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5 Weird Things That Raise Your Risk for Serious Back Pain

Back pain sucks, and it’s something the vast majority of us will have to deal with at some point in our lives. In fact, about 85 percent of people will have severe back pain for at least 4 to 5 days, says Charles Rosen, M.D., a clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery and spinal surgery at UC Irvine School of Medicine. Sometimes the aches are temporary, and can be traced to things like increased physical activity, he says. However, there are links between back pain and other pretty common—but seemingly unrelated—factors, suggests recent research presented at the Annual Meeting of the…

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Is Air-Conditioning Bad For You?

If you’re blessed enough to have air-conditioning in your house, at some point in the summer you’ve probably parked your body directly in front of your A/C unit and wondered if it’s possible to overdose on cold air. Sure, not having air-conditioning could be dangerous (or unthinkable) on sweltering days. But is blasting the A/C bad for you? Not necessarily, says Clifford Bassett, MD, founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, author of The New Allergy Solution. In fact, if you’re someone who has indoor allergies, having A/C could actually help filter out some of…

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4 Ways Back Pain Changed My Fitness Routine

The energy in the room was electric as I stared down at the barbell surrounded by 20-or-so onlookers, a PR on my mind. But as soon as I got the weight overhead, I knew that my sixth round of overhead squat snatches would be my last. Persistent like an ex who “needs” their stuff back, the sharp pain in my lower back came on hard and fast. As the sweat dripped down my chest, I dropped the barbell and took a step back, upset. It wasn’t the first time I’d tweaked my back in a CrossFit workout. A little over…

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Exactly What To Do This Summer To Have Gorgeous Skin Forever

Soaking up some rays is an ideal way to spend a summer day. But if you’re going for beautiful skin in the long run, managing sun exposure is critical. “The number one thing that causes problems is the sun,”Janellen Smith, dermatology professor at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine, told HuffPost. “So if you can protect yourself from the sun, that is a good thing for longevity of your skin.” Too much sun exposure over time can lead to a higher risk of skin…

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The 6 Worst Foods for Sleep

Quality sleep is one of the pillars of good health, along with physical activity, proper hydration, low stress and healthy eating habits. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, certain foods you’re consuming might be to blame. These 6 foods can have an adverse affect on your sleep quality, and should be consumed well before bedtime if you’re a sensitive sleeper. Alcohol. That’s right. That glass of wine so notorious for making you feel sleepy works to sabotage your precious REM time. Alcohol can lessen the duration and quality of REM sleep, which is the most restorative…

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7 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes Without Putting Anything on Your Skin

Mosquitoes don’t love humans – they love the carbon dioxide, sweat, and body odor that humans exude. If you want to prevent mosquito bites, there’s not much you can do about how much carbon dioxide you give off, since every breath you take releases CO2. But you can change the amount of skin you expose, and how much you smell. Here’s how. 1. Cover up.  First and foremost, make it hard for mosquitoes to find your skin. If you’ll be gardening, mowing the lawn, or taking a walk in a park, wear long-sleeved shirts with high collars so you can protect…

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Yoga Noninferior to Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

Yoga could be as effective as physical therapy for treating low back pain, a noninferiority trial in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests. Some 300 mostly low-income adults with nonspecific, chronic low back pain were randomized to a structured yoga program (12 weekly classes), PT (15 sessions over 12 weeks), or education. After the intervention period, yoga and PT participants were randomized to booster sessions or home practice for another 40 weeks. At 12 weeks, the yoga intervention was noninferior to PT for the primary outcomes — improvements in disability and pain scores. Yoga was not superior to…

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Chronic Back Pain? This Heat Treatment Soothes Your Nerves

Chronic back pain can trap you in an unhealthy cycle. The pain can keep you from doing exercises or making other changes that could help you feel better. Ironically, the pain doesn’t decrease with the lack of activity, and it may even get worse. This can lead people to do less and less. “In effect, you’re digging a hole that’s hard to get out of,” says Eric Mayer, MD, who specializes in treating back and neck pain. The good news is that there are ways to break this pain cycle. If your pain is nerve-related, it’s possible to treat it with a special…

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Don’t Rely on Smartphone Apps to Treat Back Pain

University of Sydney researchers have found that smartphone apps for treating back pain have questionable value as they are generally of poor quality, and have not been rigorously evaluated. Published in Best Practice & Research: Clinical Rheumatology, the study found there has not been thorough evaluation of apps for the self-management of back pain and there is no guidance for consumers on how to select high-quality, evidence-based apps. Low back pain is a major global public health issue and the leading cause of disability in most countries. Back pain affects 4 million people in Australia, costing the healthcare system $4.8 billion…

Close up of a boy's back view during examination at orthopedic office

7 Subtle Signs That You Have Scoliosis

You may be familiar with the term scoliosis, but you may not know exactly what it means. Your “everyday” back pain that you think is common may actually be something more serious. Luckily, there are  subtle warning signs that you have scoliosis and should see a doctor. According to Medical News Today, some scoliosis causes include neuromuscular conditions, leg length, and poor posture. There are also additional visible scoliosis signs regarding your spine itself. According to the Scoliosis Research Society, people with scoliosis have a spine resembling the shape of an “S” or a “C” rather than a straight line. However,…