How Much Work Can the Back Do Without Strain?

About 80% of American adults complain of back pain and it is one of the most common reasons for calling in sick to work. Some $50 billion is spent on back-pain care in the U.S. each year. Still, it is difficult to know when we’re putting too much strain on the complicated mass of bones, nerves, muscles, joints and ligaments. One expert, Kee Kim,chief of spinal neurosurgery at University of California, Davis, explains what the back is capable of and how posture and core strength play a part in its job. Giving full motion The back provides structure and support for body…

Comfy Sofas Can Cause Back Pain

Are you sitting comfortably? Then you might be ruining your back, says a survey. Soft sofas are being blamed for a rise in back problems. A fifth of people reported symptoms such as lower back ache and shoulder strain after purchasing a luxurious sofa and reclining on it regularly. While wooden chairs or upright furniture were more popular in years gone by, increasingly people are opting for soft settees with deep cushions to sink into. Although softer furniture might feel more comfortable, physiotherapist Richard Evans warned it could lead to discomfort in the long-run. He said that comfier…

7 Things NOT to Do with Summer Produce

It’s the height of the season for fresh summer produce. To help keep fruit and vegetables tasting their best, avoid making these common mistakes. DON’T … cut a melon without washing the outside Make sure to wash watermelon, honeydew and other melons before slicing. If you don’t, you might transfer dirt and bacteria from the outside to the edible portion when you make that first cut. DON’T … refrigerate tomatoes Ask any tomato lover – the chill of the fridge will ruin the texture and flavor of a juicy summer tomato. Keep them at room temperature, pretty please. DON’T … wash berries until you…

What You Should Be Eating to Lose Weight This Summer

A cleaned-up diet full of whole, natural foods is essential for weight-loss success. Lucky for us, some of our favorite Summer fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrition that works in our favor. Keep your body working at its top potential with these 10 pieces of produce. Fighting fat has never been so delicious. Raspberries Raspberries contain the flavonoid anthocyanin, which helps your body produce adiponectin, a hormone that’s been linked to lower glucose levels, curbed cravings, and boosted metabolism. And whether they’re fresh or frozen, they’re a great source of fiber, an essential…

Rehab Your Back Injury With Swimming, Not Surgery

As a swimmer I am biased when I say there is very little for which swimming isn’t beneficial. But even thinking objectively it is a fairly accurate statement. I recently covered the benefits of swimming as a recovery strategy between workouts for other sports, backed by peer-reviewed studies. Another area for which swimming is particularly useful is in the rehabilitation of injuries. I am using the word “injuries” here in a very broad sense, and for this article will focus on back injuries. There are a few main reasons why swimming is a good rehabilitation tool: It is low impact. (Unless…

What’s a Herniated Disc, Pinched Nerve, Bulging Disc…?

There are many terms used to describe spinal disc pathology and associated pain, such as “herniated disc,” “pinched nerve,” and “bulging disc,” and all are used differently and, at times, interchangeably. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals do not agree on a precise definition of any of these terms, and patients may be frustrated when they hear their diagnosis referred to in different terms. The unusually wide range of terms used to describe spinal disc problems (such as ruptured disc, torn disc, slipped disc, collapsed disc, disc protrusion, disc disease, and black disc) can add to the confusion. Rather than caring about which term…

How Fast Can You Banish Bloat for Summer?

We’ve all felt that familiar panic when pulling on a pair of slightly-too-small shorts while packing for next weekend’s beach trip. Or been drawn in by the urgent desire to head to the gym for hours each day, in a last-ditch attempt to sculpt sexy swimsuit muscles. (Just one…more…plank!) But how quickly can you really shed last-minute bloat — or pack on new muscle — without putting your health at risk? Before you put your workouts on turbo-drive, consider this advice from nutritionist Georgie Fear, R.D., and strength coach Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., founder of Women’s Strength Nation. How Quickly Can…

Fitness Tips You Can Take on Vacation

The busy summer travel season, and you’ve worked hard to get your bikini body ready so you don’t want to lose it while you go on vacation. You already pay for a gym membership and personal trainer at home, so that is the last thing you want to spend money on when you’re out of town. John Cantu is the head trainer at Orangetheory Fitness in Citycentre and says you don’t need to spend a dime to stay fit while away. Here are five of his tips to cutting costs and calories while during vacation. Take the stairs Waiting for the elevator and…

Ask the Doctors: What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

What is an Epidural Steroid Injection? The term epidural steroid injection refers to the injection of corticosteroids, (powerful anti-inflammatory medication) into the epidural space (around the spinal nerves) as  a means of treating pain caused by irritation   The spinal cord runs within the bony canal of the vertebral column and is encased by a membranous sac called the dura.   This sac contains spinal fluid, which bathes and nourishes the spinal cord.  The epidural space is the space between the outer surface of the dural sac and the inner surface…

Don’t Let Your Summer Go Up in Flames

Make your summer barbecue memorable, but not for all the wrong reasons.  To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines: General grilling tips Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Never leave your grill unattended. Propane grills Before you use your grill: Check the major connection points between…