Walking for Low Back Pain

walking for back pain Eastside Medical Cleveland

Walking for Low Back Pain

 

Did you know that walking for low back pain is the best self-treatment?

 

More people are unfortunately living sedentary lives and thus are becoming more prone to low back pain due to lack of physical activity. While issues like this help keep us busy at our clinic locations, we also love to see our patients without unnecessary back issues.

The old stereotypes of bed-rest and sitting in a recliner for low back pain are history. Clinical practice guidelines generally advise people with an acute episode of low back pain to stay active.

 

Why walking for low back pain?

 

walk trailsThe American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons notes that exercising for 10 to 30 minutes one to three times per day is recommended during recovery from a bout with low back pain.

Walking is much less intense than many other forms of exercise and thus less likely to aggravate your back pain. It is also a particularly good form of exercise because it is less likely to damage the joints than other activities and helps maintain bone density.

Walking for low back pain works because it stimulates the brain to release serotonin and endorphins, which are neurotransmitter chemicals that make you feel better physically and mentally.

 

Benefits of walking for low back pain

 

back pain fitnessA steady walking practice can lessen pain, hasten healing, boost strength, increase flexibility and core strength, and, in the long run, prevent recurrences of low back pain.

Walking strengthens your bones and muscles, including those in your feet, legs, hips and torso along with the core muscles that hold you upright.

Stretching before walking will improve your back’s flexibility, range of motion and posture, which can help prevent future back pain or reduce its severity.

Incorporating walking into your routine also helps to improve your spine’s strength; walking benefits your circulation, helping pump nutrients to tissue and drain toxins, which nourishes your spine.

 

How to start a walking regimen

 

walking shoes for back painPurchase athletic walking shoes that fit your feet correctly and feel comfortable. If you’re in physical discomfort with your footwear, you’re not going to want to go very far. Don’t abandon your new routine before it even starts with ill-fitting shoes.

Make sure you stretch before exercising. Use some gentle stretching techniques to stretch your neck, arms, hips, legs, hamstrings, and ankles.

Start out slow and easy, take breaks if necessary. Be prepared for some discomfort — at first. Walking will help build your endurance and core strength over time. Be patient and persistent.

When you walk, keep up a rapid pace but do not exercise to the point of breathlessness. You should be able to carry on a conversation without gasping for air. Begin with a slow five-minute walk and continue until you’re walking for at least 30 minutes, or 2 miles, three or four times a week.

Make sure to maintain correct posture to prevent further injury to your back — use your core muscles. Try to “suck in” your tummy so you’re more upright. Swing your arms and keep your hands relaxed.

Once you’re into a routine, you can incorporate hand and ankle weights into your walks to get more strength and cardio endurance.

 

Walk off the low back pain

 

walking regime for back painWhile it can be difficult to motivate yourself to keep moving despite your back pain, the results should be less pain and discomfort along with faster recovery.

One of the best advantages to establishing a walking routine for low back pain is that it doesn’t require a doctor, a physical therapist, or any fancy equipment to do.

You’ll also garner other wonderful health benefits from walking such as weight loss, decreased depression symptoms, and better sleep.

 

Originally published on Ohio Therapy Centers


We can help you with any acute or chronic back pain issues!
Schedule your appointment now – free consultation for new patients and same day appointments available in some cases!

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avoid holiday neck pain Eastside Medical Cleveland

Neck Pain Over The Holidays

 

Protecting your neck over the holidays

 

The holidays can be hard on your neck. Traveling, hosting guests, setting up decorations, and attending family events may require your body to move in ways it’s not used to doing. These activities can result in stiffness, soreness, or sharp pain in the neck. 

Try these 4 tips to help keep your neck healthy and happy this holiday season.

 

1. Pack and travel smart

smart travel advice for neck pain holidays Eastside Medical Group ClevelandIf you travel this holiday season, you may have to carry luggage or sit in a cramped space for a long time, causing neck pain. Here are some ways to protect your neck while you travel:

Use a neck pillow. A travel-sized neck pillow helps keep your neck straight and upright so it doesn’t accidentally bend in an uncomfortable position.

Pack in multiple bags. Lifting luggage that’s too heavy can easily stress or injure your neck. Pack your travel items in multiple small bags instead of 1 large, heavy bag. Ask someone to help you take luggage in and out of your trunk or the overhead compartment on an airplane.

Bring heat/ice therapy. Heat therapy encourages blood flow and can reduce neck stiffness, and ice therapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation. So pack a heating pad, disposable heat wraps, and an ice wrap (or empty plastic bags you can later fill with ice) to use in case neck pain flares up.

 

2. Stick to a nutritious diet and exercise

eat healthy holidays Eastside Medical Group ClevelandThe holiday season can throw off your daily routine, and exercise is often the first item to get cut from a shifting schedule. Eating habits often change this time of the year, too, as many people enjoy home-cooked meals and delicious desserts with family and friends.

But if you commit to exercising and eating nutritiously over the holidays, your neck will thank you. A balanced diet, which includes adequate protein and plenty of fresh vegetables, supplies vitamins and healing properties that your soft tissues need. And an exercise program can help improve your cervical spine’s strength and flexibility, which may reduce the risk for neck pain.

 

3. Save your energy and know your limits

holiday relaxing Eastside Medical Cleveland healthy holidaysBefore the holidays arrive, consider which traditions and festivities are worth doing and which are too demanding. Some holiday activities, such as stringing up lights, baking cookies, and washing dishes are all physically strenuous and can cause or worsen neck pain.

Listen to what your body is telling you and decide ahead of time which activities to skip. Ask your family, friends, or neighbors to help carry out difficult chores. Take some time for yourself this holiday season, relaxing in bed with a good book or soaking in a warm bath.

 

4. Ask for gifts that help relieve neck pain

holliday gifts for neck pain Eastside Medical ClevelandIf you exchange gifts with loved ones to celebrate the holidays, here are a few items you can put on your wishlist:

Massage therapy gift certificate. Massage therapy, such as a Swedish massage or deep tissue massage, can help you relax, encourage blood flow to your soft tissues, and reduce your perception of pain.

Pillow. The right pillow is the one that has just the right height and firmness for you and will help keep your neck in a supported position with neutral alignment.

Neck massage device. If you want to treat neck pain at home, you can bring the massage to you. Research the best neck massagers and muscle rollers on the market.

Neck pain can be especially difficult to handle during the holiday season. Using this list, you can try a few tips to see what helps you find relief.

 

Originally published on Spine-Health

 


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Convenient morning and afternoon appointments available. 

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Book now with Eastside Medical Cleveland

 


sleep osteoarthritis pain

9 Ways to Sleep Better with Osteoarthritis Pain

As if it’s not enough that your osteoarthritis bothers you throughout the day, pain and stiffness can also interrupt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

This is bad news because poor sleep can cause pain to be worse—this creates a damaging cycle of pain and poor sleep.

If osteoarthritis pain and stiffness are keeping you from falling asleep or staying asleep, try following these 9 tips:

 

1 – Use heat therapy before bed

Ease a painful joint by using a heating pad for 15 to 20 minutes before bed. Or take a soothing bath for the same effect—just give yourself time to cool down afterward, because it’s hard to get to sleep if you’re overheated.

2 – Explore medication solutions

Insomnia and sleep problems may be the result of a medication you are taking to treat osteoarthritis pain or another condition. Talk with your doctor about switching medications or adjusting the timing of when you take them.

You may also be a good candidate for a prescription medication specifically to address insomnia. These medications can be very helpful but can be habit-forming and need to be taken with care.

3 – Take a nighttime pain reliever

There are several formulations of over-the-counter pain relievers specifically intended for use in at night to both relieve osteoarthritis pain and help you sleep better.

4 – Consider your mattress

A good mattress can make a big difference in your level of comfort and support as you sleep. For those with osteoarthritis, your mattress should be supportive but not too hard. If you can’t invest in a new mattress right now, consider adding a mattress topper.

5 – Use pillows strategically

Where and what type of pillows you use at night is important. If you have neck (cervical) arthritis, use a standard pillow that’s firm but not too high. For hip or knee arthritis, you may benefit from a wedge pillow next to you or a small pillow between your knees.

6 – Rule out sleep apnea

Those who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for both osteoarthritis and a sleep condition called sleep apnea, which causes patients to stop breathing and wake up abruptly several times a night. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, talk with your doctor about undergoing a sleep study.

7 – Exercise and stretch

Your joints are meant to move—the more you keep them immobile, the stiffer and more painful they’ll become. Stay as active as you can and do stretches intended to maintain strength and range of motion in your osteoarthritis-affected joint.

8 – Practice good sleep hygiene

Follow habits that promote good sleep, such as:

  • Going to bed at the same time every night
  • Establishing a night routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep
  • Banning phones, TVs, and other electronics from the bedroom
  • Avoiding large meals and caffeine before bed

9 – Manage your osteoarthritis or other health conditions

The better your overall health, the less likely conditions like arthritis or others will disrupt your sleep.

Remember: osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and sleep problems are all treatable. If you’re struggling with poor sleep because of osteoarthritis pain, make an appointment to see us and explore your solutions.

Original article: Arthritis Health

 


If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis, come see us to find out about your options for treatment. Under our care, your treatment may include orthopedic joint injections, spinal adjustments, physical rehab, clinical massage, and stretching and strengthening exercises. We can also recommend natural, drug-free ways to control your pain and discomfort.

If you would like more information about our integrated medical care approach please contact us today!

Eastside Medical Group

216-342-9199


Back Pain

5 Ways to Help Stop Back Pain

Roughly 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point during their lives.

Women, in particular, are prone to posture and back problems—thanks to toting around outrageously heavy purses, going through pregnancy, or giving one-hip rides to kids. Whether you’re in the midst of fighting the ache or just want to prevent it, here are some expert-endorsed quick-and-easy ways to wage your war on back pain.

Pass the broccoli, please

You know that calcium is key for strong bones, but Japanese researchers have identified something else you need: vitamin K. It’s believed that the vitamin, found in broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens, helps calcium deposit in the bones, making them denser. The stronger your bones, the stronger your whole body—and the lower your chances of an injury that could cause back pain.

Lighten your load

If your purse or briefcase tips the scales at more than 10% of your weight, it’s too heavy. And you need to carry it right. Your best bet is a model with a long strap that lets you position it across your chest like a messenger bag. Can’t part with your shorter-strapped number? Switch shoulders every 20 minutes.

Sleep right

A harder bed may not be better for your back. A recent study in Spine found that people who slept on softer beds reported less lower-back pain than those who snoozed on harder ones. 

Pillows? Yours shouldn’t raise your head out of alignment with your spine. How to tell: If you’re a back sleeper, your chin shouldn’t press into your chest. If you’re a side sleeper, it shouldn’t curve up toward your shoulder.

Tighten those abs

Having strong core muscles (we’re talking abs here) can help protect your back from injury. Do this core-strengthening pelvic tilt 2 to 3 times per week: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and lower back flattened. Pull in your belly button toward your spine, contracting your abs; your pelvis should lift slightly off the floor. 

Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 reps.

Aim for good posture

Sitting at a desk for eight (or more) hours a day can really do a number on your back. Make sure to sit with your back against your chair (get a lumbar pillow if your chair doesn’t allow this) and both feet flat on the floor.
Another option: Try using a stability ball as your desk chair—good posture is a must just to stay on the thing. Start off slow (20 minutes at a time), and if it feels good, stick with it.

 

Originally seen on Health

 

These 5 Tips not enough? 

Call today to alleviate your back pain and get your life back! 

Eastside Medical Group

216-342-9199


Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Do these shorter, darker, and chillier days make your mood cloud over this time every year?

You’re not alone!

Roughly up to 20 percent of Americans report feeling tired or sad with the fewer hours of daylight in the late fall and winter months. With colder temperatures and crisp, blustery winds, it’s easy to give in and hit the snooze button one more time instead of dragging yourself to the gym before work — or, make a date with your couch, warm blankets, and Netflix instead of bundling up and getting dinner with family and friends.

While many people can still function even if they’re feeling a bit melancholy, for some, winter brings a clinical form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly (and ironically) referred to as SAD. Researchers estimate that at least 5% percent of the population experiences SAD symptoms during the shorter days of late-fall and winter, such as fatigue, overeating, loss of interest in activities and difficulty concentrating.

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to feel better and boost your mood if you’re experiencing an energy dip.

Here are some of the best-recommended ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

 

Rise and shine

The sun is rising earlier, so get up with the chickens, so to say. Bundle up and go for a morning walk around the block, to soak up some of that early morning sunshine.

Same as it ever was

Sticking to a normal routine helps keep your mood and day in balance. Don’t deviate from it if you feel blue, that’s your key to knowing you need to follow through. Don’t neglect your favorite activities just because it’s cold or getting dark early.

Garbage in garbage out

Don’t fall prey to loading up on sugar and comfort foods this time of year. Most people opt for sugary sweets because it gives them a temporary lift in mood, but come spring you’ll regret it with extra weight. Remember, you are what you eat!

Light it up

Consider getting light therapy or buying your own full spectrum UV light box. Research has shown that light therapy helps at least 50% of people who suffer from SAD. The bright light emitted from these devices helps the body awaken in the morning and decreases the hormone melatonin that keeps us asleep at night.

Hit Play

We don’t mean on the DVD player – get outside and enjoy yourself with loved ones this winter. From a friendly snowball fight with friends to cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, or a simple hike on a groomed Metroparks path, get out there and find joy in wintertime activities.

Relax

A little downward dog might help lift you out of your funk. Try starting yoga or meditation to get your mind and body some uplifting energy this low light and energy season.

Prepare for take-off

If you have vacation time, book yourself a trip! Quality downtime and vacation are important to recharge and boost your mood. Studies show that people even experience pleasure and stress release from anticipating vacations. While you count down the days until your warm and sunny holiday, find ways to enjoy and be happy with the winter wonderland in your own backyard.

Get Adjusted

Studies show that getting chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate symptoms of depression. 

Our moods are regulated by our body’s chemistry; this chemistry in your organs, as well as your brain, are all regulated by the nervous system. Misalignment of the spine can cause pressure in the area of the brain stem which can cause interference neurologically and chemically.

Often people turn to medications that are used to alter their brain chemistry, but those looking for a non-medication therapy often find that re-aligning these vertebrae can do wonders for their mental state.

 


If you struggle with serious and continuous depressive symptoms, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss your condition and options for treatment.


 

If you would like more information about the use of integrated medical care to deal with SAD, please contact us today!

Eastside Medical Group

216-342-9199


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