8 safe and effective exercises for lower back pain

Lower back pain can be highly debilitating. Your lower back provides support for the weight of your upper body, as well as the hip motion used when walking. When your lower back is in pain, it can make even the smallest movement feel like a monumental effort. According to John Peloza, MD, writing for Spine-Health, lower back pain can result from injury to the muscles, discs, ligaments, or joints in the lower back, including your hips. Pain in the lower back region can also be caused by the piriformis muscle, which can also cause pain in the buttock and the back of the leg, due to its proximity to the sciatic nerve.

The main causes of lower back pain, according to John Peloza, are muscle or ligament strain. According to Healthline, muscle strain occurs “when your muscle is overstretched or torn.” This can be caused over time by repetitive movements or can occur suddenly due to injury. Though John Peloza notes that muscle and ligament strains do not usually cause long-lasting pain, “the acute pain can be quite severe.” In the case of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, if the sacroiliac joint becomes irritated for any reason, it can also affect the structure of the piriformis muscle, which in turn affects the adjacent sciatic muscle causing further pain down the leg.

Luckily, there are some simple yet effective stretches that you can do every day to help relieve lower back pain and also prevent it from happening in the future. Kojo Hamilton, MD, writing for Spinal-Health notes that “stretching low back and lower body muscles can alleviate tension, reduce pain, and better support the spine.” In the case of sciatic pain, low impact exercise and stretching is typically more effective in treating the pain than bed rest, according to Physical Therapist Ron S. Miller, a contributor to Spinal-Health.

Doing these stretches on a regular basis should help to alleviate lower back pain and keep your back muscles and spine in good shape. However, keep in mind that you should consult your physician before beginning any exercise program, especially when dealing with any existing or ongoing pain.

1. Knees to Chest Stretch: This one is fairly self-explanatory, and also very easy to do. However, while this exercise is a simple one, it is also highly effective at preventing lower back pain. Begin by lying on your back with your knees raised and your feet flat on the floor. Raise one leg toward your chest until you can grasp it with your hands just below the knee. According to Anne Asher, CPT, you should keep your muscles relaxed as much as possible while doing this, as “The knees-to-chest better reaches low back muscles when used passively.” The knees to chest stretch can be done one or two legs at a time, however, Asher recommends pulling one leg up at a time as raising both legs requires a greater amount of abdominal strength.

2. Child’s Pose: This common yoga pose not only helps to alleviate back pain but also helps with sacroiliac instability, which can aid in the prevention of sciatica. According to Anne Asher, using a pillow between your thighs and lower legs during the pose and spending only a few moments at a time in child’s pose will relax tension around the sacroiliac area. To perform the child’s pose, start from a kneeling position and keep your big toes together as you move your knees further apart. Bring your stomach to rest on your thighs and reach your arms forward, resting your forehead on the floor. According to Asher, this might feel difficult at first for those with hip or lower back tightness, but it will eventually relax the muscles and feel very soothing. Just go at your own pace and avoid overexertion.

3. Seated Piriformis Stretch: The piriformis muscle, as mentioned above, can become sore or tight, causing lower back pain and possible sciatica. This usually occurs due to sitting for long periods of time. However, stretching the piriformis muscle can aid in the prevention of lower back and leg pain. The seated piriformis stretch is a simple, low impact stretch that benefits the hidden muscles. To do this stretch, seat yourself on the floor and cross your left leg over your right thigh. Keep your left foot next to your right thigh and pull your right foot in toward your buttocks. Brace your left leg with your right arm and rotate slowly to your left, being sure not to overextend. Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds then switch sides.

4. Cat-cow Stretch: This is yet another yoga pose that can help to alleviate or prevent lower back pain from developing. Because this stretch acts as both a flexion and an extension, it is especially useful for spinal and pelvic realignment, according to Elizabeth Quinn at Very Well Fit. To perform the cat-cow stretch, start on your hands on the knees on the floor. Slowly begin to contract your abdominal muscles, as if trying to pull your belly button toward the ceiling. Allow your head to drop and your pelvis to curl under. Hold this pose for about ten seconds before returning to starting position then letting your stomach drop toward the floor, arching your back as you do so. Repeat about five times.

5. Kneeling Lunge Stretch: You may have noticed that a lot of these stretches utilize your legs, and this is for a good reason. Lower back pain can often be caused by pelvic pain, which can be attributed to, as mentioned before, piriformis syndrome or sciatica. Working to strengthen your hips can be greatly beneficial to aiding in lower back pain. To perform a kneeling lunge stretch, start by kneeling on the floor, then move one of your legs forward so your foot is flat on the floor, in a typical lunge position. Then place both hands on your thigh and slowly lean your upper body forward. You’ll be able to feel a stretch in your other leg. According to Jonas J. Gopez, MD, writing for Spinal-Health, this stretch affects the hip flexor muscles and can promote better posture.

6. Lying Knee Twist: This stretch can not only help with lower back pain but according to Meghan Rabbitt at Prevention, it can also strengthen your glutes, which can become tight when you are experiencing lower back pain, thus exacerbating your condition. To perform the lying knee twist, lie on your back with your knees raised, similar to the starting position for the knee-to-chest exercise. Extend your arms outward so you are in a ’T’ position, then slowly let your knees drop to one side, keeping your shoulders on the floor. Only go as far as your flexibility allows, making sure not to overextend. Hold the position for about 20 seconds, then repeat for the other side.

7. Supine Hamstring Stretch: Performing hamstring stretches, according to Jonas J. Gomez, MD, can help to lengthen the hamstring, thereby lowering tension on the lower back and aiding in the prevention of lower back pain forming as a result of muscle strain. Start by lying down and raising your right knee toward your chest. Wrap a towel or other strap around the ball of your foot, and slowly straighten your leg toward the ceiling, extending through the heel. If you feel too much strain in your lower back, you can bend your left knee to ease the tension. You can also forego the towel and hold your leg behind the thigh, just above the knee.

8. Bridge Exercise: The bridge exercise may not look like much, as movement is very minimal, but it helps to strengthen both the abdominal and hamstring muscles, which, as mentioned above, can improve flexibility and stability in the lower back region. To perform the bridge exercise, lie on your back with your arms at your side and your knees raised. Then, tighten your abdominal muscles and use your hips to raise your butt off of the floor. Try not to overextend, and only go as high as your flexibility will allow. Hold the pose for about ten seconds before slowly lowering your hips back to the floor.

Disclaimer: Iupy does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Try This Military Diet To Help You Lose 10 Pounds In 3 Just Days

Most humans have long desired to master weight loss as everyone benefits from gaining some muscle and losing some body fat not only in terms of aesthetics but also for health reasons. Lowering one’s body weight and fat can do wonders in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, or just simply being more athletic. A diet (or fat loss) can be reduced to burning more calories and eating fewer calories. Weight loss is bound to occur when you eat less than what your body needs by moving more. Your body will tap into stored body fat as energy that way as opposed to the food you eat. A few of us often require a jump start on our diets, seeing a reduction on the scale can give us that boost and motivation that we need. Below is the 3-day military diet that can really help you lose up to 10 pounds!

Although the diet is intended for women, men are recommended to add an extra 100 calories a day in the form of protein. It definitely works because of the reduction of calories, so scroll down and give it a try you don’t need to be in the military. Breakfast may be one of the most essential meals of the day simply because it will give you that desired energy first thing in the morning and it can help kickstart your metabolism. For your first meal of this 3-day military diet you can have half a grapefruit, 1 slice of toast (preferably whole wheat or multigrain) with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. If you have a peanut allergy you can substitute it with almond butter, soy butter, sunflower seed butter, hummus, pumpkin butter, or bean dip. Any breakfast isn’t complete without 1 cup of black coffee or caffeinated tea. Please note, you cannot add any sugar, cream, milk or sweeteners into your coffee or tea. These beverages are not essential to the diet as you can substitute it with any amount of water.

But green tea and coffee both have thermogenic properties (burns more calories) and black coffee has the ability to suppress your appetite. The next meal of the day (lunch) consists of half a cup of tuna, another slice of toast (but no peanut butter this time) and water, black coffee or tea. If you need to season your foods then go with alternatives such as garlic salt, pepper, honey mustard, and any other low or no-calorie seasoning. For dinner, you can have 3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 cup of green beans, half a banana, one small apple and one cup of vanilla ice cream. As you can tell, there isn’t a lot of food in this diet and that’s because lowering calories is what causes weight loss. If you wanna drop the pounds, you got to cut the calories! The next morning, breakfast should include one slice of multigrain or whole wheat toast, one whole egg, and half a banana. This diet is intended to last three days, and then take 4 days off. Rinse and repeat until you achieve the results you desire. The 4 days off do not mean you can binge eat and eat yourself to sickness. The goal should still be to eat around 1,500 calories or less. For lunch, you are entitled to one cup of cottage cheese (or you can replace it with 1 slice of cheddar cheese), 1 hard boiled egg and 5 saltine crackers. Due to the low amount of food on this diet, it is not recommended to work out intensely during these days. Instead, go for a brisk 30-minute walk on a daily basis.

Dinner is served! You can have two hot dogs (minus the buns), 1 cup of broccoli, half a cup of carrots, half a banana, and half a cup of vanilla ice cream. This diet dictates vanilla ice cream only (why? I have no clue) but you can substitute ice cream (who would do that?) with one cup of apple juice or one cup of vanilla, strawberry or banana flavored almond milk. The vegetables on this diet should be steamed, baked, boiled or eaten raw. Meat should be grilled or baked, and if you are a vegetarian then you can substitute the protein sources with tofu, lentils, beans and/or portobello mushrooms. The third and final day has arrived! You’re almost there, don’t give up now! For breakfast, you are to have 5 saltine crackers, 1 slice of cheddar cheese and 1 small apple. Saltine crackers can be replaced with rice cakes (one for one) and cheddar cheese can be replaced with ham, eggs, cabbage or soy cheese. Don’t forget your black coffee or caffeinated tea! This lunch is going to be a bit small but on the menu is one slice of whole wheat or multi-grain toast and one hard-boiled egg. You can switch the egg out for one cup of milk, or two slices of bacon or just one chicken wing. As you can probably tell, from day 1 to day 3 there is a slow and gradual reduction of even more calories (hence the rapid weight loss.) For the last meal of day 3, you can have 1 cup of tuna, half a banana and one cup of vanilla ice cream.

And remember, there is no snacking allowed on this diet. You need to eat these foods and these foods only. You can switch the foods around, so you can have dinner for breakfast and vice versa but you cannot add any additional foods in! Alcohol is strictly prohibited on this diet (even though alcohol is a macro-nutrient but without nutritional value), even on your 4 days off, you should not be consuming alcohol especially beer or fruity drinks (it’s just empty calories!) If you MUST drink then only one glass of wine is permitted. Please remember, weight and fat loss are two different entities. 10 pounds lost in 3 days does not mean 10 pounds of fat. The reduction in calories (and salt as well) will cause you to shed some water weight, some intestinal mass (poop) and some fat as well. So if you think this diet is for you, give it a go! Just make sure to consult a physician first before jumping into such a strict diet.

10 Common Bug Bites Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Practically everyone is stung or bitten by an insect at some point in their life where most of us experience it during the summer months. It’s more common during warmer periods, but it can often be difficult to identify exactly what’s bitten you. Some bites can actually become quite serious, causing infection, swelling, skin damage or severe itching, many are harmless, whilst others have the potential to transfer diseases. It’s important to have an idea as to what exactly has bitten/stung you, and what remedy you require for the symptoms. No need to panic because we collated a small guide to help understand what insects are bothering you. Hornets: Being stung by a hornet is no one’s idea of fun. After a sting, the affected area is often red and very swollen. Blistering of the skin can occur, whilst cooling the area can offer relief. In some cases, the sting of the hornet can cause an allergic reaction triggered by your own immune system. If your stomach begins to feel cold or numb, your lips turn a shade of blue and breathing is labored, contact a doctor immediately

Bees: If you’ve been stung by a honey bee, the skin around the sting site can become red and swollen, it might itch after some time. The first day after the sting, swelling can increase and pain may radiate in waves from the area. Bee stings are usually harmless in the long term, and providing you don’t feel bad about yourself you can wait until the symptoms subside. It’s important that you remove the sting, to prevent more poison working its way into your body. For the best results, scrape away the sting with a small gadget such as a knife or your own nails. Wasps: Perhaps the most notorious of all summer blights, the wasp delivers a sting similar to a bite from other insects. The area can turn red and swell, whilst the victim will experience pain and potentially a terrible itch. Bleeding may occur, unlike a bee, wasps can sting several times, so it’s even more important that you know whether or not you’re allergic. Mosquito: Most people are familiar with mosquito bites, but all the same, it can be difficult to know what’s what. Mosquito bites look like swollen red spots, roughly the size of a small berry, they like to suck blood where the skin is thin as it’s easier for them to reach blood vessels. When they feed, they inject their saliva into the wound, causing numbness in the area that makes it difficult to detect them in the act.

Ticks: Those who are bitten by a tick often don’t know it’s even happened. If you are bitten, however, you can expect a small red patch to occur where the tick has been sitting. Normally the site shouldn’t be more than a few centimeters in diameter, whilst it’s not uncommon to find a small red lump in the center where the tick was feeding. Fleas: Flea bites are difficult to self-diagnose, as they’re often mistaken for allergic reactions and mosquito bites. Unlike mosquito bites, these bites can be painful and extremely itchy. Fleas commonly bite the legs of sleeping people, whilst the insects can bite several times in one ‘sitting’, so there’s often a pattern separated by gaps of around 1 to 2cm. Ants: Most ants pose no real threat to humans, red ants are a common pest around the world and are notorious for their painful bites. The ants’ poison contains toxins that can cause allergic reactions and in extreme cases – anaphylactic shock. Symptoms are often mild and in many ways similar to a bite from a mosquito. An ant bite will often appear as a pink spot, with the skin around it tender and itchy. A person may experience a sudden pain at the moment of the bite.

Horse-fly: If you’ve ever been bitten by a horse-fly, you’ll know you don’t want it to happen again. In rare cases, horse-fly bites can cause blood poisoning and infections. They may look like big, fat flies, but the blood-sucking horse-fly can deliver a hard and painful bite, often leaving a mark and inducing swelling. Wash the area with cold water and apply ice. Lice: If you notice small red dots that look like mosquito bites, in places where hair grows, on your head, neck or behind your ears – you may have lice. Severe itching is the most common symptom of head lice and comes as a result of their biting. To be sure you have lice, run lice comb through your hair and see what comes out in the sink. Lice are most commonly between one and three millimeters long, with translucent bodies. Bedbugs: Bed bugs are something you never want to experience. Bites from bed bugs resemble those from mosquitos, though they often follow zigzagging patterns. Common symptoms include swelling, redness, pain and sometimes puss. Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of bed bugs by yourself, even if the bites go away. Contact a professional extermination company to help with your bed bug problem.

9 things that happen to your body if you begin to eat just 2 eggs a day

People seem to have a misconception that eating too many eggs per day can be bad for your health when in fact its the opposite. An egg is loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and various trace nutrients. More than half the protein is found in the actual egg white along with vitamin B2 and reduced amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron, and copper. Many people eat several eggs a day without it affecting their cholesterol levels. We have gathered a list of benefits for the body if you eat two eggs every day!

1. SLOWING DOWN OF THE AGING PROCESS – A study that was conducted by Dutch scientists claims that 87% of women from 35 to 40 years old who consumed eggs managed to get rid of their age spots. What is more, their skin was firmer, the wrinkles around their appeared more smoothe as well. 2. USEFUL WHEN PLANNING CHILDREN –  The B vitamins are a part of the formation of the sex hormones. for instance, B9 vitamin, or folic acid, can help the red blood cells and the neural tube of the fetus to for. Reduces the risk of mental retardation in children. Thus, vitamin B9 is ultimately necessary for women while pregnant. 1 chicken egg contains 7.0 mcg of this vitamin. 3. DECREASES THE RISK OF CANCER – Choline, which is required for the brain, is also one of those ingredients that helps reduce the risk of cancer. One study explored the daily diet of women during adolescence which included eggs, claims that the risk of breast cancer can in fact be decreased by 18%.

4. START LOSING WEIGHT – Some American scientists concluded that if you combine a low-calorie diet and chicken eggs for breakfast, you will lose weight much quicker. This type of a breakfast will keep you satiated longer, and allows you to decrease the amount of food you usually eat daily. 5. REDUCED RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES Some new research has shown that the cholesterol from the eggs is actually balanced with phosphatides, thus, it does not harm our health. Moreover, it inhibits the body’s own cholesterol production. Plus, the eggs contain omega-3 acids which will reduce the triglyceride levels, thus, in that way reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

6. VITAMIN B COMPLEX PROTECTS THE SKIN, HAIR, AND LIVER –  The biotin, vitamin B12, and other digestible nourishing proteins contribute to the strengthening of the hair and skin. Also, there are phospholipids in the chicken eggs which will help eliminate toxins from the liver. 7. VITAMIN D HELPS ABSORB CALCIUM – The content of vitamin D helps the calcium to be absorbed and it will strengthen the bones and teeth as well. 8. LUTEIN PRESERVES THE SIGHT – Some new research has shown that chicken eggs are also enriched in lutein. This is responsible for clear and sharp eyesight. If you are deficient of it, your eyes will begin to deteriorate and some destructive changes in the eye tissue will accumulate.

9. THE BRAIN IS UNDER CHOLINE’S PROTECTION – Phospholipids, which help with the communication of the brain cells, are consisted of choline. It was actually clinically proven that this vitamin is the best when it comes to the building of the brain’s material. Consuming 2 eggs a day will allow the body to have enough of this nutrient. However, if you are deficient of it, it might lead to memory loss.

It Just Takes 5 Minutes to Relieve Stress With This Simple Japanese Technique

Negative emotions such as stress, worries, and pressure are becoming part of our daily lives. Many people are now looking to reduce stress through exercise workouts or meditating. Unfortunately, due to our hectic schedules each day, we don’t always get the chance to take time out from our stressful lives. The Japanese use this ancient method for self-relaxation and relieving stress and it only takes 5 minutes to practice. You can do it anytime and anywhere and it doesn’t cost anything.

In order for this method to work properly, you must be aware which finger in our hand represents certain areas: Our thumb represents worries and anxieties. The index finger stands for fear. Our middle finger is for anger. Your ring finger is for depression and loneliness.  The little finger represents stress and self-esteem.

The next step would be to identify the negative emotion you experience, if something is worrying you, then focus on your thumb. Maintain your grasp on the affected finger until you feel the pulse. Keep your fingers wrapped around it for about two minutes. If you feel many negative emotions affecting you, you can repeat this on each of your fingers. Also if you want to calm your mind you can put a slight pressure on the center of your palm using the thumb from your other hand and hold for a minute. This ancient Japanese relaxation technique backed by science is called “Jin Shin Iyutsu”.

It has been proven in a study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) done by Lamke D., Catlin A., and Mason-Chadd M., that the acupressure technique results in “significant increases in positive outlook, gratitude, motivation, calmness, and communication effectiveness and significant decreases in anger, resentfulness, depression, stress symptoms, time pressure, and morale issues. Nurses reported less muscle aches, sleeplessness, and headaches.”

Mom refused to throw away eggshells– her garden is more beautiful than before after just one night.

In past times no sooner had I broken eggs that I used I would generally throw the shells straight in the bin. However, now I’ve realized that’s a pretty foolish thing to do. I’ve discovered that eggshells can, in fact, be very useful. By saving them you may be able to use for other purposes especially your garden. It’s no coincidence that eggshells are used by keen gardeners all over the world. We decided to give you nine reasons why you should use eggshells. The following tips will allow your garden to flourish in no time with these amazing tips. Thankfully none of the tips are too complicated. Take a look through the list below, and remember to share with others.

1. Nutrients for the soil: Eggshells are broken down quickly and can supply nutrients to the soil. The shells contain valuable calcium and other minerals. If you have enough eggshells, you can really enrich your soil.

2. Drainage: Digging holes and placing eggshells below your plants increases the drainage capacity and air circulation of the soil. This helps plants to stay healthy. Just remember to replace the eggshells as they degrade.

3. Tomatoes: Tomatoes, aubergines, and peppers can suffer from calcium deficiency when growing, which can cause them to rot. Bury eggshells in the soil to avoid this. The calcium they contain can be absorbed easily by the soil.

4. Keeping snails and worms at bay: Scatter broken eggshells around plants, flowers, and crops. Apparently, the shells are good for keeping snails and worms away. All without touching pesticides!

5. Keeping deer away: Not many of you have to worry about deer ruining your plants, but for those that do they detest the smell of eggshells.

6. Growing pods: Thinking about planting seeds, then eggshells can be perfect as biodegradable pots. Rinse the shell, place your shells in a carton on the window and fill the soil and seeds. The plants get extra calcium this way too. Place the shells on the ground when the shoots get too big. Remember to make a hole in the eggshell for the roots to spread out from.

7. Bird food: Little birds love crushed eggshells because they actually contain calcium. When birds flock to your garden, they offer additional benefits – pest control in particular!

8. pH balance: The pH balance of soil can affect the color of certain flowers. For example, take hydrangea which turns pink or blue depending on the acid/alkali balance in the soil. If your soil is too acidic, use eggshells to balance the pH.

9. Compost: Eggshells can be an amazing addition to compost. Remember to crush the shells first to ensure you get the best results!