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Thinking About Getting a Running shoe for Plantar Fasciitis? Read This First

Thinking About Getting a Running Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis? Read This First

If you’re like a lot of runners, then you’ve probably thought about getting a sneaker that will prevent heel pain.

A lot of people eventually narrow their choice down between the following two products:

•ASICS Men’s GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

•New Balance Men’s M990v3 Running Shoe
They are both great products. However,  I’ve discovered that one of these products actually holds a surprising advantage over the other. Read on to find out which one I think is best for runners concerned with heel pain.

Overview of ASICS Men’s GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

This running shoe  does a  good job of providing support  and comfort. That’s largely due to the following three features:

•There is a Rearfoot GEL cushioning pad that provides extra support for the heel, absorbing the landing impact. You won’t feel discomfort when striking the foot on the ground. The shoe is designed for long hours of wear on endless trails and helps the wearer to endure the ups and downs of rougher terrain. The cushioning system helps to reduce the shock that a runner experiences during the impact phase. It also allows for a much smoother transition to midstance.

•The inside of the shoe has removable foam soles so that they can be replaced with doctor recommended orthotics. This is a nice feature because some people just  can’t manage, despite the well thought out technology, orthotics that are are not specifically made for them. They need orthotics that are custom made where a medical professional such as a chiropractor who specializes  in making orthotics can cast a mold of the runner’s feet and in essence make  a blue print that will grantee a perfect fit.

• The shoe has an enclosed shoot meaning that it supports a hold of the shoe and lace-ups coming up to the ankle.The soles of these shoes are made out of hard rubber. Because the rubber soles are designed for durability and strength, they are not as flexible as other running shoe models on the market. This means the shoe passes the “bend and twist test” as mentioned in the video above. What does this mean and why should you care? If a running shoe bends and twist that means it won’t have the support to absorb the landing impact when your heel hit the ground, and that’s bad news. It means that you have the wrong shoes for your planter fasciitis, and you’re going to make your condition  worse.

Despite these great advantages, however, there is one problem with Asics Gel Venture 5 Namely, the outsoles rubber  have been known to separate from the platform. That may not be a big deal to those who don’t use this running shoe for heavy milage like marathon  training, but those who do use this running shoes that way will want to take note.

Overview of New Balance Men’s M990v3

This is also a great running shoe for runners with heel problems. In particular, this running shoe shines when you need to put  high-milage in your runs. What’s more, it also comes with these neat features that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else:

Comfortable to wear and feels sturdy. This goes even beyond the enclosed shoot of most running shoes. The shoe offers a snug fit because the collar  foam and pigskin upper part wrap the foot perfectly. This means your foot is locked into the proper position  and you lessen the chance of injury even with a long run. In fact, this sneaker offers a good fit for a wide range of foot sizes. This means you won’t have to go a half size bigger to accommodate  toe room as it might  be the case with other running shoes

Crash Pad. The shoe has the ABZORB crash pad on the midsole. This means that your heel strikes  will be smooth.

Ndrance outsole. This is a durable carbon rubber that provides resistance to the wearing of the heel up to the outer sole’s lateral sides. In other words, the shoe won’t fall apart even after a grueling  long run. This shoe is solid, well built, thorough, which means you’re not likely to find any glaring faults with it.

Despite the mentioned advantages, however, those who use the shoe for speed running or those who’re looking for some trail running ability may be disappointed. That’s because this shoe is much too heavy for speed running. It’s also limited when it come to running on uneven terrain as it does not have trail-specific outsoles.

[Gel Venture 5] vs. [M990v3]: Which One Wins?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, both of these are solid products. However, overall I’d have to award the M990v3 as the best overall running sneaker for plantar fasciitis  because the it offers more support, and good support is ultimately  what a runner suffering from heel pain needs. In the interest of providing more balance—no pun intended—here are some things that a runner may want to consider before making a purchase.

  1. Some runners have reported that their shoes emit a terrible odor, especially if they get wet. I can confirm that. You need to keep the shoes dry.
  2. You’ll have to, for the most part, stick to smooth surfaces and avoid rough terrain if you want to make the best use of the shoes.
  3. It doesn’t offer the breathable inner lining technology like the Gel Venture 5. This adds to the odor problem. You can take care of the problem by using sneaker balls, but it’s still something to think about.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for running shoes that are good for heel pain and high milage, then you won’t go wrong by choosing the M990v3.

Update: New Balance has come up with the M990v4 which now has a breathable-mesh. This should go a long way in solving the odor problem. You can check the updated version here.

 

 

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Why Athletes Use Ice Baths–And Why You Shouldn’t

Why Athletes Use Ice Baths–And Why You Shouldn’t

 

 

 

Yesterday I read a blog post about  ice baths by Nikki Kamball. She is a renewed  long distance runner who was named USATF’s Ultra Runner of the year in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Maybe you’ve already read it. If not, you can take a look at it here:

http://www.runnersworld.com/health/the-benefits-of-ice-baths-for-runners

 

In any case, it made me examine why athletes use ice baths and whether or not is something that beginning runner should consider.

Basically, Nikki’s premise is that long runs, which she says are essential to training distance runners, increase the runner’s risk of injury.  She says, “ One simple way to offset the risks inherent to long bouts of running is cold-water immersion, known to many runners as the ice bath.”  In sum, she says, “ice baths  are one of the most effective ways to offset the damage on on the run.” I agree with Nikki’s view point, that runners need to lessen the time off as a result of injury.This means they need to recover quickly.   That said, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the topic of ice baths for athletes and make the case for why this may not be a great idea for beginning runners.

You see, Nikki is an awesome athlete and human being who has inspired and keeps inspiring many runners around the country.

“Finding Traction”  is a documentary about Nikki. According to the synopsis,  the piece “presents the inspirational story of ultra runner Nikki Kimball and her quest to become the fastest person in history to run America’s oldest hiking trail, the 273-mile Long Trail… In addition to providing an inside look into the journey of an elite athlete, “Finding Traction” gives viewers a new perspective on the endurance of the human body and spirit, and informs us all us, regardless of our sex, of our true potential and inspires us to reach it.”

The documentary has won, among others, the following award:

While I admire this amazing athlete, I have kept up to date on the latest thinking about the benefits of ice baths for athletes. Nikki wrote her post 8 years ago, but it’s still on her site and I think many of her fans may not be aware of the new thinking on the subject. I think I can shed some light.

So, what I’d like to do is share with you  my opinion on 3 crucial points made in Nikki’s post.

Point #1:  Improve next day training ability. It’s advantageous  for runners to speed recovery time or muscle healing after an injury.

Nikki made an extremely important point here. one that I’ve made a fair number of times myself when discussing Athletes and  weekend warrior bouts with  back pain. The quicker the recovery, the better chances that one will be able to resume their sports passion. Nikki  further stated that, “ice baths  are one of the most effective ways to offset the damage on  the run.”

The theory is that icing  injured muscles helps speeds recovery time or muscle healing. If you’re less sore and less fatigued then of course you can potentially  train better and increase the benefits of that training. Meaning, you can enhance your chances  of becoming stronger and faster. However, New research published in the January issue of the Journal of Sports Sciences claims cold-water immersion “have no benefit in promoting recovery. In fact an  increasing body of evidence suggests that cold can quash performance gains.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16372177

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25760154

In fact,  in a 2006 study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16372177 exercise physiologist Motoi yamane at Chukyo University in Aichi, in Japan, found that icing leg muscles after cycling or forearm handgrip exercises interfered with performance gains.

Recently Yamane published a follow-up study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25760154 at Aichi Mizuho College. He again used weighted handgrip exercises, and corroborated  his earlier results.

But They Don’t Run Like Nikki Kamball

Of course it’s important to understand that these were not elite runners like Nikki Kamball, but that’s the point. If you run only twice a week, let’s say, then using ice baths  may actually reduce  all the gains that you made. A recent study by Llion Roberts and colleagues [1] compared the effects of Ice baths for ice baths on muscle recovery after 12 weeks of training.  He also wanted to study the effects on specific signaling pathways ( trigger for muscle mass and strength).

Here are the results. Ice baths decreased gains in muscle mass and strength and blunted key proteins responsible for muscle growth. This means that if you worked hard in the gym to get stronger so you can go faster, you will erase the gains by taking an ice bath. Again, the subjects in this study were not elite and were training only twice per week—this only reinforces my point.

If you’re running to keep in shape—a short term goal—and not interested in becoming  an elite marathon runner, ice baths are not something you should attempt.

Point #2: Ice baths decrease inflammation, soreness, and Fatigue

So the benefits can be illustrated as:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduce DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness)
  • The constriction of blood vessels leads to an increase in the flushing out of toxins. This means a rush of nutrient-rich blood back into injured and fatigued muscles.

Before I address the above points, let me tell you a little story. I ran track in high school, and as part of the training the coach would make us “run them hills”. It worked. After running up one of those monster hills, sprinting the 90 yard dash or being part of a relay race was a cinch. Here’s the thing. The first time I ran up the big hill, I was sore as hell and so tired I could barely make it to the locker room. By the third or fourth  run  it was a lot easier. My body had adapted. The soreness, fatigue, and even inflammation was part of the adapting  process.

This leads to this question: 

Might ice baths decrease inflammation and soreness and therefore lessen the trigger for adapting to the training the athlete has just completed.

In other words, by delaying the soreness, fatigue, and inflammation, ice baths may prolong the recovery process.

What About R.I.C.E?

Dr. Gabe Mirkin was the sports medicine doctor who originally coined the acronym, which stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation, in 1978. However, he no longer recommends it to athletes. “We never rest or ice athletes anymore. RICE is fine for someone who doesn’t need to get back to training quickly, but it’s terrible for competitive athletes.” he said. https://www.outsideonline.com/1971446/recovery-ice-bath-isnt-always-such-good-idea

What this means, as stated earlier, is that if you have the short term goals of getting temporarily relief from sore muscles then it’s fine to use icing.  If, however, you plan on a quick recovery that will enable you to train even harder, icing is not the way to go. In the same Outside article, Dr. Mirkin says, “There’s no evidence that icing speeds healing or makes you stronger; in fact, it makes you weaker so you can’t do your next hard workout.” https://www.outsideonline.com/1971446/recovery-ice-bath-isnt-always-such-good-idea

Point #3:  Improve Well- Being 

There is strong evidence that athletes feel better after taking ice baths. So the psychological benefits can not be discounted. As I have stated in previous posts, the well-being of your mind plays a very significant role in your health. “Thinking positive” is not just a silly buzzword made up by self-help gurus to make money for themselves. Emotions can have an impact on the physical. We see it in our language. For example we may say something like, “she was stooped over because of her depression.” Thus, self-esteem, as stated in an earlier post, depends on a person’s personal assessment of his or her worth.

Thus, it makes sense why ice baths are so popular among athletes. Tennis great Andy Murray, to illustrate,  has posted a picture  of himself clutching the Wimbledon trophy while standing in an ice bath. What then is the verdict ? Well, I would ask what  is your goal. Ice baths used correctly may be great as a psychological boost. That said, I would use them sparingly. Or as I would like to say PWC, proceed with caution.

Conclusion

Nikki Kamball really did the sport of running a great service when she brought up the topic of improving next day training ability. The debate on injury recovery and muscle healing can only expand the discussion and help future  athletes. That said, there are alternatives to ice baths. One can take cold showers which can make you feel good without the detriment of reducing gains made through your hard training. Also, more work in the injury recovery arena suggests that learning to correctly move the body may be a better way to quick recovery than icing.  Thus, Yoga is increasingly becoming an important part of the way runners are keeping healthy. Whether or not you have done ice baths, especially if you haven’t, I hope this information was helpful.

like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

Reference

1 Roberts LA, Raastad T, Markworth JF, et al. Post-exercise cold water immersion attenuates acute anabolic signalling and long-term adaptations in muscle to strength training. J Physiol 2015;593(18):4285-301 doi: 10.1113/JP270570[published Online First: Epub Date]|.

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Running and Heel Pain

Running and Heel Pain

 

Imagine the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and not a care in the world. Well, there are only a few things that can bring about that kind of feeling and one of them is running. Even better,  there are countless benefits associated with it. Yes, apart from the obvious fact that running keeps your weight in check, you also benefit from being especially fit.

  • It is a well-known fact that runners have an increased lung capacity, hence an increase in endurance levels to keep going mile after mile.
  • Running also helps in the prevention of blood pressure because the expanding and contracting of the arteries means that you have a healthy flow of blood through your body.
  • If you are having one of those days where you feel like punching something, a quick jog around the neighborhood park will do wonders for your mood. Running boosts the brain serotonin levels responsible for making you calmer and relaxed. You will be literally “chasing a high” and well, if that doesn’t give you the boost you need, then, keep chasing!
  • Running is also beneficial to the increased joints, bones and ligament strength and stability, which comes in handy when running on those uneven terrains. Your body will have the strength to withstand it.

There are two sides to a slice of bread.  Just as there are plenty of  enjoyable health benefits that come with running, there are some, not so pleasant, pains associated with it as well.  Our bodies are not immune to injuries such as ankle sprains, breakage, and other related pains. An example of one injury is Plantar Fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

 

Don’t let the big word scare you. This condition is also known as the “Policeman’s Heel” in relation to the long hours spent on their feet. It is just pain experienced at the bottom of the foot and on the heels. It is a very common orthopedic condition of the feet.

This pain can be as a result of running, extended periods of standing and weight related. The over extension of the plantar fascia, which is the broad band of fibrous tissues found on the bottom of the foot, can exasperate this condition to cause heel pain, heel spurs, and arch pains.

A tightness, rupture, or inflammation of the Achilles tendon found on the back of the leg also poses a risk factor for Plantar Fasciitis.

If your work involved strenuous heavy lifting, this can put excessive strain on your heels and can result in tears in the tissues of the feet. Continuous overload may prevent healing and in turn, cause chronic inflammation and tissue degeneration.

How to Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis:

Pain is a way of your body telling you that something may be wrong and we rely on our feet for just about everything. I imagine that if you are a runner one of the worst things that any one can tell you is that you can no longer pursue a passion that brings joy. So you can’t afford to ignore any pain!

A simple self-diagnosis can be done to determine if you have Plantar Fasciitis. Most people experience pain in the morning when getting out of bed or when standing up after a long period of being seated. This pain or discomfort quickly subsides.

However, it is an obvious sign that something is serious when there is a continuous throbbing pain or the feeling of a sharp stabbing pain in the heel, then:

  • An X-ray procedure is necessary to rule out any fractures, infections, and tumors.
  • An Ultrasound is also important when it comes to measuring the thickness of the veins and connective tissues of the feet.

In most cases, medication and other simple non-surgical treatments may suffice, however, if the pain persists and you start to experience:

  1. Numbness
  2. Chronic nerve pains
  3. Severe swelling
  4. Deep vein thrombosis
  5. Foot stiffness

These symptoms will most likely start to affect the productivity in your life, then there are surgical procedures available that can relieve them. So consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

 

Most exercises relating to any foot injuries are best done under an orthopedic surgeon or a physiotherapist’s supervision, such as:

  1. Stretching of the Plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon. This is to minimize further damage to the area.
  2. Cold and Heat Packs: Place the gel pack on a foot stool and then put your heel on top can help with relieving pain or inflammation.
  3. Wearing a Dorsiflexion Splint brace overnight will keep your foot raised at a 90-degree angle which helps with those mornings start-up pains.
  4. Rolling your foot on a plastic bottle of hot or cold water and depending on your symptoms, experiment on both to see which brings you more relief.
  5. Medication such as anti-inflammatories in tablet form as well as steroid injections is an option depending on the length of symptoms and the pain levels.
  6. Shock Wave Therapy is a noninvasive procedure that is used by passing shock waves in the affected area in order to manage chronic pain.

How to Beat Plantar Fasciitis

As earlier discussed, this condition can be caused by a number of reasons such as workload pressure on the heels, standing for long hours at a time, excessive exercising to mention a few. Now, while it wouldn’t be a good idea to quit your job, there are ways you can keep Planta Fasciitis at bay.

  • Invest in proper orthopedic shoes to take the pressure off your feet. Swap those high heels for flat well-padded shoes.
  • Wearing heel-cups (Orthosis) when walking
  • Heel and toe exercises such as flexing the plantar tendon, stretching and curling up your feet, and tiptoeing.
  • A foot massage regulates blood circulation.
  • Keep a healthy weight as too much of it tends to put more pressure on your heels and the tendons.

Remember to help your feet by staying off them, whether in pain or not. You only have the two.

like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

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Can Running Cause Back Pain–An Answer to An Awesome Athlete

 

Can Running Cause Back Pain–An Answer to An Awesome Athlete 

A friend of mine, when she was growing up,  used to admire how  people ran  faster in the Olympics. Within a few minutes, they completed a distance which  she says would have taken her an hour.  I personally think she was being too hard on herself.  In any case, she vowed to become a runner and a competitive one, so with time she started her training. It wasn’t an easy process but she was determined to fulfill her dream. However, one day she had  lower back pain which even after treatment made her dreams of becoming a professional runner come to an end. She didn’t know that running could cause back pain.  I ran track when I was in high school, but this post is not about me. It’s a tribute to a hard working,  brave, and classy,  athlete . Therefore the question is, can running cause back pain?

 Yes, running can cause lower and upper back pain.

Running is a great way of exercising if you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, build strong bones and strengthen your muscles.  As you run you are burning a lot of calories, hence it is a good type of exercise when you want to lose weight and also maintain a healthy weight.  People who have a passion for running feel that they are internally pressured to run and they can’t control the urge to run even when they are on vacation.  They are better equipped to handle race day stress and have a positive mindset as they train. However, things do change when this passion causes back pain or any other kind of pain.

Running does put high levels of repetitive stress on the back and it affects the overall length of the spine. The most common type of pain is  muscular pain and strain and the pain comes as an ache that generally materializes in the lower back muscles before, during, or after running but it doesn’t go to the buttocks or legs.  The back ligaments and muscles which help keep the spine upright and maintain a good posture as you run may become strained and fatigued hence causing spasm and pain.  The nerve roots are squeezed in such a way that the pain radiates to the legs or arms which makes one temporarily immobile. People who have a history of back pain will find that if they run or jog, then the pain intensifies or it leads to other pain such as sciatica which is leg weakness, pain, and numbness.

The pain in the upper back is usually painful and annoying and it appears in between the shoulder blades.   Upper back pain is caused by not swinging your arms enough or swinging too much or the shoulders rising and becoming too tense when you get tired which creates a torque on the upper back.   The change of pH in a particular region also causes pain and this happens because there is a buildup of lactic acid which makes nerves become sensitive to irritation.

Lower back pain is caused by various factors affecting the lower back and these include:

  • Hip-flexor tightness

One cause of the back pain is the lack of hip mobility. Hip mobility is caused by tight hamstrings which cause the pelvis to be rotated too far backward or forward hence cause strain on the spine. The runners have reduced ability to flex their hips while their knee is straight because of the tight hip flexors and it causes stress when you try and extend it while running hence the pain.

  • Core instability

Poor form and inappropriate core instability are also another cause of decreased hip mobility so a runner should be in proper form. Running requires one to have good core strength so that it supports the forces that are transmitted through the pelvis during the phase of weight bearing as you run. Doing corrective exercises will improve their posture and doing exercises such as wall squats, abdominal crunches or leg raises are good exercises to strengthen the core and back muscles.

  • Foot pronation

Your running style and heel strike may cause you to have back pain. When you have an improper foot imbalance that will affect how you run. With poor technique and posture you can end up placing a lot of strain on the back. Pronated feet and ankles cause the feet to roll inwards . This can cause knock knee which in turn shifts the angle of the thigh bones, pelvis and eventually the spine. This causes poor alignment of the hips, legs, feet and spine as you run so it will cause a strain hence back pain.

  • Too much pressure

Runners are exposed to disc generation and sacral stress fracture because of the extensive running on hard surfaces which poses danger to the spinal column. The pressure also affects the spine vertebrae and intervertebral discs which can develop a back problem such as degenerative disc diseases, herniated disc or vertebral stress fractures.

Herniated discs occur when a disc is squeezed out of its original position and it pushes against the nerve root of the spine and it causes pain. Degenerative disease is the gradual breakdown of one or more intervertebral discs and there is the weakening of the disc and it becomes flatter, less flexible and offers less cushioning.

How much pain a runner experiences depends on the nature of the back injury and the individual runner.  If you are constantly getting lower back pain after you run, then it is advisable to seek medical evaluation and early intervention before making the injuries worse

However, you don’t have to stop running if you have back pain. You can get shoes that have orthotics or insoles that have great support as you run. They will also correct your foot alignment. For example, if you over pronate it means that you have poor movement pattern of the hips so you will need to stabilize your hip as you run. Take time to heal first and then start slowly, gradually working your way up.  Listen to your body and if the pain persists ,even if you have been treated , you will need to stop running.

like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

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Back Pain And ComBat–For The Military Mom

 

Back Pain and Combat—For  The Military Mom

Combat experience associated with back pain may seem an odd topic for a post. After all, you maybe thinking, how can back pain compare to mutilated limbs or brains splattered all over the ground. The most decorated U.S. soldier of World War II, Audie Murphy returned home a hero and became an actor, starring in his own story, To Hell and Back. His description of the emotional turmoil, he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder throughout his life, as a result of  his combat experiences still move me.

Tips About Back Pain and Combat
Audie Murphy War Hero

He recalled a visit to a garden and said he couldn’t even bring himself to touch the flowers for fear that he’d somehow harm them. In comparison to the more traumatic  experiences  of war, you’d be forgiven if you thought that back pain and combat is a small matter—nothing to worry about. However, such thinking ignores the very real problem of brave men and women who on the outside may look fine but suffer from  excruciating back pain and don’t have the support structure of their  civilian  counter parts. This post is my way of making, even in a small way, a difference by exposing a subject that is rarely spoken—back pain and combat experience.

Back Pain And Deployment

Military Mom Victorious in Training
Military Mom

According to a study, published in Spine with an analysis of 53,933 military personnel— “ Combat experience appears to be the primary risk factor rather than deployment itself, perhaps because of the higher physical demands and psychological load from life-threatening combat situations.  Service support or supply handlers had increased odds of back pain compared with functional support or administrative occupations.”

Let’s examine the above statement point by point

Combat experience is primary risk rather than deployment. In an earlier post, speaking about the negative effects stress has on the body, I wrote the following: Cortisol, the hormone your body produces when you’re feeling stressed, can take a heavy toll on your physical and mental health. Because of this, giving your mind time to relax and recover is one of the most important self-care routines that you can practice. Your state of mind has the potential to greatly benefit your health, or degrade it, over time.

Unlike their civilian counterparts who may also face highly  stressful situations, soldiers are rarely given the opportunity  to de-stress. Civilians, to illustrate, have access to a whole category of techniques that help people calm the body and release tension.  One such  treatment is Biofeedback. This approach teaches you how to control normally unconscious bodily functions, like blood pressure or your heart rate.  You can  Check the following for pain lasting more than 12 weeks. To summarize the above  point, those in combat experience have no outlet that will constructively allow them to minimize stress and that increases the chances of back pain. A study in nationalpainreport.com  states “ Deployment with combat experiences was found to increase the odds of back pain and repeated back pain in a relatively young U.S. military and veteran population.”

Let’s take the second point: Service handlers had increased odds of back pain compared with functional support or administrative occupations. Years ago I worked as part of a morning crew  that unloader trucks. The repetitious  task of  carrying heavy cartons from the truck to a pallet gave me an aching back, and that was just doing two hours of heavy work. Service handlers in the military  work a lot longer hours performing repetitious  tasks that involve lifting heavy loads. It makes sense than that they would have experience higher incidents of back pain than those working in the office.

Combat and Diet

You might have seen photos  on FaceBook that allegedly  show maggots infested tomatoes and raw chicken as examples of bad food severed to our soldiers. While this is sensational  and outrageous if true, one doesn’t need to look at extreme cases to appreciate the link between diet and back pain as it relates to combat experience. Let’s assume that indeed our soldiers are provided with foods that are safe to eat. This still doesn’t answer the question as to whether they have access to foods that reduce stress and provide enough to replenish and rebuild a body that is perhaps breaking down from the strain of combat. In an earlier post,https://healthybacksupport.com/foods-that-help-reduce-stress-become-a-happier-you I made the following observation:

If you are under a lot of stress it’s a good idea to consume foods high in magnesium.

Consumption оf these foods stimulate the production оf а neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Thе production оf GABA helps іn inducing relaxation and sleep. Thіѕ inhibitory transmitter аlѕо has the added benefit of lessening anxiety. Magnesium іѕ аlѕо а muscle relaxant and beneficial fоr soothing frayed nerves. Sоmе оf the foods that аrе rich іn magnesium include spinach, broccoli, lettuce, skimmed yogurt, pumpkin, scallops, oysters, black beans, bananas, avocados, apricots, walnuts and cashews.

It’s easy enough for the average person to get some nerve calming food, maybe not so much for the average solider. This reality is another reason why stress related back pain is still a big problem that the military  brass cannot ignore.

Conclusion

According to the latest report by the National Center For Health Statistics, back pain is a medical condition that has resulted in 85 billion in U.S. costs annually. So most of us are aware  of how back pain effects us, those we love, our friends, and our community. I hope that after reading this post you have become more aware of how back pain affects our soldiers. This post is dedicated to my mom, a back pain sufferer and former nurse. She asked the question, “why doesn’t anyone ever really talk about what soldiers are going through?” Well mom, I hope I did my part. Everyone else, please feel free to leave a comment. I would especially love to hear from you if you , a friend, or family member has experienced back pain related to military service.

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like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.