Do you have joint pain and stiffness? Do you experience an increase in pain after prolonged sitting or upon rising in the morning? Or are you frequently taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin to alleviate pain? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be suffering from too much inflammation!
There are two types of inflammation that occur in our bodies: acute and chronic. Acute Inflammation is critical to our bodies' healing process and is a natural and productive response to tissue damage. Chronic Inflammation, on the other hand, is ongoing and occurs with persistent injury or infection or is associated to diseases such as arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. And, unfortunately, chronic inflammation usually leads to tissue damage. The good news, however, is chronic inflammation can often be controlled with diet and does not come with the side effects that frequently occur with medication!
When it comes to tissue healing, what you eat can greatly impact the healing process. Foods high in sugar and saturated fats cause an over stimulated immune system which can produce joint pain, fatigue and tissue damage. Diets high in processed food do not supply your body with suitable nutrients to recovery as well as it could. The top 9 inflammatory foods that you’ll want to avoid at all costs are:
Excessive sugar consumption leads to increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, acne, and type 2 diabetes.
2. Common Cooking Oils
Many cooking oils contain extremely high levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and abysmally low levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
3. Trans Fats
There’s nothing good about trans fats. Trans fatty acids are known to substantially increase bad cholesterol while simultaneously lowering good cholesterol. In addition to promoting inflammation, trans fats encourage obesity, insulin resistance and many other degenerative illnesses.
4. Dairy Products
As much as 60 percent of the world’s population cannot digest milk. Dairy products can cause gastrointestinal distress with constipation or diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives, and even breathing difficulties.
5. Feedlot-Raised Meat
Many commercially-raised animals are subjected to very poor living conditions. These animals are also fed a diet that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and low in anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
6. Red and Processed Meats
Experts suggest that ingesting red meat causes humans to develop anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, a harmful immune response.
Regular high consumption of alcohol can lead to a plethora of issues, including irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx, and liver.
8. Refined Grains
Refined grains have a dramatically increased glycemic index and can encourage the progression of degenerative diseases.
9. Artificial Food Additives
Artificial food additives such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) have been reported to trigger and worsen inflammatory processes in the body.
Conversely, eating an anti-inflammatory, well-rounded diet of appropriate carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals along with adequate water intake can reducing inflammation and allow your body to heal properly. While there are no magic foods, making minor additions and subtractions from your diet can go a long way in combating these chronic conditions and get you on track to feeling better. A few tips for beginning an anti-inflammatory diet are:
The following foods are also recommended, because they possess anti-inflammatory components like omega-3, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, iron, lycopene, betalains, allicin, and anthocyanins:
In a nutshell, anti-inflammatory foods are those that any nutrition expert would encourage you to eat - in general, foods that include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fatty fish, and fresh herbs and spices. An anti-inflammatory diet is widely regarded as healthy, so even if it doesn't help with your condition, it can help lower your chances of having other problems. Don’t let your diet stack the odds against your health! Do your best to keep inflammation in check by choosing a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods and get back on track to feeling better.
Chronic lung disease can make tasks that used to be easy, very difficult. Simple activities like getting the mail, climbing a flight of stairs, or keeping up with your kids or grandkids can seem overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t have to live that way forever!
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a process that helps recondition the respiratory system in patients living with chronic lung disease. Performed at The Smith Clinic for Physical Therapy, Pulmonary Rehab empowers and rehabilitates patients with chronic lung disease by teaching breathing techniques to help you increase your lung capacity, exercises to increase strength and endurance, and tricks for conserving energy so you can do the things you want to do and live life to the fullest. This, in turn, enables you to manage your condition, giving you the tools necessary to maintain pulmonary function in every day life.
If you experience shortness of breath and fatigue due to chronic lung disease, you may be a candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation. While Pulmonary rehabilitation won’t cure your disease, it can help you learn how to overcome the shortness of breath and fatigue you associate with activity. The goal of The Smich Clinic for Physical Therpay’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is to help each and every patient increase their endurance and exercise capacity, reduce symptoms of disease, decrease hospital admissions and achieve the best possible lung function. Breathe easier, get stronger, and do more in your daily life. Call us today to make an appointment!
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
According to WebMD, a concussion is "a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull." Concussions are a surprisingly common occurrence in sports. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. These numbers may be underestimated, as many cases are never reported. High school athletes in particular suffer thousands of concussions every year, most often in football, ice hockey, and soccer.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A SPORTS-RELATED CONCUSSION?
Sports-related concussions often result in mental and physical symptoms (i.e., inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, headache, fatigue, dizziness). For many athletes, the symptoms disappear after about 2 weeks and typically do not last more than several months. In some cases, however, concussions lead to persistent physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, sometimes referred to as post-concussion syndrome. It is unknown whether persistent post-concussive symptoms result from primarily medical or psychological causes. In rare cases, when repeated concussions occur over a brief interval, athletes may suffer from second impact syndrome, a pathological response of the brain that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Those affected should seek careful evaluation and management of any sports-related concussion.
HOW SHOULD A SPORTS-RELATED CONCUSSION BE EVALUATED?
Concussions are typically managed according to their severity. Immediately after a concussion takes place, medical evaluation is neccesarry to determine an individual vital signs and level of consciousness and to rule out any other injuries, such as those to the spine. Recent guidelines indicate that anyone who loses consciousness as a result of trauma during a sporting event should be evaluated by a hospital emergency department. In less severe cases, athletes are typically evaluated on site rather than in hospital emergency departments. There are a variety of approaches to the "sideline" assessment of concussion. Guidelines are also available to assist in deciding when a child is ready to return to play after a concussion.
A physical therapist can assess symptoms of a concussion and treat the injury by guiding the patient through a safe and individualized recovery program. Treatment for concussions may include:
- Rest and recovery. Your physical therapist can help you and your family understand why you should limit any kind of activity after a concussion, until it is safe to return to these activities. A period of rest helps the brain heal and helps symptoms clear up as quickly as possible.
- Restoring strength and endurance. The physical and mental rest required after a concussion can result in muscle weakness, and a decrease in physical endurance. Your physical therapist can help you regain your strength and endurance, when the right time comes, without making your symptoms worse. It is common for elite-level athletes and fit “weekend warriors” to experience exercise intolerance with concussion and brain injury. Your physical therapist can help you to identify and treat your specific symptoms.
- Stopping dizziness and improving balance. If you are experiencing dizziness or difficulty with balance, your physical therapist may be able to help reduce your dizziness and balance problems after a concussion using special treatments or teaching you specific exercises, some of which you may be able to do at home.
- Reducing headaches. Your physical therapist will assess the different possible causes of your headaches and use specific treatments and exercises to reduce and eliminate them. Treatment may include stretches, strength and motion exercises, and the use of technologies such as electrical stimulation.
- Returning to normal activity or sport. As symptoms diminish and you regain your normal strength and endurance without symptoms returning, your physical therapist will help you gradually add normal activities back into your daily routine. They will help you avoid overloading the brain and nervous system as you increase your activity level. Overloading the brain during activity after a concussion interferes with the healing of the brain tissue, and can make your symptoms return.
Changes in the rules for athletic competition have reduced the number of sports-related concussions. After the National Collegiate Athletic Association made the use of the head when tackling illegal in 1976, the annual number of head and neck injuries in football declined by about 50%. The required use of helmets in many contact sports and improvements in helmet design has also resulted in fewer head injuries. Making sure helmets and other gear fits and are worn properly, as well as asking a coach or other sports professional about safe playing techniques will also make a difference.
If you or a loved one have suffered a concussion, The Smith Clinic can help! Call us today at 901.756.1650 to make an appointment and get started on your road to recovery!
A herniated disc, also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc, is a common condition that can be extremely painful and debilitating. A herniated disc develops when one of the cushion-like pads between the vertebrae moves out of position and presses on adjacent nerves.
The human backbone, or spine, consists of 26 bones called vertebrae. Between each vertebrae lie rubbery, cushion-like pads (referred to as "discs") that help keep the vertebrae in place and act as shock absorbers. Spinal disks have been likened to doughnuts with a soft, jelly center and a tougher exterior. A herniated disk occurs when some of the soft interior slips out through a crack in the disk's wall. Most commonly, this occurs in the back, but it can also happen in the vertebrae of the neck. The escape of this "jelly" is thought to release chemicals that directly irritate nerves in the surrounding area and cause significant pain. There is also a chance that the prolapsed disk can press up against nerves and cause pain through compression.
A herniated disk can lead to numbness or weakness in one or more limbs. Contrarily, some people experience no associated pain with a herniated disk, particularly if the disk does not press on any nerves. Although some cases of slipped disks are not associated with any symptoms, many are, and symptoms can include:
Evan is a sophomore at Briarcrest Christian High School, and enjoys singing, cross country and softball. In fact, it's that active lifestyle that Evan was thankful to return to after an injury. She has been a patient of ours twice, and both times she was able to return "pain-free and without medication" to her activities after physical therapy. Despite the time commitment (especially hard for a busy high school student) she said her time at the clinic was definitely worth it.
She has lived in Memphis her entire life. She is glad it's close to one of her other favorite places...Oxford, MS, where her grandparents live and her favorite college, Ole Miss, is located. Her best friend is her brother, a Senior at Briarcrest, and she is very close to her parents, who she refers to as her "role models." (the girls at the front desk love watching them interact and seeing the love between Evan and her family - it's very evident that the love of Jesus flows freely in that family!).
When we asked Evan what she likes about The Smith Clinic she replied, "I love how the therapists strive to create a personal bond with each of their patients. I've had many laughs with them and grown to love all of them. I love how they have a prayer box and Christian music playing at the clinic. They also have coffee and really fancy water...haha!"
It's people like Evan and her Mom that make our jobs so enjoyable and fulfilling! Thanks to Evan for sharing about herself and for being our patient!
Blueberry Corn Salad
You can make this salad a day in advance. You can also use raw corn, skip boiling the corn and continue.
Please allow us to introduce long time patient and friend, William Cochran.
A resident of Memphis since 1963, William has spent most of his adult life in the Memphis area. Now retired after a career with Service Master, William is married to his wife, Emily (she is also a patient of The Smith Clinic!) and has 2 children and 7 grandchildren.
He is an active member of Bellevue Baptist church and, in his spare time, he enjoys spending the with his grandchildren, eating out with friends and traveling to the mountains.
Ongoing back pain is what initially brought William to The Smith Clinic, and, most recently, a herniated disc causing sciatic nerve pain is the reason for his recent return. When asked what the biggest challenge of physical therapy has been, William stated, "The challenge is continuing to come, even though you know it will be difficult. In a sense, you hate to come but know you have to. But the people who treat you here are a big part of the attitude in making you want to continue to do it. You don't mind coming, because you know you will have congenial people who really want to see you improve." William said that, more than anything, he has gained an appreciation for taking care of his body and doing the things you know will help, even though you know it will be hard.
In talking about his experience at The Smith Clinic, William commented, "I have never seen any operation more competent. I am fascinated by how things are done and how they train their people. Everyone is so friendly, and you can tell their main objective is to make you well and happy. They are Super!"
We greatly appreciate your loyalty and friendship, William, and are so grateful to have you as a part of The Smith Clinic family!
Why It May Be Unnecessary
Imaging for first-time lower-back pain may be unnecessary. It might not reveal the cause, and could also complicate treatment. According to Max Wintermark, MD, chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University, "if you take 100 random people and do an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] of their lumbar spine, a number of people without pain will show the same abnormal findings as those with pain." One study found that 81 percent of adults with no symptoms showed a bulging disk.
Finding an abnormality doesn't mean it's the source of the pain, and treating based on scan results might lead a patient down a road of potentially unhelpful interventions, including surgery.
At best, imaging results likely will not change the treatment recommendation:
In many instances, doctors will prescribe
physical therapy no matter what a scan reveals.
WHAT TO TRY INSTEAD:
A combination of rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy for six weeks. Revisit the option of imaging only if pain has not improved.
If you have red flags such as numbness or osteoporosis, imaging may be necessary.
Call The Smith Clinic For Physical Therapy today at 901-756-1650 to schedule an assessment with one of our Physical Therapists. We can help determine the best course of action for your back pain!
Strawberry Chia Watermelon Smoothie
Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1 cup coconut flakes
2 medium bananas
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons almond flour