Monthly Archives: April 2015
5 Do-it-Yourself Ways to Prevent Back Pain and Stay Active
Your family and friends love you, and your health care provider’s job is to take good care of you. The bottom line, however, is that only you can take the very best care of yourself physically, emotionally, and energetically.
Without your own willingness and do-it-yourself attitude in self-care, your health and life may suffer. There are certain things that can put you on your back, literally. Some of these things are body pains in your neck and back as well as injury and severe fatigue that can accumulate. These problems can take you out of doing what you love during your days and weekends.
The fact is, in any activity you can tell when you are beginning to feel some degree of body resistance or pain. What’s important to remember is that no matter what the activity or the intensity you put into it, your muscles are going to be in constant use. Because of this, almost anything you do from high-intensity cycling to desk and computer work can lead to a buildup of tension in your muscles and stress on your joints, leaving you in pain. You may feel tension or strain in your shoulders, neck or back or just feel exhausted, aged and achy.
As an experienced chiropractor serving Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, I know true change starts with you. I can show you methods that will help you stay active, remain healthy, and enjoy a beautiful body for decades to come!
To get a handle on your own pain, here are five do-it-yourself ways to prevent back pain:
- Understand Your Body
Pay attention to the way your muscles move when you sit for a long time, walk, work out, or run. Learn to take notice of what you are feeling before, during and after you are hard at work so you can stop or try to work the problem out before it turns into back pain, neck pain, or other pain.
Take a moment to feel the muscle groups that are tensing. Does it feel like there’s a problem? Like your body is telling you something? Where do you feel burning or tightness? Concentrate on these areas during your actions and after you take a break from what you’re doing. Look for the warning signs of problems sticking around like: increased muscle pulling, burning pain or severe achiness and soreness during and after your activities.
- Learn How to Triage
If you are experiencing body pain, before you go any further with your day, learn to take time to assign degrees of urgency to your situation. Triage from your standpoint, means preventing a pain or injury from happening or from getting worse. It means noticing the level of activity you are doing during your hard work at the gym, out-and-about or at your desk and considering how it’s going to leave your body afterward. Once you are aware of a new problem or pain starting, this is the time that you can identify with what makes it feel worse or better.
For example, if you are running and you feel your hip get painful and weak, this is the moment to pay close attention. If it feels better with no weight on it, notice it. If it feels better when you keep walking, take note of that too. This will help you learn how to go forward and make small shifts to help heal the area.
The severity of a problem with your body is typically witnessed in the following ways:
The movement has changed– if you can’t move or lift a body part like you used to, this is very important information to be aware of.
The sensation is bothersome– if the body area feels different than it usually does, like its numb, aching, very tender, burning or the pain begins to travel down a limb you may have a bigger problem. This is a good time to stop what you’re doing and take action to heal.
The appearance of the body part is different– if your body part looks different than usual, like it’s red, swollen, white, bruised or firming up, especially if the appearance changes after use of the body part, you will want to take note of exactly what happened and try to rest, seek experienced attention or partake in healing activities right away.
- Recognize Chronic Pain
There’s a difference between a little bit of neck pain after you’ve been lifting or carrying something for a long time and feeling plagued by neck pain when you’re at rest. If you feel neck or back pain long after your activities or workout is over or when you’re simply sitting at rest, this could be an indication of a much deeper problem. You may benefit from muscle work and corrective chiropractic services that will help solve the issues that cause your chronic pain.
- Prevent Knots of Tension from Building
It is normal to feel a bit of body tension after a challenging activity or workout and even when you’ve been slaving away at the computer all day. More severe areas of body tension happen when these small areas of muscle knots or back and neck pain are not treated immediately. The small areas of body tension can start silent but turn into chronic or increased pain than you never expected. Sometimes you feel this pain move down other areas of your body, like your arms when the pain started in your neck. Large muscle knots can lead to symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, radiating pain or weakness. By preventing knots of body tension from building, you won’t have to worry about debilitating injuries that could keep you from being active.
Take actions to heal. Some suggestions that may help you are to: engage in self-massage, increase or decrease the types of movement that you’re doing according to comfort, stretch, or use ice. I can give you a specific plan to feel better after a thorough evaluation.
- Educate Yourself
Injuries can often be prevented with some education. Learn about the warning signs that happen before most injuries occur so you know when to head to your chiropractor for preventative treatment. My free report, “Understand if you are heading towards a foot, ankle, or knee injury and how to prevent it”, can provide the information you need to stop injuries in their tracks.
The Importance of Prevention
An active lifestyle has several benefits beyond staying in shape and allowing you to enjoy a beautiful body. Frequent exercise and the participation in activities you love also allow for the positive feelings that come with reaching goals and conquering challenges that may come with age. The feeling that you’re doing something good for yourself and the results you see when you do, are things you can count on, look forward to, and use to boost your mood on a regular basis.
Prevention of pain or injury means stopping problems before they happen and strengthening your physical and emotional healthy habits every day. The benefits of preventative actions are to allow you to stay active and expel the worry of slowing down and being left behind because of injuries. With prevention and a mindful eye on your own body, you’ll be hindered less by fatigue, injury or the feeling that you are losing steam and get back to all the good things that come with staying alert to your body and choices.
Inquire Today About Chiropractic Services
Dr. Nicole Muschett is the Bethlehem, PA chiropractor that is dedicated to helping you stay active in whatever way you choose. Reach all of your goals and feel great about your body without worrying about incurring injuries at home, the gym, at the desk and on the running track. Complimentary consultations are available to help you find out what causes your pain and what can keep you energetic and feeling young. Inquire today and learn more about how you can prevent back pain and stay active so you will never have to feel the stresses of giving up your bliss. Enjoy your body and all that it can do!
5 Ways to Combat Weight Gain When You’ve Been Binging and Indulging
Many people feel the need for a release or outlet after a busy and demanding day, and drinking alcohol and binging on junk food are often the go-to indulgences of choice. The problem comes when those indulgences become habit.
When you let these habits rule for too long you eventually see your weight creep up while simultaneously your health, energy and happiness get drawn away.
While trying to lose weight and also partaking in life’s indulgences, like alcohol, you may find it impossible to fully reach your health goals.
The fact is most of the American adult population will occasionally consume an alcoholic beverage at some point. A glass of wine or a beer with dinner, a few cocktails at a party, or drinks at the bar are all part of socializing and provide a needed unwinding after a long day. The problem is that too much alcohol and junk food consumption can lead to loss of critical nutrients which puts your body in a nutrient bankrupt state. This then leaves you aching for even more food. Many people find themselves in this vicious cycle, especially noticing it in the wee hours of the morning, craving junk foods because of this nutrient deficient state.
On top of creating a spiral of increased junk food cravings, you can increase the chances of more serious health problems like diabetes, obesity, joint pain, and metabolic syndromes that will leave you less than your best.
Here’s how you can combat weight gain and still indulge and relax:
- Understand Your Weight Gain
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and junk food can put you in a state of nutrient bankruptcy and dehydration. Alcohol in large amounts acts as a diuretic which washes many of the minerals on which your body depends away with the water that it pushes out. In its wake, you crave more food to replenish those lost nutrients and rarely feel satisfied.
Refined carbohydrates are what most junk foods contain. They are stripped of their original nutrient content and offer lots of calories for little nutrient and mineral exchange. They offer even less satisfaction for your hunger.
If you’ve gained weight due to excessive binging and indulging on alcohol and junk food, it’s likely that you’re also feeling fatigue as well as some body aches and pains. Back pain, neck and shoulder pain from dehydration and nutrient loss on a daily basis can leave your body feeling weak and your energy levels down.
Junk foods and alcohols require your liver, pancreas and other body cells to work hard to metabolize their contents or excrete them. Also, unless you are competing in a high-endurance athletic competition, you often do not need a lot of sugar in a short period of time. If you do binge, your body converts the large influx of sugars and alcohol into fat. The fat is deposited in all the areas you don’t want it to be.
- Regulate Your Indulgences (like alcohol)
It is not necessary to abstain from alcohol consumption completely in order to lose weight. While there is no real evidence to back up a healthy level of alcohol consumption, a few drinks spread out through the week is alright. Several studies show that spreading out the amount of drinks you consume throughout the week puts less stress on your body than letting loose and having too many drinks in one night. Keep it to one, two or less each night to allow your body to recover after each time you imbibe.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate and You’ll Feel Relaxed!
If you feel drawn to refined carbs like bread and sweets your body may be telling you that you are craving water but the junk foods are distracting you from drinking the pure water that you need. And whether you feel it or not, when you drink alcohol your body needs water replenishment. Water flushes your body of toxins and helps many body functions work smoothly. Your weight loss endeavors will be greatly helped by making sure you drink an adequate amount of water every day. Dehydration is increased by the consumption of alcohol and also leads to headaches, back pain, neck pain, and other muscle aches that contribute to fatigue. Hydrating prevents these instances from occurring and allows you to stay active, exercise, and more swiftly reach your weight loss goals.
- Get Into a “Happy You” Routine
When you exercise every day, it becomes easier to exercise even more. You eventually are able to breathe better, think better and rest better which makes for a happier “you”. Get yourself into a good routine that you enjoy and don’t let over-indulging in junk foods or alcohol get in the way. Include days in your schedule when it’s okay to imbibe and give yourself a limit that you can stick to. Talk to your chiropractor about the best ways to prevent injury while you exercise and the types of activities that can help you reach your weight loss goals or relieve any chronic back or neck pain from which you already suffer.
- Find Fun Outlets
Team sports and exercise classes are a wonderful and fun way to stay active and socialize which can distract you from a binge dieting spree if approached correctly. You can include the family, bring together a group of friends, or meet new people that share your interests. Then involve the group you hang out with in your weight loss goals and the routine you’ve created. Plan to stick to the junk food and alcohol consumption guidelines you’ve made for yourself. Focus on the group and the activity and just have fun. Staying active in this way not only helps you with weight loss but also encourages a positive mood, higher energy levels, and the glow that comes with happily participating in a social, supportive environment.
The Power of Movement
You may find that, by staying active and participating in exercise you love or team sports, you don’t feel the desire to imbibe in alcoholic beverages or binge on junk foods to decompress anymore. Outings, get-together’s and practices can become the parts of the week you look forward to. You might even find yourself yearning for that morning run to jump-start your day. Frequent movement can not only alleviate stress but can also ease chronic pain and make you feel younger than you’ve ever felt. Develop a routine that makes you happy every day!
Discover More about Natural Pain Relief
We can help you find the best ways to relieve stress, combat weight gain and alleviate pain naturally and without the use of medications. You can start feeling energetic in your body even before you make a change in your habits and mind. Inquire today and learn about free consultations concerning how to improve your flexibility and energy. Discover all the alternatives to achieve a healthier and happier body!