Is Stress Causing My Back Pain?

Back pain is a bit of a wild card. Not only do the symptoms vary wildly, from piercing pain to an annoying ache (or anything in between), but the cause is often even more of a mystery. While many of us would like to think that as long as we have good posture, we don’t lift anything too heavy and we sleep in a well-supported position that we’d be safe from back pain, but that may not be the case.
It may actually be everyday habits like a poor diet, lack of exercise, worn-out shoes, a heavy purse or the biggest offender of all—stress. It makes sense after all, since anxiety and stress are processed in the same part of the brain as chronic physical pain.
And not unlike back pain, chronic stress can be difficult—if not impossible—to pinpoint and even tougher to get rid of. So, what are you to do when you’re stuck in the never-ending pain–stress cycle?
Well for starters, try not to stress about it. And to help, the experts at GMC’s Back Pain Centerprovide3 reasons for the connection betwee…

Who Knew These 7 Things May Boost Your Blood Pressure Reading?

Blood pressure—one of the few health factors that can actually make or break your overall health. Whether we’re talking about heart disease, kidney failure or stroke, high blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors. But that certainly doesn’t mean you’re doomed if you have a reading above 120/80 mmHg—which more than 75 million Americans do.
In fact, there may be a few common mistakes you’re making that are boosting your blood pressure numbers (by more than just 1 or 2 points). So, if you’re someone who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, make sure that these 7 common culprits don’t alter your next reading:
1.Having a full bladder can add 10 to 15 points to a blood pressure reading. Always try to use the bathroom before getting a reading, which may come in handy if you have additional screenings to do.

2.Poor support for your feet or back while seated can raise your blood pressure reading by 6 to 10 points. You should sit in a chair with your back supported and fe…

5 Ways To Get Your Glutes Going During Exercise

Whatever your exercise of choice—be it cardio, weight lifting or both—gaining muscle is always a welcome result. However, some areas, like your glutes, may remain unresponsive during your workout (no matter how hard you try).
So what’s going on? Is it the exercise? Is it your form? Could be. But more likely, your glutes are just remaining inactive and they’re leaving your other large muscle groups (quads and hamstrings) to pick up the slack. And this may be true regardless of exercise, whether you’re using glute-specific moves or not.
Why are glutes so lazy you ask? Well, a big part of it comes down to how you spend your day. If you’re planted in a chair at work or on the couch watching TV, it’s easy for your glutes to snooze the day away (leading to tight muscles and hip misalignment).
To get those stubborn glutes in gear, here are 5 things to remember (without having to go squat- and lunge-crazy, although that may help, too):
1.Strengthen supporting muscles: When it comes to exercise…

5 Unexpected Stroke Symptoms Women Shouldn't Overlook

Some of the most common symptoms of stroke—weakness on one side of your body, facial drooping and difficulty speaking—are hard to miss. But what if there were everyday symptoms that could spell trouble, too? Turns out, for women especially, there are unique symptoms that may fly under the radar of predictable stroke signs.
And because more than 100,000 women under 65 will have a stroke this year, women of all ages should take note. After all, when a stroke occurs, getting treatment ASAP can make all the difference (thanks to advanced clot-busting medicine that can be given within 3 hours after symptoms start).
So if you notice one of these 5 subtle symptoms, make sure you don’t just brush it off and wait for it to pass (act F.A.S.T.):
1.Hiccups: While hiccups may seem harmless enough—they are just spasms of the diaphragm—if they come out of nowhere and they’re extra intense (painful/severe), this could be a sign of stroke.
2.Headache: Typical headaches—like tension and sinus—aren’t caus…

8 Seriously Awesome Health Benefits Of Being Outdoors

As if you needed another reason to want to spend time in the gorgeous outdoors, in this perfect weather—right? After all, you know that amazing feeling of stepping outside, taking a deep breath and feeling the stress just fade away. But it isn’t just stress relief that fresh air can help with, it can actually offer some surprising health benefits, too.
In fact, studies continue to show the whole-body impact that spending time in nature can have, improving everything from energy and concentration to immune health and metabolism. So considering that many of us spend most of our day indoors, hunched over a keyboard, daydreaming about our weekend plans, it seems like time outdoors is just what the doctor ordered.
Here are 8 reasons nature is your health’s best friend:
1.Happier mood. People who took a 90-minute walk in nature had significantly less activity in a part of their brain that’s linked with depression, according to a study. Not to mention that spending time outside reduces levels …

7 Ways To Beat Bad Breath (No Gum Needed)

When you get a big whiff of someone’s bad breath (pee-yew), the very first thing most of us do is a quick self-check. Is it time for some gum or a mint? After all, walking around with something stuck in your teeth or with stinky breath can be mildly embarrassing. Especially if doing a quick tooth brushing isn't exactly convenient. 
So, the next time you eat something stinky, like red onion on your salad or tasty garlic toast, what can you do to freshen up your breath? 
If your gum or mint supply is running on empty, try these 7 simple tricks:
1.Reach for some water. Drinking cold water will help to rinse away any food particles, as well as bacteria. And bonus, it helps to prevent dry mouth, which can intensify bad breath.
2.And don’t forget a lemon wedge. Fresh lemon is full of citric acid which helps to stimulate saliva and wash away bad breath.
3.Take time for tea. Similar to water, tea can help rinse away any surface-level particles in your mouth. And black and green tea are rich i…

6 Hidden Skin Cancer Symptoms You Can't See

Skin cancer—there’s no faster mood-killer when enjoying the summer sun. That’s probably because on some level, we all know that spending ample time in the sunshine, especially without proper protection, really isn’t healthy.
But because it feels so darn good to be in the warmth of the sunshine, most of us continue to soak up the afternoon rays anyway. Which is partly why skin cancer is consistently the most common type of cancer year after year, with millions of new, non-melanoma cases diagnosed annually.
Yet another reason skin cancer is so prevalent: people dismiss it as being minor, or not life-threatening, but this can lead to a late-stage diagnosis. While skin cancer diagnosed at a late stage is still treatable, it can be much more dangerous.
So, in addition to practicing safe sun protection, the best thing you can do is to learn the early warning signs and symptoms. In addition to the ABCDE rule of skin cancer, you’ll want to remember that symptoms aren’t always just skin deep.