Occupational Therapy Offers Relief For Hand Pain From Arthritis

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

newsOccupational Therapist Roxanne Perry with Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training with tips on how OT can help manage osteoarthritis hand pain and prevent further joint damage.

Opening a jar, buttoning a shirt or brushing your teeth are everyday activities that feel far from routine for those with arthritis in their hands, a highly common condition causing pain and disability for millions of Americans. But occupational therapy, or OT, focusing on the hands can ease pain and increase range of motion for these patients, whether used on its own or after surgery, according to Roxanne Perry, a licensed occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training.

With 27 bones in each of our hands (including the carpals which are the small wrist bones and are often involved when a patient has arthritic pain) perhaps it’s not surprising that osteoarthritis is the most common cause of hand arthritis – a word that literally means “inflamed joint.” Osteoarthritis itself is the most common type of arthritis in the United States, affecting about 12% of American adults and occurring when the smooth cartilage covering joints gets worn away because of age or overuse – causing pain, stiffness, swelling and sometimes knobby finger joints.

Hand therapy is a specialized practice area among occupational therapists, who treat these patients to preserve or increase their hand mobility so they’re able to perform everyday tasks more easily and comfortably.

“As a non-surgical option or a way to boost your recovery from hand surgery, occupational therapy is tailored to fit each person’s individual situation and needs, both at home and at work,” says Perry, who has more than 20 years of clinical experience treating injuries of the upper extremity. “The ultimate goal is to restore and optimize the way your hands function as well as to improve your independence and overall quality of life.”

Preventing further joint damage

For those with hand osteoarthritis for which surgery isn’t recommended, OT serves a preventative role, Perry explains. Patients are taught ways to prevent further joint damage, which can include:

Splinting: Immobilizing affected joints, particularly at night, helps them rest when you do and cuts down on joint inflammation, pain and swelling, Perry says. Splints used during sleep are made of a thermoplastic material that stretch and mold closely to the shape of the hand, while neoprene splints may be prescribed during the day to allow movement while also providing support. An occupational therapist will ensure splints are fabricated and fitted to each patient’s needs.

Home exercise program: In addition to working with hand osteoarthritis patients during office visits, occupational therapists also teach them range-of-motion exercises and gentle strengthening techniques they can perform at home. These therapeutic movements may include finger touches, curls, stretches and bends. A typical OT schedule involves office visits twice each week for 4 to 6 weeks and is generally covered by insurance with a prescription.

Information on pain management: Occupational therapists can offer education about over-the-counter and other types of anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain. Other pain management techniques may include soaking the hands in warm water or dipping them in warm paraffin wax. Additionally an OT can provide information on joint protection and adaptive equipment that can help increase patient’s independence.

“Avoiding further joint damage is a big part of effective treatment for hand arthritis,” Perry notes. “It’s not something you’d want to attempt without the guidance and expertise of an occupational therapist.”

If surgery needed, restoring strength and function

Surgery for osteoarthritis of the hand may be suggested when a patient either suffers from too much pain – a highly individual decision – or too little function. Surgical techniques can include; basal joint arthroplasty, also known as a joint replacement of the thumb, osteotomy, in which part of the bone of a joint is removed to realign the joint, and fusion of the joints, a procedure use when arthritis is particularly bad.

But even in this scenario, OT can play a crucial role in restoring a patient’s quality of life. If surgery is indicated, OT helps patients to manage post-operative pain; reduce swelling; promote wound care and healing; and restore range of motion, strength, and function.

“While a conservative, non-surgical approach is generally successful for managing hand osteoarthritis, sometimes surgery is the best course,” Perry says. “But either way, an occupational therapist can improve patients’ hand function and pain levels, reducing the stress on involved joints. OT shouldn’t be a last resort – it should be the first thought for people who develop hand arthritis.”

– Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training has provided personalized, integrative, and skilled one-on-one physical therapy services to residents of Westchester/lower Fairfield counties since 2001. http://www.armonkptst.com/ – Roxanne Perry, OTR, CHT, is a licensed occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training.

Washington DC Is The Nation’s Fittest City

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This article is courtesy of ACSM, please share your comments below…..

joggersResidents of the nation’s capital, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul, and San Diego enjoy a variety of outdoor exercise options and have relatively low rates of smoking, obesity and diabetes. That combination of measurable health and community indicators makes them the three fittest of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Oklahoma City, Memphis and Indianapolis rank last among the 50 metro areas studied in the eighth annual American Fitness Index® (AFI) ranking being released today by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation. View the rankings and individual metro data here.

There’s good news and areas of concern from the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. The AFI reveals a troubling 11.3 percent drop in the percentage of individuals who exercised in the last 30 days, and a 7.8 percent increase in the diabetes death rates from 2014 to 2015. The AFI ranking also notes a 5.5 percent drop in those who eat enough fruit each day. Five metro areas dropped significantly in the rankings, falling five or more positions.

On the more positive side, there was also a 9.5 percent decrease in the percentage of respondents who reported that they had been diagnosed with angina or coronary heart disease, and a 5.5 percent increase in the number of park units from 2014 to 2015. Nine metro areas improved their ranking by five or more positions.

With funding from The Anthem Foundation, ACSM studies Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) using a composite score to measure the health of each MSA. Access to public parks was added as a new measure in 2015, and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area topped the list for the second consecutive year with a score of 79.6 out of 100 possible points, a two-point improvement over 2014.

“The AFI is two things: a measure of how healthy a metro area is today, and a call-to-action for urban and suburban leaders to design infrastructures that promote active lifestyles and lead to positive health outcomes,” says Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, chair of the AFI Advisory Board. “Our goal is to provide communities and residents with resources that help them assess, respond and achieve a better, healthier life.”

“We have proudly sponsored the American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index® for the past eight years and have witnessed the growing impact this report can have on the health and well-being of communities,” said Sam Nussbaum, MD, chief medical officer for Anthem, Inc. “Across the United States, government, business and organizations have proven that by working together we can improve the health of our cities. These coalitions are using the actionable data from this report to drive health improvement. It is heartening to see a city’s health improve, and this year there were some remarkable shifts in rankings. Opportunities remain and measurement, shared learning and commitment to healthier lifestyles will benefit individuals, our cities and our nation.”

Last year, ACSM also released its first series of AFI data trend reports recapping and documenting progress during a five-year period for each metro area. You can learn more about community health data trends in a given area by going here.

Because physical inactivity has become an epidemic in the U.S., ACSM encourages Americans to exercise for at least 30 minutes and participate in 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training five days a week. Modeling healthy behavior by reducing sedentary time, incorporating activity into the weekday schedule, joining walking clubs, setting goals and involving family and friends can improve fitness, reduce the risk of chronic disease and enhance quality of life.

At the community level, the AFI data report can be used as an assessment and evaluation tool to educate community leaders on the importance of key indicators of physical activity. Leaders can then focus on policy, systems and environmental change (PSE) strategies that are evidence-based and create sustainability for the community.

ACSM is a global leader in promoting the benefits of physical activity and advocates for legislation that helps government and the health community make it a priority. ACSM encourages Congress to support continued funding of parks, trails and safe routes to school, as well as the need for all Americans to meet the prescribed physical activity recommendations included in the National Physical Activity Guidelines, and the need for the guidelines to be regularly updated every 10 years.

View the rest of the article here.

Signs, Dangers And Treatments For Concussions

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Medicine in Motion, please share your thoughts below…..

newsMost injuries sustained on the sports field have obvious tell-tale signs such as pain, bleeding, swelling or discoloration. The nature of a concussion, however, can make it extremely challenging to recognize at first glance – the physical evidence is hidden beneath the injured person’s skull, after all. Concussions are commonplace among high school athletes, affecting about 63,000 students every year.

Although many injured athletes are eager to get back into the game, a person suspected of having a concussion should immediately be removed or remove themselves from a game or any activity or sport. An increase in heart rate can worsen symptoms, but perhaps more importantly, a quick return to activity significantly increases the injured person’s risk of an even more serious brain injury. A doctor should always be consulted before an athlete returns to a sport or activity.

“Concussions are serious business, but we don’t always know how severe the damage is immediately after the injury occurs,” said Dr. Martha Pyron, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. “If you or your child has taken a blow to the head, you might be wondering if a concussion has developed. I recommend referring to our symptoms checklist and heading to a doctor if you have even the slightest suspicion that it is a concussion. The healing process may take time, but a quick response will be your athlete’s best bet for a solid recovery.”

Concussion facts and tips:

1. What is a concussion? It is the mildest form of brain injury, but can still lead to death and/or permanent brain damage if not treated properly.

2. How does a concussion occur? Usually, it is from a blow to the head, but a person can get a concussion by just abruptly stopping, even if he or she does not hit their head.

3. What are the consequences of a concussion? Usually, if treated properly, concussions resolve without any long term consequences. But if not treated properly, and sports are attempted while still recovering from a concussion, the concussion can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

4. What are symptoms of a concussion? Headache is the most common symptom of concussion, but it is not always present. Nausea, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, confusion, difficulty with concentration, behavioral changes, slurred speech, dizziness, blurry vision, sleep disturbance, and emotional changes can all occur.

5. How is a concussion treated? The brain must rest. At first this may mean rest from ALL activity including talking on the phone, watching TV, or even reading. Eventually, the concussion resolves and the athlete returns to all activity without difficulty.

6. How does a person know when their concussion has resolved? It is difficult to tell sometimes. But generally, three things need to be in place: 1. All symptoms have resolved; 2. The physician’s physical exam of the concussed person is normal; and 3. The person is able to think clearly and use their brain at the same level as prior to the injury.

7. How does a person know if they are able to use their brain the same as before? There are computerized tests which can measure concentration, memory and reaction times. If this test is taken before the head injury as a baseline, it can be used as a measure of when the test scores return to normal after the injury.

8. Where should a person go if they think they have a concussion? If a person is injured and their symptoms are worsening despite rest, they should go to the ER. If they have symptoms which occur that they think are related to a concussion, they should seek medical care from a physician who has experience with concussions and has the ability to test concentration and memory skills. Otherwise, it may be difficult to tell when the concussion has been resolved. Medicine in Motion has the capability to do a full evaluation.

– Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The staff at MIM believes active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office’s goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at http://www.medinmotion.com.

Navigating Retail Health Clinics

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications. What are your thoughts about their article….please share below…..

Retail health clinics are fine for a short-term illness or as a backup, but they should not replace a long-term relationship with a primary care physician.

newsThe hot trend of making health care more convenient is showing up in more and more local drugstores and big box chains in the form of retail health clinics, reports the March 2016 Harvard Health Letter. “Twenty years ago you had to go to an emergency department if you got sick and needed immediate care. Now we have an explosion of options, such as retail health clinics,” says Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, a researcher on the topic and an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School.

Retail health clinics have many perks. They’re easy to get into, with extended hours and no appointments necessary, and they’re staffed by a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. The clinics offer all kinds of health services—everything from treating minor illness like colds, pinkeye, or urinary tract infections to providing physicals, health screenings, and vaccinations—and the prices are often more affordable than other options. “We have found in our data that clinics are 30% to 40% cheaper than a doctor’s office visit, and 80% cheaper than an emergency room visit,” says Dr. Mehrotra.

Does the lower price translate into poor-quality care? “We’ve found that the quality of care at retail clinics is equal to or superior to some doctor’s offices, because the clinics are more likely to follow national guidelines of care,” says Dr. Mehrotra.

Despite all the perks, retail health clinics may not be right for everyone. A report from the American College of Physicians published online Oct. 13, 2015, in Annals of Internal Medicine maintains that the clinics are fine for a short-term illness or as a backup when people can’t see their doctors, but they should not replace a long-term relationship with a primary care physician. Dr. Mehrotra agrees.

Read the full-length article: “Should you use a retail health clinic?”

Also in the March 2016 issue of the Harvard Health Letter:

* The health benefits and risks of owning a pet

* Are prescription pain pills worth the risk?

* How to build a better bladder and stay dry

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free)

Americans Low In Vitamin E

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didyouknow?Royal River Natural Foods, a locally-owned independent natural health store in Freeport, Maine, reports a new study that found people of all ages are low in vitamin E, and particularly those 20 to 30 years old. Vitamin E may extend life, aid the brain, and help ensure healthy reproduction.

The report is part of the January 2016, issue of “Natural Insights for Well Being®”, which Royal River Natural Foods publishes free each month to help inform the Freeport community of the latest scientific discoveries in nutrition. Also in the January issue, college students with depression saw symptoms subside after taking omega-3 fish oil capsules for three weeks and postmenopausal women who continued taking vitamin D after stopping hormone replacement therapy were 26 percent less likely to develop breast cancer compared to women who stopped taking or who had never taken vitamin D, among other important findings.

“The findings this month are important for young adults looking to start a family, for students who want to do well in school, or women who want to reduce chances of breast cancer,” said Becky Foster, supplement manager. “New findings this month include studies from scientific journals such as the ‘Journal of the Public Library of Science – One,’ the ‘Journal of Nutrition,’ and the ‘Journal of Applied Physiology,’ among others.”

“Natural Insights for Well Being®” is free, and Royal River Natural Foods invites all those who wish to gain more valuable nutrition knowledge to stop in and pick up the January issue and meet the friendly, knowledgeable staff.

About the company:
Founded in 1994, Royal River Natural Foods is a unique community, natural food store. They are committed to well-being, body and soul. Experience their outstanding customer service in a warm and welcoming environment. Royal River Natural Foods proudly features local organic food, produce, locally-raised beef, chicken, lamb, pork and seafood, healthy takeout foods, bulk foods, snacks, special dietary products, specialty wines, micro-brewed beers, gourmet food made in Maine, unique gifts, eco-friendly products and much more. Royal River Natural Foods is committed to providing local, organic and sustainably-produced foods that enrich their customers’ lives. For more information about Royal River Natural Foods, visit their website at http://www.rrnf.com.

Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation: What’s In It For You?

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Dr. Kaixuan Liu with Atlantic Spine Center explains differences, similarities between ablation and rhizotomy procedures and offers tips for understanding benefits.

Strangely enough, getting rid of back pain can involve using a lot of unusual words, such as “radiofrequency nerve ablation” or “facet rhizotomy.” In this case, however, both terms are closely related – and both can deaden chronic back pain by zapping painful nerves along the spine, according to Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD, founder and president of Atlantic Spine Center.

Radiofrequency nerve ablation (RFA) is an emerging technique that can offer back or neck pain relief for up to 18 months. Similarly for facet rhizotomy, just one of many forms of radiofrequency ablation using a heated probe to disrupt pain signals from the spinal nerves to the brain.

“Radiofrequency uses heat to disrupt the nerves conducting pain signals, while rhizotomy can also be performed using laser energy,” explains Dr. Liu, who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery. “But either way, the advantages to patients are many: Prolonged pain relief with a minimally invasive, quick procedure that boasts a high success rate and a rapid recovery.”

Conditions treated with radiofrequency nerve ablation

Adding to the similarities between the two procedures, some of the same back conditions can be treated using RFA, including:

* Spinal arthritis

* Facet arthritis, which occurs in the spinal joints that enable bending and twisting

* Whiplash injury

All RFA patients have one thing in common: long-lasting low back or neck pain that hasn’t been eradicated by using more conservative measures, such as medication or physical therapy. Remarkably the procedure itself is fairly simple: In a surgical center, using mild sedation and local anesthesia, a physician correctly positions the radiofrequency ablation probe with x-ray guidance. After it’s placed along the affected nerves, an electrical current produced by a radio wave heats up a small area of nerve tissue, deadening pain signals there.

Facet rhizotomy is performed similarly, but may also be used for failed back surgery syndrome or facet hypertrophy, a degeneration of the facet joints. “When it’s done, patients get right up and walk around,” Dr. Liu explains. “Side effects are minimal, but the benefits can be huge.”

Tips for understanding the benefits

What are the benefits of RFA? Completed without damaging surrounding muscles or soft tissue, like traditional “open” spine surgery, RFA offers relatively long term (typically 6 months – 1 year) pain relief. Dr. Liu lists its many benefits, including:

* Minimally invasive, requiring only a tiny incision

* No blood loss

* Low infection risks

* Short recovery, home on the same day

* No discomfort during probe-heating portion of procedure

“Almost three-quarters of patients treated with RFA experience marked pain relief – whether their initial back or neck pain was due to an injury, arthritis or another cause,” Dr. Liu explains. “While the degree of pain relief varies by patient, the effects from RFA sometimes last for years. That’s an extremely good payoff from such a simple procedure.”

– 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

– Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD, is a board-certified physician who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery at Atlantic Spine Center.

Are You Really Getting Enough Exercise?

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An interesting topic from this past May courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

BikingWorkouts that promise fitness with as little as four to seven minutes of high-intensity exercise a day are alluring. But can you really stay fit with such a small time commitment? “No,” says Dr. Howard Knuttgen, research associate in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Dr. Knuttgen has a file of articles and ads dating back to the 1960s promoting exercise regimens that offer to keep you fit with little investment of either time or effort. “This is exercise quackery. If a program sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he says.

Exercise is any activity that uses muscles to generate force. The more force exerted, the more exercise. In general, aerobic workouts (also called cardiovascular workouts) call for moving the body by walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, or another activity. Strength-building workouts involve moving an object like a weight or working against resistance.

It doesn’t work to skimp on either intensity or amount of exercise. So how much aerobic activity is enough? Current guidelines suggest 150 minutes a week of “moderate aerobic exercise.” But a brisk clip for some people can be a snail’s pace for others. Using the talk test can help identify moderate activity: Not being able to carry on a conversation during the activity means it is strenuous. Being able to sing easily means it is too easy, and warrants stepping up the pace.

Strength training two to three times a week is also helpful. Always rest a day in between strength-training sessions.

Read the full-length article: “Are you getting enough exercise?”

Also in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* New options for treating menopause symptoms

* Easier colonoscopy preps

* 6 ways to use the mind to control pain

* How to get personalized healthcare

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/womens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Dietary Guidelines For Cardiovascular Disease

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..although from August, it has a lot of valuable information…..

saladplateMore than 400 clinicians now hold a solution to help their patients combat the early signs and advanced stages of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.

The nonprofit Physicians Committee concludes its third annual International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine (ICNM), accredited by the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GWSMHS), in Washington this weekend, led by an international panel of 21 cardiovascular disease researchers.

“We’re offering a scientifically proven way to save lives and curb skyrocketing health care costs,” says conference host Neal Barnard, M.D., president and founder of the Physicians Committee and an adjunct associate professor of medicine with the GWSMHS. “A dietary intervention treats both the symptoms and root cause of heart disease, which can start in utero.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Atherosclerosis Treatment and Prevention, available at 2 p.m. EST on Aug. 1, compiles key information from panelists, including findings from the Bogalusa Heart Study from Gerald Berenson, M.D., with Tulane University’s Center for Cardiovascular Health, to the effectiveness of a plant-based dietary intervention for cardiovascular disease treatment from both Kim Williams, M.D., president of the American College of Cardiology, and Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., with the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

Dr. Barnard and David Katz, M.D., with Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, break down nutrition myths that surround dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, while Leena I. Kauppila, M.D., from Terveystalo Healthcare, and Stephen L. Kopecky, M.D., with the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, discuss back pain and erectile dysfunction, two underlying symptoms of heart disease.

Physicians new to writing dietary prescriptions will have a first-hand taste of fiber-packed, cholesterol-lowering foods after sampling chia seed pudding, fresh kale and beet salads, and plant-based vegan entrées, including Thai yellow curry, quinoa sweet potato cakes, roasted tomato hummus with squash linguine and pineapple relish, and local tofu with carrots, snap peas, and bok choy.

Clinicians will leave Washington with 13 continuing medical education (CME) credits and travel-friendly workout tips from exercise physiologist Marco Borges, founder of 22 Days Nutrition, who is now as well known for his Saturday “Wake-Up Call Workout” as he is for helping top stars, like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, stay in cardiovascular shape.

Visit PhysiciansCommittee.org/HeartHealth to download a copy of the Dietary Guidelines for Atherosclerosis Treatment and Prevention, to view speaker presentations, and to access heart-healthful nutrition tips and recipes.

CME videos of the conference’s presentations will be available later this year at NutritionCME.org.

4 Lifestyle Habits That Worsen Back Pain

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS.

newsThe millions of people who experience some level of back pain – from occasional aches, to chronic discomfort – are encouraged to read the latest article by minimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS, in which he reveals the four most common lifestyle habits that trigger back pain and destroy spine health.

“Back pain isn’t always the result of an injury,” commented Dr. Gleiber, who is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and a Spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Often, it’s the things people do – or neglect to do – in their daily lives that is the root cause of their pain and deteriorating spine health. Tragically, many of these people don’t even know the damage that they’re doing until the pain becomes unbearable, and they can no longer carry out their day-to-day tasks at home or at work.”

According to Dr. Gleiber, the four lifestyle habits that are causing the most back pain and spine injury are:

1. A sedentary lifestyle that is virtually devoid of exercise. This causes the muscles that support the spine to become weak, and in turn forces the vertebrae and discs to absorb extra stress.

jumpingrope2. Exercising strenuously only on the weekends, and doing little or no exercise the rest of the week (“Weekend Warriors”). This imposes excessive strain on the back and spine, which is not prepared or strong enough to absorb the shock – ultimately causing back pain and, ironically, greatly increasing the risk of injury.

3. Sitting down for several hours a day at work. Staying for prolonged periods of time in any single position is damaging to spine health. However, to make matters worse, most people who sit for many hours each day have incorrect posture; often because they are hunching forward to see their computer screen.

4. Regularly eating junk food, which often leads to weight gain and therefore puts extra stress on the spine. In addition, people who eat too much junk food are typically not getting the nutrients they need to keep their spine strong and healthy, such as Calcium and Vitamin D.

Added Dr. Gleiber: “The good news is that with commitment and the right guidance, people can create new, better lifestyle habits that not only alleviates and ideally eliminates their back pain, but vastly improves their overall health and wellness. For instance, people can start exercising at least three times a week to strengthen their core muscles, get up from their desk once an hour to stretch and walk around a bit, and muster up all of their willpower to make eating junk food an occasional indulgence rather than a regular occurrence.”

The full version of Dr. Gleiber’s latest article entitled “How Your Lifestyle Can Contribute to Back Pain” is available on his website at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news/lifestyle-can-contribute-back-pain.

Additional articles by Dr. Gleiber on spine health, back pain relief, effective exercising and more are available at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news.

About Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD

– Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD is a trusted expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. He currently serves as Spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, is a writer for The Huffington Post, and is frequently invited to provide his medical expertise in the media. Dr. Gleiber has been honored with multiple recognitions, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors for Spine Surgery, SuperDoctors of South Florida, Top 10 Spine Surgical Specialists Florida by Vitals.com, and is listed amongst Top 50 Spine Surgeon Leaders.

Learn more at http://michaelgleibermd.com

Brisk, Regular Walking Helps Lessen Heart Disease Risk

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications, please share your comments below…..

familywalk2A regular walking routine can lower blood pressure, stave off diabetes, and prevent heart disease. Finding walking buddies, using a pedometer, and following a walking workout plan may help people stick to a program.

Walking is a low-impact, do-anywhere exercise that helps lower blood pressure and stave off diabetes. And two large, long-term Harvard studies suggest that walking for about 20 minutes a day may cut the risk of heart disease by as much as 30%, according to the December 2015 Harvard Heart Letter.

But many people need some added inspiration to start — and stick with — a walking program. One of the best ways is to find walking buddies, says Dr. Lauren Elson, physical medicine and rehabilitation instructor at Harvard Medical School. “I find that if I can get someone to walk with — a partner, a spouse, or a friend — that helps a lot.” Even better is getting several friends to walk together, because they all hold each other accountable. “They call each other up and say, ‘Where are you?’” Dr. Elson says.

Other people find motivation by using a pedometer to track their steps and distance, says Dr. Elson. One review of 26 studies found that people who used pedometers raised their physical activity levels by nearly 27%, adding about 2,500 steps a day. Most stores that sell exercise equipment have inexpensive pedometers. Other options include smartphone apps that track steps, such as Moves, Breeze, or Pedometer++.

For people who’ve had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease, walking is an ideal exercise because it can be easily adapted based on a person’s fitness level. People with heart failure should ask their physician to recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program to safely reap the benefits of exercise. This type of supervised exercise is particularly helpful for people who haven’t been active for a while.

Read the full-length article: “Marching orders: How to start a walking program”

Also in the November 2015 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter:

* Cardiac rehabilitation: Best medicine for recovery

* Heart-friendly holiday eating

* When blood pressure dips too low

The Harvard Heart Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).