If you suffer from lower back pain, the thought of doing any type of strenuous exercise can seem daunting, mostly out of fear of injuring yourself. You're not alone as a good majority of people (especially those who work at a desk 8-10 hours per day) are right there with you. So, what can you do? Here are three relatively easy, low-impact, high-return exercises you can do to strengthen your lower back.
If you feel pain doing the exercises below, shorten the range of motion or perform the moves more slowly.
Gently relieves tension in the lower back. When your pain is acute, use these easy moves to gently mobilize — increase the pain-free range of motion — in your back.
To Do This Exercise:
1. On a mat or blanket, kneel down, and if possible, sit on your heels.
2. Lean forward, extending your arms in front of you, and rest your head on the floor in front of you.
3. Hold the position for 30 seconds to two minutes.
If It Hurts:
Cross your arms on the floor and rest on your forearms.
Supports healthy hip movement, which takes pressure off the lower back during everyday activities.
To Do This Exercise:
1. Lie on your left side with your knees bent 90 degrees in front of you and your feet stacked.
2. Keeping your feet together and your hips vertical, lift your right knee as far away from your left as possible.
3. Hold for a moment, return to the starting position, and repeat for 15 reps.
4. Turn onto your right side and perform 15 reps.
If It Hurts:
Make sure your lower back doesn’t twist throughout the movement and limit the move to a pain-free range of motion.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Restores proper positioning of the hips, taking tension off the lower back.
To Do This Exercise:
1. Kneel on a mat or pad and step your right foot flat on the floor in front of you.
2. Keeping your torso upright and your back in its natural arch, lunge forward towards your right foot.
3. Press the top of your left foot into the floor behind you.
4. Hold the stretched position for 30–45 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
If It Hurts:
Contract your abs and flatten the lower back as much as possible throughout the stretch. Also, try shifting your hips back and coming out of the stretch a bit.
If you're out of practice when it comes to exercising or if you're recovering from an injury, your best bet is to get started with a low-impact routine. But, just because we call it low-impact does not mean it should be considered a low-result workout. Low-impact exercises help you burn calories and lose weight just as well as high-impact moves.
The following are a few favorite low-impact activities along with some ideas for getting the most out of your exercise.
Walking is by far the most popular low-impact exercise, and to get your heart rate up, there are some things you may want to try.
Walking the Stairs
Walking up stairs, whether they're real stairs or the revolving staircase at the gym, can be an incredibly intense workout and a great way to get your heart rate up. If you're a beginner, try adding a few minutes of stair climbing to your usual workout. You'll find you don't have to go very fast to get your heart rate up.
Hiking can be another robust, low-impact activity, especially if you're hiking on an incline. The changing terrain requires a lot of work from the lower body and walking up a mountain involves the large muscles of the glutes, hips, and thighs - precisely what you want for an intense cardio workout. Add a backpack, and you're burning even more calories.
Step aerobics can be a great alternative if you like choreographed exercise. Because you're stepping onto an elevated platform, you can typically get your heart rate up without doing any jumping. Using your arms can add more intensity to the workout as well.
You can also choose other activities that have no impact, but still offer high-intensity workouts like cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing, or rowing. Any of these activities can be intense if you work hard, but you may also want to cross-train with impact activities to keep your body challenged in different ways.
Most patients consult our office because they have an ache or a pain. Their goal? Relief. That's our first objective.
We'll conduct a thorough examination, revealing areas of spinal dysfunction. Based on the findings of your examination, we will prepare and offer a care plan designed to give you the best results in the shortest amount of time. Our goal is to go beyond the short-term relief and work to correct the underlying issues.
When you begin your road to recovery, visits are frequent. Each visit builds on the one before, so keeping your appointments will help you get the best results.
Often what happens next changes everything.
After a series of visits, you'll start feeling better. And, in feeling better, you might decide to cut back on your visits or stop treatment altogether. But, if you continue your treatment, we'll be able to treat your muscles, and soft tissue that left untreated could cause a relapse.
When you continue your care, visits will become less frequent, and progress will be less dramatic. However, the healing continues, and you move into what we call "Wellness Care." In this phase, your body is supported to do and feel its best.
We also understand that sometimes you don't have a choice about when you end your care. Whatever you choose, we're here to serve and help support you in your decision.
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. With so many people depending on you, it makes sense to invest in your health.
A program of chiropractic checkups can help you be the caring parent, the loving spouse, the understanding friend, or the dependable employee.
Invest in your health. You're worth it!
To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, please give us a call at 541-343-5633.
There are many, many causes of subluxations (misalignments in the vertebrae) that can inhibit optimal health. While they are not avoidable, it helps to recognize these causes so that treatment can be sought when they occur.
Here are five common causes of subluxations and what you can do to feel better.
What to do if you've suffered one of these subluxations:
If your body isn't feeling quite right due to one of these common subluxation causes, relief is just a phone call away. At Pure Life Chiropractic, we can provide an assessment of what is going on with your spine, address and make suggestions for how to adjust your daily living so you'll have better spinal health, and provide the necessary treatment (typically an adjustment) so you'll start to feel better.
Please give us a call to schedule your appointment today at 541-343-5633.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 pancakes
*The batter should be thick, however, if the pancake batter becomes too thick (different coconut flours are more absorbent), just add more almond milk, by the tablespoon.
Adapted from the Healthy Maven.
So often we see and hear about professional athletes who suffer traumatic, and sometimes career-ending injuries. However, it's not just the pros who get injured. More often than not, it's the everyday person who sustains injuries while practicing and playing the sports they love. It's the weekend warriors, amateur athletes, and those living active lives that run the risk of getting hurt.
Generally speaking, when you have a proper warm up, a good sense of maintaining form, and you use appropriate equipment, your chances of playing safely are quite high. Yet, injuries can and do still happen when you least expect due to accidents and underlying conditions that might necessitate treatment. And, it's not just adults who get injured. While we often think kids are resilient, nearly two-thirds of adolescent injuries are sports related.
Typically injuries arise from excessive training, inappropriate training methods, or using exercise equipment that your body isn't able to handle. However, structural abnormalities and muscle imbalances or weakness can also lead to injury in the ankles, knees, elbows, shoulder or spine.
Sports injuries are also caused by traumatic force to a joint while in motion causing hyperextension, hyperflexion, or subluxations. These types of injuries can cause significant pain and debilitation, keeping you away from the sports you enjoy. Chiropractors can help prevent and manage sports-related injuries.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sports Injuries
Chiropractors are trained to assess, diagnose and manage sports-related injuries as part of their core competencies. In fact, through a comprehensive history and physical examination, chiropractors can help determine the cause of pain and dysfunction as well as recommend an appropriate plan of management. Conservative care offered by chiropractors, dependent on the injury and mechanism, may include joint manipulation and mobilization, soft tissue therapies, adjunct modalities, rehabilitation, and individualized exercises and lifestyle advice. This care approach aims at restoring proper function, enhancing the healing of damaged tissue, and reducing your pain. Chiropractors can also help you to determine the best strategy for returning to play so you don't end up getting injured again.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Injury prevention is key. Before starting a new exercise program or sport, visit your chiropractor to determine what measures can be taken to prevent injury or enhance performance. If you have subluxations or imbalances, getting these corrected will help your success in the sports you love.
If you're an athlete, we'd love to help keep you on the field, track, ice, in the pool, on your bike, etc. Please give our office a call today. 541-343-5633
Sugar. We all love it. But why? There are a few reasons why we crave the sweet stuff. For instance, studies have shown that women may crave sweets more often than men due to the female hormone estradiol. This hormone is an important part of reproductive and sexual function—which also might explain why some women report sugar cravings around the time of their period or during menopause or perimenopause.
Other reported causes of sugar cravings could be due to a sluggish or overloaded adrenal gland, a yeast infection, an underactive thyroid gland, an imbalance of beneficial gut bacteria, and stress.
Sound familiar? You're not alone.
Of course, eating healthy can help alleviate many of these issues—and there are also other ways to help curb your cravings. Here are four tips to help you kick the sugar habit.
Avoid Processed Foods
When we eat sugar our brains light up, more so than it does when other stimulants are used, and it's a reward system. The brain likes getting excited, so it tells your body to give it more. This means that high-sugar foods may cause the body to crave more food—and more sweet foods, specifically. This is similar to addictions to drugs like cocaine where the brain becomes wired to crave more. Many processed foods contain high levels of sugar among other undesirable ingredients. The more you can avoid these foods, the less likely you are to crave them.
Salty Sweet Visualization Exercises
When you find yourself tempted to eat something sugary that you know you shouldn't, imagine that you’ve poured salt all over it. Or, if you're struggling to resist a plate full of cookies, visualize yourself shaking salt all over them and then taking salty bite after salty bite. Experts say this works because, believe it or not, humans have a natural aversion to overly salted foods. It's simple, but this trick works well for a lot of people.
Eat More Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Combat those sugar cravings by adding fermented foods and probiotics into your diet. Fermented foods and liquids, as well as probiotics, restore balance in your healthy gut bacteria. If you have "bad" gut bacteria/microbes, they can influence your cravings through nerve pathways linked to your stomach and brain. Adding more "good" bacteria/microbes helps offset this negative effect.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t keep their blood sugar stable. This instability can cause a lack of energy, an increase in cravings, mood swings, memory issues and imbalanced hormones. To balance your blood sugar, eat foods low on the glycemic index such as vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds. It can also be helpful to eat several small meals throughout the day, making sure you get protein with every meal, and you don’t skip breakfast. Remember to also minimize your soda intake as it's a notorious source of hidden sugars.
If you'd like help with kicking the sugar habit, we are here for you. Our team at Pure Life Chiropractic can provide you the support you need so you're living life without the sugar crutch. Give us a call today at 541-343-5633
In today's world, with all the pressures put upon us from work, family and social obligations, we're running on empty at best. Fatigue is normal, and relief often comes in forms not so good for our bodies. Without realizing it, time flies by, and we're merely existing, not living. The good news is that you don't have to live like this. We each have the power to make choices that support the five pillars of health, explained below.
Pillar #1 Positive Mental Attitude
Your own internal words and thoughts directly influence you and guide your success through the day. To accomplish the other four pillars and anything else in life, a positive mental attitude is critical. Belief in yourself is step number one.
Pillar #2 Proper Working Nervous System
Your body relies on the nervous system for every function it performs. It's what enables your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, your stomach to digest, etc. without you even having to think about it. Your brain is sending messages down your spinal cord and through nerves coming out of every level of the spine. These go to every last organ, muscle, tissue, and cell of the body. Because your nervous system controls all aspects of your body, it's important that all flow of energy is free and clear.
Pillar #3 Proper Exercise
Regular exercise keeps your brain and joints healthy. As long as you're moving, you're doing good for your body. All it takes is 20-30 minutes of simple walking to make a difference. The benefits of exercising daily are numerous including strengthening your muscles, improving your joint mobility, it reduces stress, helps you lose weight, and improves your cardiovascular health.
Pillar #4 Proper Nutrition
Our bodies naturally crave nutritious, high-quality foods. Unfortunately, with stress and life's pressures, we've succumbed to the convenience of fast food, large portions, refined carbs, and processed foods. As best as you can, switching to a habit of eating a well-balanced diet will help give you more energy, sleep better, heal damaged tissues and organs, and maintain proper weight. When you fuel your body with healthy food, you fuel it for better performance.
Pillar #5 Proper Rest and Relaxation
Last but not least, our bodies need downtime to recharge the batteries. But it's about getting the right amount of sleep. Too much sleep can be just as unhealthy as too little. Ideally, 6-8 hours will give your body what it needs. When you give your body the rest it needs, it can relax, decrease stress, and heal.
Learn more about how chiropractic care can help support your journey to better health and keep you on the right path with the five pillars of health. Come see us at Pure Life Chiropractic today, located in Eugene, Oregon. 541-343-5633
If you're looking for a quick, healthy dinner option, look no further. This recipe is easy and delicious and perfect for any night of the week.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.