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What a pain in the neck! – In which I need your help

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Remember this guy? “10,000 years can give you such a crick in the neck!”

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*Bonus points if you could hear Robin Williams while reading that line!*

Last week was not the most spectacular of weeks. I detoxed from giving up sugar, caught a cold, lost my voice, and woke up with a muscle spasm that kept me from moving my head/neck/shoulder/right arm. 4 days, it was like this! Yikes. I can handle a cold, but this is the second time that this darn muscle spasm has wrecked my world in the last 6-ish months. As a busy mom with no time to be sidelined, this cannot happen again.

On my FB page, I shared how my Beloved “grounded” me this weekend to rest and read on the couch while he did everything! He cooked, cleaned, and took all three kids grocery shopping. The man deserves another combat medal! I spent the day reading a book while alternating heat, ice, and essential oils. I’m pretty sure that I drank my weight in green tea with honey and lemon, too. I was finally able to rest knowing that the house and kiddos were in amazing hands, and I feel so much better!

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I love January! It’s a new year, a clean slate, and time to take a fresh look at how we’re treating our bodies. I’m starting with my back, and I’m hoping that y’all will help a girl out!

I read up on what one should do to prevent these painful muscle spasms…

1. Use better posture –

If only I had listened to my mom all those years ago and learned to stand up straight! What are some of your tips for remembering your posture? Am I doomed to glide around the house with a book on my head until my slouch is a thing of the past?

 

2. Do stretching and strengthening exercises –

I am slowly getting back into the exercise/workout world again after my hip surgery. I’ve finally been cleared for yoga, pilates, and other kinds of exercise. I guess it’s time to focus on strengthening my upper back! Do you have any stretches or exercises that you love? What helps to keep your body upright and mobile?

3. Drink more water –

Guilty. I don’t do enough of this either. Would you please excuse me? I’m going to get a glass of water…Would you care to join me?

Okay, I’m back. Now I just have to remember to do that another 7 times today. Do you have any tips on how to keep yourself hydrated?

4. Find a better pillow –

We have the most heavenly mattress, so I know that isn’t the culprit. Have you found a wonderfully supportive pillow that you just love? I tend to lean toward fluffy, squishy, unsupportive pillows that I can sink my head right into – but I’m guessing that my pillow choice isn’t helping matters. If you have any experience with really good pillows, please send any recommendations my way!

 …

What about you? What are your physical goals for the new year? Are you starting a new exercise routine? Are you hitting the gym? Are you, like me, aiming to drink more water? Are you going to bed a little earlier? What are some of the ways that you are trying to take care of yourself in 2014? I would love to hear all about it! Here’s to a healthy, neck and back pain-free 2014!

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Written by ginger


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11 Comments
  • Emily says:

    I’m glad you are feeling better and that you were able to rest up this weekend 🙂 Drinking water, I find that if I use lots of crushed ice to keep it icy cold and use a straw I tend to drink more, there’s also an app simply called “Water” that you can put on your phone. It tracks your intake, sends reminders and tracks your progress!

    Pillow wise if you are looking for a firm, yet somewhat squishy pillow I have found the memory foam ones work best. I get super hot at night though so I have this one (http://www.samsclub.com/sams/gel-pillow-memory-foam/prod7610154.ip?navAction=) from Sams Club and it’s awesome.

    • ginger says:

      That’s a great idea – an app! I’ll check it out! 🙂 And the pillow that you mentioned sounds divine! I love for my pillow to be cool, but the rest of me to be nice and toasty. I don’t have a Sam’s membership, but I’m sure that I can find a way to look into them a bit more! I’m glad to know that you like memory foam ones – I haven’t had any experienced with it, but I’m willing to give it a shot! Thanks so much for your awesome tips!

  • Ana says:

    Please share some of your tips for giving up sugar–this is something I’ve never been successful at! Thanks to this post, http://modernmrsdarcy.com/2014/01/forget-about-results-my-new-approach-to-goals-for-2014/; I have a whole new approach for health/resolutions/forming good habits. I read somewhere it takes 6 weeks to form a new habit, so I’m starting out slow, and I made a ‘Jerry Seinfeld’ chart (the link is in the MMD article) for drinking 8 glasses of water, getting up at least by 6 00 am, exercising 20 minutes, and reading/journaling time. Marking off an x for these things every day really helps–I’m just like a kid with a sticker chart, I guess, lol! I actually used graph paper, so the ‘chain’ is really distinct. I’ll probably add more goals after the 6 weeks, when these are (hopefully) routine. Doing these basic things helps me feel better and get more done overall. Also, I have a huge cup from the hospital I have to drink my water out of–I know I have to have two a day, and then I’m done. I can’t keep track of regular glasses.

  • Becca says:

    Oh, cousin! I too have horrible posture, and I carry all my tension in my neck and shoulders. I went to a good form running clinic a couple years ago (stick with me I have a relevant point I promise). Part of the clinic was about good running posture. Because without it we get upper body fatigue which in the kinetic chain can lead to fatigue and tension elsewhere. They had us do a “reset” where we would extend our arms above our head, pulling our shoulders up towards our ears and then releasing it all. Consciously pulling our shoulders out of our ears and back to the natural position. I never realized how bad it was for me until a yoga instructor mentioned “shoulders for earrings” in a class. I do it so much that its a physical chore to keep them down. Its on my list for the year as well . I also try and keep a neutral spine as much as possible. It helps pull everything into alignment without too much effort.

    I concur with the memory foam pillow. I use a memory foam contoured pillow and I LOVE it. It has even helped remedy chronic headaches. I got mine at target 🙂

    As far as strength training and flexibility, I take yoga classes a couple times a month but I’m awful at it. I lack focus for the meditation part. I have discovered Barre classes and I love them. Perfect for this runner with tight hips and no flexibility.

    Water should be on everyones list to drink more of. Sadly I don’t drink enough either, but I have found if I carry around my sports bottle all day I do better.

    Love to you, and good luck

    • ginger says:

      Hiya Becca! Ah! That sounds like a wonderful “reset” to try! Thank you so much! I am working on it more now that my back spasm is letting up, but I’ll be trying out that new stretch. I would LOVE to try Barre classes, but I can’t find any here in town. 🙁 Thank you so much for your tips – I really appreciate it! *hugs*

  • Sarah says:

    I drink so much more water with my Camelbak bottle. Something about biting on that straw, I just don’t know what it is. But then again, I’m pretty motivated to drink a lot of water since I’m nursing/pumping. Also, if you need a little flavor in your water, I’m in love with Nuun tablets for flavor with no sugar or weird additives. (They’re kinda pricey, but I never buy soda so I figure it’s a healthy splurge.)

    I am definitely guilty of the hunched shoulders from working in front of a computer all day long! I really need to do yoga, for physical as well as mental relief, but I have a really hard time fitting it in.

    • ginger says:

      I’ve never tried a Camelbak, but I might have to! That straw sounds cool! Thank you so much for your helpful tips – I hadn’t thought about using Nuun tablets even though I’m not running yet. Perfect!

  • Mark Allman says:

    Ginger,
    I have a goal 4 bottles of water a day which is about 68 oz. I started working out regularly 3 years ago and do video series early in the morning in my basement. I do it early or it will not get done. The hardest thing to do sometimes is to just start. That’s all I commit to doing and then it works out pretty good. Video series work good for me as they have schedules laid out and I just press play and don’t have to think too much. Insanity was the toughest one I have done. I have done P90X and P90X2 as well as T25. I like shorter intense workouts. I have trouble with sugar. Esther Gokhale has a great book that helped my back out tremendously.

    • ginger says:

      Mark, I have never tried P90X, but I keep hearing wonderful things about it from friends. I might have to look into it more so I can do it at home! You’re right – you just have to push play. 🙂 That is a wonderful water goal – I’m doing a little better, so hopefully it will keep going in the right direction! I will definitely be checking out the Esther Gokhale book that you recommend. Thanks so much for your tips!

  • […] Finally get around to buying a new pillow for my neck pain. […]

  • […] get around to buying a new pillow for my neck pain. The first night using the pillow, I actually overslept – which never happens! And my […]

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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