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Tag: back pain

For Relief from Back Pain, Try Arnica

Doesn’t it always go this way: you go through  an incredibly busy, stressful period in your life and then your body gives out and reminds you to slow down and taker care of yourself? That’s how I’m feeling about my back right now.

This fall has been an unending stream of physical and emotional demands and now my back muscles have been in spasms for almost two weeks. Beginning with the unexpected “freezer thaw” that challenged me to cook 100 lbs. of meat in one week and continuing with the basement flood and charity dance competition, my body has been working hard. That stress has been intensified by the emotional departure of my father-in-law from pneumonia and leukemia, followed a week later by my beloved uncle who had survived debilitating scleraderma for 8 years.

Our house has seen a lot of tears lately, and we miss them both. It feels too soon for my parents’ generation to begin dying off.

All of this stress has made me not feel like blogging much lately, but it’s the pain in my back from the muscle spasms that keeps the heating pad going all day long.

I had a therapeutic massage last week from my massage therapist, and it helped, but then I picked up a heavy bag and the agony started all over again.

Today, my sister reminded me that the last time this happened I found some relief by taking homeopathic arnica internally and also by rubbing arnica oil directly on the affected muscles. She was right: after just one dose of arnica, the muscle stopped spasming. The aching is still there, probably from the lactic acid build-up, but I will take another few doses over the course of the evening and will expect to have a better night tonight than last night.

I’m also going to get another massage, because, really, there is no substitute for hands-on work when it comes to tight muscles.

Sometimes everyone needs this kind of reminder to take care of themselves.  🙂

Computer Lap Desk: Save your back, wrists, etc. with the right equipment

As someone who has made my living writing for 15 years, I literally live on my keyboard. At the moment, it’s a laptop. Years ago, when I had my first laptop, I had weekly visits to the massage therapist to unwrench my back and wrist muscles. Too much time spent slumping on a lumpy old couch while using my laptop!

My lap desk up until a month ago has been one I literally purchased when I was in junior high and used paint pens to write my name in stick letters with big dots on the tips (this was the early 80s, after all!). It got me through high school, went to college with me, and has been with me all the time since. I use my lap desk to do everything from pay bills to read the paper. While it still functions, it’s seriously leaking beads and no amount of duct tape seems to fix it anymore. It’s time to let it go. Sniff.

Computer Lap DeskSo I began my search for a new lap desk. I wanted one that wasn’t too expensive (I found many for around $50!), would sit comfortably on my thighs, and wasn’t too big (some are extra-wide for setting on chair arms). What I found even had a non-stick surface so I won’t lose my laptop unexpectedly, a tray to hold pens, and — here’s the best part — a cushy wrist guard for my carpal-tunnel-prone forearms.

The black strip up the center is slightly recessed so it vents the heat from your laptop. Clever.

The only thing that took some getting used to is that the surface is foam and you need to add a harder surface when writing.

Ergonomics is an overlooked part of natural health, but if you can keep your body healthy and strong, then you won’t need to fix it.

I’m just so thrilled with my new computer lap desk that I wanted to share it with you. It’s even on sale right now for $19.99!