Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Tips for Back Exercises with Resistance Bands

download-8For fitness fanatics and exercise enthusiasts, a resistance belt is a great alternative to free weights and dumbbells. Resistance bands are very effective for carrying out exercises that target and strengthen the upper body in particular, so using them for strengthening the muscle groups in the back is a very good option. There are several different back exercises that can be performed with the help of these bands, and the best part is that the person using the bands has the flexibility to perform these exercises at any time that he sees fit.

Exercises with resistance bands need to be performed very slowly and under controllable circumstances, as doing so strengthens the muscles more. Moreover, the shorter the band, the greater the tension, and this will in turn increase the effectiveness of the workout.

There are many different back exercises that can be performed with the help of a resistance band, and the intensity with which these exercises are performed and the variations that can be incorporated will depend entirely on the person who is using the band. People who have a severe distaste for using free weights, people who have had some back injuries and are nursing their way back to full fitness, and even people who just want to perform a quick workout at home or at the office, will benefit from the back exercises mentioned in this Buzzle article.

Upper Back Exercises Using Resistance Bands

For this particular exercise, you need to hold the ends of the band after it has been placed around a tree, a pillar, a fence or any other heavy object. You will need to stand upright and lower your shoulders first, and then pull the band and make your elbows bend as far as possible. Then you will need to slowly straighten out your elbows again and go back to the original position. Ensure that your feet are placed properly so that you do not lose your balance while performing the exercise. Another way of performing this exercise is to keep your feet, shoulder width apart, and stand on the resistance band, and then bend down slightly and pull the ends of the band upwards.

Reverse Lat Pulldown
This upper back exercise is similar to the previous exercise, the only difference being that the object around which the band is pulled will be above your head. As a result, you will be standing below the resistance band and then pulling it inside towards you. The posture and the technique will remain the same as in the previous case.

Lat Pulldown
In this scenario, you will be in the same position as the reverse lat pulldown. The only difference here is that when you pull the band and bend your elbows, your palms will be facing downwards. In the previous case, your palms had to face upwards as you pulled the band towards you. All of these exercises are very effective for strengthening the upper back, and the deltoids in particular.

Stiff Arm Pulldown
The resistance band will again be pulled around an object that is higher than you. For this exercise, you will need to pull the band downwards till both your arms are right beside you. The elbows will not need to be bent in this case, and you will know that you are performing the exercise correctly if your wrists come in line with your belly button, when you pull the band down. These are just a few of the many back exercises without weights, that can be performed.

Lower Back Exercises with Resistance Bands

Side Bend
In order to perform this exercise, you will need to place one foot on the resistance band and then hold both the ends of the band right above that foot itself. Keep the band short so that you can increase the tension as you pull it till your waist. Now you will need to laterally bend towards the side of the foot that is above the band, and then revert to your original position. You will need to repeat this exercise with the other foot as well.

Lower Back Extension
You will need to sit on a chair and then place both your feet on the band, shoulder width apart. Grab the ends of the band and leave your hands near your ankle on both sides, and bend down so that your chest touches your knees. Now you must slowly sit back upright while allowing the band to get stretched further, and then go back to the crouched position for the next repetition.

Like regular squats, this exercise will also work on the muscles in your lower back. The first thing you will need to do is step on the band with your feet, shoulder width apart. Then you will need to hold both ends of the band and perform a squat like you would without the band. You must try to keep your hands straight, and you will feel the strain on your lower back when you come back to your original standing position. Alternately, you can also hold the ends of the resistance band and then lift your hands till your chest, before you perform the squat.

Like squats, lunges can also be performed with the help of a resistance band, in order to further aid the muscles of the lower back. You will need to place one foot on the band and then hold both the ends in your hands, and then perform a regular lunge. If your right leg is on the band, then you will need to lower your body (keeping your back erect and straight) until the right thigh is parallel to the ground, and then come back to your original position.

Apart from these, there are plenty more variations that can be added as well. The flexibility and the options that resistance bands provide are unmatched, and their effectiveness is also undoubted. So it would be highly beneficial for someone who does not want to use free weights but wants a good workout for their back, to get one.

Ways to Do a Barbell Row

download-7Most of us suffer from weak backs due to various reasons. The most common of the reasons is bad posture. For a strong back and to build strength both in the upper as well as the lower back, the best exercise is the barbell row. It not only helps in building strength, but it also helps the body to stabilize. We will see the importance of doing the barbell row exercise before we focus our attention on technique to do a barbell row.

Importance of Barbell Row Exercise

How often has it happened that your barbell exercise routine consists of different bench press variations? These exercises are horizontal pressing exercises, but there are hardly any exercises for horizontal pulling motions. This is one of the primary reason that the barbell row exercise has to be included in your exercise routine. Doing the barbell row proves to be of great help in playing combat sports, due to the pulling motion involved in the exercise. The look of the back muscles also changes, as the barbell rows help in adding muscle to the upper back. Doing barbell row exercises helps in working the latissismus dorsi, trapezius, upper arm and also the posterior deltoid muscles. In other words, it is a great exercise for mass building.

How to Do Barbell Rows Correctly

Stand with shoulder width distance between your feet. Place the bar in front of you on the floor. Bend down at a 45 degree angle from your waist, with your knees bent slightly. Hold the barbell with your palms facing down. Grip the bar such that your hands are a little more than shoulder width wide. Now slowly lift the barbell in front of your knees. As you try to lift the barbell closer to your bellybutton, bend your elbows. Lift the barbell till it comes closer to your chest as you squeeze the back muscles. Lower the barbell slowly and place the barbell on the floor and repeat the exercise again.

Some Tips on Doing the Barbell Rows

Along with how to do a bent over barbell row, there are a few tips you will want to follow when you are doing the barbell row. It is recommended that you place the barbell on the floor after every repetition. Never hold the barbell with an underhand grip when you do barbell rows. When you are doing the exercise, make sure you use the upper back muscles to do the exercise. Never use the lower back muscles to do this exercise, as you will not only ‘NOT’ work the upper back muscles, for which the exercise is aimed at, but there are chances that the exercise will cause injuries to the lower back muscles as well.

When your elbows are bent, they should point to the ceiling and not behind you. During each of the repetition, you will have to ensure that your upper back is parallel to the ceiling. Your back should not be slanting or your arms should not be hanging with dead weight. When you are doing this exercise, make sure you are looking at the floor and not at the mirror in front of you, lest it causes neck pain. When you are doing an upright barbell row, make sure your abs are engaged. The barbell should be lifted using muscle power only. If you try to yank up the weights, there are chances that you will end up hurting yourself.

One can also do reverse grip barbell rows, however, it is best to practice the exercise with a trainer. I hope with this write up, you now know how to do a barbell row. When you are new to the exercise, it is best to have a spotter around when you do the exercise, so that you do not make any mistake while doing the exercise and hurt yourself.

Ways to Use Water Exercises for Back Pain

Water exercises have become very popular in the last few years. There are a number of reasons for the same. One of the most prominent reasons for these exercises to have become popular is that they cause almost no impact on the joints, where most of the injuries are located and in turn help in the healing process. Doing the water exercises for back pain, not only help in getting rid of back pain, but also strengthen the muscles in the back, hip and core, all of which have an important role to play in strong spine. If you have to closely observe the back exercises, one will see that movements are resisted by the water flow, which causes the muscles to strengthen.

Tips on How to Do Aqua Exercises to Treat Back Pain

When one exercises in water, the weight of the body is supported by the water, which in turn brings relief from a stiff and painful back. Also since the weight is taken care of, a wide range of motion can be performed with ease. Like is the case with all forms of exercise, warming up is a ‘must’ while exercising in water as well. The warm up session should be at least of 5 minutes in duration and it should be done before entering water. It will prove beneficial on three accounts, namely breathing pattern, body temperature and heart rate. Although one exercises in the water, staying hydrated is necessary while doing the water exercise. To deal with back injuries, it is advisable to exercise in warm water, so that the back is comfortable. It will help in relaxing the muscles, better blood circulation and also loosen the tightened muscles of the back. All of which will contribute to faster healing process.

Aquatic Exercises for Back Pain

Water Squat
One of the water exercises for lower back pain are the water squats. These are similar to the squats performed on land. Stand at about one foot distance from the wall of the pool with shoulder width distance between both your feet. Activate your core and the abdominal muscles and slowly lower yourself as you slide down to come into a squatting position with your thighs parallel to the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds and slowly come back to the starting position.

Standing Leg Raises in Water
Stand in about chest deep water, but closer to some kind of support. Lift the leg up that is not closer to the wall in water and hold for about 5 to 10 seconds. Slowly lower the leg, but place the foot on the opposite foot and repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times, before you turn and repeat the exercise with the opposite leg.

Knee to Chest in Water
This exercise should be done by standing closer to the side of the pool. Balance all the weight on the left leg, which should be bent a little in the knee. Now slowly extend the right leg in front of you, as you use the side of the pool for support. Gradually bring the right knee closer to the chest and then extend it out straight again, but do not lower it. Repeat the exercise 8 to 10 times before you switch sides.

Pull Ups in Water
This is one of the water exercises for upper back pain. Many people find it difficult to perform this exercise on land, however, the buoyancy of water will make the exercise easy to be performed. Place your hands about shoulder width apart from one another on the edge of the pool. Now gradually bend your knees and lift your legs off the floor as you slowly try to straighten your arms out. Then gently pull the shoulders behind and bend the arms in the process to pull oneself up. Try to lift yourself, till your chin is above the edge of the pool. Slowly release and repeat the exercise.

These were some of the aqua exercises for back pain. If you suffer from acute back pain, then it is advisable to consult your physiotherapist before you do these exercises. Taking your pain into consideration, he will be able to recommend the right exercises for you.

Lat Pulldown Techniques for You

Lat pulldown exercise, also known as cable lat pulldown is one of the very effective compound exercise, which is designed to work the latissmus dorsi muscles. These muscles are responsible for extension, adduction, horizontal adduction, etc. It is a compound exercise, as there are two joints, the shoulder and elbow joints that are moved, while doing this exercise. Muscles worked are bicep muscles and the muscles located in the middle of the back. If you do not exercise in the gym and are looking for alternative to this lat, then chin ups and pull-ups are the best exercises, as they work on the same muscles.

It is an excellent back exercise, for beginners to work the back muscles. It is also beneficial for a person, who finds it difficult to do the chin ups.

Technique 1: Front of the Neck

Woman Doing Lat Pulldown Exercise
Man Doing Lat Pulldown Exercise

Here is the right technique to do this exercise. Sit on the bench of lat pulldown machine and place your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands at a little more than shoulder width distance on the overhead bar in a pronated grip, also known as overhand grip. If the distance between your hands is too much, then the range of motion will be compromised upon. Now slowly pull your shoulders straight down towards the floor, as you pull the bar smoothly downwards. When you do this movement, concentrate on bringing the shoulder blades together at the back and the elbows as far as you can, towards the floor. Arch your back in the middle and complete the movement, by touching the center of the bar to the collarbone area or the upper chest. Hold in this position for a few seconds and then slowly, in a controlled manner return the bar upwards, until your arms are straight. Now move the shoulder blades wide and shoulders up high, as though you are going to shrug and allow the pull of the bar to stretch the muscles in your back. Relax in this position for a couple of seconds, before you repeat the exercise.

Technique 2: Behind the Neck

Man Performing Lat Pulldown Exercise Behind the Neck
Woman Performing Lat Pulldown Exercise Behind the Neck

There is a controversy, that surrounds the lat pulldown behind the neck. It is important to note, that if there are no existing problems and proper technique is followed, then it can be done very safely. Since, excessive external rotation is required to do this exercise, it can be potentially harmful to the shoulders. Hence, you will have to take utmost care, when you are doing this exercise.

To do this exercise, grasp the lat machine bar with an overhand grip a little wider than shoulder width. Sit on the bench, place your knees under the pads and place your feet flat on the floor. Lean your torso a little backwards from the hips, retract the scapulas and pull the bar down to the back of the neck. Hold in the position for a few seconds and then in a controlled motion, return the bar back upwards.

If you suffer from shoulder pain or back pain, then this is not an exercise for you. While doing the exercise, if you are not sure, then it is recommended, you take help from your trainer. If you notice any pain, then stop doing the exercise and talk to your trainer about the same immediately.

Ways to Lat Pulldown Exercises

Lat pulldown exercises, also called cable lat pulldown, is a compound exercise, that is designed to stress and develop the latissimus dorsi or the lat muscles. To know the exact location of these muscles, you will have to stand with your elbow in the air at about 45 degrees in front of your shoulder. Rotate your elbow in a smooth arc down and back until it stops, and the elbow is pointing down and back towards the floor at a 45 degree angle. Now if you touch your back with the other hand, you will have a bunched up feeling in your back, that is the lat muscle. The lat pulldown exercises are called compound exercises because it involves the movement of two joints, namely elbow and shoulder. When you do the full range of motion of the exercise, it works the biceps and muscles of the middle arm. The motion of lat pulldown is similar to the chin-ups.

Using Lat Machine

If you are using the lat pulldown machine to do this shoulder exercise, keep your back straight and place your feet on the floor. Now, slowly pull the overhead bar down to your chin level or a little lower in a smooth motion, as you squeeze the shoulder blades together. Make sure there is no jerking motion, as there are chances of getting injured. When you pull the bar down, do not try to force the bar lower than your shoulders and keep your forearms more or less upright. Your arms also should not be pushed forward out of the vertical plane in order to drag the bar lower. Any such movements can cause torquing of the nerves or muscles. While returning the bar back, make sure you do so in slow motion and return the bar to its full height. Slowly repeat this arm exercise. Once you have finished with your set, make sure you do not release the bar suddenly and clash the weights. This can also jerk your muscles. Therefore, stand up and slowly release the bar, so that the weights do not clash.

When you are doing lat pulldown, you should ensure, that you do not sway back too far. You may have to sway back a little, but make sure it is not too much. The overhead bar should be pulled down in front of your neck and not behind your neck. This can be dangerous for more than one reason. One of the prominent reason for this is that the shoulder and neck joints come together in such a position, that you will become vulnerable to injury. You may have noticed people do practice this version of the exercise as well, but it is not recommended for beginners. This can be practiced once you get used to the exercise.

Using Resistance Band

If you are not a gym person, or do not have access to a lat pulldown machine, then you can use the resistance band to do this exercise. We will do this resistance band exercise, one side at a time. Stand and hold the band in both the hands above your head. Place your hands a little wider than shoulder-width. Stand straight and engage the core muscles. Keep the left hand stable, contract the lat muscles on the right side and pull the elbow down towards your ribcage. Slowly come back to the starting position and repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times. Then change sides, and repeat the same on the other side as well.

When you are doing the lat pulldown with the resistance band, you are in control of the resistance. If you desire more resistance, then you will have to hold the hands closer together. Alternatively, you can use a heavy band. When you are doing the exercise, do not move the non-working arm, you will have to instead contract the muscles and keep the arm stable, when the other arm is in movement.

When you do the lat pulldown, if you experience any pain, then it is recommended, you stop doing the exercise immediately. If you suffer from shoulder or elbow injury, then you may want to talk to your physician before you do this exercise.

Ways to Back Stretches for Pregnant Women

During pregnancy, nearly all women experience lower back pain, which is caused due to several reasons. Firstly, the excess weight gain and the increased pressure on the lower back leads to back pain. Secondly, in some cases, the changing hormonal condition also gives rise to back pain. If you too experience throbbing or dull pain in the back, following easy and simple exercises will be helpful to you.

Exercises for Pregnant Women

Most of these exercises are simple and easy to do. However, make sure you perform them under the supervision of a trainer.

You should stand with your back to the wall. Now slowly try to raise your arms upwards. Try and stretch your arms above your head as much as you can, but keep your feet straight, do not bend them. Try to maintain the position for 5 seconds, without any discomfort. Now, slowly lower your arms and get back to the normal position. You can do this for 4-5 times a day to prevent back pain.

You should get down on your fours, i.e., hands and knees. Your hands should be placed directly below the shoulders and knee exactly below the hips. Take in breath and let your belly sag. When you let out breath, you can arch your back or keep it straight. This exercise is known as pelvic rock, and is one of the most effective exercises for pregnancy.

Just like above, you should get on your fours while keeping the back straight. Then, rock back and forth slowly, while keeping the back straight. Try to move as much back and forth as possible, without causing any discomfort or losing balance.

You should stand in a comfortable position. Now, clasp your hands (not too tightly) behind your back. Next, try and lift your arms as high as possible. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds, and then bring back to the original position. This exercise can also be done for 4-5 times every day.

It is recommended to perform the exercises only if your doctor recommends it. As a safety measure, while performing exercises, stay away from objects that can cause injury. You should also try not to stretch your limits excessively. Make sure you are comfortable and have something to support you. Along with exercise, taking complete and proper rest is also helpful to relieve back pain.

Ways to Choose The Right Dental Insurance

USA based Aetna and Cigna supplies a wide array of Dental Insurance for family members, consumers and college students. Aetna and Cigna offers positive aspects through several organisations in the United states of america. Should you be serious about acquiring Aetna Insurance, you need to know that lots of of their Dental Insurance Plans are meant as Health Maintenance Organizations, or HMOs. This means that you may be forced to choose a medical provider from the network to become your Primary Care Health Practitioner. Having said that, Aetna and Cigna prides itself on supplying choice to consumers and has numerous other Dental Insurance options available. Almost 19 million folks in the United States receive Dental Insurance Coverage through Aetna and Cigna

Not all of Cigna’s Dental Insurance Coverage force patients to work with an HMO. Aetna even offers several PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Dental Insurance Plans as well as a few more traditional options that permit individuals to go to any service provider they select. Pupils are also able to choose to purchase Aetna Dental Insurance Plans should they be not protected under his or her parents’ Insurance Plans. Most Dental Insurance Plans usually are competitively priced and, as a result of network framework, sometimes have more affordable deductibles than comparable Insurance Plans from other businesses. Available Insurance Plans can vary among states.

Aetna offers Dental Insurance Plans as an addition to its Insurance Plans although dental just isn’t offered as a stand-alone product or service. Features and prices will vary. Dental Insurance Plans via Aetna are structured much like their medical insurance; you can choose a DHMO (Dental Health Maintenance Organization, or as Cigna calls it, a DMO), PPO, indemnity, or freedom-of-choice. Individuals that decide to sign up for a DMO plan will be required to go with a Primary Care Dentist who can take care of all necessary dental treatments. Maintenance is covered entirely once just about every 6 months and simple procedures are taken care of following a co-pay is determined. Cigna Dental Insurance Coverage has the benefit of life and impairment insurance for your customers.

Despite the fact that Aetna and Cigna is considered the leading Dental Insurance Plans providers out there, like any other business it’s got both advantages and disadvantages. Aetna does impose pre-existing condition omission time periods and carries out intensive health care underwriting. Fresh mothers should consider another health coverage provider if they are expecting a baby and can’t handle the expenses by themselves. Cigna Insurance Plans is not going to include maternity-related expenditures; it will do, however, handle pregnancy issues. Infants also are insured for the very first 31 days. Lastly, Aetna will not provide Dental Insurance Plans to any person older than 64 ¾ years of age. The broad protection and very competitive prices Cigna delivers could very well be good enough to counteract most of these drawbacks. Seek information before you make a final decision.

Should you need assistance obtaining Dental Insurance Plans with Cigna, kindly visit their websites and provide your contact information to enable them to respond to your request and make suggestions.

Osteoarthritis Treatment for You

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis occurring at middle age due to the wear and tear of the joints. It is a normal physiological part of the aging process. Almost every person suffers from this type of arthritis in a milder or severe form depending upon the precipitating factors. Basically, osteoarthritis means the loss of cartilage between the bones of the affected joints.

Obesity, overuse of the joints, age, genetics, gender (women are more likely to develop arthritis), trauma are considered to be some of the general risk factors. Common sites to be affected are knee, hip, spine and small joints of the hands. Pain and stiffness that increases with activity are the main symptoms of osteoarthritis. Swelling and joint instability may also be a symptom in some cases.

The changes in the articular cartilage being irreversible, osteoarthritis can only be controlled and further thinning of cartilage can be arrested. In some cases pain-free condition can be achieved by combination of treatments.

Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Arthritis Medications
Arthritis medications need to be individualized for every person. Analgesics, NSAID’s, and COX-2 inhibitors are the painkillers used for joint pain relief to ensure mobility in the aching joints. Calcium and mineral supplements can be used to reduce osteoporosis. Some nutritional supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are used to minimize cartilage destruction.

Local Therapy
Topical creams and liniments can be used for pain relief. They provide temporary relief as they act superficially by relieving the pain in the muscle. Heat therapy is used for muscle relaxation and relieves the aching joints. Heat application is contra-indicated if the joints are swollen. Cold application helps to reduce the pain in such joints.

Intra-articular Treatments
Intra-articular corticosteroids can be administered in severe cases of joint pain and inflammation, but long-term and repetitive use should not be encouraged.

Physiotherapy and Exercises
Physiotherapy helps in reducing pain, stiffness and improves muscle strength and mobility of joints. Muscle strengthening exercises need to be done stringently, to support the affected joint. Excessive stress on the joints should be avoided while exercising, as it might aggravate further degeneration of the cartilage.

Weight Loss
Weight loss is the most effective way to treat this condition. Overweight individuals tend to put a lot of pressure on the knee, back and hip joints; this further accelerates the degeneration of the cartilage. Taking off the extra kilos can significantly arrest the cartilage thinning process.

Living with Osteoarthritis
Patient education is a very important aspect of arthritis management. The patient needs to be educated about the dos and don’ts in daily activities. Squatting, kneeling, prolonged standing, sitting cross-legged, lifting heavy weights should be avoided. Regular Exercises, weight maintenance and medications need to be strictly followed. Different types of braces and aids for the knees and spine can be used for supporting the affected joints.

Surgical Management
Advanced osteoarthritis needs surgical treatment like arthroscopy, osteotomy, or a total joint replacement surgery.

Prevention is the best cure and it should start in early adulthood. Though we can’t stop aging, it’s important to stop premature and disabling aging. Moderate muscle strengthening exercises should be done regularly. Healthy weight should be maintained with the help of exercises, and it’s necessary to adopt a balanced diet. A healthy diet would help keep the excess weight off our joints thus reducing undue stress on them. Sports injury and other minor injuries should be prevented.

Ways to Help Prevent Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which occurs in adults by the age of 45-50. This condition normally affects the joints of the body like the spine, hips, knees, feet and hands. There are many causes for the occurrence of this condition, the most common being lack of lubrication amongst the joints, that makes its movement difficult and painful. Another reason being wear and tear of cartilage that covers the bone, over a period of time. The cartilage on the bones is there to protect your joints and establish a smooth layer on them to allow its free and easy movement, but osteoarthritis breaks down the smooth cartilage, increases friction that leads to rubbing of bones against each other and causes immense pain. Usually older women are more likely to develop this condition than men. The hormone estrogen in women, is responsible for blocking or slowing down the bone loss. The loss of estrogen after menopause is one of the major causes for developing osteoporosis.

Thankfully, there are ways for you to combat the onset of this condition. To prevent oneself from osteoarthritis is not a very daunting task, you have to follow certain preventive tips to lower your risk of having this condition.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Osteoarthritis

Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly is the best way to fight the condition of osteoarthritis. Regular exercise, strengthens your muscles and keeps your joints flexible. There are certain exercises that can put your muscles and joints through a lot of tension. If you feel you are overdoing any form of exercise, make sure you modify these exercises or avoid doing them at once, so that there are no further complications. You can also try low impact exercises like yoga, swimming, walking and stretching that will strengthen your muscles and loosen your joints.

Correct Posture

Always try to maintain a good posture while sitting and standing. Make sure you do not slump in the couch while watching TV or when you are sitting in your chair at the workplace. In case you have a history of osteoarthritis in your family you ought to be more careful. The advice is quite simple, all you have to do is wear a seat belt while driving, get a regular check up in case you experience severe pain, and avoid injury if at all possible.

Avoid Stress on Joints

Knee or elbow pads should be used while playing any kind of sport (like skating, tennis, dancing and so on) that would increase the risk of joint injuries. If certain repetitive movements or actions are causing pain, modify it in a way that it reduces the pressure on the joints. And if your job requires you to work in a certain position that is causing discomfort (like typing and choreography), make sure you vary your activities and movements so as to not pressurize your joints too much.

Maintain Correct Body Weight

Obese people are more prone to problems like this, because the knees are responsible for carrying your body weight and excess weight can put stress on your knee and hip joints, that can lead to osteoarthritis. Maintaining a correct body weight not only reduces risks related to osteoarthritis but also those associated with various heart diseases. Being in shape makes you look and feel good as well.

Do Not Ignore the Pain

Although this advice will sound cliche, people don’t always follow it. Learn to recognize your body signals and also do not push your body too hard, when it comes to doing some activities or exercises. In case you have overstressed your joints, make sure you give them a good hot oil massage or use a hot water bag in the aggrieved area. This will give you instant relief and also loosen your joints.

So, here you are with some handy tips to prevent osteoarthritis. Make sure you see the doctor immediately if the pain aggravates and before the condition gets worse. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Finding Osteoporosis Treatment for You

A bone is a living tissue, and can break and repair itself, like all tissues. But age diminishes its reconstruction capacity, resulting in spaces (tiny holes) which reduce its density. The bone becomes fragile and causes fractures (cracks) in the hip or compressions in the vertebra. Bones are made up collagen, calcium, and protein―deficiency of these also leads to osteoporosis. The spine, hips, and wrists are most affected by bone fractures caused due to osteoporosis. Although, all skeletal bones are also vulnerable to osteoporosis-related fractures.

The symptoms are not noticed unless a fracture occurs, after which, there is a noticeable pain that radiates to other parts of the body. In osteoporosis, healing takes longer, and in the process, it could fracture a number of other bones. This condition cannot be cured completely, but can be prevented and managed. Prevention will help increase bone density and strength, whereas, early detection and timely treatment can decrease the risk of future fractures.

Hormone Therapy (HT)
This therapy helps prevent bone loss and fractures, and increases bone density. It is known to help in preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Estrogen-based medication is commonly prescribed by doctors. Progesterone is also routinely given in combination with estrogen However, hormone therapy doesn’t suit everyone, and is known to cause some side effects.

Prescription Medications
Raloxifene (Evista): It belongs to a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). It has similar healing properties as estrogen, minus the side effects of increased risk of breast and uterine cancer.

Bisphosphonates: This group of medication helps increase bone density in the spine and hip, and reduces the risk of fractures by preserving bone mass and inhibiting bone breakdown.

Teriparatide (Forteo): This drug has similar properties of a parathyroid hormone, and is used to treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and men. Unlike other therapies that prevent further bone loss, teriparatide stimulates new bone growth.

Calcitonin: This hormone is produced by the thyroid gland and helps reduce bone loss. In some patients, it is known to provide pain relief from compression fractures in the spine. It is either administered through an injection or as a nasal spray.

Strontium Ranelate: This drug encourages the growth of new bone tissues, and is useful for women with menopausal symptoms, as it lowers the chances of breaking any bones.

Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional supplements like calcium and vitamin D are usually prescribed to ensure maximum effectiveness of the drug therapy. Adequate intake of calcium, protein, and vitamin D helps maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors
A balanced diet rich in calcium and protein will help make the bones stronger and reduce chances of further breakage. Milk, milk based products, calcium-fortified orange juice, and salmon are some of the calcium rich foods one can consume. Curtailing alcohol intake and smoking is also beneficial in treating osteoporosis.

Certain weight-bearing exercises like riding stationary bicycles, walking or jogging will help reduce the probability of bone fractures associated with osteoporosis. Special exercise programs under medical supervision can help in rehabilitation after a fracture. Exercising will also help in maintaining a good body weight, as being over or under weight further aggravates osteoporosis.

Alternative Physical Therapy Program
Weighted kypho-orthosis (WKO) is a new physical therapy which has been designed to reduce back pain, benefit posture, and reduce the risk of falls in patients with osteoporosis. WKO is a harness with a light weight attached, and is worn daily for 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon, and while performing back extension exercises. Although this treatment is still in its infancy, it has shown some significant improvements in patients suffering from osteoporosis.

Psychological and Emotional Therapy
Many patients with severe osteoporosis incline towards depression, as this bone disease affects movement and tends to increase dependency on others. It is important to ensure continuous support, as it would help in lessening the feelings of isolation and depression.

Osteoporosis can affect anyone, though it is observed more in menopausal women. It can’t be cured, but can be managed with a combination of medical treatment and a few lifestyle changes.