8 Back Exercises For Back Pain Relief

May 18, 2015

Sadly, as we age we develop various aches and pains. One of the most annoying is back pain. The following article explains how to strengthen your back to help you live pain free.

Dr Colin Gage is a chiropractor in Merrit B.C. and he writes informative articles on various health conditions and symptoms.

The following article by Dr Gage deals with back pain relief through back strengthening exercises.

These exercises can be done in your own home and when you desire to do them.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and be well.
Tommy Douglas

Back Strengthening Exercises

Weak Muscles Cause Back Pain.

Weak muscles are often at the root of back pain, especially lower back pain. This is particularly true for people in the baby boomer and elderly age groups. The muscles of the back, the abdomen, and the buttocks all support the spine. 

These muscles are called the “core” muscles and strengthening them can prevent, reduce and even eliminate back pain. Strong quadriceps muscles (the muscles at the front of the thigh) are also important to prevent back injuries when lifting.

When you lift properly, it is important to use your legs more than your back. If your legs are weak and unable to take most of the weight when picking something up, then you will put too much stress on your back. 

In this article, I will demonstrate numerous back strengthening exercises.

Strengthening exercises should be done three or four times per week. The days off give your body a chance to recover. To notice results from your workouts, it may take 6 to 8 weeks to notice results. 

Just as in stretching exercises, it is important to always do some warm-up exercises before attempting any strengthening exercises. Five minutes of walking, exercise bike, elliptical trainer, or even marching on the spot is enough.

Not warming up before stretching leaves your back susceptible to injuries causing back pain.

Warm muscles are more flexible than cold muscles and are less likely to be injured.

Many people tend to over do it when starting strengthening exercises for the back, resulting in back strain. Back pain caused by doing too much too soon sets one back even farther. But the ultimate goal is to be able to do the back strengthening exercises regularly and safely. Strengthening the back can’t be rushed. It takes patience but it is well worth the effort.

To prevent back pain, keep your back fit by doing the following back strengthening exercises.

Start with five repetitions of each exercise. If you can handle five repetitions without post exercise pain the next day, then slowly add a couple of repetitions each week until you reach 15 repetitions. If you are experiencing back pain or suffer from a back condition, ask your chiropractic doctor if the following exercises are appropriate for you to do.

Be sure to warm up before doing back exercises with five minutes of walking, or using an exercise bike or elliptical trainer, or even marching on the spot. 
Warm-up exercises prepare your back for strength exercises or stretching exercises by increasing circulation to the muscles. Do some stretching exercises after you strength train as contracting your back muscles tightens them up a little.

The Bridge: Strengthening exercises for several core muscle groups

Lie flat on back; bend knees at 90-degree angle, feet flat on floor. Raise buttocks off floor, keeping abs tight. Shoulder and knees should be in straight line. Hold for a count of five. Slowly lower buttocks to floor. Repeat five times.

The Plank: Strengthening exercises for back and abdomen (also the arms and legs)

Lay on stomach, place elbows and forearms on floor. In a push-up position, balance on your toes and elbows. Keep your back and legs straight. (Like a plank) Hold position for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat five to ten times. If this exercise is too difficult, use balance on your knees instead of your toes. 

The Wall Squat: Strengthening exercises for back, hips and legs.

Stand with your back against a wall, heels about 18 inches from the wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Slide slowly down the wall into a crouch with knees bent to about 90 degrees. If this is too difficult, bend knees to 45 degrees and gradually build up from there. Count to five and slide back up the wall. Repeat 5 times. 

Leg lifts: Quad Strengthening Exercise

Lie flat on back. Bend left knee at 90-degree angle, keeping foot flat on floor. Keeping the right leg straight, slowly lift it to the height of the left knee. Hold for a count of 3. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides. Work up to 10 sets of 10 over several weeks.

*Safety Tip for Leg lifts:

Lifting both legs at the same time causes excessive stress on your lower back so only lift one leg at a time; the opposite leg should be kept slightly bent with foot on floor. 

Crunches: upper abdominal exercise:

Lie on back, knees bent. Do not anchor feet under anything, since anchoring the feet or keeping both legs straight along the floor can strain the lower back. Keep the lower back flat on the floor. Exhale when raising your shoulder blades off the floor and inhale when lowering. Only raise your head and shoulder blades off the floor three to six inches. Sitting up all the way is hard on your lower back. Keep chin tucked in. You can use your hands to support your neck but be very careful not to pull your neck with your hands or you could strain a neck muscle. Do ten repetitions.

Reverse Crunch: lower abdominal exercise:

Lie flat on back, feet and legs straight up in the air. Bend knees 90 degrees. Place hands under buttocks for support and make sure your lower back remains flat on the floor. Tighten your lower abdomen and then lift your buttocks a few inches off your hands. Hold for a moment and lower back down. Do 5 to 15 repetitions.

Rotational Crunch: obliques exercise: (sides of the stomach)

Rotational crunch is a slight variation of the regular crunch. The only variation is that when you raise your head and shoulders off the floor, you rotate your upper body one way. Now, give this a try. Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent, and your feet flat on floor. 

Do not anchor your feet. Rotate your upper body so that your weight is on your left shoulder blade. Then, keeping chin tucked in, bring your head and shoulders upward and raise your right shoulder higher than the left. Then lower the right shoulder back down to the floor. This is one repetition. Do the same on the other side. 

Do 5 to 15 repetitions. Make sure you end up rotating each way an equal number of times. 

Backward Leg Swing: Gluteal exercise: (The buttock muscles help support the spine)

While standing on the right foot, hold onto the back of a chair for support. Then, without bending your knee, slowly move your entire left leg backwards as far as you can. You should feel your left buttock muscle tighten. Then, slowly return the left leg back to the floor. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides.


"Low back pain" by The original uploader was Harrygouvas at Greek Wikipedia - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Fibromyalgia Pain Diagnosis Can Be A Problem

May 14, 2015


Fibromyalgia Is Difficult to Diagnose

By Dr Colin D Gage

Over the past years of chiropractic practice, I treat an increasing number of patients with a broad array of symptoms. These symptoms fulfill the criteria of a syndrome called "fibromyalgia". Patients with this syndrome are increasing every year.

This is in part, because more health care practitioners are becoming educated on what fibromyalgia is.

Thus, making the correct diagnosis more often.

The average fibromyalgia patient suffers for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis. They often spend thousands of dollars on medical or alternative therapies.

Often, patients receive an inaccurate diagnosis that results undergoing unnecessary surgery. Have patience with your health care practitioners, for it is difficult to make an accurate diagnosis.

Patients can come in with different symptoms every visit, which often do not seem related to each other.

The Fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from: 

  • headaches
  • irritable bladder/bowel
  • dysmenorrhea
  • cold sensitivity
  • restless legs
  • numbness or tingling
  • exercise intolerance
  • weakness
  • sleep problems
  • chronic fatigue
  • morning stiffness
  • multiple tender points
  • blurred vision
  • falling
  • itching
  • pelvic pain
  • hearing loss
  • muscle aches and pains
  • The most often described symptom is pain.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of 
fibromyalgia symptoms that a patient may experience, as there are many more. To make things even more confusing, the signs and symptoms can, and most often do, fluctuate from hour to hour and day to day.

It is important to understand that fibromyalgia is not a catchall "wastebasket" diagnosis.

It is a specific, chronic, non-degenerative, non-progressive; non-inflammatory, systemic pain condition -a true SYNDROME.

Fibromyalgia is not a DISEASE.

A disease has a known cause and well-understood mechanism for producing symptoms.

For example:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a specific type of arthritis. You can distinguish it from other types by using x-rays, blood tests and specific signs/symptoms. We know a lot about how it happens and there are specific forms of treatment that often help.

In comparison, fibromyalgia is a SYNDROME.

It has a specific set of 
fibromyalgia symptoms patients' experience. It has signs that the health care practitioner can identify. All the symptoms occur at once. There are no blood tests or other laboratory tests that allow an accurate fibromyalgia diagnosis.

For an official diagnoses of fibromyalgia Test:

  • Your health care practitioner must be able to identify 11 of 18 specific points on the body have abnormal tenderness.
  • The tender points must be present in all four quadrants of the body:
         Upper right
         Upper left
         Lower right
         Lower left

  • There must be widespread, pretty much continuous pain
  • Some of the fibromyalgia symptoms present for at least three months

Patients may on occasion be improperly diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome.

For example, patients may have pain only on one side of the body and not in the upper and lower limbs.

Sometimes a false diagnosis of fibromyalgia  syndrome occurs.
Often, because a health care practitioner cannot find the true problem.

The safest bet is to take the initiative to become informed on the subject. Then you can work with your healthcare practitioners in determining what treatment to pursue.

I have found that regular chiropractic treatment helps decrease the severity of the ongoing fibromyalgia symptoms.

If you have any questions about how a chiropractor can help with your fibromyalgia, or any other physical problem, please contact your health care provider or chiropractor.

This an many more articles written by Dr. Colin Gage on health related topics can be found at http://www.merrittchiro.com.

If you find the articles useful and interesting, please sign up on his website to directly receive them as they are published. If you decide to reprint the article, please reference Dr Gage as the author and list his website as the source.


*Additional information.
How does your physical fitness relate to your pain index?
According to a Spanish study improved physical fitness equals less pain.
Workout May Ease Pain in Women With Fibromyalgia


5 Single Again Dating Tips You Need To Know

May 10, 2015
Old_couple_in_loveWhoever said that finding love and dating for older people is unheard of? Looking for love and companionship is not something that goes away because got older. Whether it is getting back on track to finding a new, passionate relationship. Or, just wanting some companionship, there is no reason for you to shy away from the idea of dating again.

Despite this, getting back into the dating scene at an older age may feel quite awkward to start. Presented in this article a few of the top single Baby Boomer dating tips that will help you get the ball rolling.

Why Not Give An Online Dating Website A Chance?

Some seniors refuse the idea of looking for love in cyberspace. It may be because they are not used to the technology, or because the whole idea is not something they are comfortable with. 

Today, the Internet provides various online dating websites that cater to older or senior dating. These sites are good place to start. 

Just try Google search for dating websites, free dating websites, online dating over 50, 
seniors meeting seniors online dating 
or any word combination you would like.

To begin, try looking for online dating websites that you trust and feel “at home” with. Once you have browsed around a bit and are familiar with how the site works, do not be afraid to start making new connections.

Yet, do not be to anxious to give out email address or phone numbers.

 7 Ways To Safe Secure Best Online Dating

1. Use a photo that you do not use anywhere else.

2. Do NOT give out too much identifying information. Keep where you live a secret. The city you live in is fine if it is a large city but, not the area you live in.

3. Let a friend know what you are up to. Give them all the information you have on your potential date. Phone number, link to profile and anything else you have.

4. Meet in public the first few dates and stay in public. Do not meet at a place in your neighborhood. No walks home or in the park. Keep the first date short.

5. Keep your last name private and do not add them to Facebook and etc. This person may turn out to be a new love or a nightmare. Play it safe.

6. If your date is a no show you still need to be careful. They may not look like their photo and could be watching and waiting to follow you home.

7. Carry pepper spray, well maybe.

These tips are not to scare out of giving online dating a try.

Most people are just like you just wanting to make a connection.

However, there are unscrupulous people out there and playing it safe is the best defense.

Keep In Mind First Dates Are Not Guaranteed Perfect.

To spare yourself from possible disappointment or frustration, try not to expect too much from your first date. Take this occasion as a chance to meet someone new, and take things from there.

You may want to see each other again, or you may want to keep moving forward in search of someone you have more of a spark with.

A Simple Lunch Date Is Great Way To Start

You may want to have your first date in a less pressured atmosphere. Instead of going out to dinner, perhaps have the date over lunch, or maybe even breakfast or brunch. These meals tend to be much more relaxed.

Why You Need To Avoid Movie Dates

Try avoiding movie dates, or any activity that does not require much talking. You will not be able to get to know each other when you divide your attention.

Try doing something that requires you to talk so that you can begin learning more about one another. Pick an activity that both of you will enjoy.

Do Not Compare Now To Past Relationships

Do not compare your date with your previous relationships and/or exes as this is definitely not healthy. Just think, meeting someone new might bring a whole new meaning to your life.

Dating as a senior may seem like such a daunting task at first. Yet it can be both fun and fulfilling. So, when setting off on a date, make sure you leave the doubt and fear at home. Approach Baby Boomer dating as the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your life.

Take care and be well.

Photo Credit By Ian MacKenzie (Flickr: Old Couple) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


6 Ways To Pain Free Feet

May 3, 2015
6 ways to keep your feet healthy
Foot care should be an important concern to a person of any age. If you are young, taking care of your feet now will ensure less problems as you age. If you are a baby boomer, your feet may already have damage, however preventing further injury is paramount.
I can attest, after years of standing on concrete and sadly often carrying excess weight, foot pain is a serious issue.

Take care and be well.
Tommy Douglas

Tips for Healthy, Pain-Free Feet

(NewsUSA) It is easy to take our feet for granted, but consider this: there are 26 bones and 33 joints in the human foot, and those small bones must take us where we need to go every day. By the time Americans reach the age of 50, they have logged 75,000 miles on their feet — that equals three times around the planet.


Common foot pain symptoms

Years of wear and tear on your feet — aging, weight gain and wearing shoes that do not fit — can cause foot problems such as corns and calluses, bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis of the feet and gout. Sometimes foot problems are the first signs of serious health conditions such as diabetes or circulatory disorders. Feet must last a lifetime, so it is important to practice good foot care.

Worn out shoes hurt feet

Wear comfortable shoes that fit well for foot pain relief

One of the best things you can do to protect your feet is wear comfortable shoes that have good arch support and fit well. As you age, your shoe size may change, so make sure you have the right size. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day. Ditch those flat sandals or "flip-flops"During warm weather, many people tend to wear flat sandals or flip-flops. Podiatrists warn against wearing them because they can damage your feet.


“Flip-flops should not be used on a daily basis as they offer very little support and leave the feet unprotected” said Dr. Silvia Arroyo, a podiatric surgeon at the Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center in Southern California.

Being a flat-soled shoe, they offer no support to the natural arch of the foot and can result in not only foot pain, but knee, back and hip pain as well.Dr. Arroyo added that flip-flops are often associated with falls, ankle injuries and broken bones from tripping.

Individuals with certain medical conditions — especially those with diabetes — should not use them.

Any blister or cut can turn into an infection and may be hazardous to your health, said Dr. Arroyo. Sandal use is only recommended when going to the pool or the beach, or while taking a shower in a public place. Wearing flat sandals or shoes is not recommended for long walks.

For more information about foot care, visit share.kp.org/footcare. For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk to your physician.


6 Ball Of Foot Pain Causes

April 28, 2015


After years of jobs standing on concrete I have developed serious foot pain. 
In my case Metatarsalgia for which I had surgery that unfortunately did not take. 
I am sure that many in my age group of 50 plus also have foot pain of varying types. The following article deals with foot pain in the ball of foot. This may be useful information to discuss with your doctor as to explain your problem better.

Take care and be well.
Tommy Douglas

What are the reasons of foot pain at the ball of the foot?


The ball of foot location is the cushioned section on the sole of your foot in between the toes and the arch. It is at this area where the weight of the physical body sits and puts a great deal of pressure when you increase your heel to drive forward.

There are many reasons for ache in the round of the foot.

Some of these Painful Foot Problems


Metatarsalgi foot pain:


This is a typical reason for round of foot discomfort. Metatarsalgia pain causes include nerve damage or a problem in the foot bones or joints at the ball of the foot. Because of excess stress or friction, one or even more of the metatarsal heads end up being inflamed, typically under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads.

Neuroma and Morton's Neuroma:


This round of foot problem often influences the location around the third and fourth toes and the pain may be of a capturing or burning attributes. A development of nerve cells irritating the nerves.

Sesamoiditis a foot pain condition:


Sesamoids are small foot bones found under the initial metatarsal head and are prone to overuse and irritation. When this takes place, ball of foot pain occurs.

Callus as a ball of foot pain condition:


Due to stress and friction, the skin under the round of foot thickens and types a callus. If the metatarsal heads have dropped, Ball of foot callusing typically happens.

Freiberg's Disease avascular necrosis of a metatarsal head:


This disease is where the cells of the bones at the ball of foot pass away. It generally happens at the second metatarsal head, which is the base of the toe beside the huge toe. Foot pain is most intense when put on weight or driving off with the foot.

Metatarsal-phalangeal Joint Misalignment foot pain problem:


This ball of foot pain concern potentially exists by joint inflammations or various other conditions causing deformity and can lead to hammertoes. Metatarsal-phalangeal joint misalignment can create fat tissue that typically supports the joints is driven onward and under the toes, allowing more stress to be put on the metatarsal heads. 

Due to foot pain, walking pattern may change as well, which can bring about additional signs of pain in the feet or greater up at the knees, hips or back.

Articles Source:

About the Author:

I am a freelancer and working on different blogs now a days. I specially love to read about healthy actives and write on it.

You can find more about me at

Photo By Anatomist90 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


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