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Should I Do Stretches for Lower Back Pain?

If you suffer from lower back pain, you’re definitely not alone.

In fact, experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain can affect people of all ages, and it’s the third most common reason for visits to the doctor.  


The good news is, most cases of lower back pain are acute: short-term back pain that may only last a few days to a few weeks. With proper self-care, this type of back pain can resolve on its own. Certain exercises can even ease that pain and help you start feeling better. 


Causes of Lower Back Pain


Lower back pain can feel different from everyone. It may feel like a dull, constant ache, or a sudden sharp pain. 


Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature. That means the components of the lower back — the spine, muscles, intervertebral discs, and nerves — have been disrupted. When they don’t fit together or move...

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3 Tips to Help Heal a Sprained Ankle

You took an iffy step off a curb or overextended yourself on your recent run, and now you have a sprained ankle. With a couple of weeks of rest, you’ll be as good as new… right?


Unfortunately, sprained ankles rarely work out that way in real life. With many sprained ankles, people tend to cut the rest time short and then continue to injure themselves when they get back to regular activity. Worse, many people underestimate the damage done to their ankle: maybe it’s a tendon injury, or maybe you’ve got a broken bone!. Not understanding the extent of your actual injury can make recovery that much harder. 


That’s why it’s important to understand how a sprained ankle is never “just” a sprained ankle, and what you can do to help your body recover properly.


How your body compensates for injuries


Our bodies are created to keep moving forward, and with that comes a whole lot of compensation patterns. 


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Sitting is the New Smoking!

Our bodies were designed to be upright.

When we sit down the pressure on our discs increases by 40% compared to standing, and when we sit and slouch the pressure increases by 85%. As a physical therapist, I see the negative effects of sitting on the musculoskeletal system all the time when people complain of lower back pain (LBP), tight hip flexors causing hip and LBP, rounded shoulders causing mid-scapular pain, forward head posture causing neck pain and headaches, weak postural muscles which are needed to support the spine, and decreased gluteal muscle firing which stabilizes the pelvis and supports the back. But sitting not only wreaks havoc on the musculoskeletal system but the cardiovascular, endocrine, vascular, neurological, digestive systems, etc, as well.


So how much time do you spend sitting each day? Think about how our lives are designed around sitting. We wake up and (if we’re lucky) sit down for breakfast, then we sit in the car as we drive to work or...

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I love this time of year! There is a certain excitement in the air – everyone seems to be rushing around with a sense of purpose, an urgency to get things done in time for the holidays when they can finally sit down and relax with family and friends.


I love the aromas associated with this time of year – especially cinnamon and apple spice! I love the sense of accomplishment felt when the tree is up and decorated. And the relief when all the presents are bought, wrapped and placed under the tree.


This hustle and bustle can however elevate out stress levels and make us more absent-minded. Caught up in this whirlwind of things to do, places to go, people to see, we might inadvertently become complacent.


Rushing around doing errands, we are less mindful of our surroundings. Have you noticed that there are more car accidents and petty thefts during this time of year? Be smart, be safe. Pay more attention when you drive, pay more attention to your personal...

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10 Best Areas to Benefit From Do-It Yourself Myofascial Release

exercise health treatment Jul 09, 2015

We’ve had previous blog posts about the benefits of foam rolling and Myofascial Release treatment from a trained practitioner, but what happens when you need treatment ASAP and the foam roller just isn’t hitting the right spot, or you’re traveling and want a more convenient solution? Enter the amazing TENNIS BALL. A tennis ball is an inexpensive, easy, and effective way to give yourself a localized deep tissue massage and it is great at targeting smaller areas that a foam roller may not quite get to.


How to use it?


Place the tennis ball onto a knot/tight/sore area of your body. Once the tennis ball is in place you can apply deep, consistent pressure, or you can slowly rock side to side over the area. You can lie down on the floor using your arms to support you if need be, or you can stand up against a wall when targeting your neck, shoulders and back.


A few other guidelines to consider: 


  1. Hold the ball in place for at least 3-5...
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Head to Toe: Coconut Oil

Coconuts are probably my favorite things on the planet – I love the smell, the taste, the texture, the water, the milk, the oil – I’m just obsessed with them!

The amazing thing is that aside from all the things I love about coconuts, they are also amazingly healthy for us – both for our insides and our outsides! The following are a few uses of coconut oil that I use daily and can’t live without. Enjoy!


#1 – Make a Body Scrub


– 2 cups cane sugar

– 1 cup kosher salt

– ½ cup coconut oil, melted

– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

– 1 tablespoon almond extract

– 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil


What to do:

Mix all ingredients together and scrub away. It’s that easy!


#2 – Make a Foot Scrub

What to do: mix together coconut oil and sea salt, then scrub away!


#3 – Make all natural (chemical free!) sunblock/daily lotion



– 1/2 cup almond or...

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6 Perfectly Pumpkin Recipes for Fall!

Below are some of my favorite healthy pumpkin recipes that I frequently make for fall! I don’t lead a dairy-free lifestyle (just a USDA organic one), but if you are, almond milk and other vegan “dairy” substitutes will work just fine in the recipes. I hope you enjoy these fall flavors as much as I do!


Pumpkin Dip


  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 24 apple slices

What to do:

  • Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended
  • Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth
  • Cover and chill 30 minutes

107 calories for 2 TBS


Pumpkin Muffins


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup...
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Confessions of a Skinny Fat Girl

Since we are in full swing our Inaugural Nutritional Program Fall Training Camp, I figured I would share my story of how I made the change to healthier eating habits over a year ago and why I wanted to bring a program like this to our clients. I was probably what most people considered the effortlessly thin. You all know people like this who rarely go to the gym and whose diet consists of burgers, pizza, chili fries and soda. I will admit I used to indulge in chili fries at least once a month. But I am here to tell you that just because everything looks good on the outside…looks can be deceiving.


I had been an athlete all my life playing both in high school and college so I always considered myself “in-shape” and probably was while I was playing sports regularly. After college my sports participation was significantly cut back and so were other fitness outlets; however, I did not curb any of my eating habits. If anything my habits probably grew worse....

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