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MiraFlex helps gardeners avoid aches and pains

Older women outside gardening

There’s no cure for “green thumb.” Of course having a green thumb isn’t a health problem, but it can lead to some troubling issues.

Gardeners love making the world a more beautiful place, that’s why they invest so much time tending to their backyard creations. But that comes with a price: the bending, crouching, crawling, digging, standing and frequent lifting. That doesn’t stop Beverly Hoyt, a 65-year old retiree living in Zephyrhills, Florida.

“I’ve had a garden for years, it’s something I wouldn’t ever want to give up,’ she says.

Beverly enjoys fostering the growth of her flowers and plants, especially tomatoes and the occasional cucumber or rhubarb. She also loves enhancing the beauty of her garden by landscaping — she loves designing stone paths, rock gardens, and adding ornaments.

“I’ve carried more rocks than I care to remember,” Beverly says, “and pounds and pounds of wood chips, mulch, fertilizer, all of it.”

Gardening doesn’t only require a strong back, it can cause pain and soreness in the hands too. Handling tools and planting require dexterity and patience. Decades filled with hours spent in the garden have led Hoyt to experience pain in her wrists and hands. Also, in more than 30 years as a case worker for the State of Michigan, Hoyt performed a lot of keyboarding and other computer-related work that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

“I’ve never had to have any surgeries and I’m in pretty good shape still,” she said. Hoyt retired to Florida a few years ago and shares a home with her mother, an octogenarian who walks three to four miles per day and also uses miraFlex to combat soreness.

1,200 miles west and north of Florida, Carol Barrymore grows her garden in Oklahoma City, a place where the weather can be brutal on green leafy things.

“We have to contend with the humidity, the insects, and of course the wind,” Barrymore says. Retired now after several years as a teacher, Carol claims the expansive garden in her backyard belongs to her husband Steve. “He started it, it was his idea, but now I spend as much time as he does out here.”

The Barrymore garden features twelve rows of plants, many of them tomatoes tenderly cared for by the couple. Oklahoma City averages seventy days of 90-degree-plus weather each year (in 2003 they had 17 straight days over 100 degrees) so that means a lot of watering and checking on the health of the plants.

“There’s a challenge in Oklahoma City, but the red dirt always delivers,” she says.

Though we were pleased with the photos from our gardening photoshoot with Carol, she was not always easy to work with. She was far from being a modeling diva — it was that she rarely wanted to stand still. She was focused on doing her gardening. But we got Carol, a wonderfully sweet woman who shared with us how she met her husband Steve (“I didn’t like him at first, but he was persistent”) and how their life together has been a thrilling journey (“He’s the nicest man”). But eventually we got Carol to stay in one place long enough for us to capture her in her element.

A few days a week Carol has an eager helper: her grandson spends the day with her and the preschooler loves to bounce around the garden to help grandma. To keep up with him, Carol has to make sure she’s in top form, which includes using miraFlex to reduce any soreness swelling from her gardening regimen.

“I love having him here, it’s the highlight of my week,” Carol says, “if I had his energy this garden would stretch to the moon.”

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Truck Drivers benefit from using MiraFlex to reduce tension and muscle soreness

Older male truck driver standing in front of 18 wheeler truck

Fred Lawson looks twenty years younger than he is. He still fits in the western style jeans he bought a decade ago and he has enough energy that he can run circles around men much younger than he is. He’s in excellent shape.

But as a truck driver who frequently spends eight hours or more per day behind the wheel of his 18-wheeler, Lawson knows pain and soreness.

“It gets you all through here,” Lawson says as he points to his shoulders, neck, and upper arms. “Even though I take my breaks and stretch, the tightness is [inevitable].”

Soreness and tightness may be inevitable after handling a large truck on the highway for many hours and many miles, but the soreness and pain don’t have to linger. With the two strongest topical analgesics allowed without a prescription, miraFlex provides a more complete pain relief, reducing inflammation and easing pain. Easy to apply, miraFlex deserves a spot in a truck driver’s arsenal, along with a strong radio and emergency brakes.

The veteran truck driver has never had to miss time off for injury or chronic pain, but he’s known some who have. Truck drivers in the U.S. can log more than 120,000 miles in a year, or more than 2,000 miles per week on average. That’s like driving from Chicago to Los Angeles every few days. Drivers feel it in their arms, chest and shoulders because of the need to manage their powerful vehicles but sitting for extended periods of time also contributes to the muscle soreness.

But while driving for a living can be taxing on the body and the mind (how many George Strait CDs can you listen to?), it’s worth it.

“I’ve crisscrossed the country and seen just about everything you can see,” Lawson says. “If I haven’t seen it, it probably doesn’t exist yet,” he says with a chuckle. At 67, Lawson is a remarkable physical specimen, he has a thin waist, can still hop in and out of his truck like a kangaroo, and he has never worn glasses. He cherishes being on the open road and he loves being part of the great American tradition of truck drivers.

“Highways are the arteries of America, and truck drivers are the lifeblood that flows through them, supplying us with everything we need to be a happy and prosperous nation, from apples to lumber to microprocessors,” says historian William Kaszynski, author of The American Highway: The History and Culture of Roads in the United States. “We hardly notice as they buzz past us, but if truck drivers weren’t out doing their jobs every day, we’d miss out on a lot.”

Lawson, a Texas native who moved to Oklahoma several years ago, never loses sight of how important his job is. “I have a full trailer and a place to go, and that’s how I see it,” he says. “Someone somewhere needs what I’m bringing.”

Lawson is one of more than 200 drivers employed by Stevens Trucking Company, located in Oklahoma City, OK. Originally Stevens made their name servicing the oilfield industry, but today they have nearly 200 tractors and more than 500 trailers and move cargo all over the country.

That’s what Fred Lawson is thinking about as we finish up our photo shoot and chat with him in the mid-morning on a very warm June day: he’s a trooper as we take photo after photo of him getting in and out of his truck; as we set the lighting; as we mop the sweat from his forehead. At one point this grizzled truck driving man seems to love the attention. “My wife is never going to believe this,’ Fred says.

But there’s someplace he feels he needs to be, and as we finish up he glances back at us, gives us a wave, and hops up into the cab of his truck. A few noisy moments later he has his big rig pointed down the road.

“I have a full trailer and a place to go.”