1. A Cheat Sheet for Treating Sciatica

    sciatica treatingOfficially, sciatica is “pain in the lower extremity resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve” – but that doesn’t come close to capturing how sciatica feels, what it’s like to live with it, or just how important treating sciatica can be.

    Because that “pain in the lower extremity” can mean a constant, nagging ache that never seems to completely go away. Or a shooting pain that radiates through your buttock and down your leg.

    It can mean never being able to roll over in bed because you can’t sleep on the affected side.

    Or not being able to sit for a long time, because the discomfort becomes too much.

    And it really means that treating this pain can become a top priority, so that you can have a reprieve from the constant ache and shooting pains.

    Risks and Causes of Sciatica

    As I mention so often, it’s easier to treat a condition once you know what’s causing it. Treating sciatica is no different.

    Sciatica is often caused by a herniated disc or a bone spur – but before you panic, know that it can also be caused by anything that irritates the sciatic nerve.

    That’s why it can be so common. By some reports, as many as 40% of adults will experience sciatica at some point in their lives.

    The good news, though, is that between 80 and 90% of all cases will clear up without surgical intervention. So while it may feel hopeless right now, there are successful ways to treat sciatica.

    Easing the Pain of Sciatica – It’s Easier Than You Think

    Tackling your sciatica is about tackling the issue on two fronts: easing the pain and correcting the condition.

    Let’s look at easing the pain first…

    Start with cold packs. When you first start treatment, it will help to reduce the inflammation. This is where ice comes into play. Wrap ice or even a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and keep it on the site of your worst pain for about twenty minutes. You can do this several times a day, just be sure to leave the ice off for twenty minutes at a time, as well.

    After three days of ice, it’s time to move to heat. Only think of it more as warmth, rather than heat. You don’t want to burn yourself. Use a heating pad on its lowest setting for twenty minutes at a time. Again, treat your sciatica for about three days with warmth for twenty minutes at a time, two or three times a day.

    If you’re still hurting at this point, consider alternating ice and warmth. Start with one for twenty minutes, then switch to the other for twenty minutes, two or three times a day.

    To help ease the pain of sciatica while you sleep, check your mattress. Firm, but not too firm, support is often helpful, as is keeping a pillow between your knees when you’re in bed.

    Stretching is another excellent form of treatment and relieving its pain in the moment. There are several stretches you can do easily in the privacy of your own home, but you can also sign up for a yoga class for a longer-term approach.

    Which brings us to –

    Long-Term Approaches to Sciatica Treatment

    Easing pain is definitely important, but you also want to correct whatever condition is irritating your sciatic nerve, if at all possible.

    A good place to start treatment is on this level is physical therapy. Your physical therapist can help with exercises and passive stretches that can help with pain, inflammation, and irritation.

    He or she can also talk to you about posture and motions that may be contributing to – and can help alleviate – sciatica.

    Massage is another excellent way of helping sciatica. A good massage therapist will be able to give you a deep tissue massage, which can release the tension in the muscle just above the sciatic nerve. When this muscle gets tense or goes into spasm, it can irritate the sciatic nerve.

    Releasing that tension with deep tissue massage may help eliminate your sciatica.

    When dealing with the treatment of other conditions, you probably hear about diet and how certain foods can help. Treating sciatica is no different. All your muscles, including the one that can impact your sciatic nerve, require magnesium to function properly.

    If that muscle is in spasm, it could be because of a magnesium deficiency. Increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods, like fish, apples, and dairy products may be helpful for easing sciatica.

    Finally, some people have had great success in treating sciatica and its pain with acupuncture. While results are mixed, it’s been effective enough for some that it’s worth looking into, especially if your nerve pain is particularly bad.

    If it’s a dull ache or a shooting debilitating pain, and you’re experiencing it, treating sciatica is essential. And it’s also possible.

    So try these tips to treat your sciatica and get back out there. Your life is waiting!

  2. The Ultimate Guide to Hand and Wrist Pain

    wrist and hand painPart of the problem in dealing with hand and wrist pain is the uncertainty.

    The pain can be a dull ache – or it can be debilitating.

    It can be constant – or it can be intermittent.

    All the variables can make you wonder what’s going on, how serious it is, if there’s a real problem at all, or if it’s all in your head.

    While I can’t tell you exactly what’s causing your pain – only your doctor can do that – I can reassure you that it’s probably not just in your head.

    Use this guide as a starting point to help identify the source of your wrist and hand pain, and understand what steps you can take next!

    Categories of Wrist and Hand Pain

    This pain is exactly what it sounds like – any pain that originates in your hand, including the fingers, or wrist.

    It may be a dull ache, or a burning sensation, or a stabbing pain. Even if it radiates up your arm, so as long as the pain originates in your hand or wrist, it’s the kind of pain we’re talking about here.

    Note – if your pain is radiating down your arm, please contact a doctor immediately.

    There could be many different reasons why you might be experiencing pain in these places, and generally speaking, they will all fall into one of three categories:

    1. Injuries
    2. Arthritis
    3. Diseases and Conditions

    Injuries aren’t always as obvious as a broken bone or a blow to the wrist. Injuries can include repetitive motion problems, tendonitis, even writer’s cramp. But it absolutely can be a sprain or strain, as well.

    While there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, the three most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

    If the pain is only in one hand or wrist, it could be osteoarthritis or gout. If you’re experiencing pain in both wrists, it’s more likely to be rheumatoid arthritis.

    And don’t think that because the pain is in your hand or wrists that it can’t be gout.

    Although gout is most commonly found in the big toe, it can occur in the hand and wrist as well.

    Like injuries, diseases and conditions is a massive category encompassing temporary conditions such as carpal tunnel disease and ganglions, to chronic conditions that effect the tendons and tissues in your hands and wrists.

    Telling Them Apart: The Symptoms

    It’s important that your doctor diagnose whatever may be causing you wrist and hand pain.

    However, you may be able to get an idea what’s going on based on the specific symptoms you’re having.

    Common symptoms of injuries are:

    • Pain
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness
    • Warmth
    • A feeling of popping or tearing
    • Bruising

    Common symptoms of arthritis are:

    • Pain that’s isolated within the joint
    • Pain that comes and goes, getting better with rest
    • Pain that’s intermittent at first, disappearing for days and even weeks
    • Loss of range of motion
    • Grinding or clacking
    • Swelling
    • Deformity of the joint

    Each of the other conditions have their own set of symptoms. However, some of the common conditions can be identified.

    Carpal Tunnel Disease:

    • Tingling and numbness in fingers and hand, yet NO tingling in pinky finger
    • Sensation may extend between wrist and elbow
    • Weakness
    • Difficulty holding onto items
    • Pain and numbness so severe it disrupts sleep
    • Pain that gets worse when you grip or flex


    • Round cyst on the joint or tendon of your wrist or hand
    • Nerve pain
    • Tingling
    • Numbness

    Chronic Conditions:

    • Loss of range of motion
    • Swelling
    • Disfiguration
    • Wrist and hand pain, sometimes severe

    So, Now What Do You DO About It?

    Just as each category of this pain has had different causes and different symptoms, each has different treatments as well.

    For injuries, generally speaking, you’re going to want to use rest and ice. Take the injured wrist, hand, or finger out of commission as much as possible – or as much as your doctor recommends.

    Ice is good for injuries, as well, because it helps reduce swelling, as well as relieving pain.

    You have many options when it comes to relieving arthritis symptoms. One of the most important things, though, is to keep moving the joint.

    As much as you want to rest it because of the pain, resting can actually make the stiffness and pain worse.

    Diet, supplements, spices, weight loss, and stretching have all be shown to be helpful in relieving hand and wrist pain caused by arthritis.

    When it comes to other conditions, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it depends on which condition you have.

    Some hand and wrist pain, like that caused by carpal tunnel, may be relieved by wearing a wrist brace and performing stretches.

    For ganglion cysts, some doctors recommend a wait-and-see approach, while others recommend more invasive treatments like surgeries or drains.

    Your doctor can guide you depending on which chronic condition is causing your hand and wrist pain.

    The One Constant – Getting Fast Pain Relief

    The one place there seems to be overlap regardless of which category of pain your wrists and hands fall into is pain relief.

    Deep breathing and meditation have been shown to be surprisingly powerful pain relievers. They may take some practice but they will work.

    Temperature therapy is a tried and true pain reliever. Choose the right one, heat or ice, for your condition though, or you can exacerbate the situation.

    For injuries, only use ice. For muscle pains, as in the case of writer’s cramp, feel free to use heat to help relax the muscles.

    And for arthritis, use whichever brings the most relief.

    Topical pain relievers, like Soothanol X2, are also good to have around when you’re dealing want temporary relief from minor aches and pains.

    They’re easy to apply – just rub the cream or gel into the skin at the site of the pain. They’re faster than pills – no waiting for the medication to work its way through your system.

    And they’re more convenient – you can use a topical pain reliever when you hurt instead of having to wait for the right time or for a meal or until you have a glass of water.

    Your wrist and hand pain is unique. If seems like it should be minor, but it feels major. We get it.

    Which is why we developed this guide for you to use to help your doctor figure out the cause – and the treatment – for your unique hand and wrist pain.

  3. Alcohol and Skin: What Everyone Should Know

    skin and alcoholMost people have the occasional beer, glass of wine, or cocktail.

    But what happens if you have more than that?

    It’s easy to think that, so long as you don’t have a drinking problem, alcohol isn’t a health issue.

    After all, it’s even recognized that a glass of red wine a night can be good for your health!

    The truth, though, is that alcohol can have a real impact on how quickly you age.

    And alcohol especially affects your skin and how old – or young – you look.

    So much so that alcohol and skin health are directly related. Continue reading

  4. 6 Unknown Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin

    eating pumpking benefitsNow that it’s autumn, it seems that pumpkin-flavored treats are everywhere.

    As overwhelming as it may seem, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing because there are so many health benefits of eating pumpkin.

    Of course, in order to get the benefits of pumpkin, you have to be eating real pumpkin, so your favorite coffee flavorings probably don’t count.

    But real pumpkin will give you these benefits and more, year-round. Continue reading

  5. Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen? The Real Truth About Two Popular Pain Relievers

    acetaminophen or ibuprofenWhen you’re in pain, you probably reach for ibuprofen of acetaminophen – Advil and Tylenol, respectively – because they are easy to find, easy to take, and relatively inexpensive.

    But do you know what you’re really reaching for when you take ibuprofen or acetaminophen?

    Because most people don’t think about the side effects and true cost of either of those drugs.

    After all, they’re sold over-the-counter at just about every grocery store, drug store, and gas station in the country.

    They must be safe – right? Unfortunately, no.

    So, if your pain relief routine includes ibuprofen or acetaminophen, be sure to read on, because in this article we’re going to take a closer look at the pros and cons of both. Continue reading

  6. Is This Weird Item in Your Fridge Good for Your Joints?

    joints good for youWhen you’re dealing with joint discomfort, you usually look to your medicine cabinet.

    But what about your refrigerator?

    Because there are several foods – including one unexpected item – that can help you maintain healthy joints and ease joint discomfort! Continue reading

  7. 4 Harmful Effects of Sugar on Your Sex Life

    In fairness, when you think about libido and sexual performance, you probably don’t think about the harmful effects of sugar.

    If your sex life is going strong, you’re just hoping it stays that way.

    And if your sex life isn’t what you’d like it to be, well, everybody slows down as they get older, right?

    Wrong! If your sex life isn’t up to snuff, maybe it’s time – even past time – that you started thinking about the harmful effects sugar could be having on your sex life.

    Because you don’t have to be resigned to a lackluster experience in the bedroom.

    And for all the ways you’re trying to boost your libido, if you’re still eating too much sugar, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for!

    The thing to remember is that sugar, insulin, and sex drive are all connected, both directly and indirectly.

    And sugar doesn’t just mean white table sugar you may put in your coffee.

    The sugar that can have harmful effects on your sex life means all sugar – honey, “raw” sugar, carbohydrates, and yes, plain old white sugar.

    It’s about how your body processes the sugar, not about the form it’s in when you eat it.

    Now that we’ve cleared up what we mean by sugar, let’s take a closer look at its harmful effects… Continue reading

  8. The Dangers of Natural Supplements

    supplements naturalHave you seen the recent sensational headlines about natural supplements sending people to emergency rooms in staggering numbers?

    They certainly caught our attention. So we read more.

    Sure enough more than 23,000 emergency room visits are caused by supplements every single year.

    The headlines definitely had our attention. So we read more.

    They certainly got us to read their articles, I’ll concede that point and give them credit for it.

    But I’m also glad that I took the time to read the information presented and didn’t just take the headline at face value. Continue reading

  9. Can I Have Sex After a Heart Attack?

    heart attack afterAfter a heart attack, it can feel like everything is different.

    Your diet, your activity level…your sex life…

    Heart attacks tend to have emotional consequences, not just physical ones.

    Even once your doctor has cleared you for physical activity after a heart attack, you may still be nervous about having sex.

    That’s okay. In fact, it’s understandable. The bedroom is the last place you want to have another heart attack!

    The good news is that less than 1% of all heart attacks take place during sex, so once you’ve been cleared by your doctor, you’re no more likely to have a heart attack in that moment than anyone else. Continue reading

  10. The Unusual Link Between Smoking and Hair Loss

    Hair loss and smokingYou know you should quit smoking.

    If you could see the damage each cigarette does to your body, it would probably be easier.

    But you can’t see it and it takes years to get sick, so it’s easy to pretend you’re fine.

    And sure, smoking can cause wrinkles and grey hair – but those can be covered.

    It’s easy to pretend you’re fine.

    So what if I told you there was a link between smoking and hair loss?

    That the thinning you’re beginning to see up top is a very real result of smoking.

    When it’s in your mirror…and your hairbrush…and your shower drain…it’s harder to pretend you’re fine.

    Because smoking and hair loss are linked. You are seeing it. It works like this – Continue reading

  11. Do You Have Unexplained Nerve Pain? Nerve Pain Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

    nerve pain unexplainedYou’re not 100% sure when it started, but you know it’s happening more often.

    The unexplained nerve pain that have changed your life.

    Skin burning and tingling.

    Feeling like you’ve got pins and needles running up and down your arms or legs.

    Even an electrical sensation under your skin.

    Some days it may be so bad that even a loving hug or a supportive touch can be too much.

    But what causes nerve pain? And more importantly, what can you do about them? Continue reading

  12. 6 Shocking Reasons Why Your Stomach Always Hurts

    always hurts stomachYour stomach always hurts.

    Maybe it’s a low level ache.

    Maybe it’s cramping.

    Maybe it’s nausea before or after you eat.

    You’re even trying to make smarter choices with your diet and health.

    Trying to find ways to eat less.

    Even swapping out added sugars.

    But the bottom line is… it seems like your stomach always hurts.

    It could be that some of the very choices you’re making to improve your health are the shocking reasons why your stomach always hurts.

    What am I talking about? How about – Continue reading

  13. 5 Amazing Remedies for Tinnitus

    tinnitus remediesTinnitus.

    That constant low-level ringing in your ears.

    It’s easy to think it couldn’t possibly be all that bad – if you don’t have it.

    But if you do have it, you know it can be that bad.

    And since it’s often related to aging – it’s most common in people over 40 - just because you don’t have it now doesn’t mean you won’t have it later.

    Which is why we’re looking at remedies for tinnitus you might not know about.  Continue reading

  14. 10 Unknown Myths and Truths About Joint Replacement Surgery

    surgery joint replacement When it comes to joint replacement surgery, there’s so much misinformation out there.

    It’s hard to tell what’s myth and what’s true.

    In this article, we’ll tackle some of those myths, differentiate between the myths that have arisen based on legitimate concerns and those based in fear or resignation, and finally weed out the fact from fiction of replacing joints. Continue reading

  15. Stress and Pain: Is Stress the Cause of Your Pain [take this quiz]

    pain and stressDoes your pain cause your stress?

    Or does your stress cause your pain?

    We’ve known for a long time that stress and pain are connected.

    But how do you know which came first?

    This quiz may give you an indication of which came first, and if stress is actually causing your pain. Continue reading

  16. 10 Unbelievable Food and Diet Myths Debunked

    myths dietWhen it comes to eating for weight loss and better health, it’s easy to think you know all there is to know.

    Unfortunately, sometimes what you think is true is actually myth.

    Persistent myth, but myth nonetheless.

    Like these ten diet myths that seem to stick around, no matter how often they’re debunked!

    Continue reading

  17. Boost Your Brain: How to Improve Your Multitasking Skills

    skills multitaskingHow often do you wish your multitasking skills were sharper?

    When you realize you haven’t finished any of the three projects you’ve been working on all afternoon?

    When you realize that nothing you’ve accomplished has been done to the best of your ability?

    Or maybe when you realize how you got distracted this morning and now it’s time for dinner.

    If any or all of these situations are familiar to you, it may be time to work on your multitasking skills, so not only do you get more done in the day, but you get it done better.

    The key to multitasking well is to understand that you aren’t actually multitasking.

    You’re performing tasks in rapid succession.

    Sure, you may be able to update your calendar while you’re on the phone talking about another project completely, but the truth is something will get lost if you do that for too long.

    Continue reading

  18. Beware of These 10 Eczema Triggers

    triggers eczemaIt’s more than just dry skin – it’s eczema.

    The dry, scaly, cracking skin. It itches. It hurts.

    And honestly, sometimes it’s embarrassing.

    It’s also not your fault.

    There are eczema triggers that you may not even be aware of – but once you know them, you can avoid them.

    And maybe you can even stop eczema flare ups before they begin.

    Continue reading

  19. How to Get Beautiful Feet in 3 Minutes

    Beautiful feet how to getTo be fair, in the larger scheme of your health, how to get beautiful feet isn’t all that important.

    But beautiful feet can make you feel better.

    And anything that boosts your confidence, makes you feel better, or lets you feel pretty even on a bad day is worth thinking about.

    Plus, you can get beautiful feet in a matter of minutes, which makes how to get beautiful feet an even more worthwhile confidence booster.

    Follow these five steps to get beautiful feet in no time.

    Continue reading

  20. Colorful Food: What Does the Color of Your Food Say About You?

    food colorfulYou use the color of your clothes, your home, even your car to say something about yourself.

    We all do.

    But did you know that the color of your foods can say just as much?

    It’s true. Next time you want to know something about someone, look in their refrigerator or at their plate.

    Do you see colorful food of bright, vibrant colors? Or Browns, tans, and beiges?

    Never mind their plates – what do you see when you look at your plate?

    And what does it all mean?

    Continue reading

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