What Foam Rolling Your Lats Muscle Can do For Your Body

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The latissimus dorsi, or better known as lats, is one of the biggest muscles in our backs.

It’s recognizable for the “V” shape it has and is responsible for controlling the movement in our shoulders.

Overusing and injuring your lats can lead to tightness in the area, sometimes even pain.

Regardless of what the feeling is, one thing is certain, it’s very uncomfortable and can restrain your full range of motion. 

How do you fix sore lats?

You can easily prevent feeling sore in the area of your upper back, specifically your lats. Some steps you can take are: 

  • Stretch regularly 
  • Drink plenty of water during the day, especially before and after working out
  • Maintain good posture 
  • Avoid slouching
  • Get a massage occasionally
  • Warm-up before working out
  • Do exercises to cool down after work out 

Why do my lats hurt so bad?

In general, pain in your lats is caused by overusing it. Excessive exercising or strenuous physical activities can cause inflammation in your lats which can later lead to pain. Some of the most common activities that can lead to pain in your lats are: 

  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Gymnastics
  • Snow shoveling
  • Wood chopping

All of the above require you to activate your lats excessively, which results in soreness, tightness, and pain in the area. Another cause of pain in your lats muscle can be poor posture and slouching, so if your lats feel sore, try fixing your posture, it might help. In rare cases, the lats muscle can tear. This mostly happens to professional athletes and a doctor’s check is required if this happens. 

How do you loosen tight lats?

Tight lats can be uncomfortable, but luckily, there are some stretches and exercises you can do to loosen it up and make it stronger at the same time. The most effective stretches can be done at home, however, doing some light yoga stretches and exercises can also do wonders for your overall body muscles, not only your lats. 

You can also try foam rolling as it has proven to be very effective against a range of muscle tightness and pain in your body. 

How do I strengthen my latissimus?

Your lats take up a big part of your upper body muscles, so they are responsible for the strength in your upper body. To make them stronger and healthier, you can do regular stretching, foam rolling or do some simple yoga stretches. All activities will warm up the area and promote blood flow to your latissimus dorsi muscle, which will relax it and release you from the soreness you feel in the area. 

What do tight lats cause?

The latissimus is the largest muscle in your upper back area, so if something is wrong with it, you will definitely feel it. Feeling tightness in your lats can limit your free range of movement, cause discomfort while sitting or standing, and ultimately, be painful. 

Moreover, your lats protect your spine, so weak lats can cause you to have bad posture, weaken your upper body, and make you more susceptible to upper-body back injuries. 

How do you feel your lats?

Identifying that the pain is located in your lats can be hard. The muscle is pretty big, so many people mistake their lats pain with other common types of back pain or shoulder pain. The best and easiest way to make sure the pain you’re feeling is in your lats muscle is simply to feel it. There are several exercises you can do to feel if your latissimus dorsi muscle is getting activated and how strong it is such:

  • One-arm dumbbell rows- while pulling up the dumbbells with one arm, use the other to feel your latissimus dorsi muscle.
  • Straight arm lat pulldown – pull something towards you several times (an elastic rope is the easiest one) with one arm, while keeping the other one on your lats

In general, all exercises that activate the upper back muscles can be used to feel your lats. These two are one of the simplest ones that will allow you to feel your lats muscle and how it activates during exercising. You should feel your lats muscle regularly as you keep exercising to feel its strength building up. 

What is the best exercise for latissimus dorsi?

Most of us don’t have enough time to go to the gym or yoga classes, so our muscles get weaker over time. However, this doesn’t mean you can strengthen your lats at home.

There are a couple of home stretches you can do that are pretty simple and easy to do at home, but don’t take much of your time. 

Wall Press

This is a fairly simple stretch you can do at home, in your office, at a friend’s house, anywhere. Any place that has a wall is a good enough place for this stretch. 

  1. Stand approximately 2 feet across a wall 
  2. Lean towards the wall by bending your lower back at your hips 
  3. Place your palms on the wall at your hip height
  4. Hold this position for around 1 minute 

 

Active Floor Stretch 

You also don’t need anything for this stretch, other than a floor, obviously. You can do it in the following way:

  1. Kneel down on the floor with your hips back and forearms on the floor
  2. Support your weight with your right arm and stretch out the left on as further away as you can
  3. Stay in this position for a few seconds and go back into the starting position
  4. Repeat around 10 times on each side

 

Upward Salute – Yoga Stretch

Also known as the Raised Hands Pose or Palm Tree Pose, this yoga stretching exercise can do wonders for your latissimus dorsi muscle, and is one of the easiest ones to do.

  1. Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart and your weight evenly distributed on both legs
  2. Lift both your arms up with the palms pointing towards the ceiling 
  3. Start opening your arms while lowering them to the side of your body while engaging your core and tucking in your tailbone
  4. Maintain your spine straight while doing the exercise
  5. **You can bend backward if it feels comfortable, but it’s not mandatory
  6. Repeat 10 times 

 

How can I strengthen my latissimus dorsi at home?

One of the best things you can do for your latissimus dorsi muscle is called foam rolling.

If you’re wondering what that is and how to foam roll lats, it’s a piece of equipment used to massage your muscles and loosen them up.

This is due to a process called Myofascial Release which helps the release of soft tissue, myofascial adhesions, and fascial restrictions, ultimately relieving pressure in the muscle.

To answer your question on how to foam roll lats, this is the process to do it: 

  1. Lay on your right side and place the foam roller under your lat
  2. Maintain your right leg straight and bend your left one to a position that feels comfortable to you
  3. Roll the foam back and forth from your lower back to your underarm as slowly as possible
  4. Keep rolling for 1 minute and repeat with the other side

After a few weeks of regularly foam rolling your lats, you will start feeling the strength returning to it and how your overall mobility and flexibility will improve.

Besides foam rolling, you can also do the stretches and exercises we mentioned above, all of them will help your lats become stronger and with it, you to become more mobile. 

Conclusion

Stretching your lats regularly can help you become more flexible, increase your range of motion and minimize pain and tightness.

As one of the biggest and most important muscles in our body, it’s important to maintain it strong and flexible.

However, if your pain is increasing, you feel swelling or bruising in the area, make sure to consult a doctor as your injury may require medical attention. 

The Most Effective Stretches and Exercises for Back Pain

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Most people have 8-hour shifts they spend sitting. We come back from work and what do we do?

We sit again. This lifestyle has led to an increase in the number of people experiencing back pain and moreover, younger people experiencing back pain. 

Luckily, medicine, workouts and technology are all advancing rapidly, so there are many methods to help you get rid of your back pain. One of them is by doing simple foam rolling.

More about what that is, how you can use it and some other tips to get rid of back pain can be found below.

Can you foam roll your lower back?

Foam rolling has become very popular in recent years. It’s a simple, but yet effective way to get rid of lower back pain, hamstring pain, lats pain, and other muscle pain.

If you’re sitting for long periods of time during the day, you will most likely experience tightness in the lower back and hip area, if you already aren’t experiencing it.

One way to alleviate this pain and loosen the tightness you feel is by foam rolling your lower back. 

How do you use a foam roller for the lower back?

Using a foam roller for your lower back is pretty easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Sit on the foam roller with your behind while supporting your weight with your palms and feet
  2. By using your arms and legs, start rocking yourself back and forth to massage your lower back with the foam roller
  3. When you find a hotspot (an area that feels tight), keep massaging it 

This is a simple massage exercise that will loosen your lower back muscles and help you feel less tight or reduce any pain you may be feeling. 

How do you crack your lower back with a foam roller?

When you’re cracking your back, you’re actually adjusting your spine which will loosen it up and help you become more mobile and flexible.

Foam roller back stretches are one of the best ways to make your spine align correctly and crack your lower back. To do it: 

  1. Place your foam roller horizontally under your upper back
  2. Bend your knees with your feet against the ground (your butt should be slightly off the floor due to the foam roller)
  3. Cross your arms on your chest
  4. Start rolling up and down slowly. You should feel your lower back and cracking while doing it
  5. Keep rolling back and forth for 1 minute 

When and how often should I foam roll?

It’s recommended to foam roll 3 to 4 times a week for around 10 to 15 minutes, regardless of your profession and exercising routine.

It’s a good way to stretch your muscles and prevent them from going dormant, which can later impair your mobility.

If you’re an athlete or have a job that requires you to sit for a longer period of time during the day, foam rolling is that much more recommended for you.

As long as your body feels good and you don’t feel any pain by doing it, you can foam roll every day.

The more you foam roll, the stronger your muscles will be, and you will experience less pain.

Does foam rolling reduce cellulite?

Foam rolling is effective against cellulite and the prevention of it.

If your fascia is weak, fat goes through it which causes lumpy marks to appear on the surface of our skin, better known as cellulite.

By foam rolling, you help your fascia (cells connecting all tissues in our bodies) strengthen so fat won’t be able to protrude through it and cause cellulite to form.

So, when you foam roll against your skin, you flatten the fat under it and “return” it into your body, so your skin will look smoother and your body thinner.

Can foam rolling help lose weight?

Foam rolling benefits your muscles as it promotes healthy blood flow through them.

Having greater blood flow will help your body break down the fats easier and burn calories faster, which will ultimately help you lose weight.

What should you not foam roll?

If you believe you’ve torn a muscle, don’t foam roll it.

Make sure to get it checked by a doctor before you start doing any home remedies, or you may just make it worse. 

Additionally, don’t use your foam roller over small joints such as your elbows, knees, and ankles as it may bruise them.

When you foam roll your legs, avoid these areas by foam rolling your legs in sections. 

Why does pressing sore muscles feel good?

It seems that putting pressure on sore muscles is enjoyable for most people, but have you thought about why that is? Well, the answer can be found in two things: endorphins and fascia. 

Endorphins are hormones in our bodies that interact with other receptors to transmit our bodies’ perception of pain.

It’s found in opiates and morphine, which tell you that it’s used to minimize the feeling of pain.

Fascia, on the other hand, are the thin layers of cells covering our whole bodies.

Because they are intertwined like sweater threads, if one of them gets tangled, the other ones can loosen up.

Putting pressure against your sore muscles helps your fascia untangle and get stronger which will make you feel more relaxed and flexible.

Stretches

Foam rolling is good for the muscles because of something called the self-myofascial release (SMR) technique.

It happens when you foam roll your muscles and can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation.

Following are a few foam rolling stretches you can do at home to relax your muscles.

Foam rolling upper back

  1. Lay down on the floor with the foam roller beneath you at the mid to upper back area
  2. Bend your knees with your feet against the ground, knees apart
  3. Cross your arms on your chest
  4. Touch the ground with the tip of your head
  5. Slowly lean to the side at around a 30-45 degree almost to the point before your shoulder blade will touch the floor
  6. Keep this position for 30 to 60 seconds 
  7. Repeat 3 to 4 times 

 

Foam rolling hip flexors

  1. Lay down on your stomach with your foam roller placed below your hip 
  2. Bend your right leg with your knee at around a 90-degree angle
  3. Place your palms on the floor in front of you to support your weight 
  4. Extend your left leg behind with your toes pointing backwards 
  5. Slowly roll back and forth and from left to right to cover the whole hip area
  6. When you find a trigger point, focus on that area for 10 seconds
  7. Do this for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side

 

Foam rolling the glutes

  1. Sit with your butt on your foam roller
  2. Place your palms on the ground behind you and your feet down forward to support your weight
  3. Cross your left ankle over your right knee
  4. Start rolling back and forth with the help of your hands and legs

 

Core Strengthening

  1. Get down in plank position with your palms against the foam roller. Make sure your hands are in line with your shoulders 
  2. Hop to open and close your feet on your toes
  3. Keep your knees bent when you land
  4. Increase speed and intensity to engage your core more

 

Foam rolling quadriceps

  1. Lay down on the ground with the foam roller position beneath your quadriceps (just above your knee)
  2. Place your elbows on the ground with your palms facing the floor
  3. Use your forearms to roll back and forth slowly, while your weight is pushing on the foam roller
  4. When you find a trigger point, focus on that area for 10 seconds
  5. Do this for 30 to 45 seconds

 

Psoas Release 

  1. Lay down on the foam roller with your outer hip on it
  2. Put your elbow on the floor in line with your shoulder
  3. Keep your legs on the ground
  4. Use your supporting arm and legs to move up and down and on the sides to find a trigger point
  5. When you find a trigger point, focus on that area for 10 seconds
  6. Do this for around 30 seconds then repeat with the other side

 

Thoracic Spine Stretch

  1. Lay down on your back with your foam roller placed horizontally on your mid to upper back 
  2. Bend your legs at your knees, your feet facing the ground
  3. Place your arms beneath your head or stretched above it
  4. Use your legs to push yourself up and down along your spine with your lower back slightly above the ground
  5. If you find a trigger point, focus on that area
  6. Keep doing it as long as it feels good. You might hear some spine cracking, that is good as well

 

Lat Lengthener

  1. Lay on your right side and place the foam roller under your lat
  2. Maintain your right leg straight and bend your left one to a position that feels comfortable to you
  3. Roll the foam back and forth from your lower back to your underarm as slowly as possible
  4. Keep rolling for 1 minute and repeat with the other side

 

Pectoral Stretch

  1. Lay down on your back with your foam roller placed vertically on your spine
  2. Bend your legs at your knees at around a 90-degree angle, your feet facing the ground
  3. Stretch your arms to the side until you feel your chest muscles stretching
  4. If you want, you can place one palm on your chest, then the other 

 

Foam rolling calves

  1. Sit down on the ground and place your foam roller beneath your right leg calf
  2. Support your body’s weight with the help of your hands and left leg
  3. Start sweeping up and down the calf by using your hands and legs. Turn your leg to the inner and outer side to cover the whole calf
  4. If you don’t feel enough pressure, you can place your left leg above your right one to increase pressure on the calf 

 

Foam rolling hamstrings

  1. Sit on the ground and place your foam roller under your thigh
  2. Place your palms on the ground behind you to support the weight of your body
  3. Slowly roll back and forth to feel the area where it feels the tightest 
  4. Once you’ve found the sensitive spot, keep it pressured for around 30 seconds

 

Foam rolling shoulders

  1. Lay down on your back with your foam roller placed horizontally beneath your shoulders
  2. Lift your body weight by using your feet
  3. Roll up and down to massage your shoulders 
  4. If you find a trigger point, focus on that area
  5. Keep doing it as long as it feels good. 

 

Foam rolling neck

  1. Lay down on your back with your foam roller placed vertically on your spine, right up to your skull
  2. Bend your legs at your knees at around a 90-degree angle, your feet facing the ground
  3. Lift your arms and palms slightly off the ground, elbows bent upwards on a 90-degree angle
  4. Turn your head to the right and to the left
  5. Turn your head 8 times on each side

 

Safety tips for foam rolling

Foam rolling is generally safe to do and beneficial for the whole muscle structure in our bodies.

However, if you have an injury, especially a serious one such as a muscle tear or break, avoid using foam rolling unless your doctor has recommended it. 

Additionally, don’t use your foam roller over small joints such as your elbows, knees, and ankles as it may bruise them.

So, when you foam roll your legs, avoid these areas by foam rolling them in sections. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of different foam rollers out there – smooth rollers, textured foam rollers, foam covered massage sticks or foam massage balls.

All of them can do wonders for your muscles and help you become more flexible and mobile than ever. 

It’s especially recommended to use a foam roller if you’re an athlete, do regular exercises, sit for long periods during the day or generally feel some tension in your muscles.

It will be a great and healthy addition to your daily routine.

How to Foam Roll Hamstrings and Improve Your Muscle strength

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If you’ve ever experienced a hamstring, you know that they are uncomfortable. However, it’s also common to experience a hamstring, especially if you’re an athlete.

The cause of hamstring pain can be different – lack of good stretching before exercising, excessive workout or a sudden movement.

All of these can put a strain on the hamstring muscles and even cause them to tear. 

I’m sure many of you must be wondering what exactly is a hamstring? Well, the hamstring is not actually just one muscle.

It’s a group of muscles at the back of your leg, the ones that help you bend your leg at the knee.

When it happens, a lot of people are not even aware that they’re experiencing a tight hamstring, but it can stop you from going about your life as you did previously. 

Causes of tight hamstrings

A tight hamstring can happen from anything, and it’s not only athletes who experience it.

Quite the contrary, people who sit for longer periods of time are also the most common group of people who experiences tight hamstrings.

A tight hamstring can happen from an array of factors and situations: 

  • Insufficient warm-up before exercising, especially strenuous exercising  
  • Weak glutes 
  • Long sitting sessions 
  • Sudden high-intensity workouts 
  • Sudden movements 

How to foam roll hamstrings

One of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of any tension or pain in your hamstring muscles is foam rolling them.

By hamstring rolling every day, you’ll notice how the pain and pressure slowly start to go away, but you need to do it right.

There are several ways how to foam roll your hamstrings. 

  1. Lower yourself on the floor and extend your left leg in front of you
  2. Bend your right knee so the right foot gets behind you
  3. Place your foam roller beneath your upper left thigh, right below the glute
  4. Place your palms on each side of the foam roller  and roll it so it can start flexing your foot almost to the floor 
  5. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  6. Repeat the exercise with both legs 

As we previously mentioned, doing regular strengthening exercises will not only make your hamstrings stronger, but it will improve your overall mobility and flexibility.

However, expect to feel sore the first few days after starting with these exercises, as it’s completely normal after activating these muscles.

This is a healing and strengthening process, but your muscles will most likely be sore after the first few sessions.  

Three best hamstring stretches

The hamstring muscle group helps you bend and flex your knee. They also help during running and walking by helping your gluteal muscles extend.

There are a few stretches and exercises you can do to strengthen your hamstring and prevent feeling that tightness and pain in the area. 

By doing some of the following stretches, you can prevent injuries, improve your overall mobility, decrease the soreness in your muscles, even prevent lower back pain. 

The simple hamstring stretch 

This is a basic stretching exercise you can do anywhere and is simple and easy to do. The process is as follows:

  1. Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out straight
  2. Extend your arms and reach as further forward as you can while keeping your knees straight
  3. Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds
  4. Go back to your initial sitting position
  5. Repeat this stretch 3 times

 

Standing hamstring stretch

Another simple stretching exercise that can do wonders for the health of your hamstrings. It doesn’t require any equipment and can also be done anywhere.

  1. Stand up straight and place your right foot in front of your left one
  2. Start bending slowly towards your right knee while keeping your knees straight
  3. Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds
  4. Stand up straight into your initial standing position
  5. Repeat with the other side (with your left foot in front of your right one) 

 

Towel Hamstring Stretch 

For this stretch, all you need is a towel and an exercise matt (not mandatory). 

  1. Lie on you back
  2. Place a bath towel around your toes and hold it with both your hands by its ends
  3. Lift your leg up by pulling the towel with your hands, while holding your knees straight
  4. Lift your leg as high up as you can until you feel a stretch behind your thigh and your calf
  5. Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds
  6. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times with both legs

Remember that feeling some tightness and pain in your hamstring muscles will require you to go to the doctor, regardless of how much stretches you do.

These exercises are designed to help you strengthen the muscles and relieve some of the tightness. 

 

Other tips for avoiding hamstring injury

A hamstring injury can be a nasty one, so everyone should try to avoid one from happening to them. Given as healing a hamstring injury is much more difficult than preventing it, you should definitely work towards the latter. Here are some tips on how you can avoid a hamstring injury: 

  • Before any physical activity, make sure you stretch well and warm up your muscles
  • Don’t start with strenuous exercises suddenly. Instead, increase the intensity of your exercises slowly
  • Take a break if you feel any pain or tightness in the back area of your leg, specifically the thigh area
  • Do some stretching and hamstring strengthening exercises

There is no way to be 100% protected against a hamstring injury, but these things can help you minimize the risk of serious hamstring injuries. 

What is the fastest way to loosen tight hamstrings?

Most hamstring strains or tightness are moderate or light, which usually heal on their own.

The only thing you need to do is to rest and not overuse it for some time.

Besides resting, some other things you can do to speed up the healing process are:

  • Ice the area for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to minimize swelling and/or pain 
  • Use an elastic bandage to compress your leg and reduce swelling
  • When you’re lying or sitting, elevate your leg on a pillow to prevent swelling
  • Do some stretching and strengthening exercises, similar to those we just explained
  • If needed, take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pills

If your hamstring pain is unbearable, please consult a doctor as it may be an indication of a torn muscle, for which you will need surgery. 

Should I roll out my pulled hamstring?

If you’ve pulled a hamstring, don’t use a foam roller for the first 5 days, as it can only worsen the injury. 

Is foam rolling good for tight hamstrings?

Foam rolling helps you relax your muscles and make them stronger, so it’s very helpful with tight hamstrings.

Doing regular foam rolling massages will make your hamstrings both flexible and stronger in several weeks, so it’s recommended you do them if you have weak hamstrings. 

Why do hamstrings get so tight?

Your hamstrings can get tight from an array of things, mainly bad physical movements.

Among the most common causes of tight hamstrings, we can list repetitive movements, poor posture, long sitting sessions, bad warm-up before exercising, and too intense exercises.

Does sitting cause tight hamstrings?

Sitting is among the leading causes of tight hamstrings. Even if you run regularly, if you sit in the same position on your 9 to 5 job, your hamstrings will shorten over time.

So, when you get up or try to use them more frequently, they will feel tight. 

Do foam rollers get rid of knots?

Muscle knots are the areas where your muscles feel the most sensitive and one of the most effective ways to get rid of them is foam rolling.

This is due to a technique called Myofascial Release which helps the release of soft tissue, myofascial adhesions, and fascial restrictions, ultimately relieving pressure in the muscle.

We will explain how to foam roll hamstrings and a few other exercises in this article, so stick with us for a bit longer! 

How do you tell if you pulled your hamstring?

You may have pulled your hamstring if you feel a sudden sharp pain while exercising or doing a sudden movement.

Some indicators of a pulled hamstring can also be swelling or bruising in the back thigh area accompanied by pain.

How do you massage a hamstring with a roller?

Massaging your hamstring with a roller can help you get rid of knots, relax your hamstrings to make them more flexible and strengthen them.

To massage your hamstrings with a foam roller, do the following: 

  1. Sit on the ground and place your foam roller under your thigh
  2. Place your palms on the ground behind you to support the weight of your body
  3. Slowly roll back and forth to feel the area where it feels the tightest 
  4. Once you’ve found the sensitive spot, keep it pressured for around 30 seconds

How long should you roll your hamstrings?

To achieve the maximum effect, you need to roll your hamstring for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each leg.

This is enough time to let your muscles relax and loosen, which will ultimately make them stronger and relieve the tightness you feel. 

Is it bad to stretch a pulled hamstring?

A pulled hamstring can require your doctor’s attention, so it’s advisable not to stretch it before it gets checked to avoid further injuries. 

How to tell if your hamstrings are weak

It’s common that people don’t even notice they have weak hamstrings as it’s not that easy to detect it.

However, there are several ways to test the strength of your hamstrings, which we will explain further below: 

  1. Lie down on our stomach and keep your legs straight. Bend your leg to the knee at a 90-degree angle and ask a partner to try and push your leg back to the ground. This will show you the strength you have in your hamstrings against the pushing power of your partner.
  2. Another way to test the strength in your hamstring muscles is to lay down on your back. Bridge your hips as high as you can and lift your leg up with your toe pointing as high up as you can. Repeat with both legs individually and once you identify the weaker leg, do some hamstring strengthening exercises to make it stronger. 

How long does it take to get flexible hamstrings?

If you regularly do hamstring strengthening exercises and roll foam your hamstrings 5 times a week, it should take from 2 to 4 weeks to start feeling your hamstrings becoming more flexible. 

Conclusion

Although often underestimated, our hamstring muscles play a critical role in our body’s overall mobility and flexibility.

Because of this, it’s important to keep them both healthy and flexible, and this can be done by doing regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular foam rolling and, of course, taking care of your whole body. 

Fortunately, personal trainers and physical therapists are finding more and more ways of strengthening the areas of your body that may cause future problems.

This is how foam rolling became popular. An increasing number of athletes and personal trainers started including foam rolling in their routines which has also led to other categories of people to understand the benefits of it. 

If you believe you have weak hamstrings or feel tightness in the area, try out foam rolling the area or doing some hamstring strengthening exercises. 

Foods and Home Remedies That Help Remove Uric Acid Crystallization To Prevent Gout and Treat Joint Pain

How-to-Prevent-Gout-Flare-Up-and-Reduce-Uric-Acid

Excess uric acid in your bloodstream can cause gout, which is a type of arthritis.

Usually, gouts are followed by sudden severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness of joints, often in the area of the joint at the base of your big toe.

Gout attacks happen without notice and can create a feeling of heat in your toe.

They are caused by a uric acid overload due to an inefficient or excessive creation of waste elimination.

If your kidneys are not capable of destroying the uric acid, crystallization starts to happen and deposits around the joints, which then causes joint inflammation. 

There are things you can do to prevent this from happening and remove the uric acid on your own.

Besides changing your lifestyle and involving a healthy diet with a lot of unprocessed grains; lean meat and seafood; and fresh colorful vegetables and fruits, you should also try to avoid alcohol, processed sugars, and foods with saturated fats. 

To help your body eliminate toxins and excess uric acid, try to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated.

Drink herbal teas with honey as your sweetener of choice, natural juices and, of course, water. Try to do some light exercise or any easy physical activities to reduce stress. 


Best Foods To Eat To Prevent And Treat Gout

Some of the foods that can help you get rid of uric acid include:

Flaxseed –  which helps to reduce the serum uric acid.

Curcumin – an anti-inflammatory agent found that is very effective in renal protection. It’s mostly found in turmeric, so you can consume this spice to help against uric acid. 

Bromelain – a nutrient found in pineapples that also has anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic effects


Natural Tonics That Help With Treating Gout

Lemon Water

Drinking lemon water can help you boost the level of alkalinity in your body which will prevent crystallization caused by uric acid. When your body has more alkaline properties rather than acidic properties, it’s healthier and can fight against many damaging conditions, one of which is gout. To make lemon water, squeeze half a lemon in 200 ml warm water and drink it every morning after waking up on an empty stomach. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Same as the lemon water, apple cider vinegar also helps increase your body’s alkalinity. The main agent for this is malic acid which helps break down uric acid and discard it from your body. You can mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 200 ml of water and drink the mixture every day before lunch and dinner. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda has properties very effective in reducing uric acid in the body. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda in 1 glass of water and drink it every day. If you’re experiencing a gout attack, you can add a whole teaspoon of baking soda. 

How to Improve Your Posture and Fix Rounded Shoulders

Do you have constant neck pain or shoulder pain, or both? Take a look around you, and you will notice most people experience this same problem.

It’s easy to spot: people at work may have a hunched-over appearance or complain regularly about back pain.

Slouching has been prevalent even before the age of mobile phones.

From students doing homework on their desks to office workers being in front of their computers all day, slouching seems to have a soothing effect for sitting all day.

However, this often leads to poor upper body posture or “rounded shoulders.”

What are Rounded Shoulders?

Forward head rounded shoulders (FHRS) refers to the positioning of the head and shoulder with the upper body.

It is a fairly common condition. Actually, most of us can be categorized under this.

If your shoulders are rounded forward, you have misaligned body posture.

You can do a simple test in front of a mirror. Stand and let your arms hang loosely at your sides.

Are your palms naturally point inward or outward?

If they are facing outward away from your thighs, you possibly have tight chest muscles, which in turn develop rounded shoulders.

Have someone take a look at you from the side, facing either your left or right shoulder.

The deltoid muscle consists of three separate heads: the anterior, medial, and posterior head. Ideally, the medial section of the deltoid would be facing directly at them.

It would be like looking straight ahead, and your cheekbone is in a straight line slightly anterior of your clavicle or directly superior of it.

You have rounded shoulders when your shoulders appear rounded forward, and the posterior head of the deltoid is facing more anterior.

Your head is more forward than usual, which gives the appearance of a turtle-like posture.

Causes and Effects of Rounded Shoulders

In most cases, rounded shoulders are correctable. These may be caused by several reasons apart from simply slouching:

  • Poor exercise technique: not enough back exercises, too many chest exercises
  • Lazy upper body posture
  • Long hours at your desk
  • Hunching over in front of your laptop
  • Overdeveloped chest with a weak back
  • Driving a car, hunched over
  • Using a smartphone or tablet
  • Bending over repeatedly
  • Carrying heavy objects all the time

Please take note, however, that the most common mistake we do is slumping our backs.

We do this for several reasons, and the worst part is we’re not aware that we’re doing it. At times, we slouch our backs when we want to relax or when we are simply tired.

You may also do this when you speak to a friend outside in the street, and you become oblivious of how you’re standing.

Why is slouching your back that bad for your posture? The main reason here is that slouching will bend the natural curvature of your spine.

It gets out of shape and puts extra stress on the muscle that holds it together. As a result, the muscle tightens, and you will experience back pains.

Some people develop Lordosis, a posture problem that can cause the lower spine to curve out and tilt the pelvis.

Most lower back problems stem from this condition, including Sciatica nerve problems, or even worse, can cause more severe health issues.

Your internal organs will suffer if you have a titled pelvis as they can be moved out of their proper place. This can cause conditions such as acid reflux or GERD.

Common Areas of Pain

Rounded shoulders collapse the chest and decrease the capacity of the lungs. These can cause headaches, pain in your entire back and shoulders.

Tight chest muscles make your shoulders fall forward place excessive pressure on your upper back. Shoulder rounding causes a muscle imbalance between your upper back and chest.

You’re not helping the situation by hunching over when you sit.

Your muscles are lengthened when you slouch. This makes the imbalance between your stretched back muscles and tight chest more pronounced.

You place a strain on your cervical spine when you let your shoulders fall forward when you sit or stand.

Research has shown that this strain quickens the degeneration of discs in the cervical spine and may lead to more problems such as a disc herniation.

How to Fix Rounded Shoulders at Home

Exercise is essential, but remember that posture is mostly the result of how you perceive your body and your postural habits. You can only help corrective strengthening exercises by making better choices about your shoulders.

To help fix rounded shoulders, follow an exercise program that combines working with your strength and mobility, and stretching. Your goal is to strengthen your back, increase your mobility, and loosen your chest muscles.

Keep a journal of your progress and set a goal to improve your posture.

Most importantly, be watchful of your upper body posture. Stand upright, sit up straight, and keep your shoulders back.

The following exercise program is something you can do at home to help improve posture and fix rounded shoulders.

Foam-roll chest stretch

  • Lie on the floor on your back.
  • Place a foam roller under your head and run it down the length of your spine.
  • Raise your hands above your shoulders, engage your core, face your palms toward each other, and point your fingers to the ceiling.
  • Bring your arms down to the sides of your body. Your body would be cross-like.
  • Try touching the floor using the back of your hands.
  • Hold it for 5 minutes, then release.

Door frame standing chest stretch

  • In the center of a door frame, engage your core by standing up straight.
  • Raise your arms to the side of your body, and that your elbows are at shoulder height.
  • Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and face your palms away from you.
  • Place your palms, forearms, and elbows on each door frame and slightly lean forward.
  • Hold this position for 1 minute and do the same with your one arm on the door jam and the other resting on your side. Hold this for 1 minute, then switch arms.
  • Repeat single arm chest stretches using your elbow at a 45-degree angle. Hold for 1 minute then switch.

Standing T-stretch palms facing posteriorly

  • Stand up straight. Lift your arms straight to your side and engage your core.
  • Spin your arms so that your thumbs are pointing down with your palms facing behind you.
  • Gently pull your arms back as far as you possibly can. Hold this for 1 minute then repeat.

Prone Thumb Raise

  • Lie face down on the floor – this is the prone position.
  • Your body should be in a Y position with your arms out in a 45-degree angle.
  • Spin the arms outwards, clench your hands into a fist, with thumbs pointing up.
  • Pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Then lift your straight arms off the ground.
  • Move your arms up and down 15 times and remember to pinch your shoulder blades together before you raise your arms in each rep.

Prone Cobra

  • Do the prone position with your arms next to your sides, legs straight and palms down.
  • Contract the muscles of your lower back and glutes, life your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor.
  • At the same time, spin your arms, so your thumbs are pointing to the ceiling.
  • By now, the only parts touching the floor would be your hips. Hold this for 1 minute.

Reverse Chest Pull with Elastic Band

  • Grasp an elastic band with both hands and hold it at shoulder width apart. The tension of the band should be strong.
  • Engage your core, stand up straight, and lift your arms in front of your shoulders.
  • Pinch your shoulder blades together before you move your arms; then move your straight arms out to your sides.
  • Hold this outstretched position for a few seconds, and make sure you pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Bring your arms in front of your shoulders. Do this for 15 reps.

Wall Press

Stand against a wall as straight as you can and place both your arms against it.

Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle with the back of your arms touching the surface of the wall.

Slide your arms down and hold it for a second, then slide them back up the wall as high as you can until your most comfortable point.

Return to starting position and do five reps.

When you do each of the movement, your glutes, shoulders, elbows, and back of your hands should be touching the wall.

Don’t roll your shoulders forward or thrust your head forward to do this. Keep your shoulder blades together, and keep your head high.

Do this program every other day. With each week, you progress, increase the intensity. For instance, you can do 1 set of each exercise for the first week, then add a set for the next week, and so on.

When you are up to 4 sets, you can further increase the intensity by including more shoulder exercises and adding weights.

Prevent Shoulder Problems

As with almost any cure, there are preventive steps you can take. Several athletes and physically active people undergo shoulder problems – stiffness, weakness, or pain or sometimes combined.

There’s a whole different risk to avoid apart from too much activity – inactivity.

Your shoulder can also get worn down from long hours spent scrolling with your mouse, tapping computer keys, and basically not getting out to move enough.

The apparent key to preventing the development of posture related problems is to keep your muscles healthy and active. Even if you begin to notice the signs of rounded shoulders in yourself, once you have recognized it, you are one more step on your way to fixing it.

You can do this simple self-care exercise that you can perform 3-4 times a week.

  • Stand against a wall, bend your knees comfortably with 6 feet to 8 inches from the baseboard. Place your arms above your head so that your bent elbows are in a straight line angle with your shoulders.
  • Tilt your pelvic, flatten out your lumbar curve, and pull your belly button to your spine to protect your lower back.
  • Press your entire upper back, arms, hands, wrists, and shoulders securely against the wall. You may not get it right on your first try, and that’s okay. Repeat this until you see your position improve.
  • Then, keep your wrists and elbows in touch with the wall, and slowly lower your elbows in line with your waistline, or lower as you can without your elbows or wrists lifting from the wall.
  • Briefly pause, then get back to the starting position, with your wrists and elbows still touching the wall.
  • Repeat steps 4 and 5 for a couple more times, pause for a break, then return for another set.

Balance for Fixing Bad Back

For every squatting movement or forward pressing you do, superset it with a hip dominant movement or pulling to focus more on your hamstrings and glutes. You want to make sure that you work all parts of your core, especially your lower back.

This means that you will need to do a back or hip extension movement directly after a sit-up or ab crunch exercises.

It’s not as complicated as you may think. The thing to remember is that it all boils down to being in balance.

The Chinese often call it yin and yang. The same concept applies to your body.

If your front side is too strong and tight, your body becomes rounded forward, and your back becomes weak.

Therefore, it is crucial to stretch out the muscles on the front of your body, all while strengthening your back muscles.

Also, if your stomach is getting too big, it can throw your balance off as well.

Strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, lower back and shoulders by doing the various exercises in the program.

These exercises make them work in a full range of motion.

Improve your posture and fix rounded shoulders by incorporating the program into your routine.

Be sure to check on your posture throughout the day and keep your journal in monitoring your progress.

You will see a noticeable improvement in posture in no time.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief Exercises and Stretches to do at Home

Sacroiliac Joint-Pain-Relief-Exercises

Sacroiliac Joint Pain 

Although not many people realize it, sacroiliac joint pain is something they face daily.

The sacroiliac joint is found in the pelvis and connects the iliac bone (the pelvis) to the lowest part of your spine above the tailbone, which is called the sacrum.

Because of its specific position, many tend to confuse sacroiliac joint pain with other types of pain, when in fact, it’s the perpetrator behind many problems they experience, not only the pain.

No matter how bad or difficult to detect sacroiliac joint pain is, there are some stretches and exercises you can do to relieve the pain.

There are also other stretches and exercises you should avoid to minimize the risk of experiencing sacroiliac joint pain. Keep reading to find out more about sacroiliac joint pain.


Sacroiliac Joint Pain Symptoms

There is a range of symptoms related to sacroiliac joint pain, and many of them are similar or same to symptoms for other conditions, making it difficult to get the right diagnosis for sacroiliac joint pain.

However, there are some symptoms that are directly related to sacroiliac joint pain and can help you determine if you have in fact, sacroiliac joint pain or something totally different.

In general, a combination of the following symptoms is a sign of chronic sacroiliac joint pain:

Lower back pain lower back pain is a common companion to sacroiliac joint pain since the location of this joint affects the lower area of your back and can make it stiffer and more sensitive to

Sensitive lower extremities – sacroiliac joint pain often numbs your legs and makes them more sensitive than usual, which can impair their healthy function.

Pelvis and buttock pain – the sacroiliac joint is located in the pelvis, the feeling of pain in this area and the buttocks area are the most common symptoms people experience.

Hip and groin pain – because of the position of the sacroiliac joint, the pain you experience might spread out to your hips and groins, making it difficult to stand, walk, or even sit at times.

Instability – sacroiliac joint pain may lead to the irregular function of the whole area of the pelvis, which may cause you to feel like your legs are giving away or be unable to walk correctly.

Inability to sit right – as a result of sacroiliac joint pain, most people are unable to sit for long periods or in a certain pose. Additionally, you may feel discomfort while seating as a result of the sensibility of the area.

Pain going from sitting to standing – standing up can be a major struggle for people suffering from sacroiliac joint pain because of the sensitivity of the area and the irregular function of the muscles and tissue surrounding the joint.


Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

Beside treating it with pain medications, there are a few other things you can try to relieve your sacroiliac joint pain. Some of those include:

Rest regularly – it’s important that during the day, you have a 1 or 2 short rest breaks to give your muscles and joints the chance to rest.

Too much movement irritates and puts a lot of stress on all your joints, which can cause them to become inflamed, stingy and ultimately painful.

Visit a chiropractor – Chiropractors are health care professionals that help people with neuromuscular problems, so they can give a bit of relief when it comes to sacroiliac joint pain.

You can also try with osteopathic doctors or other health care professionals that can aid your sacroiliac joint pain by applying a bit of pressure and gentle massages to the right areas.

Apply ice or heat – hot or cold pads can reduce the inflammation in your lower back which can reduce any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing.

You can buy hot or cold pads from your local pharmacy or store, or make your own ones at home with ice cubes or hot bottles.

Support devices – There are a few devices, pads and wraps you can place around your back or the pelvic area to give it more support and minimize the pain you’re experiencing.


5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises for Relief

Doing some simple stretches and exercises can be of great help with your sacroiliac joint pain and relieve some of the pain you feel. If you’re experiencing sacroiliac joint pain, try out some of the following exercises:

1. The triangle

Spread your legs apart a bit wider than your shoulders with your feet pointing outwards.

Extend your arms on the side of your body parallel to the floor.

Bend to one side and touch your foot with your hand (left hand-left foot, right hand-right foot) with the other hand going over your head.

Hold this pose for 10 to 20 seconds on each side.

2. The Cobra

This pose comes from yoga and is great to relax your sacroiliac joints after overworking them. It doesn’t require much effort to do either.

It’s done by laying on your stomach and lifting your upper body with your arms as high up as your arms can extend while your pelvis and legs are on the ground.

Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds in a 3 series.

3. The bridge

Start by laying on your back with your knees bent, your arms parallel to your body and your palms on the floor.

While your palms and foot are still on the floor, lift your body up and squeeze your buttocks while bringing your torso in a straight diagonal line.

Hold yourself up in this position for 5 seconds and repeat it 8 to 10 times.

4. Quadriceps Stretch

This is a simple stretching exercise to relax your sacroiliac joint and it’s rather simple to do.

All you need to do is to put your arm on the wall, while standing against it, and grab your foot behind your body with your free hand.

5. Bird Dog

Another yoga-inspired exercise that helps strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles so they can support your body easier and result in better stability and less stress being placed on your sacroiliac joint.

It’s done by standing on all fours, with your spine and neck straight in a neutral position while you’re looking at the ground.

Stretch your left arm forward while extending your leg backward and holding them straight with your body for 5 seconds at a time. Repeat on each side for 6 to 10 times.


5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises to Avoid

While exercising is always deemed as beneficial for all the muscles and joints, there are some exercises that can irritate your sacroiliac joint and worsen your pain.

So, it’s better to avoid doing the following types of exercises:

1. Crunches and sit-ups

Crunches and sit-ups put a lot of stress on your pelvic area which makes it easily irritable and inflamed.

The whole activity of the hips and pelvis puts stress on your lower back which worsens the inflammation in the sacroiliac joint and can make it more painful than before.

2. Golf and tennis

Gold and tennis involve a lot of twisting and turning of your hips, which irritates the pelvis and worsens the sacroiliac joint pain.

It also wears down the muscles, tendons, and joints in the whole area, which can further complicate your condition.

3. Biking

Biking and long rides put pressure on your pelvis and your sacroiliac joints.

This pressure causes inflammation in the whole area, making the pain worse and causing even more discomfort than previously.

4. Weight lifting

Weight lifting, especially heavy weight lifting that involves activating the lower back can significantly damage your lower back and with it, the pelvis and sacroiliac joint.

So if you’re experiencing any sacroiliac joint pain, avoid lifting heavy weights the next time you’re at the gym.

5. Football and basketball

Sports like football and basketball bring an additional risk for an injury to your lower back, which needless to say, will make the pain in your pelvis that much worse.

Additionally, you’re constantly running, twisting and turning your lower back, hips and pelvis which puts even more stress on your muscles and joints in the whole area and makes them more worn off and easily irritable.


Conclusion

Although sacroiliac joint pain is a common appearance today and a difficult condition to live with, thanks to the development of medicine and the knowledge we have of how the human body works, we can now treat it efficiently.

Even if the mild exercises and stretches don’t work, there are many medical devices and pills that can help you with your pain if nothing else seems to work.

7 Yoga Poses for Joint Pain Relief

yoga-poses-for-joint-pain-relief

If you’ve ever experienced joint pain, you know how debilitating it can be…

It does not only generate pain and discomfort, but it also limits you from going about your day to day life as you would usually.

Needless to say, this is irritating and annoying, but in cases of severe or chronic joint pain, it can even lead to depression.

Many chronic joint pain patients have tried countless ways to eliminate joint pain, and most of them provided little or no relief. But, there is one thing that without exception has helped every single person that tried it, and that is yoga.

Yoga has had countless proven benefits for the whole body, especially when it comes to joint or muscle pain and some of the main ones are:

It increases blood circulation

When you do yoga, your heart rate increases which open up your veins and lets blood flow through them freely.

Your body, and most importantly, your joints will receive all the important nutrients that they need to function healthily throughout the day.

It increases flexibility

Yoga makes your whole body more flexible and awakens your “sleepy” muscles.

And by stretching these sleepy muscles and activating them regularly, you alleviate the pressure placed on your joints as well as the stiffness you feel in them which can later lead to discomfort and pain.

It increases muscle strength

If your muscles are weak, your body relies on the joints for support and balance, which wears them down fast and makes them weaker.

But, practicing yoga activates your muscles and makes them stronger, enabling them to support your body better and with it, minimizes the strain placed on your joints.

It improves overall wellness

Doing yoga helps your overall body and spirit. It helps you feel lighter, more flexible and stronger. It also helps bring balance between your mind and soul, which has countless benefits for the whole body.

Your body will start functioning in a healthy way, and that includes all your joints and muscles.

Yoga improves the range of motion of your joints

Every joint in your body has a range of motion that should be maintained over time.

If you don’t move your joints enough, this range will decrease and the other way around – when you move your joints, you improve the range of motion, which results in better movement overall.

You’ll be able to do things you weren’t able to do previously and that’s all thanks to the better range of motion of your joints.

Alleviates pressure placed on your joints

When you do yoga, you help your body function in the right way, as it should. This means that every part of your body can do only the job that it’s meant to do, and not compensate for the lack of other parts, which is the case with your muscles and joints.

If your muscles don’t work right, your joints work double their role to compensate for it, which wears them down faster and makes them more prone to injuries, inflammation and chronic pain.

But, if you practice yoga and maintain healthy muscles, they will support your body along with your joints, minimizing the probability of any inflammation.

yoga-health-benefits

7 Yoga Poses for Joint Pain Relief

1. Tadasana

This is one of the easiest poses to do, especially if you’re a beginner and haven’t done much exercise prior to this. All you need to do is stand on your toes and stretch your arms as high up as you can while keeping your hands clutched together.

To further stretch your muscles, you can bend your arms backward while stretching them upwards. This will help your muscles stretch and relieve the pressure from your joints by promoting blood flow through them.

Having a healthy circulation to your arms and legs lets all the important nutrients come to your joints and heal any inflammation you might have going on there.

2.Virabhadrasana

Also known as The Warrior pose, this is a great exercise to strengthen your shoulders and bring balance to your whole body.

It’s also fairly easy to do since all you need to do is turn your right foot outwards and your left foot inwards while keeping your lower torso faced forward.

Bring your arms up to the level of your shoulders and press the weight of your body to the foot facing outwards while gazing at your thumbs. Then rotate to the other side and hold the pose for 1 minute on each side.

After doing this pose for a certain period, you will start feeling your balance improving and your shoulders and arms become stronger.

This means that you’re returning the lost strength in your joints, which will minimize any pain or stiffness you might have been experiencing previously.

3. Makarasana

Makarasana is one of the easiest yoga poses out there, and one of the favorite ones too since it involves only laying down (it’s true!).

Believe it or not, this pose helps the knees and joints to stretch and become more flexible, stronger and healthier by improving circulation and bringing healthy nutrients to them.

It’s done by laying on your stomach with toes straight and your hands placed beneath your head to support it. By holding this position, you’re letting your joints rest, at the same time stretching your muscles to increase their flexibility and strength.

4. Januhastasana

This is the best yoga pose to do to alleviate joint pain. Doing this pose regularly every day helps increase circulation to the lower part of the body and bring more nutrients to your joints and muscles by doing so.

Not only will your joints be more flexible, but you will also minimize the risk of inflammation and experiencing any type of pain in this area.

It’s done by laying on your stomach and lifting your upper body with your arms as high up as you can and holding that pose for one minute in a few series.

5. Cow Pose

The cow pose helps the most important bone in our bodies – the spine. By doing the Cow pose regularly, you will promote flexibility and stretching of the spine, ultimately resulting in better circulation throughout the whole body which prevents inflammation and joint pain.

It’s also fairly easy to do and very beneficial for all muscles and joints.

To do this pose, you need to go down on all fours with your hands on the ground with your fingers spread and your hands positioned parallel to your shoulders.

Bring your chest down towards the mat and tip your pelvis up so you’re positioned with your sitting bones reaching up. Hold this pose for 30 seconds in a few series.

6. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Named after the body shape you make while doing it, the Bow pose is ideal for anyone experiencing shoulder stiffness, discomfort, or pain. By doing it, you open up the shoulders, make your back more flexible and relieve your body of stress and fatigue.

You do it by laying down on your stomach and stretch your arms and legs towards your spine by grabbing your feet with your hands. It’s good to hold this position for around 30 seconds to let your muscles relax and allow blood to flow through the parts of the body where there’s tension.

7. Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dolphin Plank pose)

This pose does wonder for the back, shoulders, arms, and legs. It does this by stretching the shoulders and hamstrings and strengthen the whole body at the same time relieving the body of any fatigue and backache. In fact, it has also shown to help prevent osteoporosis.

If you’re wondering how it’s done, it’s actually not very different from the regular plank. You lay down on your stomach, place your elbows on the ground parallel to your shoulders and lift your body up by supporting it with your elbows and toes.

By doing this, you’re making your joints and muscles stronger, which results in less pain.


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Conclusion

You can probably tell by the exercises only that yoga is a wondrous practice that helps the whole body, both physically and psychologically.

It calms the soul and strengthens the body through simple exercises that are tailored for any level of strength, both beginners and experts.

Having your joint pain taken care of can be life-changing, for you and your close ones.

It will bring a new perspective of life, a pain-free future where you can enjoy your life to the fullest and leave all the medications, sleepless night and worries behind you.

A new future where yoga is not only a daily routine but also a part of your life.

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Tight Hamstrings Lower Back Pain

Tight Hamstrings? Here’s What To Do

Back pain and tight hamstrings are two particularly common problems that get in the way of exercise.

Yet, you rely on your daily exercise routine to keep your weight down, your body toned, and your health in check.

When these problems develop, understanding connections between common health problems and pain is important.

Such as the connection between bloating and back pain, and knowing how to deal with the problems can help you find relief and get back to enjoying your exercise sessions.


What Are The Hamstrings?

Hamstrings is quite a common term used, but not everyone truly understands which specific muscles the term really refers to.

There is no single muscle in the body that is known as a hamstring, but, instead, a group of muscles that are collectively referred to in this manner.

When someone refers to “the hamstrings,” they are actually talking about a group of different muscles that are located at the back side of the upper legs.

The term is not only used to describe these muscles but also collectively include the tendons that are part of the muscle groups in the region.

The main muscles that are part of the hamstrings include:

  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris

These muscles play numerous roles in both running and walking, which is why they are so important – and why problems with tightness affecting these muscles can affect your physical abilities.

They are responsible for ensuring the knee joints can flex, and help the thigh extended toward the back of your body.

Ultimately, the hamstring muscles are crucial for allowing the legs to move effectively; thus resulting in a walking or running motion.


Who Is Affected By Hamstring Tightness?

In a recent study, 107 students were analyzed to assist scientists in determining the prevalence of tight hamstring muscles among the young adult population.

The study also looked at how tight hamstrings were connected to lower back pain.

After a questionnaire was completed, the study concluded that 40.19% of the students had tight hamstring muscles.

Additionally, 10,3% of the students also had problems with lower back pain.

The students who experienced tightness in their hamstring muscles were more likely to suffer from lower back pain.

In another study by two scientists, college students between the ages of 18 and 25 were surveyed to determine the prevalence of muscle tightness in the hamstrings among this population.

The study also focused on finding how tight hamstrings affected the overall performance of the students.

Students generally had healthy BMIs, with the mean BMI of the male students being 23.9 and among female students, the mean BMI was 20.9.

Up to 96% of the participants had experienced tight hamstrings at a recent time, with a large number of students complaining about tightness in their right extremities.


Why Do You Have Tight Hamstrings?

There are various reasons why you may experience tight hamstrings.

These symptoms may be acute and only last for a few days, return frequently, or be chronic; causing you to experience tight hamstring muscles for a longer duration of time.

One of the most common reasons for hamstring muscles to become tight and painful is the failure to properly warm up before you participate in a session of physical activity.

When you do not warm up prior to exercising, your hamstrings may become tight, and you also become at a higher risk of injuries to your hamstrings and the muscles in the close regions.

Nerve entrapment is another common reason why many people tend to suffer from tight hamstrings, which leads to a condition known as protective tension.

This happens when the nerves in the area of the hamstring are compressed.

Movements in the area would then lead to an excessive stretching sensation and cause you to experience a tightness in the region.

It is relatively easy to determine if you might have nerve entrapment that is causing your hamstring muscles to be so tight.

Simply stand up straight – with your feet apart at shoulder-width.

Bend forward and then use your hands to touch the ground beneath you.

If you are not able to easily reach and touch the ground, then there is a chance that you might have nerve entrapment.

If you find that you feel a stretch that is mainly located at the back of your knees, or even in the muscles located in your calves, then the likeliness that you have nerve entrapment is even higher.

There is another cause that is rarer, but still something that should be taken into consideration – and this is an injury to your lumbar disc.

When your lumbar disc has been damaged, it may not only cause you to experience tightness in this area of your body, but the tightness may also be accompanied by pain symptoms.

A lumbar disc injury tends to cause pain in the hamstring area that gets worse after being still for a long period of time, such as when you get up in the morning after sleeping through the night.

Sitting may also be painful, and you might experience a tingling sensation in your leg at certain times.

You may also find that the pain in your hamstrings tend to become sharper and more intense when you get up after you have been sitting down for a while.


The Connection Between Tight Hamstrings And Back Pain

Multiple studies have confirmed that there is a definite relationship between tight hamstring muscles and pain in the back, with the lower back area to be a particularly common region affected.

It is, however, important that we consider how these two discomforting and painful problems are connected.

While lower back pain may not necessarily cause your hamstring muscle to become tight and sore, there is an opposite connection that has been confirmed by scientific studies.

When the muscles that make up the hamstrings become tight, excessive pressure and stress are, in turn, being placed on the lower back area.

This can cause symptoms to start developing in the lower back, leading to stiffness, pain, and excessive discomfort.

It should be noted that when lower back pain already exists when your hamstring muscles become tight, it may cause the lower back symptoms to become aggravated.

The pain may become worse, and it might cause you to experience some level of disability when you try to get up after you’ve slept, and in cases where you practice certain types of physical activities, such as a squat.

There have also been cases where people have not experienced lower back pain prior to the development of tight hamstring muscles.

In such cases, the hamstring tightness causes pressure to the lower back and leads to the development of back pain.

Furthermore, in cases where you have suffered a lumbar disc injury, this may also be a particular cause for the development of your back pain.

While this type of injury may cause you to experience tightness in the three muscles that make up your hamstrings muscle group, the injury usually tends to affect the lower region of the back as well.

Stress is placed on the region, which leads to inflammation and pain, as well as tenderness.

Many people may experience sudden pain signals in their back, along with hamstring tightness, when they have an injury to a lumbar disc.


What You Can Do About Your Tight Hamstrings

Even though tight hamstring muscles can be very uncomfortable and even become painful, especially when coupled with lower back pain, there are many strategies that you can utilize to help reduce the severity of these symptoms.

Medication can be used to help lower inflammation and to block pain signals.

Exercises are available to help loosen the muscles and strengthen them at the same time.

Additionally, there are supplements that you can take advantage of to help you experience relief of pain and inflammation.

Medication

There are different types of pharmaceutical drugs that may be provided to help relax your muscles and to reduce inflammation in your body.

Many of these drugs can bring about effective results and help you get back to life without a constant feeling of tightness in your hamstrings or pain in your lower back region.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very popular.

These include Naproxen, Celecoxib, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen.

They help to alleviate existing inflammation in your body.

There is a lot of different muscle relaxer medications that are used for back pain and hamstring tightness.

These may include Tizanidine, Chlorzoxazone, Cyclobenzaprine, Carisoprodol, and Methocarbamol.

The specific option prescribed depends on the location of the muscle tightness and soreness, as well as the severity.

Exercises

Exercise can also aid in improving symptoms of tight hamstrings.

It may also be useful when this muscle tightness is accompanied by lower back pain.

Yoga is a particularly popular physical activity for these symptoms, with the downward dog and the extended triangle pose being some of the most recommended yoga asanas.

Specific hamstring stretches may also be helpful, which should be performed when your hamstrings are tight, as well as before physical activity as part of your warm-up routine.

Standing and seating hamstring stretches can be combined for more effective results.

Supplements

Lastly, you may also want to consider taking a daily supplement to help alleviate the inflammation that you are experiencing in your hamstrings, as well as your lower back.

There are many supplements out there that can provide you with effective results.

I personally found the Science Natural Turmeric with BioPerine supplement to the best one out of all that I tested.

This supplement contains a 1,300mg dose of high-quality organic turmeric extracts per dose, along with 10mg of BioPerine.

Turmeric is a popular spice that is used in curries and other Indian dishes and has many health benefits – with the anti-inflammatory effects being particularly potent.

The spice is also rich in the following nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Copper

Copper, potassium, calcium, and many of these nutrients will further help to improve muscle and bone function, while also targeting the inflammation that may be causing you to experience tightness in your muscles.

The supplement is very easy to take – you simply take two tablets once per day with a meal.

Be sure to take it with a full glass of water and allow approximately two weeks for the effects to start kicking in.


Conclusion

When your hamstrings feel tight, you may experience discomfort and a significant adverse alteration in your physical performance and abilities.

Muscle soreness may improve, especially with physical activity, and athletic performance can be drastically reduced.

When hamstring muscles become tight, it also increases the likeliness of back pain, leading to further disability and discomfort.

Fortunately, there are exercises, medication, and even supplements that you can use to reduce the severity of these symptoms and to help you get back out there without muscle tightness or pain getting in your way.


Foods That Help Joint Pain

Foods that Help Joint Pain

If you are suffering from joint pain, you may wish to consider evaluating your diet. What you eat has an impact on your joint pain and making the right food choices may help with sudden joint pain causes.

By learning how it starts, you can prevent it and be on your way to better management of joint pain.

Many of you may already be taking supplements and medicines from your doctor or over the counter to manage your pain and relieve stiffness and inflammation.

However, there are studies that show what you eat, including certain spices, foods, and supplements can help you in your quest for relief.

Upon speaking with a registered dietician, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic were able to determine what healthy foods were best for easing joint pain.


Idea for Relief: The Mediterranean Diet

Following a balanced diet with wholesome foods has many benefits, like greater energy, better digestion, and an overall feeling of good health and a strong body.

Following the Mediterranean diet, for example, is a great way to feel good and relieve joint pain. Reason being is that the health benefits of this diet correlate with NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

When you follow this diet, you will consume low-glycemic fruits, veggies and legumes, and many unsaturated fats. Olive oil is especially popular.

You will also enjoy a modest serving of alcohol mostly in the form of wine, high levels of fish, and low amounts of dairy and red meats.

A diet such as this consisting of real, wholesome foods is important as a whole-food, plant-based diet led to reduction of pain and greater functionality among adult patients who were suffering from osteoarthritis.

Simply put, the 2015 Michigan study that produced this evidence states that those eating well were having an easier time functioning and managing their pain.

Your best bet is to talk to your doctor, eat a whole-food, plant-based diet of legumes, veggies, fruits and grains. Stay away from refined food, which is not part of the Mediterranean diet.


Fish Oil and Veggies for Joint Pain

One example of a great supplement you can use to relieve joint pain is fish oil. These are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Studies surrounding the consumption of fish oil show that it has benefits of the anti-inflammatory type and is very helpful for those with joint pain.

You can find fish oil in cold-water fish, like sardines, trout and salmon. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can get your serving from flax seeds, chia seeds, and organic soybeans.

There was also a study from Australia dating from 2008 that indicated fish oil provided a great reduction to joint pain, an improvement to cardiovascular health, and a reduced need for NSAIDs.

Kylene Bogden, a dietitian the Cleveland Clinic consulted with regarding this topic, stated that just one serving of cold-water fish twice per week would be enough.

Daily, she recommends a high-quality fish oil supplement daily in addition to consumption of it in your diet naturally.

Another great addition to your diet will be cruciferous vegetables. You should be eating plenty of veggies-it’s just a great, idea-but you will really want to make sure you take in a half cup of stuff like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or Brussels sprouts, says Kylene Bogden.

They are nature’s powerhouses, loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins for your good health.

It was a 2005 Maryland study that showed sulphoraphane, an antioxidant compound that is found within cruciferous veggies, blocks an enzyme that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.

Aside from people suffering from arthritis, this may be a great help for athletes who put a lot of pressure on their joints in training and competition.


Herbs, Spices and More

Two of the greatest spices you can get for your joint pain relief include turmeric and ginger. They are renowned for their anti-inflammatory benefits and are often found in Indian foods.

Turmeric is also used in Asian traditional medicinal practices for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

You can add turmeric and ginger to your smoothies, sauces or morning eggs for a one-two punch of anti-inflammatory goodness.

A study from 2006 out of Arizona showed positive research that linked turmeric to prevention of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

One wonderful way to get your daily turmeric serving is by taking in Cody Bramlett’s Turmeric Capsules.

Cody Bramlett is a gym owner in San Diego, California who has helped many overcome physical aches and pains while improving their physical performance.

Known as Turmeric with BioPerine, this wonderful formula is going to help you get healthier.  When you order these supplements, you get a 60-capsule supply of these great little supplements.

They are packed with turmeric, curucumin, and BioPerine. These ingredients pack in nutrients like manganese, iron, VitaminB6, calcium, chromium, potassium and Vitamin K. The capsules are veggie-based, so those following a plant-based diet need not worry about consuming them.

This supplement not only helps to reduce inflammation, it will also help improve your concentration and focus.

The supplement is specially formulated to be potent, and its potency is enhanced by black pepper is simply packed full of helpful vitamins and nutrients.

Its combination of special spices and healthy ingredients will get your body functioning and also help melt stored fat.

Green tea is another drink you can sip to reap the benefits of good, natural joint pain relief. It is one of the world’s most beloved drinks, and the effects it has on health have been researched the world over.

In Maryland, for example, a study performed in 2008 showed that green tea brought forth changes in arthritis-related immune responses, says the Cleveland Clinic.

Using NSAIDs long-term can cause you discomfort and have adverse effects. The polyphenolic compounds found in green tea have properties of the anti-inflammatory type and are a great help when using nutritional therapy.

It is recommended you choose organic green tea, as this will reduce your exposure to pesticides.


What Should I Avoid When It Comes To Lowering My Joint Pain?

As you seek to manage your pain effectively, there are foods you will want to avoid. Some of the heavy hitters are sugars and refined grains. Examples include pasta, white bread and rice. These are the culprits which add to joint inflammation rather than fight it.

You will also wish to limit your sugar intake, six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men are the recommended amounts. Use natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar.

Red meat is also one to avoid-beef, lamb and pork are known to increase inflammation. If it comes from an animal with four legs, do your best to avoid it. You will also want to avoid partially hydrogenated oil and trans fats.

In the USA, Americans tend to eat lots of processed foods which contain Omega-6 fatty acids. These promote inflammation, and sources like corn oil, safflower and sunflower oil, peanut oil, and grapeseed/vegetable oil are the main culprits here.

Avoid these as best you can and be sure to check condiment labels like mayo and salad dressings to make sure you do not accidentally consume them.

Salt is often found in excessive amounts within processed foods as a means of preserving them and extending their shelf life. For some consumers, eating these excessive amounts of salt may result in joint inflammation.

You may benefit from reducing your salt intake to a reasonable amount. As you do with the Omega-6 oils, read the nutrition labels on each of these foods to educate yourself about what’s in them.

Although very easy to buy and store, convenience foods like microwave meals or potato chips are loaded with sodium.

Other products you should avoid are alcohol and tobacco. Many of us are fully aware of the health risks associated with smoking and drinking.

But did you know that some of these effects extend to your joint health? Smokers especially are at risk for development of rheumatoid arthritis, and those who consume alcohol have a higher probability of developing gout.

The best thing to do is to make sure you are eating a balanced diet of wholesome, real foods, getting enough rest, and taking part in daily exercise or other physical activity.

Cut back on the smokes and the drinks and start a healthy diet and exercise regimen with the help of your physician. Get enough sleep. It is not easy to give up what tastes and feels good, but your joints and overall health will thank you.


Conclusion

Thankfully, those who are suffering from joint pain and inflammation do not have to rely solely upon medicines and doctor visits to manage their pain.

While it is extremely important to stay in contact with your physician and follow his or her orders, there is comfort in knowing that pain can be managed by modifying your diet, and following a healthy, whole-foods approach.

Even if you struggle with getting your vegetables or do not know how to include various herbs and spices like turmeric or ginger into your diet, supplements like Organifi Green Juice can provide you an easy and tasty way to get what you need.

Start by speaking with your doctor to determine what is best for you. Then, clean out your home of any foods that will lead to inflamed joints and more pain.

Choose and purchase foods that will help you and aid you in your quest to live a pain-free life. You can also meet with a registered dietician for ideas and suggestions about creating a diet that works for you. By making smart choices now, you will enjoy lesser pain and better health as time goes on.


Relieve Wrist Pain and Improve Flexibility in 2 Minutes!

Have you ever stopped to think about how much you use your wrists every day? Spoiler alert: it’s probably more than you think.

Sending WhatsApp messages, swiping left on tinder and even driving your car- these things all put a lot of strain on your wrists.

And, when you begin to consider how often you repeat these movements, you’ll realize how quickly these little movements can add up!

For many people, it’s not until we get a wrist injury that we understand how vital this underappreciated joint really is to our daily life. 

Some are even unfortunate enough to suffer from conditions like RSI, carpal tunnel or tendonitis because of excess wrist strain.

These conditions can be problematic to treat and make simple everyday activities like brushing teeth and opening doors painful and difficult.

If this ever happens to you, it might be tempting to push through the pain and get on with your day but, frustratingly, what your body needs is rest.

Yes, not exactly what you want to hear when you’ve got a million things on your to do list, but, trust us, a day of rest will pay dividends in the long run.

The constant action will cause further inflammation which will sustain the problem, meaning it takes longer for you to be fighting fit again.

Some conditions, such as carpal tunnel even require medical attention and can take months to heal.

If you’re a busy professional, you’ll want to make sure you can avoid this kind of inconvenience in your life.

Luckily, there are preventative measures that can be taken.

this is an image of exercisingLike most things in life, exercise is key and the most effective way to keep your wrists fit and healthy is by doing a consistent daily wrist work out.

To help you help your wrists, we’ve created a simple stretching routine that you can do anytime, anywhere to avoid the inconvenience of unwanted wrist pain.

Since finding time to exercise is difficult in our busy modern lives, we’ve kept it short and simple.

This routine is so easy that you can do it once or twice a day- even while you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or waiting on the kettle to boil- and still make a huge impact.

Our routine will help stretch and warm up the overused muscles in your wrist. Plus, the movements are simple and easy to do, even if you don’t exercise very often.

All we ask is that you concentrate on your form and carry out the movements slowly and with precision.

It’s not a race and different bodies are capable of different things. Over time, your flexibility will improve and your wrists will become more mobile.

But, poor form from the beginning will lead to further injury- which means even more time out of action.

If you can, we recommend doing these wrist exercises in the morning as part of a daily meditation routine.

If you concentrate on your breathing while doing it, you’ll start the day refreshed and with a clear head and more mobility in your wrists.

Plus, the best way to make something part of a consistent daily routine is to find an enjoyable way to do it.

Consistency and daily practice are key to happy, healthy wrists and a more productive life! 

It’s time to start giving our wrists the love that they deserve.

Start dedicating a block of space every day to doing some basic stretching activities so you’ll never be out of action!  It’s easy to find two minutes, even in the busiest of days, to say thanks to our joints.

Make today the day and ensure that you can rely on your wrists for years to come.

Let us know, have you ever struggled with a wrist injury?

Perform this stretching routine everyday for wrist pain relief.
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