Monday, December 31, 2012

Pain Culprits in Wintertime

The changing of seasons brings with it new weather, holidays, sports and scenery. Unfortunately, it also brings new sources of pain.

Certain pain culprits seem to align with the changing of fall into winter. While some seem to be out of our control, many wintertime pain culprits are avoidable. Although you can’t change the weather, you can change how you deal with the situations it brings.

Pain Culprit #1: Pain from Holiday Traveling

During this time of year, more and more families are piling into cars to make the long trips to see loved ones for the holidays. Being cramped in a small car for hours can have negative effects on the body, particularly the spine. When your body is in a sitting position for a long time, it can lead to increased stress on the tissues that support your spine, along with muscle tension and fatigue, pressure among the discs in your vertebrae and joint strain.

Pain Culprit #2: Headaches Triggered by Weather Changes

Recently when the National Headache Foundation conducted a survey among headache sufferers, 75 percent reported that weather triggered their headache pain. These weather triggers include:

  • Humidity changes
  • Temperature changes
  • Storms
  • Extremely dry conditions
  • Dusty environments

Winter season brings with it drastic temperature changes, varying humidity levels and extremely dry air. For some people, this means more headaches.

Pain Culprit #3: Shoveling Snow

For those who live in areas impacted by snow in the winter, shoveling can often lead to soreness or injuries resulting in severe back pain. Lifting heavy snow in a shovel, bending over for extended periods of time and using so many muscles can put stress on the body, making it more susceptible to muscle tension, aches, pains, fatigue and injury. Shoveling snow can even lead to serious conditions, like herniated discs or disc degeneration.

How to Avoid Wintertime Pain

Although there’s nothing you can do about the weather changes, there are ways you can proactively work to prevent pain this winter. While traveling, make frequent stops to get out of the car, stretch and walk around. Try not to sit in one position for too long. While shoveling snow, make sure you’re taking breaks, staying hydrated and pacing yourself to avoid any injury from pushing yourself too far.

Wintertime is here and you can’t avoid it. You can, however, avoid experiencing pain this season. For more information on avoiding pain, explore the pain treatments offered by the spine pain specialists at Capstone Pain & Spine Center today.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What You Should Eat to Prevent Inflammation Pain

What You Should Eat to Prevent Inflammation Pain

Are you plagued with pain from inflammation? Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury, illness or allergy; it’s a defense mechanism that allows the immune system to self-protect against damaged cells, irritants, pathogens and more. Most of the time, inflammation is a normal part of the body’s healing process, especially after injury to a muscle, joint or tissue.

When inflammation occurs, pain usually accompanies it. This is because when the area becomes inflamed, pressure is exerted on sensitive nerves that send pain signals throughout the body. Other symptoms of inflammation include:

  • Redness
  • Immobility
  • Swelling
  • Heat

Inflammation may also occur with certain autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia and Grave’s disease.

How to Prevent Inflammation

Consuming a healthy diet is one way you can fight off the painful effects of inflammation. In fact, eating too many unhealthy foods can signal inflammation and cause you pain. By sticking to these go-to anti-inflammatory foods, you can help lower the amount of pain, redness, and overall discomfort you feel from inflammation.

  • Fish, lean meat, skinless chicken and omega-3 eggs.
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Raw nuts
  • Dark chocolate (with at least 75% cocoa)
  • Red wine or stout beer
  • Coffee and tea
  • Ginger, garlic and other spices
  • Olive oil, coconut oil and butter

The ingredients in the above foods help ward off the inflammatory response from that body that can cause debilitating pain. For those especially prone to inflammation, making some of the above foods a part of your daily diet can help lower the amount of inflammation pain felt.

Want to learn more about ways to ease pain and discomfort? Explore the different areas of pain treated by the experts at Capstone Pain & Spine Center today.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Want to Live Longer with Less Pain? Turn off the TV

Want to Live Longer with Less Pain? Turn off the TV

It’s been a long day of work. You’re mentally and physically exhausted. After leaving work, you go home and plop down on the couch where you rarely move for the rest of the night.

You’re not alone. Many Americans, especially during the winter months, are spending more time sitting on the couch watching television. There’s nothing wrong with giving your body the relaxation it deserves after working a long, hard day. The downside, however, lies in the fact that prolonged sitting can stress your body further and shorten your life span.

The human body isn’t made for sitting for extended periods of time (3 or more hours at a time). Prolonged sitting can be stressful to the tissues that support your spinal column, which can lead to muscle tension and fatigue, pressure among the discs in your vertebrae and joint strain. In fact, sitting for hours while watching television can cause:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Severe headaches

The Downside to a Sedentary Lifestyle

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) studied the impact sitting and watching television has on life expectancy among Americans. Results showed that risk of dying from any cause was 18 to 45 percent higher among people who sat for 3 to 5 hours daily compared to those who sat for less than 3 hours daily.

Watching television for more than 4 hours per day increased the mortality risk similarly to the percentages listed above when compared to watching TV for less than 2 hours per day. Overall results showed that sitting for less than 3 hours per day and watching TV for less than 2 hours per day extended life expectancy by 1 to 2 years.

Not only is prolonged sitting and watching television for hours on end causing you lower back pain, neck pain or headache pain, it may also be shortening your life. Spending less time sitting and more time standing, walking or being active can easily lengthen your life and take away the majority of the aches and pains you feel every day.

Do you have severe pain in your back, neck, shoulders, arms or legs that’s lasted for weeks? You may have chronic pain. Explore the treatments offered by Capstone’s spine pain specialists that can give you the pain-relief you need today.