Natural Anti-Inflammatory Pain Relief with Turmeric

TUR-MER-IC (‘ter-ma-rik or tyu-ma-rik)

Turmeric in ground spice and supplement form.

Turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric is derived from the underground stems (rhizomes) of the Curcuma plant, a member of the ginger family. A well-known spice in Indian cuisine, it is responsible for the yellow color of curry dishes and also of American mustard. This knobby root is warming and slightly bitter, and its most active constituent, curcumin, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of us in the holistic wellness and whole health food professions have known for several years what many cultures have known for centuries of the numerous therapeutic benefits Turmeric yields, and now, this spice is steadily gaining popularity among those who want to benefit from its powerful properties, especially as an alternative to over-the-counter NSAIDs.

Studies have discovered many conditions curcumin may help; below are just five.

Top 5 Health Benefits

  • Anti-Inflammatory (internal & joint/muscle & acute injury)
  • Help in Reducing Pain
  • Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Gut Health – from aiding with digestion to helping repair damage and calm inflammatory conditions like IBD and colitis.
  • Skin – can speed up wound healing, reduce psoriasis flares, calm pores, and decrease acne

Ways to Get the Benefits

  • Cook with it! No need to limit to curry dishes – add to soups, vegetables, and spice rubs for meats.
  • Add it to smoothies.
  • Drink Turmeric Tea
  • Best Way: To ensure consistency with a therapeutic punch, take via tincture or capsules daily as directed.

Most Important and Most Missing Tip

Add black pepper to flip the therapeutic switch. The compound piperine (Piper Nigrum L, trademark name “BioPerine”) in black pepper boosts the absorption of curcumin in turmeric by 2,000% and together is a powerhouse of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re considering adding Turmeric in supplement form, be sure it includes piperine/BioPerine.

As always, check with a medical professional before adding a supplement, especially if you take regular prescription or over-the-counter medicines, supplements or herbs. Possible interactions include blood-thinning medications, acid reducers, and drugs for diabetes. More information about interactions from the University of Maryland Medical Center. 

Additional sources for more information on turmeric: National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

GOLDEN MILK (Turmeric Tea)

Golden Milk Turmeric Tea Image

Golden Milk is a tea made with Turmeric, which has many healing properties including as a natural anti-inflammatory.

There are MANY variations of how to make Golden Milk. Below is how our health coach, Michele Boutin, enjoys it.

Gently heat:

  • 1 – 1.5 cups plant-based milk such as coconut, almond, ‘Ripple’ (pea protein) – I like to use a combination.
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric -or- 1 rounded teaspoon ground
  • 1 – 2 slices of fresh ginger
  • A couple cranks of freshly ground pepper (to flip the therapeutic switch!)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper if you like a bit of heat
  • Pinch of non-processed salt – try Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Raw, local honey to taste
  • Strain before serving

 

‘Drinkers of Golden Milk can also reap the benefits of ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve symptoms of arthritis, bursitis and other musculoskeletal ailments. Additionally, Golden Milk is flavored by black pepper, whose sharp taste comes from the alkaloid piperine, which enhances the absorption and the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. Plus, black pepper contains a number of essential nutrients, including manganese, iron and Vitamin K, and is commonly used to calm digestive issues.’ – Andrew Weil, MD

Learn More About Health Coaching & Nutrition Counseling at Cioffredi & Associates

Meet Our Health & Wellness Coaches

 

Related Content

Michele’s Healthy 7 Tips for the Season of Celebration


Stay Fit While You Sit (at Your Desk)

Humans aren’t designed for sitting down for long periods of time, and yet that’s what many of us do for eight-plus hours each day in the workplace. The physical therapists at Cioffredi & Associates recommend that you stand up and move around at least once every 30 minutes to prevent stiffness, and we’ve created a simple routine that will help you keep your blood flowing and prevent pain and stiffness from adding stress to your day.

TRY THESE AT YOUR DESK

 

Upper body circles to stretch during a long trip by car or plane.

Start with your hands on your knees and your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your head in a fixed position, circle your ribcage slowly as if you’re using your upper body to clean out a giant jar of peanut butter. Circle to the left 5 times, and then to the right 5 times.

Demonstrated stretch of wrist and forearm for desk workers.

Alternate stretching wrist both palm out and palm tucked, both with arms extended and with them bent by your side.

Seated Neck Stretch

Shrug and release your shoulders. With your chest up and shoulders level, hang your head to one side so your ear is toward your shoulder. Relax there for 2-3 breaths. Gently straighten up, slowly shrug and release both shoulders, and then switch sides. Alternate and repeat 4-6 times.

Glute stretch for airplane or car seat.

Roll your shoulders back, sit up straight, and draw one knee toward your chest. With your opposite hand positioned on the outside of your knee, pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder. You should feel a stretch in your gluteus muscle.

Crunch twist exercise for car or airplane seat.

Start by pulling your abdominal muscles in toward your spine. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. With your hands behind your head, slowly bring one elbow together with the opposite knee, lifting your foot off the floor. Exhale as you twist down. Inhale and sit tall. Switch to the other elbow/knee. Complete 8-10 twists on each side.

Seated calf raise exercise for travelers.

Start with your feet flat on the floor, then raise your heels up until your toes are pointed. Repeat 8-10 times, with both feet together or alternating left/right.

Ankle Pump Travel Stretch

After circling your foot in both directions, and with your leg extended, point and flex your foot as though you’re pumping a pedal. Repeat 8-10 times with each leg.

Stretch for Piriformis Muscle

Cross one leg over the other so that the outside of your foot is resting on your other knee. Push down on the knee of the leg that is crossed over until you feel a good stretch in your hips and glutes. Hold for 8-10 seconds, leaning forward very gradually from the waist, and then switch sides.

Arm Shakeout for Travelers

Relax your arms, breathe deeply and, starting on one side, gently shake out all the joints of the hand for 4-6 seconds. Work your way to gently shaking out your (relaxed) elbow, using your shoulder to mobilize that joint for 4-6 seconds. If that’s working well, try using the movement of your whole rib cage to shake out your (relaxed) shoulder joint.

 

For more information about movement and health in the workplace, check out our Workplace Wellbeing page, and if you need more help to address pain or limitations, please call us at 603-643-7788 to schedule an evaluation with our physical therapy staff. Accepting insurance and scheduling from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

MOVEMENT FOR LIFE

Other Articles You Might Like

Stay Ready Fore Tee Time
Travel Fitness Tips
Pain Conditions Overcome
Trigger Point Dry Needling for Pain Relief


Michele’s Health Seven Tips

For the Season of Celebration

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz, Legendary CoachSeven holiday celebration health tips from Health Coach Michele Boutin, CHC

Stay On Course and Healthy During the Holidays, and Yes…Eat Some Fat!

  1. Make your list of “to do’s” and, like Santa, check it twice to organize and prioritize. Be kind to yourself and cross off a couple of things; I promise that you will still be on everyone’s “nice” list long after the holidays have passed, and your stress is already reduced!
  2. Drink, drink, drink . . . water. Yes, stay hydrated; you will function at top notch and you will aid in curbing those sugary cravings between gatherings.  Also, save yourself a whopper of a hangover by having a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you sip (and I mean sip)!
  3. Exercise! If you have an established exercise regime, try your best to stick to it! Your body is expecting it and will help hold you to your overall healthy intentions in addition to coping better when stressful moments creep in.  If you do not exercise… well, now is THE perfect time to begin. How?  Even a brisk 10-minute walk after a meal will do wonders for stress reduction, energy and plucking away at some of those calories! Just think how ahead you will be on January 2nd!
  4. Don’t hold back! Holding back or saving calories for one big binge does absolutely nothing but stress your body and makes you feel ill with a lot of calories on board to boot.  Instead, eat each of your meals as balanced and with lots of veggies as possible each day, especially on the day of a party.
  5. Give me some fat with that, please. To slow down the absorption of sugar that is inherent to the majority of holiday fare, be sure to eat something with quality fat along with it. Seriously . . . eat fat!*
  6. Breathe for stress relief’s sake! Do a quick check in: When you inhale, is your upper chest rising? Did you know that upper chest breathing or shallow breathing may be a sign of stress which can further create a vicious cycle of stress causing more than the physical discomfort of tight upper back, shoulder and chest muscles, but can also lead to fatigue, forgetfulness, emotional tension, feelings of anxiety, panic and indigestion.

GROUNDING BREATHS
First, inhale & exhale as normal (cleansing breath).
Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand
Exhale slowly through your nose and down your throat, allowing your abdomen to relax.
In a pinch, try three grounding breaths; when time allows pull out at least 10 in a row.

  1. Have FUN! Embrace the moment that you are in. Say “Yes” to something. Say “NO” to something. Keep traditions that serve you; say goodbye to what no longer does. Cherish family and friends.

Keep fit, happy and healthy in 2018!

Sincerely,
Michele Boutin, CHC
Health Coach

LEARN MORE about Health Coaching at Cioffredi & Associates | The Institute for Health & Human Performance


Avoid Travel Stiffness with Easy Stretches and Movements

These tips and easy stretches will get your blood circulating and keep your muscles from stiffening up on long rides, so you can arrive at your destination ready to move.

First Things First: Stay Hydrated

While you may tend to try avoiding trips to the restroom while traveling, it is actually very important to stay hydrated and avoid potentially harmful fluid retention during long periods of inactivity. Drinking water before a trip oxygenates your muscles and helps keep all your systems working properly.

Bottled Water: A Traveler's Friend

Next: Walk Whenever You Can

If you’re able, be sure to take breaks from the seated position. Whether you need the restroom or not, use every opportunity to get up and move.

 

Try These Movements and Stretches

Upper body circles to stretch during a long trip by car or plane.

Start with your hands on your knees and your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your head in a fixed position, circle your ribcage slowly as if you’re using your upper body to clean out a giant jar of peanut butter. Circle to the left 5 times, and then to the right 5 times.

Crunch twist exercise for car or airplane seat.

Start by pulling your abdominal muscles in toward your spine. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. With your hands behind your head, slowly bring one elbow together with the opposite knee, lifting your foot off the floor. Exhale as you twist down. Inhale and sit tall. Switch to the other elbow/knee. Complete 8-10 twists on each side.

Seated calf raise exercise for travelers.

Start with your feet flat on the floor, then raise your heels up until your toes are pointed. Repeat 8-10 times, with both feet together or alternating left/right.

Hip adduction knee squeeze exercise.

Place your fist between your knees, gently engage your pelvic floor muscles (like stopping the flow of urine) and then squeeze your legs together, pressing against your fist. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then release completely. Repeat 8-10 times.

Hip abduction knee push-out exercise.

Tuck in your abdominal muscles, lean forward to wrap your arms under your legs, and clasp your hands together. Hold this pose as you push your knees outward, pressing into your arms. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then release completely. Repeat 8-10 times.

Seated Neck Stretch

Shrug and release your shoulders. With your chest up and shoulders level, hang your head to one side so your ear is toward your shoulder. Relax there for 2-3 breaths. Gently straighten up, slowly shrug and release both shoulders, and then switch sides. Alternate and repeat 4-6 times.

Ankle Circle Travel Stretch

Roll your shoulders back and pull one knee up toward your chest and hold. Rotate your foot, drawing 5-6 circles with your toes in each direction (start small, and go wider, staying fluid with the movement). Gently switch position and repeat with the other ankle.

Ankle Pump Travel Stretch

After circling your foot in both directions, and with your leg extended, point and flex your foot as though you’re pumping a pedal. Repeat 8-10 times with each leg.

Arm Shakeout for Travelers

Relax your arms, breathe deeply and, starting on one side, gently shake out all the joints of the hand for 4-6 seconds. Work your way to gently shaking out your (relaxed) elbow, using your shoulder to mobilize that joint for 4-6 seconds. If that’s working well, try using the movement of your whole rib cage to shake out your (relaxed) shoulder joint.

Glute stretch for airplane or car seat.

Roll your shoulders back, sit up straight, and draw one knee toward your chest. With your opposite hand positioned on the outside of your knee, pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder. You should feel a stretch in your gluteus muscle.

 

Stretch for Piriformis Muscle

Cross one leg over the other so that the outside of your foot is resting on your other knee. Push down on the knee of the leg that is crossed over until you feel a good stretch in your hips and glutes. Hold for 8-10 seconds, leaning forward very gradually from the waist, and then switch sides.

 

You Might Also Be Interested…

The Secret to Effective Stretching

Piriformis Syndrome: That Pain in the Butt

Dynamic Stretching

 

 


Get a Grip on Your Texting Thumb

Texting Thumb is Painful

While many people will admit to spending a little too much time with their mobile device, few people may be considering the risk of repetitive strain injuries that result from all that use. Fewer still have ever heard of texting thumb, a painful condition that can affect the tendons of the thumb and wrist.
U.S. mobile service subscribers send and receive an average of 764 text messages per month, according to the most recent nationwide data (Neilson, 2013), and it’s a safe bet that teen texting totals are much higher. Even the average of 25 texts per day can put a person at risk for the pain of texting thumb, a real and growing pain problem in our smartphone-saturated society.

Ruth Cioffredi, OTR/L Occupational Therapist“Repetitive tasks should never be done for more than 20 minutes continuously without a break. Switching the muscle group allows for tissues to be more flexible and avoids strain in chronically overused areas.”

Symptoms

Are you experiencing sharp or shooting pain, a constantly aching thumb joint, or a thumb that seems to pop out of place when it’s extended during typing? You might be suffering from Texting Thumb. The strain of constantly holding a cellphone and curling the wrist and thumb to type text messages restricts and thickens the tendons responsible for flexing the thumb and wrist, causing inflammation, searing joint pain, and eventual weakness.

Two Different Sources of Texting Thumb Pain

TRIGGER THUMB

Trigger Thumb Diagram Cioffredi

Pain centered at the base of the thumb on the palm side, which can radiate up the thumb and is often accompanied by snapping or locking of the thumb, is likely caused by an aggravated and inflamed tendon—a condition called trigger thumb that is the most commonly associated with texting.

DEQUERVAIN SYNDROME

Pain that originates on the thumb side of the wrist. A person with DeQuervain Syndrome may feel localized tenderness, pain, and, swelling at the wrist near where the thumb is attached to the forearm. They also may have difficulty pinching or grasping with the thumb or hand, and feel pain when moving the wrist from side to side or when twisting it. DeQuervain Syndrome causes difficulty when flexing the thumb, and may result in limited motion and feeling of weakness in the thumb.

DeQuervain Syndrome Diagram

Treatment

If you are experiencing the symptoms of either trigger thumb or DeQuervain Syndrome, for best results you should seek treatment early. A physical or occupational therapist will work with you to assess your condition and review how you use your thumb, and start working with you to relieve pain and inflammation. Your therapist can give suggestions on how to make adjustments to alleviate stress to that area, and can also help you with exercises for your hand, wrist, and arm that strengthen your muscles and reduce painful tendon irritation. In some cases, an immobilizing splint may be prescribed to support recovery.

Ruth Cioffredi OT Hand Specialist

WE CAN HELP Call us today to schedule an evaluation with one of our physical therapy clinicians: 603-643-7788 

 

Is it Necessary to Have a Referral?

While a written referral is not required to seek care, it may be a requirement of your insurance company.

A benefit of getting a written referral from your doctor or dentist is that it will ensure that they get a copy of your evaluation, re-evaluation, and discharge notes, so that they can keep up with your treatment progress. We are happy to provide referral forms upon request.

RELATED ARTICLES

Is it really carpal tunnel syndrome?
Surgery Avoided with a Little Teamwork
Preventing “Computer Neck”

Further Reading

The American Society of Hand Therapists  (https://www.asht.org/patients/education-resources)

Ashurst JV, Turco DA, Lieb BE. Tenosynovitis Caused by Texting: An Emerging Disease. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2010;110(5):294-296. (Accessed from: http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2094077&resultClick=1)

American Physical Therapy Association (Accessed from: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditions.aspx)

 

 

 



HEALTH CARE COSTS DON’T NEED TO BE A MYSTERY

Making choices about healthcare can be difficult. You want to know—upfront—what you will be expected to pay for services before you incur any costs. You have personal values, you want quality care, and you prefer to make important decisions based on evidence.Informed Healthcare Choice

Healthcare providers and insurance companies have a duty to provide information about the cost of services, and you always have options about where and how you are treated. Ask questions and do some research before you are referred for physical therapy or other healthcare services.

WE ENDORSE PRICE TRANSPARENCY

We’re here to help the pain go away . . . not create more. If you’d like information about the cost of our services, up front, just ask. Call us at 603-643-7788. We’re treating from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in 2017.


COST COMPARISON TOOLS

Here are some cost-comparison* resources that can help:

HEALTHCARE BLUEBOOK

NH Health Cost Website

VT BCBS Website 

*Be sure that you’re comparing “apples to apples.” Costs per visit will vary between providers, and so it’s best to get detailed information directly from your provider’s office.


REVIEW YOUR COVERAGE

It’s important to consult your health insurance plan, to be sure you understand your responsibility.

  • What services are covered or excluded?
  • Do you have a deductible? Co-pay responsibility? Co-insurance coverage?
  • Are you scheduling with an in-network provider? (Check the Cioffredi In-Network Provider List)

Got Questions? Please Ask!

Call 603-643-7788 or email scheduling@cioffredi.com

 

empower yourself

 


Don’t Let Winter Cause you Pain

Shoveling Snow and Avoiding Injury

Sadie shovels snow at Cioffredi & Associates Physical Therapy Clinic.PREPARE YOURSELF

Warm up your muscles before starting, by moving and stretching. If this is going to be the only exercise you’ve gotten for a while, consider hiring a teenager to help. Shoveling snow is a remarkably strenuous activity!

  • Dress appropriately. Wear boots with good tread (or add traction), and dress in light, water-repellant layers. Be mindful to stay warm without getting overheated.
  • Shovel many light loads, rather than fewer heavy ones.
  • Avoid twisting, and switch sides. Take a step when throwing the snow to minimize twisting, and try to avoid throwing every load in the same direction.
  • Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
  • Be reasonable. Don’t feel that you need to clear every flake of snow from your property.

**WARNING** Head indoors right away if you feel pain or tightness in your chest, you feel lightheaded or short of breath, your heart starts racing, or some other physical change makes you nervous. (Snow shoveling is a known trigger for heart attacks!)

SHOW YOUR SHOVELING SMARTS

Show shovels stored in a garage, so they are cold.
Store your shovel where it’s cold.
Snow sticks to a warm shovel and adds strain to the job. Tip: If you have trouble with a sticky shovel, try a light coating of cooking spray on the blade.

Clean off cars first.
Get all the snow on the ground before you start shoveling.

Make a disposal plan and be systematic.
Don’t shovel the same snow twice. Be sure you’re moving it to its final destination. Tip: You can pile snow on a plastic tarp to drag it to a more distant disposal spot if you need to, but be sure not to overload it!

Shovel snow when it’s at its lightest.
Be aware of changing temperatures so that you can avoid moving a large accumulation of heavy wet snow, or after it has become packed and icy from foot traffic. Tip: If you do need to clear packed or icy snow, chose a shovel with a metal blade.

Illustration of different types of snow shovels.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SNOW SHOVEL

Handle Length
Taller people should look for a longer handle to avoid excessive bending. Shorter people will not get good leverage with a long-handled shovel, and so should choose a shorter handle style.

Blade Size
The larger the shovel blade, the heavier it will be when you fill it. If you have concerns about your strength or balance, or fear aggravating an injury, choose a shovel with a smaller blade.

Weight
Handles and blades come in a variety of materials from wood to metal to plastic. Lighter materials may come with some disadvantages as far as sturdiness, but it may be worth the trade-off to save you the extra strain of lifting a heavy shovel.

Flat or Rounded Shovel?
Flat shovels are better at cutting through deep or dense drifts, like the ones created by a snow plow. Rounded shovels are good for scooping loose snow and allow for pushing snow along a path or sidewalk.

Best Shovel for Back Safety?

A shovel with an ergonomic handle (bent at a sharp angle) reduces the need to bend over. This design also prevents you from lifting heavy scoops which, while frustrating, is generally better for your back.

And if winter gets the better of you, we’re here to help!

Here’s a winter injury success story to encourage you . . . #CHOOSEPT


Call us today for help with your winter aches and pains: 603-643-7788

Cioffredi & Associates

112 Etna Road
P. O. Box 727
Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766
United States (US)
Phone: 603-643-7788
Fax: 603-643-0022
Email: scheduling@cioffredi.com