Yoga benefits veterans with chronic low back pain, study shows

Image result for Yoga benefits veterans with chronic low back pain, study showsIn a study including 150 military veterans with chronic low back pain, researcher Dr. Erik J. Groessl and his team from the VA San Diego Healthcare System found that veterans who completed a 12-week yoga program had better scores on a disability questionnaire, improved pain intensity scores, and a decline in opioid use.

Groessl is a researcher with the VA San Diego Healthcare System and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on July 20, 2017.

The study shows promise for non-drug treatment of chronic low back pain, said Groessl.

“To be able to reduce the reliance upon opioids and other medications with side effects, it is crucial to establish evidence showing mind-body practices like yoga provide benefit in both veterans and non-veterans with chronic pain,” he said.

Veterans in the study who were randomized to the yoga group attended a 12-week yoga program immediately after randomization. Comparison participants were invited to attend the yoga intervention only after six months.

The 12-week yoga intervention consisted of two 60-minute instructor-led yoga sessions per week, with home practice sessions encouraged. The intervention was based on hatha yoga, which involves yoga postures and movement sequences, along with regulated breathing and mindfulness meditation.

Outcomes were assessed at the baseline, six weeks, 12 weeks and six months.

Both study groups had reductions in disability scores after 12 weeks. However, notable differences emerged at the six-month assessment, with scores continuing to drop in the yoga group but increasing in the delayed-treatment group.

Along with those improvements, pain intensity decreased in the yoga group at all three time periods, while the delayed-treatment group had negligible changes.

There was also a 20 percent drop in opioid pain medication use at 12 weeks in both groups as determined through self-report questionnaires and a review of medical records.

Notably, reductions in disability and pain intensity were found despite the reductions in opioid use and other medical and self-help pain treatments at six months.

The trial confirms the findings of two prior randomized controlled trials with non-veterans showing that yoga is safe and can reduce pain and disability among adults with chronic low back pain.

The study is one of the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of yoga specifically in military veterans, a population that faces more health challenges and may be harder to treat than non-VA populations, say the researchers. They point out that as with other non-drug treatments for chronic low back pain, yoga may not help everyone or may not completely eliminate chronic low back pain, but reduced pain and disability can often be maintained long-term with ongoing yoga home practice.

Military veterans and active duty military personnel have higher rates of chronic pain than the general U.S. population, and the back is the area of the body that is most commonly affected. In addition to pain, those with the condition also report increased disability, psychological symptoms, and reduced quality of life. In the U.S., chronic low back pain is the leading cause of lost productivity and the second most common cause for physician visits. Billions of dollars are spent each year in the U.S. on health care related to back pain.

The team says that given the results of their study, VA facilities nationwide may want to consider developing and expanding formal yoga programs to help veterans with back pain. Many VA facilities already do offer yoga classes, along with other complementary and integrative health programs.


New Study Shows This Common OTC Pain Reliever Has a Really Scary Side Effect

Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever, has a troubling side-effect that’s often overlooked, but new findings have proved it’s more important to know about this now than ever before. Recent evidence found that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, can increase your chances of having a heart attack in as little as one week of continuous use.

In a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, data from almost 450,000 people, 61,460 of whom had suffered a heart attack, was analyzed looking for the effect over time of taking three common anti-inflammatory painkillers: ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen. The data revealed that compared with people who didn’t take the painkillers, those who did ingest them had a 20 percent to 50 percent increased risk of having a heart attack.

Additionally, the risk was found to be higher for people who ingested 1,200 mg a day of ibuprofen (about six tablets of Advil) and 750 mg a day for naproxen (about three and a half Aleves), Yahoo! reports. The study reported that it only took a week for a higher risk of heart attack to set in on a person, with the highest risk occurring at about a month of usage. After a month, researchers found that the risk didn’t increase further but rather stayed the same.

Typically, NSAIDs are safe when used correctly for mild pain relief, however, many people have begun relying on NSAIDs for prolonged periods of time at a higher dosage to treat their pain, which is why the risk of heart attack associated with the use of NSAIDs has begun to rise.

While this study certainly revealed a scary truth about the drug, it’s important to note that taking an NSAID for minor pain relief at the lowest effective dose and a minimal length of time isn’t likely to cause aheart attack. It’s the usage level over a longer time period at higher dosage that can be dangerous, so it’s best to limit your use as much as possible to avoid any unwanted negative side effects.





Yoga can cause musculoskeletal pain

woman doing the downward dog pose

While yoga can help to alleviate pain, research shows that it can also cause it.
Yoga is often hailed as an effective practice for pain relief. A new study, however, notes that yoga can also cause pain, and yoga-related injuries are much more common than one may think.

The research suggests that every year, more than 10 percent of people who practice yogain a recreational capacity experience musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the upper limbs, as a result.

What is more, the study found that yoga actually worsens more than a fifth of existing injuries.

Lead study author Prof. Evangelos Pappas, of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

Yoga is one of the most common mind and body practices in the United States, and its popularity is increasing. According to a survey conducted by Yoga Alliance last year, around 37 million U.S. adults practice yoga, a significant rise from 20 million in 2012.

But why is yoga so appealing? Aside from its stress-relieving effects, one reason why people are attracted to yoga is its ability to ease pain. A recent study reported by Medical News Today found that for low back pain, yoga is just as beneficial as physical therapy.

However, the new study from Prof. Pappas and team suggests that caution should be applied when practicing yoga, as it could do more harm than good.

Upper limb pain most common

For their study, the researchers analyzed the data of 354 adults who engaged in recreational yoga.

Participants completed two electronic questionnaires 1 year apart, which gathered information on any musculoskeletal pain they might have, where in the body this pain occurred, and pain severity.

The data revealed that 10.7 percent of participants experienced musculoskeletal pain as a result of yoga.

“In terms of severity, more than one third of cases of pain caused by yoga were serious enough to prevent yoga participation and lasted more than 3 months,” notes Prof. Pappas.

Pain in the upper extremities – including the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand – was the most common type of pain caused by yoga, which Prof. Pappas speculates may be down to “postures that put weight on the upper limbs,” such as the downward dog.

For subjects with pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries, around 21 percent of these injuries were exacerbated by yoga participation, the team reports. Pre-existing upper limb pain was most affected by yoga.

Injury rate higher than previous reports

However, the study also brought some positive news; around 74 percent of participants reported that their pre-existing musculoskeletal pain had improved as a result of yoga.

Still, the researchers believe that their findings highlight the need for caution when it comes to practicing yoga, especially for people who already have musculoskeletal pain.

“Our study found that the incidence of pain caused by yoga is more than 10 percent per year,” says Prof. Pappas, “which is comparable to the injury rate of all sports injuries combined among the physically active population.”

However people consider it to be a very safe activity. This injury rate is up to 10 times higher than has previously been reported.”

Prof. Evangelos Pappas

The researchers say that their findings may help both healthcare professionals and patients to compare the risks of yoga with other types of physical activity, allowing them to make informed decisions about which form of exercise is best.

“We recommend that yoga teachers also discuss with their students the risks for injury if not practiced conscientiously, and the potential for yoga to exacerbate some injuries,” adds Prof. Pappas.

“Yoga participants are encouraged to discuss the risks of injury and any pre-existing pain, especially in the upper limbs, with yoga teachers and physiotherapists to explore posture modifications that may result in safer practice.”


Spinal health is essential to combat back pain

Take care of your spine (Thinkstock)Take care of your spine (Thinkstock)
Experts feel that, when it comes to maintaining spinal health, even small changes can help with the healing process over a period of time. Here are some simple ways to support your spine. Keeping these tips in mind will help you prevent back pain issues.

Rest your spine in the correct way
When lying down, make sure that your mattress and pillows allow your spine to rest and be comfortable by giving it proper support. So choose the best mattress that does not harm your spine.

Strengthen your core
Your back and abdominal muscles need to be strong and supple always. Tone them through specific, targeted exercises. Strong core helps to support your spine and take the pressure off your lower back.

Wear the right shoes

Most do not know this, but your shoes are every important when it comes to your spine health. The right shoes support your lower back and keep your spine and body aligned.

Sitting the right way is essential

You must practise good ergonomics while sitting. Limiting the total amount of sitting time is essential. If your job entails sitting down for long, you must take 15 minute breaks every couple of hours. Your spine has to handle pressure if you are sitting for long and slouching or leaning aggravates back pain.

Choose the right chair

Sitting on a chair that encourages a good posture and supports all the natural curves of your back is essential if you want to deal with back pain for good.


The simple acupressure guide to relieve stress and pain

Acupressure guide you can follow at homeAcupressure guide you can follow at home
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing method. Putting pressure with fingers or with your hands on certain parts of the body heals mind and body. No matter where you are, a simple acupressure practice can give you an instant relief. And the best part is that you do not need anyone’s assistance as it is something you can practice of your own and can easily release tension and restore harmony.

Here are certain points on your hands, which can help relieve pain in other parts of the body.


The point is located in the webbing between the thumb and the index finger. Also pressing the tip of the baby finger and the thumb relaxes mind. Stimulating this point helps in reducing muscle tension and relieving stress.


For Insomnia

For Insomnia

There are various causes for sleep problem; it could be stress, anxiety, or tension. The point is located on the wrist, which is on the pinky side of the wrist. Right under the wrist bone, there is a crease. Press this point for around sixty seconds and then switch sides. The second pressure point is also on the wrist or on the forearm. Right in the middle of the forearm (after giving a gap of two fingers) press this point for sixty seconds and then switch side


Yoga May Help Fight Back Pain In Astronauts: Study

LOS ANGELES: Yoga may help fight spinal stiffness and reduced mobility suffered by astronauts during prolonged spaceflight, a new study on NASA crew members suggests.

While astronauts on long space missions do not experience a change in spinal disc height, the muscles supporting the spine weaken.

The study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in the US provides new insights into the elevated rates of back pain and disc disease associated with prolonged spaceflight.

“These findings run counter to the current scientific thinking about the effects of microgravity on disc swelling,” said Douglas Chang, associate professor at UC San Diego Health, and first author of the study.

The findings suggest possible preventive steps to reduce the spinal effects of spaceflight. Core-strengthening exercises, like those recommended for patients with back pain on Earth, might be a useful addition to the astronaut exercise training programme, Chang said.

He also said yoga might be another promising approach, especially for addressing spinal stiffness and reduced mobility.

“It is information like this that could provide helpful information needed to support longer space missions, such as a manned mission to Mars,” said Chang.

Six NASA crew members were studied before and after spending four to seven months in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS).

Each astronaut had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their spines before their mission, immediately after their return to Earth and again one to two months later.

The researchers’ goal was to understand factors affecting lumbar spine strength and low back pain during long-duration spaceflight, as well as the spine’s response after returning to Earth gravity.
Back pain is common during prolonged missions, with more than half of crew members reporting spinal pain.

Astronauts are also at increased risk of spinal disc herniation in the months after returning from spaceflight – about four times higher than in matched controls.

Back issues in astronauts are accompanied by a roughly two-inch increase in body height, thought to result from spinal unloading (lack of weight carried by the lower back) and other body changes related to microgravity.

The MRI scans showed significant weakening of paraspinal lean muscle mass during the astronauts’ time in space.

The functional cross-sectional area of the paraspinal muscles decreased by an average of 19 per cent from preflight to immediate post-flight scans.
A month or two later, only about two-thirds of the reduction had recovered.

There was an even more dramatic reduction in the functional cross-sectional area of the paraspinal muscles relative to total paraspinal cross-sectional area.

The ratio of lean muscle decreased from 86 per cent preflight to 72 per cent immediately post-flight.
The study was published in the journal Spine.


Exercises that Alleviate Back Pain

Back pain is no joke. Affecting more than 80 % of the population at one time or another, it’s a problem that can spring up early in life and only gets worse with age. However, unlike other illnesses and chronic pain issues, a lot of the time, there are things that we can do to strengthen our spines and the supporting muscles to reduce, if not eliminate, back pain all together. Regular back exercises actually deliver nutrients to the spine, increasing the quality of the discs, associated muscles and ligaments in the area. Being dedicated to these activities improves alignment, eliminates stiffness and builds muscle in the areas supporting the spine.

  1. Yoga

The face of yoga has changed over the years, from Eastern cultural roots, to hippy culture, therapeutic activity, and mainstream fitness. However, one thing that has not changed is the profound effect that regular yoga has on the body. From increasing flexibility, building strength, improving coordination and more, it also has been shown to alleviate back pain and improve posture over time. A commitment to regular yoga can decrease pain as well as return mobility to those who were otherwise unable to move without pain.

  1. Pilates

Though Pilates is not considered as “holistic” as yoga, this form of exercise increases core strength and with an emphasis on lengthening the spine and protecting the neck. The core keeps the lower and middle back in place to minimize slouching and improve posture. The slow and steady movements mean that there is little chance for you to “jar” something while exercising and the low intensity means that it can be practiced every day.

  1. Exercise Ball Workouts

Though at first glance, many physio ball workouts might seem simple, once you try them, you’ll know otherwise. By using the exercise ball, also known as a yoga ball or a physio ball, you add an element of instability to your workouts, forcing your body to overcompensate in order to keep you steady. This really engages your core muscles, also responsible for propping up your back. Most exercises are simple and low-impact, however expect big results with regular use.

  1. Custom Physiotherapy

Sometimes traditional workout classes aren’t enough to really target the areas of your back that are hurting. Safe and natural chiropractic care can help with many forms of back pain, and when coupled with a personal physiotherapy program, can elicit quick and effective results. The chiropractor will “tune up” your spine and align it manually, meaning no pinched nerves, slipped discs, or pressure while the physiotherapist will instruct you on how to safely strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your back to hold everything in place properly. This is the quickest way to decrease back pain with exercise, as it caters to your precise pain points, your current state of mobility, and in junction with any other medical treatment you are undertaking, even surgery. However, it is important to continue regularly exercising, even when the one on one sessions are finished, in order to maintain the strength and flexibility of your back for the long term.

While there are a number of reasons for why you could be experiencing back pain in the first place, a large proportion of cases are due to poor sitting posture, lifting heavy objects incorrectly, or even carrying heavy backpacks or bags without the right adjustments. It is worth educating yourself and seeking information on how to maintain a healthy back to avoid having to deal with back pain and all its associated issues later in life. If you are worried about the health of your back, consult your family physician, a chiropractor, or an occupational therapist.

Tips and Tricks for Reducing Epilating Pain

When seeking to remove hair from the body, it is a well-known fact that epilators do a much better job than shaving. However, they are also known to be more painful than shaving so if you are looking for ways to reduce the pain, here are some tips and tricks you could try.


Photo by Amy

Why It Hurts to Use an Epilator

Oddly, there really are reasons why epilators can cause a bit of pain. No, don’t be frightened as it isn’t unbearable like childbirth, but it hurts nonetheless. What happens is that the epilator literally plucks the hair which causes pain activators to be activated. They, in turn, send signals to the brain via nerves in the spine. This is the point when you say ‘Ouch!’ So the key is to find a way to reduce the sensation of plucking which is the ultimate cause of the sensation of pain.

Tip #1 Epilate on Wet Skin

There are models of epilators that can be used wet or dry. This is what you want to get when trying to epilate under water, and warm water works best. Just the very nature of how water literally floats the hair is often enough to ease the pain but also, wet hair follicles are softened enough to be relaxed, thus releasing the hair more easily.

Tip #2 Keep the Skin Taught

You know that when you pluck your eyebrows you always stretch the skin. The same principle applies here. By stretching the skin taught you will be reducing the pain caused when the epilator ‘plucks’ at hairs with its tiny tweezers.

Tip #3 Squeezing Also Works

Although it isn’t readily obvious why pinching the area around the skin you are epilating works, it really does. Have you ever had a splinter in your foot or finger? What did your mother do? That’s right! She pinched the skin to either side of the splinter before attempting to pluck it out. The reason this helps to reduce pain is because you are literally pinching off the nerves which then can’t send signals up the spine and to the brain. Pretty cool, right?

Tip #4 Wax First – Epilate Second

Many women find that by using waxing sheets on their legs first it hurts less when they epilate. Of course you need to find a way to dull the pain when you pull the waxed sheet off your leg but if you do it very quickly there is less pain. Imagine pulling at your hair over a period of seconds before it comes free from your head versus taking one strand and plucking it free. Which hurts less? Yes, of course the hair that you quickly pulled free. That’s why waxing helps ease the pain when epilating.

Tip #5 Good Old Fashioned Lidocaine

When all else fails, go to your local pharmacy and get a tube of lidocaine cream. You can also apply sunburn relief spray that also has a lidocaine base but the trick here is to give it a few minutes to do its job numbing the skin and nerves beneath but not too long where it will lose potency.

So here you have five easy ways to ease the pain caused by your epilator. There is just one more tip that should be mentioned and that is to get the best quality epilator you can afford. The better the quality, the better it will perform its function and for you that equates to less pain. As the old cliché says, you have to suffer a bit to be beautiful so just think how great you’ll look when you’ve finished removing all that hair!

couples examine ties anger to coronary heart troubles, stonewalling to returned pain

in case you rage with frustration during a marital spat, watch your blood strain. if you preserve a stiff toplip, watch your back.

New studies from the university of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern university, primarily based on how couples behave throughout conflicts, indicates outbursts of anger are expecting cardiovasculartroubles.

Conversely, shutting down emotionally or “stonewalling” for the duration of war increases the hazard of musculoskeletal illnesses including a bad lower back or stiff muscle tissue.

“Our findings display a brand new stage of precision in how feelings are linked to health, and how our behaviors over time can are expecting the improvement of terrible fitness outcomes,” stated UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson, senior writer of the study.

The study, published today within the journal Emotion, is based on two decades of records. Itmanaged for such elements as age, training, exercise, smoking, alcohol use and caffeine consumption.

normal, the hyperlink among emotions and fitness results turned into maximum stated for husbands,however some of the key correlations have been additionally discovered in other halves. It did no longer take the researchers lengthy to guess which spouses would broaden illnesses down the streetprimarily based on how they reacted to disagreements.

“We checked out marital-battle conversations that lasted just 15 minutes and could are expecting thedevelopment of fitness troubles over twenty years for husbands based totally at the emotional behaviors that they confirmed all through those 15 minutes,” stated examine lead author Claudia Haase, an assistant professor of human improvement and social coverage at Northwestern university.

The findings may want to spur hotheaded humans to don’t forget such interventions as anger control,whilst folks that withdraw during war may advantage from resisting the impulse to bottle up their feelings, the researchers said.

warfare takes place in every marriage, however humans deal with it in special approaches. a number of us explode with anger; some of us close down,” Haase stated. “Our examine suggests that thosespecial emotional behaviors can are expecting the development of various fitness issues in the long run.”

The look at is one among several led by Levenson, who looks at the inner workings of longtime periodmarriages. individuals are a part of a cohort of 156 middleelderly and older heterosexual couples inside the San Francisco Bay vicinity whose relationships Levenson and fellow researchers have tracked due to the fact 1989.

The surviving spouses who participated in the look at at the moment are of their 60s, 70s, 80s or even 90s.

each five years, the couples were videotaped in a laboratory placing as they discussed occasions of their lives and areas of confrontation and enjoyment.

Their interactions had been rated by expert behavioral coders for a extensive variety of feelings and behaviors based totally on facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. further, the spousesfinished a battery of questionnaires that blanketed a detailed assessment of precise health problems.

on this state-of-the-art look at, the researchers focused on the fitness outcomes of anger and an emotion-suppressing conduct they check with as “stonewalling.” The observe also looked at unhappinessand fear as predictors of these fitness results, but did no longer discover any massive associations.

“Our findings suggest unique emotions expressed in a relationship are expecting vulnerability to uniquehealth troubles, and those emotions are anger and stonewalling,” Levenson said.

To music presentations of anger, the researchers monitored the videotaped conversations for such behaviors as lips pressed collectively, knitted brows, voices raised or lowered past their ordinary tone and tight jaws.

To discover stonewalling behavior, they looked for what researchers confer with as “away” behavior,which incorporates facial stiffness, inflexible neck muscular tissues, and very little eye touch. Thatinformation turned into then connected to health signs and symptoms, measured every five years over a 20-12 months span.

The spouses who have been determined all through their conversations to fly off the deal with morewithout difficulty have been at more chance of growing chest pain, high blood strain and differentcardiovascular troubles through the years.

Alternately, those who stonewalled by slightly speakme and averting eye touch have been more likely toincrease backaches, stiff necks or joints and popular muscle tension.

“For years, we have recognised that bad feelings are associated with negative health outcomes, butthis study dug deeper to locate that precise emotions are related to specific health troubles,” Levensonsaid. “this is one of the many methods that our emotions provide a window for glimpsing crucialcharacteristics of our destiny lives.”



An Introduction to Pain-killers

Pain is a debilitating condition causing physical and emotional suffering to a patient which makes it imperative for a dedicated pain management regime. A number of treatment options including medications, therapies and cognitive techniques working to create a mind-body balance have made their strong presence felt in the effective management of pain, in myriad ways. Pain management basically involves approaches to ease the suffering thereby paving the way for an improved life of the patient. It is in this context that an online medical store Indiacalled lends a helping hand to patients suffering from chronic pains and handholds them towards managing their pain better through an array of painrelievers.

With different types of pain relievers, topical pain relievers come in the form of analgesic gels and balms which can be applied on the affected area for instant relief supported by over-the-counter (OTC) medicines which are consumed internally. Working towards limiting the production of chemicals associated with pain and inflammation, these painkillers are a boon to chronic sufferers.

The following are the benefits of pain relievers, also called as anti-inflammatory drugs which can easily be sourced through the online health store,

  1. Manages Symptoms

Colloquially called Aspirin, this is the most commonly used drug in the various combinations of painkillers categorized under the segment of Acetyl Salicylic Acid (ASA) medicines. The prolonged use of Aspirin in the management of pain has suggested positive results concerning the elimination of cardiac symptoms. Loaded with anti-coagulating properties, painkillers help keep the blood thin, thereby preventing the risk of a heart attack.

  1. Relieve muscular pain

Painkillers work wonders on muscular pains by easing out the strain caused to the muscles when they are stretched or come under the influence of a trauma due to a strong impact or a fall. Along with alleviating the symptoms of muscular distress, painkillers have proven to control the secondary symptoms of muscular pains including depression and irritable bowel syndrome.

  1. Help keep blood pressure under control

Some studies show that anti-inflammatory drugs have a positive influence in lowering the blood pressure of patients suffering from hypertension.

  1. Provide relief to chronic conditions

Another notable feature of painkillers is their effect on chronic conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Simplifying the process of acquiring these compositions, it is just a click away to buy medicines online, all thanks to for its noble efforts to provide relief to sufferers.

  1. Choice of adjusting doses

Needless to mention, every person is blessed with a pain threshold beyond which he cannot put up with the pain. On the same lines, a pain reliever which works wonders for a patient might not produce satisfactory results in another. Thus, a perfect solution to this condition comes in the form of many pain relievers which come as stronger doses for chronic pains. However, one must ensure to take the opinion of a licenced doctor before taking any medication to avoid becoming a victim of serious side effects on account of over-dosage.

With so many pain management therapies in place, pain relievers are perceived to be just a part of the comprehensive strategy to treat pain and its side effects.