7 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Back Pain When Travelling

 

 

Reduce Your Risk Of Back Pain When Travelling

 

An amazing one billion people (out of 6 billion in the world) flew by airplane last year. And out of those 1 billion people, 300 million flew to completely different countries. We are travelling more, and further, than ever in human history. The world is simply becoming much more accessible, and as travel becomes an ever-increasing part of our lives, it is also increasing the amount of stress and strain on our spines that is associated with long hours of sitting, different beds, and handling heavy luggage.

8C00630834Travel places stress on the spine for various reasons. These include uncomfortable seats, sitting in small, cramped positions for long periods of time, carrying heavy suitcases and sleeping in foreign beds with strange pillows. Since recent publicity has highlighted the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), airlines are now encouraging passengers to do gentle mobility exercises to reduce the risk. This is excellent, well meaning advice for when you are flying, however, other precautions can also be employed to help ease the stress on our bodies associated with air travel.

 

 

Here are 7 easy to follow tips that will reduce your risk of back pain when travelling:

Plan your flights. For long intercontinental flights, try and pick an evening departure time. You will already be quite tired and have a better chance of a good long sleep, making it a ‘shorter’ trip. Once you reach your destination, immediately switch to local time and stay awake until normal bedtime. You will be really tired and get a good night sleep. This will ease jet lag.

Book ahead. Seats are very cramped in economy class, especially if you are tall. So a few days before travel try to organise an exit row seat. (Good Luck!). Otherwise try to get an aisle seat on long flights, as it is easier to get up when you want (especially to go to the toilet) and to move around freely.

Maintain good spine support. Older planes tend to be worst offenders for unsupportive seats. This can be helped by placing an airline pillow in the sway of your lower back, around your belt line, providing extra support for your lumbar curve. Modern planes fortunately have folding headrest supports that are built into the seat. These provide good support for the neck and should be utilised whether you are sleeping or not. If they are not provided, travel pillows provide excellent neck support for sleeping when travelling.

Move around. With individual in flight entertainment systems, passengers tend to sit and watch them for longer periods, further reducing movement. Make sure you get up, stretch and move around the plane frequently (but not when the seat belt sign is illuminated!)

Keep hydrated. Drinking extra water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and the use of a skin moisturiser will all help to make you feel better during and after your flight.

Avoid wearing tight shoes and socks. Your legs swell during flights due to the pressurisation of the airplane cabin. Tight shoes or socks can restrict blood flow returning to the heart. However the use of approved compression stockings can be very beneficial in promoting good blood flow and lowering the risk of DVT, particularly on longer flights.

Take care when lifting. Be careful when lifting luggage off the baggage carousel, particularly after long flights when your back might not be ‘warmed up’. Where possible, use luggage with wheels.

 

Travel, particularly long flights, can be very tedious and exhausting. Most of us just sit and wait it out, without giving due consideration to their backs and bodies. Take on board (pun intended!) these 7 simple tricks to reduce the amount of stress and strain on your spine during your time in transit. They will help you to arrive feeling a bit more like you are ready to hit the ground running!

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Foods With Rich Magnesium Content

 

 

Magnesium – An Essential Nutrient!

 

You probably have never heard magnesium mentioned outside of your old chemistry classes in high school. Yet magnesium is one of the most under-rated elements that are necessary for human survival, so it is vitally important that we consume foods with rich magnesium content. However, The National Academy of Science and The Institute of Medicine estimates that 50-85{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of the US population have an inadequate dietary intake of magnesium. There is a good, but very concerning reason for this.


Foods which naturally contain high levels of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, seafood, nuts, seeds and legumes. Normally we would get all the magnesium we need (and indeed, all our other essential nutrients such as calcium, iron and omega oils) from consuming these foods in our diet.

 

Magnesium-rich-foods

 

However, due to modern farming practices, the soils where we grow these foods are becoming increasingly depleted of this important mineral, meaning there is less magnesium in the foods. And this is further compounded by the processing and refining of foods, which ends up removing most of the small amount of magnesium that they contain.

Just a couple of examples of this loss of magnesium from food processing may shock you.

Wheat processed to Flour  =  82{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} Magnesium loss

Rice processed to Polished Rice  =  83{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} Magnesium loss

Corn processed to Starch  =  97{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} Magnesium loss

Caffeine, alcohol, soft water, sugar and diuretic drugs can also further decrease the amount of magnesium your body absorbs.

 

How Do You Know If Your Magnesium Levels Are Low?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple, fast, and accurate way to test intracellular magnesium levels. To determine if your levels are low, careful attention should be given to the possible symptoms of magnesium deficiency, which include:

Mg-deficiency-2

 

Individuals who undertake strenuous exercise, and people on high calcium diets should especially consider magnesium supplementation to maintain the balance of their body chemistry.

Magnesium is vital for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. It also promotes normal blood pressure, is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

Magnesium is probably best known for its’ role in maintaining normal muscle function.

 

How Does Magnesium Work To Help Muscles?

magnesium-symbolAmong other important processes, magnesium is essential for normal muscle function. Low magnesium levels often result in muscular cramps or twitches, especially at night when magnesium levels are lowest. Correct levels of magnesium are well known to have muscle relaxant properties, which helps to ease painful muscle cramping. Essentially you are restoring your body to normal function by having the correct levels of all nutrients, including magnesium. This makes it a longer-lasting alternative to the common therapy of using a hot water bottle.

Low magnesium levels have also been linked with a number of conditions including high blood pressure, kidney stones, heart disease and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS spasms and associated headaches have long been known to be helped by adding extra magnesium to your diet.

 

Future Proof Your Bones!

Bone and teeth formation relies heavily on adequate amounts of magnesium stored within bones, along with calcium, and is essential in preventing osteoporosis. If your magnesium stores are low, it may take as long as three months to adequately replace exhausted magnesium levels within the bones.

Another of the numerous important functions that magnesium affects is the production of serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a ‘feel good’ hormone within the body low levels of this hormone may lead to depression. Melatonin, essential for ‘REM’ sleep, helps us to wake up refreshed in the mornings. Low levels of melatonin can result in poor sleep.

As you can see, low levels of magnesium can have disastrous effects on out health and well being. What may seem to be a just few muscle cramps, or not getting a good night’s sleep, may in fact be a sign that you are deficient in magnesium. Fortunately, high quality supplements are readily and affordably available.

 

SmartmagTrue Recovery’s #1 Rated Smartmag is the highest quality turmeric supplement available on the market right now. It’s formula is packed with 3 of the most effective forms of magnesium; MAGNESIUM L-THREONATE, MAGNESIUM GLYCINATE, and MAGNESIUM TAURATE. Each of these ingredients help support your body in different ways, which include:

⇒ Clearer thinking during the day

⇒ Improved long-term memory

⇒ Higher energy levels due to more restful sleep

⇒ Better blood flow for a healthier heart

True Recovery’s #1 Rated Smartmag is the magnesium supplement HealthySpines.org recommends. You can click right on the picture to purchase. 

 

How Much Magnesium Should You Take?

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400 -420mg for men and 310-320mg for women (and 170mg for children). Magnesium absorption is similar to calcium and should be taken in a ratio of 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium.

 

Can You Have Too Much Magnesium?

Yes you can, but it is uncommon. Too much magnesium in the body is known as Hypermagnesemia.

It usually develops only when people with kidney failure are given magnesium salts or take drugs that contain magnesium (such as some antacids or laxatives). 

Hypermagnesemia may cause weakness, low blood pressure, and impaired breathing. When hypermagnesemia is severe, the heart can stop beating.

 

In a nutshell, magnesium is an essential nutrient that is important for over 300 biochemical reactions in our body. Although a diet containing foods with rich magnesium content is ideal, most farmed, and all processed foods no longer contain high levels of magnesium. If your diet is inadequate, or you have any of the above symptoms, or even if you are concerned about your levels of magnesium, it is recommended that you take a magnesium supplement such as True Recovery’s #1 Rated Smartmag to ensure optimal health and quality of life.

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.

 

 

Can Sciatica Exercises Relieve Pain?

 

 

Can Sciatica Exercises Relieve Pain?

 

Sciatica is a spinal condition that causes pain down the leg due to compression of the sciatic nerve. This compression usually occurs at the spinal level from a number of different factors, and can cause debilitating pain. Aside from medications, people who are looking for a more natural solution will be interested to know if sciatica exercises relieve pain. The short answer is a definite 'yes', but you need to be sure you are doing the right exercises for your condition, as there are several causes of sciatica.

sciatica-s3In general the exercises will be aimed at releasing the pressure off the sciatic nerve. However it is important to know exactly what is the specific cause of that nerve pressure. We suggest you start by reading our article on the different causes of sciatica first. This will help you identify the correct exercises for you to do if you are suffering from sciatic pain.

Below are the exercises that will help to relieve sciatica, relevant to the cause. Try to start exercising as soon as possible, within a few days of the sciatica flaring up. The longer you leave it, the worse the condition generally becomes.

 

 

 

Sciatica Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome.

If the piriformis muscle, which is located in your buttock, is to tight or spasming, it can compress the sciatic nerve causing sciatica like symptoms.

By stretching the piriformis you can help to relieve this nerve pressure and get some relief.

Lie on your back with your legs stretched out flat. Cross the foot on the affected side over the other knee, then pull the unaffected leg towards your chest. Hold for 10-30 seconds then relax back down. You will feel a stretch, but it should not be painful, if it is then just back off a bit.

 

 

Sciatica Exercises for a Herniated Disc.Back Bends

Often relief from sciatica that is caused by a herniated disc can be achieved by extending or arching the spine.

First off, try this in a standing position with your hands on your hips, and just gently arch backwards over your hands.

If you have any pain aggravation then do not do this exercise. If it is okay, after doing this for 2-3 days you can progress to doing extension exercises on the floor.

 

 

Back Extensions

Lie on your tummy, and gently lift your head and shoulders off the floor using your back muscles and propping your self up on your elbows for 10 seconds.

Begin this one very carefully and slowly as it can be quite painful at the start.

For some people, raising their painful leg is beneficial.

 

 

Lying flat on your back, slowly attempt to raise the affected leg 6 to 12 inches off the floor and hold there for 10 seconds.Leg Raise

This is also good to strengthen the abdominal muscles, which are important spinal stabilisers.

 

 

 

Sciatica Exercises for Degenerative Disc Disease.

The best exercises for DDD are stretching exercises to help to improve spinal flexibility.

Low Back Stretch

Start in a kneeling position, then sit back onto you feet.

Stretch your arms out in front of you along the floor.

Feel the stretch in your low back and hold for 10 seconds.

 

 

Move back onto your hands and knees, then gently lift one leg behind you as far as you comfortably can.Kneeling Leg Raise

Hold for 10 seconds then do the same on the other side.

 

 

All the previous exercises are also helpful for Degenerative Disc Disease, as is walking. (read all about how great walking is by clicking here.)

 

Sciatica Exercises for Spinal Stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is often a result of degenerative changes in the spine, so all the above exercises can be of benefit.

Try them all, you should find that some feel good and some feel bad. Simply, don't do the bad ones, and do the good ones! Everybody is different, so try them for yourself.

 

 

Sciatica Exercises for Spondylolisthesis.

The idea of these exercises for spondylolisthesis is to teach the spine to be more stable in flexion and extension movements (backwards and forwards). Abdominal strength is key!

Leg Raise

Start lying flat on your back, slowly attempt to raise the affected leg 6 to 12 inches off the floor and hold there for 10 seconds.

Repeat with the other leg.

 

 

 

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Notice that your lower back is arched up off the floor slightly.Easy Back Strengthening

Suck your tummy in, and press your lower back onto the floor and hold for 10 seconds.

 

 

Sit-ups are great for really getting your abs strong.

Lying on the floor as above, lift your upper body (head and shoulders) off the floor by curling up.Sit ups

Don't try to lift to high, just enough to get your shoulders slightly off the floor. Repeat 10 times.

You can do more sets of 10 as you get better!

 

 

Sciatica Exercises for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.

Inflammation of the Sacro-iliac joint can cause sciatica like symptoms. This is usually the result of abnormal joint movement and can be assisted by stretching.

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Pull the knee on the affected side up to your chest as far as you can, then hold for 10 seconds.

You can also pull the knee across your body towards the opposite shoulder to amplify the stretch.

 

 

 

Before beginning any exercise program, particularly exercises for sciatica, you should see a health professional to get a correct diagnosis for your pain to rule out any potentially serious problems. We would like to stress again the importance of a correct diagnosis, that way it will give you the best chance to really find out if sciatica exercises relieve pain.

The proper exercises differ based on the underlying condition that is causing the sciatic pain, so patients should not try to self-treat their sciatica before consulting a health professional or spinal specialist such as a chiropractor.

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.

 

Exercises For Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

 

Exercises For Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

These exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can really help you to cope with the condition if you are one of the 1{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of the population that suffer with it. However it is important for you to understand that there is right time to do them, and there is definitely a wrong time to do them as well. This article will guide you through a series of simple exercises to help relieve rheumatoid arthritis, and explain when is the the most beneficial time to do them.

For more a more detailed explanation of Rheumatoid Arthritis, click here.

O635IZFQ7JIf you are experiencing a flare up of your RA and the arthritis is actively inflamed, or if you have extensive joint damage, then do not perform these exercises. Instead, you may want to do some basic movements and gentle stretches in a pool, like walking or gentle swimming. This will make sure you do not aggravate things further, plus it will also help to prevent flexion contractures (shortening of tendons). Hydrotherapy has been shown to be highly beneficial for RA sufferers.

It is important when starting any exercise program to take it easy when you begin, especially if you have not exercised for a while. Start with small amounts of gentle movements. Any exercise you do should be tolerable. This is particularly important with rheumatoid arthritis. It is also important to include active exercise, such as walking, to restore or maintain muscle mass, and preserve joint movement. Remember that when starting exercise, it should not lead to fatigue.

 

The following list of exercises are pictured using a Theraband, an elastic band that provides resistance. Start the exercises as described, but without using any resistance to begin with. Once comfortable doing the exercises, you may wish to add the Theraband.

Start with repetitions of each exercise, on each side, building up to 30 reps.

 

Hip flexionHip Flexion (Standing)

  • Attach elastic to secure object at ankle level.
  • Loop band around ankle.
  • Stand, facing away from the pull.
  • Extend leg forward, keeping knee straight.
  • Slowly return to start position and repeat.

 

 

 

Hip flexion sitHip Flexion (Sitting)

  • Sit in chair.
  • Loop elastic around thigh slightly above knee,stabilize ends of band under opposite foot.
  • Lift one leg up, slowly return.
  • Repeat.

 

 

 

Hip extHip Extension

  • Attach elastic to secure object at ankle level.
  • Loop around ankle.
  • Stand, facing toward the pull.
  • Extend leg backward, keeping knee straight.
  • Slowly return to start position.

 

 

 

 

Hip abdHip Abduction

  • Attach elastic to secure object at ankle level.
  • Stand with involved leg away as shown.
  • Keep knee straight, pull away, moving leg outward.
  • Slowly return to start position.

 

 

 

 

Hip addHip Adduction

  • Attach elastic to secure object at ankle level.
  • Stand with involved leg toward pull, as shown.
  • Keep knee straight, pull in, moving leg inward.
  • Slowly return to start position

 

 

 

mini squatMinisquat

  • Place elastic under feet, hold in hands and keep elbows straight.
  • Stand with feet shoulder distance apart.
  • Slowly bend knees to 45 degrees.
  • Return to standing position.
  • Slowly return to start position and repeat.

 

 

 

lungeLunge

  • Stand with one foot on middle of band. Grasp ends of band and loop around hands at chest level, keeping elbows bent.
  • Place other leg behind with knee slightly bent.
  • Keep trunk straight and bend front knee, lowering body downward. 
  • Slowly return to upright position and repeat

 

 

 

knee flex sitKnee Flexion (Sitting)

  • Attach elastic to secure object.
  • Sit in chair, attach elastic to ankle of involved leg as shown.
  • Pull heel under chair through full range, as shown.
  • Slowly return to starting position

 

 

 

knee flex proneKnee Flexion (Prone)

  • Attach elastic to secure object.
  • Attach elastic to ankle of involved leg as shown.
  • Lie face down.
  • Begin with knee straight.
  • Bend knee through available range.
  • Slowly return to starting position.

 

knee extKnee Extension (Sitting)

  • Attach elastic to ankle of involved leg.
  • Secure behind as shown.
  • Sit, with leg bent to 90 degrees, as shown.
  • Straighten leg at knee.
  • Slowly return to start position.

 

 

knee ext proneKnee Extension (Prone)

  • Lie face down, attach elastic to ankle.
  • Attach other end of elastic to secure object near head or shoulders.
  • Begin with knee bent.
  • Extend knee against pull of band.
  • Slowly return to start position and repeat

 

 

You will notice that these exercises focus on the legs. Research has shown that lower limb rehabilitation is vital for RA sufferers to prevent disability.

Similar exercises can be performed using the upper limb, or arm.  For example, lifting your arm straight up to the side over your head, then the same in front. Pulling your arm across in front of you; performing a ‘rowing’ movement; and also biceps curls by bending your elbow, bringing your fist to your shoulder. Again, start without resistance and move up to using a Theraband.

 

Back Braces And Lower Back Pain

 

 

Back Braces And Lower Back Pain

 

 

Back PainAn estimated 80% of all the population will suffer with back pain at least once in their life. For a lot of people, this is an ongoing, chronic ailment that interferes with their daily life. In this article we discuss what back braces are, how to use them correctly, and advise on the best back braces available.

There is not much worse than a stiff and painful back when you get out of bed in the morning, let alone having to struggle through a day at work. Sometimes you just have to 'get on with it'. For some people back braces and lower back pain go hand in hand as they try to go about their business, with some relief for back pain.

Back braces are a great way to provide some much needed support and stability to an aching back, but there are some definite downsides that you need to be aware of first if you are considering using one.

What Is A Back Brace?

41ll2nacJuLA back brace is a devise that is worn around the waist to give your lumbar spine some extra support. They also serve as a reminder to use proper body posture. They come in a range of designs and are made from a variety of materials, depending on the intended purpose. Back braces act like an external set of muscles to to give extra support your spine.

Soft braces are often made out of neoprene. They provide warmth and support that can help to relieve pain, reduce muscle spasms and help the healing process.

Rigid braces feature plastic or metal reinforcement to limit the movement of the spine. They are particularly effective in back pain prevention for people who need support during heavy lifting and handling, post-surgical rehabilitation, and after a serious injury such as a spinal fracture or broken bone.

Posture braces are specifically design to help correct poor posture. Posture braces lend support more to the upper back and shoulders. Others are designed to assist sitting posture.

Pregnancy braces sit lower down and support the sacrum, often giving a great deal of relief for expectant mums.

When To Use A Back Brace.

Back braces can be of benefit to people who suffer from lower back pain or injury. They can be used in the acute stage and for chronic back pain sufferers. As a general rule, patients with back pain should try to avoid activities that aggravate their condition and use correct body mechanics and lifting techniques. However, if this is unavoidable, say for example at work, back braces can provide extra stability and support to reduce the chance of aggravation.

'Often wearing a back brace can immediately and drastically reduce your level of back pain.'

The recommended usage for back braces depends on the severity of the underlying spinal condition, and the particular activities engaged in by the individual. It is important to be aware that there is a real risk of developing further problems when using a back brace for extended periods (more on this below).

Generally, only wear a back brace when you are doing activities that cause or aggravate your back pain. This might be gardening, hanging out washing, sports, or even your job. Back braces and lower back pain are common with people who have physical jobs, such as labourers, factory workers or truck drivers.

Again, you should only wear a brace when you are actually doing the task that causes you trouble. It might be when you are lifting, or in a bent over or twisted position for an extended time. If you are doing a heavy or strenuous task, you may want to tighten your brace, then loosen it again when doing lighter activities. Remove it all together when at home or on a lunch break.

Don't think that you can lift more or use your back incorrectly while you are wearing a brace either. This is just asking for trouble! Wearing a brace will not prevent further injury if you are pushing the limits, which is often how you can hurt yourself in the first place.

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If this info has been of benefit to you, please consider a small donation. Even a few dollars helps us to continue our research and to maintain this website.

Thank you.

When Not To Wear A Back Brace.

Your spine is supported and stabilised by your back, abdominal, and core muscles. Because back braces act as an external set of muscles, wearing one for long periods of time can actually weaken the real muscles. When you are wearing a brace, the spinal muscles don't need to work as much, so they relax slightly, creating weaker muscles over time. 

This potential weakening of the muscles is going to make your spine even more unstable, increasing your chance of further injury.

So it is highly recommended that you DON'T wear your back brace as much as possible. Only use them as a bit of extra support when you really need it. Take it off even if you only have a 10 minute break so as to allow your real muscles to stay active and strong.

If you do suffer from chronic back pain, you need to get a proper diagnosis as to the cause of your back pain. Back braces should only be used as a temporary support until the underlying condition is resolved. This goes for all supports really. Foot orthotics such as arch supports are another example of this.

Recommended Back Braces

The following back braces are Healthy Spines recommendations. They cover a range of budgets and are all good quality and highly reviewed.

1. Aspen Medical Grade Back Brace Quikdraw PRO

41ll2nacJuLThe QuikDraw Pro back brace by Aspen Medical Products is the next level in effective back pain relief. Proven effective in clinical practice and published research, the QuickDraw PRO (Pain Relief Orthosis) relieves or reduces low back pain for many without drugs Easy to take on and off and easy to tighten, the QuickDraw increases trunk stability, giving over taxed muscles the relief they need. If you need relief from serious back pain you want science, not hype. The QuikDrawTM PRO is the SOLUTION. Based on clinical research published in leading medical journals, the inelastic QuikDrawTM PRO, with its patented tightening system, has been proven to increase your trunk stability which reduces your pain. Elastic braces can't do this, so don't be fooled by spokespeople paid to promise you pain relief. It's your back and you owe yourself a medically proven product.

Buy here North America, UK/Europe.

2. ComfyMed Premium Quality Back Brace

71GIT2tvWPL._SX522_The Adjustable Back Brace with Lumbar Pad helps provide relief from injuries and strenuous activity to keep you active. Recommended to help relieve lower back pain from strains, sprains and muscle spasms.

Buy here North America.

3. ActiveBak Lower Back Brace

81NPGF1beBL._SL1500_The advanced double-adjustment mechanism provides flexible compression that moves with you while ensuring proper muscular and skeletal alignment. Reduces the strain on pain-generating structures like muscles, nerves, ligaments, and discs. Quickly relieves central backache and radiating/shooting pain. Unlike many belts, ours doesn't ride up or fold over-so you feel secure and supported during any activity, whether it's golf, moving around the house or rock climbing!

ActiveBak is simply the best fitness belt you'll find anywhere on the market today! The inner elastic boning acts like a corset to provide vital support and posture correction for your lower back during exercises such as squats or just lifting heavy items. At the same time, the Neoprene wrap provides a thermogenic effect that burns belly fat for that slimmer mid-section you've been striving for.

Buy here UK/Europe

4. Betterback Perfect Posture Support Belts

51usv7sRD7L._SX522_As seen on the Shark Tank, the BetterBack is a postural back brace for office workers and those that sit for long periods. It makes every chair ergonomic for one low cost and fits in a purse or backpack so you can take it anywhere. Provides relief for your painful back and body when you sit ergonomically, you can have perfect seated posture in 5 seconds flat.

Nothing to charge, download or sync. 100{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} tech-free. Fits up to 6’8” or 41” waist

Buy here North America.

Buy UK/Europe equivalent.

5. Comfort Posture Corrector Brace

Comfort Posture Corrector BraceThis comfortable posture brace is the most cost effective way to prevent slouching and long term pain that's associated with it. It's so comfortable you can wear it all day without realizing you even have it on. With straighter posture during all of your daily activities spinal pressure on your discs is relieved, reducing pain and in some cases inflammation due to bad posture.

The waist belt and shoulder straps are fully adjustable to give you an exact custom fit that molds to your body.

Buy here North America.

It is very important to have some knowledge regarding back braces and lower back pain. There is a real risk in over using a brace, and they can possibly make the underlying condition worse. By following the tips and advice provided here, you will be getting the most benefit out of your back brace, without creating more problems in the future. If you do suffer from chronic back pain, it is always advisable to learn more about your condition, and seek out professional advice.

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.

Natural Cures For Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

 

 

Natural Cures For Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis can be a very painful condition, and while there are several different medications that are commonly prescribed to sufferers, many people prefer to avoid the side-effects, and seek out more natural therapies. To gain more general information on Rheumatoid Arthritis, please refer to this link.

In this article we will look at the most effective natural cures for Rheumatoid Arthritis relief. 

 

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

PillsConventional medical treatment of rheumatoid arthritis focuses on reducing inflammation, limiting joint deformities, pain relief and improving the person's ability to function. Medications used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis include NSAIDs, DMARDs, TNF alpha inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, T-cell activation inhibitors, B-cell depletors, JAK inhibitors, immunosuppressants, and steroids! That's quite a chemical combination, along with all the risky 'side effects' that these (and all) medications carry.

 

For a more rounded, natural approach to the treatment and management of rheumatoid arthritis, you need to consider lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, smoking cessation, adequate rest (but not bed rest), and a nutritious diet.

Natural cures for rheumatoid arthritis relief are aimed at alleviating inflammation, which helps to prevent pain and joint destruction. This combined with exercises to maintain joint function, should help in restoring quality of life, and more importantly, preserving independence.

 

Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Healthy FoodsSince rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease (it effects the whole body) a nutritionally balanced diet which limits refined sugars, fried foods and trans-fats is suggested. Diets high in these foods may increase the production of inflammation within the body. As we are trying to reduce inflammation, avoiding these foods is essential.

Acid forming foods may also contribute to increased levels of inflammation and should be taken out of your diet as much as possible. Foods that tend to cause more acidity include grains, sugar, dairy products, fish, processed foods, and meats like corned beef and turkey. Eating more fruits and vegetables, along with curbing your refined carb and dairy intake, may help balance pH levels within your body and assist in lowering acidity. Substituting fish which contains omega 3 fatty acids (in fish oils) for meats' omega 6 fatty acids, has been shown to reduce inflammation.

Also, if you are overweight, your joints have to bear all that extra stress and weight, so maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial.

 

Natural Cures For Rheumatoid Arthritis

The following natural supplements have been shown to be highly beneficial and provide relief for those suffering with Rheumatoid Arthritis. They are most effective when used in combination.

 

  • Omega 3 fish oils have been shown to help reduce inflammatory. It's incredible anti-inflammatory properties are showing amazing results with a whole range of illness, from back pain, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, dementia etc.

 

 

  • Emu oil and Turmeric have also shown to be effective in reducing inflammation in some studies. Scientists are now looking at ways to combine the effects of emu oil and turmeric to develop an even more effective product, but so far have not been able to effectively combine the two.

 

  • Resveratrol has been studied to explore its potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective and anticancer properties. Resveratrol is thought to work by assisting your body to block the molecules which trigger oxidative stress and inflammation. It is found in a number of fruits and vegetables, but especially in grapeskins. You can add red grapes, blueberries, cocoa, peanuts and pistachios to your diet. It is also found in red wine

 

  • Boswellia Serrata: Research shows Boswellia's anti-inflammatory properties reduce joint swelling and pain. It is good for reducing stiffness and the need to use NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications). 

 

 

  • Vitamin D: Some rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are osteoporotic (low bone density). Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone health. Egg yolks, saltwater fish, cheese and liver are good sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also obtained by your skin being exposed to the sun. If you have little sun exposure (particularly in winter time) and do not eat the above foods, you may need to have your vitamin D levels tested regularly.

 

  • Ginger has anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.

 

 

When coping with a chronic, systemic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, the best chance of effectively managing it means you need to cover as many bases as possible.

Have a good look at your diet, and try to reduce or even eliminate those foods that could be aggravating inflammation. Also try some of the natural supplements we recommend here, they are all proven to be effective at reducing inflammation and helping swollen and painful joints.

In the next article we cover exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.

 

References:

Int J Pharm. 2016 Apr 22;506(1-2):222-236. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.04.052. [Epub ahead of print]Emu oil based nano-emulgel for topical delivery of curcumin. Int J Pharm. 2016 Apr 22;506(1-2):222-236. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.04.052. [Epub ahead of print]Jeengar, M.K et.al

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27109049

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780

Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional

http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/guide/vitamin-d-for-osteoporosis

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/resveratrol

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16920072#

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3344210/#b156-ijms-13-04202

Int J Mol Sci. 2012; 13(4): 4202–4232. Published online 2012 Mar 30. doi: 10.3390/ijms13044202 PMCID: PMC3344210

Scientific Evidence and Rationale for the Development of Curcumin and Resveratrol as Nutraceutricals for Joint Health
Ali Mobasheri,1,* Yves Henrotin,2 Hans-Konrad Biesalski,3 and Mehdi Shakibaei4

Phytomedicine. 1996 May;3(1):91-4. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(96)80019-5. Special extract of BOSWELLIA serrata (H 15) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.Etzel R1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23194870

 

 

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

 

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

RA xrayRheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic (affects the whole body) autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints. Normally, our immune system fights off infection and foreign particles. In autoimmune diseases, the body’s own immune system starts to attack the body’s healthy tissue instead of foreign matter such as bacteria or viruses. In RA, the immune system starts to attack the joints, causing chronic inflammation that results in pain, stiffness and swelling of the affected joints. 

RA can attack just about any joint in the body, but most commonly it affects the wrists, hands, feet and ankles bilaterally (on both sides of the body), and the cervical spine. It can lead to the joints becoming damaged and deformed (known as swan neck deformity in the fingers, and boutonnière deformities in the thumb and wrist). The disease may also affect other parts of the body. In some cases, people may develop subcutaneous rheumatoid nodules (bumps under the skin) from long term irritation or pressure. RA may also affect the lungs, kidneys, heart and blood vessels.

While the cause of RA is not known, it is thought that it is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as viral infection or smoking. 

 

What does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like? The Signs And Symptoms Of RA. 

RA handRA usually has a gradual onset over a period of weeks to months. As the body’s immune system starts to attack the joints, inflammation and thickening of the joint capsule results, and eventually the underlying bone and cartilage are affected as well. The progression of RA cannot be predicted for individual sufferers, but the disease generally progresses quickly within the first six years, with joint deformities usually presenting by the tenth year.

It often begins with early morning stiffness of the affected joints, lasting for longer than one hour. The affected joints can be swollen, hot and painful. Other possible early signs of rheumatoid arthritis are: tingling in the hands, sore feet, skin nodules, fatigue in the afternoon, anorexia, general weakness, and occasionally a low grade fever. RA can also affect your heart, lungs, eyes, or mouth.

Rheumatoid arthritis can last for a period of several years, or it may be intermittent over a lifetime, with periods of “flare ups” where the joints become hot, swollen and painful (active), followed by periods of relatively mild symptoms (remission). 

Since there isn’t any diagnostic test for RA, diagnosis is usually made from a combination of clinical signs and symptoms, x-rays and lab/blood tests (such as Serum Rheumatoid Factor, present in approx. 80{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of cases).

Approximately 1{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of the population are affected by RA, with women being affected 2 to 3 times more often then men. Onset may be at any age, but most often between 35 and 50 years. It can occur also during childhood, and this is referred to as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

RA is the second most common form of arthritis after osteoarthritis.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Where RA is the result of inflammation, causing hot, swollen and painful joints and causes destruction of the joints, osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory joint disease. Osteoarthritis is due to degeneration of the joint, causing the cartilage to wear and become thinner than normal. OA typically affects the joints asymmetrically, compared to RA which affects the same joints on both sides of the body at the same time (symmetrically). Osteoarthritis is much more common than RA, particularly as we age, and is differentiated on X-rays.

 

Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although there is no cure, treatment in rheumatoid arthritis can help to improve the symptoms and slow the progress of the disease. Treatment for RA is more effective when it is started early.

Treatment focuses on reducing inflammation, limiting joint deformities, pain relief and improving the person’s ability to function. Medications used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis include NSAIDs, DMARDs, TNF alpha inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, T-cell activation inhibitors, B-cell depletors, JAK inhibitors, immunosuppressants, and steroids.

A more rounded approach to the treatment and pain relief of RA symptoms should include lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, smoking cessation, adequate rest, but not bed rest, and a nutritious diet.

Many people also prefer to avoid the side-effects of medications, and seek out more natural therapies. In the next article we will look at the most effective natural cures for Rheumatoid Arthritis relief. This will include dietary advise as well as recommended supplements that are well known to help rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Next Page: Natural Cures For Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

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What Is Omega 3 Fish Oil? And What Is Omega 3 Good For?

 

 

 

Omega-3 Fish Oils

 

There are so many different supplements that are available today, and some of them make impressive claims. The problem is that the supplement industry is largely unregulated, and a lot of these claims are unsubstantiated. Omega-3 fish oils are one of the more popular supplements, and at HealthySpines.org we only recommend supplements that are proven to be effective. So what is Omega-3 fish oil, and what is Omega-3 good for? Lets have a look at the evidence.

 

What Is Omega-3 Fish Oil?

Fishy OilOmega-3 fish oil is a kind of fat that is found in some plants, and marine animals such as fish, phytoplankton and marine algae. The ‘Omega-3’ part describes the kind of fat. In this case a polyunsaturated fatty acid with a double bond at the third carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain.

There 3 kinds of Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • ALA, found in plants (nuts and seeds).
  • EPA, found in marine animals.
  • DHA, also found in marine animals.

 

Omega-3 fish oil can be described as an essential nutrient. This means that our bodies (in fact all mammals) cannot make Omega-3, and without it, we die. Therefore, we must consume it in our diets, although research shows that humans should consume Omega-3s (EPA and DHA) directly from wild game meat or fish, and not the ALA from plants.

There is another essential fatty acid you may have heard of, and that is Omega 6, which is also found in the same foods and is also an essential nutrient. However, there can be a problem when the balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is not correct.  Many scientists believe that having too much Omega-6 is a major reason for the high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature ageing, and some forms of cancer in modern, ‘industrialised’ man. 

 

What Is The Correct Ratio Of Omega-6 To Omega-3?

It is estimated that 85{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} or more of people in the Western world are deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids and most get far too much of the Omega-6 fatty acids. Vegetarian diets, for example, tend to be very high in Omega-6. Although we need both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, it is becoming increasingly clear that an excess of omega-6 fatty acids can have dire consequences.

Our ancestors diet provided an Omega-6 To Omega-3 ratio of 1:1. This is widely accepted to be the correct ratio, although some studies indicate that a ratio of up to 4:1 is still within the healthy range.

Here is the reason why there is so much fuss about Omega oils: The problem is that the typical Western diet provides a ratio of between 10:1 and 30:1 (i.e., dramatically higher levels of Omega-6 than Omega-3). 

Having a diet that is toxic with Omega-6 or deficient in Omega-3 creates a pro-inflammatory state within the body. This is significant because inflammation is at the root of virtually all of the common chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression as well as the autoimmune and atopic diseases such as arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Inflammation is also a major factor in headaches, back and neck pain. It is known that high levels of Omega-3 has an anti-inflammatory effect, the opposite of high Omega-6 levels.

Any natural food substance that can reduce inflammation is going to have positive health benefits. Medical research is showing that the Asia wonder spice turmeric  is also a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Read about this amazing scientific evidence here.

 

What Is Omega-3 Good For?

Put simply, Omega-3 is good for your health! Because it is an essential nutrient, and we are not getting enough from our diet, it makes perfect sense that taking an Omega-3 supplement will help your body to function better. This happens because having the correct amount of essential nutrients improves cellular function.

 

Specifically, taking an Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) supplement has been shown to:

  • Prevent and may help to ameliorate or reverse atherosclerosis, angina, heart attack, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Omega-3 oils help maintain the elasticity of artery walls, prevent blood clotting, reduce blood pressure and stabilize heart rhythm. Being deficient in this vital nutrient makes your blood vessels more prone to inflammation, negatively alters your cholesterol balance, makes your blood clot excessively and even disturbs the rhythm of your heart.
  • EPA and DHA deficiency are linked with cognitive impairments and learning and behaviour disabilities such as ADHD, with depression, and with decreased cognitive ability and increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the elderly. EPA and DHA deficiency is also highly correlated with increased risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
  • Omega-3’s anti-inflammatroy effects are known to help conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.
  • Significant benefits due to EPA supplementation were seen when treating depressive symptoms, but not manic symptoms, suggesting a link between Omega-3 and depressive mood.
  • In those with advanced cancer and cachexia, omega-3 fatty acids supplements may be of benefit, improving appetite, weight, and quality of life. There is tentative evidence that marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the risk of breast cancer but this is not conclusive.

So basically, Omega-3 supplements have been shown to benefit those who are suffering with cardiovascular and heart disease, some cancers, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s.

Whilst not a treatment for specific diseases as such (it is an essential nutrient that your body NEEDS for normal cellular function and health), it stands to reason that if you are deficient in ANY essential nutrient, you will be more prone to developing disease.

Omega-3 plays a role in virtually every human function including growth and development, digestion, brain and nerve function, immune function, hormone production and regulation, maintenance of skin and bones, regulation of healing and inflammation, heart function, vision, cholesterol levels, and even emotions and behaviour.

 

How Much Omega-3 Should I Take?

On September 8, 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave “qualified health claim” status to EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, stating, “supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA [omega-3] fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease”. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recognized the importance of DHA omega-3 and permits the following claim for DHA: “DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, supports the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves primarily in children under two year of age.”

The recommended daily intake of EPA plus DHA is about 650 mg rising to 1000 mg/day during pregnancy and lactation. Clinical trials have used anywhere from 1 g/day to 10 g/day, but little additional benefit has been observed at levels above 5 g/day of EPA and DHA combined.

Check with your healthcare professional since EFAs can normalize (thin) blood viscosity. Those who are using pharmaceutical blood thinners may be required to change their medication levels or may be contraindicated entirely – people taking blood thinners should always consult with their medical physician before taking fish oil. Also, those taking high doses of aspirin or anticipating surgery should also consult the advice of a healthcare professional.

 

Choosing a Good Omega-3 Oil Supplement.

This can be quite difficult, as there is a huge difference in quality with all supplements, particularly fish oils. Firstly, you should not try to get adequate levels of Omega-3 from cod liver oil. It contains Vitamins A and D, and you would probably exceed the recommended daily intake of vitamins A and D if you were to try to obtain therapeutic amounts of Omega-3 from cod liver oil.

Many Omega-3 supplements come in capsule form. For some this makes it easier to swallow, but others use this to cover the rancid taste of oxidising fats. This is not a good thing, and may actually be more harmful than beneficial. If you have capsules, open them up and taste or smell the oil. If it is overly fishy and unpleasant, discard immediately.

You want to find an Omega-3 supplement that is available in a straight oil form. This way you know that the oil is not oxidised. Often the same brand will be available in capsule form if you prefer, as long as they are also available as a bottled oil (it will be the same oil).

Krill oil, despite the marketing hype, is not more concentrated. It is also an environmental disaster as krill are the base of the oceans food chain. We ethically cannot advise krill oil (fish harvested for oil is very tightly regulated). Plus there is very little good scientific evidence regarding the benefits of krill oil.

HealthySpines.org uses and recommends Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency. It is the purest, naturally occurring (not derived, which is not the same and is inferior) Omega-3 Oil we have found available from Norway. It is not artificially concentrated and uses superior purification and oxidation protection. It is also 3rd party tested for purity, potency and freshness. Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency’s unsurpassed quality is the result of a dedication to the highest standards for the source, extraction, purity and bottling of natural Omega-3 oil. You can click right on the picture to purchase either the oil or capsule form (North America only). UK/Europe click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oil

Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency

 

Capsule

Omega oil capsules

 

    

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

Also, if you have found this article helpful, please share it so we can help even more people! Thankyou.

 

References:

Mozaffarian, D. et al.Plasma Phospholipid Long-Chain n-3 Fatty Acids and Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Older Adults.Annal Intern Med. 2013; 158:515-525

Hibbeln JR, Nieminen LR, Blasbalg TL, Riggs JA, Lands WE (2006). “Healthy intakes of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids: Estimations considering worldwide diversity”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 83 (6 Suppl): 1483S–1493S. PMID 16841858.

Wall R, Ross RP, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C (2010). “Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids”. Nutr Rev 68 (5): 280–9. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00287.x. PMID 20500789.

Hegarty B, Parker G (January 2013). “Fish oil as a management component for mood disorders – an evolving signal”. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 26 (1): 33–40. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e32835ab4a7. PMID 23108232.

Simopoulos, Artemis. Omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease and in growth and development. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 54, 1991, pp. 438-63

Pepping, Joseph. Omega-3 essential fatty acids. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Vol. 56, April 15, 1999, pp. 719-24

Uauy-Dagach, Ricardo and Valenzuela, Alfonso. Marine oils: the health benefits of n-3 fatty acids. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 54, November 1996, pp. S102-S108

Connor, William E. Importance of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71 (suppl), January 2000, pp. 171S-75S

Daviglus, Martha L., et al. Fish consumption and the 30-year risk of fatal myocardial infarction. New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 336, April 10, 1997, pp. 1046-53

Christensen, Jeppe Hagstrup, et al. Effect of fish oil on heart rate variability in survivors of myocardial infarction. British Medical Journal, Vol. 312, March 16, 1996, pp. 677-78

Simon, Joel A., et al. Serum fatty acids and the risk of coronary heart disease. American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 142, No. 5, September 1, 1995, pp. 469-76

Flaten, Hugo, et al. Fish-oil concentrate: effects of variables related to cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 52, 1990, pp. 300-06

Connor, Am J Clin Nutr, Vol 71, 2000, 171S-175S

Montgomery P, Richardson AJ (2008-04-16). Montgomery, Paul, ed. “Omega-3 fatty acids for bipolar disorder”. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (2): CD005169. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005169.pub2. PMID 18425912.

Bloch, Michael H.; Qawasmi, Ahmad. “Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation for the Treatment of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptomatology: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 50 (10): 991–1000. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2011.06.008. PMC: 3625948. PMID 21961774.

Colomer R, Moreno-Nogueira JM, García-Luna PP, García-Peris P, García-de-Lorenzo A, Zarazaga A, Quecedo L, del Llano J, Usán L, Casimiro C (May 2007). “N-3 fatty acids, cancer and cachexia: a systematic review of the literature”. Br. J. Nutr. 97 (5): 823–31. doi:10.1017/S000711450765795X. PMID 17408522.

Zheng JS, Hu XJ, Zhao YM, Yang J, Li D (27 June 2013). “Intake of fish and marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of breast cancer: meta-analysis of data from 21 independent prospective cohort studies”. BMJ 346 (jun27 5): f3706–f3706.

Yehuda, S., et al. Essential fatty acids preparation (SR-3) improves Alzheimer’s patients quality of life. International Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 87(3-4), November 1996, pp. 141-9

 

 

   

What’s Better, A Sit Or Stand Desk? Get Both With A Height Adjustable Standing Desk!

 

 

 

What’s Better, A Sit Or Stand Desk?

 

 

Standing DeskHave you ever toyed with the idea of using a stand-up desk? Often people can’t decide on whether they should use a sit or stand desk. Maybe it’s because you are worried that your legs will get tired if you have to stand at work all day. And is spending that much time standing still really good for you anyway?

Whilst it is well known that too much sitting is seriously bad for your spinal (and overall) health, good research on standing desks is still in it’s early stages.

Also, it turns out, prolonged standing causes health problems too. Plenty of studies show that it increases the risk of carotid atherosclerosis (a disease of the arteries) ninefold due to the extra load on your circulatory system. You’re more likely to get varicose veins, which cause all sorts of complications.

On the other hand, a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology suggests that the simple lack of movement, be it sitting or standing, is unhealthy.

The good news is you can actually find a fantastic compromise by using a height adjustable standing desk. Experts agree that the best way to promote long-term health if you have a desk job is to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. And while you’re standing, don’t just stand still, keep moving! Walk around and take a break, go get a glass of water, listen to music and have a bit of a dance, shift your weight around from foot to foot.

The benefits of using a standing desk are massive! And there is enough evidence to suggest that switching to a standing desk is in fact a very good move. In fact there are several surprising, but very good reasons why thousands of workers are buying standing desks to use in their workplace. One of them you won’t believe, and that is because it can actually make you smarter! But first up….

 

 What Is A Standing Desk.

A standing desk is basically a desk that allows you to stand comfortably at your work station. It can be a stand alone table/desk, or an add-on that sits on top of your regular desk.

They usually have a couple of ‘decks’ or surfaces at different levels so you can place your monitor at eye level, and your keyboard and mouse slightly lower, in keeping with proper ergonomics.

Standing desk ergonomics

Most modern designs incorporate a sit-stand, or height adjustable standing desk set-up, which is becoming increasingly popular due to the ability to alternate between sitting and standing.

 

Here are some of the benefits of using a standing desk.

 

1) You will probably be better at your job!

Standing officeHave you ever wondered why little kids will sometimes stick their tongues out the side of their mouths when they are really concentrating on a task (like colouring in for example)? Funny question right, and you are probably thinking it has nothing to do with office desks. But maybe not!

It is the same reason that adults will sometimes tap their pen or a foot when they are stuck on a problem. Surprisingly, it is also a great reason for using a standing desk.

The answer, quite simply, is that movement stimulates our brains. That is why when we are struggling mentally, the body instinctively knows that ‘If I move, I have better chance of kicking my brain into a higher gear’. So we start to tap a leg, or stick our tongues out. You may have even found yourself that there are times when you can’t remember something, and then it suddenly comes to you later. Probably after you have done something active, like going for a walk at lunch time!

This is one of the great advantages of using a standing desk. When we stand we naturally move more, keeping our brains at a higher level of function than when we are sitting still for long periods.

Standing also boosts mood and energy levels too, which helps to increase productivity.

 

 

2) Reduce back pain.

Back pain is a very common result of excessive time spent sitting. All too common in the workplace.

Recent medical studies have shown that levels of back pain greatly decreased after just a few weeks of using a standing desk. What’s more, most of these problems returned within 3 weeks of going back to a sitting desk!

Check yourself against this info-graphic to optimise your workstation ergonomics.

ergonomic infographic

 

3) Standing guards against Obesity, Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure.

Research has shown that standing and alternating between sitting and standing helps to burn more calories than just sitting, helps to stabilise blood sugar levels, and reduces your risk of developing heart disease (1, 2, 3, 4)

That is some serious information right there! Let’s look at how sitting affects your health: when you slump in your chair, your calorie-burning slows to a third of the rate compared to walking. Your metabolism slows down, and as a result, your risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes increases.

The link between sitting and obesity was established recently by the American Cancer Society. It found that people who stand for at least a quarter of the day reduce their chances of becoming obese. The benefits were more pronounced for women than men.

 

 

So knowing all these amazing benefits, you would be mad not to be looking at purchasing a stand up desk. But as we mentioned earlier, there is also research showing that too much standing is not so great either. So what are you to do?

If you are considering  a standing desk, we recommend using an adjustable model. This will allow you to alternate between sitting and standing, giving you the benefits of standing without increasing any associated health risks.

 

Varidesk

 

At the Heathyspines.org offices we personally use the VARIDESK Pro Plus standing desk. It is a very high quality, modern design that is really well built, and looks uber cool too! It sits right on top of your existing desk, and has adjustable height settings.

You can click right on the image of the VARIDESK Pro Plus standing desk for more details and where you can buy one for yourself. Using an adjustable standing desk has proven to be the best compromise between a sit or stand desk, and receives our highest recommendation.

 

We also recommend using an anti-fatigue mat to reduce pressure on the joints in you feet, knees and hips. They also designed to encourage proper circulation in your feet and legs.

 

If you do decide to go ahead with a standing desk, we advise that you start with standing for only 2 hours at the most in the beginning. After a week or so you want to split your time 50:50 between sitting and standing, changing often.

 

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

 

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Our Top Hacks For Natural Back Pain Relief.

 

 

Our Top Hacks For Natural Back Pain Relief.

 

When our back hurts, we want it to stop NOW! It’s not just the pain, but the way that back pain affects everything we do. It can be very restricting and can limit the way we live.

These natural back pain relief techniques are very effective, but they will usually only relieve back pain temporarily. It is always advisable to diagnose and correct the underlying cause. Until the problem is corrected however, these are best ways to naturally feel better without having to resort to medication.

They may seem overly simple, but believe me, these easy techniques really do work, and you can do most of them almost anywhere!

 

walk

(1) Go for a walk. Walking is our most natural movement. If you are able to walk without too much pain, this is the one thing that will start to improve your back pain quickly, particularly if you are suffering with low back pain. You should aim for a 30 minute walk every day. A daily walk has also been shown to not just ease pain, but it is scientifically proven to decrease your risk of nearly all disease, including the big ones; heart disease and cancer! So get out there and go! Read more about the many health benefits of walking here.

 

 

(2) Use ice packs. This is most useful if you have a recent back injury. Wrap something from your freezer (ice, frozen vegetables, an ice pack if you have one) in a small towel and apply it directly onto the painful area. It should feel cold, but not ‘freezing’ or painful. Leave the ice pack on for 10-15 minutes, but no longer. This can be repeated every hour. If you have not used ice packs recently for your back pain, then apply them 5-6 times each day for 3 days to get the best effects. There is some confusion as to whether ice or heat is better, this post covers this in detail.

Recent scientific studies are showing that chronic inflammation is a leading cause of many diseases, find out more in this post.

Turmeric is also well known to have an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as being a great brain booster! You can buy it as an easy to take supplement by clicking here.

 

 

(3) Drink lots of water. The spinal discs like water, and a lot of back pain comes from injury or damage to the spinal discs. Being well hydrated keeps them happy!

 

 

 

 

 

(4) Don’t sit! More and more research is showing that excessive sitting can be very damaging to our spine. It is important that if you have a sedentary lifestyle involving hours of sitting each day that you get up and give your back a rest regularly. Even just a short walk helps a lot. To find out how bad sitting really is, check out this post.

 

 

 

(5) Rest lying on your back with your knees bent. This can be on your bed with a couple of pillows under your knees, or on the floor with your feet and lower legs up on a chair. This position is the best for taking all the tension off your spine.

 

 

 

 

(6) Extend yourself! Standing up with your hands on your low back, slowly arch backwards. Just go a little way first, then come back to straight. If you are comfortable with the movement you can repeat another 3 or 4 times gradually increasing the amount you arch back. NOTE: for some people this can aggravate your back pain, so it is very important to start with just a slight movement backwards, if there is any pain or discomfort, DO NOT CONTINUE.

 

 

 

 

(7) Lastly: Do no H.A.R.M. Avoid the following:- Heat increases blood flow, which is good for chronic muscle spasm, but very bad for inflammation and swelling (see point 2). Alcohol also increases blood flow and will make inflammation worse. Running, or any kind of vigorous activity could further strain the injury. Massage can be very tempting, but again will increase blood flow and potentially do more damage to the injured tissue if applied in the first few days of an acute back injury.

 

 

Aside from helping you feel better, the steps outlined here are also critical to starting you on the way to a stronger and more flexible spine. As soon as you are able, it is time to start retraining your spine to move well, and to move correctly. Check out the Total Back Pain Solution for a comprehensive program to optimize your spinal health, and beat back pain!

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

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