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Avoiding Back Pain This Winter Season

Back pain is a very common reason for someone to seek out medical care. Because the spine is a huge proponent of our support system, back pain (particularly in the lower back) can be debilitating.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to this ailment during the winter.

back pain winterBending and Twisting

It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite winter activity- shoveling!

Many don’t take into account the fact that shoveling is not only a chore, but an intense workout. As such, most won’t think to stretch beforehand. Yes, you read that right. One of the biggest favors you can do before heading outside is to warm yourself up. Do some light stretching and possibly some lifting if you have other household chores. This will help loosen the muscles and will lessen the chances for spraining, tearing or pulling.

Take it slow! Shoveling can be exhausting. We promise- that snow won’t go anywhere. You can come back to it later. Lifting with your legs (instead of your back) will help you last much longer in the elements.

Take a look at the equipment and gear you’re using. Use a lightweight shovel with a long handle. Wearing the proper footwear along with gloves and everything else needed to keep you warm will make for better support.

Slipping and Falling

Another common source of back pain comes from injuries- typically the result of a fall. In the winter this is easy to do with all the ice on the ground outside. Some falls only end with bruises, but some can lead to serious spinal injury.

In order to avoid falls and slips, wear the proper footwear. Those heels might look great with your outfit, but it might be wise to only wear those indoors. Pay close attention to where you’re going. Ice isn’t always apparent right away. Lastly, be cautious when walking over snow, as there could be plenty of ice beneath it.

back pain winterNot Enough Exercise

As a general rule, no matter the body part, if you don’t use the muscles they will become less flexible. Once it gets cold outside, people tend to stay indoors more and become less active. In order to remedy this, think of ways to enjoy activities indoors, like joining a gym with a friend.

There are many other things to do in order to stay active, as well. You can invest in videos to use at home that work out your back. You can spend less time watching TV and when you do take a break to watch your favorite show, use the commercial breaks to get up and walk around or stretch. Cutting back on the overeating will help too. The colder months have a lot of holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but overeating will make you lethargic and you won’t want to move.

Cold Weather and Snow

When it gets colder, the barometric pressure drops and the difference can be felt in most people’s joints. The amount of pain will go up in the winter months, but there are things you can do to lessen this effect.

Dressing warm will help your joints. Don’t be afraid to dress in layers- if you enter a heated room, you can always take a layer or two off. Keeping proactively warm will make a noticeable difference! Also, when that isn’t enough heat, try a heating pad to give localized heat to a certain area. This will relax the muscles and can be very therapeutic. Lastly- stretching will also keep the muscles warm. Before any strenuous activity (or even after a long period of inactivity) stretch your muscles to take the pressure off the joints.

What to Do About the Pain?

If you find the pain you have is mild, you can use herbal anti-inflammatory remedies like ginger or turmeric, or over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines like Aleve. Take the medicines as directed, only when needed, and with food. Also, consider resting and exercise as tolerated- you don’t want to worsen the pain.

If you’re having moderate or severe pain, regardless of the cause, its best to see a health care provider. This is the time when it’s necessary to speak to a professional to avoid further damage, receive and diagnosis, and start healing.

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How Important is Your First Dance as Man and Wife?

first danceOne of the most treasured traditions of a wedding is the couple’s first dance as man and wife. Brides and grooms spend many hours choosing the perfect song that reflects their unique relationship. The song chosen is always remembered and cherished by the couple and their guests.

This is why the couple’s first dance together as a union is so important. Your children and grandchildren will know that every time they hear a certain song it represents your love and is now a part of family history. Just remember that choosing the song should be a fun time for both of you. Too many couples become stressed out by the process.

There are many couples that take formal wedding dance lessons so that they can feel more comfortable dancing and possibly even do something exciting and unique instead of the slow dance most frequently done at social occasions.  There are even families and friends that do classes together so the entire wedding party can do something fun and memorable.first dance

It is popular today to choose fun dance songs for the couple’s first dance together. If a fun, cool dance song fits your personalities and the theme of your wedding, then making light of the first dance could be truly a memorable experience. However, make sure that you both agree on the theme and tone of the song, because you want it to make you smile every time you hear it on the radio.  There is also the wedding video to consider that will live on forever.

Though this traditional part of a wedding ceremony and reception is important for both bride and groom, make sure that you can relax and enjoy the moment. By the time the first dance comes around, the most stressful parts of the wedding are over.

The first dance should be your opportunity to exhale and bond with your spouse. So, though you truly want the song and the dance to be a significant and memorable part of your special day, make sure that you balance your wedding dance plans in a way that will not add any additional stress to your special day.   In fact, the wedding dance should be a place to let all of that go and just have a great time together.

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Why You Should Dance on Valentine’s Day

Every year it comes around and we frequently struggle to come up with something new to do or try that lets our Sweetheart know that what we feel for them is special.  Dancing is romantic, intimate and interesting and is a wonderful Valentine date.


Dancing together is the ultimate public display of affection and women love it. It makes us feel cherished. Imagine having dinner filled with conversation and laughter, then off to somewhere else for dancing and dessert.  Sounds like a dream date to me!  It is an evening of intimacy that feeds the heart and the mind and strengthens your relationship.

Dancing together is a fun physical activity.  When we were children we went outside to play.  As adults we have to find new playgrounds and a dance club with great ambiance is one of the best.  A night of dancing is great exercise, great stress relief and wonderful way to be out doing something fun and energetic.  So, infuse your Valentines evening with FUN, excitement and energy.

Surprising your Valentine is a nice added bonus.  We love surprises and although flowers are great it is always nice to have a bit of the unexpected.  Show your sense of adventure and inventiveness by surprising your Sweetie with an impromptu dance class followed by a night of dancing and romancing.  Discover the sensuality of salsa, the temptation of tango or the beauty of ballroom.

You might find that a night of dancing together becomes a favored pastime, all sparked by a clever idea on Valentine’s day.  Check out your options for a night of dance in your city.  Local studios might offer an evening of tapas style classes, champagne and dancing.  If you already have some dance skills and are looking for something less structured perhaps a night at the local club would be in order.

Call ahead as most places fill up on Valentine’s day because it is a great date!

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Social Dancing: The Perfect Way to Meet People and Make Friends

social dancing

The benefits of social dancing are endless. The truth is that once we become adults, our friend making skills seem to get a bit rusty. As children it seems much more natural to go outside and join others in play. As adults we tend to lose this natural environment in which to be social and connect with others. Social dancing is one of the best ways to get over the awkwardness of making friends and learning new skills by doing something healthy and fun.  Even those who connect with others easily seem to get stuck in ruts and have a difficult time meeting new people outside of the bar scene.

Where do I begin?

If you’ve never taken a dance class or been much of a natural dancer, it may feel odd to even think about involving yourself in a dance class or going to a salsa club or dance event. But there are many fun ways to get into the activity of social dancing that will make you feel at ease and bring some fun and new people into your life.

●     Search online for dance clubs and classes in your area. If a dance class or dance night is easy for you to get to, you will be more likely to attend.

●      If you are searching for a dance class, word of mouth is a great way to find the right instructor. Ask friends and co-workers if they know of any good dance instructors that will make you feel comfortable while you are learning. There are often informal dance classes that also double as wine nights, or social meetings held in restaurants or night clubs. This is a great way to combine the learning of a new skill with the making of friends.  If you find that you are intrigued by the idea of dancing, it is also a great way to check out your local teachers before deciding where you would like to take more formal lessons.

●     If you are new to social dancing, group lessons are a great way to begin. Group dance lessons are easy to find, a great way to meet people with similar interests, and are very economical. Learning to dance and socialize in a group is an easy way to add a spark to your social life. As everyone is just starting out there is much less pressure to be perfect and everyone can learn and have a few laughs in the process.   For the people who find the idea of learning in a group setting either too difficult or those who just need more one on one with the instructors, private lessons can be a great way to jumpstart your dancing and make future group classes easier as well as more comfortable.

social dancing

Getting over my fears of dancing in public and meeting new people

●     Once you get yourself out there in the dance world, there is often a lot of trepidation about showing off your new skills among strangers. Many people feel judged even if no one is paying any attention to them. Know that the majority of these feelings are coming from within and are not because you are actually being judged by other dancers. Oddly enough, the best thing you can do, is get on the dance floor and dance next to the very best dancer on the floor.  It is a well known fact that our eyes are drawn to good dancers so no one will be looking at you at all.  So, get over these fears by simply dancing through the intimidation and awkwardness.  The most important thing is to just get on the floor whether hiding in the middle of the crowd or dancing next to the divas.  Just get on with having a great time dancing!

●     When others see your fearlessness of making a few mistakes, they will be interested in who you are. Not being afraid to show that you are a beginner and that dancing should always be a super fun activity, not a stressor, will make you more attractive to those around you!  It shows a sense of adventure and an ability to laugh at yourself, not take yourself too seriously and a willingness to try new things.  Experienced dancers will be drawn to you because they see someone who is not afraid to take on a challenge, and newbies will feel comfortable around you and be inspired by your ability to just get on the dance floor and enjoy your new moves.

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Chiropractics Expansion and website updates!

There are exciting events happening at Convergence Dance and Body Center. One of our owners Dr J C Maier is opening a practice on the third floor of the very same building! Convergence Chiropractics Center will soon be taking new clients and we look forward to your company and support on the dance floor and in the office. Have a great October and please come back for more updates about what is going on this Fall at Convergence DBC.