Roughly 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point during their lives.
Pass the broccoli, please
Lighten your load
Tighten those abs
Aim for good posture
Roughly up to 20 percent of Americans report feeling tired or sad with the fewer hours of daylight in the late fall and winter months. With colder temperatures and crisp, blustery winds, it’s easy to give in and hit the snooze button one more time instead of dragging yourself to the gym before work — or, make a date with your couch, warm blankets, and Netflix instead of bundling up and getting dinner with family and friends.
While many people can still function even if they’re feeling a bit melancholy, for some, winter brings a clinical form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly (and ironically) referred to as SAD. Researchers estimate that at least 5% percent of the population experiences SAD symptoms during the shorter days of late-fall and winter, such as fatigue, overeating, loss of interest in activities and difficulty concentrating.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways to feel better and boost your mood if you’re experiencing an energy dip.
The sun is rising earlier, so get up with the chickens, so to say. Bundle up and go for a morning walk around the block, to soak up some of that early morning sunshine.
Sticking to a normal routine helps keep your mood and day in balance. Don’t deviate from it if you feel blue, that’s your key to knowing you need to follow through. Don’t neglect your favorite activities just because it’s cold or getting dark early.
Don’t fall prey to loading up on sugar and comfort foods this time of year. Most people opt for sugary sweets because it gives them a temporary lift in mood, but come spring you’ll regret it with extra weight. Remember, you are what you eat!
Consider getting light therapy or buying your own full spectrum UV light box. Research has shown that light therapy helps at least 50% of people who suffer from SAD. The bright light emitted from these devices helps the body awaken in the morning and decreases the hormone melatonin that keeps us asleep at night.
We don’t mean on the DVD player – get outside and enjoy yourself with loved ones this winter. From a friendly snowball fight with friends to cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, or a simple hike on a groomed Metroparks path, get out there and find joy in wintertime activities.
A little downward dog might help lift you out of your funk. Try starting yoga or meditation to get your mind and body some uplifting energy this low light and energy season.
If you have vacation time, book yourself a trip! Quality downtime and vacation are important to recharge and boost your mood. Studies show that people even experience pleasure and stress release from anticipating vacations. While you count down the days until your warm and sunny holiday, find ways to enjoy and be happy with the winter wonderland in your own backyard.
Studies show that getting chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate symptoms of depression.
Our moods are regulated by our body’s chemistry; this chemistry in your organs, as well as your brain, are all regulated by the nervous system. Misalignment of the spine can cause pressure in the area of the brain stem which can cause interference neurologically and chemically.
Often people turn to medications that are used to alter their brain chemistry, but those looking for a non-medication therapy often find that re-aligning these vertebrae can do wonders for their mental state.
If you struggle with serious and continuous depressive symptoms, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss your condition and options for treatment.
Have you ever tried the sweet and savory Autumn Squash soup from Panera? It is amazing! After scouring the internet, we found an excellent and healthy copycat recipe for this delicious favorite on The Cafe Sucre Farine.
One minor modification to this recipe I would recommend is adding a bit of vanilla almond milk to the mix.
Let us know how you like this recipe!
Author: Chris Scheuer
Recipe type: Soup
For the pumpkin seeds, melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. Sprinkle with paprika, curry powder, and salt. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, or until pepitas/seeds begin to turn golden. Taste and add a bit more salt, if needed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
If you have a calendar year plan with your group employer medical insurance, or your FSA/HSA plan, the end of the year is when most flexible spending, health savings, and insurance benefits expire.
Even though your time is already limited, here at Core Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, we’d like to give you a friendly reminder that it’s a good time to come in for a visit and use those insurance benefits!
Read the packet of information your employer gave you for open enrollment season. Carefully review the information about your insurance benefits, and see if any benefits are being cut or reduced in 2018. If so, and if you will be affected by the changes, get the most out of your coverage now before the cost of your treatment goes up.
There are many ways of addressing your medical needs now, instead of waiting until next year that can save you money. Come in for an exam and see what we can help you with, so you have a pain free holiday season!
Check with your insurer to see what insurance benefits you’ve used, and what you still have available for the year.
Also, check your FSA/HSA balance. Then make sure to take full advantage of your benefits before January 1.
By now, you’ve likely tried all sorts of treatments—but you may not have considered these four little-known natural pain relievers:
Endorphins are pain-inhibiting hormones that are naturally produced by your body. Endorphins inhibit pain by binding to the opioid receptors in your brain, and they work similar to opioid pain medications like oxycodone or morphine.
Any activity that raises your heart rate for an extended period will spur the release of pain-relieving endorphins into your system. But this raises an obvious problem: how do you exercise if you’re in so much pain? The solution may be to pick a water-based exercise or to get help from the right type of health professional—such as a physiatrist, chiropractor, or physical therapist.
Soaking your body in warm water can help relieve muscle discomfort and many types of arthritis pain. There are numerous options for a warm soak, including a bathtub, whirlpool tub, or a warm pool. Some people find that essential oils or Epsom salts improve the muscle-relaxation benefits associated with a warm soak.
The temperature of your water should be warm and pleasant—especially before bed. Hot water can make it hard to fall asleep by raising the temperature of your body.
If a soak isn’t for you, there are plenty of other heat therapy options for your pain. Try applying an electric blanket or using an adhesive back wrap that provides low-level heat over several hours.
Most people know that drinking plenty of water throughout the day is good for your overall health. But did you know that it may also help with your chronic pain? Drinking enough water can alleviate stiffness, and it also supports your blood flow—which enables healing nutrients and oxygen to reach the various structures of your body. In addition, water helps to flush toxins out of your muscles and other soft tissues, and as a bonus, it can prevent constipation (a side effect of many pain medications).
As a general rule, women need roughly 2 liters of water per day, while men need 3 liters.
Ice and/or a cold gel pack can alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation and slowing down your nerve impulses. A great option for cold therapy is an ice massage, which may provide additional relief through the manipulation of your soft tissue.
Here’s how to do it:
All of the above natural pain relievers are not prescriptive. Instead, they are intended as options for you to consider as you work in tandem with your doctor to manage your chronic pain.
No single treatment option works for everyone, but try one of the above options today and you might find significant relief from your chronic pain.
Originally published on Spine Health