Thompson Maneuver Exercises For Back Pain



Thompson Maneuver Exercises For Back Pain



The Thompson Maneuver was popularized by orthopedist Alec Thompson, MD. The exercise works to properly align the sacroiliac (SI) joints that lie between the sacrum and the hipbones, or ilium (see diagram). Supporting the weight of the entire torso, an injury to or misalignment in these SI joints can cause widespread back pain.




SI Joints




The Thompson Maneuver exercises for back pain can help people with lower back pain, sacroiliitis, disc problems, sciatica, scoliosis; and even back pain that travels up the spine. It works for one simple reason - it helps to correct the alignment of the sacroiliac joints. The sacroiliac joints are the two small joints at the juncture of the hipbones and the triangular bone at the base of the spine (called the sacrum). They are very strong and stable weight bearing joints that allow a small amount of movement, mostly as we walk. Because the sacrum and pelvis form the base of the spine, they act like the foundations of a building. Any misalignment here will affect the rest of the building (your spine!).





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The key to success here is to do the Thompson Maneuver correctly and often (several times a day). You may experience some aching in the SI joint the first few days. As long as it is only mild, this is normal. Before you begin, identify on your own body the area this maneuver targets. Simply put your hands on your waist with your thumbs toward the front. Move your fingers down until you feel your tailbone. Now, walk a few steps and notice the motion there, these are your sacroiliac joints. You can often feel a bony bump on either side of your sacrum at the base of your spine, that is right over the SI joint.



Once you have a good idea where your SI's are, then follow these simple steps.


(1) Sitting up straight with your shoulders against a chair or bed, or lying on a flat surface, bend one leg at the knee and grab onto your ankle with the opposite hand (fingers on the front of the ankle, thumb circling and resting under the ankle). Hold the arm straight down to get the proper angle.




(2) Place your other hand on the bent knee with your thumb on the inside, your little finger on the outside, and your three middle fingers on top of the knee. Let the bent knee drop naturally to the outside.



(3) Elevate the elbow of the arm holding your knee to the level of the shoulder, so the shoulder and elbow are level. Moving the elbow straight back, pull the knee gently but firmly as far back as it will comfortably go. The lower leg and forearm should be in a more or less straight line. The sacroiliac joint will now be releasing towards its' correct alignment.





(4) Hold this position for 10 seconds, then release and repeat the procedure with the opposite leg.



It's impossible to pull too far back, you cannot displace the hip by pulling back. If the joint is already in position, this is still a helpful exercise for increasing circulation and toning the area. For an acute injury, you can repeat this maneuver every hour, or as frequently as possible, for three to four minutes for the first four or five days after injury. Also consider using ice packs. Continue to do it at least three times daily as a preventive measure to keep your sacroiliac joints in proper alignment.



The Thompson Maneuver exercises for back pain can be an easy an effective way of dealing with back pain from home, but it is not a miracle cure and does not fix all back problems. Try this easy remedy at home, but if you have persistent or chronic back pain, see your health professional. Secondly, remember be active in maintaining your spinal health. Total Back Pain Solution outlines a simple exercise program that can be done in ten minutes, three times a week to maintain optimal spinal health, keeping your back strong, stable and flexible.




If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.


Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.



What Is Text Neck?



What Is Text Neck?



Is your smart phone literally a pain in the neck?

textneckText neck is being described as a modern ailment that is due to spending long periods of time staring down at your mobile phone, tablet or other device.

Recent research shows that smart phone users are spending an average of 4 hours each day staring at their device (that's 1400 hours each year!), so it is no wonder that the incidence of 'text neck' is on the rise! And it seems that this relatively new phenomenom is becoming alarmingly common with the increasing prevalence of mobile technology, particularly among younger generations.

The posture we adopt as we stare at our phones increases the stress on the neck and can cause excessive wear and tear that could lead to permanent damage.

The problem with this is that in order to look at your screen, you need to bend your head forwards into a flexed or dropped forwards position. This un-natural position actually reverses the normal backward curve of the cervical spine (your neck). This change can actually be observed on X-Rays, where we have seen a straightening, or even a reverse of the normal curve of the cervical spine.


                                 Normal                                                          Flattened Curve From Text Neck

                     Cervical Xray                                                  Text neck Xray


The average head weighs around 5 to 6 kilograms. The cervical spine (your neck) is designed so that it will balance the weight of the head effortlessly. It even has a slight backwards curve to absorb the shocks and impacts of moving around. However, as we bend our heads forward, the amount of stress and strain on the neck increases. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 12kg, at 30 degrees it’s 18kg, and at 60 degrees it’s 27kg. That is the same as having an 8 year old child hanging unsupported off your neck for several hours each day!




Over time this can lead to muscle strain, pinched nerves and herniated discs. But the most obvious immediate effect is on our posture. Just have a look around, everyone has their head down! Poor posture can cause other problems as well. Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.


What are the symptoms associated with text neck?

Text neck most commonly causes neck pain and soreness. In addition, looking down at your cell phone too much each day can lead to:

  • Upper back pain ranging from a chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe upper back muscle spasms.
  • Shoulder pain and tightness, possibly resulting in painful shoulder muscle spasm.
  • If a cervical nerve becomes pinched, pain and possibly neurological symptoms can radiate down your arm and into your hand.


While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.

These 2 simple tips can help to minimise the risk of developing text neck.

  • Look down at your device with your eyes and try to hold your phone up higher, not on your lap. No need to bend your neck.
  • Exercise: Move your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward. Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen the muscles of good posture.


But the key point is to try and reduce the amount of time we spend staring at our phones. You can't live a life through your phone, and there is a beautiful world right in front of your eyes. just look up from time to time!


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.


What Is Chronic Back Pain?



What Is Chronic Back Pain?



Back pain can be described in many ways. Acute, chronic, sub-acute, intermittent, chronic intermittent, etc. etc. This article will help to clear up any confusion as to what is chronic back pain, and how to differentiate it from other types of back pain.

All the terms above are basically used to determine the time frame of the condition. Although there are many different causes of back pain, terms such as chronic or acute can be applied to better describe how long the spinal condition has been a problem. Whilst this may seem simplified, the time frame becomes important when determining the best course of treatment.


Acute Versus Chronic Back Pain

Back PainProbably the most common question that arises is the difference between acute and chronic pain.

Generally speaking, acute injuries have sudden or rapid onset. This could be the result of a fall or accident, or when your back suddenly 'goes out' form something as simple as bending forwards to pick up something. The pain is usually quite intense with an episode of acute back pain.

Chronic back pain is generally considered to be pain that has persisted for longer than 3 months. This can be a progression from an episode of acute back pain that has not settled, or as a slow onset of back pain over time.  About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms after one year. (Subacute low back pain is defined as pain that lasts between 4 and 12 weeks).


The nature of chronic back pain is variable. It is usually less severe than acute back pain, but can vary in intensity from day to day. It may be severe, or may not cause any pain at all. The character of the pain can change as well. It may be a sharp, stabbing or burning pain, but more commonly chronic back pain is felt as a dull ache (like tooth ache).

Although rare, chronic back pain can be a sign of a serious illness. To find out more, click here.


Treating Chronic Back Pain

 The correct treatment protocol for chronic back pain depends on the underlying cause. Regardless of the spinal condition, all forms of mechanical back pain are the end result of repeated, abnormal spinal movements that strain the muscles, discs, and joints, causing tissue damage.

Medications are targeted towards numbing pain, or reducing inflammation (inflammation is a key component in all back pain, read more here). Whilst this may provide temporary relief, it does not actually correct the problem.

It is the same story with surgery, which should only be performed in extreme cases of back pain where all other treatment avenues have been exhausted. 

For the fastest ways to naturally relieve the discomfort of back pain, click here. These methods a very effective, but cannot address what is often years of underlying spinal dysfunction.

The key to effectively treating chronic back pain is to get a proper diagnosis of the cause. A lot of the time this may be due to spinal misalignment or a muscle imbalance, both of which can be quickly treated using natural methods.


By understanding what is chronic back pain, and how it differs from acute back pain, you can take the appropriate course of action. Realising that the pain is just a sign of an underlying problem, you should seek a health professionals advise so that you can be sure you are treating the problem correctly.


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.


Is It Best To Use Ice Or Heat For Back Pain Relief?



Is It Best To Use Ice Or Heat For Back Pain Relief?


There is a lot of confusion as to whether it is best to use ice or heat for back pain. That is because they both work, but it depends on a few critical factors as to which is going to help, and if the other could actually make you worse.

It is important have some understanding as to what causes back pain, and how long it takes to get better so you know what the best course of action is to fix your back pain.


Ice and heat work in different ways to help relieve back pain, and the main factor to consider when deciding which one to use is how long have you had the injury.

Basically, for an acute injury or onset of back pain, ice is the recommended application. For longer lasting, or chronic pain, heat is often more effective. But with chronic problems you do need to be a bit more careful as there are a few exceptions which will detailed below.


A Quick Word On Inflammation.

Inflammation is recognised as a major contributor to many chronic illnesses, from arthritis to cardiovascular disease.  We encourage you to read this article on the effects of inflammation to find out what it is, and how to avoid it.


When To Use Ice On A Painful Back.

Ice, or cold therapy, is essentially used to ease inflammation. Inflammation occurs when their is injury or damage to body tissue, such as muscles or ligaments. It is how the body repairs damage and is characterised by pain swelling and redness. Using ice packs on an acute injury slows and restricts blood flow to the area, helping to reduce the inflammatory response. Ice also has an anaesthetic effect, where it can numb the area and reduce pain sensations.

Using ice therapy on back pain is most effective in the first 2-3 days after the injury, or onset of pain. It can also be used if there has been an sudden relapse of an old problem.


How to Use An Ice Pack For The Most Benefit.

Ice packs are most effective when used intermittently in short bursts. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth so as not to burn the skin, then apply directly on to the skin at the affected area.

Leave the ice pack on for 10-15 minutes at a time, BUT NO LONGER. After 15-20 minutes, an icepack will actually start to increase blood flow to the area, potentially aggravating inflammation. The exact opposite of the desired effect.

It is also better for back pain sufferers to try and walk around while the ice pack is on.



When To Use A Hot Pack On A Painful Back.

Hot packs help to increase blood flow and relax muscle spasm. If there is acute inflammation present this has the potential to make matters worse, so if you are aware of any heat, swelling or redness you are better using ice packs.

Heat packs are most effective at assisting with the recovery from a chronic back problem. This is defined as having been present for 3 months or longer, but it is widely accepted that using heat after a minimum of 6 weeks post acute injury will be helpful. Applying heat packs at any time before this can re-aggravate inflammation.

There is more information on heat pads here.



In general, if you are not sure which way to go, start using the ice/cold packs as directed above for 2 days. At least you will not be making the problem worse if there is any chance of aggravating an inflammatory response.

If the ice packs do not help, then you can try using heat packs on your painful back. If you find that the heat packs are not helping do not continue to use them, but seek a spinal health professionals opinion.



Remember that back pain is a sign that something is wrong. Your spinal health is not something to be complacent about, as it can seriously affect your whole well-being and quality of life, so be sure you are getting the care you need. Ice and heat therapy may help to relieve the symptoms of back pain, but if there is an underlying problem any form of pain relief will not actually fix it. Please get it checked out.


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.



Best Way To Sleep For Lower Back Pain Sufferers



Best Way To Sleep For Lower Back Pain Sufferers



A good nights sleep is priceless, and if you are having back problems it can really interfere with this very important time of the day. Sleeping is the time when your body is resting, recuperating, and healing from the days activities.

If you have problems with your spine, the stiffest, most painful part of the day is often first thing in the morning when you get out of bed. This can be due to your bed, or the position you sleep in. So what is the best way to sleep for back pain sufferers? Well there are a couple of different positions that are best, and one that is a definite bad choice. Read on to find out if you are actually making your back worse when you sleep.



Don't Ever Sleep Like This!

The worst way to sleep is lying front down on your tummy. For many this is become a bad habit and has become the only way they can sleep. But it is without a doubt the worst way to sleep.

In this face down position, your spine is forced into a slightly hyper-extended position, where the lower back arch is exaggerated. The problem with this is that it compresses the facet or spinal joints at the back of the spine, over a prolonged period of time. If you already have spinal problems, these joints are already under excess strain, so this position will continually aggravate your spinal problems every night.

The other concern with sleeping in this position is the amount of stress it places on your neck. When you lie face down you have to turn your head to be able to breathe. Habitual tummy sleepers tend to always turn their head one way. Now imagine if you sat in a chair with your head turned forcefully one way, and sat in that same position for even a few minutes. How stiff would your neck get if you stayed there for 20 minutes, and hour? What about all night?

This constant strain on your spine when you lie face down can lead to permanent spinal damage in the form of degenerative changes.


Always Sleep Like This!

There are 2 sleeping positions that are generally accepted to be the best, and do not cause any undue stress and strain on your spine.

The idea is to have your spine in a neutral position, keeping its natural shape. That is, not twisting or rotating, and not bending sideways. You also want to maintain the normal spinal arches.


1. Flat on your back with your knees slightly bent

This position relieves all stress from your spine. Try placing a pillow or 2 under your knees so you can fully relax, but keeping your knees bent. If you choose to sleep in this position, make sure your head is not been forced too high by an overly large pillow under your neck.



2. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees

Many people prefer to sleep on their side, particularly if they are trying to get out of the habit of tummy sleeping (more on this down the page).


The best way to do this is exactly as it sounds, with one modification. Try to keep your bottom leg straight, with your top leg bent. So if you are lying on your left side, keep your left leg straight, and with your right leg bent up on top of a pillow. A larger, continental (square) style pillow is best.

Check the height of the pillow under your head and neck. Too high or too long can cause your neck to be slightly bent, not a good thing when you are looking after your spinal health. 



Which Bed?

This is a very common question, with no specific answer. Everyone is different obviously, but here are some guidelines when assessing your sleeping station!

Most mattresses will last up to 10 years at the most. After this they tend to not offer the required spinal support. You want a bed that is firm, but comfortable. If you are in the market for a new mattress, be prepared to spend some time. Try as many different beds and brands (and stores) as possible, and lay on each one for at least 10 minutes so you can get a feel for what is best for you. Be sure to buy from a reputable dealer. Buy the best quality mattress that you can afford, remember it is 8 hours a day that you will be on it (compare it to the cost of cars, that you might spend 30 minutes a day in).

Ensure your mattress is up to the job of supporting your body weight night after night. If you sleep the recommended 8 hours each night that is fully ONE THIRD of your life that you spend on your mattress! It is a worthwhile investment.



Breaking Bad Habits

If you are used to sleeping on your tummy, it can be a very hard habit to change. You may have a few nights of bad sleep as you have to force yourself not to role onto your tummy. But the effort is worth saving your spine.

The easiest way is the above position on your side. The pillow will stop you rolling onto your front, plus gives a bit of pressure on your tummy that you are used to. You will need to be persistent, and will probably wake several times through the night at first. But don't fret, most people adapt to a new sleep position fairly quickly.

If all else fails, you could always try taping some ping pong balls on your chest! Guaranteed to stop you lying face down!


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.






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What Is Health And Wellness? And What Is Optimal Health?


 What Is Health And Wellness? And What Is Optimal Health?

Most people would agree that their health is one of the most important things in their lives. It seems obvious, right. But we all have a tendency to take it for granted, just cruising along on auto-pilot, not really giving a thought about having to keep the ‘machine’ (your body!) running smoothly.

Until it doesn’t run smoothly. Then all of a sudden your health is the highest priority! 

Frankly, most of us take our health for granted. We don’t ever think about it until we experience some sort of crisis, whether that be crippling back pain, or even just a bad head cold.  Then all of a sudden our health is VERY important. Why is that? Why don’t we give our body a single thought until it breaks?

Well, it is really quite simple. A decline in our health limits our freedom to do the things we want to do! From being active, to simply enjoying our family and friends.

Put simply, having good health allows us to do the things we love. Another way to say it is that our physical health directly affects every aspect of our lives. 

 Fun Cycling

However, most people simply do not understand exactly what good health means. How do we know what good health is when the only time that most of us think about it, is when we don’t have good health?

So how do you define good health?

Is your idea of health measured by how you feel, how far you can run, or how many push-ups you can do? Is it the amount of pain you are in (or not in)? Or is it an all clear from your doctor?

Well, here’s the thing. Being healthy is not merely the absence of pain or disease. I am sure we all know someone who could not be described as being particularly healthy, but they have not been diagnosed with any particular ailment. Maybe you feel this way yourself?

In fact the World Health Organisation defines health as:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being

and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.


So true health is more than just ‘not being sick’. It is a state where you are at your absolute best.

Then what is the best way to measure our level of health?

Health can be better measured by how well you function; physically, mentally, and socially.

It could also be measured by how well the individual cells, tissues and organs in your body function. If they were all working perfectly, easily doing the jobs they are supposed to do, you would be enjoying optimal health. If, at the other extreme, they are not working at all, you would be dead, and it is too late. But what about the middle ground, that space between functioning perfectly (optimal health, which I will call Point A) and not functioning at all (dead, or Point B).

The modern view of health is that we all fit on a continuum, or scale, that is basically a line between these two extremes (Point A and Point B). Someone who is closer to Point B (not functioning well) is more likely to be experiencing symptoms of ill health and would probably have sought out treatment. Someone close to Point A is more likely to feel good and be able to do all the things they enjoy.

health scale

So good health occurs when we are as close to Point A as possible.

What about someone who is somewhere in the middle, maybe at 75{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}, if we say Point A is 100{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} and Point B is 0{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}. This person may eat what they like, occasionally exercise and generally feel quite good. They get the occasional aches and pains, and their energy levels aren’t what they used to be. They are not experiencing any obvious symptoms that would send them to the doctor, but parts of their body are only functioning at 75{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} and unless they are actively doing something to improve their health (level of function), they are usually headed in the wrong direction towards Point B. Remember, the closer we get to Point B, the higher our chance of feeling sick and developing disease.


Therefore, if we want to get closer to the good end of the stick, Point A, we need to improve the way our body functions, right? So how do we do that?

Well firstly, we need to stop doing things that are unhealthy, and do more healthy things. I know that sounds too simple, but it really is that basic when it comes down to it. All the little things add up, and I highly recommend reading this book to see how powerful that really is. For example, and I am using a bad example, if you went out right now and bought a cheeseburger and ate it, do you think you would have a heart attack? Probably not, right. In fact you could do that every day for a while and be fine, but eventually that bad health choice is going to wind up in the emergency room.

The immediate effect is zero, the cumulative effect is everything.

The same goes with making healthy choices. If you go for a 30 minute walk today, is that going to have a dramatic effect on your health tomorrow? No. But do it every day and you will be much healthier than if you didn’t, and quicker than you think!

You can read all about healthy choices and the benefits of walking by clicking the links. But I also want to talk about spinal health and how it affects our overall wellbeing.

This gets a bit in depth, but it will help you understand why spinal health is so important.

SO we have already discussed that good health equals good function. But what actually controls function? What controls how all the parts of our bodies actually work? For example, how do the muscles in our legs know to contract at exactly the right time with exactly the right force to send us easily walking down the street? What tells the cells of your stomach to make more acid to digest your breakfast? Why does your heart rate increase when the muscles need more blood due to exercise?

Every magnificent thing that your body does (mostly without you even knowing it) is controlled and coordinated by your brain and nervous system. Everything!

Nerve signal

Super fast electrical signals speed along the nerves from your brain and spinal cord out into your body. These electrical signals tell your body exactly what it needs to do, at exactly the right time, to function at its best. This amazing piece of equipment gets it right every time. Its intention is never to fail or make us sick, but to keep us functioning perfectly. UNLESS there is something causing interference or interruption to the transmitting of these electrical nerve signals. If your body is not getting the correct messages from the brain, it cannot function at 100{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}, unfortunately sliding you down the slope toward a lower level of body function, or a lower level of health, and closer to Point B.




O.K., just to recap, health is a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. It is a measure of how well your body and all its parts are functioning and adapting to change. This is all perfectly controlled and coordinated by our brain and nervous system. Our body and nerve system is not designed to eventually let you become sick, but rather it is ‘programmed’ to keep us alive and thriving. If there is any interference to these nerve signals, the body cannot function at its’ best, resulting in a decrease in health, which may or may not be obvious to the owner of the body, depending partly on where you are between Point A and Point B.

But where can nerve interference come from?

We all know that our skull protects our brain. However, what about your spinal cord? It is also protected by bone, your spinal vertebra bones! But the 24 vertebra of your spine are movable and can potentially press onto the nervous system causing nerve iritation. Everyone knows that a spinal cord injury is a bad thing, but if the bones of our spine are just slightly out of their correct position or if they are not moving correctly, that can be enough to interfere with the normal signals that speed along your nerves. And we now know where that is going to take us. This is why you need to look after your spine!

Spinal Nerves

Nutrition, exercise, adequate rest and positive mental attitude are all very important for health. Nevertheless, without the basic elements of your body functioning correctly, you simply cannot be at your best. Nerve interference could potentially be decreasing your health without you even being aware of it!

How do we know if we have any nerve interference? Frankly, most of us have it to varying degrees, and it can start at a young age. So unless you have never fallen over, tripped, come off your bike, sat for long periods, etc. then you can assume your spine is not perfect. That is why everyone should be doing regular spinal exercises. Just like brushing your teeth every day, spinal health exercises are essential for maintaining better health. It is an important piece of the health jigsaw puzzle.


Modern medicine is great for covering up the symptoms, while doing little to improve the actual function (health) of our bodies. Pharmaceuticals do not want to cure you, but rather, keep you on expensive medication for the rest of your life. True ‘health care’ is different, it is about improving your health and wellbeing, by getting you closer to Point A through making healthy choices. Because, as we know, the better your body functions, the more freedom you have to do the things you love, and the less likely you are to get sick in the first place.

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.

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The Benefits of Using a Heating Pad



The Benefits of Using a Heating Pad



Heat treatment has been proven to ease chronicle aches and pains. It can also be used in combination with cold treatment when an injury first surfaces. Heat treatment can come in many different forms. In this article we will focus on heat treatment that can easily be done at home, that`s also affordable and effective. Of course, we are referring to the use of heating pads!

Do you know there are different types of heating pads? Do you know the best use for them?

In this post, we will take a closer look at two different heating pads that gives out different kinds of heat. Also how you can use a heating pad to ease the pain in different body areas, like your back.

Heating pads can be essential in healing many different kinds of ailments, ease pain and loosen up the muscles in your back and other body parts.


Why Heat?

By applying heat to your back you increase the oxygen flow and nutrients to your muscles which help the muscles recover. Heat also stimulates the sensory receptors in your skin that makes you feel relief. The heat loosens up your muscles, which helps with flexibility and decrease stiffness.


Different Types of Heating Pads

There are several different types of heating pads you can use. Some are specific to your body part, while some give out different kinds of heat. Some are electric, others you warm up in the microwave.

Below we discuss 2 different types of heating pads that give out different kinds of heat.


Regular Heating Pad

There is the regular kind of heating pad you can get. It can be plugged into the wall and placed on your back or another aching part of the body. They often come with settings of “low, medium, and high” on a control pad. These are the heating pads most of us are used to, and they work well for most situations.

Far Infrared Heating Pads

Far infrared ray heating pads, use far infrared (FIR) heat instead of radiant heat. These FIR heating pads cost a bit more than a regular pad, but it might be worth it if you are dealing with chronic pain.

FIR heating pads often are made with jade stones imbedded in mesh packaging. Like ordinary heating pads, they are plugged into the wall and have controllers, usually more sophisticated than ordinary heating pads, allowing the user to set a specific temperature.

The heat given off by far infrared heating pads is different from radiant heat. The heat is stored in the jade stones and is given off as infrared heat, which goes deeper into the skin, penetrating the tissues to a depth of about 2 to 3 inches. This allows the heat to relieve spasm in muscles that are far deeper than the skin.

Some infrared heating pads are made with tourmaline stones and amethyst crystals in them, which do dual duty as a far infrared heating pad and as a device which gives off negative ions. Negative ions are believed to have many health benefits beyond the relief of pain and muscle spasm.


How to Use a Heating Pad?

Heating pads are especially helpful for pain and muscle spasm of the neck, shoulders, lower back, and knees. They ease muscle stiffness and spasm of the muscles, allowing for increased mobility around the joints and relief of pain caused by tight muscles and inflammation.

Heating pads are designed to be used for brief periods of time, up to thirty minutes at a stretch, where they can heat the muscles and improve circulation to the affected area, which promotes faster healing.

Small Heating Pads

Small heating pads can be used on the back of the neck, the shoulder, or the knee. They are flexible and can be wrapped around these areas of pain so that the muscles can heat up and can be reduced of spasm.

After several sessions of heating for thirty minutes at a stretch, the joints will move more freely and there will be increased mobility. Much pain is related to inflammation and spasm of muscles and this is what heating pads treat best.

Large Heating Pads

Large heating pads can be used for the low and mid-back for those who have muscle spasm deep in the tissues causing pain and limited mobility of these areas. The goal of applying heat to these areas is to relieve the spasm, thus reducing pain and increasing mobility of the affected area.

Heating pads have many uses and can be used in many body areas. They can be used alone or in combination with brief applications of ice in order to relieve the pain and inflammation of injured areas of the body.

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Our Top 10 Extra Large Heating Pads


1. Sunbeam XpressHeat Heating Pad

Size: 14″ x 24″ (true size 11 x 23.5)

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the Sunbeam XpressHeat Pad:

  • Heats in 30 seconds.
  • Option of continuous heat.
  • Soft micro-plush cover.
  • 6 Heat Settings.
  • Dry or Moist heat.
  • Quiet

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Some users don`t think it gets hot enough.
  • The cover is not removable.

Who should get this pad?

If you are looking for a soft comfortable, heating pad with continuous heat that can be used for both dry and moist heat then this pad might be for you.

If you do like your heating pad super hot then look for another option.

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2. BodyMed ZZHP1427

Size: 14″ x 27″ 

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the BodyMed ZZHP1427:

  • Heavy duty heating pad.
  • LCD screen that show digital number settings, the actual heat number.
  • Moist electric heating pad.
  • Removable cover.
  • Gets hot, you can set it up to 166F.

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • There is no option of continuous heat, 60 minutes is the longest setting.
  • There is a beeping sound at the end of the session that some find very annoying.

Who should get this extra large heating pad?

If you are looking for a heavy duty heating pad, where you can set the exact temperature with your controller, than this pad might be for you.

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3. Thermophore Automatic Max HEAT Plus Moist Heat Pack

Size: 14" × 27" 

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons you might find this Thermophore MaxHeat Plus Heating Pad a good option:

  • Extra moist pack included
  • High Medium low settings control
  • Get hot upto 176 F

Why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Only stays on for about 20 minutes

Who should get this extra large heating pad?

If you are looking for a hot heating pad that forms after your body, then this might be a good option for you.

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4. Theratherm Large Digital Moist Heat Pad

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the Theratherm Large Digital Moist Heat Pad:

  • Moist heating pad, without adding water.
  • Digital controller for temperature and time setting.
  • Set time control up to 60 minutes.
  • Removable cover.
  • Gets hot upto 166F.

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Maximum setup time is 60 minutes, no continuous heat option.
  • Some users have experienced that the pad does not last long.

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5. Thermophore MaxHeat 14×27, Model 155

Size: 14″ x 27″ 

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack:

  • Moist heating pad (draws moisture from the air)
  • Gets very hot, up to 176F.
  • High / Medium / Low Easy Control Settings
  • Removable cover

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • You might want a more heavy-duty pad.
  • The pad only stays on for 20 minutes, if you want continuous heat look for another option.

Who should get this item?

If you want a heating pad that gets very hot, then Thermophore MaxHeat will do the job. This is a heat pad that gets very hot, the hottest on the market that we have found.

Click Here to View on Amazon



6. Sunbeam 938-511 Microplush King Size Heating Pad with LED Controller

Size: 12″ x 24″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Sunbeam Microplush King Size Heating Pad:

  • 4 heat settings
  • Soft comfortable heating pad
  • Both dry and moist heat
  • Keep the pad on up to 2 hours

Reasons why you might want to look at a different pad:

  • No removable cover
  • Some have experienced short life span with this heat pad

This is a reasonable priced heating pad, with both positive and negative customer reviews, make sure you read our review before purchasing this pad to see if this will take care of your needs.



7. Thermophore Classic Plus Moist Heat

Size: 14″ x 27″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermophore Classic Moist Heat Pack:

  • Comes with an extra moisture pack, that will add extra moisture for dry areas.
  • Gets very hot.
  • Removable fleece cover.

1 Reason why you might want to consider another heating pad:

  • This heating pad comes with a switch that you have to manually hold down to reach the desired heat you want. When you let go of the switch the temperature will slowly drop.

This is a good heating pad but you might want to consider another Thermophore model (model 155 or 355) that comes with the 3 setting temperature control. If you like the safety feature of the manual switch then this will be a good heating pad for you.




8. Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack/Classic

Size: 14″ x 27″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack:

  • Moist heating pad (draws moisture from the air).
  • Gets very hot up to 176F.
  • Removable cover.

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • The switch, this heating pad comes with a switch that you have to hold down to reach wanted heat. You release the switch and the temperature starts dropping, to get the pad warmer keep the switch down again.

If you like what this heating pad offers, that it gets very hot for example, take a look at the 155 or 355 model that comes with a controller instead of the switch.



9. Thermotech Automatic Digital Moist Heating Pad King Size

Size: 14″ x 26″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermotech Automatic Digital Heating Pad:

  • It gets very hot
  • Removable cover
  • Moist heating pad
  • Easy to handle digital control

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • For some it gets too hot

Who should get this item?

If you like your heating pad hot, then this item might be for you.



10. Sunbeam 732-500 King Size Heating Pad with UltraHeatTechnology

Size: 12″ x 24″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermotech Automatic Digital Heating Pad:

  • Continuous heat
  • Removable cover

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Flimsy heating pad that wrinkle up
  • Strong smell when first used
  • One of the smaller “large” heating pads


The best heating pad for you personally depends on a few simple considerations!

Do You Need To Treat Multiple Areas?

If, for example, you were in an automobile accident and sustained multiple injuries on the right side of your body, you would be able to treat them all at once using a large heating pad.  With a smaller heating pad, you would either need to move the heating pad from area to area, or purchase multiple heating pads.


Extra Large Heating Pad for Lower Back Pain

Individuals with chronic lower back pain often have pain in their upper or middle back as well.  Pain in your lower back will often cause you to stand or walk differently in order to experience les pain.  By doing this, you end up using your other back muscles incorrectly.  As a result, lower back pain often spreads into other parts of the back.  A large heating pad work best for this situation.

 Other Areas to Treat with a Large Heating Pad

If you tend to be cold-natured, large heating pads are a convenient way to warm up, without making everyone else uncomfortable.  Large heating pads can be used to treat menstrual cramps and abdominal cramps.  They can easily be placed on top of the painful area-if you have painful cramps in your legs, simple place the large heating pad over the painful area.

If you are looking for a heating pad for a specific body part, those are offered as well. If you have aches and pain in your neck and shoulders, you might want to consider a neck heating pad, or a neck shoulder heat wrap.


What Kind of Heat Do You Need?

When deciding which type of large heating pad to purchase, there are several important factors that need to be considered.  Dry heat will draw moisture away from your body.  If you are retaining water which is making you more uncomfortable, dry heat would be what you should use.

Moist heat is able to penetrate deeper into sore tissue and provide more pain relief.  Infra-red heat is able to penetrate several inches of bone to heal deep tissue injuries.

Infrared heating pad is another great option, they often contain jade and other natural stones that add additional health benefits to the heat.

You also need to pay close attention to where the controls are located and how easy they will be for you to use.  Some large heating pads heat up quickly, others take longer to warm up.  Some can be set to operate for a specific amount of time, others require manual reactivation in frequent intervals in order to maintain a constant temperature.

Also you want to decide if you are looking for an electric heating pad or a microwavable one for example.

The Cover

If your large heating pad does not come with a cover, it would be wise to purchase one, or create an improvised cover with a pillowcase, T-shirt, or towel.  Although some large heating pads are advertised to be machine washable, this may result in a less than desirable outcome.

If a heating pad is large enough to cover you, it may be difficult to machine-wash it.  Since dry heat pulls moisture out of your body, and moist heat adds moisture, your large heating pad will need to be kept clean and in good working condition.


Do you use a heating pad? Are you maybe thinking of getting one? Let us know below in the comments.

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.


Can You Treat Your Own Back Pain?



 Can You Treat Your Own Back Pain?


When people see a spinal specialist such as a chiropractor, they will usually think that the chiropractor “fixed their back” or “made their headache go away”. But the truth is that they didn't ‘fix’ anything, or make these people heal. But you can't force the natural process of healing. All that any specialist can ever really hope to do is help to restore better spinal health and function, then their own bodies do the rest!

So, can you treat your own back pain? Yes you can!

You just need to understand how it works, then do the right things, at the right time, in the right way to restore normal spinal function and you can treat your own back pain.

Really, all recoveries are down to the fact that your body is made to heal itself. In fact, the only thing that can create true healing is your own body.


You are the doctor!


You see, your body doesn't want to be sick or unwell; it is always aiming to survive and thrive. Cuts and scrapes miraculously heal by themselves, you will recover from a cold, etc. Even when you vomit you are not really sick, it is actually a healthy response to expel something your body has recognized as toxic.

An extreme example of all this would be frostbite, as your body shifts its heat and blood away from the extremities to protect the internal organs in order to survive. It is the ultimate survival sacrifice; you might lose a finger, but you sure didn't die! Your body is not trying to kill you or cause you pain, in fact it is trying to do the exact opposite!


The simple fact is this:

Good health is our natural state.


Given the right environment your body can only become healthier, as normal function improves. Interference to the normal, natural functioning of the body is what leads to a decrease in health and the body’s ability to heal. This may come down to poor diet or lack of exercise, which are basically bad lifestyle choices.

It might be unknown to some, but your spinal health also affects the function, and therefore the health, of your body. We know that spinal problems can interfere with the nervous system, which is the master control system for the body. This interference has a direct negative affect on the function of your body, and therefore your health. Eventually this will show up as some kind of problem, maybe back pain or headaches, and this is when we seek help to get “fixed.”



From an optimal health point of view the pain or illness is not the issue, it’s just the end result of dysfunction. By removing the cause of interference we simply allow your body to function better, start to heal, and your health improves.

To treat your own back pain, you need to do the right things, at the right time, in the right way, as fully explained in our Total Back Pain Solution program. You just need to make the decision to make some changes, and the first step might just be learning how to fix your own back pain, then do something about it!



So congratulations Dr You, you have taken the first steps to help restore function and the ability to heal to your body!


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.








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Exercises For Scoliosis Pain.




Exercises For Scoliosis Pain.

Although scoliosis rarely causes back pain, these exercises for scoliosis pain can be helpful if you are experiencing discomfort.


What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis means ‘curvature of the spine’. It is not a medical condition as such, but rather scoliosis is simply a descriptive term, like headache, and not a precise diagnosis. In this case it is used to describe any abnormal, sideways curvature of the spine.

'C' and 'S' Curve

Typically when we view a spine form the back (or front), it should be straight. Scoliosis is present when the spine is curved to the side, making it look like a ‘C’ or an ‘S’ shape.

This is different to viewing a spine from the side where we expect to see the natural arches, or curves of the spine. You can read more details about the natural spinal curves here.

It is estimated that 2-3{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of the population have scoliosis.


What Causes Scoliosis?

There are many different possible causes of scoliosis. The main types are discussed here.


Idiopathic Scoliosis.Idiopathic Scoliosis

This is the most common type of scoliosis. The word idiopathic comes from Greek, and means a condition or disease with no known cause. Although there are many theories, the exact cause of idiopathic scoliosis is not known.

It is estimated that 65{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of cases of scoliosis are idiopathic. They rarely cause any obvious symptoms.

It is rare for this type of scoliosis to develop in children under 10 years of age, and it affects females more often than males.


 Congenital Scoliosis.

Make up an estimated 15{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of all cases of scoliosis, and are due to a bone abnormality present at birth. This form of curvature is often associated with congenital abnormalities in other body systems such as the heart and kidney.


Degenerative Scoliosis.

The most common type of scoliosis that develops in adults.  Degenerative Scoliosis is due to a change is the bone structure of the spine. This may be from surgery, arthritis, bone collapse as a result of osteoporosis or tumour; or gradual deterioration in the spine, discs, and facet joints.


Neuromuscular Scoliosis.

A wide variety of diseases and disorders of the central nervous system (brain), nerves and muscles can, but not invariably, result in the development of Neuromuscular scoliosis.It is frequently seen in people with spina bifida and cerebral palsy.


We feel it is important to add an extra type of scoliosis, one that is not found in medical literature, but widely seen.

Functional Scoliosis.

This type of scoliosis is seen on most xrays. Whilst usually only observed as a slight/mild scoliosis, it is extremely common. It is due to dysfunction in the spine. Abnormal spinal motion and misalignments can lead to a change in the structure of the spine, often seen as a scoliosis. One leg shorter than the other will cause a pelvic tilt, resulting in scoliosis too.


Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis.

Signs of scoliosis that are easily observed are:scoliosis xr

  • One shoulder higher than the other.
  • A prominent shoulder blade.
  • Uneven waist, or leaning to one side.
  • Ribs more prominent on one side.

The definitive diagnosis of scoliosis is from an x-ray of the spine.

Children and teenagers with idiopathic scoliosis usually have no noticeable symptoms or pain. Often it will go unnoticed if the scoliosis is not obviously observable. Because scoliosis rarely causes back pain in children, if they are suffering back pain it needs to be investigated.

Severe scoliosis at any age can cause back pain and stiffness, and even neurological problems such as numbness or weakness in the legs. Breathing can be difficult if there is distortion of the rib cage as a result of thoracic (mid back) scoliosis.


Treatment for Scoliosis.

The medical approach for severe scoliosis includes bracing. Back braces can be fitted when the curve is 25 degrees or more, but less than 50 degrees.

Over 50 degrees of scoliosis curve would be a case for possible spinal surgery, where rods are inserted to straighten the spine.

Chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy both show good results for relieving mild to moderate cases of back pain from scoliosis. There is no evidence however that they can provide any benefit in preventing the progression of scoliosis. However, people with scoliosis should stay active and fit.


Exercises For Scoliosis Pain.

Most of the back pain from scoliosis is due to stress and strain on the spinal structures (joints, muscles, ligaments etc.) Try the following exercises if you have back pain from scoliosis.

Knees to Chest

1. Curl up into a ball. Spondylolisthesis is aggravated by spinal extension, so by pulling your knees to your chest, you are bringing your spine into a more flexed position. Start by lying on your back, them simply pull both of your knees to your chest and hold them there for 10-30 seconds.


Low Back Stretch

2. Cat Stretch. Similar to curling up into a ball, cat stretches bring your spine into flexion. Start in a kneeling position, then sit back onto you feet. Stretch your arms out in front of you along the floor. Feel the stretch in your low back and hold for 10 seconds.


Back Bends3. Back Arches. Often relief can be achieved by extending or arching the spine.

First off, try this in a standing position with your hands on your hips, and just gently arch backwards over your hands.

If you have any pain aggravation then do not do this exercise. If it is okay, after doing this for 2-3 days you can progress to doing extension exercises on the floor.



4. Back Extensions. Lie on your tummy, and gently lift your head and shoulders off the floor using your back muscles and propping your self up on your elbows forBack Extensions 10 seconds.

Begin this one very carefully and slowly as it can be a bit painful at the start.



These simple exercises can make a real difference if you are suffering with scoliosis in the spine. Give them a go and see if they help you out, but remember to just start slowly and gently! If this does not help you then I would recommend seeking professional advice.

Also check out our Total Back Pain Solution, a neurologically based spinal rehabilitation program that you can do at home, it has been specifically developed to restore long term spinal functional stability. 


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.


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Correct Posture Looks Great! Learn How To Correct Bad Posture With These Easy Home Exercises.


Correct Posture Looks Great!


'When the body is in optimal alignment, you will stand taller, feel better, look better,

and even your breathing becomes easier and deeper.'


Correct posture not only makes a good first impression, it also does wonders for your health and self confidence! Once you know how to correct bad posture with the easy home exercises below, you will see and feel the incredible difference that it makes!


Having a nice, upright posture is essential for looking and feeling good.  Standing tall and not slouching will automatically give your body a leaner, more attractive shape, as well as the ability to move better! And it is not that hard to achieve, just some simple exercises and the time for your body to change. Learning to use and move your body in a correct manner, so all its parts are in alignment, is really all there is to good posture. When the body is in optimal alignment, you will stand taller, look better, and your breathing also becomes easier and deeper.

Good posture also helps to prevent injury and ill health. If you have poor posture, your bones are not properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments take more strain than nature intended. Faulty posture may cause you fatigue, muscle strain and in later stages, pain.  If your shoulders are slouched, there’s less room for your body’s internal organs, which hinders flow of oxygen into the body, affecting digestion, circulation, and other basic functions.

According to researchers reporting in the American Journal of Pain Management, "Posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are also among the functions influenced by posture."


One of the first things to pay attention to is how you stand.

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, making sure both legs are facing forward.

2. Your legs should be straight but your knees should not be locked.

3. Let your arms rest naturally at your sides.

4. Feel your weight being supported in the middle of each foot. You may want to see how it feels to rock onto the ball of your foot and then back on your heel. Finally, find a balance in the middle.

5. Press your shoulders down your back. A good way to do this is to take your shoulders up to your ears and then rolling them back to relax away from your neck.

6. Make sure your head is centred directly on the top of your spinal column.


The same applies to sitting.

Many of us spend more than half our waking life sitting in chairs behind desks. So finding a comfortable chair is essential for good posture. When you’re looking for a chair to support your back and allow a proper sitting posture, check for the following:

1. You should be able to place both of your feet flat on the floor.

2. The seat of the chair should support your entire thigh.

3. The back support of the chair should be as high as your shoulder blades.


 Easy Home Exercises For Better Posture.

 Chair exercises

Sitting straight, reach around to take hold of the back of your chair. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes while taking long, deep breaths.

Health benefits: this move encourages flexibility of the muscles around the shoulder joints, shoulder blades, breastbones and spine. It can also help reduce shoulder pain and ease headaches.

Seated forward bend

From the sitting straight posture, bend your body forward so your torso is resting on your thighs. Your head and neck are relaxed, hanging loosely while your arms can rest on the ground or your elbows can be clasped with either hand. From this position, slowly rise with a flat back to sit up nice and tall. Repeat this movement 10 times.

Health benefits: This exercise releases tension in the shoulders and back while enhancing circulation. It also balances the joints of the shoulders and hips.

Simple twist

Clasp your hands behind your neck will pressing your elbows back so you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulder blades. Twist your torsos gently to the right, hold for three deep breathes then twist to the left for three breathes. Repeat on both sides 3-5 times. If you need to rest, come back to the centre, rest your hands on your knees and do some easy neck rolls, and then resume the exercise.

Health benefits: The twist realigns the spine and its surrounding muscles. It also helps to eliminate shoulder and back pain.

Standing exercise

With your feet hip-distance apart, stand with your head in line with your spine and stomach muscles pulled in. Think about standing correctly as described above, though your knees may be bent slightly. Drop your head down to your chest and let the curve continue into your shoulders and back, then slowly to your waist and hips, so your arms are hanging or your hands may be touching the ground. Stay in this position for a few long breaths. Then, one vertebra at a time, roll gently up. Keep your stomach tucked in and the muscles of your buttocks tightened as you roll up. Your head is the last to come up, directly in line with your spine. Repeat this exercise several times to get a feel for the proper alignment of your body.

 Prone exercise

Lie face down on the floor, keeping your neck straight, with your legs extended and arms straight overhead. Slowly raise your left arm and right leg about 6 inches (15 cm) off the ground. Hold for five seconds and lower. Repeat with the right arm and left leg. Repeat five times on each side.

Supine exercise

Lie on your back. Bend your knees and draw them into your chest to stretch the lumbar vertebrae. Place your feet back on the floor, keeping your knees bent and your entire lumbar back and pelvis in contact with the floor. Lay your arms across your chest and clutch your ribs while rocking from side to side to elongate your torso. Move your hands to the back of your head and pull forward to lengthen your cervical spine. Gently lower your head and neck to the floor.

No Back Pain


These simple exercises will only take you a few minutes a day to do. If you continue to do the exercises daily for around 4-6 weeks, you (and your friends!) will actually see your posture start to change. But you will start to feel much better for doing the exercises a lot quicker!! Make it a part of your daily routine (like brushing your teeth) and enjoy the benefits!


Remember that regular activity and exercise are essential to naturally promote good posture. Walking, swimming, dancing or bicycling will help your body stay aerobically conditioned, will strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding your back stay strong. These benefits of exercise promote good posture, which will in turn further help to condition muscles, prevent injury and keep you looking and feeling great.


Also check out our Total Back Pain Solution for naturally treating your own back pain right at home!


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.