APM Blog

Sunday, 19 November 2017 05:43

Golf Stretches to Reduce Back Pain

Golfing and back pain. If you are an avid golfer you know the importance of having a healthy back on the golf course. But did you know that strength and flexibility can help you add distance to your golf game and help you prevent pain and injury? It's true.

Advanced Pain Management's team of physicians has some recommendations to help you prevent back pain injury and to help you add distance to your drives. Take a look and leave us your comments below! What do you do to help prevent injury on the course?

Download and share our "Golf Tips: Reduce Pain and Improve Your Game" info sheet for more information.


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Published in Healthy Living

You may have read the recent article in the New York Times discussing new research indicating that the use of yoga and stretching were equally effective in easing chronic back pain. The study demonstrated that regular use of both yoga and stretching exercises helped participants ease chronic back pain, and it also helped improve function.

Back pain affects 80% of Americans at some point in their lives. This study demonstrates the benefits of adding exercise to your weekly activities, and moreover, that you can help yourself prevent or reduce back pain. Download some of Advanced Pain Management's simple at home exercises for back pain including exercise and stretching eBooks:

Five Moves to Strengthen Your Back and Core

Six Stretches to Help Back Pain

Injury Prevention at Home and at Work

Published in Yoga

High heels and their effect on women’s feet, legs and toes are often highly debated when it comes to the topic of women’s fashion. If you are a woman, it is likely you have found yourself in a situation where a brand new pair of killer heels left a bigger mark than just a great fashion statement. The perfect complement to an outfit or the illusion of longer legs isn’t always worth the long-term compromises to muscle strength and increased chance for injury.

In past years, the average height of high-heeled shoes has gone from 3 to 5 inches. Shoes with heels two inches or higher cause feet to slide forward and toes are forced into an unnatural shape. When foot sliding occurs, weight is distributed incorrectly. An increased weight on your toes may cause your body to tilt forward which forces you to compensate by leaning backwards and overarching your back. This position may cause strain on knees, hips and the lower back.

Here are a few quick facts you need to know to prevent pain from high heels:

pain guide

Published in Healthy Living
Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:04

5 Tips for Apple Picking

Autumn offers an opportunity for fun outdoors activities, like apple picking in the fresh, crisp air. But before you head out to your local orchard, there are few things you should consider.

The pain team at Advanced Pain Management has five tips for you before you grab your pail and hit the outdoors.

  1. Pack light. To make the most of your apple-picking adventure, plan ahead so you are prepared for lots of walking. Be sure to pack only the items you need so you have room to carry all of the apple you pick!
  2. Dress in layers. The weather can change quickly in the Autumn so be prepared with layers you can add or remove at any time.
  3. Stay hydrated. Bring a full water bottle so you can stay hydrated as you walk the orchard grounds. The cool weather may mask how hard your body is working to walk and pick apples.
  4. Take regular breaks. It is important to rest your body as you work. Take a break every 15 - 30 minutes and sit and enjoy the sceanery.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes. To get the best crop, you'll need to do a lot of walking. Be prepared with light, comfortable running to tennis shoes that provide ample support. Also note that you'll likely we walking on all types of terrain.

Did you know there is a right way to pick apples off a tree?

Place your hand under the apple and then gently twist the apple rather than pulling it.  The stem should break free from the spur.

Are you storing your apples properly?

Apples stay fresh longer when they are kept in a cool place. To help your apple last even longer, don’t wash an apple until you are ready to eat it, and be careful not to bruise your apples because bruised apples will rot more quickly.

Published in Healthy Living

As you lift and carry heavy objects, proper lifting technique is important not only to protect the items you are carrying, but also to protect your back, knees and spinal muscles.

Advanced Pain Management's Jeremy Scarlett, MD, has some advice for you before you do any heavy lifting.

Think Before You Move
Before you lift a heavy object, decide where are you going with your object and the best path to get there safely, without too much turning or twisting. Also, be sure that you can lift the object on your own. If the object is too heavy, always ask for help.

Start in a Safe Position
Stand with your legs hip distance apart and place one leg slightly in front of the other. You can either squat to grab the object, or move down into a kneeling position and grab the object. Be sure to keep your back upright and core muscles tight. If you are in a kneeling position, it might help to rest the object on your bent leg as you prepare to stand.

Lift With Your Legs
From a squat or kneeling position, tighten your core muscles and lift straight upwards with your legs – not your back. It is often helpful to hold the object close to your body as you lift.

Do Not Twist or Turn
As you lift the object, be sure not to twist or turn from the waist. When you are ready to move with the object let your feet lead the way. Twisting with a heavy object in tow can cause back injuries and muscle strains.

Download our eBook of Proper Lifting Tehcniques now.

pain guide

Published in Lifting
Saturday, 18 November 2017 09:07

8 Tips to Prevent Injury in the Garden

Back pain, neck pain and muscles strains don't have to slow you down in the garden this year. The pain experts at Advanced Pain Management have eight helpful tips you should try as you get out the shovels and soil this season. You'd be surprised to see some of the simple things you can do at home to help prevent injury and reduce pain.

Download the eBook 8 Tips to Prevent Injury in the Garden

Warm Up

1. Warm Up
It may seem simple, but warming up is really about preparing the muscles for work. Not only does warming up your muscles help prevent injury, it can also boost energy and performance. In the garden that means you can bend, lift, dig and water with ease. Try performing some stretches and walk briskly for a couple of minutes to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing.

 

Use Proper Tools

2. Use the Proper Tools
Using the right tools is important to protect your back and neck from injury. Tools with short handles can force you to bend down awkwardly and lead to sore, strained muscles. Select tools that allow you to stand up straight as you dig, shovel and weed. Also consider proper lifting technique as you work.

 
 

Stretch While You Work

3. Stretch While You Work
Stretch as you go! Stretching not only helps you prepare for work, it can also help you re-energize. Try stretching periodically as you work. Breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically, allowing your body to relax and muscles to loosen.

 



Avoid Sudden Movements

4. Avoid Sudden Movements
The muscles in your back are not prepared to handle sudden jerking or twisting movements that are often associated with do-it-yourself projects. These sorts of movements will likely result in a sore back or strained muscles. As you work, turn your whole body as you perform twisting movements and keep your back aligned.

 

Protect Yourself

5. Protect Yourself
Apply sunblock before you begin work outdoors. It is important to protect your skin from harmful UV -rays. It is also a good idea to wear a hat to protect your neck and face from getting too much sun.

 

 
 

Start Small

6. Start Small
Beginners and experts alike should understand that gardens don’t happen overnight. Ease into your projects and pace yourself. Taking it slow will ensure you don’t overwork yourself or your muscles! Don’t let your expectations dictate your pace; listen to your body instead.

 


Work at the Right Height

7. Work at the Right Height
Wherever possible, get down to the level at which you are working. Bending at the waist to lift tools or supplies can aggravate your back muscles, instead, get to the ground and if you are lifting tools or objects lift with your legs. Also, try using a knee pad for comfort so you can get closer to your work.

 

 

Ask for Help

8. Ask for Help
A partner can help you move or carry heavy  objects and tools. Consider using a wheelbarrow to move extremely heavy items like soil and rocks.

 

 

 

What tips have you found helpful in the garden? Tell us in the comments section!

Weed Out The Pain Toolkit Download

Published in Gardening

You'd be hard pressed to start your garden this year without lifting and hauling some plants, soil or gardening equipment. Don't leave home without reading this handy guide to proper lifting!

Proper lifting technique is important every time you lift and move objects. Before you lift a heavy object, decide where are you going with your object and the best path to get there safely, without too much turning or twisting.

Prevent Injury with Proper Lifting Techniques

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Published in Lifting

The start of the New Year is a great time to make changes to lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise – both of which play a significant role in our ability to manage pain. Being overweight or obese adds stress on joints, as they must carry a greater load. Managing weight, eating a healthy diet and exercising all contribute to pain reduction.

After the holiday season, it may seem like a difficult task to get back on track with healthful eating. Changing our diet can be as simple as taking a look at what is currently in your kitchen and identifying healthy foods that will help fight inflammation, block pain signals and help heal underlying disease.

“Eating more fruits and vegetables alone will not alleviate your pain,” says Advanced Pain Management (APM) physician Michael Jung. “But if you commit to a healthy eating plan that includes less processed foods and more fresh foods, you will likely see positive results.”

We’ve identified six easy-to-find foods that are known to help ease pain. In moderation, these recipes fit into a healthy diet so you can kickoff your New Year’s resolutions with a delicious start. Cheers to a happy, healthy 2015!

describe the imageCherries:

Cherries’ high amounts of antioxidants are the foundation to their pain-fighting power. These antioxidants block inflammation much the same way that an aspirin or other NSAIDS would. In a U.S. Department of Agriculture study, participants who ate 45 Bing cherries a day for 28 days reduced their inflammation levels significantly.

Curried Chicken Salad With Cherries, Mango and Pecans

3 tablespoons light mayonnaise


1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder


2 cups cubed cooked chicken


1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and sliced


1 small ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced


1/4 small red onion, diced


2 tablespoons minced cilantro


Salt


Freshly ground black pepper


1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans

 

In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise and the curry powder.

Fold in the chicken, cherries, mango, onion and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with the pecans and serve.

Link to recipe: http://www.aarp.org/food/diet-nutrition/info-03-2011/pain-fighting-foods.5.html

 

describe the imageCoffee:

Many over the counter cold and headache medicines contain caffeine for a reason – its known pain-lowering powers. If you are not a regular coffee drinker, you may see some benefit from drinking a cup or two when pain strikes as caffeine helps narrow the dilated blood vessels that often cause headache pain. However, too much caffeine can exacerbate pain.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient Note)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup hot strong black coffee

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a circle of wax paper.

Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add hot coffee and beat to blend. (The batter will be quite thin.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan, peel off the wax paper and let cool completely. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.

Link to recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/one_bowl_chocolate_cake.html

 

describe the imageGinger:

Historically used as a digestive aid, anti-nausea and sea-sickness remedy; ginger is also an effective painkiller. Almost two-thirds of patients with chronic knee pain reported less soreness upon standing after taking a ginger extract, according to a six-week study from the University of Miami. Much like the cherry, ginger can be beneficial in reducing inflammation , particularly offering relief from migraines, muscle pain and arthritis.

Roasted Winter Vegetables with a Maple-Ginger Glaze

1/2 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2x1/2-inch sticks

1/2 lb. carrots (about 3 or 4), peeled and cut into 2x1/2-inch sticks

1/2 lb. turnips (about 2 medium or 1 large), peeled and cut into thin wedges

1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and any wilted leaves pulled off; large sprouts halved

2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into very thin matchsticks (about 1/3 cup)

3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1-1/2 Tbs. pure maple syrup

 

Heat the oven to 425ºF.

Spread the vegetables and the ginger matchsticks in a large, low-sided roasting pan or a heavy rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle with the butter and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the vegetables and spread them so that they're just one layer deep.

Roast the vegetables, tossing a couple of times, until tender and golden brown in spots, about 30 minutes.

Combine the grated ginger and maple syrup. 

Drizzle the vegetables with the maple-ginger mixture, toss, and roast for another 5 minutes. The vegetables should be very tender and browned in spots.

Serve warm.

Link to recipe: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/ginger_roasted_winter_vegetables.aspx

 

SalmonFish:

Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that not only help keep your heart in top shape, but may also reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis, migraines and neck and back pain. Omega-3s help improve blood flow by reducing inflammation in blood vessels and nerves. A study published in Pain, the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, suggests that omega-3s provide benefit as an alternative therapy for joint pain and inflammation.  

Aim for two to four meals a week of fatty fish such as salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardines, or trout — all top omega-3 sources. Halibut, light tuna, snapper, and striped bass are good, too.

Black Bean & Salmon Tostades

8 6-inch corn tortillas

Canola oil cooking spray

1 6- to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained

1 avocado, diced

2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided

2 cups coleslaw mix (see Tip) or shredded cabbage

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons prepared salsa

2 scallions, chopped

Lime wedges (optional)

 

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.

Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl. Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice in another bowl. Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High until hot, about 2 minutes.

To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture and some salmon mixture and top with the cabbage salad. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Kitchen tip: Look for convenient pre-shredded cabbage-and-carrot “coleslaw mix” near other prepared vegetables in the produce section of the supermarket.

Link to recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/foods_that_fight_pain?page=3

 

describe the imageMint:

Menthol in peppermint is known for helping with headache and back pain symptoms, in addition to treating muscle spasms. Wintergreen’s methyl salicylate adds an additional pain-fighting boost that blocks the enzymes that cause inflammation and pain. Try making mint tea to help with headaches and general aches and pain. 

Cucumber Salad With Mint & Feta 

1 lb thin skinned, mild (non bitter) cucumbers, such as Persian, Armenian, or Japanese cucumbers, thinly sliced. You might also try it with English cucumbers.

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch long segments

2 or 3 red radishes, thinly sliced

10 mint leaves, thinly sliced

White vinegar

Olive oil

1/4 pound feta cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

In a medium sized bowl, gently toss together the sliced cucumbers, red onion, radishes, mint leaves with a little bit of white vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Right before serving, sprinkle on crumbled bits of feta cheese. 

Serve immediately.

Link to recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cucumber_salad_with_mint_and_feta/

 

describe the imageHot Peppers:

Capsaicin, an ingredient in hot peppers, can help reduce pain. In fact, you may notice that many topical creams contain this as a pain-fighting ingredient. Capsaicin helps alleviate pain in part by depleting your body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that is involved in transmitting pain signals to your brain. It also works by de-sensitizing sensory receptors in your skin.

Hot Pepper Relish

1/2 pound hot green peppers (such as jalapeños or serranos), stemmed, seeds removed for a more mild relish

1/2 pound hot red peppers (such as fresnos or cherry peppers), stemmed, seeds removed for a more mild relish

1/2 pound yellow onions, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup white sugar

 

Place peppers and onions in bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse until peppers and onion are finely chopped. 



Transfer pepper mixture to a fine mesh strainer set inside a bowl. Stir in salt and let sit for 2-3 hours. Rinse under cold water and strain, pushing vegetables against side of the strainer using a rubber spatula to remove as much water as possible.



In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve to sugar.

Add in pepper mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Transfer relish to an airtight container and store in refrigerator up to a month.

Link to recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/05/hot-pepper-relish-recipe.html 

What other foods do you incorporate into your daily / weekly diet to help manage pain? Share your diet success stories and healthy recipes on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/advancedpainmanagement

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Published in Pain-fighting-recipes
Friday, 17 November 2017 05:44

You Are What You Eat! [Guest Blog]

Jennrich Heidi dir resized 600Heidi Jennrich, APNP
Fort HealthCare

Eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is something that should be taught to children at a young age. The following are some general guidelines for helping your child eat healthy. It is important to discuss your child’s diet with your child’s health care provider before making any dietary changes or placing your child on a diet.

  • Eat three meals a day, with healthy snacks.
  • Increase fiber in the diet and decrease the use of salt.
  • Drink water. Try to avoid drinks and juices that are high in sugar.
  • Children under the age of 2 need fats in their diet to help with the growth of their nervous system. Do not place these children on a low fat diet without talking with your child’s health care provider.
  • Eat balanced meals.
  • When cooking for your child, try to bake or broil instead of frying.
  • Decrease your child’s sugar intake.
  • Eat fruit or vegetables for a snack.
  • Decrease the use of butter and heavy gravies.
  • Eat more lean chicken, fish, and beans for protein

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Making healthy food choices

MyPlate.gov
The Choose My Plate icon is a guideline to help you and your child eat a healthy diet. My Plate can help you and your child eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat.

The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have prepared the plate to guide parents in selecting foods for children age 2 and older.

The My Plate icon is divided into five food group categories, emphasizing the nutritional intake of the following:

  • Grains. Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.
  • Vegetables. Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and starchy vegetables.
  • Fruits. Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut up, or pureed.
  • Dairy. Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.
  • Protein. Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein routine—choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

Oils are not a food group, yet some, such as nut oils, contain essential nutrients and can be included in the diet. Animal fats are solid fats and should be avoided.

Exercise and everyday physical activity should also be included with a healthy dietary plan. For more information, visit FortHealthCare.com/HealthyKids.

Thank you to Fort HealthCare and Heidi Jennrich, APNP for the guest post.

pain guide

Published in Healthy Living

Did you know that eating certain foods increases the inflammatory markers in our bodies, while eating others can decrease signs of inflammation? People with acute and chronic pain often have a high amount of inflammation in their joints, muscles and blood. Changing your eating habits can decrease inflammation in your body, increase your energy, help you maintain a healthy weight and allow you to feel better both physically and emotionally.

There are three important dietary improvements you can make today that can help you reduce pain.

Limit Sugar

Sugar, AKA corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, maltose and sucrose. You know that you can find sugar in cookies and brownies, but did you also know that sugar is hiding in many foods that are advertised as “healthy”? These include granola bars, instant oatmeal, juices, crackers, prepackaged meals and more. Think like a detective, and be sure to carefully read foods labels on everything you eat, paying close attention to grams of sugar.

Limit Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates include “white” foods, like: white pasta, white breads, white crackers and anything made with white flour. Why should you limit these foods? Simple carbs quickly break down into forms of sugar, which we know to be inflammatory and related with weight gain, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Studies have shown that eating a diet lower in carbs and higher in healthy fats and proteins also reduces inflammation in the body.

Limit Food Additives

Try to limit food additives in your meals, particularly MSG and artificial sweeteners and preservatives. These additives are found in several “low fat” and “diet” products, as well as prepackaged foods and processed meats.

What Should You Eat More?

You might be worried that abiding by the above recommendations that you will be limiting your foods choice but that isn’t true! Foods shown to be especially anti-inflammatory and good in all sorts of other ways include: berries, cherries, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, olives and olive oil, fish (especially salmon, halibut, sardines, tuna, trout, whitefish, cod and oysters), avocados, green tea and nuts including walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.

Another Tip: Try seasoning your foods with seasonings that have anti-inflammatory benefits such as with ginger, cinnamon, basil, cloves, mint, turmeric, thyme and chili pepper. Moderation is key in life, but being informed and making changes to help manage your life and your pain is important. What changes can you make today? Do you have pain fighting foods or recipes you might suggest to our readers?

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Published in Acute and Chronic Pain
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