Seasonal Affective Disorder

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


natural pain relievers

4 Natural Pain Relievers

Living with chronic pain can be emotionally and physically exhausting, as your symptoms never seem to take time off.

 

By now, you’ve likely tried all sorts of treatments—but you may not have considered these four little-known natural pain relievers:

 

1. Spur the release of your endorphins

Endorphins are pain-inhibiting hormones that are naturally produced by your body. Endorphins inhibit pain by binding to the opioid receptors in your brain, and they work similar to opioid pain medications like oxycodone or morphine.

Any activity that raises your heart rate for an extended period will spur the release of pain-relieving endorphins into your system. But this raises an obvious problem: how do you exercise if you’re in so much pain? The solution may be to pick a water-based exercise or to get help from the right type of health professional—such as a physiatrist, chiropractor, or physical therapist.

 

2. Take a warm soak

Soaking your body in warm water can help relieve muscle discomfort and many types of arthritis pain. There are numerous options for a warm soak, including a bathtub, whirlpool tub, or a warm pool. Some people find that essential oils or Epsom salts improve the muscle-relaxation benefits associated with a warm soak.

The temperature of your water should be warm and pleasant—especially before bed. Hot water can make it hard to fall asleep by raising the temperature of your body.

If a soak isn’t for you, there are plenty of other heat therapy options for your pain. Try applying an electric blanket or using an adhesive back wrap that provides low-level heat over several hours.

 

3. Keep hydrated

Most people know that drinking plenty of water throughout the day is good for your overall health. But did you know that it may also help with your chronic pain? Drinking enough water can alleviate stiffness, and it also supports your blood flow—which enables healing nutrients and oxygen to reach the various structures of your body. In addition, water helps to flush toxins out of your muscles and other soft tissues, and as a bonus, it can prevent constipation (a side effect of many pain medications).

As a general rule, women need roughly 2 liters of water per day, while men need 3 liters.

 

4. Ease your chronic pain with ice

Ice and/or a cold gel pack can alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation and slowing down your nerve impulses. A great option for cold therapy is an ice massage, which may provide additional relief through the manipulation of your soft tissue.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by freezing water in a paper cup overnight. Once the ice has hardened, you can peel away the top inch of the cup to expose the ice.
  • Lie on your side, and apply the ice in a 6-inch radius around the location of your pain. You can also lie on your stomach and have a partner apply the ice for you.
  • Make sure to limit your ice massage to 5 minutes to avoid possible ice burns.

All of the above natural pain relievers are not prescriptive. Instead, they are intended as options for you to consider as you work in tandem with your doctor to manage your chronic pain.

No single treatment option works for everyone, but try one of the above options today and you might find significant relief from your chronic pain.

 

Originally published on Spine Health


 

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your Chronic Pain issues, please contact us today!

Eastside Medical Group

216-342-9199


7 fall fitness tips

7 Fall FitnessTips

Make sure you don’t fall out of fitness!

 

Whether you spent the summer swimming with your kids, running in races or walking at the local park, exercising outside doesn’t have to end this fall.

In fact, fall is a great time to harvest a new routine to re-energize and also to switch up your current workout and fitness routine.

 

Consider the following fall fitness tips to get you motivated to move!

 

Enjoy the beautiful colors of nature

Fall walk active livingExercising outside doesn’t even feel like you’re doing anything strenuous, especially if you’re doing something you enjoy.

Delight in the cooler weather and take advantage of outdoor adventures before the cold winds of winter start rolling in. Research Metro Park trails nearby to enjoy a walk, hike or bike ride amid this season’s colorful foliage.

Try an outing of apple picking or pumpkin gathering, or take your friends and family out for some seasonal photos. The colors of the trees make wonderful backdrops! Activities like these are sure to burn calories, as well as help, reduce stress in general.

 

Make sure you layer

fall fitness bundle upThe fall season, while beautiful, brings about a cooler change in climate.

Since we are in Northern Ohio, temperatures could gradually decrease or drastically dip over the next month. Keep this in mind as you plan outdoor fall fitness activities, both solo and with family and friends.

Consider investing in breathable, moisture-wicking clothing. Though you may feel chilly at first, your body will quickly warm up once your blood starts pumping so you don’t want to overdress either.

For those colder morning runs, a hat will help insulate your head where you lose the most heat.

 

Work out at home

working out from homeNow that the days are getting shorter and the holiday season is looming, fitting fitness into your daily routine may seem like it is impossible. But remember, even 15 or 20 minutes is enough time to get in a quick workout — a great time for living room aerobics or a quick dash around the neighborhood. Even three 10 minute walks a day equals 30 minutes of exercise!

Be prepared for those brief moments of free time indoors with fitness DVDs or better yet, hit up some of the new paid services online, like Daily Burn or Beachbody. Both offer a free 30-day trial!

 

Get the right tools

get the right equipmentFor the most part, you can challenge your muscles with your own body weight and avoid the specialty equipment advertised on TV and the internet. Keep in mind though, some items are helpful to your results and are fairly inexpensive, like hand weights or resistance bands.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy local harvest produce

fresh fall farmers marketGrocery stores and farmers’ markets are full of the fall’s freshest and most delicious produce including apples, figs, pears, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and all different kinds of winter squash. In-season produce is rich in flavor and cheap on your wallet.

Try some savor recipes like butternut squash soup or a root vegetable bake with chicken for healthy meals with your family.

 

 

Weigh yourself regularly

weigh yourself regularlyWith colder weather comes sweaters and bulkier clothes; it is so easy to overlook a few extra pounds through chunky sweaters. Combat this oversight by weighing yourself regularly, preferably at the same time every day to get the most accurate reading.

 

 

 

 

Most of all, be safe

be safe at night with fitnessShorter days bring dark mornings and evenings, but this shouldn’t discourage you from an outdoor exercise regime. Just be smart about your new routine.

Remember to always wear reflective workout clothes and carry a flashlight to illuminate your path.

Bike riders should invest in headlights and blinking tail lights as well as make sure to stay clear of heavy traffic roads. Sticking to the trails this time of year is advantageous, as well as a visual playground with all the beautiful colors.

All early morning or evening exercisers should opt for designated paths or head to their local high school track, if available.

With these great tips and ideas for fall fitness, you’ll be on your way to looking great in holiday photos with your family and friends this year!

 


 

Remember to schedule your appointment with us for any of your aches and pains! We love to help our patients live healthy and pain-free lives! Same day appointments available.

Pain relief today – Health for a lifetime!

Eastside Medical Group

216-342-9199


foods chronic pain

Chronic Pain: 7 Foods to Avoid

Chronic pain affects many people and fibromyalgia is the most common form. This chronic condition is characterized by symptoms like muscle pain, fatigue, depression, and sleeping disorders.

Latest studies suggest that the central sensation, in which neurons in the spinal cord are sensitized by inflammations or cell damage, could get involved in the same way people with fibromyalgia process pain. The food you eat may contain chemicals that trigger the neurotransmitters, which increases the sensitivity.

 

1. Reduce The Intake of Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners

High insulin levels affect the condition and thus worsen pain and inflammation. Reduce the sugar intake and the foods that contain hidden sugar.

Sugar cravings appear once in a while but focus on eating more fresh fruits. Aspartame, sorbitol, and xylitol are sugar-free artificial sweeteners, but they contain compounds that transform sensitivity to pain and also trigger irritable bowel syndrome. Making your own food and eating whole foods is the best way to avoid hidden sugars.

 

2. Caffeine is No Good For You

Scientists associate chronic pain and fibromyalgia with insufficient sleep and fatigue. People drink too much coffee so they can go through the day more easily. Coffee provides the desired effect, but in the long run, it can largely affect your good night’s sleep.

 

 

3. Avoid Gluten And Yeast

These are contained in baked goods and pastry. Regular consumption of these products stimulate the growth of yeast and fungus and thus increase the pain.

 

 

4. Remove Dairy Products From Your Diet

Dairy and many other animal products contain a protein that worsens arthritis and fibromyalgia. It irritates the tissue around the joints, which worsens the pain. Think about going vegan, as this decision has helped many people to cure chronic diseases.

 

 

5. Say No To Refined Carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates, similar to sugar, can increase insulin levels and worsen any chronic condition. Always choose low-carb, low-sugar foods and often eat plant-based meals.

 

 

6. Tobacco and alcohol harm your body and trigger severe health conditions including diseases that affect the joints

Statistics have shown that smokers have a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and people who consume alcohol regularly are more likely to develop gout.

 

7. Food additives Are Dangerous

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other food additives cause additional problems for people with chronic pain, by stimulating pain receptors and increasing pain. Producers add MSG to fast food and prepackaged foods to enhance their taste.

 

 

Source: Healthy Food House

 


 

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your Chronic Pain issues, please contact us today!

Eastside Medical Group

216-342-9199

 


strategies back pain

6 Strategies to Baby Your Back Pain

When your back is hurting, you’d do just about anything to make it stop.

Find out what you can do to treat episodes of back pain—and help prevent them in the first place.

 

1. Stay hydrated. 

Drinking plenty of water is good for general health, and the back and spine are no exceptions. After all, your intervertebral discs are mostly made up of water. Skip the cola, though. Over time, it can lead to lower bone mass density.

 

2. Alternate heat and ice. 

Cold therapy is the go-to treatment for the first 24 to 72 hours after an episode of back pain. After that, heat is often advised. If your back pain is chronic, try alternating heat and ice to see if you may benefit from the best of both.

 

3. Make sleep a priority. 

A lack of sleep can aggravate back pain. If your pain is keeping you awake, discuss pain relief and insomnia treatments with your doctor. 

 

4. Rethinking your sleep position may also help.

Sleeping on your back is the ideal position for your back, but if you’re more comfortable on your side, put a pillow between your knees. If you can’t get to sleep unless you sleep on your stomach, use a fairly flat pillow for your head and put another flat pillow under your abdomen or pelvis.

 

5. Be open-minded about pain relief. 

It’s easy to get discouraged when pain treatments don’t work, but don’t become so jaded that you dismiss a potentially helpful type of pain relief out of hand. There’s no harm in trying out a water therapy class or a mind-body approach, such as mental imagery or deep breathing exercises.

 

6. Don’t just sit there. 

Moving around keeps the blood flowing, reducing stiffness. If you’re sitting at a desk most of the day, try to slip outside for a quick walk over your lunch break—or climb some stairs. Getting up and standing or stretching every 30 minutes or so will also help you stay more flexible.

 

Originally published on Spine-Health

 


If you would like to see how our integrated medical model can work for your back pain issues, please contact us today!

Eastside Medical Group

216-342-9199


Book With Us Now!

Stay In Touch!

Join Our Email List

Apply for CareCredit