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Pain vs. Exercise: Exercise Wins



Buddha once said, “Life is suffering”.  However, for the millions who live with persistent pain, they might tell you that Buddha was an optimist.  After all, those with chronic pain can often feel extreme discomfort and apprehension with everyday tasks such as walking up stairs or carrying household items.  
Despite the apprehension that those with persistent pain often associate with different movements, one of the best things that can be done in response to chronic pain is exercise.  This is consistently the conclusion of expert review panels.  Numerous studies have been published which provide strong evidence that exercise, individualized to one's needs and incorporating flexibility, strengthening and endurance, is effective in reducing persistent pain.1

For example the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society both list yoga as a recommended intervention to manage lower back pain.  Additionally, strengthening programs have been shown to reduce pain in older adults with arthritis.  Furthermore, both cycling and walking have lowered individuals’ pain levels in various studies.1

While Buddha may be right in saying that life is suffering, the question then remains, how will we respond to the pain we experience?  Will one continually limit their daily activities, or will they push their limits with exercise?  

It is true that over-exercising can lead to tissue injury.  However, avoiding exercise can lead to chronic pain.  Exercise, it seems, is a risk we all must take in order to live a life with as little suffering as possible.

Created By:
Tom Fairbank, PT, DPT

1. Guccione, A, et al.Geriatric Physical Thearpy. Third Edition.  El Sevier Mosby.  St Louis, MO, 2012.

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Progress is a Process


Results. Every one wants them, and everyone wants them FAST. Time and time again I tell my patients to not get caught up with the rate of change, but rather, focus on the changes themselves.
A few years ago I discovered the motto of my life. “Progress not Perfection”. I found myself discouraged at making changes in my life because I knew I couldn’t do it perfectly. This perceived reality turned me off from even trying to change, rationalizing that it was pointless to try if I couldn’t do it perfectly. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
They say that the only way to guarantee an outcome is to never try at something. I have found this to be a profoundly true statement. Realistically, progress is a process, and to the dismay of many, not an expedited one.
Identifying progress can be a challenge for many of us. One of the reasons for this is because progress is often very subtle. We want that drastic, radical change, especially when it comes to getting healthy or losing weight, but that’s just not how it works. Because of that, it can be hard to pin point significant change, when we see ourselves day in and day out. The only encouragement I can offer in that regard is to use objective markers to track progress. Tracking your weight trends will be important, but that’s not the end all. Other markers to use are an old pair of jeans you want to fit into again, waist or hip measurements, fasting blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels just to name a few.
Ultimately, the secret to lasting change is commitment and consistency. As long as we stick to it, we will achieve the results we want eventually. It may take longer than we would have liked, but slow and steady wins the race.  

Created By:
Jacqueline Duca MS, RDN, LDN
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Oils--Which One to Choose



Have you ever been overwhelmed by the oil aisle? The sheer number of options to choose from can lead to confusion. Often times, we will simply chose the most intriguing bottle or the one with the best price.

Here are a few things to know when choosing the right cooking oil.

First of all, we should understand that oils are extracted from nuts and seeds through mechanical crushing and pressing. The word “virgin” that we see on so many products means that this oil was bottled immediately after pressing or was cold-pressed raw (some are pressed with heat and that compromises some nutrients). Thus, virgin oils retain their natural flavor and color. These oils are also rich with minerals, enzymes and other healthy compounds; however, these oils don't work as well with high temperature cooking and are more susceptible to rancidity.

Second, when choosing cooking oil, the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke should be considered. This is called the “smoke point”. Using the appropriate oil for the temperature desired is important because it will add the greatest flavor to your dish and also provide the most health benefits. When oil is heated beyond its smoke point, nutrients can be damaged to the point of even becoming harmful. Below is a basic guide on what oil to use for various cooking methods/temperatures.

Oils for Cooking Styles

High Smoke Point

Medium Smoke Point

Low Smoke Point  

For searing browning and deep frying

For baking, oven cooking or stir frying


For Light Sautéing

Almond, avocado, hazelnut, sunflower


Canola, grape seed, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil

Corn sesame, soybean and coconut oils


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