Why Does My Back Hurt in the Morning? 

  • Lower back pain felt by older people after sleeping may be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as disc degeneration, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces in the spine), or herniated discs. 
  • Other non-medical factors that cause lower back pain include bad mattress quality or sleeping positions(1).
  • Non-pharmacological treatment options, including simple exercises, stretching, and physical therapy, may help with back pain in the morning.
  • If low back pain is severe, seniors may seek medical advice from their physicians about over-the-counter pain medications or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)(2).
  • Older people may prevent the onset of back pain after sleeping by changing their sleep positions, exercising, or reducing stress, tension, and anxiety(3-4).

Lower back pain after sleeping is a common struggle among older people(5). However, it may be challenging to find a solution to their pain problems, especially if they do not know the cause of their pain and discomfort.

Health Report Live aims to help older people manage chronic back pain by providing relevant information and possible health solutions. Through these solutions, seniors can manage their back problems and start their day positive and pain-free. 

Causes of Lower Back Pain After Sleeping

Early morning back pain or morning stiffness may be caused by an underlying medical condition or non-medical reasons(6)

Here are the possible causes that explain why an older person’s back may hurt after sleeping:

Degenerative Disc Disease 

According to Mayo Clinic, disc degeneration occurs as people grow older. The condition is characterized by the drying out and shrinking of the discs between the vertebrae(7).

The spinal discs function as shock absorbers for the spine. These discs provide flexibility while resisting forces in various angles and planes of motion(8)

Each spinal disc has two parts: the annulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus(9). The disc’s outer portion is the annulus fibrosus, made up of firm and tough material that can induce pain when damaged.

The nucleus pulposus is a soft, jellylike core that contains proteins, which may cause inflammation to the tissues they touch.

The proteins in the nucleus pulposus may leak out to the nerves of the spinal disc’s outer layer, resulting in painful sensations(10).

Because of low blood supply, discs cannot repair themselves once they are injured. Then, disc degeneration follows in a span of 20 to 30 years(11)

Acute pain caused by the condition makes normal back movement difficult. The bone where a disc injury occurred becomes relatively unstable over time(12).

Disc degeneration affects sleep as it narrows the space between the vertebrae, making the spine less stable and flexible. The narrowing of the spaces may cause pain, numbness, or weakness(13)

A patient with degenerative disc disease should see a physical therapist for treatment.

Below are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease(14):

  • Feeling pain that worsens when lifting, bending, or twisting. 
  • Experiencing lower back pain when sitting. Lower back discs have three times more load on them when sitting than when standing.
  • Feeling reduced back pain while walking or running than while sitting or standing.
  • Suffering from periods of intense pain that range from nagging pain to disabling pain. This pain may be felt on the lower back, buttocks, thighs, or neck.
  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities.
  • Feeling weak, particularly in the leg or foot muscles.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces within the spine. The action puts pressure on the nerves traveling through the spinal column(15)

The most common reason for spinal stenosis is wear and tear in the spine, a symptom associated with osteoarthritis. The condition may also be caused by the following(16):

Thickened Ligaments

Ligaments are tough cords that hold the bones of the spine together. The tissues may thicken and stiffen over time. If this occurs, the stiff and thickened ligaments may bulge into the spinal canal.

Spinal Injuries

Injuries from car accidents and other trauma may dislocate or fracture one or more spinal vertebrae. The dislocated bone from a spinal fracture may damage the spinal canal. 

Surgery after an accident may also cause spinal stenosis. Swelling of tissues after back surgery may put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

The two types of spinal stenosis are cervical stenosis and lumbar stenosis. 

Cervical stenosis occurs in the part of the spine around the neck. Meanwhile, lumbar stenosis occurs in the lumbar spine’s curvature or the lower back(17).

Common red flags of cervical stenosis include(18):

  • Neck pain
  • Numbness and weakness in the hand, arm, leg, or foot
  • Problems with walking and balance
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction

Meanwhile, the symptoms of lumbar stenosis include(19):

  • Numbness and weakness in a foot or leg
  • Pain in the legs when standing for long periods or when walking
  • Back pain

Tumors

Tumors are abnormal growths inside the spinal cord or within the membranes that house the spinal cord. The formation of tumors may also occur in the space between the vertebrae and the spinal cord. 

Herniated Discs

A slipped or a herniated disc occurs when the nucleus pulposus pushes out through a tear in the disc’s outer layer. 

A herniated disc can irritate surrounding nerves and cause pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg(20)

Several people with a herniated disc experience no symptoms. Surgery is not always needed to relieve the problem(21).

Although most herniated discs commonly occur in the lower back, slipped discs may also occur in the neck. The condition’s symptoms depend on where the herniated disc is situated and whether the disc is pressing on a spinal nerve(22).  

Below are some of the symptoms of herniated discs(23):

Numbness or Tingling

People with a herniated disc often experience radiating numbness or tingling in the body part near the affected nerves.

Arm or Leg Pain

If the slipped disc is located in the lower back, the patient may feel pain in the buttocks, calf, and thigh. Pain may also radiate to the foot.

However, if the herniated disc is in the neck, typically, the patient feels the most pain in their shoulder and arm. The pain may be felt when the patient moves their arm, coughs, or sneezes. 

Weakness

Muscles near the affected nerves tend to weaken, causing the individual with a herniated disc to stumble or struggle when holding objects.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal medical condition characterized by widespread pain and fatigue. Problems in sleep, memory, and mood are also associated with the condition(24)

Researchers suggested that the condition may amplify painful sensations by affecting how the brain and spinal cord process painful and non-painful signals(25).

Fibromyalgia’s primary symptoms include(26):

Widespread Pain

Patients with fibromyalgia experience a constant dull ache that lasts for roughly three months. Discomfort associated with fibromyalgia is felt on both sides of the body and above and below the waist.

Fatigue

Fibromyalgia patients feel tired after waking even though they slept for a long time. Sleep in patients with the condition is also often disrupted by pain.

Cognitive Difficulties

Another symptom of fibromyalgia includes “fibro fog,” which impairs the patient’s ability to focus on mental activities.

Stiffness

Fibromyalgia also causes stiffness which may be most severe when the patient has been in the same position for a long time. This sleeping position issue may cause pain and discomfort in patients when they first wake up in the morning(27).

Vitamin D Deficiency

According to a 2019 study found in The Permanente Journal, vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency may cause and exacerbate neck and back pain(28).

The authors noted that the condition may also trigger and worsen muscle spasms(29)

The 2019 study suggested that vitamin D played a crucial role in managing musculoskeletal system chronic pain. The authors noted that treating vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency improved the subjects’ symptoms(30).  

Poor Sleeping Positions

Back pain after sleeping may also be caused by poor sleeping posture. Poor sleeping positions add pressure on the spine, causing its natural curve to flatten(31).

Experts stated that sleeping on the stomach may cause body pain since it pushes on the muscles and joints and flattens the body’s natural curve. The position also forces a person to turn their neck while sleeping, which may cause neck and upper back discomfort(32).

To address this issue, older people may change their sleeping position to help them get better sleep and improve their spine health and overall wellness.

Bad Mattress

If an older person’s lower back pain does not go away even after they fix their sleeping posture, the pain may be caused by their mattress’ poor quality. 

Replacing their old mattress may provide them with pain relief and a good night’s sleep.

According to a 2009 study about back pain published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, authors noted that replacing mattresses over nine years old may improve sleep quality and reduce stress and pain in the back muscles(33).

When choosing a new mattress, older adults should look for an adjustable bed and a medium-firm mattress with enough back support.

To know more about the other possible causes of lower back pain in the mornings, seniors may visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, where they may read more about the condition and its causes.

Lower Back Pain Treatment Options

Exercises

A 2016 study published in the Scientifica journal noted that strengthening exercises relieve lower back pain and improve body functions in elderly people(34).

The authors noted that physiotherapists may recommend strengthening exercises to prevent disability and improve physical functions(35).

Regular exercise throughout the day may help alleviate back pain. Anything that gets seniors moving and off their feet, such as walking, may help strengthen their back. 

If an older person wakes up with back pain, they may try doing light exercises to alleviate discomfort throughout the day.

Stretches 

One way to reduce back pain is to stretch before getting out of bed. 

While lying on their back, seniors should stretch their arms up above their head as far as they can. At the same time, they must stretch their feet out in the opposite direction.

They can bring their knees to their chest and hold for a few seconds for a lower back stretch. 

After sitting up, older adults should plant both feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart. They can stretch by raising their arms over their head, then stretching from side to side.

Planks

Physical activities beneficial for older adults include planking, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and lunges(36)

A plank stretches the entire body, especially the core muscles. Strengthening the abdominal muscles puts less strain on the back(37)

Doing a plank may prevent a person’s core from weakening and avoid the occurrence of neck, shoulder, and lower back pain(38).

To properly do a plank, the senior should lie facedown on the floor. Curl the toes and keep the elbows and forearms in line with the wrists. 

As they lift off the floor, they must push themselves to their upper back and keep their chin close to the neck.

Stay in the position for up to 30 seconds, crunching the abdomen tight as if bracing for a punch in the stomach. As the person holds the pose, they must also contract their glutes and thighs. 

Pharmacological Treatment

Painkillers

In some cases, physicians may recommend pharmaceuticals to relieve severe back pain in need of immediate relief. 

The doctors may prescribe NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, to manage pain. NSAIDs are pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications that reduce inflammation contributing to the patient’s discomfort. 

Acetaminophen, a painkiller and fever medication, may also be an option to reduce occasional back pain if the patient cannot take NSAIDs.

Another treatment to consider is the use of a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine. 

According to a 2008 study in the Current Rheumatology Reports, TENS may relieve severe chronic musculoskeletal pain. However, patients must first need to build up a tolerance to the electrical currents(39)

Seniors must first ask their doctors if using a TENS machine may be the best solution for their back pain.

Topical Remedies

Older adults may also try topical remedies to relieve pain. They may apply natural and essential oils, such as turmeric and peppermint, infused in carrier oils to the affected area.

However, before trying alternative treatment options, seniors must first consult their doctor to avoid worsening their pain or other adverse reactions.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain After Sleeping

The onset of lower back pain in the mornings is preventable by making simple changes in a person’s sleeping habits. Having a good sleeping posture may protect a person’s back(40)

Below are some recommendations on how to improve a person’s sleeping habits, regardless of the position they sleep in(41):

If a person is a side sleeper, they may draw their legs up towards their chest and place a pillow between their legs to put less strain on their backs.

Meanwhile, if an individual sleeps on their back, they may place a rolled towel under their neck and a pillow underneath their knees to help maintain their lower back’s natural curve.

They may also use a rolled towel under the small of their back for additional lower abdomen support.  

Sleeping on the stomach may strain the back. If an older adult cannot sleep any other way, they may reduce the strain on their back by placing a pillow under their pelvis and lower abdomen. 

They must also use a pillow that does not place excessive strain on the back. If changing the pillow does not relieve back pain after sleeping, they may try sleeping without a pillow under their head.

Below are other helpful tips to keep in mind to prevent experiencing lower back pain in the morning(42):

  • Stay active and exercise regularly
  • Reduce extreme stresses and strains on the back 
  • Be careful when lifting objects 
  • Strengthen back muscles
  • Lose excess weight; older people may use a body mass index (BMI) calculator to determine whether they have the appropriate weight for their height
  • Try not to sit for long periods
  • Wear flat footwear with cushioned soles to reduce the stress on the back
  • Avoid muscle strain or sudden movements
  • Make sure to have a good-quality mattress that provides enough back support
  • Fix back posture when watching television or using computers or phones 
  • Try to reduce any tension, stress, and anxiety

References

  1. Orthopedic Associates. Do You Have Lower Back Pain in the Morning? Retrieved from https://orthopedicassociates.org/do-you-have-lower-back-pain-in-the-morning/
  2. Ibid
  3. Mayo Clinic. Slide show: Sleeping positions that reduce back pain. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/multimedia/sleeping-positions/sls-20076452
  4. Trusted Health Advice. Back pain prevention. Retrieved from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/back-pain-prevention
  5. Wong, A. Y., Karppinen, J., & Samartzis, D. (2017). Low back pain in older adults: risk factors, management options and future directions. Scoliosis and spinal disorders, 12, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13013-017-0121-3
  6. Orthopedic Associates. Op. cit.
  7. Mayo Clinic Health System. Degenerative Disk Disease. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/mankato/services-and-treatments/neurosurgery/spine-conditions-and-treatments/degenerative-disk-disease
  8. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Degenerative Disc Disease. Retrieved from https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/d/degenerative-disc-disease.html
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Mayo Clinic Health System. op. cit.
  14. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Op. cit.
  15. Mayo Clinic. Spinal Stenosis. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-stenosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352961
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Mayo Clinic Health System. Herniated Disc. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/mankato/services-and-treatments/neurosurgery/spine-conditions-and-treatments/herniated-disk
  21. Mayo Clinic. Herniated Disc. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/symptoms-causes/syc-20354095
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Mayo Clinic. Herniated Disc. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354780
  25. Ibid.
  26. Ibid.
  27. The NHS Website. Fibromyalgia. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms/#
  28. Cai. C. (2019). Treating Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Chronic Neck and Back Pain and Muscle Spasm: A Case Series. The Permanente Journal,  23: 18-241. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6730953/
  29. Ibid.
  30. Ibid.
  31. Keck Medicine of USC. The Best — and Worst — Sleep Positions for Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.keckmedicine.org/the-best-and-worst-sleep-positions-for-back-pain/
  32. Ibid
  33. Jacobson, B., Boolani, A., & Smith, D. (2009). Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 8(1): 1–8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697581/
  34. Ishak, N., Zahari, Z., & Justine, M. (2016). Effectiveness of Strengthening Exercises for the Elderly with Low Back Pain to Improve Symptoms and Functions: A Systematic Review. Scientifica, 2016: 3230427. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884870/
  35. Ibid.
  36. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Retrieved from https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
  37. Harvard Health Publishing. Straight talk on planking. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/straight-talk-on-planking-2019111318304
  38. Ibid.
  39. DeSantana, J., Walsh, D., Vance, C., Rakel, B., & Sluka, K. (2008). Effectiveness of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Hyperalgesia and Pain. Current Rheumatology Reports, 10(6): 492–499. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746624/
  40. University of Rochester Medical Center. Good Sleeping Posture Helps Your Back. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4460
  41. Mayo Clinic. Slide show: Sleeping positions that reduce back pain. Op. cit.
  42. Trusted Health Advice. Op. cit.

Erasing the Stigma of Geriatric Anxiety and Learning to Help

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The effects of anxiety disorders are becoming ever more prevalent in our society. Even with new research shining a light on how many Americans suffer from these varying disorders, we have only begun to scratch the surface. This is especially true when it comes to understanding anxiety in the elderly.

Higher rates of loss, physical suffering from sciatica, lower back pain, chronic conditions, and multiple medications can all increase the levels of anxiety in senior citizens. This makes having the discussion about geriatric anxiety a crucial factor in aiding our loved ones who are suffering.

Understanding Anxiety

We all experience anxiety to a certain degree, and it can even help us to be more productive in our daily lives. However, higher levels become disruptive and unhealthy. The effects leave thousands feeling crippled by pain and fear.

It is important to understand that these disorders are genuine biochemical disturbances , often the aftermath of a traumatic event or a genetic predisposition. They are not sign of weakness or a lack of character, and in no way make someone “crazy”. In fact, The National Institute of Mental Health states that tens of millions of people are experiencing the effects of anxiety every year.

Signs of anxiety in the elderly come in a broad range of forms and signals. The most common of these appear when an elderly person is excessively worrying. Sounding outlandish, or even bizarre, many find themselves dismissing these fears as all in the person’s head.

Active listening is an important part of care for the elderly. Taking their concerns into consideration not only helps to ease their anxiety, but can also reveal immediate dangers to their wellbeing such as criminals. In some cases, hearing what they have to say reveals that they may need therapy to help cope with a traumatic event.

While it is certainly challenging to imagine what those with these conditions are experiencing , it is important to be sympathetic when the signs arise in any demographic. The more empathy we display towards mental disorders, the closer we become to properly diagnosing and treating those who suffer.

The Major Forms of Anxiety

There are seven major types of anxiety existing in today’s known psychological realm that have a prevalent impact on the elderly. Learning to identify the signs and symptoms makes all the difference in getting an elderly individual the help that they need. These disorders include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety
  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Phobias

Each is defined according to its own characteristics, and require different forms of treatment. While research is being done on the effects these conditions have on the elderly, we still know very little on how these conditions vary with age. There are, however, signs that you can be aware of.

This video does an excellent job of illustrating the experiences of a person with these conditions. Understanding any form of anxiety without experiencing it ourselves is a challenging task. However, there are professionals out there who are working hard to shed some light on the subject.

In the video, Marie-Ann Schull is speaking about both anxiety and depression. The symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression may overlap. Depression and anxiety combined can be even more difficult to cope with. Identifying the symptoms and seeking the proper treatment can help save a life.

Below are general descriptions that outline the symptoms associated with each of the major anxiety disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Pessimism or reacting in an exaggeratedly depressed manner over minor setbacks may indicate Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This is a chronic condition accompanied by insomnia, aches and pains, exhaustion, and restlessness.

These symptoms must last at least 6 months to be considered signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder . Excessively worrying about finances, health, and relationships are the most common displays of GAD. However, showing severe distress over something as simple as a television remote ceasing to work can be a sign as well.

Social Anxiety

Those who are terrified by social interaction for fear of judgment have Social Anxiety. Having a harder time hearing, suddenly needing to use a walker, and incontinence can all cause an elderly person to develop this form of anxiety . It inhibits their desire to be around other people, and if left untreated victims tend to isolate themselves often.

Social Anxiety begins as a very simply matter of embarrassment, slowly increasing into a more crippling disorder. It is important to talk with your loved one when major changes are occurring in their lives. Speaking with them is a great way to help them through these difficult times.

Acute Stress Disorder and PTSD

A sudden onset of anger, insomnia, agitation, or violent outbursts are all symptoms that occur after experiencing a traumatic event . Something related to that event triggers these reactions, and causes the victim to relive the trauma they witnessed or experienced. Identifying the trigger is the first step in helping them cope with what caused this disorder in the first place.

Many veterans suffer from PTSD, as do victims of sexual assault and physical battery. Those suffering from Acute Stress have recently witnessed or were subject to a traumatic event, usually within one month, while those with PTSD are experiencing this pain long after the event has taken place. Even though their symptoms are overlapping, each requires extensive therapy to truly heal the person suffering.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

If you are noticing sudden repetitive behavior or obsessive thoughts that interfere with a loved one’s daily life, they more than likely have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder . These impulses are uncontrollable, and often harmless aside from the person feeling that they need to do them. However, they can extend into repeated thoughts of harm to one’s self or others.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder comes in the form of thoughts, actions, or both. Motor tics accompanying OCD are not uncommon, including repeated vocal and motor functions. If these symptoms are sounding familiar to you, there are methods of screening to identify this condition.

Phobias

It is highly common to develop phobias later in one’s life. Experiencing or witnessing a frightening situation often causes a phobia to develop. While a fear of snakes or traveling on an airplane is typical, developing an irrational phobia can severely inhibit the quality of anyone’s life.

A sudden and intense fear of treatment can cause undue stress and anxiety in the elderly. Fearing hypodermic needles, cramped spaces, or even caretakers makes it terrifying for these individuals to receive the care they need. Therapists are working wonders in the treatment of phobias, and can help you or someone you know to overcome them.

Panic Attacks

This type of attack is a sudden onset of overwhelming fear and anxiety without a terrifying event. A pounding heart and inability to breathe often accompany these attacks. An experience like this is extremely frightening for people of any age. Any of the above disorders are known for causing panic attacks in the elderly .

Growing older causes the body to become frailer over time. Panic attacks wreak havoc on heart conditions, trouble breathing, and other symptoms. While it less common for an elderly person to experience the symptoms of a panic disorder , those who suffer from them are at an increased risk.

Aid and Treatment for the Elderly

If you are noticing any of the above symptoms in an elderly friend or family member, it is important to notify their current caretakers or doctor. Letting these symptoms go can result in worsening of the condition or even harm to the person in question. Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments proving effective in helping with anxiety in the elderly.

One of the most effective treatments is seeking the help of a professional. A licensed therapist, skilled counselor, or social worker can all provide aid.

Medications including Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft display a great effectiveness in helping those with anxiety disorders cope with the associated symptoms. It is important to exercise caution when prescribing an elderly person with a new treatment. Talking with a physician helps you to better understand what is being prescribed, and any necessary safety measures.

Anxiety in the elderly is just as prevalent as any other demographic. Addressing their symptoms and disorders is extremely important for their overall wellbeing. Identifying the signs, actively listening to their fears, and understanding their need for treatment are the best ways to help.

Do you know someone suffering from any of these anxiety disorders? We encourage you to share your story with us in the comments section below!

Why Seniors Must Exercise And What They Risk Without It

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It is no secret that there are multiple benefits of regular exercise, and yet, many seniors are either not getting enough or not getting any at all. There are a few reasons why this is the case. A lot of times seniors feel they just aren’t physically capable of exercise anymore due to sciatica or upper back pain to name just a few. Others just prefer more sedentary activities, and either are not aware of the benefits or aren’t particularly interested in them. In this article, you will find numerous bits of information that will motivate you to get up and start a new routine.

Why Do So Many Seniors Skip Exercising?

There are a few myths as well as barriers that keep seniors from getting regular exercise. Many feel that they are just too weak or incapable. Some seniors also believe that the body no longer needs the same type of physical activity once it has aged. A lot of elderly people are also afraid that if they attempt to exercise, they will get injured. Many also believe that only strenuous exercise is beneficial and neglect simple activities such as walking as a result.

Risk Factors of Inactivity

Neglecting physical activity as you age can put you in harms way more than you may realize. Those who do not get regular exercise can elevate their risk for cardiovascular disease. Lack of exercise can also be responsible for things such as weaker bones and joints, reduced muscle mass, less flexibility, elevated blood pressure and an increase in body fat levels.

According to the CDC , reduced physical activity is the main culprit behind the loss of strength and stamina that is related to aging. By the age of 75, approximately 33% of males and nearly 50% of females take part in no physical activity.

The Many Benefits of Exercise

Exercise can come in many forms. The misconception that exercise has to be utterly exhausting or strenuous to be effective is just that. The areas we can benefit from exercise are:

  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • Heart and lungs
  • Joints
  • Overall weight
  • Back pain

Our muscle mass decreases with age and inactivity. This phenomenon referred to as Sarcopenia causes physically inactive people to lose between 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. Remaining active can slow down the decline of our muscles significantly.

As we age, our bone density also decreases and our bones can begin to weaken and become brittle. Exercising keeps our bones healthy and strong and can help to prevent injury from falls or other accidents.

Heart disease and stroke are two of the top five killers in the nation and exercise can help the reduce the risk of both. To improve overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. Any combination of the two is also beneficial. The AHA suggests 30 minutes per day, five days a week as a baseline goal to set.

According to the NIH , many studies have shown clear benefits of exercise for both heart and lung function.

To keep our joints healthy, they need regular use or movement. Extended periods of inactivity can cause them to stiffen and weaken. Those with arthritis can benefit from exercise and strengthening programs.

Being overweight and having too much body fat can lead to a host of problems. Excess weight can put extra pressure on our joints and can also put us at increased risk for diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise burns calories which can help us to lose weight. Not only can losing weight reduce the health risks mentioned above, but it can also make us feel good about our overall appearance.

Types of Exercises to Try

The NIH recommends focusing on four areas of activity that are all an important part of our everyday living. These are:

  • Endurance
  • Balance
  • Strength
  • Flexibility

All of these aspects can intertwine and impact one another. Better endurance allows you to exercise longer and more vigorously which can lead to better strength. Better strength can give you better balance; balance can help to improve flexibility and vice versa. To improve your flexibility you can try Yoga or some gentle lower back stretches.

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to different ways to get exercise. But as a guide, we will separate into two distinct groups. Indoor and outdoor exercises .

Indoor exercises can be performed at home or in a gym. You can do basic exercises with light weights or resistance bands at home. At the gym, you can use machines such as treadmills, bikes or ellipticals. You can join a pool aerobics class, learn martial arts or perhaps you enjoy games such as bowling.

Outdoor exercises can be as simple as walking, jogging or running. If you own a bicycle, you can go riding. If you enjoy skating, you can also do that. Be sure to equip yourself with the necessary protective gear if you decide to bike or skate. Another option is the low-impact activity Tai Chi.

Some activities around the house that we do not even consider exercise can provide the same types of benefits. Gardening, certain kinds of housework, yard work such as raking and shoveling are all activities that can give us a workout.

If you are physically capable and still have that competitive drive, you may elect to take part in sports such as tennis, golf or basketball. Even if you are not spry enough to move around that quickly on your feet, some sports cater to you such as seated volleyball or even wheelchair basketball.

No matter how old you are or what your physical condition is, many types of physical activity can fit your lifestyle. You can start slow by committing to walking for 15 minutes a day and gradually work up to half an hour or even more. The best course of action is to set goals and evaluate what you are capable of doing now and what you’d like to be doing at some point in the future.

If you have any uncertainty about what types of activities are safe or what your best course of action is, speak to your doctor, and they can help point you in the right direction. Exercise can be a fun and beneficial part of all our lives.

Enjoy Your Newfound Freedom with These Unique Ideas for Retirement

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Americans aged 65 and older are among a vast and dynamic part of the population. However, they also face a unique and very particular set of problems. According to reports , roughly two-thirds of Americans exit the workforce by the time they reach age 66. There are some who retire even earlier than that.

Some aging Americans can ease into retirement without batting an eye. On the other hand, researchers suggest that there are some who suffer from boredom and depression after retirement. If you are among the aging population of Americans, you should develop retirement ideas before retiring. Developing plans and goals for your retirement years can help you enjoy the time more sufficiently.

Before Retirement

Before you retire, there are certain plans you should make. For instance, you should consider your financial plans. To make the most of your retirement, you should develop hobbies and goals. While there are many activities you can do, some are going to cost money.

You should work to have your finances in order before retirement . You should also work on retirement ideas before exiting the workforce. In fact, some of the things you should do the following before you retire:

  • Meet with a financial advisor to plan your retirement investments
  • Talk to your spouse or partner about your retirement ideas
  • Take into consideration that the IRS will continue to tax your income after retirement
  • Create a bucket list of interests, hobbies, and places you would like to visit
  • Assess your personal budget
  • Review the process you will face through Social Security
  • Determine the financial standing of your estate
  • Evaluate your bank account to ensure coverage of any drafts

Each of the ideas given above can help you kickstart your retirement with a measure of ease and success. You can focus less on financial worries and more on activities and adventures that you would like to accomplish.

As an added suggestion, make sure you also participate in a retirement plan. Experts suggest that participation in retirement plans has declined over the years, even among individuals nearing retirement age. Involvement in a retirement plan can help you better plan financially for your exit from the workforce.

After Retirement

After retirement, you have several options. To make use of all those options, you must be willing to try out new things. Your best bet is to set goals and use your imagination. Set goals to do things that you have been wanting to do and have not been able to do while working. You should also set goals to do things that you have never done before . Learning new things keeps the brain active and allows the mind to stay sharp.

Perhaps you have children and grandchildren who live in another state. If it has been awhile since you visited them, make it a point to take the time to do so. Grandchildren benefit mentally and emotionally from their relationship with you. Maybe you have friends that you would like to catch up with, or perhaps you would just rather enjoy some time to yourself or with your spouse.

No matter what goals you want to set for yourself now that you are retired, make sure you follow through with them. If you are stuck trying to develop some retirement ideas, try the ideas listed below:

  • Enjoy the fresh air by taking up gardening
  • Exercise more by going for walks or bicycling, Yoga or Tai Chi
  • Start a collection (coins, stamps, etc.)
  • Join a club, such as chess, and compete against like-minded individuals
  • Find activities near you, such as bingo, where you can likely meet new people and make friends
  • Schedule a vacation for you or you and your spouse
  • Take some time to yourself and go fishing
  • Learn a new skill , such as boating
  • Plan gatherings at your house where you can host card games
  • If your living situation allows, purchase a pet to have as a companion
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter so you can stay active
  • Take the time to visit with your neighbors more often
  • Enjoy a new craft activity, such as crochet
  • Be more active with activities like golf
  • Pamper yourself by visiting a spa and receiving a well-deserved massage

There is absolutely no limit to the things you can do after you retire. All it takes is the willingness to try new things, meet new people, and fulfill the goals you set. There are plenty of retirement activities you can find to do if you take the time to look for them.

Help with Ideas

When trying to figure out what to do in retirement, it is sometimes best to ask for help from people you know. Friends and family members can offer some great ideas for retirement. In fact, there might be some friends or family members who would like to participate in retirement hobbies with you. The stronger your relationship with your family, the more likely it is that you can seek them out for help.

Participating in activities and hobbies after you retire is a terrific way to get back in touch with the people you love. You should take the time to visit friends and members of your family as much as you invest in time for yourself.

Taking time for yourself is great, of course, but it is also an excellent idea to enjoy the company of others . In fact, enjoying the company of others can help combat any feelings of depression, loneliness, and boredom.

Have your friends and family help you in creating a bucket list. Do your best to fulfill that bucket list as best you can. You can accomplish goals you have always wanted to achieve while also trying new things. Retirement gives you a chance to release your adventurous side.

Of course, you can always relax within the quiet confines of your hom e and enjoy a delightful book, but it is just as good to get out and mingle. In fact, you should find the right balance between quiet solo activities and fun group activities.

Asking for help with retirement activities from friends and family gives you an excuse to visit the people you care about and love. Perhaps you can even find common interests that you share with others by asking them for ideas and suggestions.

Stay in Touch After Retirement

Part of what makes retirement so difficult for some is because it marks the end of something so familiar . If you think about it, people often spend 40 hours a week working. Some people retire from their careers after 20 years or more.

In other words, that is 20 years that a person spent getting up, going to work, performing the same routines and seeing the same faces. Retirement disrupts that process, which is difficult for at least some individuals.

One of the best retirement ideas is to celebrate this new chapter in your life by staying in touch with people. You can celebrate by meeting up with your former co-workers outside of the workspace. Ask your buddies to join you for a BBQ, card game, or a drink at the bar.

Plan a retirement party so you can invite friends, family, and co-workers to help you celebrate. Throughout the party, make it a point to talk to your guests and find activities that you might share. There might be someone else attending the party who is either nearing retirement or recently retired.

Finding ways to maintain contact with others can make accepting this new chapter of your life easier and far more shocking. Even planned retirement can have an impact on a person. For the first few days or weeks, you may feel happy and excited, but as it sets in that your daily routine is now different, you may start to feel dumbfounded and depressed. Men are especially vulnerable to these feelings.

Rather than focusing on any of the negatives of retirement, focus on all the positives by making it a constant celebration. Your relationship with former co-workers does not have to end. In fact, you now have more opportunities interact with them at your disposal.

Search Your Local Options

There are likely many local retirement opportunities for you. There are often plenty of organizations that offer activities and clubs for retired groups of individuals. Finding out who hosts activities and clubs for retirees is perhaps the best retirement idea there is.

Many organized activities cater to retired individuals from all walks of life. Joining a group of people for weekly events allows you to discover new interests and hobbies. It also gives you the chance to meet someone who shares the same likes and dislikes as you.

Your ability to make new friends doesn’t stop because you retire. In fact, you should make every effort possible to meet someone new and befriend them. Going out to local activities or attending organized events catered toward retirees is an ideal way to do just that.

You can often find local options by searching online, asking around among your local community, or even checking the news. Your local newspaper often posts events throughout your area so that you never miss the opportunity to get out and enjoy something new.

Once you find a group or organization that hosts activities you enjoy, make sure you stick with it. Attending events like that can also provide you with new retirement ideas you might not have thought of before. In fact, you should ask other retirees for some ideas to see what hobbies or interests they enjoy.

Another local option would be a part-time job. Many retirees who hold a part-time job report feeling much happier compared to those who do not have a part-time job to occupy their time. Typically, you would want to stick with something you know, so try finding something that is like what you did throughout your career.

No matter what you choose to do, the key is to just enjoy your retirement to the best of your ability. Have fun, relax, revel in the peace and quiet of solitude or welcome the fact that you can visit with friends and family more often. That is the best way to make your retirement the best it can be.

Tai Chi for Seniors: 3 Moves to Improve Balance and Stability

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Tai chi, a form of Chinese martial arts that focuses on slow, controlled movements. It’s low impact and gives people with limited mobility a chance to improve their balance, range of motion and coordination. Research shows that tai chi for seniors can reduce the incidence of falls in elderly and at-risk adults by about 43 percent. With fewer than 34 percent of aging adults getting enough exercise , it’s important for caregivers, older individuals and people who work with seniors to know about this gentle but effective activity.

What Is Tai Chi?

Tai chi is an ancient way of moving that is practiced by more than 200 million people across the globe. Unlike many forms of exercise that focus on strengthening your muscles, improving your endurance or boosting your flexibility, this activity allows you to work with your qi, or life force.

The idea behind it is that when you’re feeling slow, sluggish and fatigued, your chi is low. With an abundance of chi, you feel alert and vibrant.

Every movement helps develop energy flow. For example, the tai chi prayer wheel is a cornerstone move that can rejuvenate you and renew your energy whenever you’re feeling stressed, anxious or tense.

The practice is considered to be a perfect exercise. It is associated with a low rate of injury and has a wide range of medical benefits , including:

  • Balance control
  • Sciatica
  • Improved fitness
  • Better aerobic capacity
  • Stronger muscles
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved mood
  • Less depression and anxiety
  • Better sleep quality
  • Improved immunity
  • Weight loss benefits

Tai chi has even been linked to increased longevity . In one study that looked at the exercise habits of more than 61,000 men in China, researchers found that it is relatively equivalent to walking and jogging for reducing mortality rates.

The history of tai chi is steeped in mystery. It was developed between 700 and 1500 years ago as a Chinese fighting art. The Taoist monk Zhang San Feng is credited with creating the practice.

Some people confuse tai chi with qi gong. Both involve energy work and slow, graceful motions. People who practice both types of exercise focus on energy flow within their bodies. However, qi gong involves more varied moves than tai chi. It also focuses on directing certain energy flows, whereas tai chi works on the energetic body as a whole.

So how do you practice? It involves moving fluidly through a series of positions. As in yoga, you must be mindful of your breath when practicing. As you move, you concentrate on inhaling into your belly, which is the center of your qi. The practice can create a better mind-body connection and help you become more present in your surroundings.

How Does Tai Chi Benefit The Elderly?

Although anyone can practice, it may be especially beneficial for older adults. Tai chi for seniors can be practiced in a chair, bed or wheelchair. Limited mobility or back pain is not a problem when performing tai chi exercises for seniors. Also, it has been found to improve medical conditions that often affect aging adults.

It Improves Stability In People With Parkinson’s Disease

One study looked at the ways in which tai chi balance exercises for seniors could improve postural stability in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Physical activity has been proven to help slow the deterioration of motor functions in these individuals. It also helps prolong independence.

However, many exercises geared toward people with Parkinson’s require equipment and safety monitoring. Seniors don’t always have access to gyms or trainers.

It was found to improve postural stability in patients with Parkinson’s disease because it encourages the type of rhythmic weight shifting that happens when you stand and walk. It also emphasizes making controlled motions when the center of gravity is displaced.

It Can Reduce Chronic Pain

Harvard Medical School researchers discovered that the traditional Chinese exercise is also beneficial for people with chronic heart failure. After a 12-week program, participants in the study reported having a better quality of life and experiencing better sleep.

Tai chi can also help with pain, which can affect up to 85 percent of seniors, according to NIH Medline Plus . A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the exercise might be useful in treating fibromyalgia. Participants who practiced an hour twice a week for 12 weeks experienced more improvements in symptoms compared with people who were involved in wellness education and stretching.

Harvard Medical School reports that it can help relieve pain in people with arthritis, tension headaches and other chronic diseases. In a 2015 analysis , researchers looked at the practice’s effects on quality of life for adults in their 60s and 70s. All of the participants in the studies had at least one chronic disease, including cancer, osteoarthritis, heart failure or COPD. On average, the individuals who performed the movements showed improvements in gait, muscle strength and quality of life.

It Helps Treat People With Diabetes And Metabolic Syndrome

Tai chi can even help people control their type 2 diabetes. Medical News Today cites two studies that were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers found that it lowers blood glucose levels and improves immune system response in people with this type of diabetes.

In addition to lowering inflammation and boosting the immune system, it was found was found to raise fitness levels and general feelings of well-being. Participants said that they slept better, had less pain, experienced an increase in energy levels and had fewer food cravings while participating in a tai chi program.

It Helps Prevent Falls

The National Council on Aging explains that falls are the leading cause of injury in seniors. Falling can affect an individual’s independence, making them reliant on a wheelchair or other people for assistance. It can also produce fatal injuries.

Twenty-five percent of Americans ages 65 and older fall every year. A senior citizen dies from a fall-related injury every 19 minutes.

Many seniors avoid activities that improve their wellness and quality of life because they’re afraid of falling. The less they move around, the more their risk of falling increases. In addition to damaging their physical well-being, this activity restriction can also lead to isolation, depression, and feelings of helplessness.

Tai chi is an integrative approach that can help older adults improve their balance and stamina while boosting their mood. Harvard Medical School says that an hour of intense movements brings about similar aerobic benefits as taking a brisk walk. Plus, performing the slow motions can improve a senior’s confidence more than hitting the sidewalk and venturing away from home.

Some researchers have found that the practice is just as effective for building muscle as more forceful types of weight training. Again, aging adults may be more likely to try something new if it is easy to do and doesn’t involve vigorous activity.

The movements improve stability because it requires practitioners to concentrate on all of the physical components that tend to decline as they get older. While performing the positions, you build leg strength, improve range of motion, work on flexibility and keep your reflexes sharp. These are all factors that can contribute to falls.

Surprisingly, the emotional impact of tai chi on falls cannot be overlooked. Fear of falling is one of the greatest predictors of a tumble. It helps reduce that anxiety by making you more comfortable on your feet.

It Is A Low Impact Exercise

Unlike many other forms of exercise, including walking, the exercise is considered to have zero impact on joints and bones. It’s one of the safest ways to get moving while avoiding injury. You can start the practice at any fitness level. You can also choose to work your way up to more intense motions if you become stronger and more mobile.

Easy Exercise Videos For Seniors

Tai chi for seniors is not difficult to learn. You don’t need to know a special language, follow certain steps or have specific equipment. Simply wear comfortable clothing and turn on a video to learn some moves.

Master Gohring

Before you begin a routine, you should learn to focus on your breath. Even if you don’t incorporate any physical actions into your practice, learning how to inhale and exhale properly can provide benefits.

Your breath provides a mind-body connection. It’s also calming. The breath may be the most important aspect of the activity.

You may find it hard to coordinate the breath with the motions at first. That’s normal. You can get more practice by practicing this regularly throughout the day whether you’re doing the exercises or not.

Picture your breath to move as a continuous circle into your body and out of your body. One of the most important aspects of tai chi breathing is to focus on inhaling into your belly while relaxing your muscles. The more you practice, the more natural this type of deep breathing will become.

Warmup In Chair

This warmup can be done while seated, which makes it ideal for people with limited mobility. It’s a gentle way to strengthen and loosen up the body if you have an injury or issues with stability or pain.

The exercises emphasize the muscles of the upper body and abdomen. However, the lower body is not neglected. Some leg extensions and ankle exercises are incorporated in this sitting warmup video.

The instructor talks you through each movement. If you have trouble hearing the directions, you can follow along with what you see on the screen. Each sequence is repeated several times, making it easy to mimic.

Movements For Arthritis

This sit-down tai chi for arthritis program was first developed in 1996. Over the years, people who aren’t able to do standing movements have been able to benefit from this type of sequence. It has been taught to people who have suffered from strokes, multiple sclerosis, heart problems and lung conditions.

Dr. Paul Lam explains that these easy exercises can even be practiced on an airplane.

You’ll learn how to do the wave motion with proper form. Dr. Lam tells you what parts of the body to focus on as you do the hand positions. This involves some less obvious positions, including putting pressure on a specific foot and concentrating on pulling in your knee.

8-Minute Daily Practice

These easy tai chi moves are taught from a standing position. They’re simple for beginners to learn.

If you practice every day, you’ll improve your balance and posture. You should start feeling fewer aches and pains if you do these over time.

The instructor tells you exactly what to do with your hands and feet as he shows you the moves. He even explains how many repetitions of each action you might want to do.

The moves included in this video include:

  • Calming the waters
  • Push water to the side
  • Ball to the valley
  • Push and pull

Gentle Tai Chi and Qi Gong LEAP Service

If you want to perform a longer exercise program, try this 22-minute routine. You’ll learn some gentle moves that you can do while standing or sitting. The instructors will show you how to adapt the positions for different levels.

They also explain how to adjust the moves if you have limited mobility. You’ll see how to use a large or narrow range of motion. The instructors also remind you to check in with your body frequently so that you’re always performing moves that feel comfortable and safe.

You’ll begin by inhaling and exhaling as you relax obvious areas of tension. You can always come back to this basic posture if you need to rest during the sequence.

What Is The 70% Rule?

When we strive to do anything in life, we’re often told to “give it our all” or “put in 100%.” We get used to doing that, and it puts us at greater risk for injury when it comes to exercise.

Tai chi is rooted in the Taoist tradition. Part of the philosophy involves the 70-percent rule. This says that an individual should not perform at more than 70 percent of his or her capacity.

That doesn’t mean that you should sit back and do the moves in an unfocused manner. You can put in your full concentration and determination.

However, don’t push your body to its limits. This not only strains your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments but also puts mental pressure on you. In tai chi, your mental state is just as important as your physical moves. If you shut down because you feel tense or overexerted, you won’t be able to do the practice effectively.

The 70-percent rule applies to every aspect of the practice. To follow it, think about how much you can do. For example, perhaps a move requires you to bend all the way to the floor, and you’re capable of doing so. You should still only bend 70 percent of the way down so that you can work on developing the position properly.

The rule pertains to the length of time for which you practice too. If you know that you can do an hour-long routine, you should practice the 70-percent rule by only doing tai chi for 45 minutes.

Can Tai Chi Be Used As A Treatment For Anything?

Tai chi is part of traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM. TCM practitioners use mind and body practices, such as tai chi, to prevent and treat physical and mental problems. Therefore, you might wonder if you can use tai chi to treat any medical conditions.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , it is a complementary approach for treating many conditions. Because it’s cost effective and generally considered to be safe, it doesn’t hurt to try it for conditions such as:

Much of the research that has been conducted on tai chi for treating medical conditions is in its infancy. Therefore, some of its claims for alleviating certain problems aren’t substantiated. Still, the physical and psychological benefits are so numerous that you can use the practice to indirectly improve your well-being even if it doesn’t treat a specific disease.

Tai Chi Classes For Seniors

Many gyms, community centers and senior centers offer tai chi classes. A group class can keep you motivated and hold you accountable for creating consistency with your practice. With other people around, you will also have help if you do fall or injure yourself. An in-person instructor can also correct your form as you do the moves.

If you decide to take tai chi classes for seniors, you might wonder what to expect. If you have never taken any online classes or watched any videos, you may not know the moves. Make sure that you tell the teacher that it’s your first class.

You should also ask the instructor whether it’s appropriate to ask questions during the class or save them for later. You might even want to observe a few classes and jot down your questions to ask the instructor before you attend your first class as a participant.

You might feel like you’re not keeping up with the other students, but there is no set endpoint. Tai chi is a journey, and you’ll always have more to learn. If you go in with an open mind, you won’t feel pressure to perform perfectly. Be patient with yourself, and remember that the more you practice, the easier the moves will become.

Tips And Strategies

Because many people have never performed tai chi, they might be hesitant to learn the moves. These tips for seniors will help you get started.

It’s Never Too Late To Learn

More than half of the people who practice tai chi begin after age 50. Don’t avoid learning because you feel like you’re too old or out of shape.

Learn From Others

If you can take an in-person class, you can establish a rapport with your peers and learn how others adapt the moves to work for their fitness and mobility levels. If you can’t attend a class, you can learn something new from every online instructor or YouTube video that you watch.

Work It Into Your Daily Life

Some experts say that about 30 percent of seniors might deal with anxiety on a regular basis. Incorporating tai chi into everything you do can help you manage stress.

Set an alarm to remind you to do mindful breathing every few hours throughout the day. Work the 70-percent rule into everything that you do.

When you structure your day based on tai chi principles, you may live in a state of relaxation instead of tension. For example, you can apply the 70-percent rule to every aspect of your life. It can help you prevent injury when doing other physical tasks. This rule can also help you stay calm when you’re presented with a problem that you would normally obsess over until you wore yourself out.

Stay Consistent

It can be hard to develop new habits when you’re older. Try to set aside a specific time each day to practice.

If you can only do 5 minutes at a time, that’s fine. In fact, you should probably start with 3 minutes in that case so that you stick with the 70-percent rule. Once you feel like the short practice is part of your routine, you can begin to lengthen it if that’s a goal.

Don’t Learn Everything At Once

You don’t have to know a lot of moves to benefit from tai chi. Trying to remember new postures can be challenging for a senior. Even just learning one new move a month can add to your practice in a way that’s not overwhelming.

The Painful Facts About Osteoarthritis and How to Treat It

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Osteoarthritis, which is also sometimes referred to as a degenerative joint disease, is a painful condition that affects many seniors and limits their quality of life. It can cause depression and encourage a sedentary lifestyle. In this article, you’ll learn about the symptoms, causes and what you can do to prevent osteoarthritis if you do not have it as well as how to manage it if you do.

How Osteoarthritis Affects You

According to the CDC , Osteoarthritis affects 33.6% of those age 65 and over in the United States which is roughly 12.4 million people. It is the most common type of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis affects our cartilage which is the tissue found at the ends of our bones where they meet and form a joint. Cartilage is essentially the lubrication between our bones that prevents them from grinding together. It allows them to glide over each other smoothly and absorb impact.

When our cartilage begins to wear away as a result of osteoarthritis, the bones underneath start to rub together which causes all of the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. These symptoms include swelling and loss of movement in these joints. Bone spurs may also form as a result. They can break off and float into the joint space. These chips can cause even more discomfort.

Having Osteoarthritis can result in several adverse lifestyle changes including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling Helpless
  • Limitations of daily activities
  • Restrictions at work
  • Problems taking part in everyday activities and responsibilities

Warning Signs and Symptoms

Osteoarthritis can affect us in any of our joints and typically comes on slowly. At first, you may notice some stiffness following strenuous activity such as exercise. You may also notice it upon waking first thing in the mornings. Osteoarthritis most often affects the hands, knees, hips and spine .

Osteoarthritis in the hands is believed to be hereditary, so if a relative has suffered from it, you may be at an elevated risk for developing it. When the hands are affected, small, bony knobs will appear near the nails at the end joints of the fingers. These are called Heberden’s Nodes. There are also Bouchard’s Nodes that can appear around the middle joints.

The knees are one of the most commonly affected joints. Symptoms can include swelling and stiffness which can be very painful and make it difficult to perform everyday activities such as walking or climbing stairs.

Hips are also a very common place for osteoarthritis to develop. The symptoms are similar to the other joints in that there will be stiffness, swelling and pain. When osteoarthritis affects the hips, it can be felt in other areas as well such as the thighs, groin or buttocks. Movement, especially bending and twisting, can become uncomfortable as a result.

If osteoarthritis occurs in the spine, you may notice pain in the neck or lower back. The nerves can also be affected by pressure caused by changes in the spine which can lead to tingling or weakness in the extremities.

Diagnosing Osteoarthritis

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will log your health history and symptoms and then perform a physical examination as well as diagnostic tests.

In collecting the initial information, the doctor will ask you about your symptoms including the onset, location and how they affect your daily activities. He or she may also ask about coexisting medical issues or medications you’re currently taking.

A physical examination will be done to determine how your range of motion is suffering in affected joints, and your doctor will also look to see if the joints are damaged.

The diagnostic tests can include joint aspiration which is a process that consists of numbing the affected area and extracting a fluid sample to see if there is evidence of crystals or joint deterioration. Your doctor may also choose to have you get an x-ray or MRI done to get a better look.

Treating Osteoarthritis

Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is another degenerative condition that must be managed because there is no cure. The lack of a complete cure does not mean that treatment cannot be successful, however. There are several ways to go about treating osteoarthritis that can significantly improve the quality of life for those suffering.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases cites four goals for osteoarthritis treatment as well as several treatment approaches. The goals include:

  • Controlling pain
  • Improving joint function
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Achieving a healthy lifestyle

The approaches consist of:

  • Exercising
  • Controlling weight
  • Resting and relief for the stress on the joints
  • Nondrug and alternative therapies
  • Medications to ease pain
  • Surgery

Exercising is one of the best treatments because it has so many benefits that go beyond easing the pain and difficulty caused by osteoarthritis. It promotes overall physical fitness, strengthens the heart, improves blood flow and helps us to maintain a healthy weight. Stretching your lower back, middle and upper will also help.. The best exercises for those with osteoarthritis include swimming, walking, Yoga, and Tai Chi. Your doctor will be able to suggest what is best suited for you and your condition.

Being overweight puts a lot of strain on our joints and can worsen a condition like osteoarthritis. If you are overweight, getting regular exercise and improving your diet will aid you in shedding some pounds which will not only improve your overall joint health but will also help you to feel better overall.

Rest and relief are self-explanatory. Learn to understand the signals your body is sending you and listen to them. When it feels like your joints need a break and need to recover, give yourself adequate time to allow them to do so. Wearing comfortable shoes can also alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress that can get put on the joints from pairs that don’t absorb impact as well.

Non-drug relief can come in a few different forms and can include things like massages, acupuncture, hot/cold therapies as well as natural/herbal supplements.

Using medications such as pain relievers (NSAID’s) is not ideal as there could be side effects or interactions with other medications you may be taking. Consult your physician before you decide to start any new type of regimen.

NIAMS lists a few different benefits of surgery which include removal of loose bone fragments, repositioning of bones and joint smoothing or resurfacing.

Studies have also shown that a positive attitude can boost the immune system and increase a person’s ability to tolerate pain.

Having osteoarthritis does not mean you need to suffer helplessly. By taking preventive measures, making healthy lifestyle choices and being educated about treatment options and how to cope with your condition, you can save yourself a lot of time and significantly improve the quality of your life.

How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain

  • Sleeping on the side with partially bent knees and a thin pillow between the knees may minimize lower back pain after sleeping(1). The head pillow should only be enough to fill the neck and mattress gaps to maintain natural alignment while sleeping.
  • Research supports using medium-firm mattresses to help maintain low back pain(2-3).
  • Lower back pain (LBP) is either acute or chronic. Acute LBP is short-term yet may develop into long-term chronic back pain if untreated(4).
  • Despite lower back pain, adults must aim for at least seven hours of sleep in a day for general wellness(5). Some lifestyle practices to achieve this include setting and following a sleep-wake schedule.

Older people with lower back pain may struggle with sleeping problems. At the same time, sleeping problems affect a person’s recovery from their lower back pain. 

Health Report Live covers everything older folks with lower back pain can do for better sleep.

This article will outline which sleeping positions are the best for those with chronic back pain and which positions exacerbate the condition.

Health Report Live highlights the best sleeping positions that may help alleviate one’s lower back pain so one can go back to enjoying the simple things for a pain-free and improved quality of life.

The Best Sleeping Positions for People With Lower Back Pain

It is imperative to maintain the body’s alignment while asleep. 

However, a person’s favorite sleeping position could be causing them worsened lower back pain. 

The best and most comfortable sleeping positions for lower back pain are listed below.

Lying Sideways

Studies exploring the relationship between sleep posture and spinal symptoms state that side sleeping generally protects people from spinal concerns(6).

The American Academy of Family Physicians encourages people with back pain to sleep on their side. 

The organization suggests that the best sleeping position for lower back pain is lying sideways with the knees partially bent7).

To get into a comfortable side sleeping position, one should:

  1. Be sure the left shoulder or right shoulder (depending on comfort level) and the rest of that side of the body makes contact with the mattress.
  2. Fill any gaps between the waist and the mattress with small pillows or rolled-up towels.
  3. Place a small or thin pillow between the knees to help maintain spinal alignment.

Sleeping on the side with a thin pillow between the knees helps keep the hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment for a good night’s sleep.

Another side-lying option is the fetal position. 

To do this, one should:

  1. Lay on the back, and then gently roll over to one side.
  2. Tuck the knees toward the chest, gently curling the torso toward the knees.
  3. Switch sides from time to time to prevent muscle or spinal imbalances.

People with degenerative disc disease, such as a herniated disc, are prone to sciatica and other back problems(8).

Discs are cushions between the spinal vertebrae. When disc degeneration occurs, parts of the disc push out of their regular space, pressing on spinal nerves and causing weakness and nerve pain(9).

Curling into a fetal position, with the knees drawn up, opens the spinal joint and lessens the spine’s curvature. Sleeping in this position on a firm surface may help prevent low back pain(10).

Lying Face Up

Some people may find sleeping on their back the most comfortable position to relieve their lower back pain.

However, a study has noted that sleeping face up increases the risk of developing LBP by 1.9 times(11).

To get a restful sleep while lying face up, one should:

  1. Lay flat on the back.
  2. Place a pillow under the back of the knees. The extra pillow helps keep the spine in a neutral position, maintaining the lower back’s natural curve.
  3. Substitute the small pillow with a rolled-up towel or any comfortable cushion for added support.

Sleeping on the back distributes the body’s entire weight evenly across the widest parts.

This position places less stress on pressure points, allowing for better alignment of the internal organs and the spine.

Adjustable beds can make it easier to raise a person’s mattress to the most comfortable position while lying on their back.

The Worst Sleep Position for Lower Back Pain

Lying face down is perhaps the worst sleeping position for people with lower back pain. Sleeping on the stomach may add stress and cause neck pain.

Still, some people find it difficult to go to sleep unless they are on their stomachs. 

To make stomach sleeping less damaging to the spine, one should:  

  1. Place a pillow under the pelvis and lower abdomen to relieve some pressure off the back.
  2. Use a small pillow for the forehead to allow breathing space between the face and the mattress. 

Meanwhile, some people may find having no head pillow more comfortable when sleeping on their stomach (prone position).

However, sleeping in the prone position inflicts more pressure on the spinal joints and muscles. This position flattens the spine’s natural curvature and puts force on the neck. Stomach sleepers may experience upper back and neck pain(12).

Placing a pillow on the lower abdomen area may relieve stress from the discs’ spaces.

The Relationship Between Sleep and Lower Back Pain

Constant pain may lead to sleep disorders, impairing the pain recovery process(13).

Individuals with lower back pain may experience sudden pain surges, affecting their sleep cycle.

Moreover, people with sleeping problems are prone to pain. Experts suggest that sleep deprivation affects moods and makes people more sensitive to pain(14).

Researchers have collected evidence from animal experiments and human studies linking sleeping problems with lower back pain(15).

Existing evidence has made experts agree that both conditions mutually reinforce each other(16).

What to Look for in a Pillow

Pillows should fill the spaces between the body and mattress to maintain the body’s alignment while sleeping.

People who find more comfort in lying down on their back must fill the space between their neck and the mattress.

Memory foam is a firm pillow material that molds specifically to an individual’s head and neck and provides hip and shoulder support(17). This material may help improve spinal alignment for side sleepers(18).

For side sleepers, firm pillows with an extra-wide gusset may help connect the space between the ear and neck with the mattress.

Placing a pillow between the knees may provide additional relief for lower back pain(19).

Individuals may use a rolled-up towel instead of a pillow between the knees. As long as the body’s alignment is maintained while one sleeps, any comfortable object may suffice.

Body pillows may provide extra support for side sleepers. These large pillows may provide added comfort for people who need to feel something against their stomach while aligning the body during sleep.

Although sleeping on the stomach is considered bad for the back, some people may find this position the most comfortable.

Individuals who need to lay on their stomach to sleep may place a small pillow under the abdomen to help align the back while sleeping.

Overall, one should fill in the spaces between the body and the mattress filled with supporting body alignment while sleeping.

Meanwhile, placing a pillow under the shoulders when sleeping is not a good idea. A pillow under the shoulders puts stress on the neck and affects its alignment with the rest of the body.

What to Look for in a Mattress

An individual’s comfort preferences factor into a person’s ideal mattress. These preferences vary further based on a person’s most comfortable sleeping position, body weight, and body size.

Most people spend almost one-third of their lives lying in bed(20). This fact highlights the necessity of choosing a quality mattress for managing lower back pain.

Existing research suggests medium-firm mattresses to help manage lower back pain(21-22).

However, one survey of 268 people with lower back pain stated no difference in sleep quality between individuals who used a firm mattress and those who slept on a medium-firm mattress(23).

The same survey stated that those who used very firm mattresses had the poorest sleep quality.

Meanwhile, soft mattresses that conform to the body’s natural curves may help align joints and relieve back pain(24).

However, people may sink into extremely soft mattresses, twisting their joints, which may worsen lower back pain(25).

People may try placing a plywood board under their current mattress to gauge whether a firmer mattress is ideal for them.

Conversely, individuals may try using mattress toppers as a new layer above their current mattress without replacing their entire mattress.

Memory foam is a new mattress foam material for people to try without buying a whole mattress. Materials include cotton, latex, polyfoam, polyester, and a mixture of materials.

Studies on the appropriate mattresses that influence sleeping comfort and health are limited. Still, the existing investigations highlight the necessity of proper sleeping support to prevent sleep-related musculoskeletal disorders, such as scoliosis(26).

Sleep Hygiene

Typically, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep in a day(27)

As lower back pain disrupts a person’s sleep cycle, maintaining healthy sleep hygiene becomes imperative.

To improve sleeping habits, one should(28):

  • Set a sleeping schedule by going to bed at a particular time and then waking up at the same time each day. Consider putting the alarm to wake up on time.
  • Exercise and perform lower back stretches for 20 minutes to 30 minutes a day. However, avoid doing heavy physical activities a few hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine products late in the day. Experts have linked nicotine consumption to adverse effects on sleep and mood(29).
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks before bed. Although alcohol has sedative effects, its consumption leads to poor sleep quality and duration(30).
  • Perform relaxing activities before bed. Try some relaxing routines, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book or calming Tai Chi body movements.
  • Try calming scents, such as lavender to promote relaxation. Experts have noted lavender’s purported therapeutic and relaxation-inducing properties(31).
  • Avoid using television or mobile devices to help go to sleep. Continued exposure to blue light from mobile gadgets could disrupt sleep cycles by affecting the sleep hormone melatonin(32).
  • Consult a doctor for medical advice if sleeping problems or unusual tiredness throughout the day persists. Most sleep disorders are reversible and effectively treatable.

Nights tend to become shorter and lighter for the elderly. People over 60 years old may resort to medications to help with sleep interruptions(33).

Standard pharmacological treatments for insomnia in the elderly include(34):

  • Benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepine sedatives
  • Antidepressants
  • Melatonin receptor agonists
  • Herbal supplements
  • Orexin receptor agonists

Types of Lower Back Pain

Acute and chronic are the two primary types of lower back pain.

Acute Lower Back Pain(35): This short-term type of lower back pain lasts for a few days or up to a few weeks. Only in a few cases do acute lower back pain symptoms take a few months to disappear.

Acute lower back pain is common with no permanent effects. With healthy lifestyle habits and self-care, this condition may improve in a few days(36).

Chronic Lower Back Pain(37): This long-term type of lower back pain tends to persist for over 12 weeks. Around 20% of acute lower back pain cases develop into chronic pain(38).

Despite the prevalence of lower back pain, its exact cause is unknown. Experts suggest that more than one event causes existing lower back pain. Heavy lifting and arthritis are some causes linked to chronic back pain(39).

When to See a Doctor About Lower Back Pain

A person experiencing any type of lower back pain must watch out for any of the following signs to decide whether they need professional medical attention(40):

  • Back pain after falling hard or getting a severe blow to the back
  • Hematuria or blood in the urine
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) or burning sensation with urination
  • History of cancer
  • Incontinence or loss of control over urine or stool
  • Pain that travels down the legs below the knee
  • Pain that worsens when lying down
  • Surging pain that wakes a sleeping person
  • Swelling or redness along the back or spine
  • Severe pain that prevents a person from getting comfortable
  • Unexplainable fever with back pain
  • Numbness or weakness in the lower extremities (pelvis, buttocks, thigh, and leg)

Other more alarming conditions include the following signs:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Necessary use of steroids or intravenous drugs
  • Different or worse sensation compared to their history of back pain
  • The current back pain episode lasts longer than four weeks

FAQs

Why is lower back pain worse in the mornings?

Some issues that contribute to morning back pain include poor sleeping position, bad mattress quality, disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs(41).

Does lying on a hard floor help with lower back pain?

While there is no proof that sleeping on the floor improves lower back pain, Existing research suggests using medium-firm mattresses to help manage lower back pain(42-43).

How long does lower back pain last?

Acute lower back pain is common with no permanent effects. With healthy lifestyle habits and self-care, this condition may improve in a few days(44).

However, acute LBP that develops into chronic back pain may last over 12 weeks(45).

When should one be worried about lower back pain?

If lower back pain persists for more than four weeks, other underlying causes requiring medical attention may be contributing to the pain(46).

Some alarming signs include worse back pain compared to a past episode and unintentional weight loss.

How long should one rest for lower back pain relief?

People with lower back pain may experience more pain when resting for extended hours(47). Resting for more than 48 hours may increase muscle and spine stiffness(48).

It is suggested to move around at times and find a comfortable position when resting.

References

  1. Low Back Pain. FamilyDoctor.org. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Retrieved from  https://familydoctor.org/condition/low-back-pain/
  2. Jacobson, B. H., Boolani, A., Dunklee, G., Shepardson, A., & Acharya, H. (2010). Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain. Applied ergonomics, 42(1), 91–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2010.05.004
  3. Ancuelle, V., Zamudio, R., Mendiola, A., Guillen, D., Ortiz, P. J., Tello, T., & Vizcarra, D. (2015). Effects of an adapted mattress in musculoskeletal pain and sleep quality in institutionalized elders. Sleep science (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 8(3), 115–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.slsci.2015.08.004
  4. Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2020 April 27. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  5. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2019 August 13. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep#4
  6. Cary, D., Briffa, K., & McKenna, L. (2019). Identifying relationships between sleep posture and non-specific spinal symptoms in adults: A scoping review. BMJ open, 9(6), e027633. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027633
  7. Low Back Pain. FamilyDoctor.org. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Retrieved from  https://familydoctor.org/condition/low-back-pain/
  8. Michigan Medicine University of Michigan, (n.d.), Lumbar Herniated Disc, retrieved from https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw226016 
  9. Herniated Disc. American Association of Neurological Surgeons.  Retrieved from https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Herniated-Disc
  10. NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (n.d.), Low Back Pain Fact Sheet, retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  11. Abanobi O, Ayeni G, Ezeugwu C, et al. . Risk-disposing habits of lowback pain amongst welders and panel beaters in Owerri, south-east Nigeria. Indian Journal of Public Health 2015;6:332–7.
  12. University of Southern Carolina, Keck Medicine, (n.d.), The Best — and Worst — Sleep Positions for Back Pain, retrieved from https://www.keckmedicine.org/the-best-and-worst-sleep-positions-for-back-pain/#:~:text=Side%20sleeping%3A%20A%20solid%20runner%2Dup&text=Another%20type%20of%20side%20sleeping,back%20pain%20and%20sore%20joints.
  13. Finan, P. H., Goodin, B. R., & Smith, M. T. (2013). The association of sleep and pain: an update and a path forward. The journal of pain, 14(12), 1539–1552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2013.08.007
  14. Ibid
  15. Marty, M., Rozenberg, S., Duplan, B., Thomas, P., Duquesnoy, B., Allaert, F., & Section Rachis de la Société Française de Rhumatologie (2008). Quality of sleep in patients with chronic low back pain: a case-control study. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 17(6), 839–844. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-008-0660-7
  16. Ibid
  17. Sleep.org, (n.d.), What is Memory Foam, retrieved from https://www.sleep.org/what-is-memory-foam/
  18. Ibid.
  19. Low Back Pain. FamilyDoctor.org. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Retrieved from  https://familydoctor.org/condition/low-back-pain/
  20. What type of mattress is best for people with low back pain? Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School. 2015 November. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/what-type-of-mattress-is-best-for-people-with-low-back-pain
  21. Jacobson, B. H., Boolani, A., Dunklee, G., Shepardson, A., & Acharya, H. (2010). Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain. Applied ergonomics, 42(1), 91–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2010.05.004
  22. Ancuelle, V., Zamudio, R., Mendiola, A., Guillen, D., Ortiz, P. J., Tello, T., & Vizcarra, D. (2015). Effects of an adapted mattress in musculoskeletal pain and sleep quality in institutionalized elders. Sleep science (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 8(3), 115–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.slsci.2015.08.004
  23. What type of mattress is best for people with low back pain? Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School. Op cit
  24. ibid
  25. Ibid
  26. Wong, D. W., Wang, Y., Lin, J., Tan, Q., Chen, T. L., & Zhang, M. (2019). Sleeping mattress determinants and evaluation: a biomechanical review and critique. PeerJ, 7, e6364. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6364
  27. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2019 August 13. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep#4
  28. Ibid
  29. Jaehne, A., Loessl, B., Bárkai, Z., Riemann, D., & Hornyak, M. (2009). Effects of nicotine on sleep during consumption, withdrawal and replacement therapy. Sleep medicine reviews, 13(5), 363–377. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2008.12.003
  30. Park, S. Y., Oh, M. K., Lee, B. S., Kim, H. G., Lee, W. J., Lee, J. H., Lim, J. T., & Kim, J. Y. (2015). The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep. Korean journal of family medicine, 36(6), 294–299. https://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.6.294
  31. Koulivand, P. H., Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the nervous system. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 681304. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/681304
  32. Is blue light from your cell phone, TV bad for your health? UC Davis Health. Retrieved from https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/is-blue-light-from-your-cell-phone-tv-bad-for-your-health/2019/05
  33. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Op cit
  34. Patel, D., Steinberg, J., & Patel, P. (2018). Insomnia in the Elderly: A Review. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 14(6), 1017–1024. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.7172
  35. Low back pain – acute. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. 2020 July 8.  Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007425.htm
  36. Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2020 April 27. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  37. Low back pain – chronic. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. 2019 May 13.  Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007422.htm
  38. Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Op cit
  39. Low back pain – chronic. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Op cit
  40. Low back pain – acute. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Op cit
  41. Do You Have Lower Back Pain in the Morning? Orthopedic Associates. 2020 August 21. Retrieved from https://orthopedicassociates.org/do-you-have-lower-back-pain-in-the-morning/
  42. Jacobson, B. H., Boolani, A., Dunklee, G., Shepardson, A., & Acharya, H. (2010). Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain. Applied ergonomics, 42(1), 91–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2010.05.004
  43. Ancuelle, V., Zamudio, R., Mendiola, A., Guillen, D., Ortiz, P. J., Tello, T., & Vizcarra, D. (2015). Effects of an adapted mattress in musculoskeletal pain and sleep quality in institutionalized elders. Sleep science (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 8(3), 115–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.slsci.2015.08.004
  44. Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2020 April 27. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  45. Ibid.
  46. Low back pain – acute. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Op cit
  47. Choosing Wisely, American Board of Internal Medicine, (n.d.), Treating lower-back pain How much bed rest is too much?, retrieved from https://www.choosingwisely.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Bed-Rest-For-Low-Back-Pain-NASS_2019-Updates091319.pdf
  48. Ibid.

How Can I Manage Lower Back Pain When Sitting?

  • Lower back pain may be prevented by regularly doing lumbar support and core strengthening, low back stretching, and exercises(1). Practicing proper posture and ergonomic positioning reduces the amount of stress on the spinal cord(2).
  • Prolonged sitting and age-related degenerative diseases may cause sciatica, characterized by low back pain and leg pain(3). Posture and muscle strains may also induce pain in the lumbar area(4-5).
  • Pain medications and physical therapy that involves stretching and light exercises targeting back muscle flexibility and strength are said to be safe and effective in low back pain(6).
  • It is vital to consult a medical expert before trying any treatments for low back pain. The proper guidance of a physical therapist in performing stretches and exercises for back pain is important. 

Health Report Live discusses the different causes of lower back pain when sitting and the reasons why lower back pain may be exacerbated when one is seated. 

Included in the discussion are the symptoms associated with lower back pain. Signs indicating whether the condition is becoming more severe or chronic are also discussed.

This article covers the top tips to help alleviate lower back pain while sitting and the things one can do at home to minimize lower back pain when seated.

The best sitting positions, exercises, and stretches to avoid lower back pain are also discussed with easy-to-follow instructions.

Sitting And Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders today(7). Data shows that about 76% of people working in sitting postures have complained of low back pain(8).

Adults age 60 years and older are more prone to lower back pain due to age-related psychosocial and physical factors(9)

A study on blue-collar workers in their mid-40s showed that sitting time is a crucial factor associated with lower back pain intensity(10)

Meanwhile, an assessment of the association between sitting and low back pain revealed that sitting alone does not necessarily result in back pain(11)

However, the combination of poor posture and whole-body vibration with prolonged sitting increased the risk of low back pain(12).

Knowing the causes of back pain is essential in administering the appropriate treatment for the condition. 

Causes of Lower Back Pain

The thoracic region (the back) consists of 24 vertebrae (which make up the spinal column) supported by ligaments, muscles, and discs(13).

When people age, the spine structures become stiff and easily damaged, resulting in back pain(14).

There are two types of lower back pain depending on the severity and frequency: chronic and acute back pain(15)

Chronic back pain occurs when the symptoms are felt regularly and sporadically. This type of back pain may affect daily activities(16)

On the other hand, acute back pain is more temporary and sudden(17).

Increased physical work demands, emotional disorders, and old age are some of the known risk factors of back pain(18). Even so, the causes of back pain are not limited to these factors.

For instance, low back pain when sitting may be caused by a herniated disc, sciatica, spinal stenosis, posture, muscle strain, and other degenerative diseases. 

Physical activity and obesity may also contribute to low back pain.

Sciatica

Once the sciatic nerve is pinched due to a herniated disc or, in severe cases, tumors, sciatica occurs. 

Sciatica is characterized by a radiating pain from the lower spine (called lumbar area) that continues to the buttocks and the back of the legs(19)

Sciatica often presents as mild to excruciating pain, which often feels like a jolt or an electric shock(20)

Prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle are considered risk factors for sciatica(21). Inactivity limits muscle flexibility, increasing the likelihood of sciatica(22)

Age-related symptoms may also cause sciatica(23). Aging brings about a natural wearing down of bone tissue and discs in the spine. 

As people age, their nerves are at risk of being pinched or injured by the changes in discs and ligaments.

Nerve pain in people with sciatica may be due to a herniated or ruptured disc that applies pressure on a nerve root(24).

Herniated discs mainly occur in the lower back and cause leg pain(25). This degenerative disc disease is primarily caused by lumbar disc degeneration or water content decrease in the discs(26)

When water content is reduced, these discs become less flexible, and the spaces between vertebrae become narrower(27)

The narrowing of these spaces results in a medical condition called spinal stenosis(28). Back and neck pain are two of the common symptoms of this condition. 

Spinal stenosis is commonly observed in people age 50 years old and above(29). Weakness, numbness, balance problems, and paralysis may result from spinal stenosis(30).

Posture

Another common cause of low back pain is bad posture. This postural back pain may be caused by poor standing and sitting postures for long periods of time(31).

A study cited that posture is possibly related to non-specific low back pain(32). Poor posture may lead to muscle sprain and a decrease in range of motion(33).

Muscle stiffness and spasms are symptoms of lower back pain due to slouching or poor sitting posture(34).

Muscle strain

Muscle sprain and strains are common causes of low back pain(35). These conditions happen because the lower back muscles support body weight, and sometimes these muscles are overly stretched or torn(36).

Sports injuries, sudden twisting of the lower back muscles, and tight hamstrings may increase the risk of muscle strains. 

Obesity

Being overweight or obese is said to be associated with low back pain(37). Obesity is believed to have meta-inflammatory and biochemical effects on the spine(38).

Research has shown that women are more prone to obesity and lower back pain than men(39).

A study on low back pain, mood disorders, and obesity attempted to test these propositions in a selected male population. 

Results showed that high intensity low back pain is associated with increased adiposity (obesity), particularly in men with emotional disorders(40)

Statistical analysis showed that being overweight or obese increased the risk of low back pain(41)

However, other studies argued that while obesity may cause low back pain, it does not directly influence the condition(42). Further studies are encouraged to verify this inference.

Best Sitting Position for Lower Back Pain

For people who cannot avoid extended periods of sitting down, there are sitting positions that may be best for low back pain. 

  • While Sitting Casually

Sitting is one activity that should be done only for short periods.

To prevent back pain, one should:

  • Find a firm and high-back chair, which helps straighten the back and elongate the spine. 

It is not advisable to sit on a soft couch, which does not support the spine’s natural curvature.

  • Use back support, like a pillow, cushion, or rolled towel.
  • Always keep the knees and hips at a right angle with the feet flat on the floor. If the feet do not touch the floor, use a footrest or stool.
  • While Working on a Desk With a Computer

  • When sitting at a desk, one’s upper arms should be comfortably placed parallel to one’s spine. 
  • The forearms and hands should rest on the work surface. At this point, the elbows are bent at a 90° angle.
  • One should sit as close as possible to the desk. A space to get the legs (and any armrests attached to the chair) under the desk makes sitting more comfortable.
  • Eyes must be at a level where they are aimed at the center of the screen. Otherwise, the screen needs to be adjusted.
  • One should always make the conscious effort to press their bottom against the back of the chair. Maintaining an ergonomically supported posture is crucial to spine health.
  • Slumping or slouching, which can put extra stress on the lumbar discs and lower back structures, must be avoided. 

Sitting up with a cushion or pillow to support the back can help prevent slouching.

  • Taking a break every 30 minutes to an hour is ideal. This time can be spent moving around or walking a short distance.
  • While Driving

Sitting in a car is no different from sitting at a desk in the office. One should still take regular breaks, like 30 minutes, where applicable.

When driving, one should:

  • Push the seat all the way back, and then lower it as far as possible. The seat must be closest to the steering wheel in order to support the back. 
  • Adjust the seat height until the hips are about as high as the knees. 
  • Recline the back of the seat to 30-40° and move the steering wheel (if adjustable) all the way up and in towards the dashboard.

The hips must be in a higher position or the same level as with the hips. 

  • Most car seats have lumbar support, which can be adjusted to a preferred height or depth. 
  • Position the lumbar support in the curve of the lower back. The lowest edge of the support should be placed at the beltline or at the top of the pelvis.

Tips to Prevent Lower Back Pain When Sitting

Generally, back pain may be avoided by doing regular physical activities and exercises that promote stronger back muscles and improve the range of motion like Tai Chi (43). 

Stretches and exercises focusing on the core muscles and lumbar support are some preventive tools that can reduce the risk of having low back pain(44)

Individuals looking to prevent lower back pain when sitting should:

  • Use ergonomic equipment and furniture at home or in the office to ensure good posture and comfortable torso position.
  • Switch sitting positions often. Walking periodically around the office or gently stretching muscles can relieve tension(45)
  • Place a pillow or rolled-up towel behind the back to provide lumbar support. 
  • Rest both feet on a low stool when sitting for a long time. 
  • Quit smoking. This bad habit may limit the oxygen and blood flow to the spinal discs, resulting in the early degeneration of the lumbar spine(46)

Treatments for Lower Back Pain Due to Sitting

The nontreatment or undertreatment of low back pain in older adults may lead to(47-48):

  • Malnutrition
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mental stress
  • Slow cognition 
  • The rapid decline of functional ability
  • Withdrawal from recreational and social activities
  • Falls

 

The symptoms mentioned above can also be indications that the condition is becoming more severe or chronic.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, like ibuprofen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are commonly used medical treatments for back pain(49)

There are also home treatments that may be done to manage the pain, like putting hot or ice packs.

Aside from these methods, chiropractic and physical therapy with a licensed medical professional can provide back pain relief.

Doing light everyday activities can help manage back pain(50). However, it is vital to avoid movements that may induce further pain.

A randomized clinical trial assessed stretching exercise programs for lower back pain. The study suggested that stretching exercises are a safe and effective non-pharmacological alternative treatment for low back pain(51).

Additionally, exercise is said to lessen the risk of back injuries and is a safe treatment for back pain(52)

Several studies supported exercise as a treatment for flexibility and strength improvement(53).

Diagnosis

In diagnosing lower back pain, a medical professional may instruct the patient to stand up, sit, lift a leg, or walk. These directives are done to assess pain intensity(54)

These assessments help determine the cause of pain. 

X-ray images can show indications of bone fractures and spinal alignments. 

For scans of nerves, tendons, muscles, and blood vessels, computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is typically used(55)

Bone scans are also used to diagnose tumors and more severe bone problems, like osteoporosis(56).

When To See a Doctor

Typically, back pain lasts up to six weeks(57). For persistent and severe pain, it is best to seek a physician or physical therapist’s medical advice.

Possible adverse symptoms, like fever, pain down the legs and below the knees, chest pain, and bladder control loss, should be observed(58)

If these indicators are present, one should contact a doctor immediately. 

References

  1. Princeton University Athletic Medicine, (n.d.), Lumbar/Core Strength and Stability Exercises, retrieved from https://uhs.princeton.edu/sites/uhs/files/documents/Lumbar.pdf
  2. UCLA Health, (n.d.), Ergonomics for Prolonged Sitting, retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/spinecenter/ergonomics-prolonged-sitting
  3. Mayo Clinic, (n.d.), Sciatica, retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435#:~:text=Pain%20that%20radiates%20from%20your,of%20your%20thigh%20and%20calf.
  4. Physio UK, (n.d.), Postural Pain, retrieved from https://www.physio.co.uk/what-we-treat/musculoskeletal/conditions/lower-back/postural-pain.php
  5. American Association of Neurological Surgeons, (n.d.), Low Back Strain and Sprain, retrieved from https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Low-Back-Strain-and-Sprain
  6. Chen, H. M., Wang, H. H., et. al., (March 2014), Effectiveness of a Stretching Exercise Program on Low Back Pain and Exercise Self-Efficacy Among Nurses in Taiwan: A Randomized Clinical Trial, retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1524904212001713?casa_token=mLMLooM9CNgAAAAA:ZOrUJFv4ryS2wAAbfFn5DBw_cAFUm-fYB5ZE2pogOjhzzIXs1Q_mVakp0srXNsR1enBXVPSptAbY
  7. Pillai, D., and Haral, P., (October 2018), Prevalence of Low Back Pain in Sitting Vs Standing Postures in Working Professionals in the Age Group of 30-60, retrieved from https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.8_Issue.10_Oct2018/20.pdf
  8. Ibid.
  9. Wong, A. Y., Karppinen, J., & Samartzis, D. (2017). Low back pain in older adults: risk factors, management options and future directions. Scoliosis and spinal disorders, 12, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13013-017-0121-3
  10. Gupta, N., Christiansen, C. S., Hallman, D. M., Korshøj, M., Carneiro, I. G., & Holtermann, A. (2015). Is objectively measured sitting time associated with low back pain? A cross-sectional investigation in the NOMAD study. PloS one, 10(3), e0121159. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0121159
  11. Lis, A. M., Black, K. M., Korn, H., & Nordin, M. (2007). Association between sitting and occupational LBP. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 16(2), 283–298. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-006-0143-7
  12. Ibid.
  13. Versus Arthritis, (n.d.), What should I know about back pain?, retrieved from https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/back-pain/
  14. Ibid,
  15. Weill Cornell Medicine, (n.d.) Types of Back Pain, retrieved from https://comprehensivespine.weillcornell.org/conditions-we-treat/back-pain/types-of-back-pain/
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Chou, L., Brady, S., Urquhart, D. M., Teichtahl, A. J., Cicuttini, F. M., Pasco, J. A., Brennan-Olsen, S. L., & Wluka, A. E. (2016). The Association Between Obesity and Low Back Pain and Disability Is Affected by Mood Disorders: A Population-Based, Cross-Sectional Study of Men. Medicine, 95(15), e3367. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000003367
  19. Mayo Clinic, (n.d.), Sciatica, retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435#:~:text=Pain%20that%20radiates%20from%20your,of%20your%20thigh%20and%20calf.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Cleaveland Clinic, (n.d.), Sciatica, retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12792-sciatica
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ortho Info, (n.d.), Herniated Disk in the Lower Back, retrieved from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/herniated-disk-in-the-lower-back/#:~:text=A%20herniated%20disk%20is%20a,leg%20pain%20or%20%E2%80%9Csciatica.%E2%80%9D
  26. Ibid.
  27. Ibid.
  28. Mayo Clinic, (n.d.), Spinal Stenosis, retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-stenosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352961#:~:text=Spinal%20stenosis%20is%20a%20narrowing,stenosis%20may%20not%20have%20symptoms.
  29. Ibid.
  30. Ibid.
  31. Physio UK, (n.d.), Postural Pain, retrieved from https://www.physio.co.uk/what-we-treat/musculoskeletal/conditions/lower-back/postural-pain.php
  32. Wenli, K., O’Sullivan P, (July 2020), Movement, posture and low back pain. How do they relate? A replicated single‐case design in 12 people with persistent, disabling low back pain, retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejp.1631
  33. Physio UK, Op. Cit.
  34. Ibid.
  35. American Association of Neurological Surgeons, (n.d.), Low Back Strain and Sprain, retrieved from https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Low-Back-Strain-and-Sprain
  36. Ibid.
  37. Chou, L. et al., Op. Cit.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Ibid.
  40. Ibid.
  41. Shiri, R., Karppinen, J., et. al., (December 2009), The Association Between Obesity and Low Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis, retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/171/2/135/130619?login=true
  42. Ibrahimi-Kaçuri, D., Murtezani, A., Rrecaj, S., Martinaj, M., & Haxhiu, B. (2015). Low back pain and obesity. Medical archives (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), 69(2), 114–116. https://doi.org/10.5455/medarh.2015.69.114-116
  43. Harvard Health Publishing, (n.d.), Don’t take back pain sitting down, retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/dont-take-back-pain-sitting-down
  44. Princeton University Athletic Medicine, (n.d.), Lumbar/Core Strength and Stability Exercises, retrieved from https://uhs.princeton.edu/sites/uhs/files/documents/Lumbar.pdf
  45. NIH National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (n.d.), Low Back Pain Fact Sheet, retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet#3102_8
  46. Ibid.
  47.  Molton IR1, Terrill AL1. Overview of persistent pain in older adults. Am Psychol. 2014;69:197–207
  48. Wong, A.Y., Karppinen, J. & Samartzis, D. Low back pain in older adults: risk factors, management options and future directions. Scoliosis 12, 14 (2017)
  49. Mayo Clinic, (n.d.), Back Pain Treatments and Diagnosis, retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369911
  50. Ibid.
  51. Chen, H. M., Wang, H. H., et. al., (March 2014), Effectiveness of a Stretching Exercise Program on Low Back Pain and Exercise Self-Efficacy Among Nurses in Taiwan: A Randomized Clinical Trial, retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1524904212001713?casa_token=mLMLooM9CNgAAAAA:ZOrUJFv4ryS2wAAbfFn5DBw_cAFUm-fYB5ZE2pogOjhzzIXs1Q_mVakp0srXNsR1enBXVPSptAbY
  52. Rainville, J., Hartigan, C., et. al., (January 2004), Exercise as a treatment for chronic low back pain, retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1529943003001748?casa_token=wKapgh_1qBsAAAAA:_C1GDBMtWSFGXuZ18m6SE7GMSzwWFYyVf1YrjiOSHdxExY1FlE7KwQV2V0fp_hmrbWIQQiJZvPt7
  53. Ibid.
  54. Mayo Clinic, Treatment and Diagnosis, Op. Cit.
  55. Ibid,
  56. Ibid.
  57. Nursing Times, (March 2009), Back Pain, retrieved from https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/pain-management/back-pain-23-03-2009/#:~:text=Back%20pain%20will%20usually%20last,reached%20and%20appropriate%20treatment%20given.
  58. Ibid.

Most Common Causes Of Heel Pain In The Morning

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Nobody wants to start their day with heel pain in the morning. But unfortunately, so many people wake up to an aching and agitating sensation in their heels.

The weird thing is, this pain typically resolves itself as the day goes on. Nevertheless, it makes it tough to get out of bed excited about and ready for the day.

That’s why we are going to teach you everything you need to know about why your heel hurts when you wake up in the morning – starting with the most important part, the causes. Then, we’ll share some home remedies with you that you can try for yourself to relieve the pain.

What Causes Heel Pain In The Morning?

Whether you feel it the minute you open your eyes, or you notice it after stepping out of bed and walking for a moment – having a sore heel in the morning sucks.

Fortunately, it is usually not a serious problem. Most often, it’s just plantar fasciitis, which is easily treatable from home.

Sometimes, though, there is a relationship between a sore heel in the morning & the thyroid. We’ll start with some of the most common, less serious causes, and work towards the progressively more serious ones.

Plantar Fasciitis

If you feel your heel pain first thing in the morning, and it subsides by afternoon, it’s most likely plantar fasciitis to blame.

This painful condition is one where the plantar fascia becomes irritated. This is a large ligament on the bottom of your foot, and it’s agitation can contribute to a weird, stinging pain.

The reason you may feel it more in the morning in particular is due to poor blood supply when you’re sleeping. 

You’ll wake up with stiffness and the afflicted heel(s) will hurt a bit worse until you get your blood flowing. 

Sometimes, this condition is an indicator of a more serious underlying issue – such as rheumatoid arthritis. Because of this, it’s worth seeing an orthopedic professional for a diagnosis if this issue doesn’t clear up quickly.

Can Plantar Fasciitis Go Away On Its Own?

While plantar fasciitis may go away on its own sometimes, the condition is irritating enough that it’s definitely worth taking some steps to rectify it.

And the good news is, this ailment is easily treatable. More often than not, plantar fasciitis is caused by poor footwear choices by athletes. For example, those who run in poor quality shoes can expect agitation of the plantar fascia. 

Or, if you haven’t changed out your footwear in some time (at least every 300-400 miles you put on them), you may have worn down the arch support, which will put pressure on the plantar fascia with every step you take.

Heel Spurs

Another really similar condition to plantar fasciitis is heel spurs. These are notorious for doing their damage early in the morning, with symptoms subsiding as the day goes on.

A heel spur is essentially just a bone spur on the heel. This is a small, abnormal growth – sometimes there from birth, sometimes developed over the years from calcium buildup.

Whichever the case, they can cause excruciating pain in your feet when they press on nearby nerves, or if the spur is on the bottom of your heel and you repeatedly press on it by walking or running.

Interestingly enough, heel spurs are oftentimes an indication that plantar fasciitis is also present. It’s pretty typical for excess pressure on the plantar fascia where it attaches to the heel bone to result in a heel spur developing.

The treatment methods are similar for this condition and plantar fasciitis. Start with the RICE method, and then consider stretching and getting deep tissue work done on your plantar fascia (foot massage). 

Of course, you should also invest in better footwear or protective inserts to accommodate the spur. In rare cases, you may need steroid injections to manage the pain in the long term.

Achilles Tendinitis

If your pain does not get better as the day goes on, and the pain is felt not just in the heel bone alone, but the entire heel – it could be achilles tendinitis.

The achilles tendon attaches to the calf muscle and the heel bone. It’s not uncommon for this tendon to become inflamed, and this situation is known as achilles tendinitis.

You may notice the symptoms are aggravated in the morning – but the pain will stay pretty consistent throughout the day, especially if you’re active.

To clear up the pain, try the RICE method, and give your legs a break. This is a type of overuse injury in most cases, so giving the tendon a chance to recover while actively attacking the inflammation will provide serious relief.

Stress Fracture

If your heel pain in the morning is accompanied with excessive swelling, and your pain doesn’t completely clear up as the day goes on, it could be a stress fracture.

You’ll need to think about how much stress you’ve put your feet under in the previous weeks or months prior to noticing this condition to get a better understanding of if this is what you’re dealing with. Of course, the best way to rule this out is with an x-ray. 

Hypothyroidism

While it isn’t super common, experiencing unexplained heel pain in the morning could be an indication of hypothyroidism – in other words, an overactive thyroid.

This condition is pretty serious. The root cause is imbalanced chemicals and hormones, which can contribute to swelling and inflammation in not just the heel, but the feet and ankles as well.

On top of a sore heel in the morning, hypothyroidism can eventually cause pinched nerves in the foot, leading to tarsal tunnel syndrome – an excruciating condition.

In order to diagnose this condition, you’ll need to visit a doctor and undergo a blood test. 

Final Thoughts On Heel Pain In The Morning

Now that you know the most common reasons you experience heel pain in the morning, you can narrow down the most likely culprit and come up with a treatment plan.

When in doubt, and if you ever have any symptoms which become worrisome, visit your doctor and seek professional care!

Causes & Relief For Hip Pain After Running

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If you experience hip pain after running, it can make getting that crucial exercise even more difficult, discouraging you from getting your workout in. The last thing you want when trying to stay healthy is injuring yourself in the process.

But, even worse, this type of pain in your hips can interfere with your other hobbies or even your work. Lucky for you, we are going to explain why your hip flexors hurt after running, and give you a timeline for how long it should persist.

 After that, we’ll cover how to relieve hip pain after running. Whether you prefer the open road or a treadmill, let’s get you back to running and burning those calories!

Can Running Damage Your Hips?

When you first notice your hip hurts after running, you may wonder if running can actually damage your hips. After all, this is supposed to be one of the most beneficial exercises one can partake in, right?

It’s no secret that running has benefits both physically and mentally. From cardiovascular health to keeping depression and anxiety at bay, here is a non-exhaustive list of the benefits of running:

  • Increases bone & joint strength, preventing impact injuries
  • Strengthens muscles – both raw strength wise and endurance wise
  • Burns calories, melting fat off your body and sculpting your physique from head to toe
  • Improves cardiovascular health, keeping your heart ticking as intended
  • A completely natural form of stress relief, allowing you to keep your mental health in check

These are just a few of the benefits of running. When you look for drawbacks to taking a run every morning, you really can’t point your finger to anything in particular.

That is, if you exercise correctly – understanding proper running mechanics, ensuring you warm up and cooldown properly, get enough rest, maintain proper posture, and have your nutrition and supplement game optimized.

But, people who check off each of these boxes are far and few between. Thus, over time, you may notice your hip hurts after running.

This is typically the result of overuse and comes on over time. Sometimes, though, it’ll be an immediate injury. 

How Long Does Hip Pain Last After Running?

The duration which your hip pain will last after running depends on the type of injury, severity of injury, and what you do about it.

If you ignore the pain, and continue your typical running routine, you’ll only aggravate and prolong the pain. 

But, if you take the time to rest and actively treat the injury, you can recover and get back to running pretty quickly. Let’s look at some specific causes now.

Why Do My Hip Flexors Hurt After Running?

We just briefly mentioned that hip pain after running can be the result of an overuse injury, such as hip bursitis, or an immediate injury, such as a hip impingement.

The truth is, it’s tough to pinpoint why exactly your hip flexors hurt after running. However, by knowing the most common causes, you can look at the big picture, evaluate secondary symptoms, and get down to the root cause of your hip pain after running.

Hip Flexor Tendonitis

One of the most common reasons your hip hurts after running is hip flexor tendinitis. This is an overuse injury, and is essentially a condition where your hip flexors become very inflamed.

It can cause aching pain, tightness in your hips, and feels worst while actually running. However, the pain will persist after your run as well.

This is a relatively easy injury to treat, though. Most often, you can clear it up with the RICE method, and at the worst case, physical therapy.

IT Band Syndrome

If your outside hip hurts after running, it is very likely you’re suffering from IT Band Syndrome (Iliotibial band). Also known as ITBS, this condition causes tenderness not just in the hip flexor – but the entire outer region of the thigh, along with the knee in some instances.

Your IT band is a connective tissue running along the entirety of the outside of your thigh, and it can become aggravated from prolonged overuse. You may feel a popping or clicking when raising your leg, or lifting your hip to your chest.

Again, this condition can be treated with simple rest, ice, and NSAIDs. However, to fully recover from IT band syndrome, you should stretch the IT band and even seek out massage work to loosen up the fascia there. Physical therapy is a great option for this. 

Hip Bursitis

Similar to how we have our discs to act as shock absorbers for our spine, we have bursa in our hip to absorb force and cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles of this complicated joint.

When these bursa become aggravated and inflamed, it is known as hip bursitis. This is pretty common in situations where the hips are put under repetitive stress, such as running.

Along with the hip pain after running, you can expect swelling, redness, and overall irritation. While this injury is a bit more serious than any we’ve mentioned thus far, it too can heal with rest, ice, and NSAIDs. However, there are instances where you’ll need steroid injections to help break up inflammation.

We also recommend you see a physical therapist for this, as they’ll help you strengthen the hip joint and show you how to undergo the motions of hip flexion properly. This will take some of the pressure off your bursa in the long term, preventing a future flare up.

Hip Labrum Tear

While every cause for why your hip huts after running thus far has been related to overuse, a hip labrum tear can occur instantaneously, leaving you in pain and wondering what happened.

Make no mistake though, this injury is the result of overuse – it just may not present itself slowly over time. 

You’ll have severe hip pain at the site of the tear, and your mobility will be drastically compromised. Other symptoms of a hip labrum tear include clicking or a catching sound when you move. 

While surgery is not off the table for a labrum tear, you may be able to fully recover with some initial RICE protocol, followed by physical therapy and periodic steroid injections.

How Do I Relieve Hip Pain From Running?

As you can see, there are no shortage of reasons your hip hurts after running. But the common theme across all these ailments is that you should give yourself time off.

After a period where you rest, ice, and clear up inflammation, you can incorporate some hip stretches and strengthening exercises for the glutes. This will help prevent more hip pain after running in the future.

Then, slowly work your way back into your running routine, starting with walks, then jogs, and ultimately, hitting the road with full intensity!

Causes & Treatment For Hip Pain When Sitting

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We spend so much time in a seated position throughout the day, especially if you’re a student or working professional, that dealing with hip pain when sitting can derail your entire day.

As such, you cannot afford to just keep living with this condition. Investing in a stand up desk is one option, but that really doesn’t address the root cause of your discomfort. And it won’t help you in the long run.

In order to do that, we need to examine the anatomy of the hip joint and determine what components could be responsible for your nagging pain. 

Then, we’ll discuss all the common causes for this ailment, and explain how to go about actually diagnosing and treating your problem.

Quick Hip Anatomy

The hip joints are very complex parts of our bodies. There are all kinds of boney formations – of course, the femur and pelvis meet here – but there’s no shortage of tendons, ligaments, and muscle groups that meet here as well.

For example, the quadriceps and hip flexor muscle groups are common problem areas for athletes. 

But if you’re getting up there in age and notice hip pain when sitting, it is more likely an issue with degradation of the hip – such as tendinitis or arthritis. Let’s cover all the common causes of hip pain while sitting now.

What Causes Hip Pain When Sitting?

Just like the knees, the hips are very complex joints. As such, so many different things can go wrong – and they all more or less result in the same hip pain and discomfort.

Worry not, though, because we are going to cover the most common reasons you are experiencing this issue. 

We’ll start with some of the most common, easiest to fix problems and progress into more serious, debilitating conditions that will require a doctor’s visit or professional care.

Poor Posture or Sitting Position

How you sit or stand will contribute to how your body feels in the long term. If you slouch in your chair for extended periods of time, you’ll develop pain in your hips, from posterior tilt of the pelvis. 

You should also consider how you sleep. If you sleep on your side, you need to place a pillow between your legs. This will take the pressure off your knees, and in turn, your hips.Take care of your posture, learn how to properly sit and sleep!

Also, how you sit matters. If you sit cross legged, for example, it can put tons of pressure on your hips. Ideally, you should sit flat on your buttocks with your legs out in front of you. A proper seating position will prevent unnecessary stress on your hips.

Another thing to watch for is sitting on uneven surfaces. Keeping your body balanced will do wonders for stopping and even preventing hip pain in the first place.

For example, if you sit in the same spot on your sofa, the cushion will become deformed and you won’t necessarily be sitting on an even surface. This will put excess pressure on one of your hips, which can contribute to pain in one of your hips. 

Hip Arthritis Or Tendinitis

If you don’t suspect poor posture, overuse, or improper sitting position could be the reason for your discomfort, it very well could be hip arthritis or tendinitis. 

Arthritis is more typical in the elderly, but hip tendinitis in particular can arise as the result of overuse in any age group. But the tricky part is tendinitis can also develop from underutilizing the hips. If you sit too long, inflammation of the tendons in your hip will develop.

Arthritis, on the other hand, rears its ugly head in a few different forms:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis (most typically the type of arthritis that causes pain in the hip when sitting)
  • Anklyosing Spondylitis (a spinal condition that can cause secondary pain in the hips when sitting)

Hip Bursitis

Our hip joints feature bursa – which are small fluid-filled sacs. These act as shock absorbers, similar to our discs in our spine.

And just like the discs in our spine, these bursa can break down over time. This leads to them becoming swollen or damaged, and this inflammation can lead to serious stiffness, immobility, and pain in your hips when sitting.

Impingement In The Hip

Another really common cause of hip pain while sitting is an impingement in the joint. These are typically the most painful cause, as these are essentially pinched nerves. This sends an overwhelming number of pain signals to the brain.

Sometimes, the pinched nerve will not even be in the hip – but somewhere in the lower back. And in this case, the pain may radiate into your hips.

How To Diagnose Hip Pain When Sitting

Diagnosing your hip pain while sitting is as simple as visiting a doctor and letting them do their job. They’ll ask you questions to get some general information on what could cause your pain, and follow up with some physical tests of your mobility, pain levels, etc.

Then, if you are unable to get down to a specific cause, you will likely need to take some x-rays, MRI, and other tests.

Managing & Treating Hip Pain When Sitting

Of course, we recommend trying to improve your posture and lifestyle first to rule out any muscular imbalances or undue stress you’re putting on your hips yourself.

Then, you can try some of the basic pain management protocols. Start with reducing inflammation in the hips – such as following the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

After that, you can try strengthening your glutes and your core. These muscles are notoriously tough to strengthen, and weak glutes and core can certainly contribute to hip injuries or just plain old pain.

In some instances, you will need to seek out professional care options for your hip pain. The best choice is physical therapy, as this practice attacks every facet of your hip pain to provide relief. You may also seek out chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, or other treatment choices.

 

What Could Cause Pain In Back Of The Knee?

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If you are suffering with pain in back of the knee, it can cause not just severe discomfort, but debilitation that prevents you from doing the things you need to do or enjoy doing.

Because of this, you are no doubt scouring the internet in search of some information regarding what could cause pain behind the knee, and how to get started feeling better as soon as possible.

Luckily for you, we are here to cover all this and more. Our complete guide will help you get started diagnosing the root cause of your problem. Before we get to all that, we need to give you a quick anatomy lesson on the knee joint.

Anatomy Of The Knee 

The knee joint is one of the most complex collections of bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments in our entire body. As such, there is a lot that can go wrong here!

But because you only feel your pain in the back of knee, we can narrow down a few important part of this joint we need to discuss.

Of course, there are bones that connect to the joint – the femur, fibula, and tibia. There is also the patella, which is the bony protuberance known as the kneecap.

As far as tendons go, there are no shortage of these at play in the knee joint. You have the most common ones – MCL (medial collateral ligament), ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), and PCL ( posterior cruciate ligament).

On top of all these things, you also have tendons connecting from the quad, calf, and more. So which of these specific parts is responsible for your discomfort and pain?

What Could Cause Pain In Back Of Knee?

If you’re dealing with pain in the knee specifically on the anterior, it could be a few different things to blame. From leg cramps to an ACL tear, here are the most likely culprits.

Calf Cramps Or Strain

If you’ve never experienced cramping in your calves, consider yourself lucky. It is extremely uncomfortable. And at times, it can be incredibly painful.

This issue is essentially just the tightening and contracting of a muscle – in this case, the calf. Sometimes, this can radiate into the hamstrings, leaving the entire back of your knee in serious agony.

If you just get these on a one-off occurrence, chances are, you just had some nutrient imbalance or you were dehydrated. But if they occur more frequently, it can be cause for concern. This could indicate more serious nerve issues, infections, toxins in your blood, or even liver disease.

Another potential calf-related issue is a strain. Known scientifically as gastrocnemius tendonitis, this injury can result from sports or activities that require you to go from standing to running instantaneously – such as football, tennis, etc.

Patellar Tendonitis

Runners knee, jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis – these are all essentially the same thing – an overuse injury of the patellar tendon.

It’s especially common in basketball players or volleyball players, but any instance where the patellar tendon is repeatedly stressed can produce this ailment.

Your pain will localize below the kneecap, and on the worst days with this problem, the pain will radiate into the back of your knee joint. You can also expect to deal with general stiffness and weakness in the afflicted leg, and trouble straightening or bending your knees without some accompanied pain or discomfort.

Baker’s Cyst

A Baker’s cyst is less common than the conditions we’ve mentioned thus far, but if you’ve ruled those out and your pain still persists, you may be encountering a baker’s cyst.

We all have fluid-filled sacs behind our knees. These are filled with synovial fluid, and they are actually an essential aspect of the knee joint. They provide lubricant for the knee.

But sometimes, these develop too much fluid, and this can contribute to a cyst forming. Upon noticing the pain in back of the knee, you may be able to feel the physical evidence of a cyst. On top of this, watch for swelling, stiffness, and trouble flexing your knee.

If this is in fact your ailment, you’ll want to seek professional care quickly. Allowing the cyst to continue growing only increases the risk of rupture, and if this happens, the pain will intensify greatly.

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Sprain Or Tear

If you’re an athlete of any sort and you experience a trauma that results in immediate, severe pain in back of knee, it is likely you injured your ACL.

This is perhaps the most notorious injury in contact sports, but it can even result from non-contact sports. 

Any time you quickly change direction, stop, or even slow your movement, you put strain on the ACL. Over time this leads to deterioration of the ligament. At a certain point, it will become so weak it tears.

You will likely know something is wrong right when the injury occurs. Many patients report an audible and physical “pop” which is unfortunately, the ligament tearing.

After the injury you’ll have serious instability of the joint to accompany your pain. You won’t be able to fully move your knee or walk without discomfort.

Oftentimes, this requires surgery. If you don’t have a full tear, you may be able to rehab the injury with just rest and physical therapy.

PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) Injury

Another potential, albeit less common, injury resulting in pain behind the knee is a PCL injury.

This injury often results from trauma to the front of the knee, but an injury can be caused by the ligament stretching two far.

A lot of the time the PCL is injured along with another ligament at the same time – such as the MCL or ACL. In some cases, this will require surgery like ACL tears.

But you may be able to get away with the RICE method and physical therapy if you didn’t damage other ligaments in your knee!

The Complete Guide To Lumbago

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If you’ve been suffering from severe lower back accompanied by other uncomfortable symptoms, you may be suffering from lumbago.

This sounds like a strange condition, and you are likely wondering, what is it? Don’t worry – we are going to define this ailment in just a moment, and cover everything you need to know about living with it.

We’ll explain all the possible causes, along with how you can get diagnosed to determine if this is really what’s plaguing you.

Then, we’ll cover the most common treatment options for this issue, and uncover whether there is actually a cure for it or not.

What Is Lumbago?

It sounds scary, but lumbago is really just a general term used to describe lower back pain. And as it turns out, it’s one of the most common ailments there is. Millions of Americans are affected by this condition every year. 

In fact, the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke) claims that 80% of adults are affected by this at some point in their lives.

There is no one cause for it, as you’ll soon learn. Lumbago can happen to just about anyone, but there are certainly groups that stand out as more at risk for developing back pain.

For example, those who live more sedentary lives are more susceptible to just about any condition out there – and lower back pain is no exception. Here are some risk factors to keep in mind:

  • Working an office job, sitting for prolonged periods of time
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor genetics (weak discs,scoliosis, etc.)

We’ll cover some specific causes of lumbago in just a moment, but first, we want to help you determine whether this is really what you’re suffering from.

Where Does Lumbago Hurt?

We already mentioned what lumbago is – a fancy word for lower back pain. But where, specifically, does it hurt?

Look for pain in the lumbar spine, of course. This pain will be accompanied by stiffness, tension, and aches. In severe cases, mobility will be compromised.

You should be able to pinpoint the pain if it’s lumbago. You’ll really only feel discomfort in a small portion of your lower back. It will be very localized.

In some cases, this condition will mimic sciatica – with the pain spreading from your lower back to your glutes, groin, hamstrings, etc. Any signs of tingling or radiating pain are a secondary symptom to watch for. 

If the pain is enunciated when you cough or sneeze, this is another indication it could be lumbago. 

What Is The Cause Of Lumbago?

We already mentioned some of the risk factors, but what is the cause of lumbago? As with most issues, there are a few different potential causes, so diagnosing this condition is not always easy. 

More often than not, this ailment is simply a symptom of some other condition. A few common causes are:

Inactivity, Overactivity, Or Poor Movement

We already sort of covered this, but it really is the most common cause. Not moving your body enough, and properly for that matter, will lead to lumbago in the long run. Take inventory of your daily activity, and adjust it if you feel that you aren’t moving enough.

You also need to consider whether you are putting too much strain on your lower back. If you work a manual labor job, or any position that has you constantly lifting, bending, or straining, you are quite susceptible to developing an overuse injury that presents itself as lumbago.

This is why learning how to hinge at your hips properly is so important. Strengthen your core, as these small, crucial muscles play a pivotal role in protecting our spines. 

Underlying Spinal Issues

Another common, and usually more serious, cause of lumbago is some other underlying issue or condition in your spine.

There are quite a few of these, and they all more or less have to do with the deterioration of your spine. As you can imagine, these become more common with age.

Two that stand out as more typical than others are osteoarthritis and spondylosis. These are very painful lower back conditions. But, they aren’t the only ones.

You may be suffering from a slipped or herniated disc, which can be incredibly painful. Usually, these are felt at the time of the injury. These aren’t necessary related to degradation of the spine, so they’re easy to diagnose.

But other possible causes that can come on slowly include osteoporosis, stenosis, or tumors in the spine. All of the conditions we’ve outlined in this section are serious, and will require professional care.

How Is Lumbago Diagnosed?

While we’ve given you some good places to start by explaining common causes above, you are still probably wondering, how is lumbago diagnosed?

Start by making a trip to your doctor, a chiropractor, or a physical therapist. They will evaluate you and ask a series of questions to narrow down the root cause.

You’ll undergo physical tests to take note of nerve function and ROM (range of motion). This will help the practitioner get an understanding of how serious your issue is.

You may also need to take chemical tests, such as blood and urine sampling, to rule out something more serious, such as a kidney issue.

More often than not you’ll get x-rays done to get a picture of your spine, muscle tissue, and surrounding organs. This will help identify damaged structures, while also ruling out tumors.

In instances where all of the above still doesn’t provide a definitive cause of your lumbago, you may need to get an MRI or CT scan done.

Can Lumbago Be Cured?

Once you have your diagnosis, you can come up with a treatment plan to start healing whatever ailment is really causing your lumbago, and hopefully, cure it.

Some of the issues we mentioned above, such as stenosis or disc degeneration, are not really curable. But you will learn how to live with the issue, strengthening surrounding muscles, increasing ROM, and managing pain.

Most often, you’ll get to a point where managing your lumbago is a piece of cake, and you don’t even notice it most days!

 

What Causes Knee Pain When Walking Up And Down Stairs?

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If you experience knee pain walking up and down stairs, it can force you to alter your entire life. This is especially true if your job location or residence features staircases, and you need to climb these on a daily basis.

There are a couple different reasons you could be experiencing this discomfort, and there are also some steps you can take to remedy the problem. Before that, let’s talk about a couple of the different aspects of the knee joint that are at play here.

Sharp, Stabbing Pain In The Knee Which Comes and Goes

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A sharp, stabbing pain in the knee that comes and goes can be indicative of a variety of issues. It also seems to always flare up at the most inopportune of times, derailing what was supposed to be a productive day.

We’ll share a few potential causes of this specific type of knee pain, and provide a couple ways you can start feeling better while you devise a plan with your professional care specialist.

Before we get to that, let’s talk about the anatomy of the knee, and explain why your knee pain comes and goes.

Anatomy Of The Knee

The knee is a complex joint, with tons of possibilities for something to go wrong. What we describe as the “knee” connects the two lower leg bones (tibia & fibula) and the femur.

The joint itself is covered by the kneecap, which serves as protection for the joint. Also in play are pieces of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments – a few noteworthy ones are the meniscus, ACL, MCL, PCL. 

Finally, there is bursa to help with movements. These are essentially fluid filled sacs, and can easily become aggravated and painful.

Why Does My Knee Pain Come and Go?

A sharp stabbing pain in the knee that comes and goes is actually pretty common. This is because many of the potential conditions that result in knee pain flare up.

For example, if you go a few days without much physical activity, the pain in your knee may subside a bit. But then if you exercise, play a sport, or even walk up a flight of stairs you normally wouldn’t, the pain will come charging back in full force.

That’s not to say you will feel no pain one day, and wake up the next day in agony. Usually, the pain is always there as a dull, aching sensation. But after certain activities, the pain may become more intense, coming and going in waves as a sharp, stabbing, or even burning pain.

Let’s get into what you came here to learn about today – the most common causing of sharp, stabbing pain in the knee that comes and goes.

What Causes Sharp Stabbing Pain In The Knee That Comes And Goes?

There are all kinds of causes for this specific type of pain in your knee. As we covered right off the bat, the knee is a very complex joint that has many, many different components.

So, think about which side of the knee you feel pain in. If you feel it on the back of your knee, for example, it could be an issue with your ACL.

If your pain seems to be just radiating from the knee in general and you can’t necessarily pinpoint the exact location, it may be something more general, like arthritis. 

Obviously, a trip to the doctor to get tests performed, along with an x-ray, are your best bet. This way, you can come up with a tailored treatment plan, rule out surgery, and get back to feeling better and doing the things you love. But in the meantime, here are some things you may want to look into.

Osteoarthritis

The most common cause of sharp, stabbing knee pain that comes and goes is arthritis. This is especially common in elderly populations, as it’s a degenerative condition of your joints.

Arthritis can present itself not just in your knees, but any joints – your back, wrists, ankles, hips, etc. It can cause pain in any area of your knee – front, medial, or even the lateral sides.

Typically, you’ll experience this pain in both knees – not one or the other. This will help you distinguish between it and other conditions.

Knee bursitis

As we mentioned above, the knee has bursa distributed throughout to help with cushioning the joint. As you can imagine, these take on a lot of wear and tear. This leads to overuse injury.

When the bursa flare up and become inflamed, it is known as bursitis. This can cause a sharp, stabbing pain in the knee which comes and goes.

The pain can flare up with more activity, such as walking up stairs. Treatment for this issue is as simple as following the RICE protocol, and letting the inflammation settle. Sometimes, you may need to get non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs to help with this. Most often, this is all it takes to clear the pain up. However, it may come back.

Runners Knee (Anterior Knee Pain)

If you feel your pain in the anterior knee, it could be runner’s knee. This also goes by terms such as jumper’s knee, chondromalacia patella, and patellofemoral pain syndrome.

This is especially common among athletes, hence the name. It is an overuse issue, and can wear away at the cartilage leading to more serious, long term issues.

Runner’s knee typically presents itself as a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee and can be exacerbated with running, squatting, or pretty much any other physical activity for that matter.

Like knee bursitis, this can be alleviated through RICE, OTC anti inflammatories, and then physical therapy to heal and strengthen the knees and surrounding muscles to prevent future flare ups.

Meniscal injury

One final potential cause we want to mention is injuries to the meniscus. This is a piece of cartilage that serves as a shock absorber, not much different from how bursa act.

Typically, this is not an overuse injury. Injury to the meniscus is usually the result of trauma to the knee, and is common in sports with contact. Along with sharp, stabbing pain in your knee which comes and goes, you can also expect knee dysfunction – the joint itself won’t work how it’s supposed to when the cushion is damaged. It may lock up, and you may find yourself having trouble balancing.

The extent of your injury will determine which treatment is the best course of action. Small tears can heal on their own while more serious injuries will need surgery for full recovery.

What Can Cause Hip Pain When Coughing?

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If you experience hip pain when coughing, it can be great cause for concern. Any sort of pain accompanied by a cough has you wondering what is wrong with you internally, and the mind can wander to some dark places.

But, if your hip pain is exacerbated by coughing, it may not be something as sinister as you think – and we’ll explain why in a minute. 

Nevertheless, you want to know what’s causing your discomfort and pain. And that’s what we are here to help you with today. 

Let’s start by talking about why your pain may get worse when coughing, and then we’ll discuss all potential causes.

Why Does Hip Pain Get Worse When Coughing?

Feeling pain in your hip when you cough might lead you to assume you have some sort of illness. But the reality is, your cough may be completely unrelated to your pain. 

Rather, the cough just exacerbates some issue or condition that is already present. Whether you develop a cold or simply choke on some water, coughing can definitely increase pain throughout your body momentarily. 

This can happen not just in your hips, but also in your entire core region – lower back, abdominal muscles, sides, chest, etc. Let’s take a detailed look at why exactly this is.

How Coughing Exacerbates Hip Pain Through Pressure

To understand this phenomenon, let’s explain what happens when you cough. Your body starts a cough by taking a deep breath in, and you generate positive pressure in your chest and abdomen. 

With this, your vocal cords expand to take this air in, and then expel it rapidly with a cough. This causes them to vibrate. When your vocal cords vibrate intensely when coughing, it puts pressure on nerves all throughout the body.

So if you have a disc issue near one of these nerves, the pain can reverberate into your hips. This isn’t only when you cough, either. This same sensation can occur when you sneeze, too.

But, it’s not just disc issues that can be exacerbated by coughing. Now, we’re ready to look at all the specific causes of worsened hip pain when coughing.

What Are The Underlying Causes Of Hip Pain When Coughing

Luckily, if your pain is noticeably worse when coughing, you can likely narrow down the underlying cause to just a few potential options.

Spinal Disc Problems

Some sort of disc issue – such as a slipped disc, a bulging disc, or just disc degeneration disease in general – can actually cause a radiating pain felt into the back, sides, and even the front of your hips.

Because of the vast network of nerves in this area, a bulging or herniated disc will press on these nerves, which can be connected to the hip flexors. 

In some cases, the nerve being compressed could even be the sciatic nerve. This will cause a pain not just in your hips, but even down into your legs and feet.

Most often, disc conditions are treated with lifestyle changes, physical therapy, injections, and home remedies to manage pain and inflammation. In rare cases, surgery may be required.

Hernia

Another very likely cause, especially if pain in your hips greatly intensifies with coughing, is a hernia.

A hernia is essentially a case where an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. These occur in the stomach or intestines most commonly, which are close in proximity to the hips. This means that the pain can radiate into your hips, and depending on the specific location, the hernia may even be in your hip.

You can typically diagnose a hernia pretty easily, looking for the swelling on standing or coughing. You can usually visually see or physically touch the protuberance of the hernia. Nevertheless, a doctor visit may be required. Your options here are either surgery or to try and live with the hernia if pain isn’t intense.

Groin Issues

The groin is the inside region of your hip, and its an area notorious for causing pain and dysfunction. Two specific terms used to describe pain in this area are “Gilmore’s groin” or a “Sports Hernia”.

These terms describe a pain in the hip that aren’t specifically caused by anything other than overuse. But, couching can exacerbate the pain felt in this area of the hip.

Muscle Strains & Spasms

Another plausible explanation for hip pain when coughing is a strain or spasm in the muscles around your hip. This is especially true when the strain or spasm is in the hip flexors, psoas, groin, etc.

Managing Hip Pain When Coughing

Start by making an appointment with your doctor, or visit an ER if you have any of the warning signs of a more serious issue.

But, you can make yourself more comfortable and manage your hip pain when coughing in the meantime. If you are coughing a lot, it’s going to increase your pain levels and just leave you miserable. So start by managing your cough – take a throat lozenge as needed, drink something warm, etc.

Then, attack the cause of the pain. For the most part, you can alleviate any pain with the basics like anti inflammatories, ice and heat, rest, etc. As your healing progresses, start getting plenty of movement 

Causes & Treatment For Hip And Hamstring Pain

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Hip and hamstring pain can be caused by so many different things, but one thing remains consistent among them all – it sucks.

While they are different muscle groups entirely, sometimes, pain in these two areas can be related. We’ll investigate this deeper in a moment.

Part of what makes dealing with pain in your hips and/or hamstrings so frustrating, is the causes can be as simple as laying on your side wrong or a more serious strain or tear. In this article, we’ll outline all potential causes and their symptoms to help you narrow your issue down.

We’ll also share your treatment options to help you get back to feeling better quickly.

How Pain In Your Hip and Hamstring May Be Interconnected

Our body is made up of a network of muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and all sorts of components that work together to help us move.

It stands to reason that when something isn’t working as well in one area of your body, it can affect other seemingly unrelated areas too. But the hips and hamstrings are in such close proximity to each other that there is no doubt a lousy hip can cause hamstring problems too, and vice versa.

Tight Hips Can Cause Hamstring Pain (and vice versa)

One specific instance we want to highlight, because it’s such a common occurrence, is how tight hips can cause hamstring pain.

When your hip flexors tense up, it pulls the pelvis forward and rotates it. This inevitably leads to tight hamstrings – causing pain there as well.

The opposite can be true as well, as these muscles are somewhat antagonistic to each other. If you develop tight hamstrings, it will pull your pelvis down, tugging on the hip flexor muscles.

This is just one example of how these two are related. Let’s highlight all the potential causes of tight or painful hips and hammies.

What Can Happen If You Ignore Hip and Hamstring Tightness & Discomfort

A bit of tightness in your muscles here and there isn’t going to kill you – despite the discomfort and immobility it may cause. But if you let this tightness compound, eventually, your muscles can tear. This is an inevitable result of stretching a muscle further than it’s supposed to go.

Furthermore, ignoring your body’s warning signs of an issue in your hips and hamstrings will cause pain elsewhere in your body – notably, your back, knees, or even feet. Like we just mentioned, our body is a vast network and everything is interconnected in one way or another.

So, without further ado, let’s address what causes pain in the hips and hamstrings.

The Most Common Causes Of Hip and Hamstring Pain

For the most part, hip and hamstring pain is caused by tightness in the muscle groups. This is especially true if you don’t remember a specific trauma that could have caused it – like a weightlifting or sports injury.

There is a lot of potential for overuse and poor posture resulting in this type of pain, so let’s address a couple very common instances you may be suffering from.

Issues With Your Lifestyle

More often than not, pain in your hips and/or hamstrings comes on gradually, especially as you get older. Most of us sit at a desk too much and use a computer, which creates poor posture and tightness.

Incidentally, this is usually coupled with the fact that we don’t move enough – this contributes to muscle weakness. Without strong glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, etc, our nervous system will compensate for weakness by tensing up.

Motion is lotion, so staying active will go a long way in alleviating your hip and hamstring pain. However, overactivity can be a cause as well. If you are a strength athlete or compete in any competitive sport, the possibility of an overuse injury is always there. 

If you’ve ruled out your lifestyle as a potential cause for the pain in your hip and hamstring, it could be something more serious.

Hamstring Tendinopathy

The tendons which connect your hamstrings to your pelvis can easily become aggravated or injured, resulting in what is known as hamstring tendinopathy. This is a chronic injury, typically from overuse.

Accompanied by the pain in your hamstrings is a pain deep in the glutes, upper thighs, or back of the hips. It typically worsens when sitting down, particularly for prolonged periods. Hamstring tendinopathy can also contribute to pain when exercising or bending at the waist.

Piriformis Syndrome

Another potential cause is piriformis syndrome. This is where a small muscle which runs along the hip (piriformis) becomes inflamed. 

This muscle crosses paths with the sciatic nerve. So, when it is aggravated and enlarged, it presses on the sciatic nerve and can send shooting pain down your hamstring as well, and even into your feet. You’ll likely feel the pain in your glutes as well.

Treating Hip and Hamstring Pain

If you are looking to treat your hip and hamstring pain from home, start with the basics. Rest, and adjust your lifestyle to improve posture.

Then, start stretching and strengthening these muscle groups along with those surrounding them. As we mentioned earlier, stronger muscles are less likely to become injured.

We recommend seeing a medical professional for your hip and hamstring pain if it persists chronically, to come up with a professional treatment plan. This may involve physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, or any combination of these.

Hip Pain Treatment Options Without Surgery

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If you are struggling with even a minor bit of discomfort or immobility, you may seek out hip pain treatment options without surgery.

Surgery is a very controversial topic when it comes to hip replacement, spine issues, and many other very invasive procedures. Sometimes it can be beneficial, sometimes it may set you back further than before. And whichever the case, it’s always expensive.

Worry not, because we are going to share some of the top non-surgical treatments for hip pain. Some of these can be done from home, and others are a holistic care option from a professional. Let’s start with some of the potential causes of hip pain.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Hip Pain?

To understand why there are so many different issues that can arise with the hip, we need to explain the anatomy of the hip joint. It’s a ball and socket joint, where our femur connects. This helps us move our legs in a wide rotation.

There are so many different components to the hip: Bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This area is notorious for gathering severe wear and tear with age. Oftentimes, hip pain is caused by nothing more than using your hips over the course of your life. This is far more typical in older populations.

Hip pain is also a problem in younger populations too, however. This is especially common in athletes, as an overuse injury. Here are some of the specific ailments related to hip pain that could be plaguing you:

  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle/Tendon Strain
  • Arthritis
  • Hip Labrum Tear

Whether it be abrupt pain from an injury where you know exactly what happened, or the result of old age or overuse, hip problems suck. So, let’s get into some of the non-surgical treatment options for hip pain.

What’s The Best Hip Pain Treatment Without Surgery?

You may be wondering what the best hip pain treatment without surgery is. Fortunately, there are quite a few different options.

Which one’s best for you will depend on the severity of your problem, your budget, and more. We always recommend speaking with a doctor to hone in on what your exact injury or condition is, and come up with a personalized treatment plan.

But in general, here are some of the hip treatments without surgery you can try to alleviate your immobility and pain. We’ll begin with some of the simple, home remedies and progressively move towards professional care options.

Optimizing Your Lifestyle For Better Hip Health

A lot of the time, hip pain can be caught early before it progresses to arthritis, an impingement, etc. If you are a person who sits a lot, this compression on your hip can be quite painful. Simply altering your lifestyle, and getting out and moving more, will help with some of this inflammation.

There are certain diets & nutraceuticals which lead to better hip health. Making sure to get enough good fats in your diet, along with plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin, will go a long way in helping with hip pain.

Some other improvements you can make to your lifestyle include losing weight if you are overweight, low impact exercise such as walking or yoga, and maybe even using a cane to take some of the load off your hips when you move.

If you don’t mind the extra clothing, there are hip braces designed to be worn throughout the day to keep your hip warm, loose, and pain-free. 

Go Easy On The Pain Medication & Anti Inflammatories

Even if a doctor prescribes you painkillers, use them sparingly. These should be viewed as an “in case of emergency, break class” type of relief. Use pain medication only on your worst days, and follow directions carefully.

OTC anti inflammatories like advil, ibuprofen, etc, should be treated the same way. You can use them if you are feeling stiffer than normal, but don’t get in the habit of starting every morning with these.

Physical Therapy

Perhaps the best hip pain treatment without surgery is physical therapy. This professional care option involves using a variety of methods to achieve relief.

Physical therapists will often start a treatment session with deep tissue work, stretching, electric stimulation, to promote healing, blood flow, and decrease tension in the hip joint.

Then, as you progress, you will begin hip strengthening exercises, and attempt to get your joints and surrounding muscles stronger to prevent a future flare up. Physical therapy isn’t always cheap, but it’s effective. And when you compare it to the cost of a surgery, it doesn’t come close.

Steroid Injections

Those who still are unable to find relief, even after changing their lifestyle and undergoing physical therapy treatment for a period of time, may need periodic steroid injections.

A doctor will inject right into your hip joint in an effort to reduce inflammation and promote better blood flow. In some cases, you may even consider platelet-rich plasma injections to your joint to speed up the regeneration of tissue in your hip.

Final Thoughts On Getting Hip Treatment Without Surgery

As you can see, you have lots of hip treatment options without surgery. You can save tons of money and recovery time by opting for one of these more holistic, less invasive options we outlined above.

As we briefly touched on earlier, you should always get a doctor to look at any issue causing you chronic pain. It may be something more serious than just a stiff hip joint, and getting a personalized treatment plan is your best bet.

MD Choice CBD Gummies Review (Do They Really Work?)

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After reading our MD Choice CBD Gummies Review, you’ll understand why we think these are one of the best pain relief products on the market right now.

There are so many different things this great CBD gummy product can help people with, and they don’t taste like medicine, unlike the other guys! You’ll actually enjoy eating these, but make no mistake, these provide powerful healing.

We’ll explain why we think these are so awesome, and help you discover whether you should give them a try or not! We are excited to share our MD Choice CBD Gummies review with you. But to really help you understand why this product is so outstanding, we have to first talk about what CBD is and what it can do for you!

What Is CBD?

CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, either marijuana or hemp. In most cases, when you purchase pure CBD oil online, it is from hemp. 

Hemp-based CBD oil is 100% legal, and non-psychoactive. This is because hemp must be limited to <.03% THC to be considered legal.

What this means for you, the consumer, is CBD will not get you high. CBD will not show up on a drug test. These are the two reasons most people are deterred from this medicine, which is truly a shame.

Because as we’ll share now, there are so many benefits of using a CBD gummy product. It’s one of the most versatile healing compounds in the world. Just about everyone out there has some ailment plaguing them, which can be alleviated by supplementing with a CBD product!

Benefits Of Products Like MD Choice CBD Gummies

CBD works in our bodies through our endocannabinoid system. This is essentially a network of receptors, which are only activated when CBD makes its way through our body.

Different areas of the endocannabinoid system work in different ways, to promote different benefits. 

What really makes CBD so great is i’s versatility. It can aid in creativity and focus, but can also work to help you calm down when anxiety strikes.

CBD Is A Natural Anti Inflammatory 

One of the main reasons people take it is for pain relief and inflammation. Generally, people will opt for a CBD balm over gummies, though this benefit can still be felt when taking CBD orally.

The reason people use balms for pain relief is because you can get ultra-targeted with your application, putting it right on pain sites. This gets you “more bang for your buck”. But, if you are seeking to decrease inflammation throughout your entire body, or you have aches and pains all over, CBD may help!

CBD & Mental Health

Another huge benefit of CBD is it’s effects on anxiety and depression. As we briefly mentioned earlier, CBD can promote both physical and mental calming.

This means if you suffer from anxiety, you can ease your mind into a state of peace by supplementing with CBD. As soon as you start to feel anxious thoughts creeping in, simply take a dose of CBD and see if you can regain control of your mind.

Prevention Of Many Diseases & Conditions

CBD has noted anti-tumor properties, helping you fend off the most notorious, incurable disease on the planet – cancer.

But CBD can also help those suffering from cancer already, especially those dreaded symptoms that accompany many of the cancer treatments: pain, vomiting, and nausea.

Scientists have also examined that CBD may lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. Heart health is incredibly important, and anything that may keep it ticking as intended is worth adding to your regimen.

CBD can also help prevent all kinds of other illnesses and sicknesses, as our endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating our immune system. If your endocannabinoid system isn’t firing, your immune response will be lacking.

Complete Review Of MD Choice CBD Gummies

MD Choice CBD Gummies are more than just CBD oil – they are holistic, whole-plant medicine. And as you now know, CBD can provide you with anti-inflammatory benefits and promote whole body health and prevent a myriad of problems.

These gummies also create a sense of calming, providing a relaxed feeling that melts stress away both physically and mentally. You can use these to unwind after a long day, or to help battle anxiety and depression.

But, you’ve likely seen CBD in your local grocery store, or somewhere else online. So why should you try MD Choice CBD Gummies over all the competitors?

Putting MD Choice Gummies to the Test

A couple years ago I had a bike accident which left my knees with chronic aches and stiffness. So to put these CBD gummies to the test, I took 1 dose everyday for a week.

The first day I took 1 gummy in the morning which is when my knees feel the most stiff. After about an hour I cold feel the cbd going to work. I felt incredibly relaxed and my knee felt less constricted. I was very pleased with the results.

About 4 days into the test was when I saw the most improvement with my pain. On the fourth day I felt incredible. I’ve been able to workout longer, I no longer feel knee pain in the mornings, and I generally feel happier.

By the end of the week test, my results continued. I feel less stressed at work. I’m able to workout again. I honestly feel 10 years younger. I’m going to continue taking MD Choice CBD Gummies and have now officially added them to my daily routine.

Why MD Choice Health?

After seeing how well these gummies worked, I started to research more about MD Choice Health (the company behind these gummies).

In the CBD industry, everyone is trying to make a quick buck. MD Choice Health stands out from the crowd with a mission to provide the utmost quality, transparency, and effectiveness.

They take great pride in producing a CBD product that really works, and using the strictest safety and quality standards.

Their process starts with the highest quality hemp, grown right here in the USA and tested to the strictest standards as natural and chemical-free.

They combine this premium raw material with the most sophisticated extraction process the industry knows of. 

Their manufacturing plant is nothing short of a commercial laboratory, employing cutting edge science to bring out everything the hemp plant has to offer in its purest form.

Then, this potent CBD oil is infused into natural gummies to provide quick and discreet healing anytime, anywhere.

Each and every bottle of MD Choice CBD Gummies are lab tested to ensure potency, quality, and safety. When you buy MD Choice CBD Gummies, you know you are getting the best the market has to offer!

Final Thoughts

I’ve tried many supplements and “solutions” for chronic aches and pain that all promise to work. I even tried CBD on a few occasions. So far nothing has come close to the effects of MD Choice CBD Gummies.

I’ve been telling on my friends about these and the consensus is the same…MD Choice CBD Gummies really work.

Where to Find Them

I reached out to MD Choice and they agreed to a give a 40% off discount to our readers. I definitely recommend you take advantage of this offer because I noticed these never go on sale on their main website.

Get 40% Off Your Bottle Here

 

What Can Cause Pinching Pain In Hip?

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If you are experiencing pinching pain in your hip, the frustrating part isn’t just how much it hurts. This specific type of pain can prevent you from doing some pretty routine tasks, affecting your day to day life.

When you have some form of debilitating hip pain, any sort of movement can cause agony and limit your abilities.

Whether you are an athlete looking to get back in the game or the gym, or you’re simply ready to feel better and get back to doing all the things you love pain-free – we are going to help you discover what the cause of your pinching pain in your hip is.

Then, we’ll share a few ways you can try and relieve your symptoms while you await a professional treatment plan.

Let’s start with a basic anatomy lesson on the hips, and help you identify the specific muscle, bone, or ligament causing you grief.

Anatomy Of The Hips 

Before we start discussing potential causes of your pinching pain in your hip, we need to describe the different musculature, ligaments, tendons, and bones in that region – because it’s a lot!

Your “hip” is just a term to describe the region where the top of your femur bone fits into the hip socket, and can rotate all directions, very similar to your shoulder. Also at play are the hip flexors – which are the actual muscles in your hip.

All around the hips are tendons, ligaments, and nerves. For the most part, a pinching pain in hip regions is caused by these nerves.

The Role Of Nerves

When you have a pinched nerve, it sends tons of signals to your brain, which causes excruciating pain.

The reason for this is because something is not where it should be – one of the bones surrounding the nerves in your hip might be pressing on or pinching them.

Potential Causes Of Pinching Pain In The Hip Area

There are a few different causes of nerve issues in the hip that lead to a pinching pain. These all stem from the same thing – a pinched nerve. At least, for the most case.

These issues can be categorized as sciatica when felt on the back of the hip, or simply a pinched nerve on the front.

Pinched Nerves In The Hips

A pinched nerve is typically caused by one of two extremes – excessive activity or inactivity. Risk factors include obesity, overuse or improper use, excessive sitting, and pregnancy.

A pinched nerve can be the result of moving the wrong way on accident, especially in athletes who build up lot’s of stress in the hips and build up fatigue.

Distinguishing Between A Pinched Nerve & Other Issues

To determine whether it’s a pinched nerve plaguing you and something else, there are a few things you can look for.

A pinched nerve will cause a “burning”, radiating pain, sometimes extending into the groin, hamstrings, and other surrounding muscles.

You may also feel a dull ache at the site of the pinched nerve or muscle. In some cases, this will be accompanied by tingling, numbness, and overall tightness felt not just in the hip, but your glutes and lower back even. All of this is followed by a weakness in the afflicted leg.

All of this sounds terrible, and it is! So how can you get the nerve “unpinched”, and start feeling better again now? Let’s talk about treatment.

Treating A Pinched Nerve In The Hip

To treat your pinched nerve, start by giving your body the rest it needs to heal. You should initially avoid activities that make the pain worse (obviously), as these pain signals are only evidence that you aren’t healing.

You can couple this with some anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, to break up the painful inflammation at the site of the pinch. On top of this, alternate between ice and heat during this initial healing period. The first few days or so should be all about clearing up inflammation and giving your body a chance to start loosening up.

Then, after some initial rest, you can add in some gentle stretches to loosen up the pinched muscles or tendons that are too tight in the first place.

What Stretches Are Good For A Pinched Nerve In The Hip?

Be really careful when stretching your hip if you suspect a pinched nerve, as it’s really easy to make things worse. We also recommend warming the hips up with a heating pad first, as trying to stretch a cold muscle is never a good idea.

You can go on YouTube and watch the following stretches and exercises be demonstrated to make sure you do them right.

  • Piriformis Stretch
  • The Bridge
  • Floor Slides
  • Glutes Stretch
  • The Sphinx

Other Treatment Options For Pinching Pain In The Hip Region

If after a few days of following the protocol outlined above things don’t get better, you may need to seek more professional care to try and clear up the inflammation and spasm occurring in your hip.

Massage Work

One of the best options for this is massage work, specifically deep tissue with a CBD cream or balm. 

Massage work leads to myofascial release, which is the elimination of stress and tightness in a specific muscle. 

When coupled with CBD, one of the best natural anti-inflammatories there is, this duo is incredibly effective.

To get something like this done, you can either visit a massage therapist, a physical therapist, chiropractor, athletic trainer, etc.

Therapeutic Injections

In some cases, a pinched nerve will flare up time and time again after the initial injury. If this is the case for you, you may need to get used to steroid injections into the pinched area to control inflammation and provide relief.

Dealing With Thigh Pain After Hip Replacement

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While the surgery may be an inevitable part of feeling better, thigh pain after hip replacement can make recovery brutal.

Even after your initial recovery period and after physical therapy, lingering leg pain can leave you wondering if that expensive surgery was even worth it.

We’ll explain what causes thigh pain after hip replacement, and tell you how long you can expect this to last.

At the end of this article, we’ll teach you how to relieve the pain after surgery, and increase your recovery rate so you can get back to living your life!

What Causes Thigh Pain After Hip Replacement?

There are two different categories of post-surgery pain we want to discuss. One is completely normal, while the other may indicate some sort of issue.

It should come as no surprise that you experience some pain in the replaced hip and surgery area after you go under the knife. The process of undergoing hip replacement is very taxing on the boney formations in that area, along with all the muscles, ligaments, and even your skin where incisions were made. Let’s cover some of the specific potential causes of pain after surgery.

Infection In The New Hip

One of the potential causes of thigh pain immediately after hip replacement is an infection in the new hip. 

Even with the antibiotics you take, it’s possible to end up with an infection if you aren’t very careful with the recovery process. Keeping your wound clean is the best way to prevent this issue from arising in the first place.

Most often, you can remedy this problem by making an appointment with your doctor and getting on some antibiotics. Other times, an infection in your artificial hip will require surgery to remove the hip. So needless to say, this is something you want to try and prevent at all costs!

But, sometimes, you may still experience thigh pain years after your hip replacement. 

Simple Stretch Reverses Hip Pain

Discover the “30-Second  Stretch” that eliminates years of chronic pain in your back & hips.

A Loose Implant In The Hip Joint

The next most likely cause of thigh pain after hip replacement is a loose implant from the surgery.

This was a more common issue in the past, when the medical field wasn’t quite as advanced as it is now. These days, surgeons, implants, and the tools they use to install them have come a long way.

But, it is not unheard of. Unlike an infection in your new hip, a loose implant is more likely as time goes on and you put some wear and tear on your new hip.

As the hip loosens, it rubs on the bone and ligaments surrounding it. This is what causes the pain in your thigh. 

You can visit your doctor and tell them about your condition, and they can help identify if the implant is loose. It’s a pretty easy fix if this is what’s plaguing you.

This can be very frustrating, and leaves you asking, how long will this thigh pain last?

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Hip Flexor Tendonitis

Hip flexor tendonitis is a condition where the tendons surrounding your hip flexor become aggravated and inflamed. It can occur in those who didn’t have a hip surgery, but your chances of developing it increase greatly with hip replacement.

This particular issue causes pain not just in your thigh, but the hip itself, your adductors (groin region), and IT band – essentially the entire front and sides of your upper leg.

You can differentiate between this and another issue if you feel the most pain when you lift your afflicted leg, such as getting out of bed or a vehicle.

Fortunately, a good physical therapist will help you straighten this out and get you back to living pain-free through a combination of stretching, deep-tissue work, exercise, and other modalities.

How Long Will Thigh Pain Last After Hip Replacement?

As we briefly touched on earlier, thigh and hip pain immediately after surgery is to be expected, of course. But how long should it persist, and when is it time to worry?

The initial pain from surgery will likely last between 2-4 weeks, depending on your age and how serious you take your recovery. Other factors include how active you were prior to and after surgery, your medical history, etc.

But, some people can experience pain in their thigh for up to 6-8 weeks after surgery. This is not necessarily cause of concern, but if you ever feel concerned for your health and safety, a doctor’s visit is warranted. This can help you rule out infection.

Your pain should lessen every single week, and if it ever starts getting worse, it’s worth asking a doctor. 

But, while you endure a few weeks of misery, here are some tips to help make yourself more comfortable and speed up your recovery. 

Simple Stretch Reverses Hip Pain

Discover the “30-Second  Stretch” that eliminates years of chronic pain in your back & hips.

How Do You Relieve Thigh Pain After Hip Replacement?

Obviously, follow all the advice your surgeon or doctor gives you when it comes to pain management. We want to stress how careful you should be with pain medication, even with a prescription.

These are incredibly easy to become addicted to, so don’t get in the habit of using these as a crutch. After the initial period of agony, try and only use them on a worst-case basis – for your worst days, or to help you become comfortable enough to sleep at night.

Aside from taking your antiinflammatories and pain medicine, here are some tips to find comfort and decrease pain in your thigh after hip surgery.

Motion is lotion

Once you are cleared by your doctor, start getting some movement in that new joint. It’s going to be incredibly stiff at first, but as you start putting it to use, you’ll noticeably feel it loosen up!

Ice & Heat With Your Legs Elevated

Recovery is key – Make sure you are icing and heating as directed by your doctor. We also recommend keeping your legs elevated with a pillow to increase blood flow and decrease swelling and pain in the joint.

What Causes Hip Pain In The Morning After Sleeping?

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If you are waking up to hip pain in the morning after sleeping, it can make starting the day miserable. As if waking up early for work wasn’t difficult enough as it is, now you have to deal with tightness and discomfort.

There are a few reasons you might be experiencing this unfortunate circumstance. Most of it has to do with how you sleep. We’ll cover some specific causes of hip pain when you wake up, and provide you with some tips to start feeling better and start the day off right!

What Can Cause Hip Pain In The Morning After Sleeping?

For the most part, people who wake up with pain in their hips and lower back start to feel better as the day progresses.

This is because while you’re sleeping, your body’s natural “ibuprofen” is turned off. Essentially, the production of anti-inflammatory proteins, which would otherwise relieve this stiffness and reduce inflammation in our hips, is halted.

And once we wake up and start moving, our joint tissue begins working as intended again. So what actually causes hip pain in the morning after sleeping?

We know it happened while you slept, which means we can narrow the culprit down to two options: your sleeping position, or the bed you slept on itself.

Your Sleeping Position Is Causing You To Wake Up With Hip Pain

The most likely root cause of your hip pain in the morning is your sleeping position. Most of us just try to fall asleep at any cost, in whatever position is the most comfortable.

Unfortunately, it’s not always true that the most comfortable sleeping position is also the most optimal sleeping position.

The worst sleeping position is lying flat on your stomach, whether you lean off to one side or not. We recommend sleeping on your back with a pillow under your legs, or on your side with a pillow between your legs.

This will take the pressure off your hip joints, which can really take a beating from poor posture over the course of your (hopefully) 8+ hour slumber.

If you struggle to find a comfortable position on your back or your side, and your pillow isn’t helping, consider purchasing a special sleep pillow for your legs. These provide the perfect amount of support so you can be completely relaxed.

Your Old Mattress Could Be The Cause Of Hip Pain In The Morning After Sleeping

The next most likely reason you wake up in the morning with hip pain is your bed. If you have an old, worn out mattress, the springs can be indented in certain areas.

This will make for an uneven sleeping position, and can wreak havoc on your spine, hips, knees, etc.

But, even new mattresses can cause problems. Some people prefer hard mattresses, while others will wake up aching if they sleep on one. 

Do some research and find out which type of mattress is right for you, and rule this out as a possibility. If you do suspect it’s the root cause of your issue, invest in a high quality mattress tailored to your preferences!

Other Potential Causes Of Hip Pain When You Wake Up

Aside from the two aforementioned causes, there are a few other potential causes you should consider as well. 

If you keep your room super cold, it can cause you to wake up aching until your body gets warmed up. So if you crank that thermostat down at night, consider a more mild sleeping temperature.

Another possible cause is actually your daytime posture. If you slouch or sit all day long, it can cause you to wake up in pain. We recommend you take inventory of your posture constantly throughout the day, and try to stand at least a few hours a day if you work a desk job.

If you’re an athlete, you should consider if you’ve been overtraining. This is more common than most people realize, and chronic fatigue can really add up and contribute to serious pain in the morning, especially after more strenuous exercise. Here are some specific injuries or conditions that can cause hip pain when you wake up:

  • Hip bursitis
  • Hip tendonitis
  • Hip osteoarthritis

Take Steps To Actively Relieve Your Hip Pain

If you still wake up with hip pain in the morning after sleeping even after following any applicable recommendations above, it could be a more serious injury at play.

While you seek out professional care to get an accurate assessment of what’s going on, here are some things you can do to relieve the pain for the time being.

Warm Up Your Body Before Getting Out Of Bed

Upon waking, start stretching your body around, wriggling your extremities, and get your blood flowing rather than immediately jumping out of bed and starting your day.

This will get blood flowing to some of the tight, inflamed areas, and help get those joints lubricated and moving how they’re intended. 

To take this a step further, consider getting out of bed after your little warm up and taking a walk around the neighborhood. This will have many more benefits on your day than simply warming up your hips and knees!

Start The Day With A Warm Shower

This tip follows the same principle as the previous one, it’s about warming your body up. A hot shower will raise your body temperature, which can aid in decreasing inflammation.

If time allows and your pain is so severe that it warrants it, consider taking a bath with epsom salt for better results. You can do this at night too.

What Is The Problem With Peanut Butter?

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All things are good in moderation, but there are some potential problems with peanut butter that you need to be aware of.

This is a classic snack, and many of us eat it by the spoonful. It’s a source of healthy fats, and for the most part, you’d think it’s nothing but good for you. So what are the risks?

Three Potential Problems With Peanut Butter

The reason peanut butter isn’t as good for you as you may have thought is because peanuts are technically a legume – not a nut. Legumes don’t carry many of the same antioxidants and health benefits that tree nuts do.

We can break down the issues with an excess amount of peanut butter in your diet into 3 categories: gut health, inflammation, and additives.

Peanut Butter Contains Lectin & Aflatoxin

Lectins are one of the many compounds you’ll find in that jar of peanut butter, and when consumed too frequently, can contribute to poor gut health.

This is especially true for those already suffering from some sort of gut condition, including but not limited to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut syndrome, etc.

There is also a toxin, know as aflatoxin, that can contribute to adverse health effects. These two compounds work together to wreak havoc in your stomach, especially when this food is a staple in your diet.

How Peanut Butter Contributes To Inflammation

Peanut butter contains healthy fats – that is true. In theory, these omega fats should lower inflammation, right?

Unfortunately the ratio of these fats, omega-6 and omega-3, are not in the ideal ratio. In fact, the ratio can contribute to increased inflammation in your body – which brings a whole host of problems with it.

Additives In Peanut Butter

This won’t necessarily be true of fresh from the tree nut butter, but for the most part, what you buy on the grocery store shelf contains additives and preservatives.

Two of these aforementioned additives also happen to be the worst ingredients you’ll find in food – high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

Consider A Healthier Alternative

Because peanut butter isn’t truly a tree nut, it simply doesn’t carry the same benefits that you may assume it does.

Instead of peanut butter, consider a true tree nut butter such as:

  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Pecan butter

Final Thoughts

In all honesty, these alternatives don’t taste quite as good as peanut butter, and they are generally more expensive.

But, from a health perspective, there is no comparison between these nut butters and peanut butter, which truly should be classified as a “legume butter”.

Now that you are aware of the different problems with peanut butter, it’s up to you to decide if that tasty spoonful is worth the inflammation, poor gut health, and long term damage it’s additives can cause.

A Few Scary Reasons To Avoid Lemon Juice

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Lemons themselves can be packed with antioxidants and bring tons of benefits to the table, but there are also a few scary reasons to avoid lemon juice.

Of course, all things can be good in moderation. But when you frequently consume the juice from lemons, it can lead to serious issues long term. Read on to find out what these all are!

Four Scary Reasons To Avoid Lemon Juice In Excess

We just briefly touched on it, but this article is not meant to freak you out and deter you from ever having lemons again.

Rather, we just want to share some potential issues that could arise in groups that frequently drink lemon juice.

These issues we are going to cover are common when you drink lemon juice daily. Some people strictly drink lemon infused water over plain water for the taste and antioxidants.

While these people are right to assume that there can be benefits from drinking lemon juice, the excess in which they consume this fruit can be problematic.

The Acidity Of Lemon Juice Causes Oral Health Issues

You probably already know just how acidic lemons are. But, did you know they are acidic enough to wear down your tooth enamel?

In groups who drank lemon water daily, tooth decay was similar to groups who consumed excess sugar.

If you are someone who drinks lemon juice frequently and you notice any signs of enamel damage, it’s a good idea to cut back on the lemon juice. Some of the warning signs of enamel breakdown are:

  • A rough feeling on your teeth, rather than a smooth feeling
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold liquids

If You Have Cavities Or Ulcers, Lemon Water Can Make Matters Worse

Sticking with the theme of oral health, lemon water can further exacerbate the problem. This means your cavity will become worse.

The reason for this is because of the sugar and acid in lemon juice. Cavities are caused by bacteria, which feasts on both of these things.

So, if you think you have a cavity, avoid the lemon juice until you can see your dentist. Similarly, lemon juice can exacerbate mouth ulcers. 

These are painful sores, sometimes referred to as canker sores, and make eating next to impossible. Again, the acidity can irritate these sores even more.

Lemon Water Can Cause Stomach Issues

Another of the many scary reasons to avoid lemon juice is the stomach pain and other issues it may cause. 

While certain people will find lemon juice helps settle their stomach, others experience the opposite effect.

Again, this is the acidity causing problems. If you are someone who experiences acid reflux or GERD, drinking lemon juice can make matters worse and trigger an episode. 

Furthermore, if you have stomach ulcers, lemon water will only increase the pain these cause.

The Rinds Are A Breeding Ground For Bacteria

The lemon rinds themselves can host all kinds of harmful bacteria, such as E. Coli. This is a scary reason to avoid lemon juice, because many people drink theirs by dropping a few sliced lemons in a jug.

This means you are potentially soaking bacteria in the water you drink. This can usually be avoided by thoroughly rinsing your lemons before slicing/consuming.

Migraines & Lemon Juice May Be Linked

A fourth reason you may want to avoid lemon juice is the link between migraines and lemon juice.

Now, if you don’t already suffer from migraines, you won’t just start experiencing them by consuming excess lemon juice.

But, studies have shown that those with chronic migraine issues may trigger episodes by consuming lemon juice.

Why You Should Consider Putting Baking Soda In Coffee

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If you love the spark your morning cup of joe gives, but hate the acidity, you might consider putting baking soda in coffee.

This sounds a bit strange, and sort of like a downgrade from the creamer you might be used to adding, but there is actually some pretty sound logic behind this.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll explain the main benefits you might see from putting baking soda in your coffee. We’ll also cover a few of the side effects you should be afraid of.

Why Coffee & Baking Soda Can Work Well Together

This unlikely duo actually pairs nicely together to help with many of the less ideal aspects of drinking coffee. Why is that?

It has to do with their pH. They are pretty much polar opposites. As you may know, coffee is somewhat acidic. Many people drink coffee daily and experience no adverse side effects from this, but not everyone is so lucky.

Fortunately, you can counteract the acidity by putting baking soda in coffee, which is incredibly basic. To be specific, coffee has a pH around 5, and neutrality is a pH of 7. 

As it turns out, baking soda has a pH around 9. So it makes sense to suggest that adding a little baking soda to coffee and balance things out. Let’s look at some specific examples.

Improve Taste By Putting Baking Soda In Coffee

Bad quality coffee beans are super acidic and tough to drink, but even great coffee beans can be a bit much sometimes. 

Adding baking soda to your morning cup of coffee can help counteract this acidity, making a smoother tasting cup.

Now, let’s get into some of the actual medical benefits you can experience by doing this.

Decrease Acid Reflux Or GERD

One of the more common things people drinking coffee experience is acid reflux or GERD. Coffee can really agitate these symptoms in people who already experience them, and simply adding a small pinch of baking soda can mitigate this issue.

Those Suffering From Gout Can Relieve Symptoms

Gout is a condition typical in those who develop high levels of uric acid in their blood. It causes serious pain, due to the formation of needle-like crystals in a joint. Those who suffer may also experience inflammation, swelling, warmth, redness, etc.

By alkalizing your blood with a pinch of baking soda to your morning coffee, your body will be able to break up these uric acid crystals, allowing you to pass them safely.

Relief From Ulcers

Another group of people who can benefit from putting baking soda in coffee are those who suffer from ulcers.

As you are well aware now, baking soda can help neutralize your stomach acid. A small, quarter teaspoon of baking soda added to your coffee grounds will accomplish this!

The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Attacks

While you may suspect they are unrelated to one another, there may be a link between oral health and heart attacks that you need to be aware of.

This sounds incredibly strange, but when we explain the science behind the relationship, you will understand.

Let’s start by quickly talking about oral health in general, starting with how your mouth works.

A Quick Look At The Mouth’s Microbiome

Our bodies have a digestive system, and in that digestive system is what is referred to as a microbiome. This is essentially an ecosystem or environment composed of different microorganisms.

When people take a probiotic, they are doing it to supplement their microbiome and improve things like digestion and overall gut health.

Well, our mouth actually has a microbiome of it’s own! As you may already know, digestion actually begins in our mouth. Of course, when we chew the food breaks down, but there is more to it.

Our mouth is filled with tons of different microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Before you start freaking out, these are actually the good guys. They help break down food for further processing.

How Oral Health Affects The Rest Of Your Body

Knowing what you know now about our oral microbiome, you can imagine issues may arise if conditions are off in our mouth.

Studies have shown that those with good oral health have better immune function, keeping the bad bacteria and illnesses from infiltrating your body.

In those with bad oral health, the opposite may be true. Bad bacteria has a far easier time using the sugar and starches you consume to multiply, and cause serious health issues to arise. And, unfortunately for those in question, this can affect your heart health.

Oral Health And Heart Attacks – How They’re Related

Some of the same bacteria that can cause gum disease can infiltrate your blood stream, eventually making their way to your heart.

This, coupled with plaque from your teeth, can cause serious inflammation, blood clots, and more narrow blood vessels. 

All of these things on their own are bad. But when combined into one perfect storm, they present a serious increase in risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Furthermore, long term effects won’t just lead to hypertension – they can actually  infect the inner lining of your heart. This leads to endocarditis, and is an entire issue of it’s own.

So, Take Good Care Of Your Oral Health

Now, we don’t say this to scare you. In fact, issues related to oral health and heart attacks or strokes are usually preventable!

Visit your dentist regularly to catch issues early before they have a chance to become irreversible. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly and avoid damaging foods and drinks with acidity and sugar.

If you just take good care of your oral health like you know you should, you won’t have to worry about it leading to other issues!

The Cause Of Sharp Needle Like Pain In Knee When Kneeling

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Sharp needle like pain in your knee when kneeling can be debilitating and concerning, on top of the intense, painful sensations it causes.

If you work a profession where you are constantly kneeling down, such as a mechanic or plumber, it can prevent you from getting to work. Or, maybe you’re an athlete worried about your career.

Whatever the case, we are here to help you understand why you are feeling this specific type of pain, and why it occurs when you kneel down.

We’ll share some potential causes, along with some home remedies to help you feeling better pain wise, and about your situation! Let’s start with a quick anatomy lesson.

Understanding The Anatomy Of The Knee

To help you understand why it’s not easy to diagnose pain in your knee, we need to explain just how complex of a joint the knee is.

There are all kinds of different ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bony structures in a small area. When it comes to knee pain, we can really sum up the anatomy in three categories:

  • Knee bones
  • Knee bursae
  • Knee tendons/ligaments

The knee bones consist of the different leg bones connecting at your knee – that is the femur, tibia, and patella. We don’t usually discuss the fibula when talking knee pain, because it’s located further down.

The knee bursae category is made up of structures within the knee. These structures act as cushion and reduce friction between bone ends. There are three of them, and located above, in front, and below the patella.

Finally, you have the most likely culprit – your knee tendons and ligaments. These are notorious for tearing or becoming sprained, which leads to severe pain and immobility. The most noteworthy are:

  • MCL
  • ACL
  • PCL
  • Patellar tendon
  • Quadriceps tendon

What Could Be Causing Sharp Needle Like Pain In The Knee When Kneeling?

The tricky part of diagnosing a sharp, needle like pain in the knee when kneeling is that any of the three categories described above could be to blame.

To help narrow it down, consider what you were doing that could be causing the pain – did you bump your knee into something, or take a fall? If so, it could be the knee bones.

Or, did you overextend your leg when running? Then it is more likely a ligament or tendon that has become stretched and aggravated, which is giving you grief.

To know for sure, you are best off visiting a doctor to get a professional opinion. The doctor will ask you specific questions about your condition, and can perform tests on your knee as well.

But, there are some conditions that are actually really common, and so it’s fair to assume one of the following issues could be to blame.

Knee Bursitis

The most likely cause for sharp needle like pain in the knee when kneeling is bursitis. This is when one of the three bursa we mentioned earlier becomes inflamed. This causes pressure on surrounding nerves, which are further pressed upon when you kneel down.

Unlike tendinitis, this condition is more likely in those who are somewhat inactive. You are also more at risk if you kneel a lot, as this will wear down the knee bursa.

You can tell it’s bursitis causing the pain if the sharp needle like pain when kneeling subsides and becomes a dull, aching pain when you stand up/extend your knee straight.

Ligament Tears

These are easy to diagnose, because you typically know right when they happen. For example, a bad knee on knee hit in football, hockey, or some other contact sport.

In some instances, though, ligaments can suffer small microtears from overusing the knee in question. 

Like your spine, these ligaments break down with age. If you are in the elderly population and feel needle like pain in your knee when kneeling, don’t rule out a ligament tear until you get some professional tests done!

Patellar Tendinitis

As the name suggests, patellar tendinitis is an aggravation of the patellar tendon. The tendon can become inflamed, which causes sharp pain and tenderness to the touch. This pain becomes exacerbated when kneeling and putting pressure on the knee joint.

In some instances, you can feel for a lump on the patella where it hurts the most. This is a common injury for active individuals, as it is an overuse injury. Those who are constantly kicking and jumping – such as soccer, basketball, track and field athletes,, etc.

Home Remedies For Sharp Needle Like Pain In The Knee When Kneeling

While we still recommend you visit a doctor to get a professional diagnosis along with the proper treatment plan, there are some things you can do while you wait to decrease the inflammation in your knee and lower your pain levels.

Start with the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Following this protocol will do wonders for the initial inflammation you suffer from any sort of injury, and will speed up your recovery dramatically.

You should avoid painkillers unless prescribed by a doctor, and even then, use them as an emergency on your most painful days.

After some initial downtime, and doing some things to try and lower inflammation, you can try and increase blood flow to the injury.

This can be done with low level activity on a daily basis, such as taking a walk around your neighborhood or doing some stretching. Take it slow at first, or you will only re-aggravate the injury.

Causes & Treatment For Pain In The Right Side Of The Throat

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If you are feeling pain in the right side of your throat, and not the left, it can be puzzling. Usually, a sore throat from allergies or an illness are felt uniformly. You are used to sore throats being felt evenly on the left and the right side.

But, there are some cases where you will have pain on only one side of your throat. We’ll cover all the potential causes of this, and help you determine whether you just need some throat lozenges or a trip to the doctor.

Why Do I Feel Sharp Pain In The Right Side Of My Throat?

IF you are only feeling sharp pain in the right side of your throat, it may not be something as serious as you think. 

In fact, sometimes this can be caused simply by how you sleep. For example, if you sleep on one side, you may wake up and feel pain more acutely on that side.

Or, it could just be swollen glands on the right side of your throat. But sometimes, this can be the sign of something a bit more serious.

Do You Feel The Pain When Swallowing?

If you feel pain in the right side of the throat while swallowing, it means there are three places we need to consider: The mouth, the larynx, and the esophagus.

All three of these components play a role in swallowing. So with that in mind, here are the most common (and serious, but uncommon) potential culprits. We’ll start with the least serious, and most common.

Acid Reflux (GERD)

Commonly, acid reflux can cause pain or a burning feeling in one side of your throat when swallowing. This makes sense when you think about it, due to the acidity associated with this condition.

For the most part, treating this condition is just about evaluating your diet and removing certain foods that exacerbate heartburn.

Postnasal Drip

Another potential cause of this pain could be your nasal system not working properly – leading to post nasal drip.

The mucus and saliva can become too much for our body to process, at which point it starts causing swelling in your throat, usually on just one side.

Tonsillitis

If you still have your tonsils, they could be to blame for the pain you feel on one side of your throat.

Tonsils are notorious for becoming infected, which causes serious pain when swallowing. Typically, just one tonsil is affected at a time, and you can feel this accordingly.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Similar to tonsillitis, swollen lymph nodes can become irritated and inflamed due to a virus or bacterial infection. In some cases, it can even be caused by an abscessed tooth.

You can test for this by actually feeling for your nodes below your jawline. If the right one feels inflamed, they are likely the culprit for pain on the right side of the throat.

In some cases, swollen lymph nodes can be the sign of something more serious – like certain types of cancers. But we’ll cover these more in a bit.

Laryngitis

If your pain in the right side of the throat is accompanied by hoarse voice and overall throat discomfort, it could be laryngitis. 

Laryngitis is a condition characterized by strained vocal chords. If you use your voice frequently, or have a virus or bacterial infection, this could be what you’re dealing with.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are incredibly painful ulcers that can be caused by irritation in your mouth. They can last for weeks, causing issues with your ability to eat food and drink water, due to the agony of swallowing.

They can be caused by your diet, mouth trauma, stress, or some sort of bacteria or virus.

Epiglottitis

Now we are getting into the more serious conditions that can cause pain in the right side of the throat. Epiglottitis can cause severe throat pain and difficulty swallowing, and unlike everything else we’ve covered thus far, this requires quick medical attention.

There is a flap in your throat, which can become inflamed or infected. When this happens, it not only hurts, but it can cause restriction to your lungs, making breathing more difficult.

This can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a fever, vocal changes, high-pitched noises when you breathe, and more.

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia

This is a far more rare, albeit more serious condition that can cause pain in the right side of your throat. 

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia can cause severe nerve pain, and comes and goes in waves. Swallowing will trigger these pain attacks, and they can last for weeks at a time.

Certain Types Of Cancers (Mouth, Throat, Or Esophageal)

The last potential cause, and the most serious, of pain in one side of your throat is cancer. Most often when people complain of these types of pains, the cancer responsible is either mouth, throat, or esophageal.

Each of these three types of cancer has other symptoms associated with it to help you narrow down if this is truly the culprit. If you think there is a chance this is what’s going on with you, definitely schedule a doctor’s visit as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts On Pain In Right Side Of The Throat

You’re now aware of just how many things could be causing the pain you feel in the right side of your throat. It can be something as simple as a viral infection or a canker sore, or something more serious which requires medical attention.

The only way to find out is to identify other symptoms you may be feeling. One symptom alone is never enough to diagnose anything!

Is Fruit Juice Actually Unhealthy For You?

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While many of us reach for a fruit juice with the intention to enjoy a healthy drink, it might be time to remove those from our fridge.

We were always told that fruit is a healthy snack. And for the most part, it is! But, when you blend these fruits up and consume them in the form of juice, do these same health benefits apply?

There is reason to believe that fruit juices actually have more sinister affects on our bodies than you may realize. We’ll explain why that is, and how you can go about getting the nutritional benefits of fruit without the adverse affects.

What Is The Problem With Fruit Juices?

The problem with fruit juices mostly stems from the sugar content. This isn’t unique to the juice, though. Fruit in general – apples, oranges and other citrus fruits, etc. – are just packed with sugar.

Specifically, fruit has an incredibly high fructose content. This type of sugar can be very harmful, leading to issues like diabetes. That’s right, something as seemingly healthy as fruit can lead to diabetes! It could also lead to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more. Even worse, there is a potential link between fructose and cancer.

Consider How Much Sugar Is In One Glass Of Fruit Juice

To put this into perspective for you, let’s consider one glass of fruit juice. We’ll just use apple juice for the example.

A 12 ounce glass contains up to 40 grams of sugar. This is pretty typical across all types of fruit juices. Orange juice contains similar sugar content, around 37 grams per glass.

However, some are worse than others. Grape juice, for example, contains an astounding 60 grams of sugar!

That is worse than most junk food, honestly. An average chocolate chip cookie has around 10 grams of sugar. That means you could eat 5-6 cookies and still be in the same boat as if you had one glass of fruit juice!

Why Fruit Juices Are Worse Than Plain Fruit

While fruit still has high sugar content, it is considerably better to eat your fruit rather than drink it. This is because of what isn’t in the juice.

When you actually eat your fruit, you benefit from all the great things it has to offer, such as fiber.

Furthermore, fruit will help fill you up, while the juice won’t. In fact, drinking fruit juice ends up leaving you hungrier than before, because of all the empty calories and sugar!

The Unnatural Process Of Extracting Juice From Fruit Commercially

We should also mention that the process of turning a fruit into a juice is totally unnatural in a commercial instance. These huge companies aren’t simply squeezing your fruit into a juice. They extract the juice, then they heat it, pasteurize it, store it in huge vats and pull the oxygen out.

Because this process removes a lot of the flavor, these companies then add a flavor pack with chemicals, byproducts, etc, to make it taste better. 

The end result is a bottle of sugar with other harmful chemicals, and virtually no antioxidants, enzymes, and other healthy components whole fruit contains.

So should you avoid fruit altogether? No. But, if you are trying to enjoy a healthy snack, steer clear of the juices!

What You Should Know About Red Light Therapy & Aging

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There are constantly new trends popping up claiming they can reverse the affects of mother time. One of the more peculiar ones to surface recently is red light therapy.

People are claiming that exposing yourself to red light can have profound effects on your skin – creating a youthful glow and decreasing wrinkles, imperfections, and more.

Is there any truth behind this? Or is red light therapy another craze with no science to support it? On this page, we’ll cover all this and more.

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is exactly what it sounds like. You can treat skin, muscle tissue, etc, by exposing yourself to low levels of red or near-infrared light.

It’s used by dermatologists professionally, but these days, you can affordably purchase your own red light therapy device.

Does Red Light Therapy Help With Aging?

According to a randomized, controlled study in 2013, there is substantial reason to believe red light therapy can help with aging! Here are the results found by the study:

Red Light Therapy Led To Reduced Wrinkles & Improved Complexion

The group who underwent red light therapy noticed drastic improvements in their skin complexion, leading to smoother, more even skin tones.

They also were pleased to see a reduction in wrinkles, fine lines, and other imperfections from aging. Younger people struggling with acne have also used red light therapy to decrease the visibility of their blemishes.

Other studies have confirmed this, as people have successfully treated scarring with red light therapy. This works for burns, cuts, surgical scars, and more.

Those Who Used Red Light Therapy Improved Skin Feeling

On top of looking better, those who used red light therapy noticed their skin actually felt better, too! After just 30 treatment sessions, just about every member claimed their skin felt smoother and lighter.

Red Light Therapy Increased Collagen Density

A third benefit red light therapy has on aging is actually increasing the collagen density in your skin. This means your skin is thicker and healthier.

How Often Should You Do Red Light Therapy For Aging?

Too much of a good thing can be bad. Certain skin care regimens are best done sparingly. However, this may not be the case with red light therapy.

Studies have shown that red light therapy can actually be beneficial in multiple sessions a day. The intensity of light is not high enough to cause any damage to your skin, only improvements. Assuming you are using professional quality devices, you can do red light therapy for aging daily.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

Unlike the type of light used in tanning beds, red light is perfectly safe. Instead of penetrating the skin barrier and causing damage, this type of light only kills bacteria and stimulated cellular repair and increases blood flow.