Monthly Archives: June 2015

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Three Signs It’s Time to Seek Medical Attention for Your Backache

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For many of us, back pain a fact of life–the student recovering from marathon study sessions in an unforgiving library chair, a young professional burning the midnight oil and under stress, parents or grandparents hauling babies around, or simply an active, happy person enjoying any number of favorite activities. Stress, poor posture, heavy lifting, and overexertion are all common back pain culprits.

Most of our movements cycle through the back one way or another–and when it’s in pain, the quality of life impact can be devastating. Worse, a achy back can be a sign of a more serious problem. If you experience any of these warning signs, please contact a medical professional immediately.

No Improvement After 72 Hours of TLC

Take time to treat back pain as soon as it starts. Use basic at home remedies. These include rest, pain relievers like ibuprofen, lots of water, and alternating hot or cold treatments. Moderate exercise may be indicated if you suspect your pain is related to stress or a sedentary lifestyle. Listen to your body and give it the care it needs. After three days of R&R, if your symptoms have worsened or failed to improve, schedule an appointment with a medical professional ASAP. Don’t take chances when it comes to your spine!

Pain Extending to The Leg

Sciatica, or back pain that extends down the spine to the leg, is a sign to seek health care immediately. Sciatica is often caused by a herniated disc pressing on the central nerve of the spine, the sciatic nerve. Other signs of sciatica include a sharp pain that makes it difficult to stand or walk, pain that it worse when sitting, and numbness or weakness in an lower extremity. Generally, the pain is experienced in the spine and radiates down one side of the lower extremities. Fortunately, permanent damage to the sciatic nerve is rare. Reduce your risk– and get relief–by seeing a specialist immediately.

Any Other Accompanying Symptoms

Pay attention to other symptoms accompanying your back pain. Back pain occurring in conjunction with a fever, loss of bladder or bowel control, and back pain when coughing is cause to seek medical attention.


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Five Tips to Recover From Surgery Faster, Stronger, and Better Than Ever

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Surgery is, as is any invasive treatment, a big deal. Make the most out of yours by taking steps toward an effective, complete recovery.

Think of Surgery as an Investment

Surgery is an investment. You have invested your time, money, emotional and physical energy into this. Chances are, your loved ones have, too. That’s why it’s important to think of it as more than just a cure or solution. It’s something to get the most value out of you possibly can. This may sound obvious now, but sometimes it’s easy to get impatient, or to be so excited for any improvement we forget to think of surgery as an ongoing investment–one we can make even more worthwhile with the right lifestyle choices.

Follow a Comprehensive Post Surgery Plan

Don’t just do the bare minimum. Consult with a specialist to explore all your options to aid in your recovery. These may include physical therapy, holistic medicine, or nutrition consulting. Remember: your surgeon is on your side. They want you to experience the best possible outcome. If you have insurance limitations or scheduling issues, don’t be shy about bringing them up to find a strategy that you can stick to.

Beef Up Your Protein Intake

Nutrition is essential to recovering from surgery. Protein is especially vital to rebuilding and repairing muscles and other tissue. Fish, chicken, and other lean proteins are obvious health food picks. Kale, that trendiest of greens, is also a surprisingly rich source of protein as well, and can be quite tasty (really! we promise!) when blended in a smoothie or prepared using one of these recipes.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Chances are, you’re well aware of the need to drink more water– 2-3 liters for a healthy adult. Try these tips to remind yourself to drink up. A hydrated body is better prepared to recover.

Join A Support Group

Ask your doctor about support groups for patients recovering from surgery in your area, see if there are group classes for recovery patients at your physical therapy center, or try online forums, like this one. Spine surgery, back pain, and recovery can all be exhausting, isolating experiences–it’s nice to have someone who’s been there to share with. Do keep in mind that you should never follow medical advice, including tips for stretches or exercises, without consulting your physician first.

We hope these tips help! It takes courage to commit to surgery. Our team is honored to work with individuals who have taken this important step in improving their lives, and are dedicated to helping you live a healthier, happier life.


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Eat Your Way to a Healthier Back: Summer Edition

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Good nutrition is a great way to give your back as much support as possible. Take a minute to learn about some especially important nutrients and summery ways to get them!

Calcium
Calcium is essential for young children to develop strong bones, and just as crucial for adults wishing to maintain bone density. Calcium is also important for muscle function. It’s found in high concentrations in dairy products, broccoli, kale, and other leafy greens.

The Summer Solution: A fruit and yogurt parfait — the perfect light, filling breakfast for any morning. Bonus tip? Mix a small about of blackstrap molasses in with your yogurt prior to adding other ingredients. Just one tablespoon provides almost 20% of the average daily calcium recommendation.

Vitamin K

To use calcium, your body needs vitamin K. It can be found in dairy products, liver, and leafy greens such as kale and spinach.

The Summer Solution: Roasted Pepper and Parsley Tabouleh. The parsley base is very high in vitamin K. This makes an easy to pack lunch–add some whole wheat pita bread for an especially satisfying combination.

Vitamin D
Your body needs vitamin K to use calcium, but first it needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. While too much vitamin D may put you at increased risk for bone fractures, so it’s best to get this one in more modest portions.

The Summer Solution:
Head outside! Time in the sun is a great way to get vitamin D. While you’re out there, start up the grill for these next two recipes.

Vitamin B12
Your body needs vitamin B12 for a functioning brain and nervous system, and to form blood. It’s vital to a range of cellular level metabolic processes, and a deficiency can lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms affecting the muscles and more. It can be found in animal products, such as poultry, fish, and milk.

The Summer Solution: Grilled salmon with lemon, capers, and rosemary cooked in foil. It’s a healthier–and totally delicious–alternative to typical grilled fare.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps repair tissue and aids in the formation of bone, both very important for anyone recovering from an injury. Find it in dairy products, orange fruits, vegetables, and tubers like sweet potatoes and carrots.

The Summer Solution: Barbeque baked sweet potatoes. It’s a lighter, summer-fied take on the classic baked potato, and a cinch to grill. Bonus points when you swap out sour cream and butter for Greek yogurt and olive oil.

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Vitamin C
Like vitamin A, vitamin C is vital to the healing process. Vitamin C is necessary to produce collagen, which aids cells to form new tissue. It’s found in many fruits, including citrus, spinach, red and green peppers, and more.

The Summer Solution: Strawberry kiwi vitamin C pops. These are pretty and packed with vitamin C–beautiful inside and out!


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