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Clavicle Muscle – Anatomy Of The Subclavius Muscle

Img 1 : Subclavius Muscle

Muscle Anatomy And Insertions

Subclavius muscle (as the name suggests: sub – under) is a small, triangular muscle located under the clavicle bone. The muscle arises by a short, thick tendon from the first rib in front of the costoclavicular ligament. From this point, the subclavius muscle extends upwards and lateralward to be inserted into the groove on the underside of the clavicle1.

Muscle Function And Innervation

The main function of the muscle is shoulder depression – the muscle draws the clavicle bone downward and forward. Another main function of the muscle is protection – it protects the brachial plexus and major blood vessels which run  under the clavicle bone. The subclavian nerve is responsible fur the muscle innervation.

Muscle Variations

The muscle may insert into the coracoid process (located on the scapula) instead of the groove on the underside of the clavicle.


  • (1912.) Gray H. Muscles Of The Upper Extremity, Anatomy Of The Human Body, page 438.
  • Img 1 source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Subclavius_muscle_frontal.png

The Connection Between Alcohol And (Lower) Back Pain

Some time ago, I wrote about the connection between smoking and back pain (you can click the link to find out more about this connection), and today I`ve decided to address another bad habit – drinking alcohol – and determine whether there is a connection.

When talking about alcohol and back pain, I`m sure many of you will immediately think of falling when drunk and hurting your back, but we are not going to talk about that specific type of back pain, not for now at least.


Of course, we all know what it is, but I wanted to touch it briefly. Whether we wanted to accept it or not, it is a drug. It can be classified as a depressant as it slows down vital functions of our body.

We can divide alcohol usage into several stages, depending on the amount and its effect:

  • Stimulant effect – When we drink “only” a glass or two, and loosen up 
  • Depressant effect – When we drink more than we can handle and start loosing coordination and control.
  • Severe depressant effect – Causing inability to feel pain, vomiting, coma and, in severe cases, even death

Fun Facts

Since the tone of this post went more “darker” than I originally planned, I wanted to lighten you up with some fun alcohol facts:

  • The US national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner,” was written to the tune on a drinking song
  • Adolf Hitler was one of the most famous abstainers from alcohol (believe it or not)
  • Winston Churchill, on the other hand, was one of the world`s heaviest drinkers
  • The oldest recipe in the world was for a beer

(Source: Curious Read)

Back Pain

person drinking
Photo (c) telegraph.co.uk/

OK, let`s get back on track here and talk about the connection between back pain and alcohol! Before I go on, I feel the need to point out that there was still no serious research done in an effort to determine the the link between alcohol and back pain.

Light Consumption

I`m sure you know this already, but it diesn`t hurt to say it again – a moderate intake may provide you with various health benefits, such as:

  • Lowering the heard disease risk
  • Thinning the blood and reducing the risk of stroke
  • Improving body`s sensitivity to insulin
  • Lowering the risk of dementia etc.

Heavy Consumption

Heavy alcoholism is linked to a wide range of disorders including

  • Liver disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems etc.

Final Verdict

Though there are no concrete, there are various claims suggesting that excessive use of alcohol plays an important role in developing of back pain. The logic behind this is that it will eventually cause a loss in the bone mass and density and cause problems with your back, and other joints of your body.

It can also be, indirectly, linked to some pain conditions such as arthritis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis and/or ankylosing spondylitis.

Bottom line is this – there evidence supporting the back pain and alcohol link are circumstantial. But, if you want to keep on drinking t prove if this theory is valid, be my guest; however, I would advise you not to do this and take care of your body.

I cannot and wont tell you to stop drinking, I too enjoy a drink from time to time, all I`m saying is to try an be moderate with everything you do in life, including drinking and avoid unnecessary problems.



Best Coccyx Seat Cushion For Your Tailbone Pain – 2018


We humans are not built for sitting. Our bodies evolved over millions of years, turning us into hunter-gatherers we are today. Even though we adopted sedentary lifestyle some 10000 years ago, our DNA is still deeply rooted in our hunter-gatherer history.

Fast forward to today – we are literally torturing our bodies by forcing them into a seated position through most of the day. Many of us sit for as many as 10 hours each day, whether at the desk at work or the computer at our home. And regardless of what posture you assume, sitting is harmful to the human body, not just our spine, but our overall health.

As a result of this “poor habit,” we are constantly faced with neck pain, back pain and tailbone pain, which we will be talking more in the following paragraphs.

Apparently, you can`t just quit your job because your tailbone hurts, which is why we are going to give you some general advice on relieving your pain and recommend some of the best Coccyx seat cushions you can buy and make your long hours of sitting more bearable.

The Anatomy Of The Coccyx/Tailbone

The coccyx is located at the very bottom of the spine, and it represents a vestigial(vestigial meaning a body part that has become small and lost its function of the course of evolution. Source: TheFreeDictionary) tail. Tailbone consists of 3-5 small (sometimes fused sometimes separated) vertebrae.

Women Are More Prone To Coccyx Pain

Due to the differences in female anatomy, women are more prone to experiencing tailbone pain and injuries. Some of the more common reasons are 1:

  • The coccyx of a woman is more rotated, thus more exposed to injury
  • Women have broader pelvis so sitting actually puts more pressure to the tailbone (when compared to men)
  • Childbirth is sometimes linked with tailbone pain and injuries in this area

Common Causes Of Tailbone Pain

tailbone-painIt may sound surprising, but the exact cause of tailbone pain is not precisely defined. In general, these are its most likely causes:

  • Trauma – a direct blow to the coccyx area can, of course, lead to pain and problems in this area
  • Childbirth – during the delivery, the head of the baby passes over the top of the coccyx; the pressure it creates can sometimes lead to injuries
  • Sitting – prolong sitting can lead to a  number of health and spine problems; and it can also cause coccyx pain
  • Weight – overweight people are more likely to come across joint and back pain since the added weight puts additional pressure to the joints. It can also shift your center of gravity and cause even more problems. If you are interested in losing weight, you can read our 3 Week Diet Program Review Here

Relieving The Pain Naturally

The good thing about tailbone pain is that it will, in most cases, go away on its own. But it may last for several months. Some of the best known ways to address this pain are:

  • Applying ice or heat packs
  • Taking over-the-counter medication
  • Leaning forward while sitting, to relieve pain off the tailbone or
  • Buying a coccyx seat cushion

Benefits Of Buying A Coccyx Seat Cushion

These cushions are generally made of memory foam, to be soft but, at the same time, to offer stability and ensure your spine is properly aligned. They will also help distribute the weight more evenly, adjust your center of gravity when sitting and relieve pressure off your tailbone.

A cushion may also have a cut-out area beneath the coccyx, allowing it to be suspended in the air and relieved of pressure altogether.

But what is the best coccyx seat cushion for pain relief? There are a lot of different models of the market today, which is why finding the perfect one might require some trial and error. Our goal here is to minimize this trial and error process and recommend you the top 5 cushions that are guaranteed to help you with your tailbone pain.

Reviews – Top 5 Cushions For Tailbone Pain Relief

These are the top 5 cushions you can order today.

Cushina – Memory Foam Seat Cushion

cushina-cushionCushina is one of the favorites among people suffering from tailbone pain, sciatica and lower back pain. You can use it at home, bring it with you to the office or even put it in your car seat, it is very versatile.

When it comes to seat cushions, one of the biggest problems with most is losing shape over time. And as the cushion lose shape, it stops giving your back the support it needs, and it becomes useless. Cushina pillows are made from grade A memory foam (high density), guaranteed to give you good support in the years to come.

And, as you can see on the image, the cushion is “U” shaped to protect your tailbone and your spine from compression when sitting. This shape also promoted correct spinal alignment and boosts circulation to your legs.

Another great benefit of using this pillow is correct weight distribution. If the weight is not distributed properly, it can lead to strains, back problems, and pain. Cushina will make sure your posture is good and that it stays good!

It is also (at the time of writing this article) on an awesome discount, so if you decide to buy it you will save over $$!

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Aylio Coccyx Seat Cushion

coccyx-pain-cushionAnother great memory foam cushion for people who spend the majority of their day seated. The cushion is advertised as “light weight” and “extra firm” and it really is! You can easily move it around, use in your car, wheelchair and even when traveling by plane. Also, it will not lose its shape or form even if you weight a little extra.

As for the size, it is not too bulky so you won’t have any problems using it wherever you want.

The cushion is sturdy enough to offer support for both men and women and weights of over 340 pounds (more than most cushions in this price range!). If you weight more, you should scroll up to “Common causes of pain” section and check out the weight loss program we recommend. Reducing your weight will not only “allow” you to use this pillow, but also lessen the pressure on the joints, which is the likely cause of your back and coccyx pain.

The cover of the pillow can be easily removed (using a zipper), and it is machine washable.

Stil on the fence? Not to worry, we have something that might just tip you over. At the time of the writing, this pillow is being offered at a huge 50%+ discount! We are unsure how long will this discount last which is why we advise you act fast.

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Everlasting Comfort Orthopedic Cushion

everlasting comfortEverlasting Comfort was designed by a back specialist and it offers a LIFETIME replacement warranty. The cushion is, of course, made up of high-grade memory foam with a removable cover, soft to touch and machine washable.

The foam is sturdy enough to offer good support, but the cushion is soft enough to accommodate even people recovering from a broken tailbone or people with hemorrhoids.

Overall, this is a great buy for anyone looking to relieve pressure off their coccyx, improve their posture, relieve lower back pain and turn sitting into a more enjoyable experience. And it is flaxible enough you can use it at your home, office, car or even when traveling by airplane!

Another neat thing we love about this cushion is its heat responsiveness – it will mold to your body perfectly, giving you comfort yet keeping its shape to give you optimal support (even in people who weight 350+ pounds!).

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Puna Coccyx Deluxe

punaThis cushion is just up my alley, as you can see, it is bulky and thick and you know it will give you good support. Grade A memory foam will ensure it does not deform or flatten from long-term use, and the design (which follows natural curves of the body) boosts circulation.

The cushion also promotes proper, healthy posture and is especially suitable for people with:

  • Bruised or
  • Fractured tailbone
  • Hip and pelvic pain
  • Ulcers
  • And hernias

It also comes with a full 12-month guarantee.

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ComfiLife Coccyx Seat Cushion

ComfiLifeComfiLife offers a slightly different design and is advertised as “the most comfortable memory foam cushion on the market!” It is design in an effort to “reposition” your lower back and reduce the pressure it endures while sitting for longer periods of time.

Here are just some of the features of this amazing pillow:

  • Non slip rubber bottom
  • Built-in handle and zipper removable cover
  • Elevated rear design for proper sacrum support
  • Hugging thight and minimizing leg numbness
  • Heat and weight responsive
  • Does not limit your ability to move

This pillow is recommended for people:

  • With broken, bruised or painful tailbone
  • Sciatica
  • With arthritis of the spine
  • Slipped disc
  • PInched nerve or generally poor posture

It is currently on huge discount and you can find out more about it if you click the link below:

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NOTE: HelpYourBack.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Top 35 Exercises To Help You Fight Piriformis Syndrome Pain

Piriformis Syndrome is a common disorder caused by compression to the sciatic nerve by the Piriformis muscle. Manifestations are pain, tingling and numbness in the buttocks and along the path of the sciatic nerve`s descend.

But what is Piriformis muscle? It`s a flat, pyramidal shaped muscle, located in the pelvis region. Its function is to rotate the hip, along with several other muscles. The sciatic nerve passes through piriformis muscle, separating it in two. It is possible that trauma, hemorrhage , or spasm of the muscle can lead to Piriformis Syndrome.

Along with general information about piriformis syndrome itself, today we will be discussing it`s symptoms and offer you a full resource of 35 best exercises which will help you alleviate the pain.

Pathophysiology and Causes Of This Condition

This specific condition can be somewhat elusive, so it is often overlooked but can also be over-diagnosed. From my experience, reasons can be inconsistent description in literature or a simple oversight due to the rareness of the condition itself.

This syndrome can be caused by overuse of the Piriformis muscle or some sort of repetitive trauma. Acute trauma is often associated with Piriformis syndrome, a strong blow to the buttocks region can cause hematoma and scarring of the surrounding muscles, affecting sciatic nerve leading to this disorder.

I can add congenital factors to the “causes” list. In certain cases, there is an anatomical, anomaly in relations of the sciatic nerve and piriformis muscle, that can set this syndrome in motion.

Indications of the already present syndrome are pain, in the buttocks, posterior portion of the upper, and sometimes, lower part of the leg. The pain increases as the person performs physical activity, such as sports, riding bicycle, walking for long periods of time, swimming etc.

Piriformis Syndrome Symptoms

Hip anatomy
Photo (c) spyhunter007.com

As I’m sure you already know, pain is ever present. But pain as such can be associated with many other conditions so we have to be more specific about its origin, location, duration and some other aspects. One of the more common symptoms associated with Piriformis muscle syndrome is pain that presents itself after person stands for 20 minutes or more, sits or even is lying down without changing position.

After those 20, or in some cases 30, minutes person starts to complain about the radiating pain in their buttocks area (and we know that that is the place where the muscle is located). Pain will often spread to the sacrum and descend down, to the posterior side of the thigh, usually stopping somewhere close to the knee area.

In most cases, pain will actually get worse when sufferers retain their position, and they will feel better if they engage in a light walk. But remember that energetic walk, rapid and forced movement can also do you harm so just take it easy.

Movement is not the only thing that can worsen the pain, getting up and sitting back down can be very uncomfortable and painful, so I would advise you to get some assistance (you can use some apparatus or ask a family member, friend etc).

Various difficulties during walking can occur, such as foot drop or antalgic gait. Antalgic gait is a form of gait abnormality where the stance phase of gait is abnormally shortened relative to the swing phase. Numbness of the foot can also be present. accompanied by sacroiliac pain. Pain that usually does not go away completely when changing positions. Alongside with the pain, people often experience tingling feeling and muscle weakness.

You can perform a piriformis syndrome test yourself easily and identify the weakness, you just need a partner (you can grab a friend or a family member). You can do it like this: lie down to the side (choose one, it does not matter wich side you decide to start with) and have your friend push down on your leg while you try to resist him/her.

Now do the same, but lying on your opposite hip. If you feel any weakness in your legs with regards to each other there is a good chance you have a problem with your piriform muscle.

Aside from the pain in your lower back and extremity, a headache can be present as another symptom. You may also get neck pain, I know that headache and neck pain are pretty common for loads of conditions but when you combine them with all the above symptoms you will get a complete picture.

So all this being said, Piriformis syndrome is a serious disorder that can affect the quality of your life, so my advice to you is this – if you notice some of these symptoms or feel like something is wrong go see a doctor, you have nothing to lose. If you feel pain while doing your usual, daily activity pay a visit to your doctor. It may be nothing, but if you feel something is wrong go with your gut.

I`ve seen many people, sick or hurting, that refuse to go to the hospital. And i always tell them the same – Do not take your health for granted! We are fragile, and our bodies need constant care and attention especially when we are dealing with some abnormal processes, preventing our body to function properly.

The Best Treatment For Piriformis Syndrome Relief

Doctors can often prescribe certain anti-inflammatory medication along with physical therapy and deep massage.

So what to do when the pain starts? As I`m sure you will agree, ice comes to mind first. And it`s not a surprise, ice will help cool down inflammatory process (if it is present) and help relax your muscle. It is not a bad idea to lay down in a comfortable position and place the ice on the painful area.  But if you don`t like cold, you might find heat to be more suitable.

You can also incorporate a gentle or deep massage, depending on your preference. massage never hurt anyone and is especially effective with all back pain problems, including Piriformis syndrome.

Another common way to fight pain on your own is stretching. If you are an athlete then you know the importance of stretching, and if you are not- you will quickly find out!

Stretching, and movement in general is, according to the latest research, healthiest “thing” we can do for our body. World health organization actually says that insufficient movement is the number one threat to the people`s health, ahead of alcohol and cigarettes!

That is a mind-blowing information, least for me. Insufficient movement weakens the heart and blood vessels and reduces hormone production. Movement is the single most efficient stimulant for the proper functioning of our body. And movement will strengthen your muscles and aid you in your fight against this syndrome.

But don`t forget to stretch, stretch when you get up when you go to bed, before any physical activity and after, it will only do you good. I advise you to use movement to you advantage but not just any movement.

It is advised that you consult your chiropractor and develop a whole set or plan of exercises and movement patterns. They must be controlled, because when such a delicate condition is diagnosed, you must be careful and not risk worsening your condition. So always listen to your doctor, and pay attention to what he/she is saying. As far as the medications go, there is no one specific drug that will make Piriformis syndrome go away.

Top Stretches For Pain Relief

If you are still “getting acquainted” with the syndrome exercises and stretches it is best to start slow so you don’t push your muscles over their limit because you might do more damage than good. One more reason to start slow is the pain itself. If you have Piriformis syndrome, your muscle is rigid and stretching it will be painful, so if you start off too aggressively you will just aggravate it more and injure yourself further.

NOTE: I am going to place a small comment in red at the end of each exercise to let you know if the exercise was challenging for me ( I am a healthy, adult male) so you can gain some perspective and see if the exercise will be challenging for you as well.

Muscle Stretch

1. Ankle Over Knee Exercise

 stretch illustration
Photo (c) http://www.spinal-health-care.com

First of all you need to find a clean, flat surface to lay down on (it can be your floor, bed etc.). Lay down with your legs flexed in the knees, with your feet flat on the ground. Cross your legs so your ankle is placed on the opposite leg`s knee. Now, place your hand on the knee of the crossed leg and push it away from you.

As you push the knee away from you, you will feel the stretch going on in your buttocks area and spreading out down your leg, you might even feel it in your lower back. Hold this position for 15, 20 or 30 seconds (depending on how comfortable you are). You should repeat this exercise 2 – 4 times a day in cycles of 2 – 4 reps.

2. Ankle Over Knee With Raised Opposite LegIcon

stretch 2 illustration
Photo (c) http://www.teachpe.com

This exercise is a little harder and a bit trickier than the first one so pay attention. As you can see, once again cross your legs, placing the ankle behind the opposite knee. Now wrap your hands around that knee and pull your leg toward the chest.

You will feel a bit stronger stretching sensation along the buttock region and your upper leg. Exercise routine is the same as of the exercise above, hold the position for 15 – 30 seconds, repeat 2 – 4 times a day, 2 – 4 times per cycle.

3. Push Up Position StretchIcon
I highly advise you to go through the above exercises before going on to more advanced ones. The following exercise requires a little more flexibility and caution.

Advanced Stretch
Photo (c) http://www.rice.edu

As you can see on the images above, this exercise is no joke, you are stretching your Piriformis muscle along with other hip rotators using your whole body weight (and if you are a big guy like me, be careful).

So how to get in this position? It`s not that difficult, just pay attention to my instructions: get in a pushup position then slide your right knee in line with your left shoulder, rotate your lower leg so your ankle is flat on the floor. Now, press your hips toward the ground and you will feel a deep, strong stretching in your right hip region.

Hold this position for 30 – 60 seconds and then repeat on the other side. You can perform this exercise 3, 4 times a day.

4. Standing Hamstring Stretch
You will need a stool, 10-20 inches high. Place the heel of your injured leg to the stool and bend in the hips towards the stool. As you are stretching you will feel a slight stretch in the back of your thigh. Depending on your comfort level, hold the position for up to 30 seconds and repeat the exercise 4-5 times.

5. Knee To Chest Stretch
This is a simple and easy exercise but it is incredibly beneficial. Lie down on your back, flex your leg in hips and knees, grab your knee with your hands and pull the leg towards your chest. Now, you can either hold the position for couple seconds (depending on the pain) or you can bounce your leg if that feels more comfortable. Repeat 5-10 times based on your comfort level. Challenging to the hip joint

6. Knee To Chest – Opposite Side
As you might have guessed it, this exercise is similar to the previous one with one slight variation – this time pull your knee towards the opposite side of your body. For example, if the left leg is affected, lie down on your back, flex your leg in the hip and the knee, grab your knee and pull it towards the right side of your body. If you feel any pain or discomfort, rest for a moment or try some other exercise. Very challenging to the hip joint

7. Knee To Chest – Lower Leg VariationIcon
This is yet another variation of the previous exercise and it is done like this: Assuming your left leg is affected, lie down on your back, bend your left leg in the hip and knee, grab your left knee with your left hand and grab the lower left leg with your right hand. Then start pulling the leg towards your right shoulder. Again, there is no need to overdo it, stretch it to your comfort zone.

8. Knee Rolling
Lie down on your back, flex your legs in hips and knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Then roll your knees from one side to the other, while engaging your abdominal muscles. Keep in mind that this exercise can be a bit challenging and is definitely not for everyone, so it would be best to start out slow and get someone to help you by holding your knees and rolling them to the side. I`ve attached a video illustration of this exercise below: (Can be a bit challenging at first)


9. Longsit Piriformis StretchIconLongsit-Stretch
Sit down on the floor with your left leg straight, put your right ankle to the outside of the left knee, place your left hand on your left knee so that your left elbow is positioned on the outside of the right knee. I admit, the description may seem a bit confusing but there is a picture on the right which will help you get in the right position. Perform 5-10 repetition, two sets per day (hold the stretch for up to 10 seconds).

10. Supine Crossed Leg Stretch
Supine-StretchLie down on your back with your right  ankle across the left leg. Place your hands on the right thigh and try to pull the knee inward. Perform 5-10 repetition, two sets per day (hold the stretch for up to 10 seconds). Consult the image to the left if you are having troubles getting into the right position.

11. Assisted Gluteal Standing StretchIcon
It sounds more complicated than it really is, don`t worry. So, rather than explaining how its done, I was able to find a video clip for you to watch.


12. Both Knees To Chest
Even though this stretch appears simple and easy, it will do a great job of reducing the pressure on your nerves and lower back resulting in back pain alleviation. To begin lie down on your back and bring both your knees to your chest, hold the position with your hands and hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

13. Seated Leg Extension
Start out by sitting in your chair, back straight, legs bent at 90 degrees in hips and knees. Now, extend your (affected) leg, hold it with your arms if you need to, and bend your head down. This is an awesome stretch you will feel through your entire body. Note that it can be a bit challenging for those of you that are not flexible enough, but it is certainly not impossible. Try to hold the stretch for up to 10 seconds and release. Repeat 3-5 times.Can be challenging, especially if you are not flexible enough

14. Seated Crossed Leg ExtensionIcon
Just like with the exercise above, starting position is the same – seated, back straight, legs bent at 90 degrees in hips and knees. But this time you need to raise your affected leg and position the ankle over the opposite leg`s knee/thigh. Rest your arms onto your raised leg and bend forward. This is truly an awesome exercise, plus you can do it even when you are in the office, sitting in your chair. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, repeat 4-5 times.

15. Crossed Leg Squat
This exercise is a bit more demanding and is best suited for those of you that are well physically fit. You will need to stand upright (it is best to find some sort of arm rest you can hold while getting into squat position), place your left ankle over the right knee and go into a squat. Obviously you don`t need to into a full squat, but try to make your thighs parallel to the ground. AS you start to lower your body, you will feel an intense stretch. Do 10-20 repetitions, or as much as you can based on your comfort level.

16. Extended Leg Stretch
It would be ideal if you could find a buddy to help you with this exercise. You need to be lying down with your both legs extended. Then, raise your affected leg slightly and move it towards the other side so it forms a 90 degree angle with the opposite leg and hold the position for couple seconds. Do 10-15 repetitions.Challenging to the hip joint

Yoga Exercises

17. Pigeon PoseIcon

One of the best and most recommended yoga poses for people suffering from Piriformis Syndrome is certainly the Pigeon pose. Below you will find a video by certified yoga instructor Cindy Mastry, demonstrating this pose.


18. Bridge Pose

This pose will offer a wide range of benefits and it is perfect for beginners but it will also be beneficial to skilled yoga practitioners. It will open up your chest and improve the flexibility of the back spine and neck region. It will also relieve the symptoms of asthma, improve blood circulation, alleviate stress and depression. Watch the video below for bridge pose demonstration.


19. Happy Baby

Happy baby is yet another fantastic pose for stretching your lower back, hips, inner thighs and hamstrings. Keep in mind that you should avoid this position if you are suffering from hip or ankle injuries or if you are pregnant. The video below will demonstrate the proper way of practicing this pose.


20. Cobbler Pose

This is certainly an interesting pose which will test your flexibility to the max. But it is a great pose since it will not only improve the overall flexibility of your hip but also boost circulation in this region. Take a look at the video below and you will want to practice this pose each and every day!


21. Locust Pose

Locust pose might not influence your Piriformis muscle directly, but the goal of this pose is to strengthen your entire back, upper middle and lower, as well as arms and legs. It will also strengthen your chest, shoulders and abdominal muscles and improve your posture.


22. Thunderbolt Pose VariationIcon

Thunderbolt pose by itself will not do all that much to stretch your Piriformis muscle, but I added a slight variation to it so that it hits the muscle more. Here is how this pose is done:


And I add a small variation where I bend my torso so that I lower my head all the way to the floor and then I extend my arms in front of my head. This way you will hit the muscle and stretch it a bit further. Keep in mind that this pose might be problematic for those of you suffering from any sort of leg joint problems, which is why you need to use your common sense and avoid this pose if you feel it will hurt or put unbearable pressure to your joints.

23. Spinal TwistIcon

This pose is similar to the Longsit Piriformis stretch we mentioned earlier, but it will help you stretch your Piriformis muscle even more. Not only that, it will stimulate your internal organs and digestion and increase the spine`s elasticity and mobility. Check out the video demonstration below for a full overview.


24. Revolved Triangle PoseIcon

Revolved triangle pose is a fairly complicated yoga pose and if you are just a beginner, my advice to you is to get someone to help you – hold you if you start to lose balance, so you don`t fall down possibly injuring yourself. By practicing this pose you will give your spine a deep twist, improving its flexibility and mobility, as well as stretching your legs and alleviate Piriformis syndrome pain.


Note that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to yoga exercises you can utilize to reduce pain and improve your overall flexibility and quality of life. If you are interested in making yoga a big part of your life you can visit this fantastic site – BrilliantYoga.com

Strengthening Exercises

25. Clam Exercise

Clam exercise is performed while lying down on the ground on your side. You can flex your arm and position it under your head to give you stability and make you more comfortable, and you should flex your hips and knees at 45 degrees (don`t worry, it doesn`t have to be 45 degrees exactly, just make sure the angle is less than 90 degrees). Note that some of the strengthening exercises require a flexible band of some sort, to give you more resistance. Any old band would do but if you don`t have any on you, you can find some cheep ones here – Elastic Bands At Amazon.com

If you are still unsure how to perform this exercise, consult the image below:

Clam exercise
Photo (c) http://www.healthychildren.org

26. Resisted Hip Stand

Resisted hip stand is another exercise done with the help of an elastic band. You need to stand upright, attach the band to a secured object to your side (at waist level), stand on the affected leg and rotate your trunk away from the band. Repeat 10-20 times per sets, to up to 3 sets per day.


27. Resisted Hip Sit

You will need an elastic band and a chair. Sit on your chair with your hips and knees bent at 90 degrees and feet resting on the ground. Next, attach the rubber band to a secure object at ankle level and loop it around your ankle. Now pull the ankle inward. You can do as much as 100 repetitions per set and perform one set every other day.


28. Resisted Hip Stand 2

For this exercise you need to, again, attach the elastic band at ankle level but you need to stand facing the pull and extend your leg backward with your knee straight. Repeat the exercise 10-20 times, 3 times per day.


29. Resisted Hip Abduction- Seated

This exercise is a combination of the first two strengthening exercises we mentioned above. You will need to sit down, legs and knees at 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor. Next, place the elastic band around your knees and, while keeping the ankles together, try to spread the knees. Perform 10-20 repeats per set, 3-5 sets per day.


30. Resisted Hip Abduction – Standing

For this exercise you will need to stand in a sideways position, attach the rubber band at ankle level and pull the affected leg away from the center of the body. Do 10-15 repeats per set, 2-3 sets per day.

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31. Partial Curls

I`m sure most of you already know what a partial curl is but it is important to do it properly, which is why I am about to go over each step of this exercise. First, you need to lie down on your back with your legs extended and your arms resting by your side. Now tighten your abdominal muscles and try to lift your shoulders off the ground and stretch your hands in front of you. Pay attention to lifting your shoulders, not just lifting your head. And once you lift your shoulders you can hold the position for couple seconds, then relax back to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions, 2 sets per day.

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(c)RelayHealth and/or Affiliates

32. Prone Hip Extension

Pay attention to this exercise ladies, it will do wonders for your rear ;) Unlike the previous exercise, the starting position for prone hip extension is lying down on your belly (you can place a pillow under you hips for comfort). Flex the leg at 90 degrees in the knee and bring the whole leg up, couple inches off the ground. Hold this position for up to 5 seconds and release. Do 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions each day.

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(c)RelayHealth and/or Affiliates

Foam Roller Exercises

33. Straight Legs SitIcon

We can consider this a warm up for the two exercises we listed below. Basically, you will just need to get a foam roller, sit on it (position yourself so that the roller is roughly under your Piriformis muscle), extend your legs and roll back and forth.

Now I know that some (if not most) of you don`t currently own a foam roller and are not sure as to what model you need to get. But don`t worry, we are going to help you find the right one.

When buying a foam roller, you need to make sure it is the right size and firm enough to be able to really get to those tight muscles and loosen them up. So, to spare you the agony of looking for it yourself, we invested a bit of time and effort into finding the right one we could recommend. It is called The Grid foam roller. It is specially designed to for heavy, constant use and it even comes with a 1 year warranty. You can check it out at Amazon.com By Clicking Here.

34. Ankle Over Knee Back And ForthIcon

This exercise is nothing more than a variation of an exercise we mentioned earlier, ankle over knee, except this time you will be performing this exercise while sitting on a foam roller. You will need to position the roller under the affected muscles, sit on it, flex your legs in the knees and in the hips, cross your legs so that the ankle of the affected leg is placed on the opposite leg`s knee and roll back and forth. This is a rather comfortable exercise and so you can do it for a bout 1 minute, then switch to the other leg, and repeat couple times based on your comfort level. Here is a short video demonstration you can check out:


35. Ankle Over Knee Side To SideIcon

This is exactly the same exercise as the one we listed above with one crucial difference – this time you will place your foam roller so that it is parallel to your spine. Once you position it like this and sit on it, you will be able to hit the muscle at a slightly different angle. It is not a bad idea to try both these exercises and see which one suits you best; better yet, you can incorporate both of these exercises into your daily routine and you will see a massive improvement!

That`s It For Now
This is it for now folks. But, if you have an exercise you haven`t seen in this overview and you found it helpful, you can either write it down as a comment down below or send it straight to our email and we will include it in the article once we update it. Take care everyone and let us know what exercise worked for you!

List of references:
– Calve, Galland, De Cagny (1939) “The Antalgic Gait”. Pathogenesis Of The Limp Due To Coxalgia. Vol. XXI http://jbjs.org
– Klein (2012). “Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation …” . Rehabilitation Program . http://emedicine.medscape.com
– Office of Communications and Public Liaison, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (2007) “NINDS Piriformis Syndrome Information Page” . http://www.ninds.nih.gov
– http://kenner.narmc.amedd.army.mil/kahcdocuments/Hip%20PT%20Files/PIRIFORMIS%20SYNDROME[1].pdf
– http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/piri.html (1997)
– http://www.nhs.uk/video/Pages/sciatica-piriformis-syndrome.aspx
– http://www.mtbj.net/pdf/PiriformisSyndrome.pdf
– http://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/sma_piriformis_syndrome_exercises/
– http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/sciatica/video-series-exercises-sciatica-caused-piriformis
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFtUgS69rPk
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcHVBsxmJXA
– http://www.myyogaonline.com/

NOTE: HelpYourBack.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Bruised Finger – Why It Happens And How To Treat It!

We use fingers in virtually every activity through the day, sometimes without even noticing it. So, naturally, it’s easy to injure them in one way or the other.

Whether you’ve bruised your finger while playing a sport, falling down, or while doing some other physical activity, we are going to help you take good care of it and help it heal as quickly as possible.

We’ve divided the article into several sections since we intend to talk about the anatomy of the finger, tissue bruising, causes of bruising, and ways you can help yourself.

The Anatomy Of The Finger

The finger is, of course, a part of the hand. It is very flexible due to its numerous joints that act together as we move them. We have five of them on each hand (and feet) and, what separates us from other animals is our opposing thumb. Our opposing thumb has been our most valuable asset through the ages as we progressed.

In addition to finger joints, it is worth mentioning that our hand is divided into two surfaces:

  • Palmar surface – as the name suggests, this is the surface where the palm is. We can also say that it is the inner side of the hand
  • Dorsal surface – the opposite one; the outer side of the hand and fingers

The bones of the fingers are called the phalanges; we have 14 on each hand. Every finger is comprised of 3, and only our thumb has two bones in it. The bones are named by the location:

  • Proximal – those bones are the closest ones to the palm
  • Intermediate phalange – the names says it all, these bones are in the middle of the finger
  • Distal – the bones at the end of the finger

That’s is as far as the anatomy goes, we won’t bother you anymore. It is not the time to talk about the bruises.


Everyone has had a bruise at least once, it’s a fairly common injury, and it is not strictly related to fingers; a bruise can appear on any part of your body.

So what exactly is a bruise? Well, bruises occur when we injure those small, tiny blood vessels underneath the skin. Skin is durable and sturdy and will protect us as much as it can, but it the blow or an injury is severe enough, it will cause tissue damage.

The injured blood vessels will most likely rupture so that the blood will seep into the surrounding tissue. The color of the bruise will vary depending on the time of the injury and how long you’ve treated it.

In the beginning, the bruise will become dark blue and even black. As the bruise starts to heal, the color will become less intense and change to a purplish or a reddish hue; it will then become yellowish or even green as the bruise starts to go away completely.

As you might have noticed before, most bruises will go away on their own, but if they persist, you should seek medical help. Later in the article, we will talk more about when to visit a doctor, but first, we’ll talk more about the causes of a bruised finger.

Common Causes of A Bruised Finger

The most common (sometimes the only) reason you see bruised appearing on your fingers, is due to a mechanical injury. There are a lot of different scenarios that can lead to this injury, and we will try to list as many as we can.

We will also divide bruises into two distinct categories – Explained and Unexplained.

The Bruises We Can Easily Explain

As you might have guessed, these are the bruises we’ve mentioned earlier – those that are a result of a mechanical injury.

These injuries usually happen:

  • During a sports activity – playing sports, professionally or as an amateur may bring with it some risks. One of these risks is certainly an injury and bruising. You can bruise your fingers when dealing with an opposing player or when you fall down
  • During your exercise routine – if you are lifting weight your body is not prepared to, you might notice some bruising; this happens because lifting heavy objects (weights) can cause microscopic tears in your blood vessels which may lead to the discoloration and bruising in your fingers, hands and other related anatomical structures
  • If you don’t warm up properly – this goes hand in hand with the previous paragraph on exercising. You should ALWAYS warm up before engaging in any challenging physical activity. Ideally, you should “warm down” after you’ve completed your routine

There are also those individuals that are just prone to bruising. This usually happens in older people and women. This is due to the fact our skin becomes thinner over time, and it just bruises more easily.

Unexplained Finger Bruising

There are some cases where you simply can’t tell why a bruise appeared on your finger; you don’t recall injuring it. These are the cases we would advise you consult with your doctor, especially if you notice several bruises appearing at the same time, on different fingers (or even different parts of the body).

Some of the causes of these unexplained injuries are:

  • Age – bruising is more common in older people, as we’ve already said before, due to the thinner skin and weaker blood vessels. Of course, unexplained bruising is rare, but it can sometimes happen, more so than in healthy, younger individuals
  • Nutrition – lack of proper nutrient out body needs can sometimes cause a bruised finger. Most common causes of these unexpected bruises are lack of vitamin K or C which affects the synthesis of collagen; lack of zinc in your body can also be the cause
  • Von Willebrand disease – this is a genetic disorder where your blood doesn’t clot well. Patients can suspect they have this disease after a certain dental procedure (where the blood just doesn’t clot); women can also suspect it during their menstrual period. Though this disease is rare, it worth mentioning it
  • Chemotherapy – though chemotherapy is acknowledged as a valid cancer treatment, it is not a secret it damages various structures through our body. Some of these structures are, of course, blood vessels, especially those smaller, weaker ones
  • Hemophilia – another inherited genetic disorder where the patient is low on certain proteins called “clotting factors.” Even the less intense injuries can lead to excessive bleeding, and may also cause bruising on the skin of the fingers, as well as the entire body
  • Ehler-Danlos syndrome – this is a group of disorders that affect the connective tissue that supports the bones, skin, and the blood vessels. Patients with this disorder may have weakened capillaries that are prone to rupturing which leads to bruising
  • Medication – some drugs, especially the anticoagulant can reduce your blood’s ability to clot and, as a result of this capillary bleeding, you might notice bruises on your fingers, hands, arms and other parts of the body

Most Common Symptoms

The most prominent symptom of a bruised finger is, of course, localized discoloration of the skin.

We’ve already said that, in the beginning, the bruise will become red, dark blue or even black. As the time goes by it may change its color to a lighter hue of purple, yellow or even green.

In addition to the color, the affected area is tender to touch, swollen, and may even limit your ability to move the affected finger.

The bruise will go away on its own after two weeks. If it does not, however, you should seek medical help.

The only silver lining when it comes to bruises is that there is no chance for an infection. Since the skin integrity is not violated (the skin did not break), the possibility of an infection is minimal.

Is your Finger Bruised Or Broken

This is a question many people ask, and for a good reason since a bruised finger can hurt just as much as a broken one. So, how do you tell the difference?

Well, it depends on the severity of the injury. A fracture means that the bone has lost its integrity, it will swell up, cause severe pain, redness, cause lack of motion, and it may cause a deformity in your finger.

A bruise, though painful, will not present itself with such severe symptoms as a fracture. Sure, there will be swelling, pain, and limited range of motion, but you will still be able to move your finger. If you are strong enough, you can even try to move your finger slightly, using your other hand, just to make sure the bone integrity is intact.

As you can see, differentiating between those two can sometimes be tough, but a telltale sign we can pinpoint here is that, with a bruised finger, the pain will slowly start to go away in the first 4, five days since the injury. In a fracture, the pain will be much more intense and won’t go away on its own.

When To Seek Medical Help

We suggest people visit their doctor as soon as they suspect something is wrong. Of course, many avoid going to the doctor altogether. The choice is yours, but here are some of the situations you should and must go and see a doctor:

  • When you notice the pain and bruising increases in its intensity as the time goes by
  • When you see bruise appearing without any apparent reason (you do not recall injuring yourself)
  • If you notice bruising under your finger nails
  • If the bruise does not go away completely after three weeks
  • If you suspect a broken bone/finger
  • If your bruise feels cold to touch, instead of feeling warm
  • If the pain stops but then reappears after several days
  • If you develop a fever, start feeling nauseated or start vomiting

How To Help Yourself – At Home Tips

We are sure you already know most of these tips we are going to list, but this is just a standard procedure people with a bruised finger resort to.

Applying an ice pack directly onto the bruised area will help relieve pain and reduce the swelling. Note that it is never good to apply ice directly to the skin, as it may damage it. You should wrap the ice in a cotton cloth and then press it up against the skin. As a rule of thumb, you should not apply the ice for more than 15 minutes.

Another thing that goes well with icing is elevation. If possible, you should elevate your hand above heart level, this will help reduce swelling faster.

Though not often, your doctor might want to immobilize your finger to reduce further damage. He may tape your finger to the other ones or even use a splint to hold everything in place. If this does happen, you should pay close attention to the instructions he gave you, take good care of your fingers and hands and avoid manual labor as much as possible.

Last updated: August 3, 2018 at 23:23 pm

3 Most Common Causes Of Foot Pain In The Morning

You probably didn`t even think about it, but your foot is an incredible piece of evolutionary engineering! It is designed to be both flexible, to accommodate walking, and strong enough to withstand the entire weight of our body.

Since foot is such a complex structure, pinpointing an exact cause of pain can be a bit tricky. For this reason, in today`s article we will focus all of our attention to one specific problem – foot pain in the morning.

Anatomy Of The Foot

As I`ve already said, food is an incredible structure – it is built up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles and 107 ligaments! I can almost hear you thinking “Why do we even need so many bones and ligaments?” but your foot needs to be strong enough to support more than 100.000 pounds of pressure for every mile we walk1! That`s an enormous amount of weight, and when we run the weight increases even more.

Feet are really made for walking, and very few people are actually born with foot anomalies which lead to pain and discomfort. In most cases we are to blame, our poor walking habits, inappropriate foot care and ill-fitting shoes are the number one cause of foot pain today.

Most Common Causes Of Foot Pain In The Morning

Night is the time when our body recuperates and rejuvenates, so waking up in the morning should be a joyous occasion. But it`s hard to be joyful when you feel pain the minute you get out of your bed! In the following paragraphs, we will be talking about some of the most common causes of that morning pain:

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar FasciitisThe most common cause of foot pain in the morning lies in the heel. But the heel itself is not the problem, the main problem is plantar fascia (a tough band connecting the heel bone to the toes). Plantar fasciitis is most common in runners, military men and generally, all men between the ages of 40 and 60, but it can also affect people from all walks of life. If you are interested in finding out more about this condition, you can read one of our previous articles – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Causes of PF.

One of the main telltale signs of PF is an intense pain at the base of the heel, which intensifies after longer periods of inactivity – sleeping or resting. PF can also cause pain towards the end of the day, especially if you are a runner or spend most of your day standing up.

If you experience this type of pain, you should contact your doctor immediately because this condition can lead to all sorts of other problems including back pain and hip and knee pain. The best way to treat is to implement a regular calf and foot exercises and stretches regime. You might also want to consider buying appropriate footwear with good support and cushioned sole.


Gout is not a very common condition, but it can be nasty, cause intense, burning pain that will make you jump out of your bed! It is a complex type of arthritis where crystals of uric acid (a waste product our body produces daily, usually flushed out through kidneys) form inside and around joints2.

Symptoms associated with gout are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and
  • Redness

and can develop in under 24 hours (commonly called gout attack). The symptoms will usually last anywhere from 3-10 days and often affect the big toe joint.

Some studies have shown that these so-called “gout attacks” most often occur late at night or early in the morning.

Ice pack and painkillers are the first line of defense against gout pain, but you should definitely consult your doctor and see what are some of the other things you can do to manage the pain and prevent it from happening again.


Bunion is a bony bump that usually forms at the base of your big toe. It can be red, sore and painful and wearing tight shoes can make it worse. One of the most obvious indication of this condition is the big toe deformity where it starts to point to the second toe.

Just like in Plantar Fasciitis, the pain might intensify after periods of inactivity, which is why it is not uncommon to feel intense pain in the morning, just after waking up.

Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition, and patients with more severe cases will require a surgery.


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