Mom suffering from neck or back pain? Here’s how you can help  

Life Style_Women-daughter_walk in Park_123RF_14917146Sometimes the typical gifts of flowers, jewelry, candy and a card don’t seem like quite the right touch for Mother’s Day. This can seem especially true if your mom is dealing with chronic neck or back pain, two of the most common types of chronic pain affecting more than 100 million Americans today.

From factors that range from genetics to stress and anxiety levels, women, more so than men, are susceptible to suffering from chronic neck and back pain. Muscle tension and strain can occur due to:

  • Poor posture
  • Depression and anxiety, increasing the body’s pain response
  • Wearing shoes that don’t provide enough heel and arch support
  • Sitting too long in one position
  • Sleeping at a bad angle
  • Diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis and fibromyalgia
  • Carrying heavy bags
  • Injuries such as whiplash
  • Smoking, which decreases blood flow to the spine

For mom’s condition to be characterized medically as “chronic,” the pain must impact her on a daily basis for at least three months. Simply bending down, slipping on a pair of shoes or sitting at the computer can bring on intense agony.

Relief, just in time for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day coming up, we wanted to provide gift ideas in order to help mom get pain relief.

  • Acupuncture – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that acupuncture may be useful treatment for lower back pain, as well as other types of chronic pain. Thin needles are inserted at specific sites on the body, and are thought to provide pain relief by correcting imbalances in the body’s energy flow.
  • Ice, heat and massage therapy – Sometimes the simplest treatments can be the most effective. Ice, heat and massage therapy are all key to helping relax tense muscles. A heating pad, set on low to medium, can be applied for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours. The same time frame can be used for the application of ice packs to provide relief to muscle tension. In addition, single-use wraps are available over the counter, and can last up to eight hours.
  • Yoga and meditation – Don’t underestimate the mind-body connection as an invaluable source of pain management. A good yoga and/or meditation session can help to increase blood flow while releasing muscle tension. The focus on breathing, relaxation and meditation has been shown to help distract the body from pain, while providing comfort to the nervous system. From CDs to books, videos and classes, there are plenty of yoga- and meditation-based options to choose from.
  • Neck pillows – Neck pillows can help by providing support to stressed muscles, therefore easing neck pain. Typically donut-shaped, neck pillows have been conveniently designed to provide therapeutic relief. Some versions are even inflatable, making them convenient for mom to carry with her in her pocket or purse.
  • Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy is increasingly being used to soothe the mind and provide relief from conditions like anxiety and depression. Lavender, eucalyptus, orange and jasmine are just a few of the essential oils known for being calming and rejuvenating. A great Mother’s Day gift to help soothe the mind from chronic neck and back pain could include a set of essential oils and an oil diffuser.

We hope these gift ideas help to make your Mother’s Day special! Keep in mind, these ideas can be used year-round to show mom just how much you care.

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