Best Ear Plugs for Sleeping

Women inserting foam ear plugs into ears

Use Ear Plugs to Block Out Sounds to Help You Sleep Properly

Did you know bed partner disturbance is the UK’s second most common cause of disturbed sleep.

Thankfully, ear plugs can help reduce noise at night!

Our brains still register sounds even when we are sleeping. Especially in the lighter phase of sleep which is a good thing when you have a crying baby and need to wake up; not good though if you have a snoring husband or wife.

As we get older our reported sleep quality declines with only 21% of 45-54 year olds reporting they sleep very well. (ref)

The good news is there are various solutions & remedies to help improve how well we sleep at night.

A simple health improvement tip is to try using a pair of ear plugs during sleep.

I’m going to share with you three recommended ear plug brands, I came across, if you are in the market looking for a earplugs for sleeping.

Top Rated Ear Plugs for Sleep

BrandMade FromNoise Reduction RatingReusablePrice
Mack's Ultra EarplugsFoam32 dBYesClick Here
Hush Plugz Silicone EarplugsSiliconeNot ListedYesClick Here
Quies Boules Natural Wax EarplugsNatural Wax27 dBYesClick Here

1. Mack’s Ultra Earplugs – Good Foam Earplugs

The Mack’s Ultra Earplugs are a good choice to help you sleep in silence.

McKeon Products, the company that owns Mack’s Earplugs, is based in Michigan and has been around since 1962. In addition to many varieties of earplugs, they also carry other sleeping products, including masks, nasal dilators, and earmuffs. Mack’s is the official ear care provider for USA Swimming. The company has been I.S.O. certified since 1997. (ref)

These earplugs come in a variety of amounts to buy, are reusable, and not expensive so you definitely get a lot for your money.

Foam is easy to insert into your outer ear canal and expands to fill it in. These are what you expect a typical ear plug to be like and help in noise reduction.

If you are looking to block out sounds at night from a partner’s snoring or heavy breathing, passing cars, motorbikes or lorries then these are a good option to go with.

Based on reviews from others, these earplugs might fall out of the ear at night. I find foam can also become uncomfortable after wearing for long periods of time, especially if you normally suffer itchy ears. So they may not be the most suitable product for nighttime use for some people.

  • Molded with skinned and tapered foam
  • Has a noise reduction rate of 32 decibels
  • Recommended for sleep as well as protection from loud power tools, concerts, and motor sports
  • Can be purchased in a variety of amounts, from 3 pairs to 200 pairs

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Most efficient level of noise reduction out of all products reviewed
  • Suitable for a variety of situations
  • McKeon Products has a long history of manufacturing high quality earplugs
  • McKeon Products specializes in earplugs
  • Not specifically designed for sleep—they are designed for multiple uses
  • Foam may not be the most comfortable material
  • May need to be trimmed to fit ear
Where to Buy
The Mack’s Ultra Earplugs are available to buy on Amazon here .

2. Hush Plugz Silicone Earplugs – Good For Sensitive Skin Ears

The Hush Plugz Silicone Earplugs are a good alternative to using foam or cotton wool for muffling noises at night.

Hush Plugz were created by Robinson Healthcare, which has been producing medical products since 1839, when the Crimean War sparked a high demand for wound care. Robinson Healthcare does not specialize in earplugs, but manufactures a wide variety of medical supplies and instruments. They have six varieties of earplugs for a variety of uses. The company has been I.S.O. certified since 2003. (ref)

These earplugs may be particularly beneficial for people who are prone to ear infections, as they create a seal in the ear, preventing bacteria from entering. They also come with a pen that contains a unique active agent that is moulded into the pen, & is said to be able to kill 99.9% of all harmful bacteria & viruses.

Based on reviews from others, these earplugs may be too big for small ear sizes. Their slightly sticky material may also cause long hair for women to get stuck to them at night.

  • Made of silicone for maximum comfort and noise reduction
  • Does not list the noise reduction rate
  • Recommended primarily for swimming and other water sports, but can also be used for sleeping as well as protection from loud events
  • Can be purchased in pairs of 7

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Silicone material prioritizes comfort
  • Material molds to different ear shapes and sizes, creating a tight seal and reducing the risk of infection
  • The company has a long history of making high quality products
  • This line is designed primarily for swimming and other water sports
  • Noise reduction rate is unknown
  • The company does not specialize in earplugs, so there may be a quality gap
Where to Buy
The Hush Plugz Silicone Earplugs are available to buy on Amazon here .

3. Quies Boules Natural Wax Earplugs – Good Natural Earplugs

The Quies Boules Natural Wax Earplugs are recommended for people looking for a natural material option.

Quies (Latin for “quiet”) has been around for almost a century—since 1921. Up until the 1960s, Quies earplugs were made by hand. They offer a wide variety of earplugs for different purposes. Other sleeping products offered by Quies include eye masks, and anti-snoring spray, nasal strips, and lozenges. The company has been I.S.O. certified since 2011. (ref)

Due to their natural wax material, they are reported to be very comfortable for most shapes of ears. They warm upon contact with the skin and become moldable to the shape of your ear canal.

Based on reviews from others, these earplugs might not appear easy to put into your ears. Some have struggled understanding how to use the wax or hadn’t know to take off the cotton wool around them before inserting them.

  • Made from natural wax and hypoallergenic cotton
  • Has a noise reduction rate of 27 decibels
  • Recommended primarily for sleep, but can also be used for protection from loud concerts and heavy machinery
  • Can be purchased in pairs of 8

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Safe for prolonged periods of use, such as during sleep
  • Natural wax material warms and conforms to your ear shape for better comfort
  • Designed primarily for sleep
  • Quies has a long history of making high quality earplugs
  • Quies specializes in earplugs
  • Noise reduction is not as efficient as other brands
  • Wax must be manually molded before inserting into ear
Where to Buy
The Uvex Skyper with SCT Orange lens tint glasses are available to buy on Amazon here .

Buyers Guide Information

I know you were looking for what are the best options, but here is some more detail as to why we need earplugs to help us sleep at night.

What are Earplugs and What Do They Do?

Earplugs are small inserts that seal the ear canal from excessive sounds. They are mainly designed to reduce noise perception to either minimize damage to the eardrum or improve concentration and relaxation.

They can also be used to prevent water from entering the ear canal, thereby reducing infection during swimming or other water-based activities.

Types of Earplugs Available

Different types of earplugs available to buy vary by noise reduction rating (NRR), performance, comfort, and durability.

  • Disposable
  • Reusable
  • Hard silicone
  • Soft silicone
  • Wax
  • Foam
  • Rubber
  • Pre-molded

Example Noises in Decibels

Here is a list of some common noises measured decibels (dB):

Excessive Noise Ratings in Decibels

Painful NoiseExtremely Loud NoiseVery Loud NoiseModerate NoiseFaint Noise
150 dB - Rock Concerts at Peak110 dB - Machinery, Model Airplanes80 dB - Alarm Clock, Busy Street50 dB - Moderate Rainfall30 dB - Whisper, Quiet Library
140 dB - Firearms, Air-Raid Siren, Jet Engine100 dB - Snowmobile, Chain saw, Pneumatic Drill70 dB - Vacuum Cleaner40 dB - Quiet room
130 dB - Jackhammer90 dB - Lawnmower, Shop Tools, Truck Traffic, Subway60 dB - Conversation, Dishwasher
120 dB - Jet Plane Take-off, Amplified Music at 4-6 ft., Car Stereo, Band Practice


Here is a list of sounds levels in decibels that are known to affect sleep quality and health:

  • To avoid negative effects – 30 dB
  • Changes to sleep stages – 35 dB
  • Increase in heart rate – 40 dB
  • Subjective reports on sleep quality – 40 dB
  • Waking during the night – 60 dB
  • Change in mood next day – 60 dB
  • Hearing loss – 70 dB


When to Use Ear Plugs to Help Improve Sleep?

Loud noises can interrupt sleep, and experiencing interrupted sleep on a regular or long-term basis can have detrimental consequences when it comes to your health. Among other things, sleep deprivation has been linked to cardiovascular disease. (ref)

Earplugs can be a helpful remedy for people in difficult sleeping situations, such as:

  • People who sleep next to partners who are heavy snorers
  • People who have to sleep in a noisy environment (i.e. traffic noise, noisy neighbors, college dorms, etc.)
  • People who are traveling and need to rest on a plane, train, or bus

Benefits of Blocking Out Noise When Sleeping

Noise during the night can have both positive and negative influences on sleep quality. Gentle, constant background noise, such as from gentle rain, can block out disruptive sounds such as traffic noise or loud neighbors. But intermittent, grating sounds, such as a thunderstorm or a partner snoring, can interrupt sleep and contribute to lower sleep quality.

Here are some benefits to blocking out noise while sleeping:

  • You will sleep more restfully, which results in higher alertness throughout the day
  • You may find that you need less sleep, because your sleep is not interrupted by loud noises
  • You will fall asleep faster


Is It Safe to Wear Earplugs When Sleeping?

You may have some reservations about the side-effects of sleeping with earplugs. There are some small risks associated with wearing earplugs at night. These include ear infections, muffled hearing, and impacted ear wax. (ref)

However, there are ways to reduce these risks:

  • Regularly clean reusable earplugs
  • Don’t reuse disposable earplugs
  • Take a night off from wearing earplugs every now and then

How to Clean Earplugs

If you choose to use reusable ear plugs, it is important to keep them clean. Although you should not reuse disposable earplugs, if you do, these also need to be kept clean.

Follow these steps to keep your earplugs clean.

For a light wash or to remove earwax:

  1. Soak the ear plugs in hydrogen peroxide for a couple of minutes
  2. Rinse with cold water
  3. Dry between two clean towels
  4. Mold them gently back into shape as much as possible
  5. Let them dry completely before reusing

For a heavier wash or to remove dirt:

  1. Pour water into a small bowl & mix in dish detergent
  2. Soak the earplugs in the mixture, using your fingers to gently rub away dirt
  3. Rinse with cold water, making sure to remove all of the soap
  4. Dry between two clean towels
  5. Mold them gently back into shape as much as possible
  6. Let them dry completely before reusing


Other Sleep Improvement Products

Best Blue Light Blocking Glasses 2017

Blue light blocking glasses

Different coloured lenses to use to block blue light

Did you know that man-made blue light is bad for your brain?

But not only our brain health, but eyes too!

Artificial blue light spectrum emitted from LED & LCD lightbulbs is a modern day health problem for millions of people. Let me explain.

It is incredible how humans discovered how to make light using electricity! However, we have now discovered that that same indoor light can harm our brain function.

The good news is there are solutions and remedies available. So we can still go on living under artificial light to enjoy our social times in the evenings, but not harm our brain health anymore.

A simple health hack is to wear a pair of blue light blocking glasses.

I’m going to share with you my four recommended brands if you are in the market looking for a pair of blue blocking glasses.

Top Rated Blue Light Blocking Glasses

BrandSizing OptionsWeight of FramesPrice
SwanniesRegular or Small3.6 ouncesClick Here
Duco Computer GlassesOne Size Fits All0.7 ouncesClick Here
Uvex SkyperOne Size Fits All2.9 ouncesClick Here

1. Swannies – Best Sleeping Glasses

The Swannies are made by Swanwick Sleep.

James Swanwick is the man behind the brand. He had the idea to develop these dark amber lenses to help people sleep better at night.

Blue light emitted from fluorescent bulbs & from our mobile phones, laptops and TV screens disturbs our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is our internal body clock. This clock helps us wake up and fall asleep at the right times.

James recommends putting the swannies on 1-2 hours before you know you want to go to bed. However, these aren’t just designed to be sleep glasses.

This same artificial blue spectrum that keeps you awake can also damage our eyes. Some researchers believe it is a contributing factor to age related macular degeneration and other ocular pathologies.(1)

 Swannies were a BIG hit at the Bulletproof Conference on biohacking health. 

Biohackers are always looking for optional health. I saw hundreds of people wearing their swannies for eye & brain health at the conference. So you can wear them when indoors when you have to be under bright fluorescent light.

  • Size: regular, small, kids
  • Color options: black, tortoise shell, prescription glasses fit-overs, child frames
  • Weight: 3.6 ounces

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Classic frame design that will suit majority of face shapes
  • Strong blue blocking dark amber colour
  • Different sizing options & colours for men, women & children
  • FDA registered glasses
  • Endorsed by famous biohackers like Ben Greenfield & Dave Asprey
  • Kids size range of frames
  • Frame styling might suit everyone
  • Not wrap around lenses so won’t block light from all angles
  • Lens colour might be too dark to use during the day, so more suited for evening wear or very bright rooms
Where to Buy
The Swannies are available to buy on Amazon here .

2. Duco Computer Glasses

The Duco Anti-Blue Light Glasses are very comfortable to wear all day.

These were my first pair of blue blocking glasses. I personally bought the lighter lens colour option to start, which is a lighter yellow hue.

The reason I went with the yellow lens vs amber lens was so I could wear them around the office during the day. I didn’t want to stand out too much by walking around with dark lenses indoors, and also dealing with the public at work.

 These particular lenses are fantastic if you work on a computer during the day. 

The were designed as blue light protection glasses to help minimise eye strain when looking at a screen. I feel they do that job very well.

What like about these is that they are so light you hardly feel them on your face. The bendable arms on make them very comfortable to wear as they adjust to my head width. If you have a wide head and find some frames are too narrow get these as they will bend to your head shape & still feel good.

 I would suggest getting a pair of these plus the darker red/amber lenses frames so that you can switch between which ones you wear during the daytime and nighttime. 

The nice thing is Duco make a darker tint too for maximum protection of the blue spectrum. Those are these Duco Pro Amber glasses.

  • Size: one size fits most
  • Color options: black with gray arms
  • Weight: 0.7 ounces

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Very lightweight frames
  • Perfect for daytime wear at a job
  • Arms that bend to feel very comfortable behind your ears
  • Classic rectangle rim design
  • Made to help prevent common dry, red eyes from computer glare
  • Popular with gamers as gaming glasses since it won’t interfere with a headset
  • One size only so might not suit if looking for smaller tighter frames
  • The light tint Duco’s are not the best for maximum blue filtering. For high protection fro blue light at night go with the Duco Pro Amber glasses option
Where to Buy
The Duco computer glasses are available to buy on Amazon here .

3. Uvex Skyper – Best Wrap Around Glasses

The Uvex S1933X Skyper Safety Eyewear is very popular set of frames for many people concerned about excessive blue light through their eyes.

The brand were one of the original glasses available on the market to buy.

 These glasses are designed to help block light coming in from all around our eyes.  

The other frames are designed to block the light when you look straight ahead like normal sunglasses. The Uvex lenses help to block light streaming into your peripheral vision fields too.

If you are looking for maximum protection or are sensitive to any form of light then wrap around lenses are necessary.

The SCT orange lens tint are said to help Computer Vision Syndrome. This for people who are damaging their eyes from computer screen glare. The claim to help improve focus, reduces eye fatigue and help inhibit vision problems, like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

They aren’t the most stylish as they were designed as safety glasses for dental hygienists and lab technicians. So they aren’t made to look cool at a regular smartly dressed admin office job, unless you work in a science lab of course.

  • Size: one size fits most
  • Color options: black
  • Weight: 2.9 ounces

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Cheapest Option
  • Absorbs 98% blue light away from your eyes
  • Can fit over prescription glasses
  • Covers the complete eyeball from top, bottom and sides.
  • Three adjustable arm length options
  • Replaceable lens system
  • Made in the U.S.A
  • Not designed to look like normal sunglasses or prescription eyewear
  • Some feel it doesn’t fit well over prescription frames
  • Can feel too big for smaller head size users faces
Where to Buy
The Uvex Skyper with SCT Orange lens tint glasses are available to buy on Amazon here .

Other Sleep Improvement Products

How to Read Scientific Journal Articles for Free Using extension review

Read Research Papers for Free Using

Did you know that you can legally read scientific journal articles for free even if they are behind a paywall?

Well you can now.

You can do this using, a free, legal online service that I’ll show you how to use in the post below.

This is my review of, a non-profit organisation that has made my fact checking life a whole lot easier.

The Open Access to Science Articles Debate

open access to science research data

Why Open Access Data is Important

It appears that there is a growing movement to create open access for anyone in the world to read journal articles.

This is one of those disruptive industries taking something that is currently, very expensive and finding a way to make it accessible to millions.

Major academic journal publishers make a big profit from universities, colleges, libraries and individuals who take out subscriptions to journals that they publish.

Then the publishers also offer you a pay per article vs a subscription route, which is very pricey. In my video below you’ll see the pay as you go prices range from $15- $36+ USD per article!

So you can see why a publisher might not want the research article pdf available for free to download. They are there to make a profit at the end of the day, which is fine.

I didn’t know that there are five major publishers in the world who control the scientific research being shared.

You can read more on the debate of this oligopoly of academic publishers in the digital era here.

However, their concerns of loss of income from this this new type of disruptive internet service might not be an issue. According to Prof. Martin Eve this free tool might not affect subscription rates.

I guess many might argue against this search tool that lets you easily find these free access pdf’s.

❤️ I personally love the idea!

Who wouldn’t want an efficient legal way to find free information? That is the power of the internet!

The Founders is founded by the same two founders of

  1. Heather Piwowar
  2. Jason Priem

It officially launched on 4 April 2017 and has had more than 10,000 downloads in just its first few weeks.

Is UnPayWall Illegal?

No. finds PDFs that were legally uploaded by the authors from different open-access repositories databases worldwide. These legal articles are then accessed on demand by using a free, fast, open API.

unpaywall instructions

The Legal Way to Find Open Access Papers

There is an illegal competitor out there called Sci-Hub. Apparently, they use a scraping method which means they can find PDFs online that weren’t shared with an authors permission. So this would be the pirate option for those looking.

How to Use Extension

Installation Instructions

Here are the steps that you need to do to install the unpaywall extension:

  1. Go to
  2. Choose either the official Chrome Browser Extension or Firefox Add-On
  3. Follow the steps in your browser to activate the extension/add-on
  4. Done

It really is that easy. No you are good to good to go hunting for free pdf’s which I’ll show you how in the next steps.

How to Use

Now that you have installed on your browser you want to use it see if you finally read the full text article of a research article vs the Pubmed summary only.

1. Navigate to the article on the journal website
You can’t use the Pubmed url page. You need to go the article page on the journal’s website. It is easy to do by following the link from Pubmed as you can see below.
2. Look for the green lock badge
If there is a free pdf version on the web then unpaywall will show a green unlocked icon on the right side of your browser

unpaywall free pdf badge example

Look for the Green Unlocked Badge

3. Click the Green Unlocked Badge
When you click the green badge then you will be taken to the the pdf they found in a new tab on your browser.

That is all you need to do, which is so simple.

You might see this grey badge sometimes, which means no free pdf was found.

Unpaywall Grey Badge Example

No Free PDF Found Example

Optional Settings

Badge OA Source Colour

You can set the colour of the badge to show three different types of open access sourcing.

  • Green – means it is a Green OA article on a preprint server or institutional repository.
  • Gold – means it is a Gold OA article available from the publisher under an open license.
  • Blue – means it is a Blue OA article that is available, but lacking license information.
Different OA source badge colours option

Example of different colour badges as optional setting

To be able to do this option follow these steps:

  1. Click the unpaywall icon in your browser window
  2. Go to settings
  3. Check “Color-code tab for Green and Gold OA”
Hide Certain Content Sources

This is an option to hide content sourced from

  • ResearchGate,
  • Researcher homepages,
  • Some IR’s (a.k.a institutional repository).

Apparently this option can decrease sourcing coverage by about 20%.

To be able to do this option follow these steps:

  1. Click the unpaywall icon in your browser window
  2. Go to settings
  3. Check “Hide content from less trusted sources”

Others Ways to Find Research PDF’s Online

You can also try these three other options

1. PubMed Institutional Repository LinkOut
Click on one of the link out badge or text link options that take you to the free PDF directly from the PubMed summary page. Click here to find out more.
2. Open Access Button
Another open access legal free way to get around paywall research articles. Search there database plus be able to send a request for access to the owner from their website. Click here to find out more.
3. Use Google Advance Operator Search
Use Google to try find a research pdf online using the filetype:pdf search operator. For example copy this with your custom title into a google search box to see how it works – filetype:pdf “Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles”. Click here to use the advanced search operators page.


I hope you found this tutorial useful.

If you are a chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist you’ll understand how cool this new technology is helping practitioners who no longer have access to a uni library. Students don’t always realise the benefit they get with access to so many journals via their educational institutions subscription.

Here is a list Chiropractic research journals works on or are open access:

I’m sure this service is going to grow and I hope I can help it go viral so that more people get to read the full length articles to get better informed and so make better health decisions.

Best Lumbar Support Cushions

Best back support cushions for lower back painHave you been feeling that you need some extra support for your lower back when sitting down?

Does your lower back ache when sitting?

What you can do is use a good lumbar support cushion.


These cushions are designed to:

  • Follow the natural contour of the lumbar spine,
  • To help fill in the air gap between the back of a chair and you &
  • To gently push into your spine to help you relax your posture muscles from excess tension.

However, which one should you choose?

I’ve looked at different options for you to help you find the perfect one for your situation.

Top Rated Back Support Cushions

Below you will find three products I would recommended. This should help you if you are in the market looking for which is the best back support cushion to buy no matter your budget.

1. Medipaq 3D Lumbar Cushion – Ideal for Office Chairs

The Medipaq 3D Lumbar Cushion is a well designed back support cushion.

The Medipaq is made from memory foam (a.k.a visco-elastic). You might know I’m a big fan of memory foam pillows. The same goes for lumbar supports made from memory foam.

They are comfortable to sit against and feel supportive on the spine and muscles.

It is intersting to see the manufacturer states the density of their memory foam being 4lbs.

The cushion has the typical lumbar lordosis curve you’d expect, but, with an added bump. This unique feature appears to give a little extra focal point of support. This is to enhance the support feeling directly over the mid-lumbar region where our lordotic curve is at the deepest point.

  • Size: 34 x 35 x 12 cm
  • Color options: black, blue, grey, pink, green
  • Weight: 300 grams

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Ergonomically contoured to support either deep or flat curved lower backs
  • Travel friendly can be used in a small car, vans or a large lorry for truck drivers
  • Removable mesh fabric cover for easy cleaning
  • Adjustable strap to use on an office chair
  • 4lbs memory foam designed to help even heavier people
  • Memory foam can feel hot to sit against for a long time.
  • Some users might feel it is not forgiving enough or too large for smaller frame people, like petite females.
Where to Buy
The Medipaq 3D back cushion is available to buy on Amazon here .

2. Original McKenzie Lumbar Super Roll – Best for Car

The McKenzie lumbar rolls are very well designed to help lower back pain.

The McKenzie cushion range has four product options.

  1. McKenzie 4 inch lumbar roll
  2. McKenzie 5 inch lumbar roll
  3. McKenzie D-Shaped roll
  4. McKenzie Super roll

I feel, for most people, the best option is to go with the McKenzie super roll. If you need something that is firmer or longer then one of the other three would be a good choice.

The Super roll is designed to fit nicely in most kinds of backed seats, like a mobility chair. It should fit snuggly in the lumbar region when leaning back on it. It has a flat edge so that it doesn’t roll up and down easily in a chair, once you’ve placed it at your desired height level.

If you have been told you have a more pronounced lumbar lordotic curvature, then you might be better to go with the D-Shaped roll. This option has a deeper 13cm vs the 6cm depth compared to the Super roll.

Take note that the 4 inch & 5 inch rolls are circular and don’t have a flat side. I feel these circular rolls are good for using on a sofa, or, if you need even more depth.

  • Size: varies depending on product choosen
  • Color options: black
  • Weight: 290 grams

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Designed by back pain specialist, Robin McKenzie, whose books I highly recommend
  • Travel friendly can be used in a small car, vans or a large lorry for truck drivers
  • Removable mesh fabric cover for easy cleaning
  • Thick adjustable strap to fix the height on the chairs backing
  • More discrete so not bulky & noticeable like the other options
  • Made from standard density foam not memory foam.
  • Can be confusing which option to choose.
Where to Buy
The McKenzie Super Lumbar Roll is available to buy on Amazon here .

3. MemorySoft Lumbar Support Cushion

The Memorysoft memory foam back cushion is a great simple pillow support.

This is a classic shaped back cushion compared to the Medipaq option above.

This cushion is perfect if you need a decent, smart looking lumbar support to use around the office, or even on a luxury car seat.

The anatomical design is meant to help follow the angle of the small of the lower back.

If you feel that you need a quick fix for a chair vs getting an ergonomic office chair, this will do the job.

I do like how neatly tucked away the strap is that goes round the back of a chair.

If you feel confused as to which way up or down it needs to go, don’t worry, quite a few people feel the same. You put the wider (thicker) part at the bottom and the more narrow (thinner) edge at the top. Some might feel they like it the other way round for whatever reason.

  • Size: 34.5 x 32.5 x 10.4 cm
  • Color options: black
  • Weight: 590 grams

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Use at home, in the car or at in an office job
  • Removable mesh fabric cover for easy cleaning
  • Adjustable strap to set the height it sits on the back of a chair
  • Good to use on a dinning room chair or in a nursing home to add some extra comfort
  • Not as deep as the Medipaq
  • Size might be an issue in more narrow car seats
Where to Buy
The Memorysoft Lumbar Support cushion is available to buy on Amazon here .

Benefits of Lumbar Support Cushions

Anatomy of the spine

Support Your Spinal Anatomy

  • Help ease lower back ache
  • Take some pressure off the lumbar discs
  • Ideal for L4-5 or L5-S1 disc herniation or bulge patients
  • Can help sciatica in the leg
  • Help prevent excessive slouching
  • Aid in relaxing lower back muscle strain

There are different reasons people might look at using an ergonomic support, like a cushion.

The ultimate goal is to use a product that follows the natural lordosis curvature found in the lower back region.

Our seated lumbar spinal curve, when at the proper angle, is designed to evenly distribute our body weight across joints, muscles, discs and ligaments. If this curve is over arching or is too flat, you might get back pain (a.k.a lumbago).

This is why a soft chair can make you slump too much by sinking into it. You could also be on a seat that is too hard and uncomfortable so you end up sitting on the edge.

Using a portable device, like a lumbar support cushion, can help mitigate the issues that come with prolonged sitting a.k.a 23.5 Hour Disease.

Humans are not designed to sit in an office chair all day. That is why so many people who have to work on a computer all day feel they need an ergonomic support.

Points to Answer Before Buying

Here are some questions I feel you need to answer before deciding, which product to go ahead & purchase.

Back support for a mobility scooter seat

Different seats mean different needs

  1. Who will be using it? A person on a mobility scooter (like in the picture) has different needs compared to an office worker who can get up and down from a chair easily. Same goes for an elderly person in a nursing home vs a younger adult.
  2. Is the cushion the right size for you? If you have a smaller frame or body weight then your needs are different to someone who is a plus size in weight or over 6 foot tall.
  3. What seat will you use it on? Different cushions can work better on certain types of seats. You can get away with a bulky support on an office chair but it might not fit nicely in a car seat when you are driving.
  4. How long will you be sitting at a time? Sitting for short periods means you might be able to need a minimal cushion. However, if you are a IT person who is stuck behind a desk all day then you need something a bit more maybe.
  5. How warm is it where you will be using it? Some people might want the see through mesh supports on the market. These are great for not making you sweat on your lower back. However, they lose their shape easily, that is why I didn’t add an option above.

I hope this helps guide you where to look for the bets solution. If you need anymore tips check out my how to help a trapped nerve in your lower back page that has more information.

Golfer’s Elbow Treatment Guide

How to Treat Golfers Elbow

Sore Inside Elbow

Did you know that pain on the inside of the elbow might be something called golfers elbow?

The strange part is it isn’t only golfers who are looking for treatment of the condition.

Affecting thousands of golfers every year, golfer’s elbow can be extremely frustrating and debilitating if left untreated.

The injury is not just limited to golf players though, many tennis players, baseball players, squash and badminton players also suffer from the problem.

To help you understand the injury better and how best to treat it, I have outlined all you need to know below about golfer’s elbow.

What is Golfer’s Elbow?

 Golfers elbow is medically known as medial epicondylitis or medial epicondylalgia. 

It is a common condition in which pain develops on the inside (medial aspect) of a person’s elbow. It is a tendinopathy of the origin of the flexor/pronator tendons at the elbow. If severe, the pain can sometimes extends down the forearm and into the person’s wrist.

The injury is very similar to that of tennis elbow whereas in that case the pain is felt on the outside (lateral aspect) of the elbow instead.

 The pain is caused by micro-tears to specific elbow tendons. 

This occurs in either the tenoperiosteal junction (tendon to bone attachment) or the musculotendinous junction (muscle to tendon attachment). Painful inflammation of the affected tendons is the result and this can cause many golfers to stop altogether when not treated properly.

Since the soft tissue injury is classified as a tendonpathy, that means it can include tendonitis (inflammation) or tendonosis (degeneration) of the tendons.

The ICD 10 code is M77.0 for medical insurance billing purposes.

Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow

The symptoms of golfer’s elbow are fairly specific. So you, or your chiropractor, should have no trouble in diagnosing the issue.

Common symptoms that sufferers describe can include:

  • Pain, bruised feeling, or tenderness to touch on the bony prominence on the inside of your elbow.
  • The elbow pain typically worsens with certain movements of the wrist, fingers or arm like gripping.
  • Your elbow may possibly feel stiff on bending it.
  • It might be painful to make a clenched fist.
  • Weakness in the hands or wrists joints when active.
  • Numbness or tingling. Although not as common, numbness or tingling is often felt in one or more fingers when active.
Remember, the pain from golfers elbow is not just restricted to playing golf or racket sports.

Paul Bradshaw, ex-PGA pro and Editor-in-chief at Golf Assessor told me his mistake was he played through the pain for many months, thereby extending his recovery period.

When he had the condition, he could barely lift his golf bag with his right arm, even before he hit a ball. Certain movements would may bring on the pain suddenly such as lifting, twisting, hitting, shaking etc…

If you feel the pain start, you need to stop what you’re doing immediately!

Causes of Golfer’s Elbow

Baseball grip on a golf club

Example of a Non-Overlapping Baseball Grip in Golf

As the name suggests, golf is certainly one of the major causes of golfer’s elbow due to the stress the elbow tendons are put under through each swing, particularly if a non-overlapping (baseball style) grip is used.

Poor technique is certainly one of the factors as a smooth, compact swing will always be less stressful upon your elbow.

 However, many people develop golfer’s elbow having never played the game. 

The damage upon the tendons is generally related to excess or repeated stress. The inital cause of the damage is generally linked to excess, or repeated, stress through forceful wrist and finger motions.

This can be caused by repetitive motions such as:

  • Improper throwing,
  • Improper lifting,
  • Improper hitting a ball.

Failing to warm up (and cool down) correctly can also have a major impact upon developing the condition. Weight training and climbing are two examples where warm-up technique is key.


The easiest way to test is through a simple physical examination.

Since the pain originates from the wrist flexor and pronator tendons then resisted wrist flexion, or pronation, muscle testing can reproduce the patients pain.

There is no specific named orthopaedic tests.

Palpation of anatomical landmarks can pin point the painful location over the:

  1. The medial epicondyle of the humerus bone or,
  2. The flexor-pronator mass.

The flexor-pronator mass is made up of these five muscles:

  1. Pronator Teres
  2. Flexor Carpi Radialis
  3. Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  4. Palmaris Longus
  5. Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

Do you need an x-ray, MRI or ultrasound scan?

Not normally.

X-rays will not show the soft tissue damage, whereas an MRI can help for a chronic pain situation or for other differential diagnosis like an ulnar collateral ligament tear (a.k.a “Tommy John” ligament in baseball).

Differential Diagnoses

Other conditions to consider when someone has pain over the inside of the elbow include:

Treatment Options

The pain of golfer’s elbow shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the golf course or any other activities you love.

The key though is catching it early and treating early!

A good rest period and appropriate treatment will see you back in the ‘swing’ of things in no time.

Self-Treatment at Home

#1 Rest from Activity
I know this can be hard, particularly for athletes, professional or amateur, but a period of rest from sport helps cure the issue. How long you need to stop playing depends. However, make sure you don’t rush back into the activity.
#2 Ice the Elbow.
When the tendons become torn, the area suffers acute inflammation. One of the best ways to treat this is with a good old-fashioned ice pack like this one from Amazon. You could try massage an ice cube directly over the painful area too. Make sure to ice the area at least 3-4 times per day for 15-20 minutes. Keep this up for a week & see how it feels.
#3 Try an Elbow Brace
Some people swear by the brace treatment solution. The idea of the epicondyle brace is to wear it as a counter force, thereby, taking some of the load off your elbow tendons. Be warned though, this is a not a solution to rest. This golfers elbow strap from Amazon should do the job.
#4 Pain Relievers
You can try over the counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) from your local pharmacy like diclofenac sodium or ibuprofen. They can help reduce swelling and pain levels. However, this is a quick fix to cover up pain and won’t speed up healing! At times, even a cortisone injection is needed.
#5 Strengthening Exercises
This exercise is both good to do when you are in pain, but also you can use it to try prevent golfer’s elbow from happening. The Reverse Tyler Twist exercise is a good remedy for the problem. It also helps in avoiding getting it again in the future by strengthening the muscles & tendons. You can see how to do the recommended exercise in the step by step instruction video below.

Reverse Tyler Twist Exercise

This is the reverse of the same rehab exercise used to treat tennis elbow.

All you will need is a Flexbar from Theraband to do this golfer’s elbow exercise.

Start with an easy level red Flexbar first then progress to intermediate level green Flexbar then finally to hardest level blue Flexbar.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Hold onto one end of the Flexbar with the painful elbow and wrist flexed (i.e. palm facing you)
  2. Grasp the other end of the Flexbar with the non-painful elbow and wrist facing down to the floor
  3. Twist the Flexbar with the hand on the non-painful side. The aim is to keep the painful side palm facing you and not moving.
  4. Slowly extend both your arms out in front of you. This is to create elbow extension on both sides.
  5. Now slowly bend the painful side wrist into extension (i.e. away from you)
  6. Done. Now repeat from step 1 again for another repetition. Aim to try do 15 reps of 3 sets per day.

Medical Treatments

You may need hands on care to assist you if things are not coming right by yourself.

  • Start with a manual therapist like a chiropractor, physiotherapist or osteopath
  • Try kinesio tape strapping
  • Ask about Active Release Technique,  IASTM or Dry Needling (acupuncture) treatments
  • Consult a sport doctor for PRP injections or an orthopaedic surgeon for a corticosteroid injection


There is no getting around it, golfer’s elbow is a frustrating and painful injury that stops thousands of people from enjoying the activities they love.

With good rest from aggravating activities & proper physical therapy manual treatment though, the injury shouldn’t take you out of action for too long & help avoid any thoughts of needing elbow surgery.

Further Reading

How to Avoid Lower Back Pain From Gardening

How to Prevent Back Pain from GardeningDo you love gardening, but end up suffering with lower back pain or joint pain after it?

You aren’t the only avid gardener with this issue.

I get to see it often in Spring and Summer times.

A common cause of lower back pain is when people get outside to make the garden look good during nice weather days. Whilst the sun is out the urge to get out & pick out the weeds, turn the flower beds or cut back the hedges is so tempting.

It is unfortunate that too many people end up suffering, to some degree, by doing a hobby they love, like gardening. There is a kind of joy & pleasure to be had from cleaning up the back yard and making your front lawn look pristine and manicured.

Some try wait it out thinking it will be a temporary problem that will ease in a couple of days. However, more often than not you know about it for days after.

Todays goal is to find out how to keep you enjoying doing gardening chores so you can toil away at the never ending project of creating & maintaining your garden.

You should be able to do some planting, mowing, weeding, mulching, etc… In order to do so you might need to take some precautions that will help you to avoid the initial small injuries from the overworking of your lower back muscles.

Tip #1 Warm-Up Preparation is Key

Preparing for the tasks you intend to perform outside can go a long way in easing the effects of the work on your body.

First, you should remember that:

All gardening & yard activity is decent physical exercise!

You should treat it as such. Therefore, if you get back pain when working in the garden then you need to follow a warm-up routine just like you would with any gym workout.

The benefit of warming up is that your muscles & joints will work better & hopefully not get so strained and inflamed.

How to Warm-up Before Gardening Tips

Here are three simple steps to take before you start gardening.

1. Do Light Exercise
Gentle walking to warm-up

Try a light stroll to get moving

Lighter exercises & movements are best prior to any activity.

What you are trying to achieve is getting warm blood pumping through cold muscles. Not only that, but getting your brain working and the nerves firing to muscle you need to use for the activities to be done.
Practically, this means doing a quick walk around the perimeter of the lawn (use this time to think of what task to do first), jogging on the spot on the grass or a compost heap, a brief cycle on a stationary bike etc…
2. Do Dynamic Stretching
Women trying to warm-up with stretching exercise

Avoid static stretching

I did my year long research study on benefits & risks of stretching back in 2003. What I discovered was don’t do bounce stretches (a.k.a ballistic stretching); this actually harms the muscles. I prefer gentle dynamic stretches.

An example for the lower back region would be standing & leaning back into your lower back then stand upright again. This bending backwards will help motion the lumbar spine joints into extension which they like. Then I would do some slow, controlled flexion moves trying to touch my toes then rolling my spine back up to an upright position.
An example for your neck, upper back & shoulders I would slowly rotate the neck side to side within comfort range. Then do some of these chin tuck rehab movements. For the shoulders do some internal and external rotation movements. This is as simple as having your arms hanging by your side and turning the hands so you see the palms then turn them over to face behind you.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drink thirst refreshing water for hydration

Drink some natural flavoured water

Dehydration is a real issue many adults have. Do you just drink cups of tea or coffee instead & had no water today? Being properly hydrated allows our muscles to function properly.

Remember, when you are digging away at a soil bed or ripping out weeds you’re are sweating too. Perspiration means a loss of water and minerals which can lead to muscle cramping & spasms.
Prior to beginning your outdoor tasks, drink an entire glass of water to assure that you start out hydrated. Then, fill a water bottle to carry with you outside so you can continue to easily & conveniently maintain hydration levels throughout your chores. If you are outside for long periods of time, take breaks to refill so you are never out of water.

Now lets move on to what to do when you are doing the jobs outside that need doing.

Tip #2 Proper Bending, Lifting & Posture

General poor posture and improper lifting techniques are two common biomechanical issues for most people. They are also two of the most common ways that cause people to injure themselves.

Poor movement habits leads to fatigue on the joints, discs and muscles around the spine. Moving more efficiently will help you to prevent the fatigue problem & avoid severe back pain episode.

How to Bend & Move Better During Gardening Tips

  • Bend From Your Hips, Not Your Back – Have you read how to do a hip hinge yet? Learning how to bend over using your hip joints rather than the small lumbar facet joints will save your back.
  • Lift with Your Legs – I’m a fan of knowing how to squat to lift. Bending at the knees to go down into a squat position helps to spread the load over all the correct joints form your ankles to your knees to your hip and pelvis. You’ll end up taking the weight with your gluts and thighs; muscles that are much tougher & better prepared to handle loads and compression forces.
  • Don’t Lean Forward Over Your Lawn Mower – Try keep a straight back with good posture when pushing a mower. This is to avoid undue stress on your lower back from slumping for long periods, especially when pushing and pulling repeatedly. (Did something called flexion intolerance in the lumbar spine is the cause of this kind of pain?)
  • Don’t Weed Standing Up – This leads to bending over again and again. Most people can’t be in a bent forward position for long without straining their back muscles. Instead, kneel on a garden mat or find a small stool to sit on to do the job, and keep all your tools within arm’s reach so you aren’t stretching too far to grab them. (See the recommended gardening tools section below)
  • Try Rake & Hoe with Both Hands, Not Just the Dominant Side – When you rely only on your dominant side, you are using your muscles in an uneven fashion. This can cause an overuse injury to one side. Overcompensation might occur to try ease the strain tired side. Try digging at times by holding a handle with two vs one hand only.
  • Change Your Motions by Switching Activities – If you are out in pottering in your garden every day, do a different activity every day. Th goal is to give your muscles time to rest; so you don’t get an repetitive strain injury. Just as you would rotate training muscle groups on different workout days at the gym. If you’re outside once a week, make sure to designate a certain amount of time to several different tasks so that you aren’t performing the same repetitive motions for long periods of time.

Tip #3 Back-Friendly Gardening Products

Best gardening tools for back pain sufferersBlame the tool not the user, or is the saying the other way round 🙂

Seriously though, using the right type of equipment & gardening tools can make you life so much easier & much less stressful on your system.

For someone who is wants to enjoy planting colourful flowers each season or cut the grass so it looks like Lords cricket ground, I feel another important element is buying products to make the task & your life easier.

Best Ergonomic Gardening Tools to Avoid Back Pain

  • Half-Height Wellies – Working in a wet potentially muddy environment you need waterproof shoes. However, full length wellies can bee very restrictive in a small space compared to a farm.I would recommend using a half-height wellington boot so that you can get some more bend in your ankle. Being able to flex and extend your ankle joint is vital for bending properly & so avoiding back pain. I like the lightweight Dunlop half-height wellington boots range on Amazon.
  • Arch Support Inner Soles – I am a fan of using custom-made orthotics to manage back pain. I’d suggest investing in a good off the shelf pair at a minimum. Especially if you are going to be working for extended periods of time in your lawn.Wear these cushioned soles & arch supports in your supportive shoes or wellies. This will help reduce the impact of the ground on your back muscles. I would highly recommend the Birkenstock Blue Footbed-Arch Support 3/4 length option available on Amazon, I personally loved my old ones.
  • Ergonomic Grass Strimmer – These are also known as weed eaters in some parts. Get a trimmer with a shoulder strap, so that edging and weeding isn’t as difficult for you.After looking at some of the top-rated gas weed eaters, the best options don’t have cords to worry about dragging around with you. A good option looks to be the Bosch ART 23 SL Electric grass trimmer available on Amazon.
  • Kneeling Pad & Stool – When you need to get down to do bedding of plants you need to kneel down. This can be strenuous and painful on an arthritic knee. Also tiresome on the back.Using a kneeling pad for gardening will make the job much more comfortable. I would suggest looking at getting the Gardman Folding Garden Kneeler Seat Kneeling Pad on Amazon. It not only has a padded cushion to rest your knees on; the handles make standing up again easier too. Plus this turns into a portable seat to rest on.
  • Retractable Garden Hose – You need to water your grass and plants of course to maintain a good looking garden. However, hoses can be a pain to unravel and get very heavy to lug around from the tap to the garden.I like the look of this UltraPro 100ft Expandable hosepipe from Scott & Co on Amazon. It has an ergonomic designed handle if you struggle with gripping (have you seen how to improve your grip strength here?). Grandmothers and grandfathers would love this as a gift.


Student gardeners assistingIf you do really struggle with lots of physical ailments, you shouldn’t take on all the work yourself.

Whilst you may find peace of mind planting & watering, the heavy lifting can be outsourced to someone more capable.

Think about hiring a uni or college student who needs a little extra cash. They can mow and edge your lawn for you. They can reach up hight to cut the hedge branches.

Hired help can really reduce the impact on your body, leaving the more enjoyable tasks like pruning the rose bushes or tilling the garden to you.

Don’t forget to stop and take a breather every now and then. Shorts breaks from activity are important; just like in a regular workout. It is also a time to avoid being in the sun for too long.

If you follow a few simple steps you can be fully prepared to tackle all your lawn work. Take some precautionary measures to prevent excess stress on your body related to gardening jobs. If you need some more professional help; find a chiropractor nearest to you.

Happy gardening!

Top 5 Hand Grip Exercises For Strength And Endurance

Grip strength exercisesHaving good grip strength is important for so many different reasons. I learnt first hand, excuse the pun, about the issues caused by not being able to hold onto things properly after an accident. I ended up cutting the tendons in my pinkie finger.

Bet you might not know, but the 5th finger is super important to be able to hold onto something. In fact the little finger is one of the most powerful gripping fingers.

Try it out yourself right now.

Squeeze your hand to make a fist. Feel how your index finger and thumb feel strong, but if you really clench your fist that it is actually the little finger and ring finger that should feel really strong. So my severing the tendons in my hand and needing them to be surgically repaired taught me how I needed to do rehab exercises and treatment to repair the damage I had done.

Below you will find out five good exercises to help build up the strength in your forearms and hands to be able to improve your gripping ability.

How Grip Works

Gripping musclesOur four fingers, along with our opposable thumbs move predominately in a flexion direction to work like a pair of pliers to be able to hold onto things. The palm works as the base to help control and keep objects within reach of the fingers.

The powerful flexor mechanics of the hand is supported by the weaker extensor mechanics, whose primary function is to help open a fist & raise the fingers against gravity forces during grasping activities.

Muscles Involved

You have either 35 or 34 muscles in both the forearm and hand involved in grip strength. About 20% of people do not have a palmaris longus. That means they will only have 34 muscles. The two groups of muscles used for grasping are divided into the extrinsic ones in the forearm and the intrinsic ones in the hand. The extensors tend to help add stability control whilst the flexors work to create grasping power.

Here is a list of the different muscles that work together to help us hold onto and release objects.

Extrinsic Group

  • Flexor carpi ulanris
  • Flexor digitorum superficialis
  • Pronator teres
  • Flexor carpi radialis
  • Palmaris longus
  • Flexor digitorum profundus

Intrinsic Group

  • Flexor policus longus
  • Flexor pollicus brevis
  • Abductor pollicus brevis
  • Pronator quadratus

So a bunch of muscles, bones and nerves need to work together to help in hand movements. It enables us to pick, hold, pull and push things.

How to Measure Grip Muscle Strength

Grip strength in a hand is measured using a dynamometer medical device. A hand dynamometer is a strain-gauge meter device measuring the ability to hold an isometric contraction. It is used to measure: grip strength, pinch strength, or to test muscular fatigue in research studies.

A dynamometer is useful for both healthcare professionals, like physiotherapists or occupational therapists, doing post-surgical rehab measurements, and strength and conditioning coaches in sport wanting to evaluate grip power of athletes. This can help guide the sports coach as to what training exercises need working on to help improve maximum power values, improve endurance and control.

You can buy one if needed through Amazon here.

List of Activities that Involve Gripping

  • Sports involved with holding a racquet or club like golf, tennis or baseball
  • Catching a ball
  • Lifting up a cup
  • Holding onto a car steering wheel
  • Opening up a closed bag
  • Opening and closing a window or door
  • Hold onto work tools like a saw or drill
  • To be able to hold a pen write

Grasping a golf clubThese are just some examples of common events that require the ability to pinch and grasp your fingers. There are a ton of situations where you might not realise how important being able to pincer grip or a hold a broad grasp onto something is allowing you to perform a daily task. Everyone needs to have adequate strength in their hands and forearms, both young and old.

Some need even more powerful grips than regular people.

Professional sportsmen and women need to have good hand control to play well. MMA fighters grappling on the floor, cricketer swinging a bat, rugby player holding a rugby ball, olympic athlete throwing a javelin etc… all involve hand strength and control movements to be able to do them well. Apart from that wrestlers and athletes need good hand grip to perform well on the floor.

Strength & Rehabilitation Exercises

Anyone who has had an injury to their neck, shoulder, arm or hand can benefit from doing specific strengthening movements. This is especially true for anyone who has had surgery to their hand, wrist or elbow. In my case I had surgical repair to the flexor tendons, blood vessels and nerves in my little finger after slicing them by falling onto some broken glass with an outstretched hand.

People who indulge in heavy physical activities as well as mechanical jobs, tend to have more hand injuries.

Hitting the gym and doing some wrist curls is not enough to create strong hands and forearms. If you are looking for the simplest and best ways to improve grip strength then try the following exercises. Here are 5 hand grip exercises that you can use for creating and maintaining healthy and functioning hands.

Standing Static Barbell Hold

A straight bar or EZ barbell is always useful piece of home gym equipment. You get to see visible results using a barbell for hand exercises. You always see deals from Sports Direct and other big name brands selling home sporting equipment. This is because they are a very useful and popular piece of workout equipment.


  1. Grip the barbell & raise it up from the floor lift area to standing
  2. Hold it straight in front at 90 degrees to your arms
  3. Try to hold the position for up to 2 minutes

Standing static barbell hold exercise

If you are new to this and not able to hold it for long, try for as long as you can even if it is a minute. You can increase the difficulty by trying under hand, over hand or sumo type grip positions to hold the barbell. You might find that if you start lifting some really heavy barbell weights that you might need some of these wrist straps. Of course you’ll need an adjustable barbell weight selection which you can get on Amazon here.

Dumbbell Wrist Rotations

Dumbbells help to challenge each arm separately. A straight barbell can hide weakness on side, like having a weak left or right side. You can’t hide your weak muscles when holding a dumbbell. Apart from working on hand grips, it helps to make your forearms strong.


  1. Take a pair of dumbbells & hold them with your elbows bent at 90 degrees
  2. Hold your elbows next to your sides
  3. Roll your wrists outwards as far as you can
  4. Now rotate them inwards as far as you can
  5. Repeat until fatigued

Standing dumbbell wrist rotations

Try keep your shoulder muscles relaxed down to help prevent any neck and shoulder injuries. You can even start with no weights and work your way up to increase the dumbbell weight to make it more difficult. Of course you will need a good pair of adjustable dumbbells from Amazon to use this at home. 

Squeezing a Stress Ball

Very simple movement that creates lost of benefits to to loads of muscles all at once. Plus it is a very functional movement required in our activities of daily living.


  1. Hold the stress ball in your hand
  2. Wrap your fingers and thumb around it
  3. Start squeezing the ball slowly & relaxing your grip slowly
  4. Keep doing this for 1-2 minutes
  5. Repeat the squeezing a stress ball exercise on your another hand.

Squeezing stress ball exercise

You could always start with no ball. However, you will eventually need a soft ball like this stress ball you can get on Amazon. This is one of the best hand strengthening exercises ever. I do this to stimulate my left hand grip and coordination, which is naturally weaker for me being right handed. 

Hand Gripper Exercises

Hand grippers come with two handles that are connected with a spring under tension. These can be really hard to do, but you’ll love the sense of accomplishment when you see how you improve with practice over time. You get some basic looking ones all the way up to advanced ones too as I read in the review on gains bible.


  1. Hold the hand gripper in one open hand
  2. Try squeezing the two handles closed
  3. Hold for 1-5 seconds
  4. Repeat until fatigued and then pass on to the other hand and do the same

Hand gripper exercises

Personally I find this is one of the most difficult hand and wrist exercises to doI find. It is like the stress ball movement, but just 100x harder. A more advanced way to challenge yourself is try holding the gripper handles in one hand for as long as you can. You can also vary it up and do quick repetitions, trying to close the gripper as many time as possible within a short time period. You could even have one in each hand and try coordinate or alternating the squeezing. You can get one of the best hand grippers on Amazon here

Wrist Push-Ups

Working on your shoulders and forearms is a must to help your hands & wrists. The wrist push-ups exercise will benefit both the upper and lower arm. Lots of times a pain signal or weakness higher up even into the neck can lead to weakness down the biomechanical line.


  1. Get down onto your hands and knees
  2. Put your arms inline, or just beyond, your shoulders
  3. Slowly lower your upper body to the floor keeping your elbows tucked in
  4. Slowly push-up from the floor
  5. Finish the move with elbows still slightly bent
  6. Repeat until fatigued

Wrist push-ups

A normal push-up is a classic body weight exercise. It is such a primitive move to help build power in the whole upper body plus the arms. I’d suggest starting on by doing push-ups on your knees. As you get stronger you can go onto your toes by stretching out your legs. You have to watch your form as it is easy to try cheat and use your neck to compensate or round your thoracic spine. Remember that fewer quality movements trumps quantity. Do this anywhere you are.

To get maximum benefit from the top 5 exercises above complement them with stretching the arm and wrist during and after. Initially, you can do it once in a week and increase the frequency depending on your comfort level.

I hope you found these tips helpful tips. Following these exercises can help you develop stronger arms that will serve you well in both the short-term and long run. I’d suggest reading this post on how to exercise only 15 mins per week using the Body by Science work from Dr Doug McGuff and also how to do shoulder blade push-ups to compliment these moves above.


Spinal Awareness Week 2015: Move Better – Live Better

It is coming to that time of year for the annual Chiropractic promotional event from the United Chiropractic Association titled: Spinal Awareness Week 2015 | Move Better – Live Better

Spinal Awareness Week runs 11 - 15 May in 2015 by the United Chiropractic Association

Official UCA Statement

Spinal Awareness Week is a national initiative from the United Chiropractic Association and will be held every May. The theme for this year’s Spinal Awareness Week 11th – 15th May is:
‘Move Better-Live Better’

Through Spinal Awareness Week we plan to educate and encourage people to introduce changes to their lifestyle that will allow them to Move Better and ultimately Live Better. Chiropractors acknowledge that the elderly population in the UK is increasing and through Chiropractic care and advice can not only improve the independence and quality of life of the elderly but also reduce the financial burden on an already stretched NHS. Chiropractors have much to offer this rapidly expanding demographic group, not the least of which is maintenance of spinal flexibility, improving posture and balance.

One of the leading causes of death in the elderly is falling, nearly one in three elderly adults falls every year with approximately 35% being hospitalised as a direct result of their fall. These tragedies could be prevented through proper postural corrections that have shown to improve balance.

During Spinal Awareness Week, UCA chiropractors will be offering health promotion and wellness advice for older adults seeking to maintain and improve mental and physical fitness. As you age, positive attitudes about lifestyle changes can vastly improve your quality of life. UCA Chiropractors will be giving screenings and health talks as well as offering advice on improving mobility, flexibility and fall prevention.

Our objective is to ‘Make Health Last’ and through chiropractic adjustments, exercise and diet advice, Chiropractors can have a huge effect on the health of not just our ageing population but everyone.

Source: Taken from 23 March 2015

Collection of Event Marketing Posters

Click on the slideshow below to see pictures of the posters used to promote the event in Chiropractors’ clinics and marketing channels.

Watch the Official Video

Click on the YouTube video below to see the beautifully created video highlighting staying strong as we age.

Chiropractor in Ramsey Isle of Man at IM8 1AQ

ChiroClinic Isle of Man logoIf you are looking for a chiropractor in Ramsey then here are the contact details of ChiroClinic IOM in the postcode area of IM8.

Below you will find the contact details of the clinic. You can also use the interactive Google map with the option to view the street view in order to get directions and see the front of the building for ChiroClinic IOM. The local map is also useful tool to help you find you way around Ramsey the beautiful town in the North of the island on the Isle of Man.

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Portland Chiropractic

portland chiropractic clinic logo

Finding the correct treatment for back pain in Aldridge.

Portland Chiropractic is located in the heart of the West Midlands in Aldridge, Walsall. Conveniently located just outside of Birmingham, Walsall, Sutton Coldfield and Great Barr.

We are dedicated and experienced Chiropractors that are committed to not only your symptoms, but the source of your discomfort and how to prevent them from reoccurring in the future.

We also offer treating sports injuries with sports massage therapy – whether amateur or professional we can help you reach your optimum performance and health!

We have seen excellent results from treating: lower back pain, shoulder and neck pain, sciatica, dizziness and migraines, sports injuries, tennis elbow and many more!

Please call today for an immediate appointment with flexible appointment times available to suit everybody!

Contact Details:

Principle Chiropractor: Richard Taylor
Associate Chiropractor: Treve Carter
Clinic Telephone Number: 01922 456700Address: 11 Portland Road, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 8NS
Enquiries Email:


Neck Pain Exercises That Stop Pain

Best Exercises For Neck PainWhen you have a sore neck it can be so frustrating not being to find good info or guidance on how to stop the pain. There are loads of ways to treat a painful neck. Exercise is still one of the best treatment tools available. Our bodies were designed to move and move properly. Bad posture habits and poor movements patterns do contribute to the cause of the ache or pain your experiencing.

Knowing how to move your neck to feel that relief you’ve been looking so hard for is what I want to show you today. Having dealt with so many patients over the years I can tell you that normally people just don’t know how to exercise the neck area. I have never heard anyone who trains at a gym telling me they do a neck workout.

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Have a Baby or a Career? Stats Every British Women Should Know

TBaby Versus a Careeroday I have a very cool infographic I want to share with you. It is all about giving women the information they want to know, or should know, about when it comes to deciding whether or not to keep working or stop and have children.

Having kids is a major decision in life, and older mothers are becoming more common as the stats show in the infographic. Some other points I found interesting in the following infographic were about:

  • The average age of mums having kids and how many of those are over 30
  • What is costs to have a full-time nanny in London look after children
  • How many professional career women will drop out of their career’s to bring up kids or take care of a loved one
  • 7 best jobs for women to keep a work-life balance

The Answer to the Baby Versus Career Question

Gumtree infographic baby versus career
Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

The Bottom Line

I see it in the clinic all the time where a lady feels the biological clock ticking away and rushes to find a stable partner or husband to have babies with them. For some of these women getting near their late thirties or into their early forties fertility becomes a big concern. In fact you can see from this fertility clinic in Hertfordshire stat that women who are 38 years old plus the fertility treatment success rate drops off dramatically.

Having children is an amazing experience. I know I am lucky enough to have a beautiful daughter. Money is one thing, but if you really want kids, I feel, you can’t choose the best time, the best time is right now when you are ready to raise a family.

Bulletproof Coffee UK: How I Drink My Coffee

Bulletproof Coffee UK

Coffee Made with Butter & MCT Oil Example

I have been telling patients for the last couple of years how I use butter in my coffee, instead of milk.

How did I end up mixing grassfed butter, like Kerrygold butter, into my morning cup(s) of coffee?

It all began with the concept called Bulletproof® Coffee.

Today’s post, is my review on this new type of health coffee that is taking off in the paleo diet and CrossFit scene.

I’ll explain my personal story of how I got started, what I learnt going down this rabbit hole, and the kind of results I have seen since drinking a high fat paleo coffee, nearly every morning for the last two years.

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A More Natural and Holistic Approach to Schizophrenia Care

natural schizophrenia treatmentToday I have a guest post about the mental health condition, Schizophrenia. Mental illness diseases are not that uncommon and it is always interesting to find out more about them.

Schizophrenia is a serious health condition that affects 1% of the population, yet sufferers and healthcare professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about the effectiveness of conventional treatments. This has led many to seek out complementary and alternative therapies, some of which have shown to possess remarkable benefits for schizophrenia sufferers.

What is Schizophrenia?

According to the US National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. Sufferers may hear voices other people don’t hear or believe that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them. As a result, sufferers can become withdrawn or agitated. They may not make sense when they talk or may sit for hours without moving or talking. Other people with schizophrenia may seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.

Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ signs. Positive symptoms include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disordered thoughts

‘Negative’ symptoms deficits of normal emotional responses or of other thought processes. They include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Flat expressions or little emotion
  • Poverty of speech
  • Lack of motivation
  • Inability to experience emotion and pleasure.

Negative symptoms can lead to sufferers neglect themselves or make them appear wrapped up in their own thoughts. They can also lead to difficulty with education or employment. Such negative symptoms are often the most difficult to deal with for families and carers and tend to be the main cause of long-term disability.

What Treatment is Available?

The causes of schizophrenia are still largely unknown, so treatment focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease. The two mainstays of therapy are antipsychotic medications and psychosocial or talking therapies.

Antipsychotic medications

Conventional or ‘typical’ antipsychotics medications have been around since the 1950s, including chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol). So-called second generation or ‘atypical’ antipsychotics arrived in the 1990s, the most of which is clozapine (Clozaril), an effective medication that treats psychotic symptoms, hallucinations and breaks with reality. However, clozapine can cause a serious problem called agranulocytosis, or the loss of white blood cells needed to fight infection. Other atypical antipsychotics that do not cause agranulocytosis include risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel) and aripiprazole (Abilify).

Side effects with antipsychotic medications include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness when changing positions
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Skin rashes
  • Menstrual problems for women

Atypical antipsychotic medications can also cause weight gain and changes in a person’s metabolism, which may increase the risk of diabetes and high cholesterol. Weight, glucose levels and lipid levels should be monitored regularly by a doctor while taking an atypical antipsychotic medication.

Talking Therapies

A debate is currently underway in the scientific community about the effectiveness of talking therapies for those with schizophrenia, with two apparently contradictory articles published in the last three months.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a well-recognised treatment, however, the results of systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of CBT published in the British Journal of Psychiatry concluded the therapeutic benefit was only “in the ‘small’ range” and “reduces further when sources of bias, particularly masking, are controlled for”. Only a few weeks later, The Lancet published the results of a single-blind randomised clinical trial that aimed to establish whether cognitive therapy was effective in reducing psychiatric symptoms in people with schizophrenia. In contrast to the earlier report, the study concluded that cognitive therapy significantly reduced psychiatric symptoms and was “a safe and acceptable alternative for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who have chosen not to take antipsychotic drugs”. This final point – that the patients in the study had chosen not to take their medication – is a crucial element in this debate.

Recent research has suggested that meditation can also help reduce the symptoms of mental health disorders. Click here for more general information on schizophrenia.

Are There Any Other Treatments?

What is clear is that significant doubt exist around the efficacy of both mainstays of schizophrenia treatment. Due to the large number of potentially severe side effects to antipsychotic medications, many sufferers choose not to take them. As a consequence, many experts are recommending that health professionals work in partnership with patients and carers to offer treatment, education, support and psychosocial care in an atmosphere of hope and optimism.

Psychiatrist James H. Lake, who chairs the American Psychiatric Association’s Caucus on Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Care also runs a full-time private practice in integrative psychiatry, an approach that uses both conventional therapies and evidence-based complementary therapies. He emphasises that ‘integrative psychiatry’ is based on compelling evidence from randomised controlled trials and is meant to supplement, not supplant, conventional medications. “By no means am I trying to replace antipsychotic medications with herbs. I prescribe conventional antipsychotics all the time — they are very important.”

With some patients, Lake agrees to work toward a goal of reducing doses or even discontinuing antipsychotics but only is the patient is stable, has a history of good compliance and is committed to an holistic programme that includes healthy diet, exercise and a mind-body practice such as yoga or tai-chi.

There is huge demand for new approaches, says Richard P Brown, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, and holistic therapy champion. “Patients and families are desperate — they’re saying: There’s got to be more you can do for us.” He views complementary therapies as a broader set of tools that clinicians can employ to help patients lead less disrupted and more fulfilled lives.” However, there has traditionally been little in complementary therapies among US psychiatrists, he admits. “Most psychiatrists are quite frightened by the idea of alternative medicine… [yet] when I give talks on this, the room is stuffed and people are overflowing out into the hall.” It’s a sign, he says, that, “clinicians aren’t satisfied with the treatments we have to offer.”

Dr Brown points to studies that found evidence for the use of a range of nontraditional therapies used alongside antipsychotics, including omega-3 fatty acids, glycine, folate, Chinese herbal medicines, yoga practices and spiritually focused group therapy. Nonconventional therapies may be particularly effective in easing negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms and/or antipsychotic side effects.

One leading area of interest is the use of the dietary supplement, omega-3 fatty acids. Five of six double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in schizophrenia, and four of six such trials in depression, have reported therapeutic benefit from omega-3 fatty acids particularly when used in addition to antipsychotic medication. However, as other reviews have failed to find clinical benefit, more research is needed.

Image Credit: David Goehring


Chiropractor Berkhamsted at HP4 2AA

Berkhamsted Chiropractic ClinicIf you are looking for a chiropractor in the county of Hertfordshire, England then here are the contact details of Naturality Wellness Centre in Berkhamsted under the postcode area of HP4.

Below you will find the contact details of the clinic. You can also use the interactive Google map with the option to view the street view in order to get directions and see the front of Chiropractic clinic. The local map is also useful tool to help you find you way around the beautiful county town of Berkhamsted in Herts, UK.

Naturality Wellness Centre

Here are the Chiropractic clinic contact details.

Chiropractor: Gary Kirwan
Telephone Number: 01442 800400 press option 1
Email: info {AT} naturality {DOT}
Website: or
Physical Address: 42 Lower Kings Road, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 2AA

Map of Berkhamsted

Cornwall NHS Chiropractors: Get Chiropractic Treatment on the NHS

Chiropractor NHS

I read some breaking new on the BBC website yesterday. It would seem that NHS Kernow in Cornwall has authorised that patients can get their lower back pain treatment from a chiropractor paid for by the National Health Service. There are some criteria that need to be followed before a patient qualifies to have the treatment covered.

There are other NHS chiropractors that I have been able to find before. However, you would have been very limited as to the local GP surgery that could have referred you for back pain treatment. Well if you’re in South West England you might be lucky enough to fall under the catchment area covered by the Kernow Health Referral Management Service.

Criteria Needed To See a Cornwall NHS Chiropractor

According to the BBC news article the following points need to be ticked to qualify a NHS referral to a chiropractor:

  1. Cornwall patients must be over 16,
  2. Been living in the county for at least a year,
  3. Be registered with a NHS GP,
  4. Treatment covered would involve manipulation of muscles, bones and joints, often in the spine,
  5. Chiropractic sessions would only be available for neck or back pain which had appeared within 12 months,
  6. There are currently 14 approved Chiropractic clinics.

I know the British Chiropractic Association has been working for many years to have Chiropractic included on the NHS as a treatment option that GP’s can refer to for musculoskeletal conditions.

Chiropractor Exeter in County Devon at EX1 1QT

Chiropractor ExeterIf you are looking for a chiropractor in Exeter then here are the contact details of a Exe Chiropractic Clinic in the UK postcode area of EX1.

Below you will find the contact details of the clinic. You can also use the interactive Google map with the option to view the street view in order to get directions and see the front of Exe Chiropractic Clinic. The local map is also useful tool to help you find you way around the beautiful county town of Exeter in Devon, UK. Continue reading


Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Do You Suffer Upper Back Discomfort?

pain between shoulder blades

Shoulder Blade Pain?

Quite often a patient would come into the Chiropractic clinic and tell me they have an upper back discomfort that is causing a pain between their shoulder blades. The patient will then usually want to show me the area where their dull ache or stabbing pain is by touching my own thoracic spine. Most people can’t reach the painful area on their own backs so they need to help me to know exactly where it is hurting.

This type of patient will usually say that what they are experiencing in their upper back region can be described as: a burning ache, stabbing or a sharp pain between shoulder blades. Maybe the neck or arm is involved as well.

Today you are going to learn a lot about the symptoms of middle to upper back pain, common and serious causes for pain between shoulder blades and treatment tips for getting relief from aches and pain in-between the shoulder blades in your back today. Continue reading

Kinesio Tape: Coloured Kinesiology Taping on Athletes

Kinesio Tape

You may have recently seen that coloured tape used on athletes on TV. You might be wondering what exactly is that special tape on your favourite sportsman or woman and why they are wearing it on their skin.

I wanted to find out more about Kinesio® Tex Tape and why the kinesio taping method is used by different healthcare professionals, like chiropractors and physiotherapists, around the world on both their amateur or professional sport patients and their regular clinic patients. Continue reading

Bear Crawl Exercise: Todays Movement Challenge

Bear Crawl Exercise

Been There Bear Crawled

If your a rehab chiropractor then you’ll probably know what the bird dog exercise and bear crawl exercise are all about. Otherwise they might sound like some strange animal movement or yoga pose if this is your first time exposed to this way of rehabilitation movement.

I came across a very interesting video on Facebook from Dr Craig Liebenson, who you would have seen in the bending forward causes low back pain article. Craig felt this was a good example of good human form and movement that even Russian personal trainer, Pavel Tsatsouline, would share this video. Craig follows the rehabilitation exercise school of thought from the Prague school of rehabilitation using Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. I have just finished the DNS A course and about to do DNS B CPD course at the AECC later this month. The bear crawl position is one of the DNS rehab postures and active exercises. Watch the video below to learn more. Continue reading

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