Anatomy of the Spine

The spinal column is the body’s main support structure. It has thirty-three bones, called vertebrae, which are divided into five regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal. It surrounds and protects your spinal cord much like a conduit around an electrical cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that run from your brain through your spinal column and branch out to the rest of the body.  The spinal cord connects the brain to the rest of the body.

Foods That May Partially Relieve Your Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

Unfortunately, there is no cure for degenerative disc disease (DDD). Whether caused as part of the normal aging process or because of injuries to your back, it is a progressive condition and once you have been diagnosed, managing the symptoms is usually a lifelong journey. Luckily, in addition to treatments that can be offered by qualified health practitioners, there are also some lifestyle changes you can make – like maintaining a healthier diet – that can be effective in helping to partially relieve Degenerative Disc Disease symptoms. The key to eating to relieve some of your degenerative disc disease symptoms is to look for foods that help you maintain a healthy weight, are anti-inflammatory, are nutrient-dense and that help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Read more

The Best Ways to Prevent Back Injuries While Running

Back Injuries

Running is an excellent way to stay in shape and to increase cardiovascular endurance. However, in spite of the myriad benefits to running for exercise, the practice does come with a whole host of risks. Injuries are common in runners, due to a variety of factors. Back injuries while running are a prominent problem we see and treat every day. Luckily, with some steps and precautions, runners can decrease their risk of back injuries while running. Read more

You Might Have a Herniated Disc (and Not Even Know It!)

Herniated Disc

Your spine is made up of a stack of individual bones, known as vertebrae, which are separated by spinal discs. These discs are somewhat rubbery in nature and provide your spine with important cushion and shock absorption to protect your spine. While the spinal discs are supposed to be firmly connected to your vertebrae, due to changes in age (disc degeneration), genetic factors or injury, they can move out of place and take on a bulging quality— potentially contributing to a bulging disc, slipped disc, ruptured disc or what is known as a herniated disc. When a herniated disc interferes with or touches nerves or nerve roots, it can be the culprit behind pain in other areas. For example, if the herniated disc is affecting your sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back, down your buttocks, and into your leg, the results can be pain, numbness or tingling radiating down the leg—potentially even as far as the back of the calf or into the foot.

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5 Ways To Use Yoga To Manage Fibromyalgia Pain

Yoga has been used for centuries in India as a practice which envelopes a combination of mind, body, and soul, but didn’t make its way to the U.S. until 100 years ago, amazingly. Considering how popular the practice has become in this day-and-age, it’s amazing to learn just how far its journey has come with Americans. Read more

Can Exercise Help Prevent Migraines?

We all know exercise is good for you. It keeps internal organs functioning; it keeps the body healthy; it builds the immune system—the list is seemingly endless. But can we confidently add “helps to prevent migraines” to the numerous benefits that regular activity offers? Read more

How Sleep Affects Chronic Pain

It makes sense that chronic pain would inhibit a good night’s sleep. After all, many of us learned at a young age that even temporary minor aches cause us to toss and turn endlessly, unable to fall asleep due to the distraction of discomfort. However, an increasing number of studies are beginning to show that it’s not a one-way street. As it turns out, insomnia (a term that covers the inability to fall asleep, the inability to stay asleep, and low-quality sleep itself) can further contribute to ongoing pain. Read more