Being a mom can be tough on your body. From spending time with your kids to looking after the home and earning a living many of us are always on the go. What’s more, nutritionists have long realized that as we age our skeleton can change, with our bones getting progressively weaker.
This, of course, can have an impact on our health – and especially our joints. Sadly, being a mom isn’t a part-time job, and taking a few days off for rest and recuperation isn’t very likely – no matter how appealing it may sound. So what steps can we all take to keep our joints in the best health possible?
Know Your Limits
Child-rearing can ask for superhuman feats of endurance, during which our bodies can be exposed to pressures never before experienced. In many cases it can be tempting to just push on through any tiredness or discomfort, worrying about the consequences later. Sadly, such an attitude, no matter how admirable, can increase the risk of physical damage or extend recovery times.
It is important to remember that we can’t do everything ourselves, and to be more conscious of our physical limits. If you feel discomfort, aches or pain then this is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. In most cases you’d be wise to listen carefully before risking further health problems.
In the same vein, don’t be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. Sometimes making use of grandma or grandpa, while taking a few hours for yourself, can be one of the best investments you can make in your health (and sanity!).
Consider Your Footwear
There’s no denying those new heels make you look like a million dollars – but they’re unlikely to be doing much for your health. Generally speaking more comfortable footwear won’t just make moving around more enjoyable but also has the potential to help keep your joints in good condition.
A great example of this is a study that involved a group of golfers suffering from serious back pain as a result of their stretching and turning. Scientists invited half of them to swap their smart golf shoes for some comfortable sandals. Six weeks later both groups were asked to report back on any discomfort they were experiencing. The resultsshowed that the volunteers wearing the comfier (if less stable) sandals experienced huge improvements in back pain when compared to the control group. (In case you were wondering their golf abilities didn’t decline either, despite the change of shoe).
Elsewhere, scientists asked a group of people to swap their normal shoes for some that had been specially-designed to allow the foot to move naturally – as we would when walking barefooted. A range of gadgets were used to measure how much pressure was being placed in the leg joints, with the “barefoot technology” showing significantly reduced pressure on the knees.
The lesson here is that some types of footwear are much better at helping to cushion and protect the joints. The more naturally your feet can move, the better. This means that walking around in bare feet at home, and choosing shoes with flexible soles (like ballet pumps or sneakers) for when you’re outside are likely to be best. Put another way; if you’re concerned about your joints, leave the stiff-soled heels in the closet; your knees and ankles will thank you.
Take Cod Liver Oil
One of the most common reasons for joint discomfort is inflammation. This can lead to swelling, a burning sensation and a reduction in joint mobility. While in most cases this should subside after some rest, in other cases it may become a progressive issue. It is also associated with cases of arthritis, so becomes ever more likely with age. The good news is that good old cod liver oil might be a suitable solution for you.
Cod liver oil is a great source of omega 3 oils, which in turn are believed to help fight inflammation in the body. Experts believe that they function by simply disrupting the chemical channels that cause inflammation in the first place. But this isn’t all hearsay; numerous scientific studies have also indicated the benefits of taking fish oils regularly.
One particularly notable study involved 250 volunteers with persistent joint-related pain who were given 1200 mg of cod liver oil per day. After a period of 75 days these individuals were asked to complete a survey reporting back on any changes experienced. 60% of the participants stated their pain was now less, and an even more impressive 88% said they planned to keep taking cod liver oil – even at their own expense.
Pleasantly, while this article primarily focuses on keeping your joints healthy it also seems that cod liver oil can help in a range of other inflammatory conditions. For example one study asked a group of women to take fish oils before taking part in a resistance training program. The results showed that the fish oil group experienced less muscle soreness afterward. A large body of evidence also suggests that cod liver oil can help to reduce the inflammation that is associated with cardiovascular problems in later life, keeping your most important muscle in the best condition possible.
Consider Supplementing with MSM
MSM is the acronym for Methylsulfonylmethane, a naturally-occurring compound found in the joints. It is popular as a treatment for joint conditions and is widely available in supplement form, meaning that supplementing with MSM is as easy as swallowing a tablet.
While it is most commonly taken for arthritic joints there is also growing evidence that it can help our joints to recover quicker after physical exercise. For example, in 2014 a group of marathon runners were given either 3 grams of MSM per day or a placebo capsule before and after a run. Interestingly, the experts found that the group taking an MSM supplement experienced less joint pain in response to their exercise.
Elsewhere individuals with ongoing joint problems were assessed on a specially-designed questionnaire for the level of pain they experienced. The volunteers were then divided into two groups and for six months they took either 6 grams of MSM or a placebo. In comparison to the control the scientists reported “significant decreases” in all measurements of joint function and discomfort among those taking MSM.
Bearing in mind how widely available such supplements are, and as a result how reasonably priced they are, it seems that it may be worth considering daily supplementation if your joints are causing problems.
Factor Stretching Exercises into Your Day
When we were at school it was considered perfectly normal to “warm up” and stretch before exercise. Professional athletes do it before every race. Yet somehow many of us have forgotten how beneficial it can be before a busy day of physical activity.
Interestingly, while stretching is most commonly recommended to prepare your muscles for action, there is evidence that it may also help to keep our joints in good condition too. The reason is simple; stronger muscles provide more support for your joints, reducing the chance of injury or pain.
A great example of this principle in action involved a group of ice skaters that were complaining of knee pain. The experts in question taught them a number of stretching exercises designed to increase flexibility, and found that 75% of those involved experienced reduced joint pain as a result – all without directly targeting their knees.
Now might therefore be the perfect time to consider taking up yoga, or simply having a decent stretch and a warm-up before you start the day.
Improve Your Sleep Pattern
It’s no secret that many of us aren’t getting enough sleep each night, and this is doubly so among the parents of young children. What might surprise you is just how much of an impact this can have on our experience of joint pain. For example, studies have found that “sleep continuity disturbance…increases spontaneous pain” meaning that if you’re regularly waking up during the night – such as tending to an unhappy child – you may be more likely to experience joint pain as a result.
This is hardly surprising when you consider some of the more interesting research to be carried out on the links between sleep and pain. Scientists have found that when we sleep the inflammatory response involved in many cases of joint discomfort slowly decline. Sleep really can be the best medicine as a result. As one group of experts summarized “maintaining adequate sleep duration…may reduce inflammatory processes”.
While getting a proper night’s sleep can be difficult at the best of times, this evidence does highlight the importance of meeting the recommended 7-9 hours as regularly as possible. So don’t think that sleeping in a little is a weakness or a sign of laziness; it might turn out that getting some shut-eye really will do you a power of good.
While many of us put with aches and pains for years on end and just accept it as a part of everyday life this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Thanks to the wealth of research that has been carried out in recent years busy moms are better prepared than ever before to reduce discomfort, helping to improve your quality of life. Try implementing a few of the tips discussed and see just how much of a positive impact they can make on your life.
Are Results of Upper Arm Lift Permanent?
An upper arm lift (brachioplasty) is a procedure commonly performed on individuals who have lost a large percentage of body weight in a short time frame. Once the redundant skin is removed and proper postoperative protocol has been followed, the longevity of results will solely depend on the efforts made by the patient to maintain the same body weight. As with any area of skin that stretches due to weight gain, it is entirely possible that results from a brachioplasty could be undone without a proper diet and exercise routine.
Is there more than one type of arm lift surgery?
A traditional brachioplasty involves making an incision from the armpit to roughly the elbow region. Excess fat and skin are removed, and the skin is contoured and sutured together. This results in scarring, and each scar has varying degrees of thickness and appearance. Anyone with a history of developing thick scars may want to weigh that factor into the choice of surgery very carefully, especially if hoping for a very pleasing outward appearance with little scar visibility.
There is also a minimal-incision arm lift, which consists of making a small incision in the armpit and performing liposuction to remove some of the fat from the area. That incision is then closed, and the recovery is much shorter. This procedure is an option for individuals who do not have sagging or loose skin.
When will I know I’m ready for the arm lift procedure?
Loose, hanging skin from the upper arms can be very bothersome in that it can force an individual to purchase larger clothing, to accommodate the excess skin, and also due to possible skin rashes or infections that occur due to rubbing and chafing of the skin. The appearance of sagging skin on the upper arms is largely what drives patients to seek removal of the skin, in hopes of boosting their self confidence.
We advise patients to reach and sustain a weight that is within 30 lbs of their recommended BMI. While it is possible to perform the brachioplasty more than once, it is most beneficial to the patient to undergo the procedure only one time. If a patient is having extreme discomfort and has not yet reached their goal weight for the surgery, we can discuss options.
Depending where a patient carries weight in their body, it is entirely possible that more than one brachioplasty procedure will be necessary to help the patient achieve their desired outcome.
Will recovery take a long time?
The upper arm lift is done as an outpatient procedure, under general anesthesia; and you will go home on the day of surgery. The usual recovery time is 2-4 weeks. This time will be spent with compression garments around the arms and drains that collect blood and fluid. These drains will need to be managed for a few weeks as well. The compression garments help the skin adhere to the underlying tissues. Edema, particularly of the hands and fingers, is very common following this procedure. Compression garments will help minimize swelling of the arms, but it may take a few months for all swelling to completely resolve. Following the postoperative instructions very carefully will ensure the healthiest and speediest recovery.
Is there any chance that insurance will cover this procedure?
Currently, most major health insurance companies are not covering the brachioplasty procedure. There may be the rare instance that the procedure would be covered, and we can submit documentation to your insurance company to see if the procedure receives prior approval, but history has shown us that most insurance companies consider an upper arm lift to be a cosmetic procedure.
Can I have other procedures done, while I am under anesthesia for the arm lift?
In some instances, this is a possibility. Combining procedures is not uncommon, and we can discuss what your options are during your evaluation. There are several factors to consider, and the complexity of each case dictates what is safest. We take all of these factors into consideration when planning the best strategy for each individual patient.
To learn more about your arm lift options, you may visit or consult Dr. Joseph Rucker. Dr. Rucker is a board-certified plastic surgeon and owner of Rucker MD Plastic Surgery Clinic, who specializes many intricate plastic surgery procedures including arm lift surgery in Wisconsin. As arm lift surgery has grown in popularity, Dr. Rucker has stayed at the forefront of his field, educating future doctors as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
How to Make Sure You Are Getting the Best Care
As a society, we are more health-conscious than ever. With access to information at your fingertips and the premium on preventive care, you’re probably asking questions about how to make sure you are getting the best care.
It’s a big question and one that everyone should be asking, especially when the stakes are high. By being informed about the best care, you’re likely to receive, and how to get it, you’ll be in a better position to ask the critical questions about your personal care. Here, we look at a few factors to consider when thinking about your health care.
Check your medical records
What does it take to make sure you are getting the best medical care? Check your medical records for errors and inconsistencies. When it comes to your health, it is vital that you verify that your doctor is giving you the best care and treatment. And for that, periodically checking your medical records is important.
The law says you’re entitled to a copy of your medical records any time, for free, from any doctor or hospital that has them. Your medical care is more integrated than ever before – from surgeries to specialist consultations. A few minutes going through your records could save you from a mistake later, or even save your life.
Look for a communicative doctor
How communicative is your doctor? How much time do you spend with him or her? Do you feel like you understand your diagnosis and treatment? Are they taking the time to properly explain things to you and make your feel comfortable with your diagnosis and treatment?
When a doctor listens closely to you and thinks more about what you say than what they have to say, that’s called communication. Communication is a skill that must be learned and earned. Good communication is at the heart of a positive clinical encounter.
Explore other options
It’s always good to hear different points of view when making healthcare decisions. More than half of all patients are not happy with their healthcare providers. More than 80% say they would like to see another doctor. If you’re not 100% confident with your current health care provider, now is the time to explore other options.
You may not be taking advantage of the complete range of medical and health options available to you. There are a ton of innovative and life-saving treatments, medicine and more. Depending on what is most important to you, you may decide a new doctor is the best choice. Some may be a specialist in the field you need. Some may offer fast-track appointments or 24-hour care. Some may be cheaper or offer more suitable treatments.
The only way to know is to explore your options.
There are easy ways to make sure you are in good hands. Often we assume someone is better than they really might be, but if you are unsure of your current doctor or any healthcare professional’s qualifications, it is as simple as asking or doing a little research online. With the internet and the proper tools, you can find out all there is to know about them in no time.
9 Tips to Reset Your Adrenals When You Don’t Have Time to Rest
When you’re a busy mom, it feels like there are never enough hours in the day. You are constantly rushing to and fro to take care of your family.
But when you are living like that, you are burning the candle at both ends. Eventually, you are going to find yourself in a situation of chronic stress and even burnout.
When it hits, you might feel symptoms like fatigue, difficulty waking up or going to sleep, anxiety, and increased muscle tension. Any physical or mental health conditions you have could flare.
“You just need to take some time off and rest,” may be good advice for resetting your adrenal system and de-stressing, but what if you don’t have that luxury?
Let’s go over some tips to help you fight adrenal fatigue and chronic stress even if you can’t take time out of your busy schedule.
- Take a healthy herbal supplement for adrenal support.
One big step you can take which won’t take any time at all is to start taking a natural supplement like the highly-rated VITALITY Adrenal Support & Fatigue Fighter by Eu Natural.
This supplement contains powerful ingredients like Organic KSM-66® Ashwagandha, Zinc, Kelp Iodine, Holy Basil, and Rhodiola to support your adrenal system.
Make it part of your daily routine, and before long, hopefully you will start noticing an improvement.
- Eat a wholesome, healthy diet.
If you are eating a lot of sugars and greasy foods fried in unhealthy fats, you will be promoting inflammation and feeding into the problems you are experiencing.
Instead, eat healthy foods which are high in antioxidants and which fight inflammation. A balanced diet which is rich in meats, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables can help.
While you’re at it, make sure you are staying hydrated and also keeping up with your electrolyte needs.
- Get a full night of sleep each night.
There is no excuse for not having time for a full night of sleep every night. Even if it means that there are other things you cannot get around to, make sure you are getting the sleep you need.
Doing so will help your body reset. It will also help you function at your best and stay safe with everything you do, which is extra important for any mom!
- Learn to say “no” to unnecessary obligations.
As a busy mom, it is easy to get swamped in commitments. Between taking care of your own family, participating in the PTA, helping out other moms and maybe juggling a day job, you might find yourself forgetting how to say the word “no.”
But not every commitment you are making is necessarily one that you need to make or even should. Practice setting boundaries to keep life balanced and manageable.
- Realize it is okay to ask for help.
We often feel that as moms, we need to wear a lot of hats and do everything ourselves. But the reality is that nobody should have to do everything on their own.
If you have a spouse, a family member or a friend who could help you with something now and again, there is nothing wrong with asking so that you can focus on what is most important for you to do. In fact, it is the smart thing to do and a good lesson to pass on to your kids.
If you don’t ask for help when you need it, your kids probably won’t either, and you don’t want that.
- Spend more time in nature.
One good way to de-stress is to spend time outdoors. Get some sunlight and fresh air. Surround yourself with nature.
That doesn’t mean you have to find time to go on a camping trip. It might just mean sitting outside while you work on a task instead of doing it indoors.
- Meditate, try deep breathing, or use visualizations.
Relaxation techniques can help a lot of people to de-activate the sympathetic nervous system and turn on the parasympathetic nervous system.
You can try a deep breathing exercise, visualize something calming, or meditate. There are many ways to approach each of these relaxation activities. Even just five minutes can help!
As with meditating, working out doesn’t have to involve a ton of time and energy. Even if all you do is take a quick ten minute walk at some point each day, you are going to boost circulation, burn off some excess adrenaline, and fight inflammation.
- Make yourself a priority too.
Your first priority is, of course, your children. But it is important to remember that you shouldn’t make yourself last on the list. You are important too, and you can only be a good parent to your kids if you are taking care of your wellbeing.
So, don’t make yourself an option—make yourself a priority. Just by adjusting your mindset, you may find it easier to start saying “no” to unnecessary commitments and maybe scheduling in a little more “me” time.
Even Busy Moms Can Find Ways to Reduce Chronic Stress
Now you have a bunch of ideas for how you can fight adrenal fatigue and chronic stress even as a busy mother.
Start by taking VITALITY, and begin introducing exercise, meditation, time outdoors, and other simple, positive changes to your life, even in small increments. You will be surprised what a difference just 5 or 10 minutes a day of true relaxation can make!