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Five Surprising Ways to Treat Back Pain

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Five Surprising Ways to Treat Back Pain

Do you suffer from back pain? If so, you’re not alone.

Approximately half of all working Americans experience back pain every year. And, up to 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Back pain is incredibly frustrating, in part because it can be so difficult to treat. What works for one person may have absolutely no effect on another, and it’s easy to feel as though you’ll always be in pain. Don’t give up hope, though.

If you’ve tried traditional back pain remedies (NSAIDs, physical therapy, chiropractic care, ice and heat, yoga, etc.) and still can’t find relief, you might want to try one of these lesser-known treatments instead.

1. Botox

Botox isn’t just for getting rid of wrinkles. It’s actually a highly effective treatment option for people who struggle with muscle pain anywhere on the body, including the back.

Botox injections eliminate wrinkles because they paralyze muscle tissue. This same principle applies when the drug is injected into the muscles of the back. It freezes the muscles in place and prevents spasms that could be causing your pain. It also helps improve range of motion and flexibility.

Botox is considered to be a safe option for treating back pain, but it can be difficult to find someone to provide injections in the back. Most insurance providers do not cover the cost of Botox, either, since it’s considered to be an elective procedure.

Must Read: The Ultimate Guide to Minimizing Neck Pain Caused by Office Work

2. Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese energy healing technique. A practitioner places their hands over specific energy points throughout the body to release tension, promote healing, and help you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Initially, it’s hard to believe that something like Reiki can actually be effective. However, research shows that Reiki can work just as well as physiotherapy for treating back pain.

It’s believed that Reiki works so well because it helps people who are experiencing back pain to truly relax and let go of emotional baggage that is causing them to constantly tense their back muscles. It can also be incredibly powerful to feel that someone — in this case, the Reiki provider — understands your pain and wants to help you get better.

3. Spinal Cord Stimulation

A spinal cord stimulator is a device that sends electrical impulses along the spinal column. This device — which is sort of like a pacemaker, but for the spine instead of the heart — interferes with nerve activity in the body by inhibiting the transfer of pain signals and altering the way the brain receives them.

For most people, the spinal cord stimulator provides immediate and consistent relief from chronic back pain.

The device is usually about the size of a half-dollar coin and is implanted at the base of the spine. The implantation procedure is very simple and is performed under local anesthesia. There are no known side effects or symptoms that come with the device.

Spinal cord stimulators are also reversible, so if you don’t find the device to be helpful, you can it removed after a trial period.

4. Biomagnets

This is perhaps the most controversial treatment on this list, but many people swear by the effectiveness of biomagnets for relieving pain throughout the body.

Biomagnets can be placed on the skin at areas of the body that are experiencing pain. It’s unclear exactly how they work, but researchers have proposed the following theories:

  • Magnets interfere with nerve cell function and block pain signals to the brain
  • Magnets increase blood flow to the tissues to promote faster healing
  • Magnets accelerate the migration of calcium ions, which helps heal damaged bones and nerve tissues

The common thread between all these theories is that the magnets themselves do not heal the body. However, they may stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and speed up recovery.

Biomagnets are generally considered to be safe. However, some people, including those who have implanted medical devices like insulin pumps, spinal cord stimulators, or pacemakers, should not use them.

5. Bee Venom Acupuncture

If biomagnets are the most controversial item on the list, then this treatment is the strangest.

At first glance, bee venom acupuncture might seem like the weirdest, most counterproductive thing you can do to relieve back pain. However, studies show that it can be extremely effective, especially for treating back pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

When you’re treated with bee venom acupuncture, a number of things happen throughout the body:

  • Blood circulation increases
  • Tissues soften
  • Inflammation decreases
  • Feel-good neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine) increase

Some naturopathic practitioners offer bee venom acupuncture in their offices, and others will provide patients with kits they can use to inject themselves at home. There are also products like skin cream that are infused with bee venom that you can use as well.

Of course, if you are allergic to bee stings, you should steer clear of this particular treatment.

Conclusion

If you’re at a loss as to how to treat your back pain, consider one of these five surprising methods today. You might get some raised eyebrows when you explain them to your friends (especially if you go the bee venom route), but the weird looks will be worth it if these treatments can get rid of your pain!

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Health

Discover The Main Benefits Of Safflower Oil & Put It To Use

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Safflower oil benefits and uses

If you are used to taking a look at essential oils, then you’re not surprised to hear that CLA safflower oil has a range of benefits. Each of the organic oils that you can buy has plenty of natural benefits. That’s nice to know, but you need the important details. From heart health to managing diabetes and skincare, CLA safflower oil is used for all types of natural remedies and health benefits.

Do you live in the US? The reason I ask is because this flower and its oil is not native to North America. That doesn’t mean that safflower oil isn’t popular in the west. This exotic oil is extremely popular, and you’re about to discover just why that is the case. The following are the main benefits that you can expect when you put safflower oil to use.

First, let’s talk cooking. Have you heard of the spice saffron? it is often used to cook all kinds of delicious dishes. While it’s great to use, it can also be a little expensive. Safflower as a spice can be used as a cheaper replacement. In this case, you would be using the dried plant and not safflower oil. Yet you can also cook with safflower oil.

In fact, cooking with safflower oil is quite popular, too. It is kind of like sunflower oil in a way. Whether you use it as a cooking spice or as a cooking oil, you get all the great benefits. As we continue to look at what those benefits are, keep in mind that safflower oil can be used topically, too.

Are you looking for an essential oil to help keep your hair looking nice and youthful? If you want shiny hair, and you’re trying to find the best organic oil to use, safflower oil could be the one. You can always use more than one oil to treat your hair for different purposes, too. There is olive oil and many more that people use on their hair. Safflower oil keeps your hair looking radiant and beautiful.

According to Peter’s review, safflower oil is for sure known for having essential omega 6 fatty acids. In fact, it’s rich with them, and that’s good for your heart. Keep cholesterol levels down, and know that you’re doing your heart some justice. It’s not just about the consumption of safflower oil but the substitute of this oil for unhealthy oils. That can make quite a big difference.

The same fatty acids can help you manage blood sugar levels. This can help people with diabetes, and it can also help with diabetes prevention. Another benefit of the omega 6 fatty acids is they help your body more easily get rid of fat. This helps people with their weight loss efforts and preventing obesity. That’s not to say that you can simply lose weight by using safflower oil though.

Safflower oil is just a good substitute oil, a healthy oil that has many benefits. Think in terms of using it to cook with as mentioned earlier. Then of course you can use it on your hair, and you can use it on your skin, too. When it comes to the hair and skin, it’s all about the linoleic acid.

It is also suggested that your immune system benefits when you put safflower oil to use. When you look at other essential oils, there are some that are also known as immune system boosters. Speaking of other essential oils, you might want to look into which ones are good for mixing with safflower oil for additional benefits.

One of the things I thought of right away was you might want to look at which essential oils for hair health you could mix with safflower oil. There are also still other benefits to learn about as well. For example, safflower oil can help with arthritis and muscle pain as well as menstrual cramps.

You know more about the main benefits of safflower oil now. It’s time to put it to use, and also make connections to other oils that you are already using or might want to use. It’s great that you can count on these oils having so many natural health benefits that are important.

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Health

How to Support a Loved One Who’s Struggling with Addiction

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It’s impossible to talk about physical and mental health without also addressing the fact that more than 20 million people over the age of 12 are suffering from some kind of addiction.

Addiction is a serious problem throughout the United States — and the rest of the world, for that matter — and the chances are very high that someone you know and love is struggling or will struggle in the future. Because of this, it’s important to know how to provide support and encourage loved ones to get the help they need.

Not sure where to begin?

Listed below are some easy-to-apply steps that will help you show support to a loved one who is struggling with an addiction.

Know the Signs

One of the most important steps you can take is making sure you’re aware of the signs of addiction. It’s not always easy to spot, but if you’re loved one starts exhibiting any of the following behaviors, they could be struggling.

  • Appearing intoxicated more often than usual
  • Developing memory and cognition issues
  • Feeling lethargic or sleeping more often than usual
  • Having trouble at school or work
  • Only attend social events where drugs or alcohol will be available
  • Isolating themselves and skipping activities they used to enjoy
  • Stealing money or other valuables to fund their habit
  • Lying about how much of a particular substance they’re using
  • Getting angry or defensive when questioned about their substance use
  • Neglecting their appearance or personal hygiene

Speak Up Early

When you start noticing signs that could indicate your loved one is struggling with an addiction, be sure to speak up early and express your concern. Don’t wait until they hit rock bottom to offer help.

Letting them know early on that you’re there for them and want to help them could be the push they need to start to turn things around. Addiction is just like any other disease — the sooner it is treated, the better.

Avoid Common Communication Pitfalls

When it comes to addressing your loved one’s behavior and expressing your concern, it’s important to communicate effectively and avoid common pitfalls that can cause them to become angry or defensive.

Remember, they might not realize yet themselves that they have a problem, so it’s important to avoid coming on too strong and making them feel as though they’re being attacked.

Some common mistakes to avoid when talking to your loved one include:

  • Avoid preaching, lecturing, bribing, threatening, or moralizing
  • Don’t be a martyr — this means avoiding emotional appeals that make them feel guilty or ashamed for how they’re affecting you
  • Don’t argue when they’re clearly under the influence — they won’t be in the right state of mind to hear what you have to say

Make Sure You’re Not Enabling Them

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of enabling an addict when you’re trying to help them get better. Be sure to avoid these enabling behaviors:

  • Covering up, lying, or making excuses for them and their behavior
  • Taking over responsibilities to protect them from consequences
  • Giving them money or access to their substance of choice
  • Driving them to meet with a dealer or to purchase their substance of choice so they’re not driving under the influence
  • Spending time with them while they’re using so they’re not alone

You may think you’re doing the right thing by practicing these behaviors, but remember that they don’t actually benefit your loved one — they only make it harder for them to see why their behavior is a problem.

Consult a Professional

Remember, too, that you don’t have to go at this alone. In fact, you probably shouldn’t.

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is incredibly difficult. Working with a professional — someone who has experience working with addicts — will make it easier for you to stop enabling behaviors and make sure your loved one is getting the help they need.

Whether you hold an intervention or simply get advice from a specialist, consulting a professional throughout this process will increase the likelihood that you’ll be successful in helping your loved one overcome their addiction.

A professional can even help you write letters or practice communicating with your loved one in a more effective way.

Be Patient

No matter how hard you work, some people just aren’t ready when you are to give up their addictions.

Remember that you may need to have several conversations before your loved one accepts that they have a problem. Even if they’re not receptive the first time around, be patient and let them know that you love them and are there for them.

At the same time, make sure you’re giving them space to experience consequences. It’s also important for you to have space from your loved one so that you can continue to care for yourself — you can’t help them if you’re neglecting your own needs.

Final Thoughts

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is difficult, but there are ways to effectively communicate and let them know that you want to help them.

Keep these tips in mind as you start navigating the waters of working with a loved one who’s currently struggling and — most importantly — remember that there’s always hope.

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Fitness

Top Five Yoga Poses for People with Lower Back Pain

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At any one time, approximately 31 million Americans are suffering from lower back pain. Lower back pain is also the leading cause of disability for people all over the world.

If you’re currently struggling with lower back pain, you know how frustrating and debilitating it can be. But, it’s also important for you to know that there are a variety of treatment options available to help lessen your pain and improve your quality of life.

One of the best — yet often overlooked — treatment options for people with lower back pain is a consistent yoga practice. Yoga comes with a number of physical and mental health benefits that make it a great choice for people who want to relieve their pain.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of yoga for lower back pain, as well as five of the best pain-relieving poses that you can try today.

Benefits of Yoga for Lower Back Pain

Some of the most well-known benefits of yoga for people with lower back pain include:

  • Strengthens muscles in and around the lower back to improve posture and correct imbalances that contribute to pain
  • Stretches the muscles to relieve tension and improve range of motion
  • Promotes relaxation, which further reduces tension and pain
  • Improves body awareness and helps you understand your own body’s current limitations
  • Improves mindset, which can change your perception of and relationship to your pain

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to give yoga a try. Even if you’re skeptical about the practice’s ability to improve your back pain, at the very least, you’ll get to enjoy an hour of relaxation, which is something just about everyone can benefit from!

Best Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief

If you think you can’t practice yoga because you don’t live close to or can’t afford to go to a yoga studio or gym, think again.

Thanks to the internet, there are tons of free resources available that will help you learn the basics and start reaping the benefits of yoga from the comfort of your own home.

Some simple yoga poses you can try today to relieve your lower back pain include:

1. Child’s Pose

This is one of the easiest, yet most beneficial yoga poses you can incorporate into your routine. It provides a nice stretch for the lower back and hips while also helping you relax and enjoy the moment.

To do this pose, start by kneeling on all fours. Bring your feet together so your big toes are touching and open your knees up so they’re a bit wider than hip-distance. Inhale, then exhale and sit your hips back as you stretch forward so that your torso rests in the space between the thighs. Extend your arms in front of you while resting your forehead on your mat.

If your forehead doesn’t touch the ground, you can prop it up on a yoga block, a pillow, a book, or even your stacked fists.

Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths, or longer if you’d like.

Must Read: 5 Practical Reasons To Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

2. Cat-Cow Pose

This is a great stretch that promotes healthy spinal mobility to relieve tension and strengthen the muscles in the back and abdominals.

Start by kneeling on all fours — make sure the wrists, shoulders, knees, and hips are all stacked and in line with one another. Inhale and arch your back, dropping your stomach down toward the ground and lifting your chin and tailbone up toward the ceiling (this is the “cow” part of the pose). Exhale and reverse the pose, pulling your abdominals in and arch your back up, tucking your chin and tailbone in (this is the “cat” part of the pose).

Repeat for at least five rounds (five “cats” and five “cows”), making sure the movement and breath are synced.

3. Downward Facing Dog

In addition to stretching the back, it’s also important to look elsewhere when you’re experiencing lower back pain. Often, people’s backs hurt because their leg muscles are tight — everything in the body is connected, and if one muscle group is tight, it’s probably pulling on other muscles and causing tension throughout the body.

To do this pose, start on all fours. Then, walk your feet back so that you’re in a plank pose with your shoulders right over your wrists. Inhale, then, as you exhale, lift your hips up toward the ceiling until your body forms an upside down “V” shape. Straighten your legs as much as you can and try to bring your heels down to touch the ground. Gaze between your legs or up at your belly button.

Hold for at least five breaths.

4. Standing Forward Fold

There are a number of standing yoga poses that are also great for countering lower back pain, including standing forward fold.

To do this pose, stand up straight at the top of your mat. Your feet can be hip-distance apart, or you can bring them closer so that your big toes are touching. Inhale and raise your arms up above your head, then exhale and hinge at your hips and stretch forward and down toward the ground, keeping your back as straight as possible.

Tuck your chin toward your chest and let the crown of your head reach toward the floor. If you can’t touch the floor, hold onto your shins or ankles instead. You can also bend your knees a bit if this is too intense for your hamstrings.

Hold for at least five breaths.

5. Reclined Pigeon Pose

This is a very calming pose that is often done at the end of a yoga class. It’s great for cooling down the body and quieting the mind. It also provides a great stretch for the outer hip, which, if it’s tight, can contribute to lower back pain.

Start by lying flat on your back. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the ground. Lift your left foot and cross it over your right thigh so it’s resting just above the knee. Reach through the space created by your right left leg and clasp your hands behind your right thigh. Gently pull your right leg in toward your chest, keeping the knee bent.

Hold for at least five breaths, then switch sides.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve never tried yoga as a way to relieve your back pain, consider testing out these five poses today. Your body — and your mind — will thank you!

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