Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Easing Digestion With TheraBand Stretches


Whether you've just finished a big holiday meal or you combat indigestion on a regular basis, stretching with TheraBands can help. You don't need to be a yogi to get into these poses. Simply set aside 15 minutes, grab a few bands and find a spot with some floor space where you won't be disturbed.



All of these poses can be accomplished with or without a TheraBand. However, having a TheraBand by your side will ensure a stronger and more sure grip, which will allow you to stay in these beneficial positions longer and with greater ease.

Begin by taking a seat on a carpet or mat, one leg out to your side and the other bent toward you.
Inhale slowly, reach up and then reach over toward your straight leg.

Hold this position for at least 30 seconds, relaxing into the stretch with each exhale. Breathe slowly and be mindful of your posture. Don’t collapse forward or lean back, rather lean straight up and over in a moon-shape.

Use a light TheraBand to enhance this stretch by holding one end in each hand. Gently pull on the TheraBand with your resting hand to help your body achieve a greater moon-shape.
Repeat this exercise on both sides several times.



This pose stimulates the digestive organs by applying gentle and relaxing pressure.
Begin with both legs out in front of you. Bend each leg at the knee, draping one leg over the other.

If this step is too difficult for you, simply bend both legs and let them fall over in the same direction.


 Now, slowly and mindfully twist the top portion of your body toward the direction of your bent foot (or feet). Hold this position for at least 30 seconds
Use a light to medium resistance TheraBand to enhance this stretch by laying the band across your lower back before you begin. The band should stay taut behind you as you hold it in both bands.
Repeat this exercise on both sides several times.



To further stimulate the digestive organs, lie on your back now with a medium to heavy resistance TheraBand in both hands.

Flex both feet, then slowly bring your right knee toward your chest. With the TheraBand draped comfortably over the area just below your knee, begin to pull both ends toward the floor. Breathe slowly and mindfully until your knee as reached your chest (or you no longer feel comfortable.)

Hold this position for 30 seconds, then gently lower the leg. Take a moment to rest before moving on to the other side. Repeat this exercise on both sides several times.



This exercise is great for anyone who suffers from discomfort and fullness from bloating. In a laying position, bring both knees into your chest.
Using a medium or light TheraBand, squeeze both knees into your chest while you round your back. Inhale deeply, then exhale while bringing your forehead to your knees.
Hold this position on the exhale, then relax this pose with every inhale. Breathe slowly but naturally, being mindful to relax your shoulders and neck completely as you bring your head down.

Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds to one minute before taking a rest.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Five Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Holiday Dishes

The holidays are all about food and family. Nothing beats having a great meal while being surrounded by your favorite people. Unfortunately, the comforts of special occasions often lead to expanded waistlines for all. While some weight gain is expected during the holidays, you don't always want to feel like a hot air balloon full of cement after a home-cooked meal. Good eats don't have to be heavy, high-calorie eats. We bet that you can still enjoy traditional holiday flavors with these healthy and delicious alternatives.


1) Yoghurt-based Vegetable and Fruit Dips Are Better



A healthy snack or side dish is easily prepared using salad greens or a variety of raw vegetables and fruits. But some healthy intentions are quickly undone with creamy toppings, dips or sugary concoctions.
A creamy store-bought dressing is a favorite for carrots, broccoli or celery – otherwise harmless foods, and can speed up your weight gain faster than you might  realise. A large portion of a ranch dressing is made using full-fat sour cream high in calories and saturated fats. Some ranch dressings contain buttermilk and mayonnaise as well, both of which aren’t easy on the waistline. The combination of sour cream, mayo, and buttermilk is a triple threat to your heart and gut. Just a few tablespoons of these creamy dressings can easily add up to a calorie equivalent of a slice of pie.

We recommend that you substitute the high-fat ingredients above with Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has approximately a quarter of the calories of full-fat sour cream and provides abundant amounts of protein for revving up the metabolism, building muscle, and burning body fat at faster rates. If you prefer the traditional taste of sour cream, go for a low-fat or nonfat variety. These will reduce your calorie intake by at least half.


2) Baked Sweet Potatoes Over Candied Yams



Keeping weight off isn’t about total restriction, it’s about making better choices. Eating only celery sticks on a special occasion is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Holiday foods don’t just provide physical satisfaction, they’re a source of emotional comfort, too.

If one of your holiday favorites are sweet yams topped with sugary marshmallows, don’t despair. Sweet potatoes are a perfect healthy alternative. This root naturally contains an abundance of sugar, which is particularly noticeable when a sweet potato is slow roasted.  When moderate amounts of natural sugar are eaten in combination with fruit or vegetable fibers, your body is able to process it better. While any regular over-abundance of sucrose in the liver will ultimately lead to an expanding waistline, consuming small portions of natural sugars from foods high in fiber is a clear winner over canned foods drenched in syrup.
Try slicing sweet potatoes into thick slabs and baking them in the oven. Add a pinch of sea salt and drizzle with olive oil for a tasty side dish that'll make your taste buds and body happy.


3) Fresh Green Beans Instead of Casserole



Casseroles are a holiday favorite: easy to make, creamy and delicious. Unfortunately, even when your base ingredient is a vegetable, the combination of butter, cream, salt and fried toppings may have the night ending in heart palpitations.
This holiday get-together, serve fresh whole green beans instead. Sprinkle on some garlic salt, slivered almonds, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil for a tasty and healthy side dish that you won't regret coming back for more.

For those adamant about having green bean casserole, substitute a low-fat cream of mushroom soup. For every half-cup portion eaten, you'll intake about 40 fewer calories. That might not sound like much, but it sure adds up quick when you go back for seconds, thirds or fourths.


4) Replace Eggnog With Cider Drinks



Eggnog is delicious. It primarily consists of egg yolks, whole milk, heavy cream and sugar. Sounds like a recipe for weight gain and soaring cholesterol levels to us. Instead, try a spiced apple cider with cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a small squirt of caramel sauce for some extra "Mmm." We know you'll love this simple drink, and your family and friends will love you for it too. To add an adult twist, simply stir one shot of whipped cream- or apple-flavored vodka.  (I like this but we try not to make too much of an emphasis on people’s weights, rather to live a healthy lifestyle) 


5) Eat White Meat, Avoid Dark Meat and Skin



If you really want to save calories wherever possible, leave the skin on the side of the plate. Per gram, fat contains five more calories than carbohydrates or protein. While calories aren’t all created equal, we think it’s important to pick your battles with fat wisely. Just an ounce and a half of turkey skin can add an additional 250 calories to your plate.

White meat also has lower fat content than dark meat. For health-conscious individuals, we recommend choosing breast meat over leg or thigh.


The best part of any holiday is the food. Now you know how to dine without all the guilt and heartburn. The appetizing suggestions above should ensure that you and your family remain cheerful this upcoming holiday season, because there's nothing worse than depriving yourself of traditions just to save a few calories. If you think about it, there's always a smarter and healthier way to prepare a meal. You just have to be open to trying something new!



Top Braces for Water Sports Injury Recovery




As we discussed in our last blog post, water can provide an ideal environment for sports therapy because it offers buoyancy, resistance and a variety of calming effects. We believe that one of the reasons so many of us are drawn to the water, whether it be ocean, lake or pool, is because of the many positive physical and psychological effects we experience when swimming or floating. For those with a bit more of an adventurous spirit, there are a variety of water sports available, such as waterskiing, wakeboarding or surfing. Adding a sports element to the mix adds to the fun and excitement but it also increases the risk for injury. If you are currently recovering from an injury sustained while surfing or skiing, you've likely been ordered to rest, compress and stabilize. We can help.


Ankle injuries are one of the most common watersports injuries, particularly for water skiers. Sprains occur during falls when the ligaments on the foot are stretched or torn as the foot is quickly turned inward our outward past the normal range of motion.  Symptoms of a sprain include swelling, pain, the inability to put weight on the affected foot, bruising and stiffness. It's important to see a doctor for a proper x-ray and examination because other foot injuries, such as a bone fracture, can exhibit similar symptoms.


The Thermoskin Ankle Defence Brace is designed to provide the rigid support you'll need after
sustaining a ligament injury. This brace provides support on both the medial and lateral side of the ankle, and uses stabilising straps to position your foot at a 90 degree angle, which prevents additional stress on the ligaments. This brace can comfortably be worn to bed and with shoes.


Knee sprains and strains can be very painful and can take long periods of time to heal. Your physician should properly diagnose your knee injury before you decide on a brace and any other supplemental treatment plan, since the some knee injuries will require surgery.
If you've suffered a knee sprain or strain, you'll likely experience pain, knee buckling, swelling and bruising, all of which can be alleviated with rest, compression and OTC painkillers.

The Thermoskin Thermal Knee Support Brace is designed to provide the support and protection you'll need while your knee takes time to heal.
This brace features an anatomical 3-piece design that's easy to wear day and night to prevent further injury from accidental twisting or hyperextension. The Trioxon lining captures your body's natural heat to help increase blood flow. Increased blood flow allows oxygen and vital nutrients to saturate damaged tissues, helping to speed up the healing process.






Shoulder pain in swimmers and surfers most commonly results from overuse of the rotator cuff. The
rotator cuff is made up of a group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder, and repeated motions such as paddling on a surfboard can cause irritation and damage, which causes swelling and subsequently pain. If you have a rotator cuff injury, your pain might have come on suddenly and be acute. Rest and light stretching are vital in order to regain full motion from rotator cuff overuse.
The Thermoskin Shoulder Brace is an adjustable solution for tendon strains and shoulder instability. Its unique V-Stability System is designed to provide customizable support for either shoulder.


Neck injuries are by far the most dangerous of sports injuries, and any suspected injury to the neck must be properly diagnosed before treatment can be applied. If you've been diagnosed with a neck injury that can be treated at home, you're likely suffering from whiplash or wry neck. These types of injuries are caused by damage to the neck muscles, tendons or ligaments, and are commonly seen in wakeboard enthusiasts or surfers.

Neck injuries can occur in the water when your neck is pushed past its normal range of motion. A wry neck is normally characterized by unilateral pain and stiffness, which oftentimes results in the chin tilting to one side. Whiplash is characterized by tightness, tenderness and decreased range of motion. Both of these conditions greatly benefit from heat, massage, controlled stretching exercises and a neck brace designed to provide stability and limit range of motion.
The Thermoskin Neck Brace accomplishes this and in addition provides soothing heat and gentle compression. Its contoured design is available in six sizes to provide customized support without interfering with everyday activities.


Injuries from sports can affect anyone. Reduce your risk by ensuring you have the proper skills and training before attempting a new sport. Warm up muscles and stretch out after exercising, whether in water and on land. Whether in open water or in the pool, don't swim alone, and never swim or participate in water sports while impaired.






Thursday, November 16, 2017

How Water Therapy Can Help Improve Flexibility and Muscle Function

To the water babies of the world, getting into the pool - whether for fun or exercise - isn't a question. That innate desire some people have to dive into the deep end isn’t without reason: swimming comes with a variety of mental and physical benefits that can enjoyed even when mobility is limited. Swimming and even just floating in water offers relief from pain, improves muscle strength, increases range of motion and provides a relaxing environment. Whether you’re limited due to age, injury, surgery or illness, aquatic therapy can offer a versatile range of benefits. Let's break down just how it works.

Improved Flexibility

The "weightlessness" you feel when submersed in water is called buoyancy and, simply put, it’s the upward push created by how much water you've displaced. But you don't need to have a Eureka! moment to reap its benefits, which include less pressure on your joints when engaging in movements such as jumping, running and walking.
This study conducted by the Department of Physical Therapy at East Carolina University found a
significant improvement in range of motion, decreased pain and overall increased function in patients suffering from rheumatic disease. Patients with this type of chronic pain aren't alone in finding relief with aquatic therapy. Physical therapy in water is ideal for anyone in recovery from injury or surgery, for individuals with age-related mobility issues and for those who have chronic pain, because it greatly reduces the risk of further damage to muscles, joints or ligaments.

Improved Balance

While you may feel like there's less gravity in water, the weightlessness you feel in the pool is actually nothing like that of space. While submerged in water, you're still able to tell up from down, allowing you to understand your position in space. This is also sometimes referred to as proprioception, an awareness that plays an important role in balance. Because you feel lighter in the pool, balancing exercises are easier to perform and master. This helps recovery and also builds confidence since the risk from falls is virtually non-existent. Some evidence suggests that patients with Parkinson’s see better improvements in stability and balance when exposed to water therapy over therapy on land.

Improved Muscle Function

Because water is about 50 times more viscous than air, moving through it can feel a bit like moving
Resistance bands such as these don’t require a pool to provide similar benefits. Use light resistance bands to experience drag similar to what you experience in water, and heavier resistance bands to increase strength and flexibility even further.
through syrup. The amount of resistance, or drag, you feel as you move through water depends on several factors including how fast you're moving and the shape of the object or body part that's being moved. Whether you're completing contractions, extensions, running, walking or jumping, water resistance acts like a rubber band to strengthen muscles. Improving muscle tone is an important part of recovery and long-term health, and the combined effects of resistance with buoyancy allow for challenging exercises that are safe for anyone.

Improved Circulation & Cardiovascular Health

Exercise is good for the heart, but as this study shows, water immersion in and of itself leads to lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Warm water additionally promotes vasodilation, which improves circulation, delivering an increased amount of oxygen to vital organs and extremities. Improved circulation heals damaged tissues, and improved peripheral circulation can be especially beneficial for patients with diabetes. The pressure water exerts on the body also has mental benefits such as increased feelings of wellbeing and added relaxation.
Combined, you’ll find an enormous boost to the benefits you’ll reap from exercise alone.



Reduced Stress

While right on the heels of our last point, we felt it was important to make the distinction and give stress-reduction its own mention. Most people agree that the pool provides a relaxing atmosphere that improves their overall feelings of wellbeing, but this tends to be one of the most overlooked benefits of aquatic therapy.
Your mental wellbeing is an important aspect of your physical health, and water therapy is able to provide a year-round approach to getting you back to and keeping you on the right track.

Friday, October 13, 2017

How to Avoid Common Cycling Injuries



As the weather begins to warm up, Australians of all ages are getting into the spirit of biking and cycling. Cycling is one the most enjoyable forms of exercise because it is very easy to get started and there are so many places where you can cycle. However, with greater physical activity comes greater chance of injury, especially while cycling. So how can you avoid hurting yourself while you get out and enjoy cycling? We’ll take you through some of the most common cycling injuries and how you can combat or prevent these with proper equipment.


Knee Pain

As with any sport that requires excessive lower body activity, it makes sense that your knees might experience some injury or fatigue when you cycle. This injury can be caused by anything, such as overexerting your muscles or poor peddling form. One easy way to keep knee pain at bay is to practice your form. You will be amazed at how much better your knee will feel once you start peddling appropriately. If you need a more all-encompassing treatment, we recommend a knee brace or sleeve that will help keep your knee aligned while peddling without having to do any extra work. Our Thermoskin Cooper Knee Alignment Sleeve is a great option for controlling knee pain during your rides, as well as lessening knee pain when resting

Lower Back Pain

Whenever you keep your upper body in the same position for an extended period of time, pressure on your vertebrae can build up and the chance of developing lower back pain increases. This can be especially difficult because keeping your upper body stationary is a crucial part of maintaining control over the bike. When your bike will not allow you to change positions without sacrificing control, we recommend wearing the Thermoskin Sacroiliac Support Belt while you are off your bike to help mitigate any back pain. This will make your next bike ride much more comfortable.

Muscle Tightness

If you’re an avid cycler, you are all too familiar with the muscle tightness you experience in your calves and hamstrings once you get off the bike. One very simple way to combat this muscle tightness is to stay hydrated and warm up before you take a long or strenuous ride. Simply letting your muscles get accustomed to more intense movements will keep them from seizing up once you’re finished cycling. Further, you can use our Marble Foam Balance Roller to roll out any muscle tightness or stiffness before and after you cycle to provide more immediate and long lasting relief.

Saddle Sores

Cycling, while a great way to exercise, is one of the few sports that can actually lead to injury from sitting down for too long. When you sit in the same place while you cycle, the friction between your skin, shorts and bike seat can cause painful rashes that make it difficult to enjoy the ride. A very simple remedy to this injury is simply being sure that you are wearing the appropriate cycling garments to prevent any chaffing or inflammation.



Even though cycling can lead to some uncomfortable injuries, there are multiple ways that you can combat this discomfort for a more enjoyable and satisfying experience. Whether you consider yourself a pro or are just starting to dip your toes into the world of cycling, it’s important to think about how to prevent injuries and how to remedy them when afflicted.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Combating Knee Injuries with the Thermoskin Patella Stabiliser

Injuries to your patella, otherwise known as the kneecap, can be a painful and debilitating part of your life if gone untreated. Patella injuries may be caused by a variety of factors like overexerting yourself during exercise or simply having a natural predisposition to a weak patella. However, there is an easy way to combat this injury and the associated discomfort without compromising the activity you enjoy in your everyday life. With the Thermoskin Patella Stabiliser, you can take control back over your knees and your life.

Designed with your comfort and mobility in mind, the Thermoskin Patella Stabiliser can be worn before, during and after you decide to exercise, providing comfort and support to your knees no matter how rigourous the activity. Further, the clinically developed Trioxon Advantage material makes the stabiliser even more comfortable by providing moisture wicking capability when you decide to exercise with it on. Additionally, this specially-designed material promotes increased blood flow to areas around the brace, which enhances the rehabilitation of injured soft tissue.

One problem many experience with other supports is the restriction they impose on the wearer’s knee. While the pain relief they provide is valuable, the comfort does not mean much to the user if they can’t move or be active while wearing their brace. With the Thermoskin Knee Stabiliser, you can be confident in your freedom of movement as the support is contour-shaped to provide maximum mobility and make it feel as if you are not wearing a support at all. Additionally, the brace’s adjustable straps provide a perfect and comfortable fit for any wearer. Again, the Trioxon Advantage material also increases the elasticity of your muscles, allowing you an even greater range of motion than you believed possible even while not wearing the brace.

Endorsed by the APA (Australian Physiotherapy Association) and AIS (Australian Institute of Sport), the Thermoskin Patella Stabiliser can even be used during sleep to promote maximum rehabilitation of your affected areas. This knee support is a valuable investment, not only in your overall wellness, but an investment in your future happiness. The Thermoskin Patella Stabiliser makes it easy to reclaim control of your life, while providing your body with time to heal your knees.  


If you have further questions regarding the Thermoskin Patella Stabaliser, please refer to the product page on our website or feel free to directly contact us with questions by calling 1800 117 796. For further information how to best use this helpful product, refer to this video for instruction on how to wear the knee support. At iHealthSphere, we are committed to your continued health and happiness by providing you the best health and rehabilitation products for your active daily life. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Top Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


If you have ever experienced unexplained tingling or numbness in your hand or arm, you might have had a brush with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Between 2 percent and 3 percent of all Australians suffer from CTS at some point in their adult life. CTS occurs when the nerve located in a narrow passageway inside your palm called the carpal tunnel is compressed. This compression can cause numbness and tingling in the wrist, hand, and sometimes the arm if gone untreated.

How can you mitigate your chances of developing CTS? First, increase your awareness of major risk factors. These include:

Injuries
Injuries to the hand or wrist can be a major driving factor behind you developing CTS. Broken bones, arthritis, or any other condition or injury in the area around the carpal tunnel could potentially put pressure on the nerve. Additionally, women are more prone to develop CTS than men as they have naturally narrower carpal tunnels relative to men.

Diabetes
While diabetes can be easily managed, it can cause nerve damage all over the body if gone untreated. A common place to observe this nerve damage is within the carpal tunnel. While diabetic nerve damage does not necessarily compress the nerve, it still causes the characteristic numbness and tingling associated with CTS.

Auto-Immune Disorders
If you suffer from an auto-immune disease like psoriasis, Cohn’s disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, you could also be at a higher risk to develop CTS. Any chronic illness where the body’s immune system works against itself could potentially trigger CTS as these conditions can often adversely affect the lining of the carpal tunnel and compress the nerve within.

Workplace Factors
Finally, and the most widespread of these risk factors, any sort of prolonged and repetitive flexing of the wrist or awkward wrist movement can contribute to the development of CTS. This can mean anything from working with tools on an assembly line to typing on a computer for a desk job.

While it can be difficult to diminish some of these risk factors or change their associated behaviors, you can take simple steps to find carpal tunnel pain relief by using products, such as ergonomically designed computer keyboards or specialty support wraps like our Thermoskin Wrist Band. Regardless of how you decide to manage your CTS or your risk factors, iHealthSphere is always here to assist in your wrist support needs.


Minimise Carpal Tunnel Symptoms with the Thermoskin Wrist and Hand Brace

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) affects many Australians--about 2 percent to 3 percent of Australian adults every year--and while the condition is not debilitating, it can cause great discomfort and inconvenience to anyone just trying to go about their daily life. Thankfully, there are many non-invasive remedies to CTS that can help patients find relief. One of the most comfortable and effective treatments for CTS is the Thermoskin Wrist and Hand Brace.

One of the main causes of CTS is lack of support around the wrist, which causes a compression of the nerve that runs along the inside of the Carpal Tunnel. If you experience muscle strain or inflammation around the wrist due to repetitive motions at work or other medical issues, you could be at risk for developing CTS. Additionally, many people are predisposed to developing CTS if they have naturally narrow Carpal Tunnels or autoimmune disorders that attack the lining around the Carpal Tunnel.

How Can The Thermoskin Wrist and Hand Brace Help?
While it may be difficult to avoid certain behaviors that contribute to developing CTS, the Thermoskin Wrist and Hand Brace make it easy for you to operate on a day-to-day basis without compromising your health or comfort. This brace directly combats muscle strain that causes CTS with a 25-degree palmer splint, which runs along the inside of the wrist. This splint will immobilise the wrist and relieve muscle tension in the area, ultimately alleviating the nerve pressure on the Carpal Tunnel. With this simple adjustment, you can do wonders to minimise the discomfort associated with CTS and get back to using your hands as you normally would. 

How is The Thermoskin Brace Different?
If you have ever had to use a wrist brace before, you know how the brace itself can cause extra discomfort in its own right. A poor fit or heavy materials can restrict your movement and ultimately do more harm than good. Fortunately, the Thermoskin Wrist Brace was designed with comfort in mind. With adjustable fastener straps and five different sizing options to ensure a secure and comfortable fit, you will not have to worry about having your movement restricted. Additionally, the brace has been constructed with breathable materials that allow for maximum ventilation so you will not have to worry about developing rashes or other skin reactions from wearing the brace for extended periods.

Along with the material benefits that this product provides, a purchase of the Thermoskin Wrist and Brace from iHealth Sphere comes with a year-long warranty as well as our unwavering commitment to attentive customer service. Whether this is your first time treating CTS or you have tried many different solutions with no results, we are here to help you find the best remedy for your CTS symptoms. If you have already purchased this product, we invite you to watch this video that will show you how to wear the Thermoskin Brace properly to ensure maximum effectiveness and comfort.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Reduce Neck Pain with the Thermoskin Soft Cervical Neck Brace

While most neck injuries are mild cases, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to endure the pain and discomfort associated with neck conditions. Symptoms from whiplash, for example, can last up to several weeks, but you can’t simply put your life on hold for an extended period just to recuperate. You still have to go to work, feed the kids, clean the house and move forward with your normal routine, but without the right support, recovery may even take longer.

Fortunately, the Thermoskin Soft Cervical Collar helps support your neck from minor neck injuries, so you can continue with everyday activities!

About the Thermoskin Neck Brace

Made with a soft foam and cotton hybrid material, this cervical neck brace makes a big difference in the recovery process. Thanks to its cushioned design, it’s comfortable to wear around for prolonged periods. It also comes in four different sizes (S, M, L and XL), so you can experience a fit more custom to your own body. By snugly wrapping around the neck, it inhibits movement and provides firm support to lessen pain.

Injury Types:

Whiplash – The Thermoskin neck support would most commonly be needed for whiplash injuries. While most people associate whiplash with rear-end car accidents, it can also occur during high-impact sports or even physical abuse. It happens when a sudden impact causes the neck to unnaturally jolt backward and forward. This rapid action strains the soft tissues of the neck by causing some of the muscles and ligaments around the cervical vertebrae to tear.

Whiplash can cause pain way beyond the neck, expanding down to your arms, shoulders and even shoulder blades. Using a neck brace for whiplash, like the Thermoskin Soft Cervical Collar, can help alleviate these pain symptoms and provide your neck the support it needs as it begins to heal.

Wry neck – Wry neck is caused by a rapid movement of the neck while bending and lifting something heavy or twisting the neck, just to name a few examples. Imagine your head is in a diagonal position with the top of your head and bottom of your chin pointing at opposite ends. This twisted position is painfully uncomfortable around the lower neck and top spine, and you may experience other symptoms such as headaches and a lack of normal mobility in the neck.

Among stretching, massaging and getting plenty of rest, consider using a neck brace to support the affected facet joints or intervertebral disc. With proper care, wry neck is usually temporary and easy to correct.

Other injuries the Thermoskin neck brace is suitable for:
  • Neck strain
  • Pinched nerve
  • Facet joint pain in the back

How to Use

As a top quality neck brace for neck pain, this neck collar is incredibly easy to use. After measuring your neck and determining the correct size, all you have to do is follow two simple steps:
  1. Position your chin in the concave part of the collar.
  2. Wrap it around your neck using the adjustable fastener at the back to make sure it fits properly.
Have you ever had to use a neck brace like the Thermoskin Soft Cervical Collar? Tell us about your experience, and feel free to share any personal tips or advice you may have!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Understanding the Signs of Whiplash

Woman with neck pain from whiplash





While the winter months are enjoyable for a wide variety of reasons, this time of year also brings out some of the worst injuries among people both young and old. Cold temperatures and frost can leave roads icy and extremely dangerous, making the possibility of getting into a car crash much greater. In fact, recent studies have shown that in 2016 there were over 1,292 reported road deaths in Australia. With automobile accidents being such a pervasive threat in Australia, it is not only important to follow safe driving practices, but also to realise that even the smallest accidents can have a significant impact on your health. For example, whiplash, which is also referred to as a neck sprain or neck strain, is very common among those involved in car accidents, both big and small.

What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is typically characterized by a wide array of symptoms that occur right after the neck has been damaged and can affect the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments cervical muscles and nerve roots. As you can see, whiplash is a highly involved, painful and detrimental injury, so taking the necessary precautions to avoid it should be practiced at all times—especially during the winter months.

To fully understand the injury, you must first acknowledge what actually causes it in the first place. Whiplash is caused by a forceful backward and/or forward jerking motion of the head, which as aforementioned, is often the result of a car accident. Symptoms of the injury can  arise after 24 hours of the initial injury. While the symptoms may differ depending on the severity of the trauma or the individual affected, whiplash is typically characterized by the following conditions:
  • Unusual neck pain and stiffness 
  • Pain in lower back
  • Intense headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder or between shoulder blades
  • Dizziness 
  • Lack of memory or difficulty concentrating
  • Pain or numbness in the arms/hands
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances or fatigue

In most cases involving whiplash, injuries are made to soft tissues such as intervertebral discs, muscles and ligaments and cannot be seen through standard X-Ray machines. Because of this, specialized imagining tests, such as CT scans or MRI’s (magnetic resonance imaging) may be required to fully diagnose damages made to the discs, muscles or ligaments.

MRI for whiplash and neck pain

While there is no single treatment to aid in the recovery of whiplash, gentle exercises, physical therapy, traction, massage, heat, ice, injections and ultrasounds have all been helpful for a wide number of people affected.

Medical professionals also swear by treating whiplash injuries with immobilization in a cervical collar, which offers the damaged intervertebral discs, muscles and ligaments more protection during the healing process. Using products like the Thermoskin soft cervical neck brace can offer support and comfort to those experiencing neck trauma and whiplash, making them an affordable alternative to more expensive medical procedures. As we skate through the winter months here in Australia, it is important to adhere to proper driving practices and safety precautions to prevent injuries.


Have any tips on whiplash recovery? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Top 5 Exercises You Can Do Indoors

Man doing sit ups - iHealthSphere

As winter advances, temperatures decline, along with our desire to go outdoors. The warm welcome of the sun in summertime invites us outside to play, soak up vitamin D and exercise—all actions that improve our mood. During winter, the shorter days and cooler temperatures can really bog a person’s spirits down. Get rid of the winter blues with these indoor exercises to boost your mood and energy!

Yoga
Woman doing yoga
When it comes to increasing flexibility and strength, relieving stress and improving general state of mind, yoga is one of the longest-standing and most effective practices. While yoga classes are informative and helpful, you can practice yoga anywhere, including your living room floor or even your bed. Here are two simple yoga poses to try at home.

Downward Dog

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into your yoga mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

Cobra


  • Lie face down on the floor with thumbs directly under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor, and tuck hips downward as you squeeze your glutes.
  • Press shoulders down and away from ears.
  • Push through your thumbs and index fingers as you raise your chest toward the wall in front of you.
  • Relax and repeat.
Resistance Bands
If you want to improve strength without investing in various weights, a resistance band is a great alternative for targeting specific muscle groups and improving coordination. Inexpensive, light, and flexible, resistance bands are perfect for a quick workout at home when it’s too cold to make a trip to the gym. Here’s one way to use this toning tool.

Bicep Curl
  • Stand with both feet together, holding the handle of a resistance. band in either hand. Step both feet onto the middle of the band, hips-width distance apart.
  • Inhale, and as you exhale, simultaneously bend both elbows. Make sure you have the correct alignment.
  • As you inhale, straighten both your arms, coming back to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
  • Perform three sets of 15 reps.
Squats
Although many people like to utilize weights during squats, your own body weight is sufficient for toning muscles in your legs and glutes. Try these squats in the comfort of your home this winter, or switch things up with the pulsing variation.

Regular:
  • Just get into basic squat form, feet hip width apart, feet slightly pointed out. 
  • Squat down to where your knees reach a 90 degree angle. 
  • Try to maintain the weight through your heels as you push yourself back up to start. 
  • Remember to not lean forward and to maintain a flat back throughout the exercise
Pulse:
  • Get into basic squat form. 
  • Once you reach the bottom of the squat, instead of coming back up all the way, only come half way up, and then lower back down into the squat. 
  • Repeat this multiple times to “pulse”. You will really feel the burn with this one!

Stability Ball
Exercise balls (or stability balls) are more than just fun to bounce on. They also improve strength, cardio, and balance. These inflated balls are great for post-injury exercises because they can help reduce strain and pressure during workouts. Try this hip raise exercise to strengthen your whole body while practicing balance.


Hip Raise
  • Start by sitting on a stability ball and roll your body down by walking your feet forward until the ball meets your shoulder blades and your head is resting on the ball.
  • Place your hands on your hips, and keep your feet and knees hip-width apart and heels grounded. 
  • Squeeze your glutes and push your hips up to the ceiling creating a straight line from shoulders to your knees. 
  • Drop your butt back down and repeat.


Planks
Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the “plank” pose. This move strengthens your core, glutes, and hamstrings, supports good posture, and improves balance. Because they primarily target your core, planks are also good for reducing back pain. These two simple plank variations can be performed anywhere in your home where there’s flat ground.

Regular Plank:
  • Plant the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up.
  • Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  • Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.
  • Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.
Elbow Plank:
  • Get in the proper regular plank form.
  • Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. 
  • If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.


Did any of these exercises make it into your routine? Let us know in the comments!


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Relieve Chronic Joint Pain and Arthritis with Premax Muscle Cream

Winter is a physically troubling season for many. Whether you are an athlete or someone who suffers from seasonal joint pain, the achiness that tends to creep up during long winter months can be extremely debilitating. While joint pain can arise in individuals at any point during the year, the cold and wet months of the winter tend to make the pain much more difficult to cope with.

Although changes in temperature and weather are not directly correlated to the development of arthritis or other joint pains, these environmental changes can greatly worsen preexisting symptoms in individuals. In cold temperatures, our bodies tend to restrict blood flow to outer extremities, like our hands and feet, so it can focus on supplying vital organs with the nutrients it needs. Consequentially, our joints receive less blood and nutrients, making them more susceptible to pain and discomfort. Doctors have also noted that in the cold weather, the soft tissues around the joints become less pliable, so joints tend to feel tight and stiff. This stiffness is extremely hard to bear and can make the winter one of the most painful times of year for thousands of people nationwide.

Arthritis is one of the most common joint conditions, affecting nearly 4 million Australians. While it has the ability to affect people of all different ages, the condition is found primarily in older individuals above the age of 50. As we grow older, the cartilage that cushions our joints gradually diminishes, leading to painful rubbing of bone on bone. There are several different kinds of arthritis, but all of them involve the same problem, which is pain and inflammation in the joints. It is important to note that if your pain persists throughout the entire year, you consult your doctor about treatments that may be of a benefit to you.

But age isn’t the only cause of arthritis. Many athletes also tend to suffer from joint and muscle pain. In these cases, the pain doesn’t derive from the weakening of cartilage, but rather from overly strenuous work out routines. Athletes who continuously overwork their muscles often run into joint and muscle pain that can be especially debilitating as they grow older.
Luckily for both individuals and athletes, there are a variety of options to help minimise pain! Premax Original Muscle Cream is Australia’s most trusted massage cream, providing instant relief for even the most severe joint pain. Naturally made from a combination of beeswax, aloe vera, Vitamin E, lavender oil and peppermint oil, this cream is an excellent alternative to massage oils and carries a light, refreshing scent. Noted for its firm resistance, this cream allows the user to ‘gain traction’ to their painful area, making it easy to unknot tight muscle and joint pains. Premax Original is best suited to small to medium size treatment areas such as a calf, hamstring, neck or quadriceps and is perfect for both professional and at-home use. The muscle cream can be used for a wide variety of applications, including:


  • Sports Massages
  • Deep Tissue Massages
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Remedial Massages
  • Myofascial Release
  • Frictions
  • Neuromuscular Massages


Rehabilitating yourself from workout injuries or seasonal joint pain is easy with Premax massaging cream. To use, simply apply a small or large amount evenly to the affected area and massage as required. You will feel instant relief as you work out tense muscles and doing so will also promote blood flow to your joints, giving them the necessary nutrients and support they need to function properly.

Another problem that tends to arise during the winter season is dry, rough, or cracked skin. An added benefit of these creams is that they moisturize and help restore dead or dry skin cells. If you are experiencing any kind of joint pain—whether it be seasonal or due to physical activity—the Premax cream and lotion range can offer you the support and relief you deserve!