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.

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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. 

Why am I Always Tired? – Here’s Why!!

Why am I Always Tired? – Here’s Why!!

Do you feel like you’re always tired? Most of us know what it’s like to be tired, especially when we have a cold, flu or even some other viral infection. But when your suffering from a constant lack of energy and ongoing fatigue, it may be time to check with your doctor. In most cases, there’s a reason for the fatigue. It might be allergic rhinitis, anemia, depression, fibromyalgia or some other health condition. If that’s the case, then the long-term outlook is good. Fatigue is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. With fatigue, you’ll have unexplained, persistent and relapsing exhaustion. It’s similar to how you feel when you have the flu or have missed a lot of sleep. If you have chronic fatigue, you may wake in the morning feeling as though you’ve not slept at all. Or you may be unable to function at work or be productive at home. Little things you do and don’t do, can exhaust you both physically and mentally, which can make getting through your day a chore and exhausting. And that’s not a way to live and we want to help you feel better and put the pep back in your step. Here are common bad habits that can make you feel tired and simple lifestyle tweaks that will help give you back that energy you so desperately need.

Why am I Always Tired

Dehydration – Not Drinking Enough Water

Being even slightly dehydrated as little as 2% of normal fluid loss can take a toll on your energy levels. It’s extremely important to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause a reduction in blood volume, which makes the blood thicker. This requires your heart to pump less efficiently, reducing the speed at which oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs. To calculate your normal fluid needs, take your weight in pounds, divide in half and drink that number of ounces of fluid a day. You’ll be able to tell a big difference in how you feel, just by drinking your daily water intake.

Why am I Always Tired

Anemia

This condition is more common in women with heavy periods or who don’t consume enough iron. Anemia is a condition in which you do not have a sufficient amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin, the portion of your blood cells that bind to oxygen. This can result in the rest of your body becoming oxygen deprived, causing fatigue or different portions of your body to stop functioning properly. This is a very common condition for women and those with chronic diseases. If you believe you are suffering from anemia, there are a number of things you can do to help treat your condition. Certain vitamins and minerals are necessary to build a sufficient amount of healthy red blood cells. Here are some essential nutrients you should consume to treat or prevent Anemia.

  • Iron rich foods
  • Foods high in folic acid
  • Vitamin B12 rich foods
  • Vitamin C rich foods
  • Supplements

If you have been told to take iron pills to treat your anemia, you will need to do so without consuming beverages high in caffeine, calcium supplements, milk or foods high in fiber. Also avoid taking your iron supplement within two hours of consuming an antacid. These products can prevent your body from adequately absorbing your iron, limiting the supplement’s effectiveness.

Why am I Always Tired

Lack of Iron

An iron deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, weak and unable to focus. It makes you tired because less oxygen travels to the muscles and cells. Boost your iron intake to reduce your risk of anemia by loading up on lean beef, kidney beans, tofu, eggs (including the yolk), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and peanut butter and pair them with foods high in vitamin C, because vitamin C improves iron absorption when eaten together. An iron deficiency may be due to an underlying health problem too, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms of iron deficiency, you should visit your doc.

Why am I always Tired

Are you a Perfectionist?

Striving to be perfect is impossible, being a perfectionist makes you work much harder and longer than necessary and can be exhausting. Nothing ever seems quite right, there is always a small detail that could be added, removed or changed to make your project perfect. Unfortunately, perfect doesn’t really exist and your perfectionism is just getting in the way of your productivity and making you feel tired and exhausted. So setting a time limit for yourself on your projects and taking care to obey it. In time, you’ll realize that the extra time you were taking wasn’t actually improving your work.

why am i always tired

You Slept Until Noon on Saturday

There’s no greater pleasure than hitting the snooze button on weekends, but delaying your day has a downside. When you’re on a regular sleep schedule, your body understands when it’s supposed to be awake and when it should be resting. But a couple extra hours of shuteye messes that up. If you normally get up at 6 a.m. on weekdays but crash until noon on Saturday, you’ve lost out on 6 hours of light exposure and postponed your breakfast, throwing your body for a loop. What you need to do is sleep only an extra 60 to 90 minutes when you’ve got the time. Get out of bed, whip up some breakfast and see the light of day. You can always nap later if you’re craving more couch time. Besides taking naps are healthier for you then sleeping in.

why am i always tired

You Spoil Your Dog

Forget him crowding your bed, make your critter crash in his crate instead. In a new study from the Mayo Clinic, 10 percent of patients reported their pets disturbing their sleep at night. Common annoyances included snoring, whimpering, wandering around the house and begging to go outside. Shut Baxter out of the bedroom or get used to your diva dog’s demands (and plenty of groggy mornings to come).

why am i always tired

Your always Expecting the Worst

If you assume that you’re about to get fired when your boss calls you into an unexpected meeting or you’re too afraid to ride your bike because you worry you’ll get into an accident, then you’re guilty of “catastrophizing,” or expecting that the worst-case scenario will always occur. This anxiety can paralyze you and make you mentally exhausted. When you catch yourself having these thoughts, take a deep breath and ask yourself how likely it is that the worst really will happen. Getting outdoors, meditating, exercising or even sharing your concerns with a friend may help you better cope and become more realistic.

why am i always tired

Don’t Live off Junk Food

Foods loaded with sugar and simple carbs (like the ones you’ll find in a box or at the drive-thru window) rank high on the glycemic index (GI), an indicator of how rapidly carbohydrates increase blood sugar. Constant blood sugar spikes followed by sharp drops cause fatigue over the course of the day. Keep your blood sugar steady by having a lean protein along with a whole grain at every meal. Good choices include chicken (baked, not fried) and brown rice, salmon and sweet potato or salad with chicken and fruit.

why am i always tired

Checking E-mails at Bedtime

The glaring light of a tablet, smartphone or even your computer’s backlit screen can throw off your body’s natural circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles. Sensitivity to the digital glow of tech toys can vary from person to person, but in general it’s a good idea to avoid all technology for one to two hours before bedtime. Can’t avoid checking your device before your head hits the pillow? Then hold it at least 14 inches away from your face to reduce the risk of sleep interference.

why am i always tired

Poor Dieting and Skipping Breakfast

The food you eat fuels your body and when you sleep, your body continues using what you consumed at dinner the night before to keep your blood pumping and oxygen flowing. So, when you wake up in the morning, you need to refuel with breakfast. Skip it, and you’ll feel sluggish. Eating breakfast is like starting a fire in your body by kick starting your metabolism. Eat a breakfast that includes whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat. Good examples include oatmeal with protein powder and a dab of peanut butter. A tasty smoothie made with fruit, protein powder, low-fat milk and almond butter or eggs with two slices of whole-wheat toast and low-fat Greek yogurt. Now that’s how you start out a good day. You’ll feel so much better and more productive!

why am i always tired

Not Getting Plenty of Rest and Always Staying Stressed

When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up feeling grumpy, unfocused and hungry. However, not sleeping enough can affect a lot more than just your mood. It can also cause your health to deteriorate. You might not realize it, but not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of high blood pressure, depression, stroke, heart attack, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Beyond all of the health issues mentioned previously, sleep deprivation can also cause your overall productivity and quality of living to decline. Some individuals have even passed away because they didn’t get enough sleep. Stress can take a huge toll on your body, like lack of sleep, it can affect your heart, increasing your chances of a heart attack and even a stroke. High Blood Pressure and depression too. If you get stressed out, please get away from whatever is the cause. Escape, rest your mind by going outside and taking in the wonders of nature. I truly feel that nature is a great way to heal the soul. If you have a hemic go and close your eyes and let everything escape your mind by listening to the beautiful sounds around you. Or go lay a blanket down and relax your mind and body and let nature help. I know some may think, “yeah like that will help” but how do you know if you haven’t tired it. Try it, but you have to really try, don’t think of anything. Connect with yourself and take a few deep breaths and release. I guarantee you’ll feel so much better if you just relax. Whatever helps you relax, do it! And make sure you get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep.

Understanding The Anatomy Of The Spine

Understanding The Anatomy Of The Spine

The spine is made of 33 individual bones stacked one on top of one another. Ligaments and muscles connect the bones together and keep them aligned. The spinal column provides the main support for your body, allowing you to stand upright, bend and twist. Protected deep inside the bones is where the spinal cord connects your body to the brain, allowing movement of your arms and legs. Strong muscles and bones, flexible tendons and ligaments and sensitive nerves contribute to a healthy spine. Understanding the anatomy of the spine will help keep your spine healthy, which is extremely important if you want to live an active life without back pain.

When viewed from the side, an adult spine has a natural S-shaped curve. The neck (cervical) and lower back (lumbar) regions have a slight concaveunderstanding-the-anatomy-of-the-spine curve and the thoracic and sacral regions have a gentle convex curve. The curves work like a coiled spring to absorb shock, maintain balance and allow range of motion throughout the spinal column. The muscles and the correct posture maintain the natural spinal curves. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie so that the least amount of strain is placed on the spine during movement or weight-bearing activities. Excess body weight, weak muscles and other forces can pull at the spine’s alignment.

  • An abnormal curve of the lumbar spine is lordosis – which is called sway back.
  • An abnormal curve of the thoracic spine is kyphosis – which is called hunchback.
  • An abnormal curve from side-to-side is called scoliosis.

understanding-the-anatomy-of-the-spine

Muscles

The two main muscle groups that affect the spine are extensors and flexors. The extensor muscles are attached to the back of the spine which enables us to be able to stand up and lift objects. The flexor muscles are in the front and include the abdominal muscles, which helps us to flex or bend forward and are important in lifting and controlling the arch in the lower back. The back muscles stabilize your spine. Poor muscle tone or a large belly can pull your entire body out of alignment and that can put incredible strain on the spine.

Vertebrae

The Vertebrae is the 33 individual bones that interlock with each other to form the spinal column. The vertebrae is numbered and divided into regions, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx. Only the top 24 bones are moveable, the vertebrae of the sacrum and coccyx are fused. The vertebrae in each region have unique features that help them perform their main functions. understanding-the-anatomy-of-the-spine

Cervical (Neck) – Cervical spine’s main function is to support the weight of the head (about 10 pounds). The seven cervical vertebrae are numbered C1 to C7. Because of two specialized vertebrae that connect to the skull, the neck has the greatest range of motion. The first vertebra (C1) is the ring-shaped atlas that connects directly to the skull. This joint allows for the nodding or “yes” motion of the head. The second vertebra (C2) is the peg-shaped axis, which has a projection called the odontoid, that the atlas pivots around. This joint allows for the side-to-side or “no” motion of the head.

Thoracic (mid back) – The thoracic spine main function is to hold the rib cage and protect the heart and lungs. The twelve thoracic vertebrae are numbered T1 to T12. The range of motion in the thoracic spine is limited.

Lumbar (low back) – The lumbar spines main function is to bear the weight of the body. The five lumbar vertebrae are numbered L1 to L5. These vertebrae are much larger in size to absorb the stress of lifting and carrying heavy objects.

Sacrum – The main function of the sacrum is to connect the spine to the hip bones (iliac). There are five sacral vertebrae, which are fused together. Together with the iliac bones, they form a ring called the pelvic girdle.

Coccyx region – The four fused bones of the coccyx or tailbone provide attachment for ligaments and muscles of the pelvic floor.

Intervertebral Discs

Intervertebral discs sit in between the vertebrae. They are flat and round, and about a half inch thick.

Intervertebral discs are made up of two components:

  • Nucleus pulposus. The nucleus pulposus is gel-filled and makes up the center of the disc. The gel-filled nucleus is composed mostly of fluid and gives the disc flexibility and strength.This fluid is absorbed during the night as you lie down and is pushed out during the day as you move upright.
  • Annulus fibrosus. This is the flexible outer ring of the disc. It’s made up of several layers, similar to elastic bands.

understanding-the-anatomy-of-the-spine

When you are standing or moving, weight is put onto the nucleus. In response, the nucleus expands. The annulus holds the nucleus in place. This allows movement to take place, yet maintains the strength of the spine. In effect, discs act as shock absorbers for the spine.The disc, like other cartilage, consists mainly of a matrix of collagen fibres (which are embedded in a gel of proteoglycan) and of water. These together make up 90 to 95% of the total tissue mass, although the proportions vary with location within the disc and with age and degeneration. There are cells interspersed throughout the matrix that are responsible for synthesizing and maintaining the different components within it.

With age, our discs increasingly lose the ability to reabsorb fluid and become brittle and flatter, this is why we get shorter as we grow older. The intervertebral disc is a very important structure. Many nerve endings supply the annulus and as a result, an injured annulus can cause severe pain.

Vertebral arch & spinal canal

On the back of each vertebra are bony projections that form the vertebral arch. The arch is made of two supporting pedicles and two laminae. The hollow spinal canal contains the spinal cord, fat, ligaments and blood vessels. Under understanding-the-anatomy-of-the-spineeach pedicle, a pair of spinal nerves exits the spinal cord and pass through the intervertebral foramen to branch out to your body.

Facet Joints

Between the back of the vertebrae are small joints that also help your spine move. These facet joints have a cartilage surface, very much like a hip or a knee joint does. The facet joints are important for allowing rotation of the spine but may develop arthritis and become a source for lower back or even neck pain.

Ligaments and Tendons

Ligaments and tendons are fibrous bands of connective tissue that attach to bone. Ligaments connect two or more bones together and help stabilize joints. Tendons attach muscle to bone. Tendons vary in size and are somewhat elastic and attach bones to muscles. The system of ligaments in the vertebral column, combined with the tendons and muscles, provides a natural brace to help protect the spine from injury. Ligaments aid in joint stability during rest and movement and help prevent injury from hyperextension and hyperflexion (excessive movements).

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Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is the most important structure between the body and the brain. The Spinal Cord is connected to the brain and is about the diameter of a human finger. From the brain the spinal cord descends down the middle of the back and is surrounded and protected by the bony vertebral column. The spinal cord is surrounded by a clear fluid called Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF), that acts as a cushion to protect the delicate nerve tissues against damage from banging against the inside of the vertebrae. The anatomy of the spinal cord itself, consists of millions of nerve fibres which transmit electrical information to and from the limbs, trunk and organs of the body, back to and from the brain. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the upper section, the neck, control breathing and the arms. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the mid and lower section of the back, control the trunk and legs, as well as the bladder, bowel and sexual function. The nerves which carry information from the brain to muscles are called Motor Neurones. The understanding-the-anatomy-of-the-spinenerves which carry information from the body back to the brain are called Sensory Neurones. Sensory Neurones carry information to the brain about skin temperature, touch, pain and joint position. The brain and spinal cord are referred to as the Central Nervous System, whilst the nerves connecting the spinal cord to the body are referred to as the Peripheral Nervous System. Any damage to the spinal cord can result in a loss of sensory and motor function below the level of injury. For example, an injury to the thoracic or lumbar area may cause motor and sensory loss of the legs and trunk (called paraplegia). An injury to the cervical (neck) area may cause sensory and motor loss of the arms and legs (called tetraplegia, formerly known as quadriplegia).

Spinal nerves

The spinal cord is made up of neuronal cell bodies and axons. The cell bodies are located in the horns (grey matter) and ganglia, and the axons comprise the white matter (tracts) of the cord. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves branch off the spinal cord. The spinal nerves act as telephone lines carrying messages back and forth between your body and spinal cord to control sensation and movement. Each spinal nerve has two roots. The ventral (front) root carries motor impulses from the brain and the dorsal (back) root carries sensory impulses to the brain. The ventral and dorsal roots fuse together to form a spinal nerve. The spinal nerve travels down the spinal canal alongside the cord, until it reaches its exit hole, the intervertebral foramen. Once the nerve passes through the intervertebral foramen, it branches, each branch has both motor and sensory fibers. The smaller branch, called the posterior primary ramus, turns posteriorly to supply the skin and muscles of the back of the body. The larger branch, called the anterior primary ramus turns anteriorly to supply the skin and muscles of the front of the body and forms most of the major nerves.

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The spinal nerves innervate specific areas and form a striped pattern across the body called dermatomes. Doctors use this pattern to diagnose the location of a spinal problem based on the area of pain or muscle weakness. Like leg pain (sciatica) usually indicates a problem near the L4-S3 nerves.

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Spinal Meninges and Cerebrospinal Fluid

Collectively, the Dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater surrounding the spinal cord form the spinal meninges. These membranes and CSF surround, support, and protect the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots, including those in the cauda equina. The spinal Dura mater, composed of tough, fibrous, and some elastic tissue, is the outermost covering membrane of the spinal cord. The spinal Dura mater is separated from the vertebrae by the extradural (epidural) space. The Dura forms the spinal Dural sac, a long tubular sheath within the vertebral canal. The spinal Dural sac adheres to the margin of the foramen magnum of the cranium, where it is continuous with the cranial Dura mater. The spinal Dural sac is pierced by the spinal nerves and is anchored inferiorly to the coccyx by the filum terminale. The spinal Dura extends into the IV foramina and along the posterior and anterior nerve roots distal to the spinal ganglia to form Dural root sheaths, or sleeves. These sheaths blend with the epineurium, outer connective tissue covering of spinal nerves, that adheres to the periosteum lining the IV foramina.

The spinal arachnoid mater is a delicate, avascular membrane composed of fibrous and elastic tissue that lines the Dural sac and the Dural root sheaths. It encloses the CSF-filled subarachnoid space containing the spinal cord, spinal nerve roots, and spinal ganglia. The arachnoid mater is not attached to the Dura but is held against the inner surface of the Dura by the pressure of the CSF. In a lumbar spinal puncture, the needle traverses the Dura and arachnoid mater simultaneously. Their apposition is the Dura–arachnoid interface, often erroneously referred to as the subdural space. No actual space occurs naturally at this site, it’s rather a weak cell layer. Bleeding into this layer creates a pathological space at the Dura–arachnoid junction in which a subdural hematoma is formed. In the cadaver, because of the absence of CSF, the arachnoid falls away from the internal surface of the Dura and lies loosely on the spinal cord. The arachnoid mater is separated from the pia mater on the surface of the spinal cord by the subarachnoid space containing CSF. Delicate strands of connective tissue, the arachnoid trabeculae, span the subarachnoid space connecting the arachnoid and pia.

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The spinal pia mater, the innermost covering membrane of the spinal cord, consists of flattened cells with long, equally flattened processes that closely follow all the surface features of the spinal cord. The pia mater also directly covers the roots of the spinal nerves and spinal blood vessels. Inferior to the conus medullaris, the pia continues as the filum terminale.

The spinal cord is suspended in the Dural sac by the filum terminale and especially by the right and left saw tooth denticulate ligaments (L. denticulus, a small tooth), which run longitudinally along each side of the spinal cord. These ligaments consist of a fibrous sheet of pia mater extending midway between the posterior and the anterior nerve roots. Between 20 and 22 of these processes, shaped much like sharks’ teeth, attach to the internal surface of the arachnoid-lined Dural sac. The superior processes (uppermost part) of the right and left denticulate ligament attach to the cranial Dura mater immediately superior to the foramen magnum. The inferior process extends from the conus medullaris passing between the T12 and the L1 nerve roots.

Subarachnoid Space

The subarachnoid space lies between the arachnoid mater and the pia mater and is filled with CSF. The enlargement of the subarachnoid space in the Dural sac, caudal to the conus medullaris, and containing CSF and the cauda equina is the lumbar cistern.

Your spine is one of the most important parts of your body. It gives your body structure and support. Without it you could not stand up or keep yourself upright. It allows you to move about freely and to bend with flexibility. The spine is also designed to protect your spinal cord. The spinal cord is the most important, it has nerves that connects your brain to the rest of your body, allowing you to control your movements. Without a spinal cord you could not move any part of your body, and your organs could not function. Keeping your spine healthy is vital if you want to live an active life. Be sure to browse through our website we have plenty of valuable information for your health, spine and even how to help with back pain, the causes and treatment.    

The Best Back Pain Treatment

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The Best Back Pain Treatment

Exercise is a the top key element of almost any back pain treatment plan. Whether it’s completed at home or with a spine health professional, like our famous doc, Dr. Jason Hurst who specializes in spine health. For years he’s treated his patients with his exercise plan that targets the common causes of back pain. I can not praise this program enough, I always recommend it to all my friends and colleagues. His back pain treatment is by far the best back pain treatment today. After years of studies and great results with all his patients at all three facilities. He had to share it with the world, he was a guest on ABC and NBC for his award winning back pain treatment that caught the attention of everyone for it’s ground breaking results. Now you have the opportunity to get this amazing back pain treatment. With it’s three main components, aerobic conditioning, stretching, and strengthening. These exercises are the best to help relief the common causes of back pain. It’s a controlled, progressive program, with the goal of building towards a stronger, more flexible spine. If your dealing with back pain and have tried everything to get relief but had no luck. Trust me your in the right place, after you try Doctor’s Pain Relief Systems you won’t need anything else. It’s effective and helps relief back pain caused by the common causes of back pain, like disease or injury to the muscles, bones, and/or nerves of the spine.

Common Causes:

Nerve root syndromes are those that produce symptoms of nerve impingement (a nerve is directly irritated), often due to a herniation (or bulging) of the disc between the lower back bones.

Sciatica is an example of nerve root impingement. Impingement pain tends to be sharp, affecting a specific area, and associated with numbness in the area of the leg that the affected nerve supplies.

Herniated discs develop as the spinal discs degenerate or grow thinner. The jellylike central portion of the disc bulges out of the central cavity and pushes against a nerve root. Intervertebral discs begin to degenerate by the third decade of life. Herniated discs are found in one-third of adults older than 20 years of age. Only 3% of these, however, produce symptoms of nerve impingement.

Spinal disc degeneration coupled with disease in joints of the low back can lead to spinal-canal narrowing (spinal stenosis). These changes in the disc and the joints produce symptoms and can be seen on an X-ray. A person with spinal stenosis may have pain radiating down both lower extremities while standing for a long time or walking even short distances.

Spondylosis occurs as intervertebral discs lose moisture and volume with age, which decreases the disc height. Even minor trauma under these circumstances can cause inflammation and nerve root impingement, which can produce classic sciatica without disc rupture.

Musculoskeletal pain syndromes that produce low back pain include myofascial pain syndromes and fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia results in widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body. Generalized stiffness, fatigue, and muscle aches are reported.

Myofascial pain is characterized by pain and tenderness over localized areas (trigger points), loss of range of motion in the involved muscle groups, and pain radiating in a characteristic distribution but restricted to a peripheral nerve. Relief of pain is often reported when the involved muscle group is stretched.

Noninfectious inflammation of the spine (spondylitis) can cause stiffness and pain in the spine that is particularly worse in the morning. Ankylosing spondylitis typically begins in adolescents and young adults.

Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency whereby the spinal cord is directly compressed. Disc material expands into the spinal canal, which compresses the nerves. A person would experience pain, possible loss of sensation, and bowel or bladder dysfunction. This could include inability to control urination causing incontinence or the inability to begin urination. If you experience get medical attention asap.

Many things cause back pain, even referred pain from organs also can. It’s always important to get diagnosed to be safe. Once your sure of what has cause your back pain then you’ll know what to do to help it. For diseases or injury to the muscles, bones, and nerves of the spine, Doctor’s Pain Relief Systems will be the best program you’ll ever find! To Learn more about The Best Back Pain Treatment go to Doctor’s Pain Relief Systems.

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Sciatica – Say Goodbye To Sciatica Pain

 

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Sciatica – Say Goodbye To Sciatica Pain

As many as 40% of people will get Sciatica, or irritation of the sciatic nerve, at some point in their life. The most common symptom from Sciatica is pain. Most people describe a deep, severe pain that starts low on one side of the back and then shoots down the buttock and the leg with certain movements. Sciatica can also cause hip pain. The pain is usually worse with both prolonged sitting and standing. In most people, the pain gets worse by sneezing, coughing, laughing, or a hard bowel movement. Bending backward can also make the pain worse. You may also notice a weakness in your leg or foot, along with the pain. The weakness may become so bad you can’t move your foot.

Sciatica is a common type of pain affecting the Sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg. This nerve comes from either side of the lower spine and travels through the pelvis and buttocks. Then the nerve passes along the back of each upper leg before it divides at the knee into branches that go to the feet. Anything that puts pressure on or irritates this nerve can cause pain that shoots down the back of one buttock or thigh. The sensation of pain can vary widely. Sciatica may feel like a mild ache; a sharp, burning sensation; or extreme discomfort. Sciatica can also cause feelings of numbness, weakness, and tingling. Seek immediate medical attention if you have progressive lower extremity weakness, numbness in the upper thighs, and/or loss of bladder or bowel control.

Other Common symptoms of Sciatica include:

  • Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the rear
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Often, the pain extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Depending on where the Sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes. For some people, the pain from Sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the Sciatica pain might be infrequent and irritating, and has the potential to get worse.

The Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.

Other common causes of Sciatica include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back)
  • Degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae)
  • Spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one)
  • and even Pregnancy

Other things that may make your back pain worse include being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels, or sleeping on a mattress that is too soft, yeah you heard that right, a mattress that is too soft can cause your back to hurt!

Treatment for Sciatic pain ranges from hot and cold packs and medications to exercises and complementary and alternative remedies. While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise is usually better for relieving Sciatic pain than bed rest. Patients may rest for a day or two after their Sciatic pain flares up, but after that time period, inactivity will usually make the pain worse. Without exercise and movement, the back muscles and spinal structures become deconditioned and less able to support the back.

The deconditioning and weakening can lead to back injury and strain, which causes additional pain. In addition, active exercise is also important for the health of the spinal discs. Movement helps exchange nutrients and fluids within the discs to keep them healthy and prevent pressure on the Sciatic nerve. Caring for Sciatica should be considered part of one’s daily living, not just something to add to the routine at the end of the day. In addition to an exercise routine, patients with Sciatica should minimize everyday stress on the lower back, including using appropriate ergonomics while lifting, maintaining good posture, making sure the lower back is supported while sitting, and avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time.

We Recommend Doctor’s Pain Relief Systems, which is one of the best treatments for helping and relieving Sciatica. Which is a specific, controlled, progressive exercise program and back treatment that is tailored around the underlying cause of the Sciatic pain. The specific Sciatica exercises serve two main purposes:

  • Reduces the sciatic pain in the near term
  • Provides conditioning to help prevent future recurrences of the pain

If your dealing with Sciatica and have tried countless of exercises, home remedies, medications and treatments, and nothing seems to help. Doctor’s Pain Relief Systems is the one system that is tailored around the underlying cause of the Sciatica and back pain. It’ll strengthen the abdominal and back muscles in order to provide more support for the back. Stretching exercises for Sciatica target muscles that cause pain when they are tight and inflexible. When patients engage in a regular program of gentle strengthening and stretching exercises, they can recover more quickly from a flare up of Sciatica and are less likely to experience future episodes of pain. Learn More about Doctor’s Pain Relief Systems!

13 Fad Diets To Ignore

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13 Fad Diets To Ignore

Dubious diets

From the impractical to the downright dangerous, these diets aren’t your best choice for losing weight.

Every day it seems a new diet is ready to make weight loss faster and easier than ever before. Or at least they say they are. “Most fad diets go something like this: Take a few foods, give them ‘magic’ power, and set a plan to convince people that eating this way and only this way will promote weight loss,” says Alexandra Caspero, RD, a nutritionist based in Sacramento, Calif. The following diets might spur short-term weight loss, but many are difficult to follow, have arbitrary rules, and a few could put your health in danger.

 

The raw food diet

Any weight-loss expert would agree that boosting your veggie and fruit intake while reducing the amount of junk you eat is a safe and effective way to lose weight, but this diet bans foods that have been cooked or processed in any way. Why? Raw foodies say cooking destroys nutrients. Though it’s true that cooking produce can sometimes reduce nutrient levels, cooked veggies still pack plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and in some instances cooking actually enhances nutrients while also killing bacteria. The biggest issue with this extreme form of veganism? Food prep—it’s totally impractical, says Christopher N. Ochner, PhD, director of research development and administration at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. Raw foodies spend hours upon hours juicing, blending, dehydrating, sprouting, germinating, cutting, chopping, and rehydrating.

 

The blood-type diet

Developed by naturopathic physician Peter D’Adamo, the Blood Type Diet is based on the notion that the foods you eat react chemically with your blood type. For example, on the diet, those with type O blood are to eat lean meats, vegetables, and fruits, and avoid wheat and dairy. Meanwhile, type A dieters go vegetarian, and those with type B blood are supposed to avoid chicken, corn, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. However, there’s no scientific proof that your blood type affects weight loss. And depending on your blood type, the diet can be extremely restrictive.

 

The werewolf diet

Also called the lunar diet, this one is simply fasting according to the lunar calendar. Its quick-fix version involves a day of fasting allowing only water and juice during a full or new moon—and supposedly losing up to six pounds in water weight in a single day. The extended version starts with that daylong fast and continues with specific eating plans for each phase of the moon. While you’ll lose some weight from not eating, it has nothing to do with the moon, and it will come right back, Ochner says.

 

Cookie diets

Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet, The Hollywood Cookie Diet, and the Smart for Life Cookie Diet all promise that eating cookies will help you drop pounds. Of course, you don’t get to chow down chocolate-chip cookies—you eat about 500 to 600 calories a day from high-protein and high-fiber weight-loss cookies (one cookie company even makes the cookies from egg and milk protein) for breakfast, lunch, and any snacks. Then you eat a normal dinner, for a total of 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day. If you stick to the diet, you will likely lose some weight, but by depriving yourself all day, you set yourself up for bingeing come dinnertime, Ochner says.

 

The five-bite diet

Eat whatever you want—but only five bites of it. On this diet, developed by obesity doctor Alwin Lewis, MD, you skip breakfast and eat only five bites of food for lunch and five more for dinner. “I’m OK with the idea of eating whatever you want in smaller portions, but you need to round out the rest of your eating with nutrient-dense foods to give your body the fuel it needs,” Caspero says. “On this diet, even if you take giant bites of heavily caloric food, you’re still barely consuming 900 to 1,000 calories a day.”

 

The Master Cleanse/lemonade diet

This diet has been around for decades, and there are a ton of variations. Pretty much all involve subsisting for days on only lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper mixed in water. “You are essentially just drinking diuretics,” Ochner says. “You’ll shed mostly water weight.” Once you start eating solid foods again, you will gain all the weight back. Common side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and dehydration. Plus, on an extremely low-calorie diet like this one, you are going to lose muscle, exactly the kind of weight you don’t want to lose, Caspero says.

 

The baby food diet

If a baby can grow up eating the mushy stuff, eating some definitely won’t hurt you, but guess what: You aren’t a baby. Dieters replace breakfast and lunch with about 14 jars of baby food (most baby food jars contain 20 and 100 calories apiece), and then they eat a low-calorie dinner. It’s easy to get too few calories for your body to run its best, Ochner says. Besides, who really wants to take jars of baby food to work each day?

 

The cabbage soup diet

The grandmother of all fad diets, the bulk of this plan is fat-free cabbage soup, eaten two to three times a day for a week along with other low-calorie foods such as bananas and skim milk. In the short term, it does yield weight loss. “It works because you are eating a low-calorie diet full of fiber and water to help aid in fullness,” Caspero says. “But it’s just a quick fix diet. It can also promote bloating and gas from all the cabbage, and is lacking in protein, which is needed to preserve lean body mass. While I am a fan of nutrient-dense, low calorie foods for weight loss, it should be balanced with other foods such as fruits, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean protein.”

 

The grapefruit diet

We are all for including produce at every meal, but the various versions of this 80-year-old fad diet instruct dieters to focus all of their meals on grapefruit or grapefruit juice, claiming that the fruit contains fat-busting enzymes that will help dieters lose 10-plus pounds in 12 days. “In reality, any time you are following a very-low calorie diet you will lose weight,” Caspero says. And this diet definitely hits that, limiting dieters to 800 to 1,000 calories a day. Some iterations also prohibit eating extremely hot or extremely cold foods, preparing foods in aluminum pans, and requires dieters to space “protein meals” and “starch meals” at least four hours apart.

 

The Sleeping Beauty diet

If you’re asleep, you’re not eating. Rumored to have been followed by Elvis Presley, this diet takes that simple fact to the extreme, encouraging people to use sedatives to stay asleep for days on end. But sleeping the days away not only starves the body and causes muscle deterioration from a lack of movement, but actually risks death: “Every time you go under, there’s a risk,” Ochner says. “Sure, you might wake up 2 pounds lighter, but you might not wake up at all.”

 

The HCG diet

This edge-of-starvation diet limits you to about 500 calories a day while taking human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that proponents tout as a powerful appetite suppressant. However, there’s no evidence that HCG does more than act as a placebo, Ochner says. Yes, you’ll lose weight, but only due to the extreme calorie restriction. Though a health care provider may legally give you HCG injections, they’re typically used to treat fertility issues in women and the FDA has not approved them for weight loss. As for over-the-counter homeopathic products that supposedly contain HCG? Those are illegal.

The tapeworm diet

“You don’t need a doctor to tell you that ingesting a tapeworm is a bad idea,” Ochner says. But apparently, some people do. This weight-loss tactic has been around for decades, preying on especially desperate dieters. Here’s how it goes: Ingest tapeworm eggs, let the tapeworm eat the food you consume once it gets to your intestines, and then, when you lose enough weight, get a doctor to prescribe you an anti-worm medication. But some tapeworm eggs can migrate to various parts of your body or cause other potentially life-threatening problems. Freaked out yet? Good.

The cotton ball diet

Consuming cotton balls soaked in orange juice—a diet technique may have been born on YouTube, in chat rooms, and on Facebook—is an incredibly dangerous way to suppress your appetite. “This makes my eating-disorder therapy head spin,” Caspero says. Not only does consuming cotton balls in place of food deprive the body of nutrients, eating anything that isn’t actually food can cause blockages in your intestines. What’s more, most cotton balls aren’t even made of cotton—they’re composed of bleached, synthetic fibers.

Source: MSN-Health

7 Exercises To Sculpt Your Buns To Perfection

7 Exercises To Sculpt Your Buns To Perfection

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Stability ball reverse extension

Tighten and tone your butt and a few other assets with these multi-muscle moves.

Your butt’s not the only part of your backside you should work. Strengthen the erector spinae, the muscles of the back, with this move for better posture—which means instant flatter belly.

How to do it: Lie face-down on a stability ball with hands and toes on the floor, hands below shoulders, and lower torso on top of the ball. Keeping legs pressed together and core engaged, slowly lift up legs until they are parallel with torso. (Avoid lifting legs higher than body, which will cause arching in lower back.) With control, lower legs to starting position. Do 15 to 20 reps.

 

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Glute bridge with skull crusher

This caboose-booster promotes healthier hip joints by stretching the hip flexors and strengthening the glutes, while at the same time challenging your core and tightening your triceps.

How to do it: Lie face-up with knees bent and feet flat on the floor about 12 inches away from hips, holding dumbbells. Extend arms, keeping wrists aligned with shoulders. With core engaged and spine in a neutral position, slowly tuck pelvis under, pushing into heels and lifting glutes and lower back off of the floor until hips are completely open at the top without arching back. Lower hips to hover just above the floor and bend elbows, drawing hands beside each ear. Extend arms and press up hips again. Continue, never letting hips touch the floor, for 12 to 15 reps.

 

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Donkey kick

Also known as quadruped bent-knee hip extension (and you thought “donkey kick” was odd), this tush-toner elicits a higher degree of muscle activation in both the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimums than many other commonly performed butt exercises, according to University of Wisconsin-La Crosse researchers. It also asks more of your hamstrings so you look even better from behind in mini-skirts, short shorts and swimsuits (we know the struggle—these are the best bikini bottoms for your body type).

How to do it: Get on all fours with knees below hips and wrists below shoulders. Keeping core engaged, hips and shoulders square to the floor, right leg bent and right foot flexed, slowly lift right leg until thigh is parallel with the floor. Lower to starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps, then switch legs to complete set.

 

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Single-leg deadlift with single-arm row

This single-leg variation of one of the best lower-body strengthening exercises—the deadlift—also provides the back-sculpting (back fat is pesky—try these moves, too!) benefits of the single-arm row.

How to do it: Stand with feet together holding a dumbbell in left hand. Keeping core engaged, hinge forward at hips, lifting left foot off of the floor and extending leg behind you. Balancing on right leg, continue to bend forward and lower the dumbbell toward the floor, keeping hips and shoulders squared. Perform a single-arm row, drawing left elbow straight back until the dumbbell is in line with chest. Extend left arm and slowly stand up, returning to starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps, then switch sides to complete set.

 

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Squat and squeeze

You won’t miss a single lower-body muscle when you blend a squat to hit your glutes, hamstrings and quads, with a calf raise and sponge ball squeeze to target your calves and inner thighs.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward and a small sponge ball placed between thighs. Keeping core engaged and spine neutral, hinge at hips, lowering down into a squat while applying gentle pressure to the ball. Slowly extend legs, rising up onto balls of feet, lifting heels for a calf raise, squeezing the ball at the top of the movement. Do 12 to 15 reps.

 

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Single-arm SandBell swing

It’s hard to think of exercises that truly sculpt your entire body, but this one fits the bill and also improves grip strength and boosts aerobic capacity, all while torching some serious calories—as much as nearly 20 calories per minute, according to an American Council on Exercise study.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a SandBell or kettlebell in right hand with an overhand grip. Hinge at hips, drawing the SandBell back between legs, then thrust hips forward, generating power from lower body to raise the SandBell to shoulder height. Once at shoulder height, release the SandBell momentarily mid-air, switching hands so the SandBell is now in left hand. Continue, alternating hands for 20 reps.

 

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Dumbbell step-up

This step-up will perk up your butt, tone your thighs and give you strong shoulders to sexily top off strapless dresses.

How to do it: Stand facing a bench or step, holding dumbbells just above shoulders, palms facing in. Place right foot on the bench and push off left foot until both feet are on top of the bench. With elbows at about 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock, extend arms. Slowly lower dumbbells back to shoulders, then step right foot back onto the floor, followed by left foot. Repeat, starting with left foot. Continue, alternating feet for 16 to 20 reps.

 

Back Pain Treatments and Facts You Must Know!

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Back Pain Treatments and Facts You Must Know!

Back pain is a common health issue today that affects at least eight out of 10 people. It’s a prevalent problem among Americans. In fact, statistics from the American Chiropractic Association reveal that at least 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time.

The ACA report also says that:

  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, it is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office (next to upper-respiratory infections).
  • As many as 75 to 85 percent of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives. In most cases, this pain is mechanical in nature – it is NOT caused by a serious medical condition, such as inflammatory arthritis or fracture.

Chronic back pain has become such a debilitating problem – and it’s costly, too. According to the ACA, Americans spend at least 50 billion dollars each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs! I cannot stress enough that preventing or treating disease is possible without the intervention of medications. The same is true for back pain. You only need to address the root cause of the problem by changing your lifestyle and the way you eat and move. 

Conventional health care practitioners are quick to prescribe medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, and even opioids for chronic pain. But even if these medications can provide immediate back pain relief, their effect is only temporary – the pain will come back sooner or later and in some cases will cause hyperalgesia, or increased sensitivity to pain!

What’s more, medications touted to provide back pain relief are saddled with severe side effects. For example, NSAIDs, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs on the market, not only put you at a two- to four-fold higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems, but may also cause:

  • Severe gastrointestinal problems, like digestive tract bleeding
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Kidney problems

Be mindful that these life-threatening side effects of painkillers are not restricted to prescription NSAIDs like Celebrex, but may also come from over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, Advil, and Motrin. Opioid painkillers like OxyContin, which are also commonly prescribed for back pain relief, also have a highly addictive nature. In fact, opioids are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs today, and are a leading contributor to the increasing rates of fatal prescription drug overdoses. This is why back pain is now one of the primary reasons why so many American adults get addicted to painkillers.

The bottom line is that painkillers always come with risks. Unfortunately, if you consult your conventional physician about your chronic back pain, he will often prescribe a long-term treatment plan that may include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and possibly other types of pain medication or even anti-seizure drugs – a poisonous chemical cocktail that will put your health at severe risk!

If you are already suffering from chronic back pain or pain of any kind, you should understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives than prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, though they may require some patience. As a chiropractor I can assure you one of the best tactics to help treat back pain is to see a qualified chiropractor. Chiropractor Physiology puts great emphasis on your body’s innate healing wisdom and does not rely on “Band-Aids” like drugs and surgery. 

The problem is that a lot of people ignore chiropractic care, thinking that it’s just “pushing bones into place.” However, there’s a whole lot more to chiropractic care. In fact, one of the basic foundations of this health system is “vitalism” – recognizing that the human body has an innate healing intelligence or ‘life force’ that guides and directs your body’s healing process. Qualified chiropractic, osteopathic, and naturopathic physicians are reliable, as they have received extensive training in the management of musculoskeletal disorders during their course of graduate healthcare training, which lasts between four to six years. These health experts have comprehensive training in musculoskeletal management.

Many studies have confirmed that chiropractic management is much safer and less expensive than allopathic medical treatments, especially when used for low-back pain treatment. What’s more, researchers have also found that chiropractic adjustments may affect the chemistry of biological processes on a cellular level. Chiropractic care can affect the basic physiological processes that profoundly influence oxidative stress, immune function and DNA repair. This means that aside from addressing any immediate spinal misalignment that might cause back pain, chiropractic care can also help address, prevent and treat deeper dysfunctions in your body. If you live in Richmond, Virginia or outside the area. I recommend taking a trip to Integrative Health Spine & Disc Center, which is the largest Laser clinic in Virginia specializing in chronic pain conditions. For several years now Dr. Hurst and his team have been helping thousands of patients get rid of their chronic pain utilizing the latest technologies that are available. Dr. Hurst has developed his own treatment protocol, Laser Vibe Therapy.  Through the use of Laser Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, Whole Body Vibration Therapy, and a specific stretching and exercise protocol that he developed for his patients.

Dr. Hurst is seeing results with his patients that are typically unheard of. Many of his patients are those who have been referred back and forth over the years from doctor to doctor without getting any real relief.  Even with the odds stacked against him… Dr. Hurst is still getting over a 90% success rate with patients getting relief in just the first visit! You can also purchase his amazing Doctors Pain Relief Systems which is all Natural and Effective! It has exercises that helps strengthen the muscles of your spine. Exercises that are simple but powerful structural movements that help strengthen and realign your body posture and address the root cause of lower back pain, which is related to weakness and imbalance among your posterior chain of muscles that are caused by a sedentary lifestyle and too much sitting. It focuses on your core – the part of your body connected to your pelvis, whether above or below it. These include your hamstrings, gluts, and adductor muscles. It teaches all these muscles to work together through integrated chains of movement, which is how you’re structurally designed to move. Every exercise included lengthens the front of your body, which is over-tightened, and strengthens the back of your body, helping you stand tall and move with grace and flexibility.

This is your opportunity to final find a solution for your back pain. End your journey today with Dr. Hurst and his caring staff. No more medications, no more physical therapy and no more monthly payments and thousands of dollars down the drain. Find out why Doctor’s Back Pain System is different from all back treatments on the market.

14 Home Remedies To Make You Look Younger!

 

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14 Home Remedies To MakeYou Look Younger! 

How old are you really? See how your daily habits affect your true age—and how to knock off years, starting today. The answer is more complicated than counting the number of candles you blew out on your last birthday cake. Your daily habits can either add or subtract years from your life—like how much you exercise, or how stressed you allow yourself to be. Read on for 14 things you can start doing today to live a longer, healthier life.

 

Lose Weight

Being obese increases the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease, possibly shaving up to 12 years off your life, per an analysis in the journal Obesity. But being too thin can hike your risk of osteoporosis and poor immune function. So aim to stay at a weight that’s healthy for you.

 

Cap your drinks

Regularly exceeding one drink a day or three in one sitting can damage organs, weaken the immune system and increase the risk of some cancers.

 

Ease your stress

Chronic stress makes us feel old—and actually ages us: In a 2012 study, Austrian researchers found that work-related tension harms DNA in our cells, speeding up the shortening of telomeres—which protect the ends of our chromosomes and which may indicate our life expectancy. Of course, it’s impossible to completely obliterate stress. “What’s important is how you manage it,” says Thomas Perls, MD, associate professor at Boston University school of Medicine and creator of the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator. Practice yoga, pray, meditate, relax in the shower or do whatever else chills you out.

 

Keep learning

Having more education lengthens your life span, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs, for a number of reasons. Extra schooling may help you become better informed about how to live a healthy life. And educated folks, as a group, have a higher income, which means greater access to good health care and insurance.

 

Connect

More and more research points to the value of having friends, and not just on Facebook. An Oxford University study found that being married makes you less likely to die of heart disease, which researchers suggest may be due to partners encouraging the other to seek early medical treatment. Same goes for friendships: Australian research showed that people with the most buddies lived 22 percent longer than those with the smallest circle. “Having positive, meaningful, intimate relationships is critical to most people’s well-being,” says Linda Fried, MD, dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

 

Extend a hand

Volunteering is linked to a lower risk of death, a University of Michigan study suggests. But you don’t have to log hours at a soup kitchen: Simply helping friends and family—say, by tutoring your niece or assisting your neighbor with her groceries—lowers blood pressure, according to researchers at the University of Tennessee and Johns Hopkins University.

 

Work out often

Exercising regularly—ideally at least three days of cardio and two days of strength training a week—may help slow the aging process, Canadian doctors reported. “Being physically active is like keeping the car engine tuned,” Dr. Fried says. “Even if there’s decline with age, it’s less severe.” You were never an athlete? Don’t worry: Starting to work out now can reduce your likelihood of becoming ill going forward, a 2014 study suggests.

 

Reconsider your protein

A diet rich in processed meat—including hot dogs, sausage, cured bacon and cured deli meats—has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer. Limit your intake as much as possible.

 

Give up smoking

Lighting up increases your risk of not only lung cancer but also heart disease and cancer of almost every other organ. “Just one cigarette a day can take 15 years off your life,” Dr. Perls says. Though you won’t instantly revert to pre-smoking health, kicking butts will cut your added cardiovascular risk in half after a year and to that of a nonsmoker after 15.

 

Enjoy your joe

Good news for java lovers: Research indicates that drinking coffee regularly may protect against diabetes, cirrhosis and liver cancer. And Harvard research suggests that drinking 3 1/2 cups a day may lower risk of heart disease. Read more about the health benefits of coffee.

 

Sleep better

For evidence that you can—and should—make slumber a priority, look no further than a 2013 study from the University of Surrey in England, which compared a group who got less than six hours of sleep a night with a group who got 8 1/2 hours. After just one week, snoozing less had altered the expression of 711 genes, including ones involved in metabolism, inflammation and immunity, which may raise the risk of conditions from heart disease to obesity.

 

Have More Sex

The feel-good rush you get from it helps you fight stress and depression, jolt the immune system and lower blood pressure.

 

Go Mediterranean

In a 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine study, women who followed a Mediterranean-style diet were 40 percent more likely to live past 70 without major chronic illness than those with less healthy diets. Eat lots of veggies, fruit, fish and whole grains, and avoid simple carbs, such as pasta and sugar (“age accelerators,” Dr. Perls calls them). Try these Mediterranean diet recipes.

 

Know your history

Have one or more relatives who lived into their 90s? You may be genetically blessed. But that doesn’t mean you should quit the gym and live on doughnuts. “Before you get to extreme ages, healthy lifestyle is more critical than genes,” Dr. Perls says. So thank your ancestors, but stick to vegetables and cardio as life insurance.

Source MSN

11 Ways To Avoid Back Pain

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11 Ways To Avoid Back Pain

If you’ve been dealing with a sore back, you’re not alone. Four out of five people experience back pain at some point in their life, making it the fifth most common reason for visiting the doctor. Back pain takes various forms, from a persistent dull ache to sudden sharp pain, and has many causes. Sometimes it results from a sprain, fracture, or other accidental injury. It can stem from a disease or medical condition, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal through which the spinal cord runs). Many people develop back pain in part because they’re overweight or sedentary.

The good news is that most lower back pain usually gets better within a few days or weeks, and surgery is rarely necessary. What’s more, simple self-help strategies such as these can be surprisingly effective at preventing back pain and keeping it from returning:

1. Get more exercise. If your back is hurting, you may think the best way to get relief is to limit exercise and to rest. A day or two of rest may help, but more than that may not help the pain. Experts now know that regular physical activity can help ease inflammation and muscle tension.

2. Watch your weight. Extra pounds, especially in your midsection, can make back pain worse by shifting your center of gravity and putting strain on your lower back. Staying within 10 pounds of your ideal weight may help control back pain. Here’s help to get started on weight loss.

3.Sleeping position. If you’re prone to back pain, talk with your doctor about the best sleeping position. Sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up slightly toward your chest is sometimes suggested. Prefer to sleep on your back? Put one pillow under your knees and another under your lower back. Sleeping on your stomach can be especially hard on your back. If you can’t sleep any other way, place a pillow under your hips. 

4. If you smoke, stop. Smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to spinal discs, so smokers are especially vulnerable to back pain. 

5. Pay attention to your posture. The best chair for preventing back pain is one with a straight back or low-back support. Keep your knees a bit higher than your hips while seated. Prop your feet on a stool if you need to. If you must stand for a prolonged period, keep your head up and your stomach pulled in. If possible, rest one foot on a stool — and switch feet every five to 15 minutes. 

6. Be careful how you lift. Don’t bend over from the waist to lift heavy objects. Bend your knees and squat, pulling in your stomach muscles and holding the object close to your body as you stand up. Don’t twist your body while lifting. If you can, push rather than pull heavy objects. Pushing is easier on the back.

7. Stash the skinny jeans. Clothing so tight that it interferes with bending, sitting, or walking can aggravate back pain.

8. Avoid high heels. They can shift your center of gravity and strain your lower back. Stick to a one-inch heel. If you have to go higher, bring along a pair of low-heeled shoes and slip into them if you become uncomfortable.

9. Lighten your wallet. Sitting on an overstuffed wallet may cause discomfort and back pain. If you’re going to be sitting for a prolonged period — while driving, for example, take your wallet out of your back pocket.

10. Pick the right handbag or briefcase. Buy a bag or briefcase with a wide, adjustable strap that’s long enough to reach over your head. A messenger bag (like the ones bike messengers wear) is made to wear this way. Having the strap on the opposite shoulder of the bag distributes the weight more evenly and helps keep your shoulders even and your back pain-free. When carrying a heavy bag or case without straps, switch hands frequently to avoid putting all the stress on one side of the body. To lighten the load, periodically purge bags, cases, backpacks, and other carriers of things you don’t need.

11. Forget about back braces. Various back supports are available, from elastic bands to special corsets. They can be helpful after certain kinds of surgery, but there is not much evidence that they help treat chronic back pain. 

If you follow the 11 steps given to you, you’ll be able to avoid a great deal of back pain. Most Back Pain is caused by us, lifting, working ourselves to death, lack of exercise and most important posture.

There are a lot of causes but I guarantee if you make some changes you’ll be able to feel a difference and avoid severe back pain. If your experiencing severe back pain, you’ll be surprised just how much exercise can help.

Check out our Award Winning all natural back pain treatment that responds to your back pain, treats multiple conditions that cause back pain and is unlike any other back treatment on the market.

What Makes Doctor’s Back Pain Systems Different