Prevent Ski Injuries This Winter

The beginning of 2014 bought several massive snow storms to the US, causing states of emergency and snow days in locations that normally do not get much or any snowfall. But in northern parts of the country where snow is a regular part of life, the storms were cause to celebrate both for skiers eager to hit the slopes and the ski resorts eager to make money.

While the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia may be attenuating the desire to get out and play, last week's news that Russian Olympic freestyle skier Maria Komissarova suffered a spinal injury while practicing has brought a grave reminder that skiing, like any sport, comes with its own risks.

Komissarova fractured her twelfth thoracic vertebra in the lower part of her mid-back when she fell practicing a jump. The injury was serious; it required immediate invasive surgery and the implantation of a metal device to stabilize the spine. She will likely need a second surgery in the coming weeks.

It's important for skiers to educate themselves about potential skiing injuries and their causes, then to take steps to prevent them. While some of the injuries associated with the sport are minor, others, like Komissarova's, can be life-altering.

Skiing Injuries

• Ankle twisting
• ACL tear
• Knee twisting
• Arm, wrist and shoulder breaks and sprains (from breaking falls)
• Head injury (from falling or collision with other skiers or objects such as trees)
• Spinal injury (from falling)

Injury Prevention

The best weapon in your preventive arsenal is proper training. New skiers should take lessons that teach them proper techniques, including how to fall without causing injury.

Another essential element of ski injury prevention is a wise and reasonable choice concerning the course you ski. Watching those Olympians perform amazing feats seemingly effortlessly may encourage bold decision-making, but remember: You're not an Olympian. Choose courses that match your skill level. Huge jumps and paths with many obstacles, including twists and turns, are injuries waiting to happen for the novice skier.

Be very aware of others on the course. Colliding with fellow skiers can result in both minor and serious injuries for all parties involved. Share the course, be patient and double-check for objects and people that may cross paths with you.

As with any sport, it's important to warm up before you ski. You'll be taxing your muscles, ligaments, tendons and cardiovascular system. Perform static stretches before your session to get the blood flowing. See for good warm-up stretches for skiers.

You can not control everything on the slopes, but you can increase your chances of avoiding injury this season by educating yourself on common causes and types of injury. Take the above steps to keep yourself healthy and well this winter.

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Migraines and Tension Headaches

Headaches can have a very disturbing impact on the person suffering from it, most especially when it develops into migraines. However, what a lot of people do not know about headaches is that it can be aided by just lining up the column column and creating little modifications. Headaches may be categorized into several different groups, but the two most typical types of headings are Tension headaches and Migraine headaches. These two headings are very different from each other, so it is very important to know its differences.

Facts about Migraine Headache

A migraine is a very serious and incapacitating type of headache. When a person experiences migraine, it can last for a couple of hours and even several days. Patients frequently illustrate the condition as a throbbing or pulsating pain that begins on one side of the head and regularly switches sides. Some patients become very receptible to sound and light. Others experience vomiting and nausea. Additionally, patients also tell that there are changes on how they see like seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, blurry vision, and temporary loss of vision. A migraine often occurs without any precedent warning signs. Generally, over-the-counter drugs are not very efficient in treating migraines.

Facts about Tension Headache

Tension headache is the most common type of headache that is experienced by most people. In frequent times, a person suffering from tension head feels a constant squeezing kind of pain that is felt on both sides of the head. Typically, this type of headache is not as serious compared to migraine headaches, but this can take place in a more frequent manner. A lot of people say that tension headaches can get worse as it develops every day. Stress is often a contributing factor to this headache.

There are a lot of contributing factors that can trigger headaches. In general, headaches are likely to get worse when you have work that can cause pressure and stress. There are particular types of food and postural problems also associated to the contributory factor of headaches. Psychological and emotional components can be a very major contributing factor too. A lot of people who sufferers from this condition can also experience slight depression and anxiety.

Lack of Spinal Motion: A Common Contributing Factor to Headaches

One probable cause of having heads is the decline of spinal mobility. Often times, the lack of mobility in the upper cervical spine cause headaches, because this part of the neck is closest to the skull.

There are a variety of contributing factors for nerve root pain, but it all comes down to one thing. The nerve roots will feel the impact once the space of the nerve roots leaves the spinal canal becomes smaller. If this condition still continues to happen, the patient will report indications of weakness, numbness or tingling. Depends on the intensity and the location of the impact, the symptoms that will be felt can differ. Here are some of the common conditions that can cause irritations to the nerve root:

  • Whiplash injuries
  • Restricted directory mobility
  • Disk prolapsed or herniations
  • Straightening of the spine and loss of normal curvature
  • Long hours in front of the computer
  • Problems in posture

Other treatment preferences for headaches

Once a person is suffering from headaches, it is significant to determine the main cause of the condition. Some people may experience muscular imbalances, while others have restrictions to the spine. For some patients, it is pressure at work that is causing the headache to occur. It is too much to manage, so the body can not simply cope with it. Most often than not, it is a combination of a lot of several factors that need to be attended to at the same time.

In a Chiropractic Clinic, chiropractors try to provide a holistic approach whenever it is possible. The staff will assess all possible causes of the condition. It will also determine an individualistic treatment plan for each patient.

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Back Pain: Go Play Tennis?

Are you serious? If I have back pain I should play tennis? That was the first thought that went through my mind when I heard a friend tell me I should get a tennis ball to cure my back pain. My friend responded. “No, not really, but a tennis ball can help ease your back pain.” So I got a tennis ball and come to find out it worked, in a few days my pain was gone!

No, I did not play tennis, which of course is one sport you want to stay away from if you have an aching back. The secret is not playing a tennis match. It is how you use the tennis ball. The technique I am about to explain is based on an ancient practice called Reflexology. Reflexology has been practiced for thousands of years and recently western medicine has begun to realize its benefits. The idea is that like Acupuncture and Acupressure, putting pressure on certain points on the body affects other body parts. With Reflexology the bottom of the feet are considered key areas where pressure put on an area of ​​the foot affects other areas like the heart, stomach or back.

Here's how to turn your tennis ball into a back pain reliever. Take a tennis ball and put in on the floor in front of you. Next, take off your shoes and place your foot on the tennis ball. Roll your foot back and forth over the ball. It may hurt a little at first or you may find one spot on your foot that hurts more than another. If that's the case ease off a bit, but continue to roll the ball and your pain should lessen.

When I first tried this I had one spot right on the left side of my foot that really hurt. But after using the tennis ball for two or three days the pain disappeared and my back pain was gone! Put as more pressure on the ball as you feel comfortable. Also it may help to brace yourself by holding onto a chair or wall to keep your balance. You only have to roll the ball for thirty or sixty seconds, switching your feet so each foot gets a massage.

This very simple technique with a tennis ball is a great introduction to this ancient Reflexology. You can go online and find many sites devoted to this practice along with charts showing exactly what area of ​​the foot controls what body part and or organ. Regardless of the principle behind Reflexology this ancient practice works. Give it a try. There are no side effects like with pain pills and it just might stop your pain without a trip to the doctor's.

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Back Pain Generator: What Is It?

What exactly is a back pain generator and what role does it play in your back problem and cure? You have a pain in the back, maybe it is radiating down your leg. The pain is keeping you up at night, making sitting and bending and even driving a car a painful experience. You go to the doctor's hoping he can heal the pain in your backside. I am willing to bet that the arrival of your visit will be much like mine was.

The doctor is probably pressed for time. Most doctors have only ten or fifteen minutes per patient. That means that in a very short period of time he or she will ask you some questions, give a quick exam, make a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment program which will probably include a prescription drug. But did the doctor identify your pain generator? More than likely he or she will give you an off the cuff diagnosis. This diagnosis will usually be something too vague to be of any real use.

Or sure the pain relievers and muscle relaxants prescribed will ease the pain and give you temporary relief. Hopefully you get lucky and the back will heal itself. But chances are the pain will return. If the pain does return you will probably be referred to a physical therapist, who, like the doctor is also pressed for time and more than likely will use the doctor's diagnosis as a basis for treatment. Unfortunately all this is doing is addressing the symptoms and not the cause of your pain.

This is exactly what happened to me and when the therapy and drugs did not work I had an MRI and finally surgery. Unfortunately the pain did not go away. That is when I began looking for alternatives and stumbled upon the term pain generators.

A pain generator is a part of the body that is causing the pain. It might be a bulging disc or a deep muscle spasm in the buttock. In my case the MRI showed a disk that had ruptured. The operation corrected the problem, but the pain returned. Why, because as I found out later the real problem was the Priformis Muscle. This is a large muscle located in the buttocks which the Sciatic Nerve rounds through. Because of muscle imbalance the Priformis had a deep spasm that was putting pressure on the Sciatic Nerve and that was the pain generator. Once the pain generator was identified a proper series of exercises to restore muscle imbalance save me real pain relief. If I was given the proper diagnosis the first time I could have avoided surgery and therapy. But this time instead of being based on a vague diagnosis there was a specific cause and treatment that could focus on this cause and not the symptoms.

There are many causes of back pain and sometimes it is a bulging disk. But many people walk around with bulging disks and never have a problem. In many cases muscle imbalance may cause cause in muscle weakness and spasms. The muscle imbalance could be caused by your body compensating for an injury or disk problem, but until the imbalance is addressed chance is the pain will continue.

The point of this article is to encourage you to be assertive with your doctor and the treatment he provides. This can be corrected by designing the correct exercises to treat the imbalance. By working with your doctor and therapist and identifying the pain generator you, the patient now have a definite plan of action. A plan that if followed will be permanent solution to your back pain.

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Back Pain: Exercises To Do and Exercises To Avoid

Probably if you are like most people with back pain the last thing you want to do is exercise. At one time bed rest was the prescribed treatment for back pain. But since the 90's doctors and therapists have recognized the importance of staying active as the best way to ease back pain and prevent a recurrence. After my back surgery the surgeon recommended that I immediately start exercising. The exercise he recommended was walking. As important as it is to exercise, it's vital that you do the right exercises. Here is a list of the exercises to avoid and the exercises to do to heal your back pain and strengthen your muscles.

Exercises to Avoid:

First of all use common sense. Start slow and gradually increase as you body adapts to the exercises.

Avoid any activity that involves positions or movements that might cause further injury and pain. Activities like tennis, golf and baseball involve fast turns and movements that probably will cause problems for your back.

Yoga: Although some yoga positions can be part of your recovery plan, there are many positions that must be avoided.

Long Periods of Sitting: No, this is not an exercise, but it is something to avoid. If you do a lot of sitting make sure your chair is ergonomically designed to give you proper support. Do not sit more than an hour at a time without getting up walking around and stretching.

Exercise to Do:

First of all it is a good idea to use a trainer or therapist to show you proper technique. The right exercise for your back done with a flawed technique will injure you as surely as the wrong exercise.

The exercises you want to concentrate on are those that will strengthen the abdominal muscles, legs, back and buttocks.

Walking: Find a good supporting walking shoe and pick a level trail. Again start slow and gradually increase distance.

Swimming: If you have access to a pool swimming is one of the best exercises you can do because the water's bouncy takes the pressure off the back.

Pelvic Lifts and Abdominal Curls: These exercises are done flat on your back with knees bent.

Stretching: Like all exercises there are good stretches and bad stretches and like I stated earlier proper techniques is essential.

Remember it is important to begin moving and exercising as soon as possible. It may seem that exercises right after suffering back pain is wrong, but studies have shown the effectiveness in mild exercise for an aching back . Strengthening your core although exercising can eliminate the pain of a bad back and prevent another injury. Using common sense and taking it easy can and will improve your back and in so doing improve over all sense of well being.

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Advice On How To Manage Your Back Pain

If you or someone you love has been living with pain, then you know just how annoying it can be. Sometimes, you feel great and then suddenly you turn the wrong way and have a horrible pain shooting through your body. This article will help you with just that!

Never ignore your back pain. A lot of people ignore the pain signals from their bodies entirely. They just try ignoring their pain. If you try to move while in pain, it can actually worsen your condition. Try not to do too much until the pain decreases.

If you sit for long periods of time, keep your feet slightly elevated on a stool or on a stack of books. Doing this will help keep your back aligned correctly and keep pressure from building. Make sure to take breaks, as well and work out those muscles.

Make sure that your home and work environment is set up safely. You do not want to have a bunch of stuff on the floor that you could easily trip on and seriously hurt your back. Take a couple minutes each day and make sure that your house is picked-up.

It is important to learn how to lift safely in order to avoid pain and injury. When you lift safely, you use the large muscles in your legs to spare your back. Bend at the knees, suck your stomach in and keep the item close to your body as you lift.

Start a diet to lower your weight if you are 10 pounds heavier than you want. That extra weight, especially in your abdomen, can affect your own center of gravity. This will strain the back, and lead to pain.

Depending on the situation, pain can be such a chronic issue that money can also be a problem. Even with the best of insurance, problems can really take its toll. Therefore, it is best while trying to cost avenues to also make sure that you are doing everything you can that is less costly and also still effective.

One easy way to help alleviate back pain is to simply find a good heating pad. Wrap the heating pad around the back of your chair when you are sitting down, or lay on it while in bed. Doing this in small intervals through the day will greatly decrease your back pain.

You can become a victim of chronic back pain, simply by practicing poor posture. To avoid this type of pain, focus on sitting straight at work or school and keep shoulders back while walking. In these days of technology, we rely on computers and end up with poor posture. Surfing the net can be the largest culprit of all, when it comes to increased back pain!

Undoubtedly, one of the best possible methods to treat back pain is to exercise regularly. You do not have to become a cardio enthusiast or a quasi weight-lifter, but exercising every day will work wonders in relieving back pain associated with cramping muscles. The physical activity can really help to get rid of the pain.

If you already already unsuccessfully attempted different methods to ease your back pain, you may have to visit a chiropractor at this point. X-rays are usually taken and examined, and a proper course of treatment will be created. With these gentle adjustments, you can ease your pain.

Sleep in the proper position to prevent back pain and avoid aggravating existing back pain. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, try placing the pillow under your knees. A firm mattress will also help to alleviate pain.

Pay attention to how you sit and practice good posture. Sit with your back straight and your feet placed slightly apart. Keep your elbows to your sides. Your computer screen should be at eye level so you do not have to twist your neck.

You probably know exactly how bad it is to miss out on important family moments because of a bad back. It is normal to have a sudden problem and not even realize it is coming. This article should help you to know how to deal with the common problems associated with back pain.

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Poor Sleep May Lead to Pain: What You Can Do

Poor-quality sleep may increase the risk of pain, particularly in older adults, according to a recent study. Researchers tracked 4,326 adults over the age of 50 for three years; at the beginning of the study, they had either no or little pain. Of the adults who had sustained pain at the three-year follow-up, non-conservative sleep was found to be a significant risk factor, nearly doubling the risk of pain.

While it should be noted that widespread pain could, in some instances, be the cause of non -orative sleep, there is a reason to believe that the connection may run the other way, or at least that the two reinforcement one another. Treating sleep problems is an important part of treating pain.

Pain and Sleep

Sleep is not something that is completely understood by the medical community. While it's generally a time for rest, our bodies and minds are busy with many tasks while we sleep. The following are theoretical ways in which poor sleep may result in pain.

Sleep is an important time for body repair. It's when our bodies produce proteins and growth hormone, which are crucial in the repair and maintenance of muscle tissue and joint cartilage. If we do not sleep enough or well, it's possible that our normal body repair systems are not working properly. This means muscle and joint aches and pains may be more prevalent in those who do not sleep well.

Another potential factor is inflammation. According to one study, little or poor-quality sleep increases inflammation in the body. The study of over 500 participants found that those who slept under six hours or more than nine (indicating poor sleep quality) had higher levels of inflammatory substances in their bodies than those who slept between six and nine hours.

See more on this study at .

Getting Better Sleep

It's common to turn to medications whenever we have a health complication such as insomnia or non-restrictive sleep, but, according to Harvard Health Publications , medication should be a last resort. The medical professionals at Harvard recommend trying two approaches before seeking out medication: behavioral treatment and supplements.

Behavioral therapy consists of a variety of approaches, including:

  • Relaxation training (deep breathing, meditation, etc.)
  • Cognitive therapy (replacing negative thoughts with positive ones)
  • Stimulus control (reserve bed for sleep and lovemaking; only go to bed when sleepy; get up at the same time every day; resist napping)
  • Sleep restriction (go to bed later; wake up at the same time every day; gradually move bedtime back)

Some people may be able to do these things on their own; others may require help from a specialist, such as a cognitive behavioral therapist or a meditation instructor.

Supplements can be purchased over-the-counter. Be sure to follow instructions and research any possible contraindications if you take medications or have another health problem. The following are common supplements for restful sleep:

  • Melatonin (look for small doses around 1mg to start)
  • Valerian
  • Chamomile

There are many herbal teas designed to help people relax at night containing chamomile, lavender, passionflower and other relaxation-promoting herbs. If you enjoy tea, this may be a good supplement to your other efforts.

For more on the study into the correlation between non -orative sleep and widespread pain in people over 50, see;jsessionid=C0A5BC87BD4B75DB3A1ABEB6F39D4983.f01t02 . If you have pain and sleep problems, do not ignore the latter.

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Tips for Reading Your MRI Results

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests give you and your team of health professionals a clear look at the various tissues in and around your spell. The MRI is capable of detecting small degenerations and other abnormalities in the spine, helping, in some cases, to diagnose the cause of chronic back pain.

One of the most common things people ask on back pain forums is for help interpreting their MRI results. While only a radiologist should do this, it's reasonable for patients to want to have a basic punishment on what the results mean. Many times, the results are processed to patients days or weeks before their next doctor's appointment. Those days and weeks can feel like months or years when you're facing a test result that can determine the course of your treatment.

It's possible for patients to get a basic grant on what is indicated by MRI results. Use the following tips to demystify your MRI.

First, do not panic.

Many people, even those without back pain, have signs of spinal degeneration. This is especially true concerning the spinal discs. If you see a long list of finds and the word “degeneration,” “bulge,” “desiccation” or “herniation,” these may not even be the cause of your pain. The MRI test is great for identifying even small “abnormalities,” which may seem like the test's best feature, but it can be problematic for the back pain patient since its sensitivity leads to a high rate of false positive results.

However, if you have neuropathic pain (traveling along a nerve pathway) and you find herniated disks or stenosis reported on your MRI, look up the pathway of the potentially affected nerve (for example, L5) and see if its pathway reflects your symptoms. If so, there is a reason to believe that a cause has been found.

If you have a serious spinal problem, such as nerve impingement along with disc degeneration or spinal stenosis, this does not necessarily mean you'll need surgery.

It's really amazing to think of how far medical technology has advanced. Every day, thousands of people are cut open and have something removed or inserted to help resolve pain and disease. Invasive techniques are the new norm.

For some conditions, surgery is essential to ensure quality and length of life. Back pain is not usually one of them. There is a plethora of conservative treatments for spinal conditions. Do not think that, because you tried physical therapy and it did not help, you've exhausted your proactive options. There are different kinds of physical therapy with different areas of focus. There are also alternative methods, such as inversion therapy, chiropractic care and osteopathic medicine.

A spinal abnormality is not necessarily a call for surgery; you do not always need to cut something out or put something in to stabilize the spine. If you are one of the rare patients who does need surgery, remember that you may have options attached major spinal fusion, such as minimally-invasive microdiscectomy.

Use a dictionary.

There's no need to be intimidated by terminology. Check out the glossary at , which provides definitions for disc-related problems that may appear on an MRI report.

While you'll have to wait for your next appointment to get an official interpretation of your MRI results, there's nothing wrong with trying to get a punishment on them yourself. Keep an open mind and do your research.

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Dealing With Back Pain Problems

When left untreated, back pain can not only disrupt a person's life, but it can also lead to permanent disability. To deal with this kind of pain therefore, people often seek pain management services and for those who do, it never takes long before they are able to return to their normal lives. It is for this reason that more and more pain clinics are being set up to provide patients with easy access to pain remedies. Even though patients are not guaranteed instant relief, with treatment, any pain condition is bound to get better with time.

Back pain causes

Close to 90 percent of the adult population has experienced back pain at some point. This sort of soreness originates from the tissues, ligaments, muscles, bones and joints; and it may affect any of the different sections of the back including the neck, the upper and lower back and the tailbone. Based on the root cause of the problem, the pain can be moderate or excruciating and it may begin at one point, and then spread to other areas. Sometimes, the discomfort may extend all the way down to the feet, or upwards to the head.

Spine infection, chest tumors, osseous pain, osteoporosis, spondylolisthesis, aorta disorders, and spinal injuries are among the many conditions that can cause back pain. Some of these problems arise due to work related stress where one is required to remain seated in the same position for an extended period of time. Through such poor posture, pressure may be created at certain points and in the long run, all sorts of complications may crop up.

Treatment for Back Pain

Like other pains, when it comes to back pain, no single treatment works for everyone. A person's specific situation dictates the type of treatment that should be used. If the treatment was general, then it means some people would get excess treatment while others would just not get enough, and this would make the problems worse. Nonetheless, in treating back pain , surgery, therapy and rest are the three most common treatment methods administered by pain management doctors. Rest is generally recommended in dealing with early stages of back pain. Therapy, on the other hand, is prescribed for back injuries where the problems may not be severe enough to warrant surgical treatment. If the back pain can not be borne through either of the aforementioned processes, then doctors may settle on surgery.

Pain in any form is uncomfortable and while many people spend a good part of their lives dealing with chronic back pain, this is never a good approach to take. This usually comes about where the sufferer may take medication which does not seem to help and when this happens, they feel that the problem can not be resolved. The fact, however, is that with proper pain management services, any problem can be put in control. The key is to work alongside qualified and experienced health practitioners who are able to provide workable solutions for pain control.

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Back Pain Cures – Cheap Home Remedies

Back Pain: At one time or another most of us will suffer from an aching back. It may be a reliably minor muscle pull or a more serious chronic condition such as Sciatic Nerve damage. Whatever the source of the pain you want relief and you want it now! The good news is that there are many inexpensive home remedies that you probably have right in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet.

Remember that it was not so long ago that we had to rely on home remedies for most of our aliments. It's only been in the last few decades that X-Ray, CAT Scans, MRI's lasers and micro surgery have been available. When our grandsparents had a pain in the back they had no choice but to use home remedies. The remedies were passed down from generation to generations because they are effective in relieving the pain of an aching back. These remedies also have none of the side effects of prescribed pain pills. A word of warning: If the back pain does persist please see your doctor.

Okay here are some back pain home remedies you can try right now to ease the pain.

  1. A Tennis Ball : No I am not suggesting that you take up tennis. In fact if you have a chronic pain in your back, tennis is probably one of the worst activities because of all the turning and twisting. Here is what you do. Place the tennis ball on the floor and step on it with your bare foot. Now roll the ball back and forth putting as much pressure on it as you can. You may even have a sore spot on the bottom of your foot, but after massage it with the ball it should feel better.

  1. Epsom Salts : If you do not have a box of Epsom salts in the house buy some of the next time you shop. Draw a hot bath add about 1 cup of the salts and soak. Epsom salts have been known for generations to ease pain.

  1. Vinegar : I do not know why it works but for me and a lot of people vinegar helps to relieve my pain and promote general wellness. Every morning whether my back hurts or not I start the day with a big glass of room temperature spring water, a teaspoon or two of vinegar and a teaspoon of wild unpasteurized honey.

  1. Ice Pack : Use crushed ice or a frozen bag of peas and apply where it hurts. The cold will calm the nerves and treat the pain. But do not keep it on more than fifteen minutes.
  2. Massage: Hopefully you have a spouse or partner who will be happy to rub your back. Use some warm oil such as Almond Oil and gently rub it into your back. You do not need to be a professional massage therapist or use fancy oils.
  3. Supplements : If you do not take calcium, fish oil and vitamin D, now there would be a good time to start all these supplements have been shown to ease pain.

  1. Move : At one time days or weeks of bed rest was prescribed for anyone suffering from a bad back. But we know now that too much rest weaknesses muscles, prolong your recovery. The simplest way to move is to walk. Various stretching and yoga movements can also be helpful.
  2. Magnesium : One of the most common mineral in the body. Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function.

  1. Meditation : Some find meditating hard to do, but it can be effective in easing your pain. There is lots of information and videos on line that can help you meditate.

  1. Laughter : As they say laughter is the world's best medicine. Rent a funny movie and laugh your pain away.

The purpose of this article was to give you easy, economic home remedies that are effective in relieve your back pain . Best of all they are probably already in the kitchen or bathroom just waiting to be put to use. Again if these remedies do not work or your pain returns see your doctor then it is time to see your doctor.

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Can The Food We Eat Cause Back Pain?

This may seem like a stretch but can the food we eat contribute to the pain in your back? We now know that the food we eat plays a huge role in our health. Yes this looks obvious; after all we are what we eat. But more and more research is showing us that certain foods can either cure or kill us. The problem is with inflammation some foods cause inflammation and some are ant-inflation foods.

Inflammation is basically the body's way of protecting tissue by either destroying or walling off the injured tissues. Some of the signs of inflammation are heat, pain, redness and swelling. This swapping can put pressure on body parts such as back nerves and tissues resulting in an aching back. When this inflammation leads to chronic pain we tend to grab some pain pill and or go to the doctor who more than likely will prescribe a stronger pain medicine.

However there is a possible alternative to drugs and all their associated side effects. The alternative is to consume healthy foods. These foods can heal the body and treat pain instead of causing inflammation. First let us look at the foods to avoid and why. You want to avoid foods that increase blood sugar. Sugar is a well known infection causing substance that research has found to be deadlier to the body than fat. So reducing your sugar intake or eliminating sugar altogether will help cure your back pain? The problem is it is not as simple as reducing the amount of sugar you put into your coffee or on your cereal. There are many processed foods from ketchup to bread that contain sugar. Also wheat products even whole wheat breads can significantly increase your blood sugar level. So the bottom line is to avoid all processed foods.

If we are to avoid process foods than the foods we should be eating are unprocessed. Fruits, vegetables and lean protein are far healthier alternatives that do not cause inflammation and in fact can heal the body. One easy way to determine if a food is anti-inflammatory is to check the ingredients ideally it should have just one ingredient. For example the ingredient in an apple should be “apple” and not a long list of chemicals that you can not pronounce.

To further help you here's a short list of some anti-inflammatory, healing foods.

Wild caught fish: Especially Alaskan Salmon

Green Tea

Fresh Whole Fruits: Especially apples

Colorful veggies


Olive Oil

Nuts and Seeds

Will this change in your eating habits cure your back pain ? Well the only way to find out is to go on an anti-inflammatory diet. Give yourself seven to ten days and keep a daily journal to record how you feel. The only side effects of such a diet are possible weight loss, low blood sugar, clearer skin and more energy to name a few positive benefits. Compare that to the side effects from taking a pain drug and I believe you will decide in favor of eating foods that will reduce inflammation and back pain.

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How Not to Judge Your Body Based Off of Pain.

Today I want to talk to you about how to not judge your body off of pain. I have heard so many people say “I'm falling apart,” “I do not know what's going on,” “I've been like this or months” or “things are just not getting better.” I just want to tell you, do not give up. You do not know what's going on underneath the surface. You have to start learning to look a little deeper.

I want to show that your body may be doing something underneath the surface that you are not even recognizing. It may take a month or so to surface. It may be for the better. Just because you are in pain now, does not mean you will be in pain forever.

Do not give up.
But, start doing the things that you need to do.

Do not stop taking care of yourself or doing your exercises. You never know what is really happening based on off the things that you did in the past. If you have been doing really good things in the past, your body may be making shifts and changes to your structure that are not letting your body work optimally at this precise second. But, later it will.

Let me explain this with two bamboo plants that you can get at any store. You might notice that one is growing really tall the other is “squatty” and fat. This is just like people, and that's OK. But one looks like it is dying. You might notice a difference in the leaves some may be green some may be brown. But I do not want you to judge the plant off this brown.

I want you to look a little deeper.

You might look at the chute and notice that it is actually growing new chutes all the way through it. When your body is accelerating energy, it is going to take energy from somewhere else. All this is showing you is that this bamboo plant it taking energy from the external leaves and bringing it in – this proves there is a whole lot of action going on underneath the dirt. I want you to start recognizing that in yourself.
Keep on doing what you are doing. When it comes to my bamboo I do not stop watering it, but I do not water it more either. I keep on being consistent to get them where they are at. I water mine once a week. I am very strict on how I water them and how much light they get.
These are all things that you need to start doing for yourself. Do not judge yourself by that one week that you are in pain. I'm not saying you need to be OK with pain – what I'm saying is to be consistent with the things that are right for your body and do not lose faith. This bamboo that I'm talking about took two months of withering away to thrive. It is healthier now than it was before.

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Understanding What a Bulging Disc Is

A bulging vertebral disc is a common occurrence. It usually remains asymptomatic, however, it can cause a great deal of discomfort and disability in different parts of the body in case it compresses any adjunct nerve root. With age, the outer fibrous section of intervertebral disc becomes weak. Pressure from the central core may stretch out to the outer rim, which causes the symptoms. Many people might have this condition and may not even realize it. If the bulging area does not actually press on any of the surrounding neural tissues, there will be no symptoms. It is only when it impinges on a spinal nerve that the symptoms begin.

Location of the Pain

In the lower-back, a damaged disc can result in pain that travels to the buttocks, hips, legs and feet. In a cervical spine, the pain can also radiate straight from the neck, right down the arms to the fingers. Approximately 90% of bulging discs are in the lumbar area in the spine or the lower back. The commonest occurs between the lumbar vertebra L4 and the L5, and between the vertebra L5 and S1. This causes severe pain in the L5 nerve or the S1 spinal nerve. The neurons of the sciatic nerve come from the spinal nerves L3 right through to S3.

Avoiding the Symptoms

If the bulging disc actually impinges on 1or more of these 6 spinal nerves, the person would experience sciatic pain. Sciatic pain starts in the low back and radiates right through the buttocks, straight down the back to the legs and might even extend all the way to the feet. If you feel that you are experiencing these symptoms, consult your physician without delay. Understanding what causes it can help you avoid the painful symptoms that arise from it. Since these symptoms are usually caused due to the weakening of the outer fibrous containment-ring of the disc, which is age-related, to a certain extent it is also unavoidable.

The Precautions

However, it also has to be understood that certain activities speed-up the development of the symptoms and should be avoided. Always be careful while lifting heavy objects and keep your back protected.

Maintain a good posture and ensure that you are not overweight. Regular exercise strengthens the core muscles and goes a long way in supporting body weight. In the event that you are diagnosed with a symptomatic bulging disc, your doctor will recommend certain treatments that are designed to treat the symptoms. You will be asked to rest and use warm compresses. The doctor will also ask you to perform certain exercises and may prescribe medication. If all the conservative treatments fail, your doctor might then recommend surgery.

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Spinal Decompression Therapy – Obtaining Treatment For Back Pain

The spine is a very important part of the body; it gives the body structure and support, and it's also the key factor behind all body movements. This means that a malfunctioning, worn, or injured spine can affect a person's well-being in a major way. When the vertebrae bulges or becomes herniated, intestinal pain is bound to be experienced and this may call for therapy services as a corrective measure. Through a chiropractor, a patient can be provided with spinal decompression therapy to help deal with such problems.

Spinal decompression basically creates pressure that makes the vertebrae retract in a manner that promotes correctional processes in the intervertebral joints. It also enhances blood supply in the affected areas thus contributing to effective tissue regeneration. This treatment method is there before highly recommended for persons with chronic back pains associated with spinal stenosis. Also, patients with progressive degenerative disease and spinal disc herniation can benefit from spinal decompression. However, the services are most appropriate where the symptoms of these conditions are mild or moderate; otherwise there may be need to go for surgery.

The fact that spinal decompression therapy does not involve surgical operations is the exact reason why the treatment is highly preferred. Through this process, the chiropractor targets the spine with an aim of making the vertebrae disks align so that the patient's pain is relived. The force is applied and reduced at intervals and with these stretches, nutrients are released to make the spinal heal. Unlike surgery though, spinal decompression therapy does not work in an instant, one has to make repeated visits to the chiropractor over an extended length of time.

Depending on the severity of your problem and other factors, the chiropractor may require you to attend about 20-28 sessions within a period of 1-2 months. During each session, the chiropractor may work on the spine for approximately 30 minutes within which you have to stretch out on a spinal decompression table. Considering the many visits that have to be made, a patient has to commit themselves to be able to get the most out of this type of treatment.

To make the effects of the decompression more effective, there may be need to obtain other treatments in addition to the therapy. For instance, one may be provided with heat and cold compress which can serve as pain relievers for soreness that may arise out of the spinal decompression therapy. Ultrasound waves may also be used to provide inflamed tissues with warmth and at the same time, the waves may be applied to facilitate deaf penetration of the cells in the spinal area in order to stabilize the structure.

If you have been suffering from degenerated or herniated discs therefore, you should not put up with the pain anymore; you should find a chiropractor to take you through spinal decompression therapy. While the treatment is just as effective as surgery, the costs are not prohibitive and once you start receiving the therapeutic services, it will only be a matter of time before you can get back to your normal life.

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Back Pain? Beware of Stretching Exercises

Living with back pain is no picnic! The pain invades every aspect of your life from lovemaking to sleeping. Many try to relieve the pain by stretching. But a word of advice: Beware of stretching exercises! We have been taught that stretching is good for you. The common wisdom is that stretching strengnthens muscles and loosens stiff and sore muscles. The problem is most of us have no idea how to properly stretch, especially when it comes to relieving an aching back.

Many people will try the stretches that they learned in school when they were on the track team or the stretches they do before playing tennis. Although there may be nothing wrong with these movements when preparing for a run or a session of tennis, they can be harmful to a person with a back problem.

Let us look are some of the common mistakes people make when stretching.

  1. Going through the stretch too fast: Moving too fast through any exercise is a recipe for trouble. Muscles, especially cold tight muscles need slow movement to gradually warm up.
  2. Bobbing while stretching: What I mean is going into a stretch and then bobbing up and down or back and forth. You might think this improves the stretch, but again just like moving too fast, bobbing can cause injury.
  3. Doing the wrong stretch for the body part: This is especially true for a back pain sufferer. The wrong stretch will only worsen your back problem. Also the increase in pain will make most people avoid beneficial stretches and exercises.
  4. Beware of online advice: Just because someone has a video on stretching for an aching back does not mean it is right for you.

But are there some stretches that are helpful in relieving the pain in your back? Well the answer is yes. The correct stretches will ease your pain and strengthen weak muscles. Here are some tips to help you find the right stretches for your back.

  1. Consult your doctor or chiropractor: These professionals are trained to diagnose your problem and recommend the proper stretches or refer you to a physical therapist.
  2. Start slow and do not push yourself: Even if the stretch is correct for you, pushing yourself too fast will only cause problems.
  3. Try walking: Walking is a simple and low cost way to stretch and strengthen core muscles, just remember to take it easy, find a good pair of shoes and a level walking path.

I love walking because of the many benefits walking provides. After my back injury and with my doctor's blessing I started walking. Back then I could barely walk one hundred feet without resting. Now I can easily walk three miles with no problems. One other tip; I always walk with a walking stick. I find the stick helps me keep my balance and the weight of the stick tones my upper body, just remember to switch arms one in a while.

I started this article warning you about doing stretches for a bad back . The wrong exercises and / or stretches can cause further pain and injury. Even the right stretches improperly done will cause problems. Start slow, follow your doctor's orders and try walking and you will heal your back pain and strengthen your body.

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