Could Your Back Pain Be Coming From Your Mattress?

Back pain is a common ailment, and most people have simply resigned themselves to it.  Nearly everyone in America will, at one point or another during their lives, experience back pain.  The causes are many and varied, but one often overlooked culprit is the mattress you sleep on every night.

How do you tell though?  Here are a few tips, tricks and pointers you can use to identify if your mattress is contributing to your back pain and how to minimize its impact:

Simple Mindfulness

We’ll start with the basics.  It benefits you to pay attention to exactly when your back pain seems to flare up.  If you have trouble getting a decent night’s sleep and when you wake up every morning, you feel a twinge of pain getting out of bed, that’s a clear sign that your mattress may be at least part of the problem.

Look For Obvious Signs

If you do wake up each morning in pain, inspect your mattress closely before you make the bed.  Are there places that sag?  Are there lumpy areas?  If so, that’s another clear indicator that your mattress is at least part of the problem.

Fortunately, this is an easy issue to address, or at least prevent.  Every month or so, flip or turn your mattress so that you wear it out evenly.  Over time, the springs and coils will begin to break down in the areas that are supporting your weight.  By changing the orientation of your mattress at regular intervals, you can extend its useful life, and minimize your back pain as you bring firmer areas of your mattress into active use.

Mind Your Weight

Maybe you’ve gained weight since you first purchased your mattress.  While the firmness of the mattress may have been fine when you initially made the purchase, your increase in weight may be causing it to break down more quickly, contributing to your pain problem.

The Age Of The Mattress Matters

In some instances, older is better.  That’s definitely not true where mattresses are concerned, however.  If your mattress is more than five years old, it’s almost certainly contributing to whatever back pain you’re feeling.  In that case, the solution is simple – it’s time for a replacement.

Back pain is no laughing matter, and anything you can do to minimize its severity and impact on your life is a very good thing.  Pay attention to your mattress.  It may be a bigger factor than you first realized.

Benefits Of Yoga On The Body

Even people who don’t do Yoga know that it’s good for them.  What many people don’t know, however, is exactly why it’s so good for you.  In this article, we’ll outline just a few of the many benefits you’ll realize by making Yoga a regular part of your daily routine.

It Increases Your Flexibility

Let’s start with the most obvious.  The various positions you’ll contort yourself into as you begin to practice Yoga will absolutely improve and increase your flexibility.  Many people say they’re not flexible enough to do Yoga, but that’s actually just a myth and an excuse.  If a relative lack of flexibility is an issue, you’ll need to stick to basic positions. Over time, however, you’ll absolutely find yourself moving beyond those.

Helps With Weight Loss

More than a third of Americans are obese, and almost everyone living in this country could stand to drop at least a few pounds.  Yoga can help with that.  Not only will it help you burn calories and tone your muscles, but Yoga is also incredibly relaxing.  Stress, after all, is one of the major contributing factors to weight gain.  Anything that can be done to reduce stress will also have a positive impact on weight loss.

It’s A Confidence Booster

There’s undoubtedly a spiritual component to Yoga, and many people find that connotation to be incredibly empowering, especially when combined with the fact that it invariably helps to improve your mood as it lowers your stress level.

More than that though, as you embrace the meditative aspects of Yoga and begin to focus on the union of mind and body, you’ll find that you invariably become a more confident person.

People find their way to Yoga for all sorts of different reasons.  Whatever your particular reasons are though, rest assured that it will pay you handsome dividends in a variety of ways.

Your Feet May Be More Important Than You Thought

Most people don’t spend too much time thinking about their feet.  We all tend to take them for granted unless there’s a problem and they start to hurt.  It might surprise you to know, then, that your feet are much more important to your overall health than you think!

Your feet are a lot more complex mechanically than you probably realize. They contain 26 bones, 33 different joints, and more than a hundred muscles, ligaments and tendons.  If any one of those malfunctions or gets stressed or strained, your foot is going to start hurting, which could lead to real trouble for you in a variety of ways.

Consider what happens when you start experiencing foot pain.  The natural, instinctive response to that is to start “favoring” that foot by limping.  Unfortunately, when you do that, you throw your balance off, which means that you’re putting undue stress on just about every other part of your body.

If you don’t address whatever underlying issue is causing your foot pain, it’s inevitably going to cause pain in your thighs, hips and probably your back.  Your body is a finely tuned, finely balanced machine even if you’re not in the best of health.  Even if you’re overweight.  The bottom line is, if you’re off-balance and limping for an extended period of time, it’s going to have dire repercussions that you’ll find yourself dealing with for weeks, months, or even longer.

That’s why the moment your feet start hurting, it’s important to get to the bottom of why and address the issue.  Don’t let your aching feet cause additional problems for you.  Pamper your feet.  Take precautions to take good care of them, and they’ll take good care of you.

What Causes  Muscle Cramps And How To Prevent Them

Just about everyone has suffered a muscle cramp at one point or another.  It’s one of the most common types of injuries or pain you can experience. However, how do they happen, and when you get one, what’s the best way of minimizing its impact?  Fair questions for both.

Here are the answers:

In simplest terms, a muscle cramp is a strong tightening or contraction of the muscle in question.  They tend to have a sudden onset, and can last anywhere from just a few seconds to several minutes.

Surprisingly, science doesn’t offer any firm answers on the exact causes of muscle cramps, although we know of a number of things that can certainly lead to them.  Among them are:

  • A potassium, magnesium, iron, or calcium deficiency in your blood
  • Dehydration
  • Standing on a hard, unyielding surface for an extended period of time
  • Exposure to extremes in temperature in either direction, but especially exposure to cold

In addition to those things, perhaps the leading cause of muscle cramps is simple over-use.  Exercising for too long or too intensely can certainly lead to cramping.  Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to alleviate the pain.  These include:

  • Walking it off – It may sound almost cliche, but if you’re suffering a leg cramp, walking does help to stretch it out.
  • Perform a gentle stretching routine – if you’re not in a position where you can walk, then gentle persistent stretching will certainly help, and is a perfectly viable alternative
  • Massage – another great option is massage, which you can, in most cases, easily do yourself
  • Alternate ice and heat – Ice alone is moderately effective. Heat alone is moderately effective, but for best results, use both in an alternating pattern of about fifteen minutes each.

Of course, if your pain persists, then it could be a symptom of a deeper problem, in which case, you should make an appointment with your chiropractor or physician at your next available opportunity.