How to Prevent and Alleviate Back Pain

If you experience back pain, you are not alone. In fact 4 out of 5 people experience back pain at some point. Back pain can occur at various points long the spine and neck. Back pain can also take multiple different forms from persistent dull ache to a sudden sharp pain. These various forms of back pain can be the effect of anything from a sprain, a fracture, or a medical condition such as arthritis. Many individuals experience neck or lower back pain on a day to day basis. The good news is that most lower back pain can get better within a few days or weeks. Keep the following tips in mind when you want to prevent back pain from occurring. 1. Get more exercise. Regular exercise and physical activity help ease inflammation and muscle tension.  2. Watch your weight. Extra weight, especially in the mid section, can make back pain worse by putting added pressure on your lower back. 3. If you smoke, stop. Smoking inhibits the flow of nutrient-containing blood to areas within your spine.  4. Sleeping position. Talk to your doctor about various sleeping positions that will help manage your back pain. 5. Pay attention to your posture. Keep your knees higher than your hips when sitting and find a chair that has a straight back or low-back support when working in your office throughout the day.  6. Avoid high heels and skinny jeans. Heels higher than one inch shift your center of gravity to your lower back. While, wearing skinny jeans or any clothing that is tight, interferes with bending, sitting, or walking which can cause or worsen back pain. Use these back saving tips throughout your day to ensure that your back is healthy and pain...
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How to Alleviate Joint Pain During the Winter Months

Many men and women suffer from joint pain due to a variety of reasons from arthritis and osteoporosis to fractures and dislocations. The winter can be a hard time for anyone suffering from or even recovering from joint issues and conditions. Changes in weather affect the tissue around an individual’s joints. These temperature and weather changes can make the joint’s tissue expand, which adds pressure on the joint making the the pain worse in many cases. The best medicine for joint pain in any weather condition or season is exercise! The more you are able to strengthen the muscles and tissues around your joints, the better you will feel. Getting up and moving during the winter can be hard to do, so here are  6 ways you can get your joints moving even in the cold winter months.  1.  Motion The best ways to nourish your joints are to keep them moving. Movement of the joints helps your body naturally lubricate the suffering areas of your body. 2. Water Always drink plenty of water. When your body becomes dehydrated, this reduces flexibility and increases wear and tear on your joints. On average an individual should drink 8 glasses of water (8 ounces each) each day. 3. Warm up, then stretch Before stretching your body, make sure that your muscles are “warm.” Break a light sweat to ensure that your muscles are warm and loose, before you stretch out. 4. Keep warm Keep the joints that are injured or suffering from pain warm. Get yourself a “sleeve” or a “wrap” to place over the suffering joint. 5. Ice After exercising be sure to ice down your injured area to decrease any inflammation or soreness you may develop. 6. Eat right Be sure to eat a healthy diet. This will keep any extra weight off of your joints which will help ease the pain of any joint...
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Winter Sport Injury Prevention

The winter is a great time to go outside. We love to enjoy all of the activities that come with the winter snow; everything from ice skating and sledding to snowboarding and skiing. This time of year can be wonderful, if we make the extra effort to prevent the many injuries that can come with these activities. Here are the facts on winter sport injuries: 144,000 injuries from snow skiing 148,000 from snowboarding 58,500 from ice skating 91,000 from sledding and tobogganing The most common injuries that occur from participating in winter sports include sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures. Although those numbers are large, most of those injuries could have been prevented. There are some things you can do to prevent injury while being active this winter. Never participate alone in a winter sport. Be sure to train and be in the proper shape when participating in more intense winter sports. Warm up thoroughly before engaging in the activity. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury. Wear the appropriate gear and winter clothing. Pay attention to the weather. Understand that the temperature can be so cold that it is dangerous to be outside for long periods of time. Drink plenty of water – before, during, and after activities. Listen to your body. Avoid participating in sports if you are in pain or feeling exhausted. With this tips in mind, there is nothing stopping you from going out and making the most of the beautiful winter...
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Preparing for the Winter Weather

As the winter weather quickly approaches that means that the ice and snow is on its way.  The most common injuries experienced during the icy cold months are: hip fractures, head injuries, back injuries, knee injuries and wrist injuries. These injuries can become very severe if not taken care of properly. In order to decrease the risk of receiving these injuries, there are some important steps you can take. Slip & Fall Injuries This includes fractured hips, wrist injuries, head injuries Decrease the risk by: Taking your time with slower and shorter steps Wearing footwear with good rubber tread for traction Trying to avoid heavily snow and ice covered walking surfaces Shoveling Injuries This includes back and knee injuries Decrease the risk by: Pacing yourself by taking frequent breaks Wear slip-resistant boots Dressing accordingly, keep warm Pushing the snow instead of trying to lift Another health threat during the winter is Hypothermia. In order to avoid hypothermia, always remember COLD. C is for cover = Cover yourself and all exposed areas. O is for overexertion = Avoid activities that cause you to sweat which can make you lose body heat. L is for layers = Wear loose layers that trap air and insulate. Your most outer layer should be tight and water repellent. D is for dry = Stay as dry as possible. Change your clothes if they become damp and...
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Physical Therapy for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects an individual’s bone density. This disease is characterized by the loss of bone tissue and low bone mass. Individuals that have osteoporosis have weakened and fragile bones which can increase the risk of bone fractures. The most fracture-prone areas on the body for individuals with osteoporosis are major joints or bones such as the wrist, hip, and vertebrae of the spine. Physical therapy can help maintain strength and stamina as well as increase overall bone and joint health. Aside from physical therapy, there are every day exercises and activities to help prevent and manage the effects of osteoporosis. Exercise Types: Weight-bearing exercises: this helps increase endurance and muscle tone Walking on treadmills or outside Climbing stairs Dancing Hiking Strengthening exercises: this increases strength as well as stability Weight load does NOT have to be heavy It can be as simple as 2 lbs – 8 lbs. Use lighter ankle and wrist weights Loading exercises: this improves strength, stability, and bone density Place weight loads on specific body regions Focus on hip and spine, arms and shoulders If you are over the age of 50, consider getting a bone density test or Dexa Scan (DXA scan). This will help determine the risk level of osteoporosis as well as understand your current bone mass or density. This scan also helps to establish the content and quality of the minerals within your...
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