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text 2021-10-27 07:37
Everything You Need to Know About an Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Back Pain

 

If you’re suffering from low back pain, you’ve probably tried different lifestyle changes and remedies to improve the pain. Though it might be helpful to purchase a high-tech mattress or an ergonomic office chair, there are some less obvious changes you can make to improve your low back pain, such as a special diet. 

 

Scientists have found a link between the diet and the risk of low back pain. They suggest that diets high in anti-inflammatory foods appear to be beneficial for people with low back pain. An anti-inflammatory diet includes whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables. 

 

1. The role of chronic inflammation in disease and pain 

There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. While acute inflammation is a vital immune response that helps combat infection and promotes healing, chronic inflammation occurs in healthy tissues and can provoke damage and lead to various chronic conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. Chronic inflammation can also play a role in arthritis and back pain.

 

Low back pain is the most common type of pain among Americans. One out of every four adults experienced low back pain in the previous three months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

2. Connection between pro-inflammatory foods and low back pain

A pro-inflammatory diet consists of foods high in refined sugars, unhealthy fats, fast carbs, and other substances that can promote overall inflammation. This is a diet where people eat mainly refined grains that are extremely easily absorbed and cause blood sugar spikes and weight gain. 

 

In fact, vegetable oils such as soybean oil, vegetable oil, and corn oil are inflammatory as well. Vegetable oils have gone through a high level of processing, and they contain omega-6 fats which are inherently pro-inflammatory.

 

Some of these things aren’t harmful in small doses, however, when we have them embedded in every product, every processed food, and every restaurant uses them, that’s when chronic inflammation can ensue — from chronic exposure. 

 

3. Expert tips on lowering inflammation in your diet 

Though diet might help relieve back pain, you shouldn’t think that food will have the immediate effects that pain medications might provide. If you change your diet and don’t feel relief right away, don’t get discouraged.

 

Following an anti-inflammatory diet isn’t just about avoiding foods that provoke inflammation. We also need to consume enough of the types of foods that will lower that inflammation. Here are some tips to adjust your diet:

 

  • Consume lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. Consuming 4 to 6 cups of colorful veggies and fruits without any added sugars will help you lower low back pain. Choose cruciferous vegetables like watercress, broccoli, and arugula, since they possess really strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Getting more omega-3s is essential as well. Avoid refined oils while increasing the consumption of omega-3s. This will help provide a more anti-inflammatory balance of those oils. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids include cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, and cod. 
  • Use anti-inflammatory spices when cooking foods. Spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper can be used to lower inflammation, as well. Turmeric is another good option. You can use it in savory foods or add it to a smoothie.

 

The way in which you cook certain foods can also exacerbate chronic inflammation. According to a 2017 meta-analysis published in Scientific Reports, frying, roasting, microwaving, searing, or grilling meats, fish, and eggs produces compounds known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

 

Though your body produces AGEs naturally and they are contained in raw animal products, cooking, particularly at high temperatures, promotes the formation of new AGEs. High levels of these compounds in your tissues and blood can lead to an inflammatory response and are suspected to raise inflammation throughout the body.

 

To avoid or limit this effect, prepare meat dishes that call for steaming, simmering, or braising, and reduce your consumption of processed foods, which have often been exposed to a high cooking temperature to increase their shelf life.

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text 2021-10-05 11:02
6 Weighty Reasons to Make an Appointment With a Foot Doctor

Your foot is a quite complicated structure. It consists of numerous bones, ligaments, and muscles. When at least one part of this structure fails, you may experience a lot of trouble. That’s why your feet require proper care. To stay on the safe side, it is better to avoid self-treatment and visit a professional in case of any foot issues. In this article, we have gathered six weighty reasons to make an appointment with a foot doctor.

 

1. You experience foot pain

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to foot pain. The most common of them are simple tiredness and overuse of your feet. You can gently massage your feet and make a foot bath to relieve tense muscles. But if it doesn’t help, it can be a sign of some foot condition like plantar fasciitis, arthritis, gout, Achilles tendonitis, etc. In this case, you need to contact a foot doctor as soon as possible. 

 

2. You have a bump near the big toe

If you have noticed a bump near the big toe, it can be a sign of gout or bunion. Both these conditions affect the big toe but they require different treatment. Symptoms of gout and bunion include pain, inflammation, and redness. If you experience at least some of these symptoms, you need to make an appointment with a foot doctor. Otherwise, your symptoms can progress and interfere with your normal activities. 

 

3. Your feet are smelly and itchy

Unpleasant foot smell, itching, swelling, redness, blisters, and toenail deformities can be a sign of fungal infection (athlete’s foot). Even though there are a lot of OTC ointments, creams, and other options that can help treat an athlete’s foot, you need to consult a doctor before use. The point is that there are various types of fungi and you need to be sure that the treatment option will be effective against them. 

 

4. You have an ingrown toenail

Many people think that an ingrown toenail is not a serious issue and they can treat them on their own. Indeed, if your toenails don’t ingrow significantly and don’t cause severe pain, timely pedicure and wearing wide shoes can be an option. But if an ingrown toenail is extremely painful or it causes inflammation of the surrounding tissues, it’s high time to visit a doctor to reduce pain and cut out a toenail. 

 

5. You have painful corns and/or calluses

Corns and calluses are patches of dead skin that develop on the feet. They occur as a natural reaction of the skin to constant rubbing or pressure. Both corns and calluses can be easily removed at home with the help of a foot bath and a pumice stone. But some people have painful or inflamed corns and calluses that should be treated only by a foot doctor to prevent further complications. 

 

6. Your feet have changed their form

There are a lot of foot deformities that can develop asymptomatically. The most common of them are bunions, flat feet, high arches, hammertoe, claw toe, and mallet toe. Even though there are a lot of orthotics (both OTC and custom) that can help ease the pain and make walking more comfortable, only a foot doctor can treat these issues. You may need to undergo surgical treatment or physical therapy to improve the condition of your feet. 

 

The bottom line

It is important to understand that there are a large number of foot issues that can affect your feet. Indeed, if you experience foot pain or other symptoms, it can be quite difficult to maintain your daily activities. That’s why it is better to consult a professional foot doctor and treat your condition to avoid possible complications. 

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text 2021-08-23 15:43
7 Potential Causes of Pain Behind Your Knee

The knee is a complicated structure composed of bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons that are vulnerable to tearing and straining. Besides, your knee is the biggest joint in the body and has to endure enormous stress since it bears the weight of your entire upper body. Knee pain is among the most common problems in adults. Causes of knee pain can range from simple overuse of the joint to a long-term disease like arthritis. 

 

Keep on reading to discover the seven most common sources of pain behind your knee and ways you can treat them. 

 

1. Leg cramps

A cramp-like sensation occurs as your muscle tightens. Dehydration, nerve issues in your legs, infections, toxins, and even liver disease can all result in cramps behind your knee.

 

Leg cramps can be relieved quickly or avoided altogether. Mild varieties of knee cramping can be successfully treated with regular massages, proper hydration, heating pads, and stretching. 

 

2. Baker’s cyst

Synovial fluid normally serves as a lubricant for your knee joint. When too much synovial fluid is produced, a Baker's cyst can develop, resulting in a fluid-filled sac behind your knee.

 

Baker's cysts can be caused by arthritis or a knee injury. You may experience pain, swelling, and stiffness. A Baker's cyst can sometimes subside on its own. Steroid injections, physical therapy, or cyst drainage may be required for bigger or more severe cysts.

 

3. Bursitis

Swelling, stiffness, and burning sensations in the knee are all symptoms of bursitis. Overexertion of the joints is the most common cause. This condition occurs when the little, fluid-filled sacks that normally cushion your knee get inflamed and irritated.

 

Bursitis is typically treated with rest, cold compresses, and pain medications. If these therapies fail to improve your symptoms, your knee pain specialist may inject a medication into the area near the inflamed bursa.

 

4. Iliotibial band syndrome

The IT band (iliotibial band) is a ligament that runs from your pelvis to the knee. It can become bloated and irritated when it presses on the bone, resulting in IT band syndrome.

 

Exercise is the most common cause of this condition. Resting the injured area and allowing it to heal is the recommended way of treating an irritated iliotibial band.

 

5. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common ailment that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee joints in older people. The degradation or breakdown of joint cartilage between bones causes this “wear and tear” type of arthritis, which can impair your range of motion.

 

Gentle movement can be used to manage OA. Yoga, swimming, or riding a stationary bike at the gym may also help relieve your OA symptoms.

 

6. Inflammatory arthritis

Inflammatory arthritis types, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or psoriatic arthritis, are another cause of knee pain. Preventative medication can help control your arthritis symptoms and prevent additional joint damage.

 

If you have inflammatory arthritis, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and relieve joint discomfort. Steroids, like prednisone, can also be used to decrease inflammation and halt the progression of joint deterioration. However, steroids are rarely a long-term treatment option.

 

7. Infection

A septic joint develops when germs contaminate the lubricating synovial fluid in your knee. Knee infections typically result from botched surgery or inflammation.

 

A knee infection is a dangerous condition that generally requires prompt and acute treatment. Your knee infection treatment options will vary greatly depending on the culprit.

 

The bottom line

If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, avoid hesitating and reach out to an experienced knee pain doctor to determine their precise cause and undergo appropriate treatment. 

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