Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for your back. There are very specific things you need to be aware of that can cause your back pains to get worse. These simple steps will help you avoid the activities that will cause yo the most trouble.
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When I suffered with back pain I learned thousands of lessons. Many of these lessons were learned when I was "the patient". It was easy for me; I learned what helped and what didn't because I had the pain. I have also, over the years, learned from all my patients. We have had over 20,000 patients in our 20 years of being in business, and each patient teaches us something new. I have learned from other doctors and learned from my staff, and I continue to learn more every day.
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Neck and back pain is something that afflicts most us at one time or another, especially as we advance in age. As we get older, joints between bones and intervertebral discs become less flexible and suffer from wear and tear, resulting in conditions such as arthritis and herniated discs which usually result in chronic joint, back and neck pain. Lifestyle and habits are also causes of chronic neck and back pain such as poor posture when sitting, for example, hunching over a desk or computer and spending a lot of time seated or without changing posture. A sedentary lifestyle also results in weight gain and obesity due to poor eating habits and lack of enough exercise.
If you suffer from back or neck pain, a change in your diet can make a world of a difference. Anti-inflammatory foods will reduce back aches while improving your overall health. Let's take a closer look at some speific foods have this quality.
Inflammation occurs in the human body when one consumes an excess of processed foods containing omega 6 fatty acids and too few foods containing omega 3 fatty acids. One of the main culprits is fast food. If too much fast food and processed food is consumed and not counter balanced with omega 3 rich foods then your back will likely throb in pain. Eating in large quantities is also problematic as it increases short term inflammatory markers. It is best to graze, meaning eat small portions throughout the day. You'll have less aches and pains and you'll boost your metabolism at the same time.
Plants contain anti-inflammatory natural chemicals called phytochemicals. Be sure to mix in dark leafy greens with each lunch and dinner. You can also load up on Mediterranean style foods like hummus, beans, extra virgin olive oil an olives. These are known to reduce inflammation and boost longevity, as proven by the long life spans of the Greek population.
The best anti-inflammatory food on the market is cold water wild fish. You can also obtain anti-inflammatory omega 3 qualities from fish oil pills. When grocery shopping, select raw oysters, red wild sockeye, sardines, herring, wild salmon and anchovies. In the spirit of the Mediterraneans, use olive oil to cook the fish instead of butter. However, you should not overload your body with omega 3 foods as an overabundance will lead to other health problems.
While you are at the store pick up some pastured animal meat. Examples are pastured egg yolks, grass fed beef and grass fed lamb. Pastured means that the animals that you are eating (or their by-products) ate high quality grass over the course of their lives. Pastured meat and eggs have anti-inflammatory trans fatty acids. Add some red palm oil to your fish and meat just before serving it. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties. Complete your meal with a vegetable like cauliflower, cabbage or broccoli. Incorporate onions and garlic with your dinners for that extra bit of flavor. Each is considered a top of the line anti-inflammatory food.
While making your lunch and dinner, incorporate the anti-inflammatory spice called turmeric. Aside from helping to ease your back pain, this tasty spice also fights oxidation stress. Ginger contains similar properties and can be used in a wide variety of foods including cookies and oatmeal.
Instead of reaching for potato chips, cheese doodles or other processed foods when snacking, opt for anti-inflammatory foods like walnuts, avocados and peppers. Don't pig out with a sugar and chocolate laden dessert. Opt for blueberries. They head most lists of the tastiest anti-inflammatory foods. Be sure to mix them in with your morning oatmeal, cereal and grits. Berries also have antioxidants that fight cancer.
The overarching theme of an anti-inflammatory diet revolves around the DIY ethos: Do It Yourself. You must learn to grocery shop and cook in a healthy manner while avoiding processed foods. This is time consuming so you'll have to invest yourself and make a serious commitment to eating right. Would you rather spend a few more hours per week cooking in the kitchen in order to have a pain free back? Or would you rather eat poorly, ruin your health and live the rest of your life with a chronically painful back? The choice is obvious.
Your diet is a very important factor to your back pain. There are certain foods that you can add to your daily diet to help reduce your back pain. Adding nuts to your diet is a great way to maintain healthy bones and relieve your back pain. Nuts and seeds are rich in unsaturated fat and other nutrients that may reduce inflammation.
If you are feeling extra soreness and aches during the winter season this could be due to the lack of Vitamin D in your diet. Vitamin D is known as a sunshine vitamin since our bodies make vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Due to the winter weather we are in short supply of this vitamin. Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and bone health. A study showed that patients that were suffering with back pain had inadequate levels of vitamin D. They were all given vitamin D supplements for 3 months and symptoms improved 95%. Vitamin D supplements are good for you, easy to take, usually have no side effects and can typically cost as little as 7 to 10 cents per day.
Most people don’t recognize that nutrition and pain are interrelated. The truth is, they are completely connected in every way. The bones, muscles and other structures in the spine need good nutrition and vitamins so that they are strong enough to support the body and to perform their other functions. Using the following nutritional guidelines, patients can integrate back-friendly vitamins and nutrients into their diets.
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Water is your body’s vital fuel and it is very important for you to drink enough water to help reduce back pain and reduce future problems. Lack of water contributes to chronic muscle spasms & increased blood viscosity. Both contribute to poor healing and inflammation. You should drink enough water that you have to urinate at least 3-4 times a day.