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Category: Blog

The Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Spine

A healthy spine can withstand more pressure and stress, helping to avoid or minimize injury, and relieve pain from a variety of back conditions. While you cannot target the spine itself, you can strengthen the group of muscles that surround and stabilize it, called the erector spinae, with a few simple exercises per day. Good Posture Although not technically a fitness exercise, maintaining proper posture is one of the easiest and most important ways to strengthen the muscles around the spine. When you practice good posture, you support the natural curves in your back, which keeps the spine stable and …

Live Your Best Life: How an Active Social Lifestyle is Linked to Higher Pain Thresholds

Maintaining an active social life may affect more than just our mood. Recent research shows that being social could affect how our bodies handle pain as well. According to a new study, people with a larger circle of friends and a more active social life may be better able to tolerate pain. The study, led by Dr. Robin Dunbar at the University of Oxford, looked into the connection between pain thresholds and social networks. The study hypothesized that endorphin activity in the brain is correlated with pain tolerance. Researchers theorized that the brain’s endorphin system has evolved to reward and …

5 Top Sleeping Habits to Prevent Back Pain

Approximately 65% of people with chronic back pain suffer from some type of sleep disorder, and inadequate sleep can exacerbate back pain, creating a vicious cycle of chronic pain and insomnia. However, there are a few simple modifications that you can make to your sleeping regimen to improve both your quality of sleep and pain levels. Insomnia & Non-Restorative Sleep Chronic back pain and sleeping problems can affect each other in various ways. Trouble falling asleep, or insomnia, is the primary issue for those who suffer from back pain, as it can be difficult to find a pain-free position. Additionally, …

The Rise of Workplace Wellness Programs

If you would like to reinvigorate your health and fitness regimens this summer, your office may be able to help. Many businesses have implemented workplace wellness programs, services and activities intended to incentivize healthy behaviors in and out of the workplace, and boost productivity. Employer-sponsored health plans come in a variety of forms to help workers stick to their health goals. The majority of comprehensive wellness programs focus on preventive health and lifestyle modification, by encouraging employees to increase physical activity, improve eating habits, and reduce stress. Common program features include health education and coaching, weight management programs, medical screenings …

A Surprising Link: The Dental – Back Pain Connection

If you suffer from chronic back pain but cannot determine the reason, the underlying cause could be surprising: a dental issue. This unexpected connection is an example of referred pain, or pain in an area of the body other than where it originates. Studies have shown that referred pain is due to the way the body’s nerve fibers converge on and send signals up and down the spinal column. These signals make it so that dysfunction or pain towards the top of the spinal column, such as a toothache, can influence the structures below, such as the upper and low …

A Sun Protection Program for Every Day of the Year

Melanoma Awareness Month in May serves as an important reminder as we prepare for summer of the necessity of practicing safe skin habits. Follow these simple methods to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, not only through the spring and summer months, but year-round. Sunscreen Wearing sunscreen is essential to preventing the sun’s ultraviolent radiation from reaching the skin 365 days of the year. There are two types of UV radiation, UVA and UVB, that can damage skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, no matter the season or weather. UVB rays are considered the …

The New Study That Links Pain and Dehydration

Staying hydrated helps combat fatigue and helps improve muscle and joint performance by cleansing the body of toxins. A new study published this year found that hydrating may have yet another advantage: reducing pain perception. The study, led by Dr. Toby Mündel and his team at Massey University in New Zealand, sought to determine the correlation between dehydration and pain, as well as further demonstrate the positive effects of staying hydrated. The study asked participants to take part in two stages. For the first stage, the participants consumed their usual amount of fluids while going about their daily activities. For …

How to Help Prevent Chronic Pain for Runners

The constant impact from running puts stress on the knees and back, which over time can lead to injury and chronic pain. However, most running injuries stem from improper training that is easily avoided with a few preventative measures. Follow these simple techniques to help reduce the strain on your body and enjoy safe and pain-free runs. Warm Up One of the most important measures for avoiding pain and injury is to practice a thorough warm up prior to running. Build up gradually, by starting with a three to five minute walk, followed by a five-minute run-walk. Easing into speed …

The Future of Personalized Healthcare: There’s an App for That

The future of personalized healthcare is going mobile. By 2020, patients experiencing back pain will be able to take responsibility of managing their pain into their own hands. An app currently being developed by medical, science, and technology researchers called selfBACK, will be able to facilitate and improve self-management of non-specific low back pain. The international project, funded by the European Union, comes as a response to a study on global disease that found that low back pain is the fourth most common diagnosis in primary care, and the most significant contributor to disability in Europe. European guidelines advise that …

The Best Footwear for Spring Workouts

Feet are the foundation of our posture and the platform from which we move. When imbalanced, the body works to correct the issue by redistributing weight, which alters the natural posture and alignment of the spine. Over time, this causes pressure and stress on the muscles, which can lead to back or leg pain. Properly fitted footwear can provide mechanical support and protection, and can help ensure that the body is balanced and aligned. Before you embark on a new fitness routine this spring, it is important to consider the correct footwear choice for your exercise style. The appropriate shoes …