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How to Manage Chronic Back Pain This Summer

Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to manage your chronic back pain. By doing so, you can free yourself of discomfort and enjoy the summer season to the fullest. The key to taking control of your chronic back pain is preparing for anticipated obstacles and reducing your reliance on your friends and family. Without further ado, here are some tips to help you manage chronic back pain this summer.

Surround Yourself with Water

There's no better way to strengthen your back muscles and ease your back pain than swimming. You'll find that the buoyancy of water not only supports your body's weight, it also eases stress on your back and allows you to enjoy a greater range of motion. If you're not much of a swimmer, light stretching exercise in a shallow pool should do the trick.

Stay Away From Excessive Heat

Some summer days will be significantly hotter than others and do nothing but exacerbate your back pain. Make sure you check the weather forecast frequently so you know when to stay away indoors.

Try to plan most of your outdoor activities in the early afternoon or after the sun sets so that you miss the scorching hot temperatures. If you must be outside in the extreme heat, wear a large brimmed hat, loose fitting clothing, and comfortable shoes.

Be Selective with Your Seat

Not all seats are created equal. In fact, some can irritate your back pain more than others. So avoid sitting on the ground, bleachers, small restaurants chairs, and other uncomfortable seats whenever you can. If you know you're going somewhere with poor seating options, don't hesitate to bring a folding chair or a few cushions to support your lower back.

Eat Healthy

It's all too easy to ignore your nutrition in the summer months, especially if you attend many cookouts and social activities. While it's okay to enjoy a burger or ice cream cone every once in a while, it's important to fill your diet with plenty of fruits and veggies. The summer is the best time for fresh produce such as peaches, tomatoes, watermelon, and squash. These foods can help you fight against chronic pain and keep your back strong and healthy.

Pay Attention to Air Quality

The Air Quality Index (AQUI) can give you an idea of the air quality before you go outside. A higher AQUI indicates more air pollution and a greater health concern for you. Therefore, avoid the outdoors on days when the AQUI is particular high. This strategy can reduce your risk of inflammation and keep your back pain in check during the summer months.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you have a jam packed schedule this summer, make the time to visit the doctor if conservative back pain treatments deem to be ineffective or your back pain worsens. They can examine your back and propose an alternative treatment plan that may include surgery or other measures you haven't tried in the past.

The summer is the season of sunshine, blue skies, and great times. Follow these tips to ensure you take control of your back pain and make the most out of these three short months.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2020 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

How Runners Can Beat the Heat

During the summer months, the high heat and humidity outside can place runners at an increased risk for heat-related health complications, including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or dehydration. Studies have shown that when there are temperature spikes in the summer, there is also an increase in runners who visit emergency rooms because of these heat-related health complications.

To better protect yourself in the summer heat, while maintaining or improving your conditioning, runners should consider the following safety tips.

  • Wear light colored clothing. Lighter colors reflect sunlight better than dark colors and help to keep you cooler when it's hot outside.

  • Wear fabrics designed for high intensity physical activity. Sweat-wicking materials, which are made of a high-tech polyester, will move moisture away from your body where it can more easily evaporate on the outside of your clothing and cool you down. Cotton fabrics on the other hand, will hold onto your sweat, causing your clothing to feel heavy and clammy.

  • Use sunscreen with a high SPF to help protect your skin from damage from the sun's rays. If you're going for a longer run, bring a small bottle of sunscreen with you and reapply during the run.

  • Drink water before going for a run. That water will help to cool you and prevent dehydration on your upcoming run.

  • After your workout, try a drink that contains electrolytes, which hydrate your body quicker than just water.

  • Bring a drink with you or have a means to hydrate on your run.

  • Run with a partner. Even the most experienced runners can run into an issue during a workout, whether it be something like getting lost, or something more serious like heat stroke. A partner can both help to push you on your workout, and help you out if a serious issue does arise.

  • Bring your cell phone. If you can't find a partner to run with you, at the very least, bring your cell phone with you. If you do run into an emergency, you'll be able to call for help.

  • Give your body time to adapt to the warmer weather. Studies have shown that it takes about two weeks for our bodies to get used to the hotter weather and become better at sweating. When our bodies sweat more, it helps to cool us down so we can run faster and further without issue.

Almost all of these safety tips involve preparing ahead of time to help prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. It's also important to remember that nobody knows your body like you do. If you start to feel light headed, dizzy, or overheated, don't be afraid to stop, slow down, get something to drink and cool off.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2020 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

Common Spring Injuries: Causes & Prevention

The winter is finally behind us. Spring means warmer weather, chirping birds, and unfortunately, injuries. Although we encourage being active in the spring, it's important to be mindful of common spring injuries and make an effort to prevent them. So what are the most common spring injuries? Keep reading to find out.

Walking and Running

You may walk and run far more in the spring than the winter. This is particularly true if you prefer to exercise outside. When you start to walk or run outside in the spring, take things slowly. Realize that your body needs time to adjust and may have difficulty adapting to the wind and terrain at first. Once you've walked or ran for a few weeks, you can pick up the pace and increase the intensity.

Also, wear running shoes that fit you properly and offer good support. By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of injuries like runner's knee, piriformis syndrome, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and stress fractures.

Gardening

When you think of gardening, you may picture yourself relaxing outside while growing your favorite plants and produce. The reality, however, is that gardening can be risky and raise your risk of injury, especially if you ignore proper safety precautions. Here's why: Every time you dig, rake, or weed, you're engaging in repetitive movements and can face some severe back pain and posture issues.

To lower your chances of gardening injuries, dress in protective clothing, wear gloves, and refrain from sitting on your knees. In addition, don't be afraid to break every once in a while. There's no reason to "push yourself" and risk injury just so you can complete your gardening tasks faster. Your health and safety should be your top priority.

Sports

There are a variety of sports you may play once the spring season hits. Golf, baseball, and tennis are a few examples of spring sports that often lead to spring injuries. These sports involve repeatedly moving your shoulders, elbows, and arms. They may cause overuse injuries like wrist fractures, shoulder dislocations, muscle strains, and ankle sprains. To prevent them, stretch and warm up before games and practices, wear proper shoes, use the correct technique, and rest your muscles as much as possible.

Fortunately, most spring injuries can be treated with conservative measures like rest, medication and physical therapy. In some cases, however, surgery may be required. The good news is surgical intervention is almost always effective.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2020 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

The winter and holiday season is one of the most joyous ones. Enjoying time with family, friends, and loved ones is something everyone loves. To make the most of your winter and holiday season by staying safe, follow the easy instructions presented in this post.

Preparing Your Home

Winter is the season where people spend the most amount of time in their homes. It makes sense that you want to make sure your home is ready for cold temperatures and possibly snow before the changing of the seasons. Some of the most important things you can do to protect your home and ensure your comfort and safety include the following:

  • Insulate your water lines
  • Clean your gutters and roof
  • Check your gutters and roof for holes and/or leaks
  • Have your heating system professionally inspected and serviced
  • Clean your fireplace and chimney
  • Make sure your smoke detectors have new batteries and are working properly

If you can not perform any of these on your own, it is recommended that you get a professional to help you rather than put yourself and home and risk.

Preparing Yourself

Many people go into winter completely unprepared. They wait for the first cold front to hit before making winter preparations. More often than not, this approach leads to people getting sick or being very uncomfortable. It is recommended that you get all of your winter clothes and outdoor gear ready by the first week of November. Also, make sure you have the following medications/items:

  • Throat lozenges
  • Decongestants
  • Chapstick
  • Warm blankets
  • Hand and feet warmers

Taking this type of approach will ensure that you are completely ready should you start to feel a bit sick, cold, or uncomfortable.

Staying Safe

Moving around during winter can be more dangerous than it is in other months. To travel safely this winter, it is recommended that you take the following precautions:

  • Check the steps and sidewalks around your house for ice patches that can cause a slip or fall
  • Sprinkle salt, sand, or cat litter over ice patches and areas that you think might be dangerous
  • Give yourself more time to do things and slow down your routine
  • Always bring a cellphone with you when you leave your house
  • Have an emergency kit in your home and car
  • Do not travel when the weather is bad
  • Always let people know where you are going

In the winter months, it is recommended that you try to travel with another person rather than alone. This ensures complete safety.

Conclusion

The only effective approach to winter safety is a holistic one. By preparing your home and yourself, you can look forward to the winter season with excitement rather than worry. Taking the necessary precautions to ensure you remain safe is easy when you know what to do. If you have any questions or need any additional help, please do not hesitate to contact our office.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.