Alzheimer’s – What To Know and Expect

Alzheimer's - What To Know and Expect

Alzheimer’s – What To Know and Expect

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a serious brain disorder that impacts daily living through memory loss and cognitive changes. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own. Things you once did easily will become increasingly difficult, such as maintaining a schedule or managing money. Some people may try to cover up their difficulties to protect themselves and their family from embarrassment. Or, they may be reluctant to ask for help. Trying to do what others in the early stage have called “faking it” and covering up errors can be a great source of stress. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease. Alzheimer’s is a serious disease that can cause a great deal of stress, hurt and even worry not only on the patient but their loved ones. The best thing you can do is learn about this horrible disease and be there for your loved one.

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s. Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In the early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions. Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat this horrible disease, delay its onset and prevent it from developing. 

Alzheimer’s Facts

  • More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease.
  • Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • There are approximately 500,000 people dying each year because they have Alzheimer’s
  • 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion.
  • In her 60s, a woman’s estimated lifetime risk for developing Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6. For breast cancer it is 1 in 11.
  • There are 2.5 times more women than men providing intensive “on-duty” care 24 hours a day for someone with Alzheimer’s.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
  • More than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive condition in the nation. In 2014, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Despite these staggering figures, Alzheimer’s will cost an estimated $1.2 trillion (in today’s dollars) in 2050.

Top 10 signs/symptoms of Alzheimer’s

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs, please see a doctor. Early diagnosis gives you a chance to seek treatment and plan for the Alzheimer's - What To Know and Expectfuture.

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  7. Decreased or poor judgment
  8. Changes in mood and personality
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. New problems with words in speaking or writing

Stages of Alzheimer’s

  • Stage 1 – Mild/Early (lasts 2-4 yrs) – Frequent recent memory loss, particularly of recent conversations and events. Repeated questions, some problems expressing and understanding language. Mild coordination problems: writing and using objects becomes difficult. Depression and apathy can occur, accompanied by mood swings. Need reminders for daily activities, and may have difficulty driving.
  • Stage 2 – Moderate/Middle (lasts 2-10 yrs) – Can no longer cover up problems. Pervasive and persistent memory loss, including forgetfulness about personal history and inability to recognize friends and family. Rambling speech, unusual reasoning, and confusion about current events, time, and place. More likely to become lost in familiar settings, experience sleep disturbances, and changes in mood and behavior, which can be aggravated by stress and change. May experience delusions, aggression, and uninhibited behavior. Mobility and coordination is affected by slowness, rigidity, and tremors. Need structure, reminders, and assistance with the activities of daily living.
  • Stage 3 – Severe/Late (lasts 1-3+ yrs) – Confused about past and present. Loss of ability to remember, communicate, or process information. Generally incapacitated with severe to total loss of verbal skills. Unable to care for self. Falls possible and immobility likely. Problems with swallowing, incontinence, and illness. Extreme problems with mood, behavior, hallucinations, and delirium. In this stage, the person will need round the clock intensive support and care.

Significant cognitive and memory loss are not symptoms of normal aging. However, these symptoms do not always indicate Alzheimer’s disease. Other conditions can also cause mental decline.

Symptoms that mimic early Alzheimer’s disease may result from:

  • Central nervous system and other degenerative disorders, including head injuries, brain tumors, stroke, epilepsy, Pick’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease.
  • Metabolic ailments, such as hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, kidney or liver failure.
  • Substance-induced conditions, such as drug interactions, medication side-effects, alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Psychological factors, such as dementia syndrome, depression, emotional trauma, chronic stress, psychosis, chronic sleep deprivation, delirium.
  • Infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis, and syphilis.

Are you at risk for Alzheimer’s?

  • The primary risk factors of Alzheimer’s are age, family history, and genetics. However, there are other risk factors that you can influence. Alzheimer's - What To Know and ExpectMaintaining a healthy heart and avoiding high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high cholesterol can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s. Watch your weight, avoid tobacco and excess alcohol, stay socially connected, and exercise both your body and mind.
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s affects patients under the age of 65. This relatively rare condition is seen more often in patients whose parents or grandparents developed Alzheimer’s disease at a young age, and is generally associated with three specific gene mutations (the APP gene found on chromosome 21, the PSI gene on chromosome 12, and the PS2 gene on chromosome 1).

Living with Alzheimer’s disease is a challenge for anyone. It’s difficult to remember things, make decisions, and find your way around the way you used to. It can be frustrating a good deal of the time, but there are good days and bad days. Here are some helpful tips and things you can do to make things easier for yourself — to make things feel a bit more normal again. To help cope with memory loss, planning your day, avoid getting lost and communicating with others.

  • Place sticky notes around the house when you need to remember things.
  • Label cupboards and drawers with words or pictures that describe their contents.
  • Place important phone numbers in large print next to the phone.
  • Ask a friend or family member to call and remind you of important things that you need to do in the day, like meal times, medication times, and appointments.
  • Always keep a book with you to record important information, phone numbers, names, ideas you have, appointments, your address, and directions to your home.
  • Use a calendar to keep track of time and to remember important dates.
  • Use photos of people you see often labeled with their names.
  • Keep track of phone messages by using an answering machine.
  • It will be easier to accomplish tasks during the times of the day when you feel best.
  • Allow yourself the time to do the things you need to do, and don’t feel rushed or let other people rush you.
  • If something gets too difficult, take a break.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Find things to do that you enjoy and are able to do safely on your own.
  • Ask someone to go with you when you go out.
  • Ask for help if you need it and explain that you have a memory problem.
  • Always take directions for where you’re going with you.
  • Always take your time, and don’t feel rushed
  • Avoid distracting noises, and find a quiet place to talk.
  • If you need to, ask the person you’re speaking with to repeat what he/she is saying or to speak slowly if you do not understand.

It is important to realize that at some point, it will become too difficult or dangerous for you to live by yourself. But, in the earliest stages of the disease, many people do manage on their own — with support and help from friends, family, and community programs and with simple adjustments and safety practices in place. Just because you forget things, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have Alzheimer’s. Even when you fear the worst, the earlier you seek help, the better your chances of getting the care you need and maximizing your quality of life.

Healthy Heart – Tips and Facts!

healthy heart

Healthy Heart – Tips and Facts!

The heart weighs between 7 and 15 ounces (200 to 425 grams) and is a little larger than the size of your fist. By the end of a long life, a person’s heart may have beat (expanded and contracted) more than 3.5 billion times. In fact, each day, the average heart beats 100,000 times, pumping about 2,000 gallons (7,571 liters) of blood. The heart contracts at a rate of around 72 beats per minute, at rest. Exercise temporarily increases this rate, but lowers resting heart rate in the long term, and is good for heart health. The shape of the heart is similar to a pinecone, rather broad at the base and tapering to the apex. A stethoscope can be placed directly over the apex so that the beats can be counted. An adult heart has a mass of 250–350 grams (–12 oz). The heart size is 12 cm (5 in) in length, 8 cm (3.5 in) wide and 6 cm (2.5 in) in thickness. Well-trained athletes can have much larger hearts due to the effects of exercise on the heart muscle, similar to the response of skeletal muscle.

Your heart is located between your lungs in the middle of your chest, behind and slightly to the left of your breastbone (sternum). A double-layered membrane called the pericardium surrounds your heart like a sac. The outer layer of the pericardium surrounds the roots of your heart’s major blood vessels and is attached by ligaments to your spinal column, diaphragm and other parts of your body. The inner layer of the pericardium is attached to the heart muscle. A coating of fluid separates the two layers of membrane, letting the heart move as it beats. The largest part of the heart is usually slightly offset to the left (though occasionally it may be offset to the right). The heart is usually felt to be on the left side because the left heart is stronger, since it pumps to all body parts. The left lung in turn is smaller than the right lung because it has to accommodate the heart. The heart is supplied by the coronary circulation and is enclosed in the pericardial sac.

Your heart has four chambers, two upper atria, the receiving chambers, and two lower ventricles, the discharging chambers. The upper chambers are called the left and right atria, and the lower chambers are called the left and right ventricles. A wall of muscle called the septum separates the left and right atria and the left and right ventricles. The left ventricle is the largest and strongest chamber in your heart. The left ventricle’s chamber walls are only about a half-inch thick, but they have enough force to push blood through the aortic valve and into your body. 

The Heart Valves

Four valves regulate blood flow through your heart:

  • The tricuspid valve regulates blood flow between the right atrium and right ventricle.
  • The pulmonary valve controls blood flow from the right ventricle into the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen.
  • The mitral valve lets oxygen-rich blood from your lungs pass from the left atrium into the left ventricle.
  • The aortic valve opens the way for oxygen-rich blood to pass from the left ventricle into the aorta, your body’s largest artery.
  • All four heart valves lie along the same plane. The valves ensure unidirectional blood flow through the heart and prevent backflow

The Conduction System

Electrical impulses from your heart muscle cause your heart to contract. This electrical signal begins in the sinoatrial (SA) node, located at the top of the right atrium. The SA node is sometimes called the heart’s “natural pacemaker.” An electrical impulse from this natural pacemaker travels through the muscle fibers of the atria and ventricles, causing them to contract. Although the SA node sends electrical impulses at a certain rate, your heart rate may still change depending on physical demands, stress or hormonal factors.

The Circulatory System

The heart and circulatory system make up your cardiovascular system. Your heart works as a pump that pushes blood to the organs, tissues, and cells of your body. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to every cell and removes the carbon dioxide and waste products made by those cells. Blood is carried from your heart to the rest of your body through a complex network of arteries, arterioles and capillaries. Blood is returned to your heart through venules and veins. If all the vessels of this network in your body were laid end-to-end, they would extend for about 60,000 miles (more than 96,500 kilometers), which is far enough to circle the earth more than twice!

Leading Causes of Heart Failure

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) was the most common cause of death globally in 2008, accounting for 30% of cases. Of these deaths more than three quarters were due to coronary artery disease and stroke. Risk factors include: smoking, being overweight, not enough exercise, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and poorly controlled diabetes among others. Diagnosis of CVD is often done by listening to the heart-sounds with a stethoscope, ECG or by ultrasound. Diseases of the heart are primarily treated by cardiologists, although many specialties of medicine may be involved. Coronary artery disease and heart attack. Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and the most common cause of heart failure. Over time, arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle narrow from a buildup of fatty deposits, a process called atherosclerosis.

Heart failure often develops after other conditions have damaged or weakened your heart. Over time, the heart can no longer keep up with the normal demands placed on it to pump blood to the rest of your body. The main pumping chambers of your heart (the ventricles) may become stiff and not fill properly between beats. Also, your heart muscle may weaken, and the ventricles stretch (dilate) to the point that the heart can’t pump blood efficiently throughout your body. The term “congestive heart failure” comes from blood backing up into — or congesting — the liver, abdomen, lower extremities and lungs. However, not all heart failure is congestive. You might have shortness of breath or weakness due to heart failure and not have any fluid building up. Heart failure can involve the left side, right side or both sides of your heart. Typically, heart failure begins with the left side — specifically the left ventricle, your heart’s main pumping chamber.

Your grandmother, father, cousin or even your great aunt may have heart disease but even with a strongly inherited predisposition to the condition you can cut your risks dramatically by pursuing a heart healthy lifestyle and it’s easier than you think. You might think that getting fit and boosting your heart health means spending hours upon hours at the gym, sweating and getting on machines that look more like torture devices than anything that’s going to help you. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true. In fact, reaping the heart-healthy benefits of exercise doesn’t have to take a huge time commitment – nor does it have to be torturous. It can actually be quite fun!

The heart, together with the arteries that feed it, is one big muscle! So how do you get a healthier heart, right now? The answer sounds too good to be true, just by simply leading a healthier life. With all the mixed messages about “good” and “bad” foods in the media, it’s not surprising that many people just give up trying to figure out what they should eat. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Our research has shown that the No. 1 thing people are confused about when it comes to heart health is what the best diet is. That’s why we want to share these tips and facts that are proven to keep a smile on your face and on your heart!

Over 800,000 Americans died from heart attacks and other cardiac illnesses last year, but most of those deaths, four out of five were preventable. Don’t be one of those 800,000 Americans. Adopt some of these Healthy Heart tips to help you be on your way to building a healthy heart that will last a lifetime.

1. Start with Activities you Love

If you’ve had problems making exercise a regular part of your life, then I imagine you only think of exercise as something you have to do in the gym. But that’s just not true! Things like walking, dancing in your living room, bowling and even cleaning the house can count as exercise as long as you’re getting a little out of breath when you’re doing them.

So sit down and make a list of all of the active things you do and find a way to make at least one of them a part of your day, every day. Then, after a few months of making those activities habits, try new ones or more traditional workouts like a group exercise class.  As you get in the habit of being active and start to get more fit, you might just be amazed and what activities you like.

2. Don’t Smoke or use Tobacco

Smoking or using tobacco of any kind is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This increases your blood pressure and heart rate by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke than are those who don’t do either because both smoking and taking birth control pills increase the risk of blood clots.

When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe. But, the more you smoke, the greater your risk. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also are risky, as is exposure to secondhand smoke. Even so-called “social smoking” — smoking only while at a bar or restaurant with friends — is dangerous and increases the risk of heart disease. The good news, though, is that when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops almost to that of a nonsmoker in about five years. And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you’ll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.

3. Know your heart health numbers.

Establish a baseline to help plan every preventive step for the rest of the year. You need to know if you are at risk before you can take action to lower your risk. Know your HDL or “good” cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, weight and body mass index (BMI) numbers. And make an appointment now for a check-up to see if your new healthy habits are making the grade.

4.  Eat a heart-healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease. Two examples of heart-healthy food plans include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Limiting certain fats you eat also is important. Of the types of fat — saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat — saturated fat and trans fat are the ones to try to limit or avoid. Try to keep saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your daily calories. And, try to keep trans fat out of your diet altogether.

Major sources of saturated fat include:

  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Coconut and palm oils

Sources of trans fat include:

  • Deep-fried fast foods
  • Bakery products
  • Packaged snack foods
  • Margarines
  • Crackers

If the nutrition label has the term “partially hydrogenated,” it means that product contains trans fat.

Heart-healthy eating isn’t all about cutting back, though. Healthy fats from plant-based sources, such as avocado, nuts, olives and olive oil, help your heart by lowering the bad type of cholesterol. Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet — with a goal of five to 10 servings a day. Eating that many fruits and vegetables can not only help prevent heart disease but also may help prevent cancer and improve diabetes. Eating several servings a week of certain fish, such as salmon and mackerel, may decrease your risk of heart attack.

Following a heart-healthy diet also means keeping an eye on how much alcohol you drink. If you choose to drink alcohol, it’s better for your heart to do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. More than that becomes a health hazard.

5. Embrace the Power of 10

Think you can’t get heart-health benefits from just 10-minute bouts of activity? Think again. Ten minutes of walking three times a day has been shown to lower blood pressure more effectively than a longer 30-minute bout of walking. Something as simple as walking before work, over lunch and after dinner is a fabulous way to squeeze in exercise – no gym required!

6. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight, especially if you carry excess weight around your middle, ups your risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

One way to see if your weight is healthy is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which considers your height and weight in determining whether you have a healthy or unhealthy percentage of body fat. BMI numbers 25 and higher are associated with higher blood fats, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

The BMI is a good, but imperfect guide. Muscle weighs more than fat, for instance, and women and men who are very muscular and physically fit can have high BMIs without added health risks. Because of that, waist circumference also is a useful tool to measure how much abdominal fat you have:

  • Men are considered overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (101.6 centimeters, or cm).
  • Women are overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (88.9 cm).

Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing your weight by just 5 to 10 percent can help decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes.

7. Use exercise to De-stress

Stress plays a critical role in heart health, and exercise is great at kicking stress to the curb. Learn to see exercise not as something that you have to do, but instead as something you want to do because it makes you feel good. While most workouts will pump up your feel-good endorphins, workouts like yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi are especially good for de-stressing and improving the mind-body connection. Try ‘em!

8. It’s not just about Cardio

When people think of heart-healthy exercise, they generally think of aerobic or cardio activities like jogging. But did you know that strength training (think lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups and lunges) can improve the health of your ticker, too?  When you lift weights at a moderate intensity, you get your heart rate up. This means that you’re working both your muscular system and your cardiovascular system. And when you make your muscles stronger, you make your body stronger, which helps everything. So definitely do some resistance training a few times a week.

9. Go for Nuts and Plant Sterols

Your heart will love you if you eat six walnuts before lunch and dinner. Why? Because walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to decrease inflammation in the arteries surrounding your heart, so they keep your heart functioning longer and better. Walnuts will also make you feel fuller faster so you are less likely to overeat at meals. You may want to give pistachios a try as well. A recent study shows that a serving or two of pistachios each day may help reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, as long as you are mindful of calories. One cup of pistachio nuts has about 700 calories!

Other nuts, such as peanuts, macadamia nuts, and almonds are a rich source of plant sterols, which block cholesterol absorption in the intestines. Studies have shown that eating foods enriched with plant sterols lowers LDL cholesterol. Eating 2-3 grams a day lowers LDL cholesterol by 6-15%, without affecting HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. Sterols are found in all plant foods, but the highest concentrations are found in unrefined oils, such as vegetable, nut, and olive oil. Some foods have also been fortified with plant sterols, including milk, yogurt, juices and spreads.

10. Healthy Nutrients your Heart Craves

  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fiber.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week.
  • Limit how much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol you eat. Only 30% of your daily calories should come from fat, with very little of that from saturated fats.
  • Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  • Limit your salt intake.

11. Get Heart Healthy Social Support

You know exercise improves heart health by keeping weight down and raising levels of HDL cholesterol, but doing it with a friend adds benefits. Finding an exercise buddy is really important because social support lowers your risk of heart disease and helps you stay motivated. Build up to 60 minutes of exercise a day, but even 20 minutes is better than nothing.

In fact, being married and having a strong social network may help protect against heart disease, according to a study of nearly 15,000 men and women. It turns out that people who have a spouse, go to church, join social clubs, and have a lot of friends and relatives have significantly lower blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors than loners.

12. Keep your Regular Check ups

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won’t know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.
  • Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings usually start in childhood. Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more-frequent checks if your numbers aren’t ideal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury.
  • Cholesterol levels. Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years starting at age 20 if they have risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity or high blood pressure. If you’re healthy, you can start having your cholesterol screened at age 35 for men and 45 for women. Some children may need their blood cholesterol tested if they have a strong family history of heart disease.
  • Diabetes screening. Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, you may want to consider being screened for diabetes. Talk to your doctor about when you should have a fasting blood sugar test to check for diabetes. Depending on your risk factors, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend early screening for diabetes. If your weight is normal and you don’t have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends starting screening at age 45, and then retesting every three years.

13. Drink a little Alcohol a day to keep Heart Disease away

For women, up to one glass of alcohol a day and, for men, up to two glasses a day can help reduce risk of heart disease. Alcohol may help the heart by increasing levels of HDL cholesterol. But keep in mind: More is not merrier. Alcohol also has calories and too much can cause high blood pressure, worsen heart failure, and cause heart rhythm abnormalities.

14. Measure your waist size to gauge your Heart Health

Take a tape measure and measure your middle. If your waist size is more than 35 inches in women or more than 40 inches in men, this tells you that you are at increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The best way to make a dent in that spare tire? “Get serious about being more active and get rid of simple sugar and white-floured foods in your diet, adding that these foods tend to take up residence right around the middle.

15. Low Salt intake to Low Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and reducing salt intake can help lower blood pressure. Cook with herbs in place of salt and make sure you read food labels to see just how much salt is in prepared foods. Aim for less than 2.3 grams [about a teaspoon] of salt per day. And keep up the good work when you are dining out. Ask for the sauce and salad dressings on the side because restaurant food tends to be heavily salted.

16. Sleep to your Heart’s Content

People who sleep fewer than seven hours a night have higher blood pressure and higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, making the arteries more vulnerable to plaque buildup. In fact, the latest research shows that people who do not get enough sleep are more than twice as likely as others to die of heart disease. Try to avoid caffeine after noon and develop a stress-free wind-down ritual before bed. Hint? Take a bath and don’t pay your bills right before bed.

17. Go for Whole Grains

Refined or processed foods are lower in fiber content, so make whole grains an integral part of your diet. There are many simple ways to add whole grains to your meals.

  • Breakfast better. For breakfast choose a high-fiber breakfast cereal—one with five or more grams of fiber per serving. Or add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal.
  • Try a new grain. Experiment with brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta, and bulgur. These alternatives are higher in fiber than their more mainstream counterparts—and you may find you love their tastes.
  • Bulk up your baking. When baking at home, substitute whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour, since whole-grain flour is heavier than white flour. In yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer. Try adding crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran to muffins, cakes, and cookies.
  • Add flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce, or hot cereal.

18. Shop for Your Heart

Creating a heart-friendly diet starts with stocking your fridge with healthy and accessible foods. Prepare a list before you head to the store or farmer’s market and leave a little time after your trip to set yourself up for success during the week. While scanning the aisles of a grocery store in the U.S., look for foods displaying the American Heart Association’s heart-check mark to spot heart-healthy hearthealthy foods. This logo means that the food has been certified to meet the American Heart Association’s criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.

  • Make healthy substitutions. Choose substitutions like 1% or skimmed milk instead of whole milk, soft margarine for butter, and lean meats like chicken and fish in place of ribs or ground meat. These substitutions can save you an entire day’s worth of saturated fat.
  • Make foods ready-to-eat. When you make healthy food easy to grab during your busy week, you’re more likely to stay heart-healthy. When you come home from grocery shopping, cut up vegetables and fruits and store them in the fridge, ready for the next meal or when you are looking for a ready-to-eat snack.
  • Use your freezer. Make healthy eating easier by freezing heart-healthy foods in individual portions. Freeze fruits such as bananas, grapes, and orange slices to make them more fun to eat for children. Be careful with portion sizes: the recommended serving of cooked meat is about the size of a deck of cards, while a serving of pasta should be about the size of a baseball.

19. Don’t become a Couch Potato

Sitting for hours on end increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, even if you exercise regularly. Intermittent exercise doesn’t compensate for the time you sit. Why? The lack of movement may affect blood levels of fats and sugars. Walking around periodically and if you’re at work, standing up to talk on the phone.

20. Leaving Hostility and Depression unchecked

Are you feeling stressed, hostile, or depressed? It can take a toll on your heart. While everyone feels this way some of the time, how you handle these emotions can affect your heart health. “Those likely to internalize stress are in greater danger; research has shown a benefit to laughter and social support. And it’s helpful to be able to go to someone and talk about your problems.

Everyone wants to have a healthy heart. Still, cardiovascular disease affects more than 1 in 3 adults in the United States. The good news is that some simple, everyday habits can make a big difference in your ability to live a healthy lifestyle. Follow these tips given to you and keep your ticker ticking healthfully. Thank you for visiting our website and we wish you great health!

Scoliosis – Get A Better Understanding

Scoliosis – Get A Better Understanding

Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the spine. There are several types of scoliosis based on the cause and age when the curve scoliosisdevelops. Depending on the severity of the curve and the risk for it getting worse, scoliosis can be treated with observation, bracing, or surgery. Scoliosis is not a disease, but rather it’s a term used to describe any abnormal, sideways curvature of the spine. Viewed from the back, a typical spine is straight. When scoliosis occurs, the spine can curve in one of three ways:

  • The spine curves to the side as a single curve to the left (shaped like the letter C), called levoscoliosis
  • The spine curves to the side as a single curve to the right (shaped like a backwards letter C), called dextroscoliosis
  • The spine has two curves (shaped like the letter S).

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Because the skeletons of children and young adults grow quickly, there is a reasonable chance that if a curve is detected, the degree of the spinal curve may worsen as the spine continues to grow. In those cases, scoliosis treatment may become advisable. Rarely (in 0.2 to 0.5% of all cases), untreated and an especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling.

Types and Causes of Scoliosis

  • Congenital scoliosis. Caused by a bone abnormality present at birth.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis. In this type of scoliosis, there is a problem when the bones of the spine are formed. Either the bones of the spine fail to form completely or they fail to separate from each other during fetal development. This type of scoliosis develops in people with other disorders, including birth defects, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or Marfan’s disease. People with these conditions often develop a long C-shaped curve and have weak muscles that are unable to hold them up straight. If the curve is present at birth, it is called congenital. This type of scoliosis is often much more severe and needs more aggressive treatment than other forms of scoliosis.
  • Degenerative scoliosis. Unlike the other forms of scoliosis that are found in children and teens, degenerative scoliosis occurs in older adults. It’s caused by changes in the spine due to arthritis known as spondylosis. Weakening of the normal ligaments and other soft tissues of the spine combined with abnormal bone spurs can lead to an abnormal curvature of the spine. The spine can also be affected by osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures and disc degeneration. Also may even result from traumatic (from an injury or illness) bone collapse, previous major back surgery or osteoporosis (thinning of the bones).
  • Idiopathic scoliosis. The most common type of scoliosis, idiopathic scoliosis, has no specific identifiable cause. There are many theories but none have been found to be conclusive. There is, however, strong evidence that idiopathic scoliosis is inherited. Treatment of idiopathic scoliosis is based on the age when it develops. In many cases, infantile idiopathic scoliosis will improve without any treatment. X-rays can be obtained and measurements compared on future visits to determine if the curve is getting worse. Bracing is not normally effective in these people. 
  • Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis has the highest risk for getting worse of all of the idiopathic types of scoliosis. Bracing can be tried early if the curve is not very severe. The goal is to prevent the curve from getting worse until the person stops growing. Since the curve starts early in these people, and they have a lot of time left to grow, there is a higher chance for needing more aggressive treatment or surgery.
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form of scoliosis. If the curve is small when first diagnosed, it can be observed and followed with routine X-rays and measurements. If the curve stays below 25 degrees, no other treatment is needed. You may return to see the doctor every three to four months to check for any worsening of the curve. Additional X-rays may be repeated each year to obtain new measurements and check for progression of the curve. If the curve is between 25-40 degrees and you are still growing, a brace may be recommended. Bracing is not recommended for people who have finished growing. If the curve is greater than 40 degrees, then surgery may be recommended.
  • Functional: In this type of scoliosis, the spine is normal, but an abnormal curve develops because of a problem somewhere else in the body. This could be caused by one leg being shorter than the other or by muscle spasms in the back. 
  • Others: There are other potential causes of scoliosis, including spine tumors such as osteoid osteoma. This is a benign tumor that can occur in the spine and cause pain. The pain causes people to lean to the opposite side to reduce the amount of pressure applied to the tumor. This can lead to a spinal deformity.

Approximately 2% to 3% of Americans at age 16 have scoliosis. Less than 0.1% have spinal curves measuring greater than 40 degrees, which is the point at which surgery becomes a consideration. Overall, girls are more likely to be affected than boys. Idiopathic scoliosis is most commonly a condition of adolescence affecting those ages 10 through 16. Idiopathic scoliosis may progress during the “growth spurt” years, but usually will not progress during adulthood. Often detected by school screenings or regular physician visits.

scoliosis

Signs of Scoliosis

What your Doctor will look for:

  • Curvature of the spine
  • Uneven shoulders, or protrusion of one shoulder blade
  • Asymmetry of the waistline
  • One hip higher than the other.

Once scoliosis is detected, a physician will continue to monitor the curvature. The progression of spinal curvature is very well understood and is measured in degrees.

  • Mild curvature that remains at 20 degrees or less will most likely require monitoring and observation, but further treatment is rarely needed.
  • Curvature greater than 20 degrees may require non-surgical or surgical intervention, including treatments such as a back brace for scoliosis or scoliosis surgery, both of which prevent further progression of the curve.

Preventing severe curvature is important for the physical appearance and health of the patient. Curves greater than 50 degrees are more likely to progress in adulthood. If a curve is allowed to progress to 70 to 90 degrees, it will produce a disfiguring deformity. A high degree of curvature may also put the patient at risk for cardiopulmonary compromise as the curve in the spine rotates the chest and closes down the space available for the lungs and heart.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip higher than the other

If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side. Severe scoliosis can cause back pain and difficulty breathing.

The most common symptom of scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine. Often this is a mild change and may be first noticed by scoliosisa friend or family member. The change in the curve of the spine typically occurs very slowly so it is easy to miss until it becomes more severe. Those affected may notice that their clothes do not fit as they did previously or that pant legs are longer on one side than the other. Scoliosis may even cause the head to appear off center or one hip or shoulder to be higher than the opposite side. You may have a more obvious curve on one side of the rib cage on your back from twisting of the vertebrae and ribs. In most cases, scoliosis is not painful, but there are certain types of scoliosis that can cause back pain. Additionally, there are other causes of back pain, which your doctor will want to look for as well. If you think you have scoliosis, you can see your doctor for an examination. The doctor will ask questions, including if there is any family history of scoliosis, or if you have had any pain, weakness, or other medical problems. Your doctor may check your range of motion, muscle strength, and reflexes. 

Treatment for Scoliosis

Treatment of scoliosis is based on the severity of the curve and the chances of the curve getting worse. Certain types of scoliosis have a greater chance of getting worse, so the type of scoliosis also helps to determine the proper treatment. There are three main categories of treatment: observation, bracing, and surgery. In cases with back pain, the symptoms can be lessened with physical therapy, massage, and exercises, including yoga. These can help to strengthen the muscles of the back. They are not, however, a cure for scoliosis and will not be able to correct the abnormal curve.

Remember if the curve stays below 40 degrees until the person is finished growing, it’s not likely to get worse later in life. However, if the curve is greater than 40 degrees, it is likely to continue to get worse by 1-2 degrees each year for the rest of the person’s life. If this is not prevented, the person could eventually be at risk for heart or lung problems. The goals of surgery for scoliosis are correcting and stabilizing the curve, reducing pain and restoring a more normal curve and appearance to the spinal column.

Unlike back braces, which do not correct spinal curves already present, surgery can correct curvature by about 50%. Furthermore, surgery prevents further progression of the curve. There are several approaches to scoliosis surgery, but all use modern instrumentation systems in which hooks and screws are applied to the spine to anchor long rods. The rods are then used to reduce and hold the spine while bone that is added fuses together with existing bone. Once the bone fuses, the spine does not move and the curve cannot progress. The rods are used as a temporary splint to hold the spine in place while the bone fuses together, and after the spine is fused, the bone (not the rods) holds the spine in place.

However, the rods are generally not removed since this is a large surgery and it is not necessary to remove them. Occasionally a rod can irritate the soft tissue around the spine, and if this happens the rod can be removed. If a tumor such as osteoid osteoma is the cause of the scoliosis, surgery to remove the tumor is generally able to correct the curve. There are two general approaches to the scoliosis surgery – a posterior approach (from the back of the spine) and an anterior approach (from the front of the spine). Specific surgery is recommended based on the type and location of the curve. Scoliosis surgery is extensive surgery and is only recommended when scoliosis curves are progressing rapidly enough to potentially cause severe deformity. It’s important for patients to understand the risks of surgery and the post-surgery experience.

Go to your doctor if you notice signs or symptoms of scoliosis in your child. Mild curves, however, can develop without the parent or child knowing it because they appear gradually and usually don’t cause pain. Occasionally, teachers, friends and sports teammates are the first to notice a child’s scoliosis.

Home Remedies for a Sinus Infection

 

home remedies for a sinus infection

Home Remedies for a Sinus Infection

True misery is the pain and swelling caused by sinus inflammation. The bones around the nose, the eyes and the cheeks are lined with membranes that produce mucus, which function to warm and moisten inhaled air, plus to filter out any germs. When congested and unable to drain properly, the mucus continues to accumulate, stagnate and become infected. There are a number of causes for chronic and even acute sinus infections.

Causes for Chronic and Acute Sinus Infections

  • Excessive dairy consumption (cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt)
  • Environmental allergies
  • Tobacco and pollution irritation
  • Food allergies
  • Dental infection
  • Fungal infection in the sinus cavity
  • Systemic Candida albicans (overgrowth of yeast)
  • Colds and flu symptoms

The Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis

  • Facial congestion/fullness
  • A nasal obstruction/blockage
  • Pus in the nasal cavity
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge/discolored postnasal drainage
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dental pain

These Symptoms can last up to 8 weeks or more!

There are different types of sinusitis, including:

  • Acute sinusitis: A sudden onset of cold-like symptoms such as runny, stuffy nose and facial pain that does not go away after 10 to 14 days. Acute sinusitis typically lasts 4 weeks or less.
  • Sub acute sinusitis: An inflammation lasting 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Chronic sinusitis: A condition characterized by sinus inflammation symptoms lasting 8 weeks or longer.
  • Recurrent sinusitis: Several attacks within a year.

About 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of sinusitis each year. People who have the following conditions have a higher risk of sinusitis:

  • Nasal mucous membrane swelling as from a common cold
  • Blockage of drainage ducts
  • Structural differences that narrow the drainage ducts
  • Nasal polyps
  • Conditions that result in an increased risk of infection such as immune deficiencies or taking medications that suppress the immune system.

In children, common environmental factors that contribute to sinusitis include allergies, illness from other children at day care or school, pacifiers, bottle drinking while lying on one’s back, and smoke in the environment. In adults, the contributing factors are most frequently infections and smoking. Whether it’s acute or chronic, sinusitis is painful and wearying. It’s common too: every year, it affects 37 million people in the U.S. and costs us $5.7 billion. But despite its pervasiveness, it’s also widely misunderstood. Many people with sinusitis wind up with the wrong diagnosis or use treatments that aren’t likely to help.

Some of the Primary Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis

  • Facial pain/pressure
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Nasal discharge
  • Loss of smell
  • Cough/congestion
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dental pain

Acute sinusitis may be diagnosed when a person has two or more symptoms and/or the presence of thick, green or even yellow nasal discharge. The symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis are similar. The good news is that, regardless of the type of sinusitis, treatments can help. The key is to figure out what’s really causing the underlying problem. For instance, if your case of sinusitis is caused by allergies, decongestants alone will probably not help much. If you have sinusitis symptoms for more than a couple of days, check in with your doctor. With a good exam — and sometimes imaging tests, like X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs — you may be able to figure out exactly what’s causing the problem. Often, the best sinusitis treatment is a combination of different approaches — typically medication combined with self-care. Home care can help open the sinuses and alleviate their dryness. Here are some great and effective Home Remedies to help sooth or even cure your sinus infection. You choose which ones best suits you and if you have any of your own, please share with us! Thank you and hope you feel better soon.

1. Spice It Up

We are going to start off with one of the best Home Remedies for a Sinus Infection. To dissolve excess mucus spicy foods such as cayenne pepper or horseradish can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to create a mucus dissolving elixir. Try a few times to break up that mucus!

2. Grapefruit Seed Extract

This citrus extract is a powerful natural antibiotic and is used to inhibit microbes, parasites, bacteria, viruses and 30 types of fungi including Candida yeast. GSE helps to clear out mucus and may prevent other microbial contaminants from taking root in weakened and inflamed sinus tissues. For sinus infections you can purchase Grapefruit Seed Extract as a nasal spray and use it as an adjunct to your treatment protocol.

3. Steam Inhalation

Break up thick mucus with a few drops of Eucalyptus or Peppermint oil in hot water. With your face down over the water, drape a towel over the back of your head and inhale the steam. Do this at least two to four times per day. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo-Rub, can also be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways. A Great Remedy to help break up that mucus!

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

At the first sign of infection take two or three tablespoons of raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar and add it to a cup of hot water or tea, doing this three times daily will help thin out excessive mucus relieving congestion an sinus pressure. Mix with lemon and honey or Stevia to taste. Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient with a huge array of health benefits.

5. Vitamin C to help boost your Immune System

Available as caplets, liquid, chewables (as well as some other forms), Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular over-the-counter immune booster. Studies have shown us that Vitamin C helps the body to resist immune system deficiencies and improves overall health. Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster, and can help to fend off sinus infections. Try taking up to 1000 mg of vitamin C 1-3 times daily.

6. Neti-pot

Dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt in 2 cups of warm water. Standing over a sink fill the neti pot with one cup of water and place the tip of the spout into one nostril. Tilt your head to the side and allow the water to run out through the opposite nostril. Careful not to tilt your head back and up or the water will reroute down your throat. Refill the neti pot and repeat with the other nostril.

7. Turmeric / Ginger Root

Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in Indian and some Middle eastern dishes.  Not only does Turmeric contain the natural anti-inflammatory cur cumin, this spice is also an anti-oxidant.  When combined with spicy ginger root and brewed for hot tea, this combination can help loosen mucus from clogged nasal passages, alleviate sinus pressure, and make you feel better all around.  Ginger root also has the added bonus of calming an upset stomach – a frequent side-effect of excessive nighttime sinus drainage.

8. Get Plenty of Fluids

Drink plenty of water, no sugar added juices, clear broth, and hot tea. These fluids will help to thin out mucus and help to drain it from irritated sinuses. Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine, and sugary beverages, as well as from smoking. All of these substances will dehydrate your system causing mucus to thicken and clog already inflamed airways. Drinking water regularly can keep a person away from any forms of nasal and sinus infection. Water can wash up mucus on the throat. It carries away any forms of bacteria and fungal build-ups. You can also avoid this infection by checking the food that he eats.

9. Add some Heat

Apply warm compresses to your face multiple times daily for 5 minutes each. Taking nice hot showers and even bathes to help you relax can be beneficial.

10. Sleep it Off

It’s always important to get plenty of rest, but be sure to always get plenty of rest when sick. Take you a nap if possible. Sleeping it off will help you recover faster and elevate your head while sleeping.

11. Oregano Oil 

While it may not be the most accessible of the home remedies for a sinus infection, oregano oil can be an effective sinus infection treatment. Not only could you simply ingest the oregano oil, but the oil can also be steamed and inhaled over a stove (with eyes closed). In addition to being a potential treatment for sinus infection, oregano oil benefits may also help to improve digestion, aid in fighting infections, and improve biological function – especially in the liver and colon.

12. Herbs

Herbs like garlic, cayenne pepper, horseradish and onion have to be included in meals, as this helps in elimination of mucus.

13. Watch your Diet

The afflicted person must stick to a moderate diet that includes beans, whole grains, lentils, cold-pressed oils and lightly-cooked vegetables. Foods such as chocolate, egg and dairy products, to cite a few, have to be avoided. Also, lot of water has to be taken.

Back Pain Relief During Pregnancy

Back Pain Relief During Pregnancy

Back Pain Relief During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, approximately 50-70 percent of women experience back pain. While reasons behind the back pain may vary, the majority are due to increased hormones, a change in the body’s center of gravity, gaining additional weight, a change in posture and added stress. Back pain during pregnancy isn’t surprising, but it still deserves attention. You can probably blame your growing uterus and hormonal changes for your aching back. Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting strain on your back.

It may also cause back pain if it’s pressing on a nerve. In addition, the extra weight you’re carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why your back may feel worse at the end of the day. The hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend or even lift things.

As many as three-quarters of pregnant women experience back pain at some point. Most often the pain appears in the later months or becomes worse as pregnancy progresses. It may also even persist after the baby arrives, but postpartum back pain usually resolves in a few months.

The good news is, your baby is growing. That’s exactly what should be happening — but it can still be tough on your back. You’ve got lots of company — most pregnant women experience back pain, usually starting in the second half of pregnancy. Back pain during pregnancy is a common complaint — and it’s no wonder. You’re gaining weight, your center of gravity changes and your hormones are relaxing the ligaments in your pelvis. Often, however, you can prevent or ease back pain during pregnancy. Back Pain Relief During Pregnancy

What kind of lower back pain is common in pregnancy?

When your nice baby grows up within you, the lower spine turned inwards to support your baby‘s weight. At the same time your breast enlarged and your top spine slightly curved to support breast enlargement. Such temporary alteration of your spine can cause lower and top back pain.

In preparation for the birthing process of your baby, your body secretes a hormone named ”Relaxin” which soften your body ,joints, ligaments and tissues for moving of your body parts more easily. But weight of you with your baby is quite more than normal to you. Your soft body experienced pain in carrying out that weight. The weight of your growing baby and uterus also puts pressure to your blood vessels and nerves of your pelvis and back which can cause back pain.

Experts describe two common patterns of lower back pain in pregnancy: Lumbar pain, which occurs in the area of the lumbar vertebrae in your lower back, and posterior pelvic pain is also felt in the back of your pelvis. Some women have symptoms of both types of low back pain.

Lumbar pain is like the low back pain you may have experienced before you were pregnant. You feel it over and around your spine approximately at the level of your waist. You might also have pain that radiates to your legs. Sitting or standing for long periods of time and lifting can make it worse and it tends to be more intense at the end of the day.

Even more pregnant women have posterior pelvic pain, which is felt lower on your body than lumbar pain. You may feel it deep inside the buttocks, on one or both sides or the back of your thighs. It may be triggered by activities such as walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of a tub or a low chair, rolling over in bed or twisting and lifting.

Positions in which you’re bent at the waist – such as sitting in a chair and leaning forward while working at a desk – may sometimes make posterior pelvic pain worse. Women with posterior pelvic pain are also more likely to have pain over their pubic bone.

How to get Back Pain Relief during Pregnancy?

Try to use your body more efficiently. Stand up straight and tall, ensuring your chin isn’t tilting upwards. Avoid standing for too long in one position. If your job involves standing for long periods, keep changing from one back pain relief during pregnancyfoot to the other, sit down when you can and try to take a walk at lunchtime.

Use plenty of pillows in bed for support, keeping your thighs parallel. This prevents your top leg from twisting across your body into the recovery position while you sleep. To get out of bed, roll on to one side and push yourself up to a sitting position, then slowly stand up.

Rather than carrying heavy shopping, shop online, or ask a friend to help you. If you have a toddler, try not to carry her on one hip, as this puts a strain on your back. Ask for help with housework, and ask a colleague to help if any tasks at work strain your back. Wear comfortable shoes with broad supporting heels and straps to prevent your feet from slipping about and your ankles from becoming twisted.

Wear the right size of supportive maternity bra. Make sure the straps are wide enough and the cups are big enough to avoid extra strain on your shoulders and ribcage. At work, and when driving, consider a lumbar support for your chair. Try not to cross your legs and check that the position of your computer screen and chair is correct. Try to move away from your desk regularly and get fresh air at lunchtime.

There are things you can do to minimize your back pain. Consider these seven ways to relieve back pain during pregnancy, from good posture to physical activity. Here’s what can help!

Exercising for Back Pain Relief during Pregnancy

back pain relief during pregnancy

You may feel more like curling up in bed than exercising if your back hurts and even during these months of pregnancies, but don’t take to your bed for long periods. Bed rest is generally not helpful in the long run for lower back pain and even labor and can may even make you feel worse. In fact, exercise may be just what you need.

Regular exercise strengthens muscles and boosts flexibility. That can ease the stress on your spine. Safe exercises for pregnant women include walking, swimming and stationary cycling. Exercising does wonders during pregnancy. It boosts mood, improves sleep and reduces pregnancy aches and pains. It helps prevent and treat gestational diabetes and may keep preeclampsia at bay. It prepares you for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building endurance, and makes it much easier to get back in shape after your baby is born. Make sure you consult your healthcare provider before embarking on any exercise regimen.

Swimming: Healthcare providers and fitness experts hail swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is ideal because it exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides cardiovascular benefits and allows expectant women to feel weightless despite the extra pounds.

Walking: One of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women, walking keeps you fit without jarring your knees and ankles. It’s also easy to do almost anywhere, doesn’t require any equipment beyond a good pair of supportive shoes and is safe throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

Low-impact aerobics: Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and tones your body. And if you take a class for pregnant women, you’ll enjoy the camaraderie of other moms-to-be and feel reassured that each movement is safe for you and your baby.

Stretching: Stretching is wonderful for keeping your body limber and relaxed and preventing muscle strain. Add stretching to your cardiovascular exercises to get a complete workout.

Yoga: Yoga can help maintain muscle tone and keep you flexible with little if any impact on your joints. But you may have to augment a yoga regimen with walking or swimming several times a week to give your heart a workout.

Weight training: If weight training is already part of your exercise routine, there’s no reason to stop, although most women should reduce the amount of weight they’re lifting (you can do more repetitions to ensure that you’re still getting a good workout). If you take the necessary precautions and use good technique (meaning slow, controlled movements), weight training is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles.

Good Posture for Back Pain Relief during Pregnancy

As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts forward. To avoid falling forward, you might compensate byback pain during pregnancy leaning back which can strain the muscles in your lower back and contribute to back pain during pregnancy. Keep these principles of good posture in mind:

  • Stand up straight and tall.
  • Hold your chest high.
  • Keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
  • Don’t lock your knees.

Slouching strains your spine. So using proper posture when working, sitting or sleeping is a good move. For example, sleeping on your side with a pillow between the knees will take stress off your back. When sitting at a desk, place a rolled-up towel behind your back for support, rest your feet on a stack of books or stool and sit up straight, with your shoulders back. 

When backache persists after you are in bed for the night, shift your body into a more back-friendly position. Sleeping on your side and using strategically placed pillows for support can provide relief from aches and pains, and help you get some much-needed rest. 

The right gear to help get Back Pain Relief during Pregnancy

Wear low-heeled not flat shoes with good arch support. You might also consider wearing a maternity support belt. Although research on the effectiveness of maternity support belts is limited, some women find the additional support helpful. These thick elastic bands worn around the hips and under the belly cradle and back pain during pregnancysupport lax abdominal muscles. Especially helpful if your job requires you to stand for long periods of time, wearing a maternity belt can improve posture and decrease lower back pressure. Some women say they can’t get by without one! 

Lift properly! When lifting a small object, squat down and lift with your legs. Don’t bend at the waist or lift with your back. It’s also important to know your limits. Ask for help if you need it.

Lumbar Support Pillows – Does your desk job require you to sit for hours? Good posture is just as important while sitting down as it is when you are standing upright. Keep your head and shoulders in line and use a lumbar support pillow (a small pillow specially designed to fit the lower back) to keep your back properly positioned and pain-free.

TLC for Back Pain Relief during Pregnancy

back pain during pregnancy

Taking steps to ease soreness and tension and generally taking good care of yourself can’t hurt. At the very least, you’ll feel better temporarily. Take the time to try these measures to help get back pain relief during pregnancy:

  • Learn relaxation techniques. They may help you cope with the discomfort and may be especially useful at bedtime if your back pain is just one more thing that makes it hard to get to sleep.
  • Try heat or cold. There’s some evidence that heat may provide a bit of short-term relief. Try soaking in a warm (not hot) tub, which can also help you relax. Or place a hot water bottle (or hot pack) on your lower back. Although there’s no hard evidence that cold helps, applying a cold pack is easy to do and worth a try if heat doesn’t work for you.Whether you use heat or cold, cover the pack or bottle with a thin cloth to protect your skin.
  • Relaxing in a warm bath with no more than two or three drops of lavender or ylang ylang essential oils may help to ease your muscle pain. However, lavender oil should be used only occasionally in your first trimester, as it may stimulate contractions
  • Treat yourself to a massage. A Prenatal massage by a trained therapist may provide some relief. If your insurance plan doesn’t cover therapeutic massage and paying for one will strain your finances, you may want to enlist your partner or a friend to give you a gentle backrub – it may not address the underlying problem, but it might help you relax. (Most insurance companies don’t cover massage, though a referral from your caregiver might do the trick. It’s worth looking into.)

If you continue to have severe back pain during pregnancy or back pain that lasts more than two weeks, talk to your health care provider. He or she might recommend medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or other treatments.

Keep in mind that back pain during pregnancy might be a sign of preterm labor. Also, back pain during pregnancy that’s accompanied by vaginal bleeding, fever or burning during urination could be a sign of an underlying problem that needs prompt attention. If you’re concerned about your back pain, contact your health care provider right away. 

Home Remedies For A Sore Throat

Home Remedies For A Sore Throat

Home Remedies For A Sore Throat A sore throat can be the first sign of a cold, a side effect of strained vocal cords, or an indication of something more serious (like strep throat). Regardless of the cause, your immediate concern when soreness strikes is how to get relief, fast. You may be tempted to run to your doctor, but some of the best treatments are home remedies. Sore throats are often caused by viral, not bacterial infections. That means antibiotics won’t help.

Allergies, dry air, and outdoor pollution, as well as illnesses like the common cold, flu, measles, chickenpox, mononucleosis (mono), and the croup, can all cause sore throats. These illnesses are all viral infections that will not respond to antibiotics. Bacterial infections are responsible for only a small percentage of sore throats, including those linked with strep throat, whooping cough and diphtheria. Most doctors recommend calling a doctor only in cases of severe sore throat accompanied by a fever, or when swollen tonsils block the throat.

 A sore throat can be a royal pain. Like blinking, we never notice how much we swallow until we start paying attention to it and when it hurts like nobody’s business, it’s kind of difficult not to pay attention. But before you go getting down about how long you’re going to have to suffer with it, consider taking some action-relief that may be closer than you think. Gargling is a simple and remarkably effective way to kill germs and soothe a sore throat. Below are 22 simple at home sore throat remedies that will help you get started on naturally soothing the ache.

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Anti-inflammatories

One of the most effective treatments for sore throat is probably already in your medicine cabinet: an over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Advil or Motrin.

These medicines are combination pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, so they’ll make you feel better and they’ll also reduce some of the swelling associated with a sore throat. If you have a fever that’s also contributing to your symptoms, they can help reduce that as well.

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Honey

Honey mixed in tea or simply taken straight up has long been a home remedy for sore throat. Scientific studies have confirmed this natural wonder works. A study of 139 children with upper respiratory infections, for example, found that honey was even more effective at taming nighttime coughs than common cough suppressants.

Studies have also shown that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may also help speed healing for sore throats.

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Saltwater gargle

Several studies have found that gargling several times a day with warm salt water can reduce swelling in the throat and loosen mucus, helping to flush out irritants or bacteria. Doctors generally recommend dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. If the salty taste is too unpleasant for you, try adding a small amount of honey to sweeten the mixture slightly. (Just remember to spit the water out after gargling, rather than swallowing!)

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Kick It With Cayenne

Drinking warm water with cayenne can actually make you feel better. This is another one of those really funky sounding home remedies, but again, a lot of people swear by it. Dumping something involving hot peppers in any way, shape, or form down your already searing throat seems counterintuitive to helping it, but there’s a method to the madness. Cayenne (and other hot peppers) have a chemical compound called capsaicin that temporarily relieves pain, much like Advil or Aspirin does. It accomplishes this by hindering something called substance P, which is what transmits pain signals to your brain. Thus, the discomfort from your sore throat is diluted when coming in contact with the Cayenne-and quickly to boot.

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Ginger, honey, and lemon in water

This home remedy mixes 1 teaspoon each of powdered ginger and honey, 1⁄2 cup of hot water, and the juice of 1⁄2 squeezed lemon. Pour the water over the ginger, then add the lemon juice and honey, and gargle. Honey coats the throat and also has mild antibacterial properties.

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Turmeric and water

This yellow spice is a powerful antioxidant, and scientists think it has the strength to fight many serious diseases. For a sore throat remedy, mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of hot water and gargle.

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Green tea

Green tea is known to naturally fight infections. Next time you brew a cup, make a little extra and gargle with some of this remedy to kill any bacteria your sore throat may be harboring. 

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Apple cider vinegar, salt and honey

If your throat is left raw by a bad cough, grab a bottle of apple cider vinegar because germs can’t survive in the acidic coating it’ll form on your throat. Gargle with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of warm water; use several times a day if needed. For a gentler treatment, combine 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup honey and take 1 tablespoon every four hours as needed.

 

home remedies for a sore throat

Echinacea and water

Echinacea is an herbal virus-killer. Add 2 teaspoons tincture of echinacea to 1 cup water and gargle this home remedy three times daily. In addition to easing sore throat pain, an echinacea gargle will give your immune system the boost it needs to fight the infection.

home remedies for a sore throat

Chicken noodle soup

A Japanese study found that chicken contains an amino acid which helps thin out mucus in the lungs, allowing you to cough up the bad stuff faster and remedy a huge cause of sore throats–postnasal drip. Plus a landmark study from the University of Nebraska Medical Center proved that the famous chicken noodle soup really can help fight off a virus by acting as an anti-inflammatory. Stick to a vegetable-packed version, it’s the combination of vegetables, chicken and the broth that makes mom’s soup so powerful. Also something I do is add about a half teaspoon of garlic, pepper, Cajun seasoning, sprinkle of salt. The pepper and garlic and even Cajun seasoning works wonders. After eating my noodle soup and drinking all the broth, I’ll take a hot shower and sleep it off, waking up to feeling a lot better and even to no sore throat!

Remember if your sore throat seems to get worse, be sure to consult your doctor. I sure hope these remedies help you recover faster so you can get back to feeling better and living your life. If you have any suggestions or even a home remedy that always helps you, share with us and help others get fast relief! Hope you feel better soon!!

Bad Posture Back Pain

bad posture back pain

Bad Posture Back Pain

Having good posture is a simple but very important way to keep the many intricate structures in the back and spine healthy. It’s much more than cosmetic – good posture and back support are critical to reducing the incidence and levels of back pain and neck pain. Back support is especially important for patients who spend many hours sitting in an officebad posture back pain chair or standing throughout the day. Posture is the way you hold your body while standing, sitting or performing tasks like lifting, bending, pulling or reaching. If your posture is good, the bones of the spine — the vertebrae — are correctly aligned. The back has three natural curves: a slight forward curve in the neck (cervical curve), a slight backward curve in the upper back (thoracic curve) and a slight forward curve in the low back (lumbar curve). When these curves are in proper alignment, the spine, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are in balance, and body weight is evenly distributed. The payoff is less stress and strain on muscles, joints, and ligaments, and a reduced risk for back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Over time, the stress of poor posture can change the anatomical characteristics of the spine, leading to the possibility of constricted blood vessels and nerves, as well as problems with muscles, discs, and joints. All of these can be major contributors to back and neck pain, as well as headaches, fatigue, and possibly even concerns with major organs and breathing. Poor posture—while sitting, standing, lying down or moving around—is a major cause of back pain. Sitting and standing put considerable pressure on the lower back—in fact, standing exerts up to five times more pressure than lying down, and sitting is even more strenuous. Basically, having correct posture means keeping each part of the body in alignment with the neighboring parts. Proper posture keeps all parts balanced and supported. With appropriate posture (when standing) it should be possible to draw a straight line from the earlobe, through the shoulder, hip, knee, and into the middle of the ankle.

People may find themselves in several positions throughout the day (sitting, standing, bending, stooping and lying down) it’s important to learn how to attain and keep correct posture in each position for good back support, which will result in less back pain. When moving from one position to another, the ideal situation is that one’s posture is adjusted smoothly and fluidly. After initial correction of bad posture habits, these movements tend to become automatic and require very little effort to maintain. Maintaining good posture involves training your body to move and function where the least strain is placed on bones, joints and soft tissues.

Recognize The Symptoms of Bad Posture.bad posture back pain

To help evaluate your posture, look at yourself in a full-length mirror. The classic signs of poor posture are a potbelly, rounded shoulders, and a jutted-out neck and chin (known as a forward head position). Other signs of poor posture include slumped or protruding abdomen, excessive curve in the lower back (swayback) and a caved-in appearance to the chest, as well as back and neck pain and headaches.

4 Steps To Good Posture

You can improve your posture by practicing some imagery and a few easy and quick exercises.

  • Imagery. Think of a straight line passing through your body from ceiling to floor (your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be even and line up vertically). Now imagine that a strong cord attached to your breastbone is pulling your chest and rib cage upward, making you taller.
  • Chin tuck. Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down. Hold your head upright. Pull your chin in toward your neck.
  • Abdominal pull-in. Stand or sit. Inhale; then exhale slowly to a count of five, pulling your lower abdominal muscles up and in, as if moving your belly button toward your backbone.
  • Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit up straight in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs. Keep your shoulders down and your chin level. Slowly draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Upper-body stretch. Stand facing a corner with your arms raised, hands flat against the walls, elbows at shoulder height. Place one foot ahead of the other. Bending your forward knee, exhale as you lean your body toward the corner. Keep your back straight and your chest and head up.

What Good Posture Can Do For You

  • Optimize breathing and circulation
  • Maintain the bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly and efficiently
  • Helps reduce or prevent the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative diseases, such as arthritis
  • Decrease the stress on the soft tissues, such as ligaments, muscles, tendons and discs
  • Prevent fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energybad posture back pain
  • Prevent the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions
  • Prevent postural strain or overuse problems
  • Prevent muscle fatigue
  • Contributes to a healthy image or appearance
  • Improves organ function
  • Reduces tension and pain in neck, shoulders and back
  • Increases concentration and mental performance
  • Prevents humped shoulders
  • Increases height
  • Prevents “pot belly”
  • Increased confidence

More Tips For Maintaining Good Posture

Many simple lifestyle changes can help improve your posture and reduce back pain.

  • Be mindful of your posture throughout the day, and realign yourself regularly.
  • To prevent muscle fatigue, avoid staying in one position for a long time.bad posture back pain
  • When standing for long periods try resting one foot on a low ledge, stool, or box.
  • If you prefer slow, gentle, physical activity, try t’ai chi or aquatic exercises to improve your posture, strength, and balance.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that offer good support.
  • Hold reading material at eye level.
  • Sleep on a firm, comfortable mattress.
  • Exercise regularly to promote strong abdominal and back muscles.
  • If you have any concerns about your posture, consider a session with a physical therapist trained to evaluate posture.

By continuing to have bad posture, you open yourself up to a whirlwind of problems. Our spines were meant to be in a certain order with certain curves in certain directions. Our joints are constructed in a certain manner to allow us to function as best as we can. Most of what we do makes us crouch forward into this fetal position (ie. driving, texting, playing video games, typing on the computer, etc.) which over stretches most of our back muscles and tightens and shortens most of our front muscles. This makes that posture best designed for optimum function to lack, which causes degeneration within our bodies.  Remind yourself to fix your posture, and you will begin to reteach your body how to hold itself. If you’re sitting, sit up straight. If it hurts after 5 minutes, keep doing it. Remind yourself to do it as much as you can. The main reason it hurts is because you’re not used to it. By continuing to sit and stand in better posture, you will strengthen the muscles that have been weakened by years of malpractice.

Back Muscles

Back Muscles

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Muscles are cordlike structures, they can stretch and have the ability to contract, or shorten. This is, in fact, what happens when you lift a cup of coffee, throw a ball, or do anything that requires movement of the body. The muscles shorten and lengthen, pulling the bones in different directions to coordinate our movements. When you lift, lower, push, pull, carry, or perform any activity, the muscles are doing the work. Muscles also work to keep the body from moving when movement is not desired. For example, if you are sitting in a canoe and the canoe starts to tip to the left, your muscles quickly respond by coordinating your body’s movement to the right to maintain your balance.

Muscles are true workhorses and can be your back’s best friend. When conditioned, your muscles maintain their strength, endurance, and flexibility, which allows the body to move and work with less risk of injury and pain. When working properly, the muscles can greatly reduce the load on the bones, facet joints, disks, and ligaments. In contrast, when the muscles become deconditioned from lack of use or from injury, they tend to lose their size, strength, endurance, and flexibility and can also be painful! Back muscles, like any other muscle in the body, require adequate exercise to maintain strength and tone.

While muscles like the gluteals (in the thighs) are used any time we walk or climb a step, deep back muscles and abdominal muscles are usually left inactive and unconditioned. Unless muscles are specifically exercised, back muscles and abdominal muscles tend to weaken with age.

The three types of back muscles that help the spine function are extensors, flexors and obliques.

To treat back pain in the lower spine and lower back, always focus on strengthening the flexor, extensor and oblique muscles to help reinforce support of the spine and in turn, reducing low back pain and sometimes even eliminating the pain.

Extensor, Flexor and Oblique Muscles

  • The extensor muscles are attached to the posterior (back) of the spine and enable standing and lifting objects. These muscles include the large paired muscles in the lower back (erector spinae), which help hold up the spine, and gluteal muscles.back muscles
  • The flexor muscles are attached to the anterior (front) of the spine (which includes the abdominal muscles) and enable flexing, bending forward, lifting, and arching the lower back.
  • The oblique muscles are attached to the sides of the spine and help rotate the spine and maintain proper posture.

There is a large and complex group of muscles that work together to support the spine, help hold the body upright and allow the trunk of the body to move, twist and bend in many directions. Back muscles are divided into two specific groups: the extrinsic muscles that are associated with upper extremity and shoulder movement, and the intrinsic muscles that deal with movements of the vertebral column. Several small muscles in the cervical area of the vertebral column are also important.

The Extrinsic Muscles

Superficial extrinsic muscles connect your upper extremities to the trunk, and they form the V-shaped musculature associated with the middle and upper back. They include the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, levator scapulae, and the rhomboids. Intermediate extrinsic muscles include the serratus posterior superior and inferior. Most of their function is involved with respiration.

The Intrinsic Muscles

Intrinsic muscles, which stretch all the way from the pelvis to the cranium, help to maintain your posture and move the vertebral column. They’re divided into three groups: the superficial layer, the intermediate layer, and the deep layer. The muscles in all of the layers are innervated by the posterior rami of spinal nerves. Injuries of the intrinsic back muscles often occur while using improper lifting technique. You can protect the back muscles by bending from the hip and knee when you lift objects from the ground.

The Superficial Layer

(Splenius muscles)

Muscles originating from the vertebral column and having their fleshy bellies located in the back, but inserting onto the appendicular skeleton of the upper limb or the ribs. They are not innervated by dorsal primary rami of spinal nerves, as are the deep or true muscles of the back. The superficial extrinsic back muscle group is comprised of 4 muscles: The trapezius, latissiumus dorsi, levator scapula and the rhomboids.

Trapezius Muscle

One of the most notable features of the trapezius muscle is its shape. The trapezius (called “traps” for short) is a large triangular shaped muscle located at the mid and upper back, and at the neck and shoulders. This muscle has a number of functions, not the least of which involves moving the shoulder blades (these are the flat – also triangularly shaped – bones that sit on the back of the ribcage.) Other functions of the trapezius includes contributing to head and neck motions, and assisting with breathing.

Latissiumus Dorsi

Another triangularly shaped muscle, the latissimus dorsi, is a key player when you use your arms to pull your body weight. For this reason, it is often referred to as the “swimmer’s muscle.” (The latissiumus dorsi is also called the “lats” for short.) The lats assist with breathing, too. The lats are take up a goodly amount of space in the low and mid back. They start at the bottom of the thoracic spine and ribs, the thoracolumbar fascia and part of your hip bone. They then taper into a fine point that inserts on the inside of the upper arm bone.

Levator Sacpulaback muscles

The levator scapula muscle starts at the neck and travels down to attach on the media corner of the top of the shoulder blade. Its job is to lift the shoulder blade up toward the ears. This action is unfortunately constantly “on” for most of us, which can result in lots of neck and shoulder tension.

Rhomboids

The rhomboid muscles are two paralleogram shaped muscles (right and left) that extend from the midline of the spine to the inner border of the scapula (shoulder blade bone.) Each rhomboid consists of a major and minor part, called, respectively the rhomboid major and the rhomboid minor. Though two separate structures, the major and minor make one overall shape and act as a unit to squeeze the shoulder blades together. Because of its action (of squeezing the shoulder blades together), targeting the rhomboids for posture improvement exercise may be a good idea. The action of squeezing the shoulder blades together (towards the spine) may help reverse the effects of sitting at the computer and/or other forms of postural kyphosis.

Teres Major

The teres major is a small, yet important muscle within the back. It is located underneath the lats, and has adopted the nickname, “The Little Lat.” As you might imagine, the teres major works in conjuction with the lats. But it also works with the rotator cuff muscles. Its functions include pulling the arms downwards and rotating them inwards.

The Intermediate Layer

(Erector spinae)

This massive muscle forms a prominent bulge on each side of the vertebral column. It lies within a fascial compartment between the posterior and anterior layers of the thoracolumbar fascia. The common origin of the three columns is though a broad tendon that is attached inferiorly to the posterior part of the iliac crest, the posterior aspect of the sacrum, the sacroiliac ligaments, and the sacral and inferior lumbar spinous processes. This large muscle originates near the sacrum and extends vertically up the length of the back. It lies on each side of the vertebral column and extends alongside the lumbar, thoracic and cervical sections of the spine. The erector spinae functions to straighten the back and provides for side-to-side rotation. An injury or strain to this muscle may cause back spasms and pain. The erector spinae is arranged in three vertical columns: iliocostalis (lateral column); longissimus (intermediate column); and spinalis (medial column).

Iliocostalis

The iliocostalis is the muscle immediately lateral to the longissimus that is the nearest to the furrow that separates the epaxial muscles from the hypaxial. It lies very deep to the fleshy portion of the serratus ventralis (serratus anterior). The iliocostalis originates from the sacrum, erector spinae aponeurosis and iliac crest. The iliocostalis has three different insertions according to the parts.

The iliocostalis cervicis (cervicalis ascendens) arises from the angles of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs, and is inserted into the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the fourth, fifth, and sixth cervical vertebrae.

The iliocostalis dorsi (musculus accessorius; iliocostalis thoracis) arises by flattened tendons from the upper borders of the angles of the lower six ribs medial to the tendons of insertion of the iliocostalis lumborum; these become muscular, and are inserted into the upper borders of the angles of the upper six ribs and into the back of the transverse process of the seventh cervical vertebra.

The iliocostalis lumborum (iliocostalis muscle; sacrolumbalis muscle) is inserted, by six or seven flattened tendons, into the inferior borders of the angles of the lower six or seven ribs.

Longissimus

The longissimus is the muscle lateral to the semispinalis. It is the longest subdivision of the sacrospinalis that extends forward into the transverse processes of the posterior cervical vertebrae. The longissimus muscle has three parts with different origin and insertion.

The longissimus thoracis is the intermediate and largest of the continuations of the sacrospinalis.

In the lumbar region, where it is as yet blended with the iliocostalis lumborum, some of its fibers are attached to the whole length of the posterior surfaces of the transverse processes and the accessory processes of the lumbar vertebræ, and to the anterior layer of the lumbodorsal fascia.

In the thoracic region, it is inserted, by rounded tendons, into the tips of the transverse processes of all the thoracic vertebræ, and by fleshy processes into the lower nine or ten ribs between their tubercles and angles.back muscles

The longissimus cervicis (transversalis cervicis), situated medial to the longissimus dorsi, arises by long, thin tendons from the summits of the transverse processes of the upper four or five thoracic vertebræ, and is inserted by similar tendons into the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the cervical vertebrae from the second to the sixth inclusive.

The longissimus capitis (trachelomastoid muscle) lies medial to the longissimus cervicis, between it and the semispinalis capitis.

It arises by tendons from the transverse processes of the upper four or five thoracic vertebræ, and the articular processes of the lower three or four cervical vertebrae, and is inserted into the posterior margin of the mastoid process, beneath the splenius capitis and sternocleidomastoideus.

It is almost always crossed by a tendinous intersection near its insertion.

Spinalis

The spinalis is a portion of the erector spinae, a bundle of muscles and tendons, located nearest to the spine. It is divided into three parts: Spinalis dorsi, spinalis cervicis, and spinalis capitis. The spinalis muscle has three parts.

Spinalis dorsi, the medial continuation of the sacrospinalis, is scarcely separable as a distinct muscle. It is situated at the medial side of the longissimus dorsi, and is intimately blended with it; it arises by three or four tendons from the spinous processes of the first two lumbar and the last two thoracic vertebrae: these, uniting, form a small muscle which is inserted by separate tendons into the spinous processes of the upper thoracic vertebrae, the number varying from four to eight. It’s intimately united with the semispinalis dorsi, situated beneath it.

Spinalis cervicis, or spinalis colli, is an inconstant muscle, which arises from the lower part of the ligamentum nuchæ, the spinous process of the seventh cervical, and sometimes from the spinous processes of the first and second thoracic vertebrae, and is inserted into the spinosus process of the axis, and occasionally into the spinous processes of the two cervical vertebrae below it.

Spinalis capitis (biventer cervicis) is usually inseparably connected with the semispinalis capitis.

Iliocostalis muscle A muscle part of the erector spinae muscle group which helps to extend the spine (bend backwards).

The Deep Layer

(Transversosinal muscles)

Underneath the intermediate intrinsic back muscles is another layer of muscles that help to support posture and assist the intermediate muscles in moving the spine. The deep intrinsic muscles are smaller than the erector spinae muscles, and none of them traverse more than six vertebral segments.

Semispinalis Muscles

This group is the most superficial of the deep intrinsic muscles. These muscles run from the midthoracic spine superiorly through the cervical spine. They have three divisions (thoracis, cervicis, and capitis) that originate from the transverse processes of the 4th cervical vertebra through the 10th, 11th, or 12th thoracic vertebra. The fibers travel superiorly for about four to six segments each and attach on spinous processes and the occipital bone.

Semispinalis Dorsi

The semispinalis dorsi (or semispinalis thoracis) consists of thin, narrow, fleshy fasciculi, interposed between tendons of considerable length. It arises by a series of small tendons from the transverse processes of the sixth to the tenth thoracic vertebrae, and is inserted, by tendons, into the spinous processes of the upper four thoracic and lower two cervical vertebrae.

Semispinalis Cervicis

The semispinalis cervicis (semispinalis colli), arises by a series of tendinous and fleshy fibers from the transverse processes of the upper five or six thoracic vertebrae, and is inserted into the cervical spinous processes, from the axis to the fifth inclusive. The fasciculus connected with the axis is the largest, and is chiefly muscular in structure. The semispinalis cervicis is thicker than the semispinalis dorsi.

Semispinalis Capitis5OyMSkp5XBeyBeaPydd16A

The semispinalis capitis (complexus) is situated at the upper and back part of the neck, deep to the splenius, and medial to the longissimus cervicis and capitis. It is part of the transversospinales muscle group. It arises by a series of tendons from the tips of the transverse processes of the upper six or seven thoracic and the seventh cervical vertebrae, and from the articular processes of the three cervical vertebrae above this (C4-C6). The tendons, uniting, form a broad muscle, which passes upward, and is inserted between the superior and inferior nuchal lines of the occipital bone. It lies deep to the trapezius muscle and can be palpated as firm round muscle mass just lateral to the cervical spinous processes. The semispinalis muscles are innervated by the dorsal rami of the cervical spinal nerves.

Multifidus muscles

Multifidus is a series of small muscles which travel up the length of the spine. These short, triangular muscles originate in various places but always travel superiorly and medially for two to four segments and attach on the spinous processes. The multifidus consists of a number of fleshy and tendinous fasciculi, which fill up the groove on either side of the spinous processes of the vertebrae, from the sacrum to the axis. Each fasciculus, passes obliquely upward and medialward to insert into the whole length of the spinous process of one of the vertebrae above. The fasciculi vary in length: the most superficial, the longest, pass from one vertebra to the third or fourth above; those next in order run from one vertebra to the second or third above; while the deepest connect two contiguous vertebrae.

Rotatores muscles

The rotatores lie underneath the multifidus muscles. They originate from the transverse processes of a single vertebra and travel superiorly to insert into the spinous process of the vertebra one or two segments superior to it. The rotatores help with rotation and proprioception.

External oblique abdominal muscles One of the powerful rotator muscles of the spine whose fibers run obliquely to the long axis of the body. Contribute to spinal movement by compressing the stomach organs and flexing the spine.

Internal oblique abdominal muscles One of the rotator muscles of the spine whose fibers run obliquely to the long axis of the body. Contribute to spinal movement by compressing the stomach organs and flexing the spine.

Rectus abdominis muscle A muscle that contributes to spinal movement by compressing the stomach organs and flexing the spine.

The Suboccipital Muscles

The suboccipital region includes the posterior part of the 2nd cervical vertebra to the area inferior to the occipital region of the head. Four small muscles located on each side of the suboccipital region help with posture and assist with extension and rotation of the head.back muscles

Rectus capitis posterior muscles: These two muscles insert onto the occipital bone; the rectus capitis posterior major originates at the spinous process of the 2nd cervical vertebra (the axis) and the rectus capitis posterior minor originates from the posterior arch of the 1st cervical vertebra (the atlas).

Obliquus muscles: These two muscles complete the suboccipital quartet. The obliquus capitis inferior travels from the spinous process of the 2nd cervical vertebra to the transverse process of the 1st cervical vertebra, and the obliquus capitis superior has its origin at the transverse process of the 1st cervical vertebra and inserts onto the occipital bone. 

Non Surgical Treatment Of Chronic Back Pain

Our Non Surgical Treatment Of Chronic Back Pain

Most men and women look to seek non surgical treatment of chronic back pain. Surgery always comes with a risk, chronic back pain or not, you always have that risk. For those of you that are looking for a non surgical treatment of chronic back pain, the Doctor’s Back Pain System is your solution. In America alone, men and women spend nearly $50 billion dollars each year on back pain. Not only is back pain one the top contributor to missed work, it’s also the second most common neurological ailment just behind headache.

While we do know a lot about back pain, chronic back pain is another story. This is the exact reason why most people that suffer from chronic back pain conditions are mislead in terms of treatment. We know that there’s a number of different chronic back pain treatments out there that are non surgical, but how effective are such treatments? At what cost? How many of you have spent thousands of dollars trying to seek the answers to your chronic back pain?

Don’t Let Your Chronic Back Pain Cost You Thousands

You don’t have to continue to spend money to find a non surgical treatment of chronic back pain. You don’t have to continue struggling looking for answers. For only an one-time fee of only $97.00, you get our natural chronic back pain treatment that will help you find relief from a number of different chronic conditions that cause back pain. Our chronic back pain treatment will help you relieve back pain from;

 

  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Degenerative Disc
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  • Lumbar Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pinched Nerves
  • Ruptured Disc
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Pain
  • Vertebrae Conditions

 

Doctor’s Back Pain System is unique, nothing on the market compares. See how our chronic back pain treatment is different.

 

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  • Only Chronic Back Pain Treatment That Adapts To Your Pain

 

This is just what makes Doctor’s Back Pain System unique and unlike any other no surgical treatment of chronic back pain. Also, you’ll receive;

 

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5 Ways To Ease Lower Back Pain

5 Ways To Ease Lower Back Pain

lower back pain Most lower back pain is the result of an injury, such as muscle sprains or strains due to sudden movements or poor body mechanics while lifting heavy objects. But lower back pain can also be caused by certain diseases, such as cancer of the spinal cord, ruptured or herniated disc, sciatica, arthritis, kidney infections or infections of the spine. Acute back pain can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, while chronic back pain is pain that lasts longer than three months.

Lower back pain is more likely to occur in individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. This is partly due to the changes that occur in the body with aging. As you grow older, the fluid content between the vertebrae in the spine becomes reduced, which means discs in the spine are more easily irritated. Some muscle tone is also lost, which makes the back more prone to injury. This is why strengthening your back muscles and using good body mechanics and exercises are helpful in preventing lower back pain.

Why So Painful?

So why is the lower back a target area for pain? Generally speaking, the lower back is subject to a lot of mechanical lower back painstress and strain. The reason is the weight of the upper body, which always puts loads on the lower back.

Supporting all that upper body weight is the spine, which is made up of more than 30 small bones called vertebrae stacked one on top of the other. A spongy piece of cartilage, called a disc, sits between each vertebra. It acts as a shock absorber, preventing the bony vertebrae from grinding against one another.

With age, these cushioning discs gradually wear away and shrink, a condition known as degenerative disc disease. Discs can also tear or become injured. Sometimes the weakening of a disc can put pressure on its jelly-like center, as similar to a bubble forming on your car’s tire. You hit a bump in the road, then all of a sudden that tire goes pop. In the lower back paincase of your back, that pressure can lead to a herniated disc (also called a “slipped disc” or “ruptured disc”), in which the center of the disc bulges. Sometimes that bulging causes the material from inside the disc to press on the sensitive nerves that carry messages to the brain. The result can be the kind of excruciating pain. A herniated disc in the lower back can put pressure on the nerve that extends down the spinal column. This commonly causes pain to radiate to the buttocks and all the way down the leg. This condition is called sciatica.

Here Are 5 Ways to Ease Lower Back Pain

If you sit in an uncomfortable chair all day, work a jackhammer or regularly twist your body into uncomfortable positions, your lower back will suffer for it. Smoking — the bad habit that increases the risk of dozens of diseases — can also lead to backaches. One study found that smokers are nearly a third more likely to have lower back pain compared to nonsmokers.

Try these five ways to prevent or ease lower back pain

lower back pain

Images Source Healthy Life

If you smoke, get help to kick the habit.

lower back pain

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Practice good posture whenever you sit or stand. When lifting something, lift with your knees, not with your back.

lower back pain

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Do exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your back — especially the abdominals, hips, back, and pelvic area. Developing strong core muscles can make a big difference in how you feel.

lower back pain

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Fight the urge to crawl into bed whenever your lower back acts up. “Our bodies are meant to be used so If you have pain, the first thing you do is lay down, but that can actually make it worse. It’s best to stay active and try to apply the appropriate exercises. We recommend Doctors Pain Relief Systems.

lower back pain

Image Source Smart About Back Pain

If your back pain get to severe see your doctor and get treated for lower back pain early on, so you can stay moving and keep active.