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All Posts in Category: Health Tips

neck pain

How To Avoid Gardening Injuries

Gardening is hardly a contact sport. But it can still damage your joints, causing back and knee pain. It’s good exercise if you use certain techniques and not overdo it.

These body-smart techniques will keep your thumb green and your wrist pain-free. Before you go out with your wicker basket of herbs and vegetables wearing your best straw hat, and overalls. It’s important to stretch just like any labor-intensive exercise. Doing some basic stretches can loosen joints and muscles. That way you only need to worry about planting and plowing.

Read more about these techniques to help you garden safely.

One tip that seems unconventional, but may save you a lot of stress is using your forearms instead of your fingertips to carry awkward heavy loads like plant flats or bags of soil. You also want avoid pinching, squeezing, or twisting motions. And you should use a knife or scissors to open bags instead of tearing them open with your hands. We know you’re one with the earth now that you can summon plants from the ground. Please use caution, and take breaks often.

The most important tip is using good posture; use a stool or kneeling bench instead of crouching or bending over. That’s why raising plant beds and using trellises to grow and hang plants.

These tips can be lifesavers if you love gardening and want to keep doing it every season. Gardening and growing your own backyard food should be fun exercise. At the end of the day when you return inside covered in dirt wiping the sweat from your brow. The last thing you should reach for is the aspirin because your knees and back feel like they’re going to fall off.

Thank you,
The Crams

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Health Research

Mental Attitude: Stressful Jobs Can Impact Longevity.
Researchers followed 2,400 seniors for seven years and found those who primarily held high stress, low control jobs during their working years had a greater risk of death before the end of the study period than those who held stressful jobs with greater control. The researchers defined a low control job as “an inability to set one’s own goals, decide how to accomplish tasks, and prioritise work.” Their findings suggest that giving employees more control in a high stress job may provide health benefits that lead to a longer life.
Personnel Psychology, October 2016

 

Diet: Adding Eggs to Salads Increases Vitamin E Absorption.
Vitamin E is commonly under-absorbed by the digestive system, which is problematic because it exhibits both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Purdue University researchers have found that adding whole eggs to a colorful salad improves vitamin E absorption four to seven times, even though eggs are generally a poor source of the vitamin. The findings reveal how one food can improve the nutritional value of another food when they are consumed together.
Journal of Nutrition, September 2016

Exercise: New Guidelines Urge Diabetics to Move More.
New guidelines recommend that individuals with diabetes need to move more often than previously advised. The latest recommendation from the American Diabetes Association is that individuals with diabetes perform three or more minutes of light activity every 30 minutes during periods of prolonged sitting. Recommended activities include: overhead arm stretches, walking in place, leg lifts or extensions, torso twists, and side lunges. Researcher Dr. Sheri Colberg-Ochs notes, “These updated guidelines are intended to ensure everyone continues to physically move around throughout the day—at least every 30 minutes—to improve blood glucose management.”
Diabetes Care, October 2016

Chiropractic: Knee Arthritis May Lead to Shoulder Pain.
Among a sample of 3,486 older patients with clinically significant knee osteoarthritis (OA), researchers found that nearly a third went on to develop painful shoulder joints during the next four years. This study points out that the spread of joint pain is not random but rather, knee pain and associated weakness may actually predict new shoulder pain, supporting the idea that biomechanical factors can influence the spread of pain to other joints.
Journal of Rheumatology, November 2016

Wellness/Prevention: Dental Health Linked to Lung Health.
Having regular dental checkups may help keep your lungs healthy. A new study suggests that regular dental cleanings may lower the risk of pneumonia by reducing the presence of strains of bacteria associated with lung infections. An analysis of 26,000 medical records found that people who never received dental care were 86% more likely to get bacterial pneumonia than those who had dental checkups twice a year. Study author Dr. Michelle Doll adds, “There is a well-documented connection between oral health and pneumonia, and dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health.”
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, October 2016

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June Health Tips

  1. Be luggage savvy – don’t try to be a hero and carry or pull along more cases than you can handle. If you are using public transport get an airport or station trolley and load it with your luggage remembering to bend at the knees when lifting heavy items. Pushing a trolley rather than pulling luggage behind you gives you more control and puts less strain on your spine.
  2. Keep moving – when you are settled on the train, plane or in the car it can be tempting to close your eyes and drift off until you reach your destination. Sitting in the same position for hours can cause many problems including deep vein thrombosis and shoulder strain. On public transport, get up every half hour or so, take a walk and stretch your arms out. If you are driving schedule regular breaks at service stations to give both passengers and the driver a chance to stretch out their bodies and relieve strain on any joints.
  3. Be physical – When you arrive at your holiday destination, there’s no doubt relaxation and enjoyment are at the top of your to do list. Try to keep in mind that fitting in movement and activity to whatever you have planned will hugely increase the likelihood of keeping your body healthy. Going for a swim or walking instead of driving or taking transport are easy and enjoyable ways to keep movement a part of your holiday fun.
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3 Tips For Keeping The Strain Off Your Neck

3 tips for Keeping the strain off your neck

  1. When using your smartphone or tablet, hold it at eye level, with your spine and neck as straight as possible. Studies have found bending the neck at a 60 degree angle adds the equivalent of 60lbs of pressure on the cervical spine – avoid this at all costs!
  2. When undertaking any activity, from walking to reading or watching tv – remember your posture and keep it upright. Avoid slumped shoulders and a curved spine.
  3. If you work at a desk all day, take advantage of the legal obligation your employer has to ensure your work station meets health and safety standards. Have it checked out and get any adjustments recommended made.

 

Watching your back,

 

Cram Osteopaths

 

 

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April’s Garden Health Tips

3 tips for groan-free gardening

  1. Avoid repetitive jobs and staying in the same position for too long. Vary what you are doing every ten to twenty minutes and rotate two or three tasks so it all gets done without putting strain on any of your muscles.
  2. Don’t use heavy watering cans if possible. Use a hose or built-in irrigation system to water your plants and grass.  If a watering can is necessary though just fill it half way.  This gives you the added benefit of an extra walk to the tap for a refill.
  3. Build your flowerbeds high and keep them narrow to avoid the need to bend down too low or over too far to maintain them.
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March Health Tips

  1. Fitness tracker – Arguably the most effective way to monitor activity levels and calories burned, fitness trackers like the Fit Bit and Microsoft Band are worn around the wrist and comes in many variations, with some even monitoring heart rate and sleep quality. A great way to accurately monitor every single movement you make throughout the day.
  2. Free phone app – Many free apps like Map My Walk and Map My Run use your smart phone to track movements and calculate calories earned. Simply download an app, remember to keep you phone on your person at all times, and watch your steps add up.
  3. Measure your route – If you don’t have a smartphone or would rather not track activity all the time, simply pick your favourite walk / run / cycling route and use Google Maps or one of the Map My Walk / Run sites above to calculate the distance.

 

Watching your back,

 

Cram Osteopaths

 

 

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February’s Health Tips

February’s health tips –

 

  1. Exercise – We never tire of saying how important exercise is, and when it comes to the health of your heart any cardiovascular activity is beneficial. Stay within your limits, get out of breath and increase your heart rate to help keep it in good condition. 
  2. Time with family and friends – Our lives are so busy we often struggle to carve out time to see those closest to us – make it your mantra to see friends or family once a week to help keep your heart full and your stress levels low.
  3. Do something for others­ – It’s been proven that the happiest people are those who give to others. There are lots of opportunities to do this, from volunteering at a local foodbank to donating old clothes.  Find something that works for you and enjoy the feeling of helping someone in need.

 

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January’s Health Tips

January’s health tips –

 

  1. Forget the fads. Fad diets are around all year long, but their presence is hard to avoid in January.  No matter how good promotional ‘before and after’ pictures look they can be an unrealistic idea of what can be achieved in a short period of time.  Avoid giving up food groups and undertaking extreme exercise regimes and instead focus on enjoying lots of healthy nutritious food all week long and taking part in enjoyable exercise three times per week.
  2. Play like a kid. Make breaking a sweat fun by looking at exercise as your playtime.  Rather than seeing it as a chore, view it as the most fun part of your week and take up activities that truly make you smile.  From swimming to zumba, there are plenty of fun options available.
  3. Laugh. There’s no denying that in contrast to the joy of December, January can be a long and sometimes bleak month.  Having a good laugh is crucial to good health and does wonders for overall wellbeing.  Book a night out at a comedy show or get your favourite comedian’s DVD on the TV and have a good belly laugh.
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