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Exercises for Sciatica Relief

Sciatica is pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which is the major nerve that extends from your lower back through your hips, buttocks and down the leg. If there is pressure along the sciatic nerve, it could cause pain, numbness or weakness in your lower extremities. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body. The main causes of sciatica are herniated discs, bone spurs on the spine, or narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), and each of these results in compression of the nerve. The pain associated with sciatica can be severe. Many patients …

Healthy Benefits of Volunteering

If you are still struggling to settle on a healthy New Year’s resolution, look no further than a simple opportunity to volunteer. Doing something good for others helps more than the greater good: volunteering can yield positive effects on your health as well. Improved mental health is a common side effect of volunteering. Research shows that empathy and generosity increase levels of oxytocin, a neurochemical associated with trust and feelings of closeness, meaning that stress is decreased and feelings of calm are increased when helping others. Lower stress from volunteering may also help with lower blood pressure. A 2013 study …

Lumbar Disc Herniation in Children

A herniated disc occurs when something damages the annulus (outer fibers) of a vertebral disc and the soft material inside ruptures. If the annulus tears near the spinal canal, the soft material inside the disc can push into the spinal canal, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain. In children with lumbar disc herniation, the most common type of herniated disc, the cause of their herniated discs may be because of abnormal spinal and pelvic shape. According to a new study published in the December issue of Neurosurgery, most children and adolescents with herniated discs in the lumbar spine …

How to Set Achievable New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of 2015, it was reported that only 8% of Americans are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. When 38% of people set health and weight resolutions, perhaps another resolution should be to follow through. Learning how to set achievable New Year’s resolutions is the critical first step in helping you do what you say you’ll do. In the 1960s, a man named David Gleicher developed an equation known as “the formula for change.” The formula was originally created in the context of organizational management and transformation, but it works just the same for personal behavior changes …

Functional Restoration: A New Treatment Approach for Chronic Spinal Pain

Coping with chronic spine pain can be scary. After a while, some patients grow fearful of engaging in any activity that might trigger pain. To address these fears and get patients back on track, functional restoration programs are popping up across the country. Functional restoration is a rehabilitation method that strives to increase physical function, improve pain-coping skills, and promote the return to a productive lifestyle for chronic spine pain patients. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, functional restoration researchers believe that the key of these types of rehab programs is to help people shift the way …

The Importance of Sleep

For most of us, a good night’s sleep means getting about 7-9 hours to be truly rested the next day. Getting adequate sleep helps maintain good health by healing and repairing your body while at rest. If your sleep is interrupted or cut short, your body won’t have time to complete all the phases of sleep needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation, and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite. According to Harvard Medical School, one-third of working Americans are sleep deprived, meaning they are waking up less prepared to concentrate, make decision, and fully engage in productive activities. According …

How Music Can Relieve Chronic Pain

Those who have a loved one suffering, or who suffer from chronic pain themselves, understand that there is no one solution. Pain management is often a combination of strategies that work together to ease the suffering. Amidst the effort, one healing method is as simple and enjoyable as listening to your favorite song: music has recently shown to be an effective tool for chronic pain management. Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than six months, ranging from mild to severe, constant or episodic. The most common types of chronic pain are low back pain, joint pain, and headaches. …

What You Need to Know About Compression Clothing

When recovering from a strenuous workout, it is important to accelerate blood flow to decrease swelling. Stretching and physical therapy are tried and true techniques.  But did you know there is also specially designed gear – called compression clothing – to aid your recovery? What is compression clothing? Compression garments are form-fitting socks, shorts, shirts, tights, and body suits, made with tight elastic, that squeeze and hold muscles in place to enhance athletic performance and muscle recovery. The compressive layers fit snuggly under workout gear or on their own to seep up sweat and moisture, regulate body temperature, and deliver …

How to Prevent Winter Backaches and Pains

Winter woes come from more than just the cold. Cold and damp weather can increase arthritis aches and pains, and winter activities can have an effect, too. Avoid slips and falls As the temperature drops, so will the leaves and eventually the snow, causing the ground to become more slippery. Slick sidewalks and ice-covered surfaces, especially black ice, are common culprits for acute injuries from slips and falls. These injuries can range from simple sprains to spine and tailbone fractures. Ideally falling would be nothing more than a bruise to your ego, but always be sure to see a doctor …

5 Healthy Living Apps to Download

As we gear up for another holiday season and setting goals for the New Year, health consciousness will be on the rise. Forty-one million Americans are members of a gym or health club – though how many of them actually go on a daily basis is debatable. This is where apps and devices come in. Mobile fitness apps allow consumers to take personalized health and fitness programs into their own hands – literally. There are about 100,000 health apps available in major app stores (iOS, Google Play, etc.), and the top 10 generate up to 4 million free and 300,000 …