Health Supplements



Health Wellness


It’s already back to school time! Here are a few tips to keep kids’ backs safer and brains working.

  • Breakfast of Champions: Most kids tend to grab a quick bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast, but even complex grains with low fat milk just break down to sugar. In the morning, our bodies need protein!   Protein is the fuel of our muscles and brain. Eggs, meat and vegetables are truly the best sources of protein. For a quick morning meal, try rolled, sliced meats, hard boiled eggs or sliced tomatoes with cheeses. Nuts, especially walnuts, are also great. My personal favorite is protein smoothies. Use any combination of leafy greens, fruit (berries are best) and liquid such as water, coconut water or milk, cow’s milk or almond milk. I love adding Standard Process Complete protein powder for an extra boost of protein. Standard Process’ vitamins are not synthetic, like most protein powders, but rather come from food sources, making it easier for our bodies to digest and use the benefits. Kids love adding peanut butter, or even a little chocolate to their smoothies. Avoid protein bars. If you look at the nutritional label, many times they are loaded with nothing but sugar, carbohydrates and artificial preservatives.


  • Picture8Back Packs: Keep as light as possible. Instead of swinging the pack on one shoulder, use both shoulder straps to balance the weight evenly. Use the chest or belly strap to wrap the pack tightly against your spine and avoid it bouncing up and down against your back.




These exercises are perfect for travel, because they are all done while seated. Do ten repetitions every 30 minutes and hold each exercise for a count of five.

  • Calf Stretches: Pull your foot and toes up towards the ceiling and hold.Picture4
  • Seated Pelvic Tilts: Discretely tighten your abdomen and pull your belly button towards your spine. This opens the joint spaces in the lower back and strengthens your core muscles to support your spine.
  • Leg Lifts: Slightly raise your knees up towards your chin, just enough for the back of your legs to come off the seat.
  • Range of Motion of Ankles: Draw the alphabet, letter by letter, with each foot. Print or cursive or both.
  • Chest Stretches: Stretch your chest open by pulling your shoulders back against the seat as well as pulling the shoulder blades down towards your waist.
  • Hamstring Stretches: Keeping your spine straight (do not roll forward) lean forward with one leg straight out and the other knee bent. Feel the stretch in the back of your leg. Pull your foot towards you and now you will feel the back of the calf stretch as well.Picture5


Words of Wellness


Picture6To keep your back as safe as possible during your vacation travels, here are a few simple tips:

  • WATER: Drink a few ounces every hour and avoid caffeine. Water hydrates you, especially your muscles which are approximately 60% water. Keeping your   muscles hydrated will decrease stiffness and spasms. This is especially important when flying, because the pressurization in a plane tends to be very drying.
  • EXERCISE: When driving, try to get out of the car to walk around and stretch every hour for as little as two minutes. Go to a rest stop or parking lot and walk around your car, use the rest room or do a few leg and chest stretches. If flying, get up and stand in the aisle every hour. You can also perform some exercises while confined to your seat. Seated pelvic tilts, leg lifts, chest stretches, shoulder blade retraction and range of motion of your ankles are not only helpful for your back, but they also decrease the chance of forming blood clots while sitting too long. If you have a history of clots or are over 50 years of age, be sure to wear compression hose or supportive stockings. This will also help to keep the blood from pooling at your feet and ankles, thereby decreasing the possibility of clotting. For those with a history of back problems, lay over flights may be a better option, forcing you to get up and move around more frequently.
  • SUPPLIES: Keep a large zip lock freezer bag to add ice to while at the airport or a drive through. This tends to be especially helpful to prevent flare ups or in the event that you feel a twinge while packing the car of lifting your carry on. Sitting with the ice pack behind your back for 10 minutes every half hour, can greatly diminish inflammation and swelling. Patients tend to prefer the feeling of heat on their back, however I strongly recommend ice over heat. Heat increases blood flow which can increase inflammation and swelling. It is also very dehydrating which leads to tightness and spasms. Although they might keep you warm in the winter months, keep the seat warmers off while traveling. If you have a history of back problems, consider traveling with a TENS unit. This portable, hand held, “electric stimulation” machine, runs on a battery and is applied with stickers to the area of pain. It is allowed through airport security in checked luggage. Do not use while driving unless you are the passenger. If you move around too much, the stickers can become unstuck, causing a shock with driving. We sell high quality, dual lead units that can be purchased through your flex spending and insurance reimbursement funds. Lumbar braces are also extremely helpful to prevent flare ups while packing the car or carrying luggage.
  • MEDICATION: If all else fails and you end up with a twinge, have anti-inflammatory medication handy. Over the counter ibuprofen or Aleve are the most common medications. Natural options are terrific for both prevention and treatment. I suggest cold water fish oil at 2,000-4,000 mg per day (Metagenics and Standard Process are my favorites for quality and strength). Boswellia is a great herbal option for immediate relief. Consider using foods such as lemons, garlic, ginger, curcumin and turmeric. They have natural anti-inflammatory properties to assist with inflammation as well.

Dr. Cathy