Relax The Back
Ever grab your lower back while standing up? You’re not alone. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 80 percent of us at some point suffer back pain. Although it may be chronic, lasting for more than three months, there are ways to live pain-free with proper therapy and support. Julie Nodland at Relax The Back says her business in Estero offers serious solutions to help relieve back and neck pain. She co-owns the specialty business with her husband, David, which is at the Coconut Point Mall. Every day, they greet customers looking for ways to relieve back pain, she says. Nodland says visitors have been referred by a medical professional or would like education on easing suffering. Employees at Relax The Back don’t only sell products, Nodland says. “A big part of our role in the store is education,” she says. “Helping people understand ergonomics and ask them what they do during the day is important for us before we sell them anything.”
Stephen Black, assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, says the main reason for neck and pain issues is a sedentary lifestyle― no regular physical activity, poor diet and high stress. “Having appropriate mattress and pillow can be tremendous help,” Black says.
Black says he’s familiar with Relax The Back and knows that it offers high quality. “I would recommend them because it’s a place for somebody to try appropriate products,” he says.
Relax The Back began with one California outlet in 1985. It has grown into more than 90 stores in the U.S. and Canada, today
offering medically driven posture- and back-support products to use in the bedroom, living room and even in the office. Some of the health benefits include stretching, providing lumbar and cervical support, as well as supporting the natural curvature of the spine, Nodland says, adding that the key to decreasing back and neck pain is stretching, strengthening and stabilizing.
The Nodlands opened their store in 2007 when they moved to Southwest Florida from Iowa, where they were involved in a family resort. However, they wanted change. “We reached a point in our late 50s when we weren’t ready to retire but wanted to do something different from the family business,” Nodland says.
Starting a business when the economy was hitting rock bottom was challenging to the husband-and-wife team; however, they didn’t give up. “Failure was not an option for us,” Nodland says. They didn’t even have employees for the first five years.
Almost 10 years later, Nodland says that all the hard work has been worth it. “The ability to help people get back to life without pain makes our job very rewarding,” she says, noting that the
HELPING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND ERGONOMICS AND ASK THEM WHAT THEY DO DURING THE DAY IS IMPORTANT FOR US BEFORE WE SELL THEM ANYTHING.”
—JULIE NODLAND, CO-OWNER RELAX THE BACK, ESTERO
corporate office for Relax The Back even recognized their store as the best franchise in the system.
The Mastercare Inversion Table (above) and a DreamWave Massage Chair (below) help ease aches and pains.
Relax The Back is at the Coconut Point Mall in Estero. The firm started in California and has grown to 90 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
David and Julie Nodland have earned corporate awards for their Estero franchise.