Expectant Mothers Often Experience An Achy Back

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Dr. Fabien Bitan of Atlantic Spine Center. Please share your comments below…..

pregnantDr. Fabien Bitan with Atlantic Spine Center explains why back pain occurs during pregnancy and offers tip to alleviate the problem.

Day or night, a growing baby is always with its pregnant mother. So too, for a large percentage of expecting women, is back pain, a not-so-happy but highly common consequence of pregnancy, according to Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Fabien Bitan with Atlantic Spine Center.

Between 50% and 70% of all pregnant women experience back pain, and not just in the later months as their growing belly causes dramatic shifts in posture, according to the American Pregnancy Association. A combination of factors – both preventable and unavoidable – contribute to the prevalence of aching backs among expectant moms.

“For these women, back pain can disrupt their days and get in the way of a good night’s sleep, which is so important to counteract the physical demands of pregnancy,” says Dr. Bitan. “Fortunately there are many techniques and interventions that can alleviate the problem, if not eliminate it altogether.”

Causes of pregnancy-related back pain

Women who are overweight or have experienced back pain before their pregnancy are even more likely than the average pregnant mom to develop the condition. But certain factors related to gestating a baby for nine months up the odds that women might develop back pain, Dr. Bitan says.

They include:

* Increasing hormone levels: To soften ligaments in the pelvic region in preparation for childbirth, the body releases a flood of hormones. This ligament-loosening sacroiliac joint-shifting can reduce normal levels of back support from these structures.

* Center of gravity shift: As the uterus become heavier, pregnant women tend to lean backward to compensate for their growing bellies. This posture change can make the back muscles work harder, leading to pain, soreness and stiffness.

* Weight gain: It’s a simple fact that the back must support perhaps dozens of extra pounds as pregnancy progresses, creating back strain.

* Stress: Worries about the growing fetus or changing family dynamics due to the new addition can manifest in back pain.

How expectant moms can minimize back pain

Not all pregnancy-related back pain can be prevented, but wearing flat shoes with good arch support is a good first step, Dr. Bitan notes. “Also consider investing in a firm mattress, which can provide extra support for your back during pregnancy,” he says.

Other ways expectant moms can reduce the odds of experiencing back pain include:

* Wearing a support belt under your lower abdomen.

* Using doctor-approved exercises that support and strengthen the back and abdomen.

* Picking up items by squatting and bending at the knees, not bending at the waist.

* Sitting in chairs with good back support, or using a small pillow behind the lower back.

If a pregnant woman develops an achy back despite her best efforts, Dr. Bitan advises common interventions such as applying ice or heat; using braces or other support devices such as a sacroiliac belt; and sleeping on her left side with a support pillow between the knees.

It’s important to note that severe back pain, or a backache that persists for longer than two weeks, may signify a bigger problem and mean it’s time to contact your health care provider, Dr. Bitan explains. Back pain can be a symptom of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection, both of which can be serious.

But for most women, the joys of pregnancy simply don’t include how their back may feel on any given day. “Back pain may be common during the nine months leading up to childbirth,” Dr. Bitan says, “but it doesn’t have to overshadow the big event if women do their best to avoid it and tackle an aching back with common-sense measures.”

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with several locations in NJ and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com, http://www.atlanticspinecenter.nyc

Fabien Bitan, MD. Orthopedic Spine Surgeon with Atlantic Spine Center is a world renowned spine surgeon and leading expert in spinal instrumentation and artificial discs replacements.

Navigate Your College Dining Experience With Confidence

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By: Bonnie R. Giller, MS, RD, CDN, CDE

saladplateWhether you are a returning college student or just starting out as a freshman, the nutritional landscape can be difficult to navigate. The nutritional backdrop on most college campuses often includes make-your-own waffle bars in the dining halls, dorm rooms filled with junk food, student centers supplied by fast food chains, late night pizza delivery, and everything in between meeting the definition of calorie dense, greasy, and unhealthy. It is no wonder why most new college students gain the “freshman fifteen”, and some frequently gain even more. College is a time of change, wonder, excitement, freedom, loss of boundaries, and stress. With all of that going on, it is no surprise that healthy nutrition falls to the wayside.

Perhaps a basic nutrition class should become mandatory in the core curriculum for all entering students. However, since this does not really exist for students outside of the nutrition field, the following provides some tips for college students to maintain healthy nutrition when they return to school.

Dining Hall Eating:

Dining halls are becoming more informational by displaying calorie counts and nutrition information on their offerings. This is a good way to navigate your way to healthy meal options. Being mindful about your meal options also goes hand-in-hand with paying attention to the nutritional information being provided. Make sure to choose fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and protein options, and low fat dairy products.

Dorm Room Options:

Knowing how to keep your dorm room stocked with healthy options may seem like you are privy to insider trading secrets. However, it does not have to be that difficult. Discovering your local grocery store can help stock your dorm room, while also keeping your wallet in check, especially if you purchase store brand items.

teensMost dorm rooms are limited in their capacities to facilitate the preparation of healthy meals because they are usually only stocked with a mini refrigerator and a microwave. Therefore, dorms should be stocked with healthy options that do not require extensive cooking or preparation. Such options include fruits and vegetables that can be eaten alone, or made into a healthy salad. Other options include whole grain bread for making sandwiches with peanut butter, tuna fish, or low sodium, low fat cold cuts.

In regards to the microwave, there are lots of microwave-ready, specially packaged food items available these days such as, brown rice and vegetables. Healthy snacking options should include low sodium, low fat popcorn, almonds or peanuts, yogurt, and whole grain cereals. Canned goods can also be good stocking options. Canned vegetables are often more fresh than those found in the produce section, with the added benefit of being less expensive.

Hydration:

Staying hydrated is of particular importance. Since your body is made up of approximately 60 – 70% water, it is imperative to drink the recommended daily intake. Drinking adequate amounts of water will keep your metabolism working at its full capacity, keep you energized and attentive, keep your short-term memory working, which is important for test taking, and quench your thirst, which is often mistaken for hunger. Make sure to stay hydrated with water as opposed to high sugar content soft drinks or fruit drinks, coffee, and energy drinks. Staying hydrated with water is as simple as keeping your room stocked with cases of water, or buying a water filter pitcher, such as Brita, and filling up a reusable water bottle to carry around campus with you.

Balance:

fruitswhiteObtaining balance is key. This involves creating daily specific routines. Routines will help you carve out sufficient meal times in between classes and/or work in an effort to maintain metabolism efficiency. If you are still finding it difficult to find balance and make healthy meal choices, then visiting with the school nutritionist may be the missing link.

Finding nutritional balance does not have to be as daunting as it seems. You do not have to join your peers in fulfilling the “freshman fifteen” prophesies. If you remain mindful enough to make healthy decisions the majority of the time, then you can be on your way to a healthy college experience.

– Bonnie R. Giller helps chronic dieters and those struggling to lose weight achieve weight loss without suffering through another diet that doesn’t work. She does this by creating a tailored solution that combines three essential ingredients: a healthy non-diet mindset, nutrition education and caring support. She utilizes the principles of intuitive eating, which is eating based on your internal signals of hunger and satiety versus situations or emotions. The result is they lose weight and keep it off without dieting. Bonnie is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.), Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN) and Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.). She is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. Bonnie is the author of 5 Steps to a Body You Love without Dieting. Get your copy Free and learn more at www.brghealth.com.