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How Activity Helps Reduce Pain

How Exercise Helps With PainWhen we are pain we seem to do all that is in our power to avoid making it worse, right? For some people this may mean limiting most of their activity altogether. Unfortunately, ignoring pain does not make it go away nor does avoiding motions that may cause discomfort. This avoidance, in fact, creates greater problems including weakened muscles, compromised posture, and further joint trouble. However, studies have discovered that regular physical activity aids in the reduction of chronic pain.

Everyone responds to pain differently, but research has been able to harness a quantitative measure to compare levels of pain. Our pain threshold refers to when we begin to feel pain and our pain tolerance is the amount of time we can handle pain before stopping whatever we are doing that is causing it. The vice president with Champion Sports Medicine in Birmingham Alabama, Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, explains, “Exercise improves your pain threshold. With chronic pain, your pain threshold drops -- in other words, it takes less pain to make you feel more uncomfortable. With cardiovascular, strengthening, and flexibility exercise, you can improve that pain threshold.”

Researchers at the University of New South Wales and Neuroscience Research Australia studied exactly that.

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How Food Can Cause Inflammation

How Food Causes InflammationMost people think that eating food is a no-brainer - we eat food and we live. But it is not quite that simple. Every person’s body is unique and every person’s body reacts differently to certain foods. Some people experience gastrointestinal upset, mood disorders, skin issues, chronic pain, and many other conditions. This is because some foods cause inflammation in certain people. This inflammation leads to the degeneration of the body’s cells.

Inflammation occurs in some people because foods they eat contribute to, or cause, leaky gut. Leaky gut happens when large molecules get through the gut lining and into the blood stream prematurely. This causes the body to send “soldiers” in to fight these molecules and remove them. This process creates inflammation. Some professionals also believe that certain foods feed viruses that are harboured in the body, causing inflammation as the virus irritates the cells it inhabits as it grows and multiplies into more virus cells.

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The Do's and Don'ts for Knee Pain

The Do's and Dont's When Dealing With Knee PainKnee problems are, unsurprisingly, very common. After all, the knee is the largest joint in the body and is responsible for bending and straightening your legs! It is a common misconception that bad knees mean you are unable to exercise. In fact, professionals insist that it is crucial to stay active to strengthen the supporting muscles and to prevent any issues from getting worse. But as always, there are movements you should avoid. Good news though, there are plenty of safe exercises that do not strain the knee joint!

Here are the Do’s And Don’ts to keep in mind when dealing with knee troubles:

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4 Tips to Prevent Shin Splint Pain

How to Prevent Shin SplintsShin splints can be caused by many different things. Some include overused muscles, stress fractures, weakness of stabilizing muscles or compromised lumbar spine function. Regardless of the cause, they are painful. The good news is there are several ways to prevent them before they become an issue! Here are 4 ways to help you prevent shin splints.

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Facts About Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg SyndromeIt is estimated that up to 10% of Americans suffer from restless leg syndrome and about 2-3% of these cases are categorized as severe RLS. This condition affects people of all ages, but most commonly middle-aged and older individuals.

Restless leg syndrome is a nervous system disorder that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs, resulting in an overwhelming need to move the legs to try to make the sensations go away. The sensation can vary depending on the person including throbbing, achiness, pain, numbness, tingling sensations, or a creeping feeling, as though insects are moving across the skin.

Unfortunately, RLS tends to flare up at night, leading to sleep disorders for many people.

With most cases of restless leg syndrome, the cause is unknown, but researchers believe that the following factors may be culprits:

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How Mindfulness Practice Reduces Pain

How Mindfulness Reduces PainPain is regulated by our nervous system. Our brain alerts us of the pain we feel and it strives to maintain balance in the body. Stress disrupts the brain’s ability to deal with pain signals. Dr. Steven Stanos, medical director of the Center for Pain Management at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, stated, “The brain is always trying to inhibit pain signals. But if you're stressed, simply put, the brain's ability to filter these pain signals is affected in a bad way and pain can be increased.” Research shows that even the process of thinking about something stressful immediately causes increased tension in the back muscles. This tension aggravates any underlying conditions that you may have.

Mindfulness significantly reduces stress levels, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Researchers conducted a study in which participants were placed in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction group. When participants finished this training, scans revealed that in troubling situations they had less neural activity and responses. This means that there wasn’t a large release of stress hormones, leading researchers to the conclusion that mindfulness teaches strategies that help the brain regulate and react to an emotional situation with less stress, thus helping decrease pain levels.

However, some individuals are turned off at the thought of mindfulness because it doesn't seem like something for them.

But what if I told you, to practice mindfulness, you don't have to chant a mantra or imagine yourself somewhere else.

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How Magnesium Relieves Pain

How Magnesium Helps Relieve PainMagnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need for over 600 cellular processes. Our bodies do not manufacture magnesium; the foods we eat supply the body with magnesium. Researchers believe that some of our conventionally grown foods are deficient in magnesium, which is due to the soil being depleted of certain nutrients. Many researchers recommend that we choose organically grown vegetables since many organic growers replace the nutrients lost through farming, by properly amending the soil.

Many functions in the body rely on Magnesium. It helps to maintain the proper function of the central nervous system and low levels can be associated with changes in brain function and mood. Low magnesium levels are commonly found in people with Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, depression, and Autism. People who experience migraine headaches are often found to have low levels of magnesium as well.

Our immune system relies on magnesium to keep us healthy. Low levels of magnesium are associated with a poorly functioning immune system. This is partly because viruses and bacteria are stressors for the body, and when the body is under stress it uses more magnesium. Physical and emotional stress is very common in our modern lives. When we are under stress, the body uses more magnesium to help our minds and bodies cope. This depletes our magnesium stores and lowers our immune system.

The proper function of our muscles is dependent on adequate levels of magnesium. Often people with a low magnesium level will experience muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, and more. Low levels of magnesium affect our muscles’ ability to relax and the body’s pain levels. Pain sufferers are often advised to try increasing their intake of magnesium to see whether it helps to reduce their pain levels.

Magnesium and Pain

Pain in the body is most often caused by inflammation. Inflammation is a sign that something is not functioning well in the body, or that the body is dealing with a lot of emotional or physical stress.
Magnesium plays a key role in controlling the level of inflammation in our bodies since it regulates so many cell functions.

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(Click Here), For a List of 18 Foods High in Magnesium

How Positive Thinking Reduces Pain

How Positive Thinking Reduces PainHave you ever heard of the phrase mind over matter? The main premise behind the popular saying is that our minds, composed of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, have a big influence on our physical bodies and external environment. A different way of explaining this phenomenon is the “mind-body connection,” or in some cases, “the placebo effect.” This subject is widely studied, especially in the area of chronic pain. All bodies of research point to a really incredible outcome: positive thinking can improve pain symptoms. On the flip side, negative thinking can contribute to worsening pain or at least inhibiting one’s ability to cope with it.
                        
A clinical psychologist, Nicola Turner, recognizes that the medical profession often creates a disconnection between one’s physical pain and mental patterns. She explains, “we’ve been conditioned to separate physical and emotional problems when in fact you can’t have the mind without the body.” This idea brings attention to the integration of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, with physical therapy. CBT is regularly used as a treatment for an array of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress management, and even phobias. Interestingly enough, Warwick University conducted a study in 2010 on patients with severe back pain and concluded that those who combined their standard treatment with CBT showed double the improvement in pain versus those who received the physiotherapy, osteopathy, or acupuncture alone.

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Facts About Growing Pains

Growing Pains You have probably heard the term “growing pains,” but did you know that many health experts say that this type of pain isn’t caused by a growth spurt? While a clear cause of growing pains has yet to be established, professionals believe that it is just soreness that occurs from being an active child. The long days of running, jumping, and climbing put stress on the body, and this manifests as soreness when a child finally takes the time to relax.

For the most part, it seems that growing pains tend to affect children that are in certain age groups. The children that are most likely to experience growing pains are between the ages of 3-5, and later in childhood between the ages of 8-12.

Growing pains have some common symptoms. For most children, these pains occur in the evening or while sleeping, and for most children, the pain is gone by the morning. The legs are the most commonly affected body part, with complaints being about soreness in the thighs, the back of the knees, and in the calves.

If your child has issues with growing pains, it can be a trying situation. The pain can make it hard for them to sleep at night, and you want to do whatever you can to relieve the pain and make your child more comfortable. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to soothe the pain. Check out our recently published article to learn about 7 Natural Remedies to Relieve Growing Pains!

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4 Reasons to Stop Sitting With Crossed Legs

Is Sitting With Your Legs Crossed Bad For YouSitting with our legs crossed is a very common way of sitting. Whether it is at the office, on public transportation, or relaxing at home, many people’s go-to posture is one leg over the other, crossed at the knee. This may be the comfortable position for you to sit and it may also come in handy in crowded areas, however, there are some negative side effects from sitting in this position for too long.

Here are 4 reasons that researchers say that sitting with your legs crossed isn't good for your body:

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