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Holiday foods are filled with inflammation-causing agents

This might not be what you want to hear right before the holiday baking season kicks into full swing. And it certainly doesn't make for great conversation around the baking table. But if you suffer from back pain, it is worth carrying a dose of awareness with you into each meal. After all, other people can enjoy the fruits of your labor- but abstaining from the majority of inflammatory foods will do your back innumerable benefit. 

Keep inflammation out of your holiday plans

Any list of inflammatory foods begins with sugar and saturated fat, staple ingredients of many holiday recipes. Other common Christmas time ingredients that cause inflammation include:

  • Refined flour
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol

You may not want to think of the holidays as being inflammatory-filled, but the diet certainly suggests such a trend. Protect yourself this holiday season by thinking about what you put into each recipe; many traditional recipes can be upgraded to anti-inflammatory variants. And you always have the power of choice to say no to another alcoholic beverage or another cupcake! 

We are concerned with the health of your spine over holiday foods

They may taste good, but the inflammation that they cause can have your back reeling. Think of every bite as a cost-benefit analysis- if it is actually going to hurt your back, it may be best to abstain. And if you are suffering from inflammation, ice is your best friend! Maintaining range of motion and activity levels are also important ways of combatting inflammation. Unfortunately, the holidays are the time of year we exercise the least. Try to maintain reasonable levels of movement and if you are still struggling with distracting back pain, give our office a call to schedule an appointment. We are standing by to help you with all your spine-related problems this holiday season! 

Don't Neglect Your Neck

Your neck is a densely packed powerhouse of muscles

However, these muscles are among the most neglected in the body when it comes to gym time, and they rarely come in for attention unless they are causing problems. This is problematic for a number of reasons: first, an increasing number of us work jobs that require us to sit for hours on end, encouraging stiffness and pain in the neck. Second, ignoring the neck can leave you vulnerable to cervical spinal conditions that will develop later from a lack of strength in the supporting muscles and poor posture. I'm not saying you need to train each muscle of the neck individually, but we should treat it as a fairly important group of muscles to be exercised regularly. 

The relationship your neck has with pain

Think of how many times you move your neck in a day- it is probably impossible to even get close to an accurate estimate as 90% of neck movements are subconscious. Looking up, down, to the side, and over your shoulder; chewing your food and holding your head upright. Many of the muscles in the neck connect to the upper back and have implications in the mechanics of shoulder movement. What this mosaic shows is that, with weak muscles, your neck is vulnerable to a lot of movements and the worst malefactor is no movement at all.

It's time to turn your neck into a bundle of strength

At our office in we have a plan to turn your neck into something more: a network of muscles that support the head, connect it to the body with proper mechanics, and allow for an extensive range of movement without causing pain or stiffness. It is important to realize that your neck can actually work as an agent for you- to prevent the onset of spinal conditions and pain related to a desk-heavy lifestyle. Give our office a call to find out how we can start strengthening the neck today.

Impact on the Runner's Joints

Good running form means efficiency and speed but it also means injury prevention!

If you are trying to improve your running form, it behooves you to focus on minimizing the impact of each step on the joints of your knees and lower back. Yes, this starts with good running shoes, but the degree to which the impact will affect your joints is determined when you strike the ground.

The holiday food coma is a reality that few weight-watchers can afford

Thanks to the healthy quantities of fatty foods that seem to pass into our households each holiday season, keeping the weight down can be a challenge that few of us are equipped to meet. No one who is in a weight loss battle likes to see themselves slumped over on the couch, full of pie and brandy, waiting for the night to mercifully come to an end. Applying a few common-sense principles to each family dinner will ensure that you don't lose too much ground in the battle to keep the pounds down. 

This Holiday Season, Practice Exercise Snacking

You will be snacking a lot this holiday season 

From the myriad sweet treats to decadent family dinners, the options are endless when it comes to indulgence during the holiday season. For those looking to manage their weight, or keep back pain at bay, this can be a treacherous time. It behooves any back pain sufferer to be proactive about the health of their spine during the holiday season. To this end, we want to talk about a different kind of snacking: exercise snacking.