Dehydration is unacceptable
If you are guilty of a low consumption of fluids, we urge you to take a look at how this affects you in the long run. Dehydration is implicated in a number of conditions which contribute to poor spinal health, including:
- Weight gain
- Drying out of the intervertebral discs
- Muscle spasms
- Mental stress
- Poor blood circulation
Hydrating is one of the easiest things you can do daily to immediately improve your spinal health. This begs the question: why are Americans chronically dehydrated?
Golf stresses the spine
Golf is one of the sports for which we treat the most injuries. No matter your age, golf creates a unique system of stress for the spine. The swing itself requires an enormous amount of power generation respective to the body, with the torsion of the hips and the downward force of the shoulders. Throughout a day on the course, you are doing a fair bit of bending, lifting and twisting and all of these are unnatural motions for the spine. That means that you need to be proactive about preventing injury on the golf course.
Lifting with your brain: what does it mean?
At its core, it means being more mindful about your spine when performing daily activities. Unless you were raised under a rock, you probably heard the phrase: “lift with your legs, not your back.” Yet how many of us continually ignore this wisdom, and lift with a motion that may save us a few seconds, but risks our spinal health unnecessarily. Anyone with a spinal condition or back pain will tell you that lifting is one of the most painful motions they can undertake- it is in your best interest to avoid this pain at all costs. So step one is being more mindful about how you lift, and not ignoring that ubiquitous wisdom after all.
Stiff necks are ubiquitous in adult populations
Aging and lifestyle are traditionally to blame- white collar office jobs have contributed to more hours spent with poor, forward head posture than ever before. Then you add in the technology wave that has brought us to rely on cell phones for communication and entertainment and the recipe thickens: our necks are now up against it more than ever. And while a stiff and sore neck is certainly annoying, we are often able to ignore it and get on with our day. Some of us may even stretch to momentarily alleviate tension, but the underlying cause of the stiffness and soreness will remain, unless we are more proactive about preventing it. But what if your sore neck is sending a warning sign that you aren’t seeing? Here’s how to know when a stiff neck could be a serious problem.
The natural pain relief advantage
No matter who you are, you can’t afford pain. From a lingering ache to a debilitating disc injury, pain is going to take its toll on your life. That’s why pain relief is such a huge field within modern medicine (and such a major arm of the pharmaceutical industry). And while pain relieving medications are indispensable to some, others become gripped by their addictive properties and find themselves at the mercy of myriad side-effects. What’s more, a painkiller is only a mask- it doesn’t actually resolve anything. It simply treats the symptom (pain) so that you can get on with your life. From a wellbeing perspective, this is very important. But natural pain relief takes a different approach: it seeks to resolve the source of the symptoms, thereby creating more profound, permanent changes that will offer longer-term pain relief.
No woman should go through the postpartum phases alone
The postpartum period is broken up into three phases: the first 6-12 hours; the following 2-6 weeks; and then up to 6 months after that. This period can be fraught with mental turbulence and physical discomfort, much of which stems from the third trimester of pregnancy and the ensuing childbirth. With a newborn baby child in your hands and a new body and life to get used to, it’s no wonder that the majority of women struggle during this time. Over 85% of women report health problems (at least one) during this period. For some unlucky women, these health problems can become chronic, having long-term impacts on mental and physical health.
Tech pain: what is it?
The average American is now said to spend up to 23 hours a week texting, typing, sending e-mails and engaging with social media. An entire day out of the week devoted to screens, keyboards and all the stress that comes with them. Whether it is part of your job, or part of your lifestyle, you may be familiar with the physical pain and discomfort that evolves out of your habits.
- Muscle stiffness and soreness
- Lower back pain
- Gamer’s thumb and sore fingers
- Text neck
- Tension headaches
- Eye strain
…the list just goes on. Because technology is so far from nature, almost all of our interactions with it are going to be unnatural and therefore difficult for our body to manage. We therefore have to be proactive about protecting our bodies against the incursions of tech pain. Here’s how:
Your daily commute is killing your back
The car is still the main method of commuting for US citizens. And while you’ve got to get to work to earn the money, you could be doing your spine a disservice in the process. It starts with tension, the anxiety of sitting in traffic on your way to work which translates into tight muscles that pull your spine out of alignment and spasm. It then moves to posture, which is poor because there is not a car seat in the world that supports your spine properly. The factors which contribute to your back pain are myriad which means that you need to proactive about preventing your spine from suffering on your daily commute.
Massage helps you stay on top of your game
Ask any athlete to give you their priorities for down time and it will be recovery every time. Recovery encompasses multiple factors, from nutrition to stretching to muscle regrowth and injury recovery. As Westwood’s musculoskeletal specialists, we have years of experience working with athletes to create individualized plans that help them get the most out of their bodies. Our goal is to keep the body balanced, so that you can maintain a consistently high level of performance and avoid injury. But this is far from easy; let’s take a look at how physical activity strains the body and how massage can help undo this stress.
Chronic pain is an ill-understood beast
Chronic pain is an individualized experience- for some it is born out of acute injury, for others it develops from degenerative conditions or autoimmune disorders. But others suffer seemingly without reason; the fact is that suffering can exist in the absence of any identifiable condition. A growing number of studies show that chronic pain can have psychosomatic implications, that is a state in which pain exists and is worsened by mental factors like stress and anxiety. So how can stress cause physical pain? And what can we do to stop it?