Author: Priscilla Wan
Experiencing a terrible neck pain sensation? You may be experiencing whiplash, especially if you were recently involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Whiplash is caused by high force of forward and backward movement, which is quite common in drivers who have been in a car accident. This condition does not only occur from car accidents, but it is common in contact sports such as football and any form of physical abuse and/or assault.
How do you know if you have a whiplash? Some symptoms of a whiplash include stiffness, headaches, dizziness and more. Normally, whiplash injuries may not mean much but sometimes there could be other problems associated with your neck pain and it is always advised to have your whiplash pain checked out with your general physician or chiropractor.
Arthritis is a common medical term many of us have heard about. There is also a lot of us who has experienced or is at risk for it. However, did you know there are 2 types of Arthritis?
The first type is osteoarthritis. This is defined when there are tears and wears of the cartilage at the end of the bones. As the cartilage is wearing out, the joints are rubbing against each other more frequently. This type is more commonly present in individuals who are over the age of 65. Factors such as obesity and overuse of the cartilage area can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. The symptoms associated with osteoarthritis are morning stiffness, pain which is decreased with movement, swelling, and any cracking and/or clicking sounds occurring in the joint area.
The second type is called rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disorder where it identifies normal functioning joints as abnormal therefore resulting in inflammation and pain. If inflammation isn’t taken care of, it can cause further damage to your cartilage and joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is commonly found in females who are 30-60 years of age. Symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis are similar to osteoarthritis but the stiffness and pain does not improve with movement.
If you have arthritis, what should you be doing? You can always try some stretches to help relieve arthritis pain. Always consider warming up before your stretches to prevent more pain from developing and try to do stretches during the least painful time of the day. If you move from time to time, it can actually relieve some pain and stiffness as well as using labor-saving devices and adaptive aids.
Just because you are experiencing arthritis, it doesn’t mean that you are limited to physical activity and exercise. Some exercises can help with rheumatoid arthritis. Consider putting aerobic conditioning, resistance training, stretching and flexibility exercises, and balance exercises into your active lifestyle, which all of these can help ease rheumatoid arthritis.
Low back pain can affect how your performance is, whether you are at work or at school. Most of us like to resort to pain killers to relieve our discomfort or pain but should we actually take medication to help with our back pain?
NSAIDs can be very harmful and lead to other health problems such as ulcers, stroke, and heart attacks. Studies suggest that medications help minimally in relieving pain and cause a lot of harm instead.
What should you do when you are experiencing low back pain?
If the back pain isn’t linked to anything dangerous, then let your back take a rest for a day or two with minimal stretching and exercising. If needed, physical therapy can be applied as well after a day of resting. However, if the back pain worsens or does not improve, it is always safer to contact a practitioner and figure out what could be the cause of the low back pain.
With a new case of low back pain, having rest and applying heat is important for the first few days. As the pain continues to linger, you can try a massage, acupuncture or spinal manipulation. If the pain continues, you can mention to your general practitioner about the issue and they could suggest a MRI to eliminate any serious issues.
Every individual experience low back pain at a different level so if you feel that you cannot handle the pain, it is best to see your local chiropractor or practitioner for more help.
For many of us, today is the first day back to school! Have you considered setting new SMART goals for the start of the school year? It is common to set SMART goals for yourself in the new year however it is not too late to create new goals in September!
Haven’t heard of SMART goals before? They are goals that are more specific and are more measurable throughout your progress. How do you know if your goals are SMART?
Specific: Create detailed, concise and clear goals of what needs to be achieved with a fully constructed result.
Measurable: How will you be able to keep track of your progress?
Achievable: Is this goal realistic? Are you able to attain this goal within the reasonable amount of time mentioned in the goal?
Relevant: Is there a purpose along with the goal you have made? Is it the right time to set this goal and are you able to continue going through with the goal?
Timely: How soon or long will it take to complete your goals? Is it a reasonable period of time for you to attain them?
Following these criteria can create detailed goals and tracking your process can become a lot easier as you allow yourself a set time to accomplish these goals!
School is approaching faster than we expected. How should we help our children protect their health as they go back to school?
Choosing the Right Backpack
First you should consider the backpack your child currently has. Does it seem like it is time for a new one? Here are some tips you may use to help your child find the right backpack without harming your child’s back.
- Have your child’s backpack weight distributed evenly so each side of the body receives the same level of stress.
- They should wear two shoulder strap bags rather than one strap as it can help prevent the spine from curving onto one side more than the other.
- Have the backpack closely attached to your back. The further away it is from your back, the harder it is to achieve proper balance.
- Make sure the backpack does not hang 4 inches below the waistline.
- Buy adjustable shoulder straps that fits your child.
How do you Know if it Fits?
Now that you have considered the aspects of the backpack, how would you know if it is actually good for your child? It is time to ask them some questions.
- Help your children figure out what needs to put in their backpack. The heaviest items should be in the middle of the backpack to prevent curving of the spine.
- Ask your child if they are experiencing any discomfort.
- Inform them to wear both straps rather than one.
- Encourage them to reduce backpack wearing times. If there is a place to put down their backpack then suggest them to do that to give your back a rest.
- Monitor their posture and backpacks overtime to see if the straps are still adjustable and the backpack weight is evenly distributed.
Keeping the Same Level of Exercise
With school comes homework and assignments. This can mean that your child will be inside and sitting more often. Encourage them to play sports with their friends, especially on a sunny day. If not, remind them to take a rest after an hour of sitting or laying down to walk around the house and do some stretches. Try to recommend these different levels of physical activity for your child’s active life. The 3 different types are: moderate aerobic exercise, vigorous aerobic exercise, and strengthening activities.
If you and your child follow these suggested tips, it can keep your lifestyle bad-posture free and healthy.
Snoring. This sound can be irritable to others however very often uncontrollable as you are sleeping when this occurs. First of all, why do we snore?
Snoring occurs when the air is passing through the relaxed tissues in your throat and produces vibrations, which is the sound you hear. In general, snoring is not harmful but it can also indicate serious health problems.
Causes for Snoring
- Alcohol consumption: drinking alcohol relaxes your muscles which can decrease your airway
- Sleep position: sleeping in certain positions can cause gravity to affect your airway
- Sleep deprivation: not having enough sleep can result in relaxation of the throat
- Obstructive sleep apnea: your airway is partially blocked which affects your breathing and snoring can occur due to decreased airway
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Nasal strips
- Losing weight
- Sleep position
- Limit your smoking
- Treat chronic allergies
If you know a loved one who experience snoring, take into consideration that it can be a health issue rather than just an annoyance!
We all experience a little bit of neck pain from time to time but there are many easy ways to avoid having that neck pain.
Neck pain can occur when the neck muscles are strained due to poor sitting posture and sleeping posture. Most neck pains gradually leave on their own but in rare cases, it can lead to numbness or pain that radiates down your arm, which is quite severe and you should seek medical care. Experiencing neck pain can mean your body is indicating that you are performing movements that is straining on the muscles.
One common problem associated with neck pain is when you constantly look down on your cell phone. This is known as “text neck“. As you spend so much time looking down at your phone, your neck starts to bent forward and can lead to more problems such as pain on the shoulders and back.
Here are some tips you can try to ease your neck pain:
- Try to switch into different positions: Do not stay in the same position for a long time, you can try getting up and walking around the house to drink some water and then go back to your phone.
- Stretching your neck: By stretching and strengthening your neck and back muscles, you are able to hold up your posture better which can help reduce the amount of neck pain you may be experiencing.
- Make ergonomic adjustments: Try elevating your laptop or monitor screen to eye level so you can prevent from bending your neck forward and causing extra strain.
- Use the right amount of pillows: Do not try to layer up a bunch of pillows as it can affect your neck’s range of motion
- Have a good amount of sleep: Sleeping helps your body heal, and also reduce any musculoskeletal pain
If these tips are not helpful, it is always safer to see a practitioner about your recurring neck pain!
Do you ever have trouble falling asleep? If yes, you are not alone! Many of us have trouble falling asleep once in a while and some of us experience insomnia quite often. Thankfully here are some tips to help fall asleep, stay asleep, or prevent from waking up too early.
First let’s reveal some reasons as to why you having trouble sleeping. This can be due to your diet, work lifestyle and your stress levels.
One reason could be your diet. If you tend to skip breakfast a lot then your hormonal level changes throughout the day which can affect your sleep schedule. Our bodies need the right nutrients to complete biochemical mechanisms which regulate our system, such as our sleeping pattern. Another reason is that your sleep schedule is inconsistent therefore you are unable to receive the suggested hours of sleep per day. A third reason is alcohol. Drinking alcohol can affect your sleep pattern because as your body is breaking down the alcohol level in your blood it can tend to wake you up in the middle of the night or interrupt your sleep by having you wake up earlier.
Here are some tips to help your regain your sleep pattern back to a healthy lifestyle!
Try to dim the lights in your room and prevent from going on your devices 30 minutes prior to the time you want to sleep. Having a consistent sleep schedule by waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday can help regulate your sleep and prevent you from waking up throughout the night. If you notice that your mind is always wandering at night, try to do breathing exercises to help calm your mind from stress. If these methods do not work for you and you have been awake in bed for 20 minutes, try to get up and do different activities then try going back to bed. If you are someone who consume caffeine during the day, try to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks after 2pm. Another strategy to try is to exercise regularly which can help you fall asleep easier.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can be quite life-threatening if the conditions are not controlled. Hypertension is when your arteries are experiencing higher-than-normal pressure which causes extra stress on the vessel walls. A normal blood pressure is approximately 120/80 mmHg. For this condition to become If the walls are damaged or has a tear then other health problems can occur such as Atherosclerosis. High blood pressure can affect the function of other organs and can cause heart failure leading to heart attacks and strokes.
A reason why this condition is dangerous because there are usually no symptoms so many individuals will not know if they have hypertension until something serious occurs or if they visit their family doctor.
There are many factors that contribute to high blood pressure, including drinking alcohol on a regular basis, over consumption of salt, not enough physical activity and obesity, or having hypertension in family history.
If caught early, you can control your lifestyle and lower your blood pressure. There are medications that can help control your blood pressure:
- ACE inhibitors: widens the diameter of the blood vessels
- Beta-blockers: slows down the heart rate
- Diuretics: dilute salt concentration in blood with water pills
- Alpha blockers: block nerve impulses that constricts the blood vessels
Changing your diet and the amount of physical activity you do can greatly impact your blood pressure. Consider having meals with less sodium and reduce your alcohol intake. When exercising, try to maintain 30 minutes of physical activity everyday which can help lower your blood pressure. Even learning to manage your stress can greatly reduce the pressure on your vessel walls.
Have you ever considered doing your exercises in the lake or a swimming pool? Exercising in the water can be beneficial for your body and it can be fun to switch up your work out routine once in a while to keep yourself motivated!
Here are some benefits when you exercise in water:
- Low impact on your joints: As you exercise in water, there is buoyancy which help you float and reduce the amount of stress on your joints when you have contact with the ground. Therefore, a lower risk of injuring your joints.
- It can lower your chances of overheating: When your body core temperature is higher than optimal, your body begins to counteract that through sweating. By working out in cold water, it helps you cool off faster so overheating can be prevented. When working out in warm water, it can increase your blood flow and remove toxins in your body.
- There is water resistance: Exercising in water can increase resistance on your body which is beneficial for muscle strengthening and toning without having to carry extra weights.
- Helps with your cardiovascular system: For some individuals, they may think that recreational swimming is a lot more relaxing than running on a treadmill. By lowering your stress, you are protecting your cardiovascular system since your blood pressure can be lower. A study show that recreational swimming can burn the same amount of calories as brisk walking.
Exercising on land may be difficult for some individuals so attempting water aerobics can be a great alternative for someone who would still like to stay active. Anyone can try exercising in water and should consider it as a routine in your weekly activities just to train differently, strengthen your muscles and stay healthy.