Preventing and Treating Gym-born Back Pain

One of the most common gym injuries is back pain. Whether you’re going hard on the elliptical or lifting some heavy weights, it can get you. But don’t let the fear of potentially hurting yourself keep you from working out, instead educate yourself on how you can prevent and treat back pain.


Preventing Back Pain

Working out, or keeping your back muscles strong, is actually one of the best things you can do to prevent back injuries. Back pain is more common in people who are not fit, so start exercising today. Of course, that doesn’t mean heavy lifting. Heavy lifting is a big cause of back injuries, so make sure you work your way up to it. Take it easy and listen to your body, and follow these tips to prevent back pain.

  • Core Exercise. As mentioned, working out can help you build up strong muscles in your back to prevent injury. Participate in some low-impact exercise like walking or ellipticals to increase blood flow to the spine.
  • A poor posture can lead to back pain. It’s important to pay attention to your posture throughout the day, especially if you work a desk job. Try to get up every hour or so and walk around. You can also set a timer on your phone to check your posture every once in a while throughout the day.
  • Lifting weights is not a bad thing and can increase the strength in your back muscles. But it’s important to know the proper way to lift weights to avoid injury. If you’re unsure of proper weight-lifting technique, ask the trainer at your gym for some pointers.
  • Overall health. Take care of your body and improve your overall physical health. Just as exercising is important, so are eating right and drinking plenty of water. Getting the nutrients that your body needs will help build up your strength too.


Treating Back Pain

Even if we do our best to prevent back injuries, they can still happen. Here’s a list of ways you can treat your back pain.

  • See a doctor. If your pain is severe enough that it’s difficult for you to walk, then it is best to get a professional diagnosis on the problem. A doctor is going to be the best source for a treatment plan to get your back healed quickly.
  • Rest is going to be your best friend when you have back pain (or worst enemy if you don’t like sitting still). Don’t keep working out or you’ll risk injuring your back further. Give your back a few days to rest and then start out slow, stopping if you feel any pain during exercise.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods with plenty of fish oils. Avoid the grains and let your body focus it’s innate healing power on the real injury.
  • Massage therapist. See a massage therapist or chiropractor to help work out any aches in the muscles or to realign your back. They can also give you some good recommendations for at home treatment.
  • Icing your back can reduce pain, swelling and spasming, especially during the first 24 hours of injury. Apply ice for only 20 minutes at a time, and then wait an hour before reapplying.

If you’re ever in doubt about a back injury, the best practice is always to consult your doctor before trying to self-diagnose or treat. Take these tips into consideration and do what you can to prevent back pain from enjoying everyday life.


Healthy Teeth Hacks for Halloween


Are you concerned about keeping yourself and your children happy and healthy this Halloween? With walls of candy lining every store and the chance for kids to bring home mounds of free candy, we understand your concern.  But don’t fret, because all you need is a plan. A Sun City West dentist put together this list of tips to help you have a healthy Halloween.

Eat Candy with Meals

Eating your candy with meals can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The nutrients from your food will help to balance the acid levels in your mouth from the sugary candy. Chewing also produces saliva, which will help to move the candy and sugar particles from your mouth quicker.

Avoid Sweet Snacks

Candy is everywhere right now, but try to keep it as a treat to have with meals. Don’t substitute healthy snacks for candy. Snacking on candy will only increase your risk of getting cavities. Keep snacking to the healthy choices, like fruits and veggies.

Choose Candy Wisely

Some candies are much stickier than others, like taffy and caramels. These will stay on your teeth much longer than other candies, increasing your risk for tooth decay. Another choice you might want to make with candy is the calorie intake. Choose candies with lower calories, and stick to fun-sized versus full candy bars.

Limit Your Stash

Don’t stock up on your Halloween candy early. It will be a constant temptation, especially if it’s a candy you enjoy. Limit the amount of candy you keep in your home to avoid this temptation of snacking on candy. When your kids bring home their bags of candy on Halloween, have them pick their favorites and get rid of the rest by donating it or saving it for food storage or a 72-hour kit.

Drink Water

Drinking water is so important, not only to maintain every healthy bodily function but to help prevent cavities too. Drink water, especially after consuming a sugary treat to help rinse the sugar off your teeth. When you send your children trick-or-treating, send them with a water bottle to help keep them hydrated and to drink after eating their candy early.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate saliva production, which will help remove some of the sugar from your teeth. This could be a good item to hand out for trick-or-treaters if you want to give them something a little healthier this year.

Brush and Floss

This may be obvious, but always remember to brush and floss, especially when you’ve been eating candy. Food gets stuck between your teeth and sugar likes to cling to your teeth, so make sure you do your best to continue good brushing and flossing habits through Halloween. Help your children establish good dental hygiene habits to ensure healthy teeth when this sugar-filled holiday is over.

You can still enjoy this holiday and your favorite candies. Just make a plan to keep your family healthy through all of the candy-filled fun.

Myths about Teeth Debunked


We have been told things our entire lives about how to best care for our teeth. But are all of these practices really the best when it comes to caring for your teeth? Take this list of myths put together by a Pocatello dentist to help you decipher myth from fact.

Brush your teeth after every meal.

After you eat, the acidity from the food in your mouth can temporarily weaken the enamel. Brushing your teeth right after eating, while there is a lot of acidity, can cause your enamel to wear down quicker. Waiting a half hour to an hour is much better on your teeth, after your body has naturally processed that food and lowered the acidity levels in your mouth.

Frequent snacking is good for your teeth.

Many people believe that snacking many times throughout the day is good for your teeth because chewing produces saliva, which breaks down your food quicker and is full of minerals that protect the teeth. But eating sugars and starches without for a long period of time or without breaks can cause more damage to the enamel because it doesn’t allow time for the acidity levels in your mouth to go down. And then, like previously mentioned, if you go to brush your teeth while acid is attacking your enamel, you could weaken it further. Don’t avoid snacking, especially healthy snacking, because of this. Just give your teeth a good 30-60 minute break in between snack sessions.

The more you brush your teeth, the healthier teeth you will have.

Brushing your teeth too frequently can cause the enamel to wear down. The enamel is the protective outer layer of your tooth. It keeps the nerves protected and your teeth strong. Just as brushing too often isn’t healthy for your teeth, brushing too hard can also damage the enamel. If you are unsure how often or how firm you should brush your teeth, ask your dentist for the best brushing techniques for you.



A toothache is a sign of a cavity.

While this can be true, not every toothache you have is related to a cavity. Many factors can affect our teeth, especially during cold season. A common sign of a sinus infection is tooth pain. Tooth pain can also be caused by inflammation of the gums or tooth sensitivity. So, before you call “cavity” on your tooth, pay attention to the signs and other causes that it could be. It doesn’t hurt to make an appointment with your dentist if you are unsure about the cause of the pain. They can help you determine the source of the pain and the best course of action for treatment.

George Washington had wooden teeth.

Okay, so this one isn’t about caring for your teeth, but this might be the biggest myth about teeth out there, probably mostly due to speculation. George Washington did have fake teeth, but they were not made of wood. In his 20’s he began experiencing regular tooth pain and decay, and he started losing teeth. He went to many dentists in an effort to save or replace his teeth. He had dentures made of metal, gold, and even hippopotamus ivory, but never made of wood. All of these fake teeth gave him enough issues as it was with facial disfiguration and general discomfort. Wooden teeth would have brought a new realm of problems for this unfortunate man.

What To Expect When You Take The Morning-After Pill

The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception, designed to be taken soon after unprotected sex or in the case that your regular contraception has failed. Two forms of the pill are relevant here: Levonelle, which has to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, and ellaOne, which must be taken within 120 hours. Other countries may have different brand names, but all emergency contraception pills work in the same basic way.

So, what happens when you take the morning after pill, and what can you expect in the days following? Firstly, the pills work by delaying or preventing ovulation, as the time around ovulation is when you are most likely to become pregnant. Basically, it stops progesterone from being produced normally, thereby preventing ovulation and making the uterus unable to accept any fertilised egg. The emergency pill is considered to be effective at preventing pregnancy, with a high success rate. However, they do not continue to prevent pregnancy, and you must use contraception when having sex after taking the emergency pill.

You can get these pills at a variety of locations, including your GP, a specialist clinic for sexual health or contraception, a walk-in medical centre, and even some pharmacies. Despite their effectiveness and the fact that they are easy to access, one of the major downsides, and things to look out for are the side effects of emergency contraception.

The side effects vary among women, but most experience at least some side effects in the days after taking the pill. Feeling sick or nauseous are common, as are abdominal pains and cramps. Many women experience tiredness in the days after taking emergency contraception, and some even get headaches. Less common side effects include breast tenderness and dizziness, as well as vomiting. Remember that if you vomit within two hours of taking the pill, you should seek medical advice as you may require another dose.

Some women also find that their menstrual cycle is affected by the emergency contraceptive pill. Their period might come sooner or later than expected, due to the delaying of ovulation. There may also be spotting or light bleeding before their period arrives, which is generally nothing to worry about. However, if your period is more than seven days late after taking the pill, or is much lighter than usual, then you should see a doctor to check for pregnancy.

There are some circumstances under which you should see a doctor after taking the emergency contraceptive pill. If you think you are pregnant regardless, or if your period is more than a week late as mentioned above, you should seek medical advice. The same applies if your period is different to how it usually is, either in length or heaviness. Also, if you experience sudden or unusual abdominal pain, beyond normal cramping, as this may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy – though this is rare.

The pill does not have long-term effects and can be taken more than once by the same person. As we have seen, it is an effective form of emergency contraception that is easy to get your hands on, but in the days following your use of the pill you are likely to experience a range of side effects. The information above will hopefully instruct you well on when to seek medical help, and what to expect in general.

How To Reduce Stress Behind the Wheel

At any given time during the day, you could be sharing the road with thousands of other motorists. Traffic congestion, commute times, careless drivers, and distracting passengers are just a few factors that can make your daily drive more stressful.


Whether you’re stuck in traffic or on a long road trip, here are some helpful tips for reducing stress:

Don’t Forget To Breathe


When most people are stressed, they forget to breathe and start to feel the tension rising in their shoulders, necks, and backs. It sounds simple (and maybe too good to be true) but if you are starting to feel stressed out in the car, take a deep breath.


As you breathe, think about happy things that make you feel calm. While it may be difficult to picture a secluded beach while you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, take a deep breath and give it a try.

Learn To Drive Near Large Trucks


Many motorists stress out about having to share the road with semi trucks. The best way to reduce that stress is to learn to drive near large trucks. While some truckers take risks and can be dangerous, most are just trying to do their job and keep their cool, too.


Keep your distance, stay out of blind spots, be patient, and learn to recognize when a trucker may be fatigued or distracted. Either way, always allow enough space and try to understand what kind of stress they may be feeling behind the wheel of their big rigs.

Give Yourself Some Extra Time


Want to reduce your stress immediately? Give yourself some extra time to get to your destination. Commute times may vary from day to day but running late can be a big stressor.


Even if it means cutting back on your binge watching the night before or getting up a half hour earlier in the morning, giving yourself an extra fifteen minutes to a half hour can do wonders for your stress.


Ask For Peace and Quiet


If you’re a parent, you may feel like a full-time chauffeur. Driving your kids back and forth to extra curricular activities often means that you’re likely to hear complaining, fighting, and Top 40 hits blaring from the stereo. It’s okay to admit that your most precious passengers can be a distraction.


As the driver and a responsible parent, you deserve to have some quiet time. Ask your children to stay quiet, especially while you’re driving in high traffic areas. Consider letting your kids “plug-in” to portable devices and hand out headphones to every passenger. While it may not be the bonding experience you were hoping for, it will keep your stress to a minimal.

Stay Hydrated and Well Fed


Eating on the go can be a big “no-no,” but if you’re going from place to place, you might not have time to stop for lunch. Rather than eating something from a fast food joint, pack some healthy snacks that you can eat while you’re parked.


It may be tempting to stay caffeinated and sugared up when you have a long day ahead of you but drinking water and eating good food will help you feel better, overall.

Summer Road Trips: A Safe Commute is a Healthy Commute

School is out and summer is in! Now that we are on the brink of some of the hottest days of the year, many families are flocking to their favorite vacation destinations. Although this is an exciting time for families, it can also be a stressful time. Congested roadways and anxious vacationers are pushing to make it to their destination to get the most of their time away from work.


Hot roadways and busy traffic can make for a stressful commute to your vacation plans. To make it safely, consider a few of these options to help:


Plan Before


As the anticipation of the vacation fun awaits, nerves are on high alert and this rings truth for many determined drivers. Safe yourself the headache and plan beforehand. Ensure that all members of your family have their bags packed and ready to go.


Another way to be prepared is to plan your route before getting on the road. Too often we depend on busy highways without checking to see if there might be a road less traveled. Planning your route can help you cut time and reduce stress behind the wheel.


Pack Healthy Snacks


With long road trips and stressful traffic, many people are looking to eat something quick and usually from a fast food restaurant. A great way to save time and money is to pack a health snack for your hungry commuters. This keeps you from eating foods that aren’t good for your health, especially if you’re prone to high blood pressure or have additional medical conditions among other passengers.



Technology has revolutionized the driving experience and will continue to do so, especially with the driving discussions of self-driving vehicles.


Although you might not have an autonomous vehicle just yet, there are many ways to implement technology for a fun commute. Keep the radio at a safe volume and keep the happy tunes running for songs everyone can enjoy. If you have passengers that prefer their own use of entertainment allow them the opportunity to enjoy a movie or game along the ride. Keeping the kids entertained is a great way to keep good vibes.

Take Breaks


Although you’re looking to reduce time spent behind the wheel, it is important to recognize the needs of your body. Take advantage of any bathroom breaks by getting out and stretching so that you get the blood flowing. It might also be a great opportunity to hydrate yourself and check to see if you’re hungry for a quick snack. Be careful, heavy meals behind the wheel can cause for fatigue. Acknowledging your body along the ride will allow you to take the necessary measure to ensure that you are your best for the road ahead.


There are many ways to ensure a safe and healthy ride to your destination this summer, but these tips are sure to put you on the road to success. Be sure to have fun, buckle up, and use plenty of sunscreen.


Keeping Kids Healthy and Safe- Top Things to Remember About School Bus Safety


Even though your child’s school year may be coming to a close, there’s a good chance that he or she may ride a school bus on a class trip or during an activity for a summer program.


If your child won’t be riding a big yellow bus until the following school year, it’s never too late (or early) to talk about school bus safety, and it’s always a good idea to keep those reminders fresh.


Here are some of the top things to remember when talking to your child about safety on a school bus:

Follow The Same Rules As You Would in the Car


Remember the fun you had when you rode on a school bus, as a kid? Riding a school bus can be an exciting experience for children and often it results in them acting out or getting a little “wild” on the bus.


Kids are also more likely to act out if they see other kids being silly, too. As a parent, it’s hard to be the person to stop all the fun; your child needs to know what’s appropriate and what’s not. Remind your child that riding the bus is no different than riding in a car.


Some examples may include:


Always Wear a Seat Belt


Depending on what type of bus your child is riding on or what state you live in, there may be no option to wear a seat belt. Federal law requires seat belts on smaller buses, but only six states require the use of a seat belt on a full-size school bus.


Sit on the Seat and Face Forward


Your child would never kneel or stand on his or her seat in the car or ride while facing backward. Kids are tempting to kneel on bus seats and talk to the people that are sitting behind them. This is unsafe, particularly if the bus were to make a sudden stop.


Be a Respectful Passenger


While it’s natural for kids to talk a lot and want to listen to music in the car, it can be distracting to the driver. You can’t expect your child to be completely quiet while riding on a school bus with his or her friends, but it’s a good idea to encourage him or her to talk quietly. Stress the importance of being a respectful, distraction-free passenger.

Being Careful On and Around the Bus


Many school bus injuries occur when a passenger is entering, exiting, or walking near the bus. Remind your child that the aisle and steps of the bus can become slippery due to spilled water or drinks and that he or she should never run on the bus.


Pushing and horseplay also lead to injuries, so remind your children to keep their hands to themselves and never rush the person in front of them.


Here a few other things to discuss when walking in front of, exiting, or entering the school bus:


  • Are your shoes tied? Loose shoelaces are a tripping hazard.


  • Stay away from the back of the bus and stand away from the exhaust.


  • Always make sure the bus driver sees you before crossing in front of the bus.


  • Look both ways when crossing the street, even when the stop arm is out on the bus.

The Seriousness of Addictions


An addition, simply put, is an action that someone feels as though they are unable to live without. Commonly known as addicts, these types of individuals can become involved in many different activities that can place a strain on ones lifestyle, and those around them. For some, there are healthy addictions that can aid positive results for their lifestyle and well being. For others, dangerous addictions can arise that have much more serious impacts and effects on their progression throughout life.


What Constitutes An Addiction?


An addiction is anything that an individual feels inclined to engage with, that they feel as though they might not be able to part with. This can be an activity, or habit that draws in the attention and focus of the addict. Addictions can be considered a brain disease, because they actually change the structure of the brain and how it operates. A new way of thinking is developed where the individual simply cannot live without an action or item. Additions can lead to serious consequences for an individual, and can sometimes cost the individual large amounts of money and put a hinderance on their overall health and well being.


Drug Use


When we consider additions, often the first thing that comes to mind is the use of drugs to fuel an addition. Drug use is one of the most addictive actions that an addict can engage with because of the makeup of many drugs. They contain substances that make it much more difficult for users to avoid, which fuels their desire to engage with these types of substances. Similarly, cigarette smokers come to mind when we consider addictions because smokers are generally addicted to nicotine. The body desires nicotine to feel “normal” and continues to be a part of the addict’s lifestyle for many years. As a result, living without things like drugs and nicotine can prove to be extremely difficult for the user.


Drug use has many serious impacts on an individual. It can ruin personal relationships with close friends and families. Drugs can actually tear families apart- especially when other family members recognize the addict’s behaviors and seek to assist them in improving their health and well-being. An addict may not fully recognize the assistance family members are attempting to offer, and can become easily offended and angry when their addiction is taken away. As you can imagine, this type of addiction can also have much more serious impacts, and even death, if not treated properly and with care.


Alcohol Use


Many people around the globe enjoy alcoholic beverages on the weekends. It’s a great way to kick back and unwind from a stressful work-week. However, when the consumption of alcohol becomes so numerous, it can become addictive for an individual seeking to cope with lifestyle stresses. Being addicted, and over-consuming alcohol regularly can have serious health impacts on a person’s weight, physical fitness, skin, liver, and much more. Alcohol addiction is just as serious as a drug addiction, and should be treated with the same level of concern.


Alcohol addiction can have more serious impacts on one’s ability to think clearly and make wise decisions. Since addicts regularly frequent places that serve alcohol, drink driving is often a concern that many individuals consider when concerned about the well being of an alcohol addict. Furthermore, alcohol addicts may find it more difficult to find a stable job because of their desire to regularly consume alcohol. Seeking assistance from organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous is a great stepping stone for individuals who feel as though they cannot live without the consumption of alcohol.


Taking Steps To Assist Addicts


Do you know a family member or friend that might possess addictive behaviors? Take time to examine and reevaluate their normal day to day behaviors. Consult with their peers and close friends, and ask if they have noticed any abnormal behaviors. In the event that others have taken notice of abnormalities, consider sitting down and talking with the individual of concern. Discuss possible solutions that can be carried out to address their addictions and help them to get on the right track. It’s never too late to help someone who might be in need!

Exercise for Children With Disabilities: a Few Things Parents Should Know

If your child has a disability, you already know that tasks which seem everyday for many parents can feel like insurmountable obstacles. A disability can complicate things. Daily tasks such as showering, eating, or cleaning up a bedroom can be incredibly difficult for a child with a disability. Exercise, in particular, can be a hard routine to break into. Doctors recommend that children get their hearts pumping every day, but that’s often easier said than done.


But there’s lots of hope. Kids with disabilities often overcome enormous odds to achieve their goals, and with your support, your child get the exercise he or she needs. Here are a few ideas for parents to help a child with a disability to get active.

Listen to the Doctor

First of all, it is absolutely crucial that you follow the advice of your child’s doctor. Physicians tend to have a range of experience with patients of many abilities, and they likely have some useful things to recommend, both for and against. Take notes at appointments, ask questions, and take home any pamphlets you’re given to read later.


If the doctor recommends a physical therapy regimen, make sure your child completes it as written as often as recommended. Physical therapy can be the essential element that prevents a condition from worsening over the course of a person’s life.


Similarly, avoid any exercise the doctor recommends against. Burning a couple calories won’t be helpful if it leads to long-term harm. If you’re unsure whether or not an activity will be accessible, look it up ahead of time and ask questions.

Find Kids With Similar Disabilities

Lots of kids have disabilities. And most communities offer a host of resources with which parents can connect and encourage meetups between their kids. For a child with a disability, meeting another young person with the same or similar condition can be deeply empowering and inspiring.


Exercise will be a lot more fun for your child if he or she is able to do it with other people. Because disabilities so frequently involve physical restrictions, many disabled people can have a tough time working out with other children, many of whom will not understand those physical restrictions.


On the other hand, many children with disabilities can do just fine—and even excel—at physical activities with nondisabled children. Additionally, some children with disabilities may feel excluded and “fenced off” if prevented from participating from the events that other kids do. So seek out others with similar conditions, but be careful you don’t make your child feel alienated.

Let Your Child Go at Their Own Pace

Don’t push your kid too hard. Exercise can be a challenge for anyone, and disabilities make things just that much harder. Encourage your young one, but accept limits and avoid shaming your child by making unrealistic demands. And remember that if you really want him or her to begin a lifelong exercise habit, you’ll have more success if you let it be fun.


And, of course, if your kid wants to go that extra mile, encourage it! Hard work is its own rewarding, and accomplishing a tricky goal can be hugely empowering to someone with a disability. Positivity is power!


How Well Do You Know Your Medicine Cabinet?

We live in a self-prescribing society where many of us like to self-diagnose our symptoms and treat them with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), without OTC drugs, approximately 60 million Americans would not seek treatment for their illness.


The CHPA also estimates that U.S. households spend about $338 a year on OTC products.  Although OTC medicine is convenient and easy to use, many people may not know about the potentially dangerous side effects that can result in using such medicines.


How well do you know the OTC products in your medicine cabinet?


  1. Pain Relievers


If you check out any “must have in your medicine cabinet” list, pain relievers usually make the top of the list. An OTC pain reliever is either ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve).


Although these types of pain relievers seem less dangerous than pain medication prescribed by a doctor, they can cause an increase in blood pressure, kidney damage, and gastrointestinal issues. Always talk with your doctor before taking a seemingly harmless pain reliever.


  1. Cold Medicine


Although there’s no tried and true cure to getting rid of a cold, many people rely on cold medicine that often contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine, and pseudoephedrine.


One of the biggest dangers of OTC cold medicine is simply failing to read or follow the directions. Cold medicines should never be mixed with other pain relievers, like acetaminophen, because one could end up taking more than the daily dose without knowing.


  1. Vitamins and Herbal Supplements


Vitamins and herbal supplements are a great way to fill in any “gaps” that may be missing from your diet. Some supplements are designed to be a “safer” remedy for similar medications. It’s important to note that most vitamins and herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA.


Many people who take these kinds of OTC products have little knowledge on the ingredients and may mix them with other OTC medications; the results can be dangerous. Take the supplement St. John’s Wort (for anxiety) and cold medicine. Mixing the two have been known to have a fatal outcome.


  1. Laxatives


Some individuals take laxatives to help stay regular, and while this seemingly safe OTC drug is used by young and old alike, it can cause dehydration and kidney issues due to improper dosing.

Considerations Before Taking


While there are hundreds of OTC drugs that are safe and effective, it’s always important to know what you are taking before you try to treat any symptoms. Dangerous side effects are more likely to occur when people don’t read the directions and don’t give or take the proper dosage.


Additionally, some adverse effects happen because people don’t know enough about their health, such as allergies, blood pressure, or any underlying issues. Even if you would rather take OTC drugs than prescription medications, it’s a good idea to have a check-up with your doctor and always tell him or her what OTC medicines you take.