Chronic Pain? Yoga May Help

YogaJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Per the National Institutes of Health, as of 2016, an estimated 20 percent, or one in five, Americans live with chronic or invisible pain that restricts mobility and daily activities, often resulting in lost productivity, depressed mood and reduced quality of life. Approximately eight percent suffer from high-impact chronic pain described as daily pain lasting more than three months along with at least one associated disability. A higher prevalence of chronic pain is found among women, veterans and adults aged 65 and older. Commonly linked to chronic diseases, autoimmune disorders, nervous system dysfunction and musculoskeletal injury, persistent pain related to arthritic joint inflammation and lower back pain (LBP) are the most common causes of disability among American adults.

As chronic pain has emerged as its own health condition, those who wish to avoid prescription and OTC pain relief medications are looking to non-pharmacological and holistic interventions to address pain management. Multiple studies have demonstrated yoga’s effectiveness in reducing pain and disability, while improving mental and physical function.  A yoga practice encompasses poses or asanas, deep breathing techniques and meditation.  Poses can be modified to accommodate unique conditions and individual levels of functional ability. Increasingly, people are turning to yoga to support general wellness, improve quality of life, relieve stress, enhance sleep, elevate mood, relieve low back, joint and neck pain and help manage symptoms of chronic diseases.

  • Scientific research has found that a regular yoga practice can significantly reduce joint pain and stiffness, as well as improve joint function, range of motion and flexibility in individuals with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Persistent low back pain is known to have a high rate of incomplete resolution, resulting in a high rate of recurrence. Practicing yoga for low back and neck pain has shown promising results for pain relief. So much so, that the American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment to ease chronic or recurring low back pain.
  • Per the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, yoga appears to be a safe and effective intervention for reducing the functional disability of back pain among military veterans living with long-term trauma.
  • In chronic pain states, breathing is generally shallow, strained and stressed. A controlled expansion of vital energy, deep diaphragmatic yogic breathing with prolonged exhalation allows skeletal muscles to relax and lessens activation of the stress and nervous system response.
  • In addition to the positive impact of yoga on pain and disability, a regular yoga practice builds muscle strength and agility, improves balance and promotes relaxation, stress reduction, mental fitness and better quality sleep.

A regular yoga practice may help to reduce chronic pain by transforming the body’s reaction to pain and stress into healing responses. Relaxing poses may turn off the flight or fight stress response and activate the rest and digest response, thereby redirecting the body’s energy to immune, digestive and self-nurturing processes. The simple practice of restorative poses, breathing exercises and meditation soothes the body, eases the mind and strengthens the flow of energy, restoring a natural sense of wellbeing. In the long-term, freedom from pain resulting from the many beneficial health effects of a continuing yoga practice may be just as effective as pharmaceutical pain interventions without the highly addictive side effects.

Those looking for natural ways to relieve chronic pain, should consult a healthcare practitioner to rule out any medical issues before beginning any exercise program.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality products for healthy joint support and naturally effective pain relief: 

Advanced Pain...Advanced Pain Formula by Diamond Formulations: Advanced Pain Formula provides specific ingredients to help relieve symptoms associated with minor aches and pains, promote muscle relaxation, support healthy joint function and encourage a normal stress and inflammatory response. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, dairy, animal products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO, kosher formulation.

Curamin Extra...Curamin® Extra Strength Pain Relief by Terry Naturally®: Curamin® Extra Strength proprietary complex provides clinically studied curcumin, turmerones, boswellia and more in support of safe and effective pain relief. Free of sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, dairy and artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives. Non-GMO, kosher, vegan formulation.

Joint Vibrance...Joint Vibrance® by Vibrant Health®: This comprehensive powdered formula nutritionally supports healthy joint structure and function. Each serving provides 10,500 mg of collagen blended with hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, boswellia, turmeric, MSM and more. Natural orange pineapple flavor. Gluten free. Contains shellfish.

Aqua Biome™ Fish Oil...Aqua Biome™ Fish Oil + Sports Performance by Enzymedica®: Each serving of this breakthrough formula provides 1200 mg of fatty acids plus 250 mg of Quercetin Phytosome® in support of a healthy microbiome, endurance and overall wellness. Clinically studied Quercetin Phytosome® has been shown to improve muscle performance, as well as reduce delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise. Gluten, dairy and soy free. Non-GMO formulation. Fish gelatin capsule. No additional ingredients.

References:
Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults-United States, 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm
Yoga is reasonable alternative to physical therapy for lower back pain, say researchers. https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2964/rr-0
The Rising Prevalence of Chronic Low Back Pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339077/
Yoga as a treatment for chronic low back pain: A systematic review of the literature. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4878447/
Yoga Benefits for Arthritis. https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/yoga/yoga-benefits.php

Inflammation – Friend or Foe?

Inflammation-Friend or FoeJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

We have all experienced the signs of short-term inflammation that occurs during an active immune response to an injury, illness or pathogenic invasion. Fatigue or fever when fighting a viral or bacterial infection, as well as pain, redness, warmth and swelling at the site of an injury, are all signs related to short-term, rapid onset inflammation. As a first-line defense mechanism acute inflammation is a central component of innate immunity, a vital and necessary physiological process that signals the body to release inflammatory mediators. This response dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow, thereby enabling immune cells to quickly reach affected areas and eliminate toxic agents, as well as heal and repair damaged tissue and ultimately, restore wellness.

While acute inflammation is friendly and beneficial, several decades of ongoing research deems chronic persistent inflammation a nemesis of healthy aging. Increased vulnerability to influenza and reduced response to vaccinations is a recognized consequence of a natural decline in immune function in older individuals. Inflammaging, the accumulation of inflammatory mediators in tissues associated with aging, is thought to be a significant risk factor for development of age-related diseases. Complex interrelated genetic, environmental and age-related factors determine an individual’s vulnerability or resilience to inflammaging.

Often silent and invisible, systemic low-grade inflammation can simmer for months or years, eventually triggering autoimmune and other disease processes that can cause lasting damage to the heart, arteries, joints, cells, brain and organs. Metabolic disorders including obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and fatty liver disease are also associated with inflammation. While the inflammatory process is a normal part of body’s defense and immunosurveillance mechanisms, systemic inflammation, that correlates with a less robust immune response and the downregulation of the innate immune system, may help drive the aging process.

As recent evidence has shown that chronic inflammation is an underlying cause of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, controlling or reversing elevated unresolved inflammation may be one of the most important measures for avoiding functional decline and preserving long-term good health. Substantial evidence indicates that many foods, nutrients and non-nutrient food constituents modulate both acute and chronic inflammation. Increased vegetable and fruit intake is recommended to support cognitive and overall function, as well as reduced disease risk. Data shows that the health benefits of a plant-based diet is partly attributable to specific whole plant food compounds known as anthocyanins.

Decidedly potent, anthocyanins are phytonutrients found in the flavonoid family of polyphenols. These naturally occurring chemicals are plentiful in plant foods, particularly red, orange, blue and violet fruits and vegetables. They are most abundant in berries, red and purple grapes, eggplants, sweet cherries, blood oranges and red cabbage. As dietary intervention studies have found evidence that dietary flavonoids may have neuroprotective effects and are capable of modulating inflammatory cytokines, increased consumption of these brightly colored foods may result in reduced concentrations of low-grade inflammatory markers, positively influencing neurocognitive and overall health.

The synergistic effects of anti-inflammatory foods show great potential to help resolve unhealthy damaging systemic inflammation. A holistic lifestyle approach to calm the fires of inflammation encompasses a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise, proper weight maintenance, sufficient hydration, adequate sleep and stress reduction. Additional  modifiable lifestyle factors include not smoking, refraining from excessive alcohol consumption and reducing exposure to environmental toxins. Along with the addition of anti-inflammatory foods, steer clear of inflammatory foods, including refined carbohydrates, highly processed foods, unhealthy dietary fats, fried foods and sugary foods and drinks.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of a healthy inflammatory response:

Spectrum VibranceSpectrum Vibrance by Vibrant Health®: This nutritional whole food powdered formula contains a broad range of specially selected high ORAC value red, yellow, blue and green fruits, vegetables and botanical extracts to support immune, eye, heart and overall health and healthy aging. Free of gluten, dairy and soy. Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Polyphenol NutrientsPolyphenol Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formula offers bioavailable vitamins and minerals blended with standardized polyphenol extracts for advanced cellular and macular support. Gluten free, non-GMO formulation.

Berry-C CapsulesBerry-C Capsules by Lidtke® Technologies: This formula offers a blend of Non-GMO vitamin C, whole fruit extracts and a whole food powdered berry blend known to be rich in polyphenols, bioflavonoids, vitamin C and other nutrients in support of immune, skin, eye, cellular and overall health. No added gluten, yeast, wheat, soy, rice, milk, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, sugar preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. Non-GMO vegan formulation.

Daily ImmuneDaily Immune by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic vitamin, mineral and herbal formula offers powerful wellness support with immune enhancing botanicals rich in anthocyanins, flavonoids and polyphenols. The added astragalus and eleuthero extracts provide adaptogenic support to help maintain a healthy immune response during times of physical or mental stress. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
Low-grade inflammation, diet composition and health: current research evidence and its translation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579563/
Redefining Chronic Inflammation in Aging and Age-Related Diseases: Proposal of the Senoinflammation Concept. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457053/
Causes, consequences, and reversal of immune system aging. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3582124/
Understanding how we age: insights into inflammaging. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24472098
Anthocyanins. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/030314p20.shtml
Foods that fight inflammation. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

Mind Your Manna – Featured Brand

Mind your MannaSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center now offers, Mind Your Manna, a line of holistic wellness tonics designed with functional and flavorful organic ingredients. In collaboration with expert herbalists, Mind Your Manna was founded in 2014 by holistic nutritionist Valerie Roth. The all natural healing remedies are formulated with fresh, nutrient dense, organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, adaptogens and spices steeped in raw organic apple cider vinegar, resulting in a concentrated blend of plant powered nutrients crafted to sustain and strengthen the mind, body and spirit.

Mind Your Manna sources high quality, whole food, organic ingredients known to provide powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and detoxifying compounds, as well as support for digestive, metabolic, joint, immune, eye, bone, brain, cellular and respiratory health. Produced in a small commercial kitchen located in greater Portland, Oregon, these nourishing tonics are designed to support, manage or improve overall wellness. Products are shelf stable for 18 months and may be refrigerated according to personal preference.

To view more Mind Your Manna tonics, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

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