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  • How Effective is Inversion Therapy?

     

    Inversion therapy is a process that places the body in an inverted position, which puts the head in a lower position than the heart, for numerous therapeutic benefits. Health research studies show that inversion therapy helps reverse the damaging effects of gravity to the body. It's known to be effective in treating back pain and load bearing joint problems. It also helps improve the nervous and immune systems, defy aging, reduce mental stress, and detoxify the body. Usually, inversion therapy involves using inversion chairs, inversion tables and gravity boots.

    Treats Back Pain
    In a gentle way, inversion therapy significantly helps decompress the vertebrae in our back, which allows any herniated discs to move back to their proper places. This removes the pressure from the pinched nerves, which in turn, eliminates or reduces back pain. Decompressing the vertebrae also increases blood circulation in the spine, which helps improve detoxification and oxygen flow. This helps speed up the healing process of damaged discs.

    Relieves Sciatic Nerve Pain
    Inversion therapy also helps relieve sciatic nerve pain, which can range from tingling sensation to chronic pain. Sciatic nerve pain travels from the lower back to the upper leg area. Through decompression of the vertebrae, the sciatic nerve is released, providing relief from pain. It also helps relax the ligaments and muscles surrounding the spinal canal. Moreover, it allows more nutrients, fluid, and oxygen to flow in the spinal canal, which in turn helps revitalize the discs.

    Helps Reverse Cervical Spinal Stenosis
    Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal cord has been narrowed down in the neck area. It's caused by thickened ligaments in the area and osteoarthritic damage in the cartilage. This causes neck pain or stiff neck that radiates throughout the shoulder and back areas. By undergoing inversion therapy every day, the effects of cervical spinal stenosis can be eased or even reversed in many cases. It gently stretches and relaxes the ligaments, which helps nourish the cartilage while flushing out the accumulated toxins.

    Eases Fibromyalgia Symptoms
    Studies show that people who suffer from fibromyalgia have higher than normal levels of cortisol or stress hormone and lower than normal levels of serotonin or feel good hormone. Inversion therapy positively affects the neurotransmitters and helps balance the hormones, which makes people feel happy and reduces sensitivity to pain. This helps ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It's also known that inverting enhances the functions of the endocrine system.

    Reduces Headaches
    Inverting reduces headaches in many ways. It helps realign the spine, which reduces muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder areas that usually cause headaches. It also relaxes the muscles in the neck, skull and face, which reduces tension headaches. It also decreases stress levels and increases circulation which helps reduce headaches.

    Improves Lung Function
    In a standing position, the blood typically pools in the lower lungs. However, in an inverted position, the pooled blood gets distributed to the upper lungs, which increases oxygen flow and improves overall lung function.

    The above-mentioned benefits are just a few of the many benefits of inversion therapy. Its efficiency in treating and easing various health issues has been proven and experienced by many people. Whether you are trying to find a treatment or just want to stay healthy, you will never go wrong with inversion therapy.

  • The Effects of Damaging the Inside of Your Bones

    Your bones support your body and allow you to move around. They also protect your heart, brain and other organs from injury. The human bone store minerals like phosphorous and calcium, which keeps your bones strong.

    If you're an athlete or constantly having accidents that fracture your bones, then you are putting stress on your on them. Your body breaks down old bone every day and replace it with new bone. As you get older, your body will break down more bone than it replaces.

    It is hard for your bone to snap back after all these injuries. This can lead to your bones becoming weak and developing arthritis.

    What Are The Effects of Damaging The Inside Of Your Bone?

    Injuries can occur at any time. You can twist an ankle or sprain a knee. However, it can become a problem if you continue to damage your bone.

    One of the effects of damaging the inside of your bone is developing arthritis. Damaging your joints greatly increased your chances of developing this condition. There are different types of arthritis. With this type of injury, you are more likely to develop osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

    Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that surrounds your bones becomes thin over time. This condition can affect any joint in your body. However, it most often affects your spine, hips, knees and hands.

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease, which means your body releases enzymes. These enzymes attack your healthy tissues. This condition affects your ankles, feet, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, thumbs and fingers.

    How's It Caused?

    Multiple injuries can cause you to lose bone density. If you tear a ligament or break a bone, then you could eventually develop arthritis. Arthritis leads to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Osteoarthritis occurs in joints that are repeatedly overused. The overuse comes from constantly performing a certain task, playing a sport or carrying around excess body weight. It eventually wears away or thins your cartilage, which provide cushion to your bones. This results in your bones rubbing together and creating a grating sensation.

    RA destroys the linings of your joints. This results in reduced movement, stiffness, malformation, swelling and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis can overall decrease normal body function.

    How's It Treated?

    The progression of arthritis is slowed by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising. It helps to be conscious of the stress you put on your joints. This factor plays a role in how soon you would develop arthritis.

    Osteoarthritis is treated using pain control, therapy and exercise. There's no cure for
    rheumatoid arthritis. However, you can control symptoms with pain medication, physical therapy and surgery.

    Most people do not notice any change in their body until something breaks. If you are concerned about bone health, then you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she can schedule you for a bone density test, which measures the strength of your bones.

  • Can Certain Foods Really Make Your Joints Hurt?

    The foods that we eat have an amazing ability to either cause disease or prevent it. They can make us healthy or keep us sick. Joint pain in particular, is becoming an increasing problem in the United States and other parts of the world and is no longer the exclusive domain of elderly arthritis sufferers or weekend warriors with the occasional bout of tennis elbow.

    Joint pain can make the simplest tasks – from signing your name to walking up a flight of stairs – completely miserable. However, new research is showing that chronic joint pain can be both caused and relieved by the foods that we eat.

    Inflammation and joint pain

    Inflammation is the very root cause of joint pain. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury. Think of a tiny cut that temporarily swells and turns red, then in a few days is gone. That is a normal, healthy inflammation response. It sends extra blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the injured area, accelerating healing, hence the redness and swelling.

    A small cut that quickly heals is altogether different from chronic inflammation. Essentially, chronic inflammation is your body’s immune response that never turns itself off.

    Chronic inflammation is the leading cause of joint pain, including arthritis.
    Treatment for joint pain used to consist of physical therapy and medications. Now, research is showing that your diet should also be added to that list.

    Is there an anti-inflammatory diet?

    The short answer is yes, there is. While certain foods cause inflammation, there are also foods that prevent or even reverse it.

    A diet that is heavy in refined carbohydrates, fats, and sugar has been proven to cause chronic inflammation throughout the entire body, including your joints. These substances throw the body into a nearly constant state of defense, keeping the immune response running 24/7 as it attempts to repel what it sees as foreign invaders.

    Foods to avoid...

    • Sugary drinks like colas and fruit punch. Also, many juices are little more than sugar water, so read labels for overall sugar content
    • Heavily refined grains such as white bread and white pasta, plus anything made with enriched white flour
    • Candy, donuts, chips, French fries
    • Refined fats such as soybean and corn oil

    Foods to eat more of...

    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Fish such as salmon that are rich in Omega-3 fats – Omega-3s have been shown to turn off inflammatory messengers
    • Whole, unprocessed grains such as steel-cut oats
    • Nuts and seeds such as walnuts and almonds
    • Spices like ginger, turmeric and curries. These have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

    These foods are all rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They nourish your body with real nutrients, whereas the heavy, sugary, refined foods are so devoid of nutrition that they actually draw nutrients out of your body as they are digested.

    So eat the foods that your body recognizes as real food, and not an invader. In short, consume food that is in its natural state and has not been refined of otherwise modified by our food industry.

  • The Muscle-Joint Connection: The Effects of Muscle Loss on Mobility

     

    From the moment of birth (or even before), babies build muscle. As they grow more active, learn to turn over, crawl, stand, and take those first exciting baby steps, youngsters are strengthening and increasing the size of their muscles.

    Muscle Mass Peak and Decline

    This process continues until around age 30 (or as old as the 40s for women), when age-related muscle loss, aka sarcopenia, sets in. The reduction in both the amount of muscle mass and the number and size of fibers is so gradual that individuals may be unaware of the change. As people approach their golden years, quickly-contracting muscle fibers decrease in number at a much faster rate than slowly-contracting ones. Baby boomers tend to notice increased weakness and less ability to move quickly than their younger counterparts. However, elderly athletes discover heightened a capability in activities involving endurance even as their capacity for speed diminishes.

    Yet, growing older is not the only cause of loss of muscle mass. The following types of atrophy (muscle wasting) can occur at any age.

    Disuse atrophy. Couch potato syndrome is one form of this kind of muscle loss. Physical disorders that make movement difficult, sedentary work, and even a few days in a weightless environment can also adversely affect muscle strength.
    Neurogenic atrophy. Diseases affecting nerves that send commands from the brain to muscles fall into this category. Multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disease characterized by nerve inflammation and feeble muscles, and neuropathy, when damaged nerves have a negative effect on muscular capabilities, are a few examples.
    Illness- or trauma-related atrophy. Causes of this category of diminished muscle mass are varied: malnutrition, burns, fractures and other injuries, heavy drinking over a lengthy period of time, osteoarthritis, and the use of corticosteroids and other medications.

    The Muscle-Joint Connection

    Whether the loss of muscle tissue and strength is a natural part of aging or due to illness, injury, or lifestyle, the effect on joints is inevitable. Weakened muscles put a strain on those places where bone connects to bone; the knees are particularly vulnerable. Joint issues range from minor stiffness to more problematic conditions like the above-mentioned osteoarthritis (in which the cartilage cushion protecting joints wears down, resulting in swelling, discomfort, and motion difficulty). Even more potentially serious consequences of diminished muscle mass are loss of balance, differences in gait, difficulties in standing or walking, and the possibility of falls—all of which can lead to injury and further atrophy or the necessity of surgery. In addition, muscle changes can lead to reduced reflexes.

    Rest assured that diminished muscle strength and size—whatever the cause—does not mean an end to an active, pain-free life. Proper nutrition and exercise, while they might not turn a person into a real-life Popeye, can ensure enjoyment of physical activities well into one’s golden years.

  • The Aftermath of Getting Reconstructive Knee Surgery

     

    When you've undergone reconstructive knee surgery, you are signing up for a rather lengthy recovery process. While the surgery may be necessary and may be helpful in the long run, it's important to manage expectations. The recovery can take some time, and it requires time and effort from the person undergoing surgery. Here are some things to know about after your reconstructive knee surgery.

    1. Regaining Knee Extension is Crucial
    Getting knee extension back as soon as possible is crucial. If you wait too long, you may never regain full extension ever again. This could also lead to arthritis down the road. Be prepared for extensive physical therapy in order to do this. Physical therapy will likely start the day of or the day after your therapy, and it won't be easy. However, do as much physical therapy as your insurance will cover, and definitely ask for exercises to do at all by yourself. Don't forget to do them, either! It can make the difference between a full recovery and pain in the future.

    2. Pain is Inevitable
    Unfortunately, there will be pain. You will be given pain killers after the surgery, but that won't get rid of all of the pain you will experience. Be prepared to limit yourself due to the amount of pain. Also, be prepared for the pain to last for a long time.

    3. Know Your Limits
    Some people are anxious to get back to normal activity as soon as possible. The reality is that this isn't possible. It is essential to take time to recover properly. Otherwise, you could prolong the injury or even hurt yourself even more.
    Your physical therapist will be able to tell you how much you can manage based on your progress while working with you. Follow their advice.

    4. You May Need Aids to Walk
    Get familiar with crutches or a walker to temporarily help you with mobility. You may not need to use it all the time, but you will see that they help.The good news is that you will probably only need the crutches for about 7 to 10 days. Also, expect to need extra help with stairs.

    5. Inflammation
    Inflammation will be quite extensive after surgery. And it will make recovery that much harder. Therefor, you will be under a rigorous cycle of taking ice on and off your knee to help. You may also talk to your doctor and physical therapist about other ways to manage the inflammation.

    Knee surgery is a positive thing. It will fix your injury or fix the pain that you are experiencing. However, the recovery process does take some time, and you will feel it. You will also have to put some effort into it. However, if you do, you could experience a full recovery.

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