Lower back pain, along with knee and hip pain, is one of the leading complaints for Orthopedists. “Lower back pain can be attributed to many different causes stemming from sports injury to being overweight”, said Dr. Excis. “But is definitely one of the leading complaints.” To understand how back injury occurs, click on the image below:
Ok, it’s time to fulfill your New Year’s Resolution but nothing comes to mind! Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you! That is, we’ve got the easiest and fun routine to get you back into the swing of things. Anyone can do these, so enjoy getting yourself back into motion!
9 Totally Manageable Fitness Resolutions From The Pros
In theory, a New Year’s resolution is a great idea. January is as good a time as any to reevaluate and prioritize and make changes.
In practice, many ambitious fitness goals made on Jan 1. dissolve into self-defeating thinking and disappointment. But that doesn’t mean that all New Year’s resolution (or, really, resolving to make changes at point in time throughout the year) need to end in frustration and failure. The trick is making the right one.
Before you can even get that far, says Jessica Matthews, senior health and fitness expert for the American Council on Exercise and assistant professor of health and exercise science at Miramar College in San Diego, Calif., you need to take a long, hard look at where you currently stand on the fitness spectrum.
“Honestly acknowledge where you are currently in terms of your health and fitness level,” she tells HuffPost in an email. “While that spirit behind setting a New Year’s resolution is to make positive change to one’s health and fitness, so often people establish goals without being realistic about where they are starting from. Even if perhaps your current level of fitness is not where you want it to be, being honest with yourself about where you are presently and using that information as a baseline from which to work will help you to establish realistic, attainable goals for the new year.”
We asked a handful of fitness experts to share some ideas for realistic resolutions that will make a difference without feeling like a total overhaul. Here are a few of our favorite responses.
1Hold A Plank
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“A very manageable fitness resolution that most people can stick to is holding a plank every morning, first thing out of bed. If you can spend one minute brushing your teeth, you can definitely find one minute to hold a plank. Planks are truly one of the best exercises I know of: They work your core and your entire body. Start with 30 seconds and build up to one minute. By doing this first thing in the a.m., you remind yourself to stay active all day.” —Kristin McGee, celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor
2Make It SMART
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“Set a SMART goal — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. For instance, ‘I would like to take three CrossFit classes a week for 60 days.’ If at the end of that 60 days, you achieved your goal, reward yourself with something worthwhile, such as a vacation or massage. Just as you set your resolution in the beginning of the year, also plan your reward. That way, when you’re on week five and you want to throw in the towel, you can remember that sweet reward that is oh-so-close!” —Collette Stohler, fitness expert, author of The Intuitive Athlete and HuffPost blogger
3Find The Middle Ground
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“Shift [your] mindset from the very common ‘all or nothing’ mentality. For many people, the start of the new year entails going from zero to 60, so to speak, almost overnight … If you are currently not exercising or are exercising very sporadically, it’s not very realistic to expect that you’ll overnight commit to exercising for one or two hours per day, six days per week. Often when individuals establish these ‘all or nothing’ [goals], if they are not able to stick with the unrealistic expectations, they end up doing nothing at all.” —Matthews
4Touch Your Toes
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“Setting a performance goal may help you stay more motivated compared to a weight-loss goal. For example, a goal of 10 pull-ups, or touching your toes, can create a healthy shift from focusing purely on aesthetics to performance. Keep in mind that in order for your body to move fluidly and efficiently, your joints need sufficient range of motion, which is why flexibility is so important. As the body performs better, the aesthetics typically follow. Think of a performance goal that really motivates you, and a goal that you can enjoy the process as you strive for it.” —Marc Perry, CSCS, ACE-CPT, CEO of BuiltLean
5Keep A Journal
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“I’m actually a big fan of journaling. I wake up every morning, roll over in bed and open the journal I use. I read one inspiring quote for the day, then give three answers to the question, ‘What would make today great?’ Finally, I write my daily affirmation, which for me right now is ‘I am inspiring, a joy to be around and a patient teacher.’ Later, in the evening, I re-open the journal and answer the questions ‘What three amazing things happened today?’ and “How could you have made today better?’
It may sound silly, but this morning practice has kept me laser-focused on my goals and on what I want to accomplish each day. My only regret is not beginning a daily journaling practice earlier in life!” —Ben Greenfield, fitness and triathlon expert, Get-Fit Guy podcast host
6Find A Buddy
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“Working out with a friend allows for a little friendly competition and increased accountability. Choose goals together and get to work! It’s always a little easier when you know someone is rooting for up and waiting for you at the gym.” —Rebecca Mahoney, certified personal trainer and HuffPost blogger
7Pick A Precise Number
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“[One of] the most common New Year’s resolutions is weight loss or fat or body weight composition changes. It helps if people determine a very specific amount of weight that they want to lose. Weight is easy to measure, as it requires a scale. The weight loss goal should be realistic. Too often people have unrealistic expectations for how much weight it is that they want to lose. Finally, you need to give yourself a very specific time table in which you want to accomplish this goal.
From a physiology standpoint, there are a lot of factors that go into actually changing your body weight. We are not as simple as cars with a gas in/miles out function. People can get hung up on reducing calories by a very specific amount and not get the predicted weight-loss outcomes that they want. I encourage people to create goals that they can definitely accomplish, like: ‘Today I will go to the gym and I’ll try hard to do exercises appropriately and with effort’ or ‘The next meal I eat will be made up from healthy food choices and the portions will be appropriate.’ [Those are steps] toward reaching a goal of losing 5 pounds in 30 days. We have to be very clear about factors that we can control and factors that we can’t control.” —Pat Davidson, Ph.D., former exercise science professor, director of training methodology at Peak Performance in New York City
8Don’t Stress About It
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“Move how it feels good for you to move every day. Don’t stress about it being an hour workout, but keep consistent. Five to 10 minutes of morning practice can set you up for feeling great so you make great choices all day long that [help you] continue cultivating a radiant you.” —Tara Stiles, founder and owner of Strala Yoga
9Find The Fun
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“Many people can get easily discouraged and give up when there’s too much emphasis on weight loss. Focus on the joys of exercise and movement instead. Take pride in your body getting stronger. Think about the boost in energy you get after a workout. Do set goals, but make them about making fitness fun: Commit to joining a class three days a week or to signing up for a race. Just find something you consider fun!” —Chris Freytag, fitness expert, author of Get Started with Weight Loss and HuffPost blogger
When trying to handle stressful situations, we often start to feel neck pain. Especially when we are using our phones excessively or looking down at our laptops constantly. Here are 3 easy and helpful tips to ease your neck pain!
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
Yes we know that drinking water is good for us. But did you know it can also specifically help your neck? Drinking plenty of water helps your vertebrae because it keeps the disks hydrated! When they’re hydrated, this increases their strength and endurance!
Tip #2: Hot Shower
A hot shower directly aimed at your spine and neck can help relax the muscles in your neck. A hot compress or a heating pad would also work!
Tip #3: Magnesium is essential
Magnesium helps relax the muscles therefore lessening your neck pain. You can receive magnesium by immersing yourself in a bath filled with Epsom salt. Your body will soak up the magnesium. You can also eat foods high in magnesium! Beans, whole gains, soy products, vegetables, and fruits are all high in magnesium!
It’s important to get some good stretches in as soon as you wake up, if you want to fix your back pain! People often overlook stretching, but it is a vital part of relieving pain and tension. Not only does stretching help you ease your current pain but it can also stop future back pain as well! If you suffer from a sciatica nerve damage, stretching and massaging is the only fix!
Stretching helps loosen up your ligaments and muscles! It also lessens the pressure on your joints and it enhances the movement of nutrients and blood flow in your body. Not stretching can lead to restriction of motion, pain in the body, additional pain to existing pain, or stiffness.
Make sure you’re wearing loose fitting clothes that will not restrict your mobility. Clothes that are easily elastic are best when stretching out! Also it’s best to be cautious when stretching. Don’t do anything that feels unnatural or puts your body in an uncomfortable position.
By practicing these stretches your body will slowly start to become more resilient and flexible. It may take some time for your body to become increasingly flexible but don’t quit! Your body will eventually adjust and you’ll start to see a difference with your back pain over time.
*Los Angeles Orthopaedic Surgery Specialists (@LA_Orthos) does not endorse any of the mentioned therapists or exercises in this social media post. @LA_Orthos does not suggest these exercises as a treatment for injury of any type. @LA_Orthos does not recommend exercising when injured. This is not a treatment plan, nor prescription provided by @LA_Orthos. Please consult your personal physician for details about your health.
Day 2: Adjusting Eating Habits (Lighter Meals, More Snacks)
Today’s the day to say goodbye to junk food and fast food! With a healthy back, you need a healthy diet! Processed foods, foods with high saturated fat, soda, wheat, eggs, and dairy can cause an inflammation reaction affecting the joints. When there is inflammation in the joints, this can cause pain to areas like the back.
Since we mentioned the foods that you shouldn’t eat, we’ll also mention some foods that you should eat! You should eat foods that contain high amounts of magnesium. Foods that are high in magnesium are bananas, salmon, eggplants, and spinach. Magnesium helps back pain by relaxing the tense muscles.
Another suggestion that we recommend you do is frequent feeding! With frequent feeding you are switching from 3 big meals to 5 smaller meals. These mini meals will help you lose some weight in the long run! Big meals tend to aggravate the digestive system. It causes your body to have a decreased amount of energy and it can also invoke bloating. So for these smaller meals, you’ll want to eat fruits, sandwiches, soups, and nuts!
Also, make sure that you do not sleep after you eat! I know it might sound like a great idea to take a nap after eating but it’s not. Digestion works best when you’re in an upright position because that’s what your body is most comfortable with. Sleeping after you eat can cause digestion problems.
Below is a 1 Day Meal Plan that you can follow!
The 24-Hour Meal Plan:
Pick 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, and 1 snack. It should be around 1,200 calories in total. Make sure you’re only drinking zero-calorie beverages.
1 granola bar
1/2 cup light ice cream
1 mini bag popcorn
50 very thin pretzel sticks
2 whole-grain toaster waffles (approximately 90 calories each) topped with 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt or light yogurt and 3/4 cup raspberries or sliced strawberries
1 cup Cheerios, Bran Flakes, or Wheaties
McDonald’s fruit’n yogurt parfait (no granola)
3/4 to 1 cup fat-free milk
Oatmeal: Prepare 1/2 cup instant oats with 1 cup fat-free milk. Top with 1/3 cup sliced fresh or unsweetened frozen peaches and 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
8 medium strawberries or 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Soup: Heat half of a 19-ounce can of lentil soup with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon dried dill. Garnish with 1 tablespoon feta cheese
Sandwich: 1 whole wheat pita; 2 ounces turkey breast or extra-lean ham; 1 ounce part skim mozzarella cheese; 1/2 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into strips; 2 teaspoons light mayonnaise; baby spinach leaves
Salad: Mix 3 cups salad greens with 3 ounce pouch of water-packed albacore white tuna; 1 small tomato, cut into wedges; 3 red onion slices; 1/2 medium cucumber; and 1/4 cup seasoned croutons. Drizzle with a mixture of 1 teaspoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
6 ounces light yogurt or 1 cup fat-free milk
Large Wendy’s chili
1 Wendy’s side salad with 1/3 packet low-fat dressing
Honey-Mustard Chicken: 6 ounces roasted skinless chicken breast, sliced drizzled with a mixture of 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Medium baked potato (5 ounces) topped with 2 tablespoons salsa and 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups steamed green beans tossed with 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil and a sprinkle of lemon juice
Fish Olé: Lightly sprinkle top side of a 6-ounce fillet of white flesh fish, such as cod or flounder, with fajita seasoning. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Broil until fish is opaque throughout
Shrimp and Pasta: Simmer 8 medium peeled shrimp in 1/2 cup meatless spaghetti sauce until shrimp are opaque throughout (about 5 minutes). Toss with 1 cup cooked linguine and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chicken flavored or brown ready-to-heat rice (like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice)
8 asparagus spears, steamed or grilled
Any frozen entrée with 260 to 300 calories (like Lean Cuisine Three Bean Chili with Rice, Smart Ones Lasagna Florentine, Healthy Choice Beef Tips Portabello)
2 cups salad greens with your choice of the following: cucumber, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers; and 2 tablespoons fat-reduced dressing (no more than 40 calories per 2 tablespoons)
When people sit in an office chair or desk chair for too long, this affects their lumbosacral discs. These discs in your body become stacked and bring about pain. The lumbar support helps you maintain good posture while sitting. Bad posture while sitting can lead to lower back pain. It causes lower back pain because it puts too much pressure on the joints and soft tissues in your spine.
Due to the shape of our spine, there is a gap between the seat and the lumbar spine. The lumbar support occupies that gap and gives you the extra support you need! Having a lumbar support will keep your posture in check! So you should get one ASAP! Whether you buy it at the store or order it online!
Wearing a posture brace is great because it’s a tangible item that makes sure your posture is always good. What’s also great about a posture brace is that it helps improve the muscles in your back by strengthening them! It also strengthens your spine a great deal! A strong spine is essential because it helps you handle the improper weight distribution and stress that your spine endures.
The reason why you have lower back pain is because when you slouch, the blood vessels in your lower back become constricted. When they become constricted, this slows down your blood circulation. A slower blood circulation can lead to less oxygen to the brain. Less oxygen to the brian can cause the body to feel tired and fatigued.
Bras that don’t support you can lead to pinched nerves and back pain. They can also cause poor posture! The main part of the bra that supports your posture is the bands of the bra! If the bra bands feel too tight on your shoulders then that is not the band size for you. You’ll need a band size that properly fits you!
It is also suggested that you use thick bands for your bras. Also find a bra that has separated cups. By separating the cups, this helps distribute the weight evenly, which can then reduce back pain. Another plus is if your bra closes in the front! This eases your back pain by making things more convenient. Check to see if your bra straps press uncomfortably against your shoulders. What this means is that your bra is not supporting you enough. You’ll need a bra that lifts the weight of your breasts, effortlessly.
Day 4: Posture
The challenge for today is maintaining 15 minutes of conscious posture control! What this means is that you should maintain good posture for a total of 15 minutes today, without any tools or support items. Just you being aware of your posture for a good 15 minutes!
Posture tips for standing:
Have your knees slightly bent
Make sure your stomach is tucked in
Hang your arms naturally down the sides of your body
Put most of your weight on the balls of your feet
Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart
Pull your shoulders back and stand tall
If you stand for long periods of time move your weight from your toes to your heels or you can shift the weight from one foot to the other foot
Make sure your head is in line with your shoulders
Your head should not be backward, forward, or leaning to a side
Posture tips for sitting:
Make sure you don’t cross your legs
Ankles need to be in front of your knees
Keep your shoulders relaxed and forearms parallel to the floor
Don’t sit in the same spot for a long period of time
Adjust the chair so that it supports your low and mid-back area
Make sure you have your feet on the floor or on top of a footrest if your feet can’t reach the ground
Leave a space between the front of your chair and the back of your knees
Keep your knees at either a lower or the same level as your hips
Today is pamper yourself day!!! Basically having someone else take care of you for once! Here are some examples of what you can do:
Treat yourself to a massage! The masseuse can massage all of the tension out of your muscles. With more relaxed muscles you have better flexibility. This is good because constricted muscles cause pain, so relaxed muscles will relieve pain.
A massage spikes your endorphin levels. Endorphins are the chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. So with a higher endorphin level, your mood is also improved! Having a better mood can increase recovery time and ease pain.
Massages also increase the speed of circulation and blood flow. This is essential because it brings nutrients to the tissues and muscles. This helps ease the pain of sore muscles.
For back pain, a chiropractor readjusts your spine. This is either called spinal manipulation or spinal adjustment. This is a great way to realign the spine because there is no surgery involved.
What your chiropractor will do is use the pressure from a tool or his hands to realign your spine back in place. This process is called sublaxation. By putting your spine back in the correct place, this gives more space for your pinched nerves to breathe, and in turn, decreases pain.
The way acupuncture works is that, an acupuncturist will insert needles into your body at certain points. By hitting these points with the needles, it is said to increase stimulation in the nervous system. When an acupuncturist hits these points, it either makes you feel a sense of peace or there are substances that manipulate your awareness of pain.
A sobador can with help back pain because they specialize in treating strained muscles. They’ll use things like tea, oil, poultice, or their own hands to massage away the pain. What’s so special about a sobador is that they seem to heal not only the physical well-being of a person but also their psychic level.
Starting Tuesday November 28th, we are going to provide a 5 day back pain fix that you can do at home for free. By spending 15 minutes a day and making some slight lifestyle adjustments you should feel an improved back!
Starting Tuesday you’ll be stretching as soon as you wake up! This is light stretching, no huffing and puffing, no exercise involved! Simply to get you started in the day.
By Thursday you’ll be incorporating adjustment tools to help with your back posture. By the end of the 5th day, which is Saturday, you’ll be relaxing in a spa getting a massage! Below is an overview of the next 5 days.
Tuesday (Day 1): Stretching As Soon As You Wake
Wednesday (Day 2): Adjusting Eating Habits (Lighter meals, more snacks)
Garlic is great for minimizing inflammation! Simply get garlic, blend it with mustard seed oil, then apply it to the area of pain.
Home Remedy #2: Cherries
Cherries also reduce inflammation and arthritis pain because they are a source of Potassium and Magnesium. You can eat either fresh, frozen, or caned cherries. Eat approximately 8 to 10 cherries a day. You can also make a cherry syrup! Just take the cherries, put them in water, and then boil them until they turn into a dense gooey syrup.
Home Remedy #3: Turmeric
Turmeric is another ingredient that’s good at reducing inflammation. Turmeric has curcumin which contains anti-inflammatory attributes. You can take turmeric powder and blend it with a cup of milk or numeric juice.
Home Remedy #4: Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds have curative properties that alleviate joint pain. Immerse the seeds in clean water and keep them in there overnight. Then you can chew on them the next day!
Home Remedy #5: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar maintains the health of your bones. It includes phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Not only is it good for your bones but it also helps ease arthritis joint pain. It gets rid of the toxic that accumulates between your connective tissues and joints. You can combine the apple cider vinegar with honey and warm water. To get the best outcome, drink this daily every morning.
Make sure to take frequent breaks from typing and doing work. Shake out your hands every now and then. Don’t sit in your chair for too long!
Tip #2: Typing Technique
Be aware of your typing technique. You can get a tool that supports your wrists by keeping your hands in the right position. You can also get a keyboard that comfortably suits you. Make sure your wrists are in a neutral location and try to reframe from bending them too much when typing.
Tip #3: Short Fingernails
It’s better to keep your fingernails short. Typing can be hard on your wrists when you have long fingernails. Your wrists have to compensate for the uncomfortable position that your long nails put them in. Not even wrist support tools can help because you have to bend your wrists anyways.
Although it’s normal to do yoga on an empty stomach, it’s actually more beneficial if you drink fluids and eat snacks that keep your body hydrated and well nourished! Snacks and fluids should generally be consumed 30 minutes before class starts. Another tip is that you should not have a large meal before class, unless it’s been more than 3 hours. Here are the foods that are great to eat before yoga:
Great source of potassium and magnesium, contains a low level of fiber
Prevents bloating, cramps, and helps with fluid balance
Almonds (palm full)
Contains large amounts of vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium
Assists in helping you keep your energy through yoga movements
Juice (4 ounces)
Contains a simple carbohydrate (Do not take if you have GERD)
Gives you a quick boost in energy
Decent amount of carbohydrates and fiber
Ex. Clif Z bar, kid version
Cereal (low fat, with either low-fat dairy milk, soy, or unsweetened almond)