Cardio is one of the most important elements of managing back pain
For three main reasons:
- Circulation: by getting your blood flowing, oxygen and nutrients move to cells throughout the body that are in need of support as they attempt to repair and rebuild. Stagnation prevents this circulation from reaching so extensively; even 10 minutes of walking is enough to get your blood flowing more effectively.
- Endorphins: nature’s pain killers are yours for the free price of a 30 minute cardio exercise. A vigorous 30 minutes should see a release of endorphins into the blood stream that helps you perceive less pain.
- Managing body weight: your spine is supporting the weight of your upper body, which means that every pound over your target weight is contributing to spinal degeneration.
But not all cardio is good for back pain sufferers- anything that causes repetitive trauma to the spinal joints is counterproductive. If you are in love with the benefits of running, but it causes you too much pain, read on for some alternative cardio workouts that are less traumatic to your spine.
During Christmas dinner, self control often flies out the window
The table is set and your eyes are agog; every single dish looks enticing. And hey, it’s Christmas, why not indulge yourself this one night out of the year? Talk about a dangerous scenario for weight-watchers, albeit a very common one. Holiday recipes make it very difficult to stick to your normal, healthy eating routine. Read on to find our tips for controlling yourself at Christmas dinner.
It’s inevitable that we work out less during the holiday season.
Our schedule is simply too full with social engagements, marathon cooking and baking sessions, and last-minute gift shopping to even think about exercise. With such a happy maelstrom, it can be easy to drop your exercise routine completely; unfortunately, few of us can afford to put our fitness on hold for a month as we stuff ourselves full of the excesses of Christmas dinners and New Years Eve parties. Here are some ideas for indulging in holiday cheer without sacrificing your 2017 health gains.
The holiday season is a time of renewal for your muscles
Many of us will be sitting at home around Christmas time, watching our kids running around the tree and wondering, “how did I become so stiff?” The answer to that question is complex, and it takes into account every action (and inaction) that you’ve taken up to this point in your life. But the important thing to remember is that no matter how stiff you are, it’s never too late to start making improvements. Your muscles have been working hard all year long- the holiday season is a time to thank them and take stock of how you can help them out.
How mobile are you?
You are made of joints and your joints were made to move! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that being sedentary isn’t good for humans. It takes us out of our natural element- movement helps all of our major systems function better. In this respect, range of motion is the measure of the movement a particular joint can perform. As we grow older, we become less flexible; this is the first step toward losing range of motion. Unless we take steps to maintain our flexibility through stretching and strengthening, we are setting a course for stiffness and disability in old age. So how does chiropractic help us maintain range of motion?
Non-specific chronic back pain: what gives?
Your pain has been nearly constant for three months and you keep telling yourself it will go away soon. You have been doing everything the doctor told you: eating well, stretching and exercising; you haven’t been sitting too much. But still the pain lingers, and at the six-month mark you start to wonder if it will ever go away. Such is the plight of many people affected by chronic pain, a condition little understood but certainly on the rise in our society. Traditional treatments such as surgery and medication often fall short because they fail to address the root cause of the pain. But what is this root, and how can we go about treating it?
Are you a 21st century sitter?
For traditional office workers, tech-industry and start-up employees, freelancers and all other shades of worker that rely on their computer to make money, sitting is part and parcel of the job. But sitting is hardly a natural state for our spine; it puts our spines under more pressure than standing or laying supine. When you pile poor posture on top of this, you have a recipe for spinal degeneration that is affecting more of the population than ever. The demographic of people who spend most of their time sitting is getting younger every year, as both our jobs and entertainment options become more digitized. Overwhelming scientific opinion agrees that sedentary lifestyles are among the greatest new threats to our collective health. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we believe that reducing the amount of time spent sitting should be a primary health objective for any office worker.
A healthier back begins with awareness
This is step one in any plan for improving your spinal health: simply being aware of your biomechanics and how every action directly contributes to the condition of your spine. Just as the spine is a depreciating asset, our awareness of healthy spinal habits seems to deteriorate over time. Here are some of the greatest risk factors that are within our control:
- Poor posture
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Sitting too much
- Lifting poorly
Each of these factors interact with and influence each other; for example, lack of exercise reduces the efficacy of the postural muscles that support good posture. Helping you recognize risk factors and the way they influence your spinal health is one of primary goals at Espinosa Family Chiropractic.
Good posture is never out of style
But sofas are hardly conducive to good posture- they are often the exact opposite. You may think that the big, fluffy sofa that you sink right into is your best friend, but we are willing to bet your spine would strongly disagree. However, relaxing is extremely important! And the sofa is a gateway to relaxation for many people, so we support sitting on the sofa as long as it is done responsibly! By staying aware of your posture and your spine’s relation to the couch, you can make minor adjustments to effect huge improvements in the way your spine feels after your next Netflix binge.
There are two main types of muscles that contribute to a solid core
Sitting at your desk all day, every day, is eventually going to cause some kind of pain and dysfunction in your back, unless you take proactive measures to stop its occurence! For most people, a prescription of improving posture would suffice but its hardly that simple of a problem. No matter how many times you are told to sit up straight, you’re not going to be able to maintain it unless you have postural balance. No matter how you spin it, good posture starts with the muscles.