The Signs of Tight and Weak Hip Flexors

bear scratching his back
For millions of people suffering from lower back pain, many do not realize that the source of their problem is weak or tight hip flexors.

While it is not common for a person to experience lower back pain with healthy conditioned hip flexors, it can still occur in instances of diseases or injury. So before you dismiss the pain, make sure that you see your doctor and talk about it first.

Many do not realize the significance of the hip flexor muscles until they begin to weaken and cause posture and mobility problems. When these muscles are not maintained through exercising and stretching, they will become tighter and weaker. When this happens, the muscles will eventually shorten and cause other health problems.

When the hip flexors are weak, your joints and spine tend to compensate and carry your entire weight instead. This causes serious strain on your knees and lower back. When it does, pain and other spine-related concerns will arise.

Living a sedentary lifestyle directly leads to the deterioration of this group of muscles. As the hip flexors are in a constant state of contraction, spending too much time sitting down or basically physically doing nothing weakens your hip flexors. As the muscles diminish their tone, they will progressively become tight.

What are the common signs of weak and tight hip flexors?

Poor Posture and Difficulty in Standing Straight

As the hip flexors are attached to your spine and pelvis, weak muscles can make it difficult for you to stand up straight. And because the hip flexors are also responsible for holding your core and entire stance in one place, poor posture becomes an ultimate sign of tight or weak hip flexors.

Lower Back Pain or Tightness While Standing

It is normal to feel tightness and pain in your hips and lower back when you are standing for many hours. This typically happens because your muscles are tightening down to try to support your core. But when tightness and pain starts just a couple of minutes after standing, this can be a troubling sign.

Neck Tightness and Pain

Tightness and pain in the neck is not always related to weak hip flexors. However, it is correlated to the effects of poor posture on your body. Many healthcare practitioners observed that the neck discomfort often goes away after the issues in the hip flexors are taken care of.

How do you determine tight hip flexors by yourself? Follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: Lie diagonally on your back on a flat surface, with the right leg hanging off. In this case, it could be a table or your bed (if you have a very soft mattress, remove it first).
  • Step 2: Hug your left leg and bring it into your chest.
  • Step 3: Observe your right leg.
  • Step 4: Repeat on the other leg.

Does the hanging leg feel tight, particularly on the thigh area? Does it hang loose below the edge of the table/bed? If your answer to the first question is yes and to the second question is no, your hip flexors are tight.

There are countless images, videos and resources online that will demonstrate how to fix weak hip flexors and alleviate the tightness. You can simply copy the movements found in these videos and start doing them as a daily routine. However, there is a chance that you will find it difficult to stretch your muscles as there is a tendency for you to feel discomfort and slight pain at other neighboring muscles.

It is important to remember that not all techniques found online will provide relief for everybody. As every person’s case is different, you will need to find other ways to resolve health problem. If this happens and you feel like you cannot do it on your own, it is advised that you see your doctor right away.

Going Wrinkle-Free: Know More About Botox Injections

lions playing
Botox has been used in the field of medicine for more than 20 years. It is a compound produced in the lab from a purified form of bacterium called clostridium botulinum under strict and controlled conditions.

Though botox is used medically as well, it is best known for its cosmetic use. It helps minimize frown lines, smile lines, horizontal forehead wrinkles and nasal crunch lines.It also aims to relax the underlying muscles and enforces less deep facial lines for a more youthful look.

If you are thinking about getting botox injections, here are other details you need to know before getting started.

Longevity of Botox

Patients who received a botox treatment usually find that its effectiveness can last for approximately three to six months. After your first session, your muscles will stay relaxed for a while. You will then be asked to come back and get another shot after six months or less, or after the initial dose wears off.

After getting your third injection, it will take less to maintain your muscles to relax. Expect that you will not be coming back to your plastic surgeon’s clinic for a couple of months.

Though it is expected that you will need less botox after your first procedure, each person is different. Nobody really knows how your body will respond and how frequent you should see your doctor. So make sure to be observant about your face and how it changes.

After the first injection, the effects will become more visible within 72 hours. Your doctor will also ask you to come back to assess your body’s response to botox. Usually, muscle relaxation will be fully evident after getting your second or third treatment.

Patient Limitation Of Botox

Botox is a very accessible cosmetic procedure. But that does not mean anybody can simply go in a doctor’s clinic and get their own botox shots.

Nursing mother, pregnant women, patients with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Lambert-Eaton syndrome and other motor neuropathy disorders should never use botox. Patients who are allergic to the protein albumin are strictly prohibited from this procedure.

Side Effects of Botox

The cosmetic side effects of botox are not rare. In fact, we have seen these in celebrities all too frequently.

Popping of Eyebrows – If someone inexperienced gives you botox, your eyebrows will tend to pop, and not for good reasons. Sometimes, the eyebrows elevate, forming an unnatural arch that sits up too high on the forehead, giving the patient a surprised or horrified look.

Frozen Face – This is when your face does not seem to move. It gives you that slightly robotic look. You have to wait until the effects of the botox are gone before your face goes back to normal.

Eyelid Drooping – A rare side effect, eyelid drooping can be fixed with prescription drops. But if your eyelids drop and completely cover your eyesight, call your doctor immediately. There are other forms of treatment that can get this issue fixed.

On the medical perspective, the side effects of botox usually include flu-like symptoms, headache, and eyebrow dropping.

Pain from Botox

Patients say that apart from the bearable prick from a tiny needle, you will only feel a mild stinging sensation. You need not worry about inflammation or irritation as it only happens on rare occasions.

The Difference Between Good And Bad Botox

Knowing the difference between good and bad botox determines the outcome of the procedure and talk to your doctor about the aesthetic you want to achieve. A great botox procedure is customized for your own face. This means your doctor will examine your facial features and give you his input about how he will go about the operation.

A good botox experience results in a symmetrical look while a bad botox case will look as if you are about to get a stroke or your face just got stung by a bee.

What you need to understand is that a good botox result will only come from the hands of a good injector. They can make you look refreshed, relaxed and wrinkle-free. Make sure to ask for referrals and research about the doctors that you have in mind.

Top 3 Unknown Benefits of Turmeric Supported By Science

As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. This is the main reason why more and more individuals today are choosing alternative medicine to prevent detrimental diseases from affecting their health. Among them turmeric is not just used to alleviate chronic pain, or treat rheumatoid arthritis. It does so much more than that.

Recent medical studies show that using turmeric and its bioactive compound called curcumin in high dosage can prevent diseases like cancer and the Alzheimer’s disease. This potent natural substance incorporates anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties powerful enough to prevent and treat the illnesses that we are dreading about.

Prevents And Can Possibly Be An Effective Treatment For Cancer

Uncontrolled cells growth can lead to cell mutation and cancer. There are many different kinds of cancer but all of them have common contributing factors – all of which appear to be altered by turmeric curcumin supplementation.

Clinical trials have proven that ar-turmerone, another biocompound found in turmeric, can reduce the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. It also has an effect in the spread of cancer cells. In some studies conducted on animals, laboratory results prove that turmeric can also shrink the size of a tumor.

There was another study conducted on 44 men with colon lesions that are expected to turn into cancer. Patients who were supplemented with 4 grams of curcumin a day had reduced their lesions by 40% within the 30-day use of curcumin.

Today, the best curcumin supplement for cancer can easily be found in local pharmacies and online stores. You just need to make sure that the products are made exclusively in the USA and that they follow quality assurance to assure their customers the top quality products.

Lowers The Risk Of Brain Disease

Years ago neurons were believed to be unable to multiply or divide after a certain age. However, recent studies show that it can happen even at al old age. The neurons have the ability to form new connections in certain areas of the body. In fact, they also have the ability to increase in numbers and the process responsible for this miracle is BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor – a type of hormone that assists brain growth.

The depletion of this hormone in the body is linked to many brain disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s diseases. Interestingly, turmeric helps increase the production of BDNF. An increased level of this growth hormone can effectively delay or even reverse age-related diseases and other conditions that affect brain function.

This is where the hypothesis “turmeric makes you smart” came from. There is a huge possibility that it can improve long term memory and make your brain sharper. The bottomline is when BDNF is assisted, it can fight various degenerative processes in the brain. And because of its unique and natural ability to cross the blood brain barrier, it has been shown to improve the pathological processes of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Lowers The Risk Of Heart Conditions

The biggest killer on the planet is heart diseases, and for many decades researchers all over the world studied why this is so. As it turns out, heart conditions can be very complicated because there are so many contributing factors that come into play.

The most notable use of curcumin for heart health is its ability to improve the endothelial function. This means, curcumin has the potential to improve the lining of your blood vessels which controls blood pressure.

The most common dysfunction of the arterial lining is when it loses its ability to regulate your blood pressure. A poor blood pressure can lead to blood clotting, the obstruction of blood flow and many other situations that lead to heart diseases.

Curcumin has been found to reduce oxidation and inflammation in the body. Several studies also state that curcumin is as good as the drug Atorvastatin and even has similar effects to exercising.

There was a recent randomised study conducted on 121 patients who were about to undergo bypass surgery. One group was given 4 grams of curcumin per day, and the rest were given a placebo. It was found that the group who took curcumin daily had a 65% lower heart attack rate while in the hospital.

We all should know more about the effects of turmeric for our health as it is such a potent natural compound. Though it has been very popular in fighting chronic illnesses, new studies have shown its effectivity in fighting deadly diseases as well. With additional scientific research, we will learn more about the properties of this spice and how we can benefit from them.

How Effective Is The Paleo Diet

The 9,000 plus Consumer Reports readers placed the Paleo diet as the second best diet in their list.

This diet plan is also called the caveman diet, which is part of the “Top 40 Best Diets” of the US News and World Reports. The surveys were based on both personal experiences and the inputs of health experts.

The key concept of the Paleolithic diet can be linked to a Walter Voegtlin’s 1975 book. This gastroenterologist believed that the ancient way of eating can help us regulate our weight. In 1985, the diet was further improved by Melvin Konner and Boyd Eaton. Loren Cordian made this very trendy in 2002 by releasing his book entitled “The Paleo Diet.”

If we look closer at the Paleo diet, it actually promotes the hunter-gatherer eating practices from the Paleolithic Era. It brings back the old eating habits with a little twist to fit the modern man’s dietary needs. Also the Paleo diet gets rid of the processed, packaged and unhealthy foods. This is one reason why it is said to be particularly helpful for type-2 diabetics, according to the 7 steps to health.

This diet method includes huge quantities of seeds, fruits, and vegetables along with dodging of added salt and refined sugars. The Paleo diet introduces healthy changes and lifestyle. According to Stephen Devries, M.D. of Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology, this is such a life changing journey for everyone to enjoy.

However, the meat prominence of the program concerns some health advocates. They all agree that the huge portion of red meat should be discouraged, given that this is linked to the increase of cancer and heart disease threats.
Nevertheless, there is another good reason you might want to commit to the untainted Paleo lifestyle. You are not allowed to feed yourself with starchy tubers like sweet potatoes as well as grains such as corn, rice, oats, wheat and quinoa.

But Marion Nestle, M.P.H. Ph.D. and the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health do not understand or see any nutritional logic of prohibiting these foods. Eliminating such food groups is a real challenge to maintain in the long run. A healthy diet should be simple and uncomplicated. According to Nestle, processed food should be eliminated and a person should fight overeating.

One who follows the Paleo diet plan eats roughly 700 mg of calcium every day; the amount could go as high as 1,000mg for men aging 19 to 50 years old. It is also expected that he or she will get levels of vitamin D, which usually comes from fortified and dairy foods. Paleo does not totally prohibit one from slurping down soda or sweetened juices.

According to the experts, you can take supplements like forskolin or green tea extract to advance the good results of the Paleo diet. You can search and read some Paleo and forskolin weight loss reviews. By doing so you will learn more ways how a diet and supplements can help you get that ideal weight.

If you religiously follow the Paleo diet, you can get healthy and lean. In addition, think of your health as your wealth and focus on the origin of the calories you eat. It may be advantageous for you to include the best principles of dieting.

If you cannot keep with the demands of Paleo, you can focus on eating a little of whole foods to avoid starving yourself to the extreme. However if you think you can devote your life to the Paleo diet plan, stick to lean proteins only. Bow to the supplementation practice so that you will get all the nutrients the body needs to function well.

The Paleo diet plan had its peak in the year 2003. This happened to be the most popular diet in the world at that time. Since these days, the diet is still among the most intriguing with strong opposition from different mainstream nutrition groups and many health experts. The health industry is divided when it comes to this kind of dietary plan; some think it is hale and hearty, while some say it’s utterly detrimental.

Luckily, science could provide some significant answers to these questions. There were some studies specifically conducted to provide clarification about the Paleo diet’s effectiveness.

Paleo simply imitates the diet of our “hunter-gatherer ancestors.” The creator of the diet believed that the ancient diet was very healthy provided that they did not suffer from similar diseases as what we are experiencing in this modern world.

Paleo promotes healthy consumption of unprocessed plants and animals ingredients, which include fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, meat and eggs. But a few of the latest version of this diet allows some prohibited foods like rice and dairy.

According to some nutrition experts, you can maximize the effects of Paleo if you include some of the super foods like curly green kale, redbor kale or Swiss chard. You can also visit and shop at the local farmers market to get the most affordable and freshest fruits and vegetables.

To make your entire family healthy, try to introduce a milder version of the Paleo diet to your spouse and kids. Teach your children about the importance of healthy eating habits. It is also a good suggestion to follow that you consult a certified dietician before starting the Paleo diet to get smart food choice tips.

Exercise and life expectancy

According to the National Institute on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercising regularly is one of the best practices that can help you remain strong regardless of your advanced age. It is believed that adults can register positive results if their bodies are exposed to as little as a 15-minute workout on a daily basis.

However, doing it for that 30 minutes is even better and this should be accompanied by strength training (twice per week). Fitting four different types of exercise into your workout program ensures excellent results.

Exercise and life expectancy are correlated. This is because, in youth, it enhances their well-being as well as body growth. Regular exercise in adults is a fundamental practice as it gives them freedom to remain active, strong and well balanced as well as being stable at all times. With health conditions like heart disease, breast and colon cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis being delayed by regular exercise, it is obvious that life expectancy also increases significantly.

In addition, exercising regularly is known to improve the mood, regulate weight and to cut down on the levels of depression. Although exercise may not be able to protect one against diseases associated with brain and memory (dementia), there is proven evidence that it helps to delay the onset – thereby giving adults more time with their families.

There are different types of exercises that can help your body in many different ways; exercise for the heart (pumping and blood circulation) is vital in the sense that it builds endurance in individuals and this is what all exercise programs focus on. Hiking, dancing, walking, riding and swimming are some of the exercises suitable for seniors as they are moderate.

Doing some work in the garden, pushing a lawn mower and raking leaves can help you lead a prolonged healthy life. Thus balancing your workouts is vital in building muscles and this can be achieved by engaging in work that requires the use of some strength, weight lifting, yoga and other related resistance workouts.

This is important in the sense that it helps to counter the loss of muscles due to aging. Stretching exercises are also important as they make the body more flexible; balance exercise on the other hand, helps those advanced in age to be active and avoid unnecessary injuries.

Life expectancy changes with both negative and positive factors. These increase or reduce mortality rate thereby affecting the entire life trends. The most common influence is the socioeconomic conditions with positive increasing life expectancy in individuals while some negative trends may increase mortality rate.

Most third world countries have been largely associated with increased child birth and since the introduction of the effective control of various infectious diseases, life expectancy is on the increase. However, a number of countries found in the sub-Saharan region have been greatly affected by the HIV/ AIDS scourge and this has adversely affected life expectancy there. This is due to the increase of untimely deaths.

On the other hand, there has been a positive trend on life expectancy in most developed countries since the mid 20th century. This has been mainly attributed to the efforts done by these countries to eradicate infectious diseases as well as the improved living standards – healthy dieting, healthcare and sanitation.

But there are fears that these positive life expectancy trends are subject to change bearing in mind that there exist a big gap between sub-group populations. For instance, it is believed that life expectancy among the Afro-American recorded a downward trend throughout the 1980’s. Increased rates of homicide and HIV infections have been the major factors that bring about these population disparities among the sub-groups.

Changes in culture as well public health awareness campaign have considerable effects on life expectancy. Let’s first look at Australia; with smoking hitting its highest level in the 20th century, mortality rate went up due to cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, respiratory complication and other related health conditions. The high levels of mortality adversely affected life expectancy during the 1960s.

This compelled the health authorities to step up their campaigns on public health and also enforce regulation in the sector that saw a reduction in the number of people who smoke. Thus, the high taxes on tobacco and related promotional activities combined with legislation have shown considerably good results as the current mortality rate has greatly reduced.

With many men shunning smoking, male lung cancer has declined; however, there has been a big concern about increased cases of lung cancer in women which is attributed to the increase of female smokers.

Chronic diseases are considered as the major concern in life expectancy to date and this is not discriminative as it affects both developed and developing countries. In most cases, obesity, and overweightness have been blamed on the rising cases of chronic diseases. In a research (Gynecological and Obstetrical Survey) done in United States, the findings indicate that heightened levels of obesity reduce life expectancy.

Is fish oil beneficial

bear-eats-fishFish oil is simply oil coming from fish flesh as some fish have a large quantity of it in their body. The main elements of these fish oils are omega-3 acids eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

These two fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and research has shown that they provide many health benefits. This is why fish oil is one of the leading type of health supplements nowadays.

Fish do not produce omega-3 directly, but accumulate it in their bodies. Either by consuming micro-algae that produce these fatty acids (like herring or sardines) or by eating prey fish that have accumulated omega-3 from these micro-algae (such as shark, swordfish or yellow fin tunafish).

Omega-3 acids strongly influence the behavior of some blood components called platelets, which are essential factors for blood clotting. The problem with the platelets is when they become too active. They congregate such as in a coronary artery and accelerate the process of atherosclerosis, the medical term for hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death from heart disease. The omega-3 fatty acids makes platelets less sticky so it is harder for them to accumulate in one area and cause a clot.

Coagulation is also influenced by substances called prostaglandins made of fatty acids from food. The functions of prostaglandins are both numerous and essential, such as temperature control and blood pressure regulation. A type of prostaglandin, thromboxane A2, stimulates coagulation (often at the wrong time in the arteries). The omega-3 fatty acids prevent its synthesis and stimulate the production of a rather inert form thromboxane A3, which is more or less inoperant. In this way, the omega-3 fight against fatal heart attacks.

They also reduce the synthesis of other chemicals derived from fats, such as leukotrienes, which have a crucial part in the initial inflammatory stage of an asthma crisis. Many studies show that omega-3 supplements can provide relief to such situations.

Although polyunsaturated oils as a means to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, omega-3 is 2 to 5 times more effective in this regard than vegetable polyunsaturated oil. Omega-3s are particularly favorable to lower blood fats such as triglycerides associated with atherosclerosis. Unsaturated oils in turn, are able to decrease immune functions by a detrimental effect on the activity of a certain type of immune cells called T lymphocytes.

These cells protect us from viruses and select and destroy cancer cells before they can proliferate. The omega-3 fats on the other hand do not reduce the functions of T cells and since they are more effective in preventing heart disease than polyunsaturated oils, it is infinitely more desirable to include them in our daily diet as a prevention.

Fish oil can also be beneficial to diabetics by increasing the sensitivity of cells to insulin hormones. In type 2 diabetes, cells become insensitive to the effects of insulin due to the lack of cellular receptors. The result is that the cell cannot metabolize sugar properly, which leads to a series of side effects, including heart heart diseases due to a high percentage of fat in the blood.

Aside from the fact that they increase insulin sensitivity, omega-3s are also beneficial for people suffering from hypercholesterolemia by increasing the proportion of one part of the protective cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL helps remove excess bad cholesterol in the blood that transports it to the liver where it undergoes degradation that turns it into bile where it gets eliminated.

Omega-3 may also change another risk factor for heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), through two different mechanisms: first, by altering the production of prostaglandins, which would relax the arterioles (small arteries) and thus to lower the blood pressure or, on the other hand, its effect with calcium reduces tension.

From their content of omega-3 acids fish can be divided into two categories depending on whether they store such fat in their muscles (herring, mackerel, salmon) or in the internal organs (cod). The second type gives a lower intake of omega-3, although cod oil contains about 20% of it. In other varieties of fish, omega-3 is about 30% of the total oil they contain. Sardines, sablefish, river trout, fresh tuna and canned (especially albacore), herring and anchovies are excellent sources.

It was long believed that canned tuna would lose most of its omega-3 content in its packaging. But the opposite has been proven since. A can of 180g of tuna contains as much omega-3 as 3 to 5 capsules of fish oils and albacore has 2 times more omega-3 than white tuna. Nature tuna is better than tuna in oil, as 25% of Omega-3 oil mix with oil and you lose if you remove it.

Fish oil also improves skin health. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are two essential fatty acids provided by fish oil supplements. But the EPA is directly related to the health of the skin.

A study published in 2005 in the “Journal of Lipid Research” found that some of the benefits of this type of oils on the skin condition are: regulating the production of oil, increased hydration, less acne, fewer wrinkles, protect skin from damage caused by UVA rays (which cause wrinkles, lines and permanent damage to the skin).

In addition omega-3 improves brain function in babies. Studies have shown that the benefits of fish oil are numerous for babies when pregnant women consume fish oil supplements during pregnancy. These supplements promote brain development and eye health. In addition, women who took a supplement of this type of oil (but high quality) gave birth to babies with higher IQs and less learning disabilities. These babies were also less likely to develop mental retardation or cognitive delays.

No offense to fans of weight loss programs, our body needs fat to live! And if we synthesize some, others must be present in our diet to meet our needs. They are called essential fatty acids, which include omega 3. In case of deficiency, the health risks are numerous. So no question of missing on it!