Posted in Ahlbacks Disease, Arthritis, Avascular Necrosis, Awareness, Blessed, Bone Health, Cardiovascular, osteoarthritis, Osteonecrosis, spondylolisthesis, Thyroid, Uncategorized, Weather, WegoHealth

Reasons Why The Cold Weather Can Affect Your Body

As we finally approach the end of winter the pain has probably began to increase in regards to spondylolisthesis, or any other bone or joint problem.

I have been blessed to have several bone issues.

Bone pain is always worse in winter and long rainy cool spells.

This may just be some odd coincidence, but I believe there are a few possible factors for this increase in the cold months.

Pay attention to the following reasons and see if you also have experienced any of them.

If you have or if you do feel an increase of pain with the cold weather, try to make a few adjustments to combat the following possibilites.

1. Cold weather leads to lazziness.

For me personally, when I sit around more often than not I get extremely tight in the hips and low back area.  I lose stability and strength in areas that are crucial for maintaining good health and providing relief for my low back.

I don’t always want to be active because besides having spondylolisthesis, which alone is so painful I have osteoarthritis and osteonecrosis.

I guess it’s the universes way of saying hey Deb your bones are jacked!

When the temperature drops, those outdoor activities disappear and unfortunately they are replaced by lots more sitting.  Sitting is not good. Our bodies were not meant to sit. Especially if it’s hours at a time.

Daily walks long or short are replaced by computer activities. 

Many other outdoor activities are replaced by sitting and watching them on TV. 

Solution:

I try to stay active as much as possible considering I have several bone issue challenges

Trips to indoor malls , the library, or bookstore , museum Instead of sitting is best.

I haven’t been able to do my favorite outdoor activity hiking since I was diagnosed with osteonecrosis in my knee 4 years ago and I miss it terribly. I hope someday I can get back to it. I have faith.

One of the main things I do is to stay disciplined with my daily workouts well I call them workouts.

I stay as conscientious as I can of how much I sit and try hard to not sit for long periods of time.

Yes there’s days I do but mostly I don’t.

When I work on the computer, I try to get up every 15 minutes or so even if it only involves a quick hip stretch or movement.

No matter how cold it gets outside, I try to stay as active as I can by replacing old outdoor activities with new indoor activities that involve movement.

This has really helped me to avoid cold weather setbacks with my back and often my knee. But don’t get me wrong I still will get some bad days it’s just not everyday or all day.

The worst is when we have long days of extreme cold or that dreaded all day rain that chills you, the back hurts the knee hurts and the entire body hurts .

Sometimes it’s exhausting.

But I try to keep somewhat busy.

Thank goodness for my recumbent bike.

Some days I just do a mile 1-2x a day and that’s ok. Other days I do 3 miles 1-2 x a day.

2. Cold weather can lead to poor eating habits.

Just like in the first example, when you sit around more and become lazy you usually begin to eat poorly. 

Often times shear boredom leads to bad eating habits. That bag of chips or chocolate cake that you usually would ignore in the summer begins to work its way back into your diet.

The cold weather months typically cause people to put on a few more pounds. 

I haven’t put on weight but I can never seem to lose it no matter what I do……thanks hypothyroidism

For many holidays do not help either.  Large amounts of sitting around and eating during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are often to blame for excess pounds.

This leads to a snowball effect of being lazy.  You sit around more which creates the sense of boredom. 

Many people replace being bored with the feeling of hunger , I used to do that.

You then overeat causing the body to feel lethargic and lazy and the cycle continues.

Before you know it you plow through a box of cookies and a bowl of ice cream while you sit and watch six hours of re-runs of your favorite TV show.

Talk about creating a perfect storm!

The entire body then becomes inflamed at least for me it did.

So I changed

I stopped most not all of the processed snacks.

I started eating more plant based but I am not a vegan as I do have fish or chicken 1x a week and eggs a couple times a week.

My pain level dropped a lot but I feel healthier still waiting for the weight to fall off.

The sitting and excess weight reduces the ability to move properly which could create instability, weakness and eventually painful spondylolisthesis episodes.

These habits take the place of the activities you are used to in the warmer months wher you spend more time being active and not thinking about food.

Solution:

I tend to fight this cycle by paying close attention to what I eat and I’m learning to drink-extra water.  I find that providing my body with plenty of water helps to fight those boring food craves. 

This in combination with staying active helps to keep away the extra cold weather added pounds but more important the inflammation that throws pain scale off the chart.

3.Cold weather makes working out and exercising much harder.

I find that when the weather drops workouts tend to become much harder.

Those quick trips to the park or walk in the plaza get harder when you have to scrape ice off of your car for fifteen minutes. It’s a pain to put on 2 layers of clothing just to stay warm on your way to the store really sucks.

My daily workouts are crucial to staying pain free. Without them my body gets weak, tight and doesn’t move the way it should. IPain is quick to follow.

Mentally I do not let myself get down or lazy. If the temperature is freezing outside I stay in and ride the bike more do gentle stretches.

More often than not if I feel like skipping a workout and I just tell myself to replace the workout with a good warm-up and stretch, I get through the stretch and I am suddenly motivated to workout. That workout that I wanted to skip then turns into a great stretch and workout.

I just know when I have pain or have no pain I feel better when I am moving . I can’t do many things I used to but I can learn new ways.

I have noticed that when we stay mindful and not become stagnant in my life i feel better.

And for that

I am grateful

Here’s some stretches I do to help my spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis Exercise

How I get the kinks out

Shoulders and Back

Hmmm love these guys.

Can meniscus tear heal

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Based on my own health issues.

It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Posted in Ahlbacks Disease, Arthritis, Avascular Necrosis, Awareness, Bone Health, Chronic Pain, Disclaimer, Eat Healthy, exercise, Factor V Leiden, Food Is Thy Medicine, Inflammation, Mindfulness, osteoarthritis, Pain, Positivity, Uncategorized, Weather, Winter

Knee Pain In The Winter

Knees not feeling great this time of year?
Do you need a thermometer to let you know when the temperatures change outside?
Or do your joints painfully serve as your weather forecast? Unfortunately, for many who suffer from osteoarthritis or other inflammatory conditions, cold weather can cause havoc on already vulnerable parts of your body.
What causes the pain?
The Barometric pressure drops in winter. Researchers believe that when this happens, inflamed areas of our bodies (knees, hips, hands, elbows, and shoulders) swell. Swelling can irritate nerves, which results in increased pain.

Also low vitamin D levels add to pain

You may need more of the sunshine vitamin, suggests new research from the Clinical Journal of Pain.

Compared to those osteoarthritis sufferers with adequate vitamin D levels, those short on D reported significantly more knee pain and loss of function, according to the study data. Those results held regardless of a person’s weight, although the obese study participants were more likely to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

There are several different ways low D might mess with your knees, roughly 42% of Americans are dangerously low when it comes to vitamin D. You get most of your D from sun exposure.

A simple blood test from your doctor can determine whether you’re low in the vitamin, If you’re deficient, taking a vitamin D supplement for several months can help you raise your levels. While it’s difficult to get too much D, the amount you need depends on your weight and body composition. Your body stores vitamin D in the fat cells, meaning those with greater amounts of body fat require more of the vitamin to limit pain and loss of function.

Another good reason to keep vitamin D levels in good range is low D doubles your risk for dementia.

Ways to Keep knees warm and ease pain this winter
Thermacare heat wraps
I love these they help pain and keep my joints warm which allows me to move easier

Eat a balanced diet I have personally had great pain relief since changing to mostly plant based diet.

Follow a healthy diet by including seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts grains,seeds .

It is essential for people who are already suffering from joint and knee pain to include foods rich in Vitamin K, D and C (like oranges, spinach, cabbage and tomatoes) into their diet; as they play an important role in the production of cartilage and helps the body absorb calcium thus strengthening the bones.

I also have learned hydration is also important for pain relief. Try to drink plenty of water or herbal teas, like nettle tea , chamomile ,ginger tea as our dehydration reduces flexibility, which can increase the chances of injury. Supplements with vitamin D or fish oil is recommended as it is rich in omega 3 which helps decrease inflammation. Stay away from unhealthy drinks. Alcohol, tea, coffee, and other aerated drinks reduce the amount of calcium you absorb, and weaken bones.

Swap your caffeine-fuelled drinks with water and fresh juices.

Stay Active
Exercise regularly. It not only helps you lose weight but also increases flexibility and strengthens the muscles that support the knee ( walking, swimming or cycling). Your knees experience about three to four times your body weight when you walk, so lose weight to help your knees.
Always check with your Doctor before starting any new exercise.

Fun Fact :

Keep your feet warm. Your big toe is your body’s thermostat, so keep it warm and your whole body will be warm.

.

Posted in Arthritis, AtomicBlonde, Avascular Necrosis, Awareness, Blessed, Bone Health, BreakThroughCrew, Chronic Pain, Inflammation, Life, Mindfulness, osteoarthritis, Osteonecrosis, Pain, Positivity, StopTheClot, Vision, WegoHealth

The Beauty And Pain Of Autumn

Autumn (British English) or fall (American English) is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphere), when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools down considerably.

Fall is a season for balancing light and dark, letting go, and accepting the impermanence of things.

My body seems to know that bad weather season is coming, with summer on the way out and fall on the way in the bone pain goes crazy from mild to intense to unbearable all in a 24/48 hrs time frame.

I was hoping to live in Florida by now.

But with one set back after another since December 2016 husbands heart attack and stents.

2017 my stress test, echo , Mri’s and umbilical hernia surgery I wonder will we ever get to Florida.

Seems like there is always something and I’m not talking small somethings, they are always big intense stressful something’s.

I miss my family , I am so tired also of the pain that will come daily from mid fall until mid spring. I am sick of pain, I’m not ready for it again.

It hurts the soul always being in pain. Day in and day out pain. It’s overwhelming sometimes. It’s depressing some days.

So I have my granddaughters bedroom a mess it’s loaded with boxes.

Donate

Keep

Purge

Why do we really keep papers,paystubs etc 7-10 years? It’s crazy. Hopefully my husband gets a move on before I do it haha.

What’s bothering me is that little movement causes painful stiffness and just overall poor mind body health. I like to move about. No I can’t hike like I used to. Maybe some day.

Big movements are good, like walking in the sunshine ,or a stroll in the park to sorting through a pile of books (as long as they aren’t too heavy.)  And the problem is that I just don’t have enough of these big movements to keep my joints happy.  I’m home a lot these days, the colder it gets the more I’m stuck in doors, meaning the more pain I have.

I can ride my recumbent bike and do some small chores staying useful without using up too many of my spoons.

Typing on the computer or reading or watching tv isn’t my thing especially when that’s all there will be to do.

So good luck during the changing of the seasons

At least it’s pretty.