hopeless and stressful to find your way through the bureaucracy of it all. After an event as devastating as a car accident, you don’t need to be stressing further with a complicated legal matter. Allow your attorney to ensure that you get the absolute best settlement, to make sure that you to heal as best you can.

Thanks to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into follow up treatments after an accident.

Common On-the-Job Back Injuries

Lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, bending, twisting, and driving. These are just some of the activities that many of you do on the job.

What do all of these activities have in common? They put you at an increased risk of suffering a back injury.  And the statistics show that many of you either have – or will – suffer a back injury at work during your career. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), work-related back injuries are among the most common types of injuries on the job.

The term “back injury” covers a wide range of accidents and injuries. Some of these injuries are minor. They resolve in a matter of days or weeks with limited treatment, and the injured worker is able to return to their pre-injury employment. Others require extensive surgery and lead to permanent impairment that prevents the injured worker from returning to their former job.

Common on-the-job back injuries include:

  • Lower back strains and sprains, also called lumbar sprains: Moving the wrong way too quickly, twisting, or straining to lift a heavy item are common causes of low back strains. These injuries usually resolve within a few months. Common treatment includes pain medication and physical therapy.
  • Bulging, herniated, and slipped discs in the lumbar spine: Your spine is made of many different bones, called vertebrae. These vertebrae are stacked one on top of another. In between the vertebrae sit discs. These are shock absorbers. A workplace accident can cause problems with one of the discs, which in turn can cause pain.
  • Fractured vertebrae: Motor vehicle accidents, heavy machinery malfunctions, falling objects, and slip and falls can cause fractured vertebrae. These are serious injuries that can cause long-term problems.
  • Pinched nerves: A workplace accident can cause the disc to push against a nerve, causing pain not just at the site of the nerve but also into the legs.
  • Lumbar disc disease: As we get older our lumbar spine discs suffer wear and tear. If an accident increases the wear and tear, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia. If a work accident aggravates, accelerates, or exacerbates your pre-existing lumbar spine disease, you can win your claim.

Here’s something to keep in mind. No matter the type of on-the-job back injury you suffer, you must prove that a specific event caused a sudden, obvious mechanical or structural change to the body. Repetitive motion injuries are not covered under Virginia workers’ comp. Neither are back injuries caused by basic movements like walking or standing.

Even if you have a history of chronic back pain or prior back surgeries, you should still seek the advice of an experienced Richmond workers compensation lawyer if you hurt your back on the job. If the accident caused additional damage, you can still get benefits.


How Much Water Did You Drink Today?

Quick question:

How much water did you drink today? For most people, the answer would be “not enough”.

From everything we drink and swim in, to the ice that reduces swelling, water is all around us (and even in us), a matter of fact – it basically is us!

Water makes up around two thirds of who we are, and influences every single process in our body – which probably explains why we feel a lot better when we drink enough of it.

Now you might be aware of the many ‘tips and tricks’ that are out there on “how to avoid a bad back”, and “how to relieve the pain” – but have you ever heard of drinking more water to help with that?

My guess is you have not!

I get that it might sound ‘too simple’ to make a difference, but dehydration really can be one of the culprits of back pain, and one of the reasons why it stays around for longer than it needs to.

Let me explain…

I know you already know that water affects every organ and cell in your body, but it also plays an enormous role in the health of your back and spine.

In between each section of the spine (the vertebrae) lies a disc – which are mainly made up of water. During the day when we’re standing up, they slowly become dehydrated, then at night when we’re laying down, they rehydrate themselves again (so long as there is ENOUGH water in the body!).

If there’s not enough water in your body, then this isn’t good news for your discs, and eventually this lack of water can cause pain, swelling, and even more problems further down the line.

Just like a car engine needs to keep lubricated to run properly – your body needs water for your joints, organs and muscles to function.

See why your water intake is so important now?

We all know it is! Just not many of us knew that without enough of it back pain can creep up, and stay around for longer.

So next let’s take a look at a few things so you can start living a life with less back pain:

  1. Signs that you’re not drinking enough water – so you can start drinking more of it!
  2. What you can expect when you start drinking more water.


  1. Helpful tips to help you increase your intake!

Lets dive in:

Signs That You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

How do you really know?

Well the most obvious is feeling thirsty, but here’s some not so obvious signs:

  • Feeling tired
  • Dizziness
  • Dry skin and lips
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • And… joint pain

The list goes on!… But one of the best and most reliable signs is to check your urine – if it’s dark and not a light yellow color, get more water in your system!

What You Can Expect When You Start Drinking More Water…

You already know that water is great for you, but after a few weeks of drinking more of it, what benefits can you expect to see?

Less soreness in your back for one

You’ll feel ‘healthier’, your eyes may not feel as tired, and you’ll feel more alert!

Additionally water can help you lose weight (if that’s something you’d like to achieve), your skin will look clearer and you’ll have a natural glow!

You’ll likely even find you don’t need to reach for the coffee 4 times a day because you feel much more alert.

How Can You Increase Your Water Intake?

Besides using a bigger glass to down your water with, here’s some other tips that might work better for you. I’ll start with my favorite – drinking a glass of water right after waking up.

Before I go to bed I make sure to place a glass of water on my bedside table, that way, when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I see is a glass of water right next to me.

It’s a great feeling knowing that I’ve already consumed almost 15% of my daily water intake before my day has even started. Give it a go, after a week or two it’ll be a new habit and you’ll feel more energetic for it.

Another way you can increase how much you drink is to switch it up.

I get it, water can get boring, but it doesn’t have to be.

Vary still and sparkling water, or add lemon, cucumber or other fruits to your water/ Experiment with it and try to find something that suits you. You could even make your own lemonade, or mix it with fruit juices.

So there you have it, why you need to drink more water to help ease aches and pains, did you have any idea that water played such a huge role in your joint health? Don’t let another day go by of being dehydrated – now you have simple tips to help you drink more water each day.

Exercise and Lower Back Pain

Lets talk about exercise and back pain…

Last week I had a question asked by one of our patients, Janet, 58, from Rockville…

And it’s one that we get asked often (especially since the January gym rush!):

“Is it ok to exercise when my back is hurting? I’ve just got into a good routine sticking to the gym and working out three times a week, and I really don’t want to stop…”

I get the frustration, and I also know that the thought of doing any movement at all when you’re going through some kind of pain might feel a little scary…

You don’t want to run the risk of aggravating it any more in case it turns into something more serious.

You don’t want to go ‘too hard’ in the gym in case you pull another muscle.

And you don’t want to wake up one day to find that you can no longer roll out of bed easily, walk down the road, or even drive because what you did made it worse.

But don’t let that worry you too much – that’s rarely ever the case!

An aching lower back doesn’t mean you’ve got to be housebound, with heat and ice packs until it magically disappears.

You CAN keep moving! In fact, not moving at all can make your back pain worse!

Here’s why…

If you suffer from lower back pain that comes and goes, gentle walking with exercises designed to improve lower back strength and movement added in, will make a big difference.

Walking is a completely natural movement that keeps your joints mobile and muscles working – even those in your feet, lets, hips and torso – which play an important role in keeping the muscles in your back that hold you up right, strong.

Stretching combined with walking will improve your backs strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn, can help stop back pain from creeping up on you when you least expect it. What’s more, it can also reduce how painful it feels and how much it gets in the way of day to day life.

So here’s the important question to answer now that you know it 100% is ok to exercise even if you’ve got a bad back…

What exercise can you actually be doing? Because of course, too much exercise, or exercise that’s strenuous could make it worse or keep it hanging around longer.

Introducing Yoga.

Even though there’s false beliefs around Yoga, like ‘you’ve got to be flexible’ etc., etc., etc… you can ditch those false beliefs behind because it’s for anyone!

Let me tell you why – Yoga helps build strength.

Yoga requires you to concentrate on specific muscles in the body when holding poses – many of which improve back strength. When these muscles are stronger your back pain can be greatly reduced and is less likely to affect you as bad as it once did.

As well as strengthening, Yoga relaxes the body and reduces any tension in stress-carrying muscles (a.k.a your back!)

For people with lower back pain, stretching is important. Stretching the muscles in your legs actually help to increase range of movement in your hips, taking the stress off your lower back – which in addition increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to flow in, taking care of the muscles in your back.

It’s also one of the best forms of exercise to maintain and improve a healthy posture. Great for your back, stopping back pain in its tracks, and add to that, it feels great when you can walk around confident and tall.

So there you have it, gentle walks and yoga.

Both of these will help you gain back your strength in your back, so you can return to doing the exercise you love the most.

Secrets To Keeping Active And Mobile Even If You’re Suffering With A Bad Back

Got this question asked in my clinic this week that I wanted to share with you (it’s a common question I get asked often on the topic of back pain)…

“Dr. Paris, I’m desperate to get back into shape after suffering with a bad back for long time. Can you continue to stay fit and active when long standing back pain still gets in the way? Your team is a great help, but I want to do more by myself while I’m receiving treatment, I’m just scared, a bit nervous and don’t know what type of exercise safe…”

– Sandy, 48, Germantown

I understand that the thought of doing ANY type of exercise at all when you’re in some form of pain might seem a little scary and worrisome…

You don’t want to run the risk of making it any worse in case it turns into an injury and puts you out even longer. But I’d like to put your mind at ease and let you know that just because your back is causing you issues right now, you don’t have to keep yourself stranded on the sofa until you wake up one day to find it has magically disappeared.

You see, even though therapy and chiropractic is great and really helps to ease your pain, it can never be a full blown cure alone. The real long-term success at overcoming things like back pain lies within what YOU do in-between and after your sessions.

Let me explain…

Most bad backs happen because they’re not strong in the first place, so in order to get your back strong your lifestyle and the types of activities you do play a huge part in your recovery.

A lot of us have jobs that involve sitting at a desk all day. I know Sandy works as a teacher and her back pain came on as a result of sitting for long periods of time without regular breaks to move around, and then going home at a night to sit yet again for a few MORE hours before going to bed!

And seeing as your back isn’t made to sit, sitting puts a lot of pressure on the spine.

So the long-term solution?

Regular posture style exercises to increase muscle control and strength (i.e. yoga)

(And not only does yoga help to ease back pain, it also makes you more flexible and toned too! Win-win ;-))

Yoga style exercises are great for people like ‘Sandy’ who feel frightened and nervous about returning to exercise after a bad back, because it involves exercises designed to strengthen and control the muscles in your back – allowing you to return to other types of exercises like running, cycling and gym classes, much quicker!

But let me just point out that there’s a huge difference between “exercising” (running, golf, cycling…), and doing exercises like Pilates or yoga.

Things like running are great to improve your cardio and the length of time you can maintain being active without feeling tired, but without strengthening exercises, there’s a greater risk of injury. So we must build a strong foundation first, and then add in other activities.

So the answer to Sandy’s question is – yes, you certainly can continue to remain fit and active even if you’re suffering with back pain.

The solution lies within the long-term commitment you make to the other things you do outside of your treatment and in-between sessions. Be consistent with doing posture style exercises for 3 months, and then when you notice a difference you can start adding in other gentle exercises as an addition to make sure your bad back doesn’t creep up on you again!

Back Pain: How To Live With Less Of It When Working In An Office

Here’s a blog post written for you by our PTA, Jimmy, on ways to manage aches and pains if you’re an office worker…


Do you work in an office based job?

Do you find yourself struggling with neck, shoulder or back pain after sitting for long periods of time?

Wish there was something you could do to reduce the pain?

Well there is a solution to create a safer, healthy and comfortable working environment for you, so you don’t have to put up with annoying aches and pains.

Let’s start at the bottom with your ankles…

Research suggests your ankles should be supported via a foot rest keeping the ankle joints at just over a 90 degree angle.

The same rule applies to your knees, keep them at slightly over 90 degree angle with at least 80-90% of your thighs supported on your seat parallel to the floor.

So basically, at all times your feet are planted firmly on the floor and you’re not sitting in a twisted position – which I know can be easy to do after sitting for hours without regular breaks!

Moving on to those troublesome lower backs…

A lot of us are guilty of having poor sitting posture – slouching in our chairs at work creating extra un-necessary stresses though our spine and the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) that support our spine and body!

To avoid this extra stress it’s important to ensure that your bum is touching the back of the chair. So get your wiggle on and shuffle right to the back of your chair, don’t be worried if your feet come off the floor this is where the foot support will be ideal and come in handy.

To reduce lower back pain the use of a lumbar support which can be purchased very cheaply or done by simply rolling up a towel and placing it on your lower back, will straighten up your posture and help say goodbye to aches in your lower back.

Now we have a good back posture let’s take care of those painful necks and shoulders…

Do you spend most of your day on the phone at work?

Here’s a tip – use a head set to avoid your typical hunched over neck and shoulder phone position, keeping your neck free and loose.

What about if you’re spending long hours on the computer, or using a laptop?

Just like your legs it is also important to support your arms with arm rest which should be just higher than the level of your desk keeping the elbows at just over 90 degrees and the elbows level with your keyboard.

The use of a simple wrist support should also be applied as you are typing away to keep your elbows level with your keyboard.

Most importantly for your neck is the height and positioning of your computer screen. The top of your monitor should be directly at eye level and straight ahead of you so you are not twisting your neck and leaning it forward.

If you work from a laptop, you can get yourself a support to raise the screen up to your eye level. The use of an external keyboard and mouse can also avoid any issues caused by raising your screen, but also (and more importantly) keeps your elbows and wrists in the correct position.

If you are still struggling and find hard to relieve your pain take a hot water bottle, or a microwaveable wheat bag to work with you and apply for 20 minute periods throughout the day.

I hope you have found this information beneficial and that it helps you in your daily working life but, do remember movement is a must so whether it’s neck movements, and stretches while you are sitting or getting up to warm your wheat bag up in the microwave, do take regular periods to get moving or stretching to avoid seizing up!


For more tips like this on ways to ease back pain, click here where you can download your FREE copy of our back pain tips guide:

Back Pain: Unusual Ways To Ease it Without Taking Painkillers!

Back pain…

It’s something you never think will happen to you (not until later on in life anyway…)

Though sometimes you’re going about your day nicely. You feel well and think that any health problems you ‘might get’ are a lonnnnng way off in the future!

But then suddenly, you feel a twinge in your back, and something’s not quite right.

Maybe your first thought is that it’s nothing, and it’ll just go away on its own.

Maybe you pass it off as just having slept awkwardly, or because you were doing the housework all day.

But the truth is, when back pain ‘just happens’, most of us have no clue, no real explanation, and when it strikes it leaves you suffering with back pain for a lot longer than you should have to!

And what do you do when the pain suddenly comes on?!

Most people do one of two things:

– Ignore it, hoping to wake up one morning as if they never had back pain in the first place.


– Reach into the cupboard and dose up on painkillers every few hours… for days!

And I don’t blame them, after all when you take a visit to the GP they’ll either tell you to rest, or rest and take some strong painkillers…

But painkillers only mask the pain for a few hours until you need to take another dose! – Which will never get to the root cause of back pain.

Here’s the thing, there’s so many different ways of finding relief from back pain that don’t include the standard painkillers and rest option, and I want to share them with you, so you can find relief naturally (WITHOUT relying upon pills)…

The first, simplest way of easing a bad back is to avoid sitting with your legs crossed.

We all do it, but because your spine isn’t designed to twist and turn, sitting with your legs crossed places a lot of strain on your lower back – which will contribute to more back pain.

Sit straight with your legs placed on the floor with your knees slightly bent, and this will take away any pressure on the spine.

Another easy one to fix – how do you sleep at night? There isn’t a faster way to self-inflict a bad back on yourself or make it worse.

Avoid this position at all costs, and you’ll have a better night’s sleep and wake up with less back pain.

On the topic of sleep, give sleeping with a pillow between your knees a shot. This might be a little difficult to get used to at first, but if you can persist, it lowers the amount of twisting happening in your spine.

And if you sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your legs to keep your spine in a good position and reduce the tension in your lower back.

Your back holds your core – one of the most important parts of your body! And if we don’t look after and protect it, we’re likely to experience some type of aches and pains at some point in our life.

In the same way that you brush your teeth twice a day to look after them and keep them clean, you need to look at taking care of your back in the same way, and incorporate daily habits and rituals to help ease, AND live with less back pain.

I can’t promise you that ALL of these things will work for you, but what I do know is that these tips have been proven to help my patients, and even myself, to reduce the risk of back pain coming out of nowhere… And if someone is suffering from it, these tips help ease it too!

For even MORE natural tips like this, visit here where you can download your free copy of my back pain tips report

Back Pain: When Do I Use Ice?… And When Do I Use Heat?

Confused about whether you should use ice or heat to help ease your back pain?… Our Physical Therapist, Ronaldo Montecer is here to answer your question, read on!…


Easily one of the most common questions I get asked on a daily basis, and it’s something that confuses many people too…

“Should I use ice or heat to ease my back pain?”

Rightly or wrongly,  9 out of 10 of my clients tend to favor heat – a nice hot soak in the bath or one of those lavender scented bean bags to try and ease their back pain.

I think one of the key reasons is the simple fact  that during the winter, it’s just plain cold here in the Mid-atlantic and they don’t like the thought of the cold ice on their back!

As you can appreciate every health concern and injury is different. Sometimes it’s ice to cool it down, or heat to help relax it… It can be very confusing!

So when to use ice:  There’s one time in particular we say to use ice and that’s when something just happened and it’s very painful, likely hot and maybe swollen.

This is an ‘acute’ injury.  Acute meaning it just happened. For example a sprained ankle or pulled muscle.

When it comes to your back pain, the time to use ice is if your back has suddenly ‘gone’ and you’re in a lot a pain, or you’ve overdone it and your back becomes very painful towards the end of the day.

You see, your body is actually very clever. Let’s use an ankle sprain as an example… When you sprain your ankle your body will immediately try and protect itself. This is why you get swelling and it becomes very hot and painful.

The swelling is just your body’s natural cushion to protect the sprain. The pain and heat comes from the inflammation. Again this is you body’s way of trying to protect and heal itself, if something’s painful – you’re not going to want to move it or touch it are you?

The exact same thing is happening in your back too, you just can’t see it.

So your ankle, back, or whatever you’ve hurt can start to heal without any more damage. So that’s WHY it happens.  But this pain can be awfully worse than the actual injury itself, so cooling it down with ice is a simple method to help ease the intensity of the pain as soon as possible.

And by using the cool ice little and often on the injury (20 mins every hour or so), the cooling and warming of the injury will help the blood keep flowing around the area to help it heal even quicker.

Make sense?

Ok, so now we’ve got and idea of when’s the best time to use ice…

When Do We Use Heat?

Try thinking of it like this… When something is warm it’s softer, and when something is cold, it’s harder (think of that yummy chocolate bar you snuck in this weekend! Like most things, when chocolate is warm its softer)… It’s exactly the same with our bodies.

With that in mind I always explain to my clients it’s time to apply heat when you feel more stiff, achy and need to get things moving – that’s the perfect time to use heat.

So first thing on a morning if your back’s feeling really stiff and tight, a hot shower to loosen the muscles also works wonders. Follow that with some gentle stretches too and you’ll feel a huge difference!

Typically if it’s something that’s been nagging you for some time (chronic), and it’s more stiff and achy rather than painful then heat is the way to go. The reason it’s stiff and aching is because the muscles and joints are so tight.

Like anything, you warm it up and it’s more supple. It’s exactly the same with your joints and muscles… Muscles should be able to move, if they’re are stiff and tight you are more likely to have an injury by over stretching them as they simply can stretch as far as needed.

It’s for this same exact reason athletes ‘warm up’ before doing their sport – so they don’t pull a muscle!  When we’re asleep at night our muscles cool down because they aren’t being used (our blood is going directly to our brain for our dreams and to our stomach to digest our dinner)… So why don’t we ‘warm up’ first thing on a morning to get us ready for the day?

Don’t worry I’m not talking about 10 laps jogging around your neighborhood. Just a warm shower followed by a few minutes of simple stretching.

Not sure what stretches to do? I always recommend the perfect combination of Yoga and Pilates style stretches to keep your back healthy and pain free.

So key things to remember –  If it’s just happened and very painful – Ice it!

If it’s stiff and tight – warm it up! 

For more tips like this on how to ease back pain, click here, where you can download your completely free guide with 9 easy ways to ease back pain.

Back Pain: How To Get The Housework Done Without Making Your Back Pain Worse

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re going about your day doing your usual day-to-day jobs, you could be doing something as simple as taking the garbage out, weeding the front yard, folding your laundry, tying your shoes or even making the bed, then all of a sudden you feel a sharp pain in your back and you can hardly move…

Sound familiar?

Just a few weeks ago this happened to one of our patients Lisa, 57, from Rockville…

She was making the most of a quiet weekend in, and before she planned to veg out and relax for the day she decided to do some spring cleaning.

Lisa was fine to begin with, but as soon as she went to turn over her mattress she put her back out completely.

At first the pain wasn’t so bad, but then a few hours later her back began to stiffen up…

Like most people we see she thought at first ‘oh it’s just a stiff back, I’ve probably got a bit carried away with the cleaning, it’s happened before.” But the next day the pain was still there, and it felt even worse!

Lisa’s back started to ache when she sat down, she struggled to find a comfortable position to fall asleep in, and she couldn’t even bring herself to stand without being in agony AND she had a weekend away planned at the Eastern shore…

How was she going to get away now with a back so painful?…

Now you might be thinking this won’t happen to you, not with something as basic as everyday chores, but when you consider that most of us do some form of jobs around the house, that’s a lot of backs that could potentially become sore! And not just that, most people we see say they suffer from back pain when doing routine activities such as chores that cause flare-ups

The thing is, many people will ‘put up’ with a bad back for days (even weeks!), hoping the pain will go away on it’s own eventually, but you really don’t have to play the waiting game and suffer for so long – especially not if it’s getting in the way of daily life and even trips away and events that you’ve been looking forward to for ages!

So how about I give you three quick tips for everyday housework jobs to help make agonizing back pain a thing of the past – because chores themselves aren’t to blame (even though we’d like to think they are), it’s how you ‘do’ them.

  1. When using the vacuum cleaner or a mop: one of the most common mistakes people make is reaching out with their arms while bending at the waist over and over again.

Bending over in awkward positions can place a lot of strain on your muscles – especially in your back! To help fix this the key is to keep your hips and shoulders moving towards the work.

What I mean by this is instead of leaning forwards and twisting your back, step forward in the direction of the movement with one foot and bend slightly at the knee, allowing your upper body to stay upright to reduce any strain.

  1. When doing the laundry, picking up itemsand rescuing that lost sock from the bedroom floor, leaning over can trigger off back pain – similar to sweeping and using the hoover, bending at the waist repeatedly will strain your back muscles.

To get around this I tell my patients to do something I like to call the ‘golfer’s reach’, it has this name because it’s similar to how golfers pick up a ball.

When you reach for items with your right hand balance yourself by lifting your leg up in the air. If you need extra support, place your opposite hand on a nearby surface. If you’re reaching with your left hand, reverse the directions.

The deeper you reach with your hand, the higher your opposite leg should go so that you can keep your balance while simultaneously reducing the amount of strain on your back muscles.

One more thing, I know it can be easy to get caught up, rushing around the house to get everything done but one thing to remember is to be kind to yourself and take 20 minute breaks throughout. Put the coffee pot on and relax with a cup before returning to your chores.

If you start feeling any signs of pain, walk, stretch and rest your back.

Don’t allow yourself to get so busy checking chore off of your to-do list that you forget the safe way to move your body.

Start using these tips, you’ll be keeping your back safe.

For more tips on easing back pain like this, here’s free special report with 9 top tips on how to avoid back pain…