How to Ease Your Biggest Body Aches

Dr. Jim's Tips

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears shares helpful remedies for your children's ailments.

Preventing Ear Infections

Easing Tummy Pains

Soothe a Colicky Baby
The Tummy Tub is designed to create a womb-like experience for newborns.

If a baby is colicky (suffering from pain in the abdomen or bowels) or fussy, the makers of Tummy Tub claim that simply placing the baby in the cylindrical tub filled with warm water will quickly soothe the distressed child. The company adds that parents should never leave their baby unattended in the tub.

See how the Tummy Tub works!

High Heel Dangers

Mecca, 31, is a self-described high heel addict. "I consider anything under 4 1/2 inches, hmm, flip-flops," she says. "I wear my high heels all the time, even when I clean house!"

But such devotion to stiletto style can come at a steep price. High heels can cause foot calluses, cramps, injuries and back pain.

"There are 26 bones in your foot, 33 joints, 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, so [there is] a lot of important, precious cargo down there that we have to keep safe," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says.

See how walking in high heels affects your spinal alignment and posture.

Tips for Happy Feet:
• Stretch your calves and feet throughout the day
• Vary your heel height
• Wearing heels less than 2 inches will decrease risk of injury
• Inserts like Foot Petals can help cushion your foot and absorb shock
• Give your heels a day off!

Running Shoe Solutions
High heels aren't the only culprit of foot pain. Wearing the wrong athletic or running shoe can throw the body out of alignment and cause pain and injury. Shoes like the Somnio custom running shoe, voted as one of the best innovations of the year by Popular Science magazine, can help correct alignment and alleviate pain.

Physical therapist and running specialist Tim Hilden demonstrates how to assess a person's running gait and correct alignment.

Chronic Headaches
Community member Leah Taylor wrote in to to ask for help with her chronic migraine headaches.

There are five types of headaches: Sinus, cluster, tension, migraine and hormonal. OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains that headaches are much more common in women than men, due to hormonal fluctuations, and many women report menstrual migraines right before their period. Headaches can also be caused by neck pain that stems from injury, strain, sprain, herniated discs or insufficient support while sleeping.

Dr. Travis explains that migraine headaches are thought to be caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the brain and tend to affect one side of the head. The dilated vessels pull on nerve receptors located near the blood vessels, causing pain signals to be sent to the brain. The result is a terrible, throbbing headache with a variety of symptoms. Migraines are difficult to treat, as symptoms and triggers vary among individuals, but they are often relieved by sleep.

Symptoms of a Migraine Headache:
• Moderate to severe pain
• Nausea
• Sensitivity to light and colors
• Loss of appetite
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Aura

Foods such as coffee, red wine, cheese, chocolate and monosodium glutamate (MSG) or high levels of sodium can trigger migraines. Dr. Travis suggests headache sufferers keep a journal of their migraines to see what, if anything, triggers them.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon explains that Botox injections are an increasingly popular treatment for migraines, because they can be injected into the sensory nerves that send pain impulses to the brain.

Other helpful migraine remedies include relaxation techniques, exercising at least three times per week and placing ice on the base of the neck.

More on migraine treatments

Knee Pain
Dr. Travis explains common causes of knee pain, such as tendonitis, associated with overuse of the joint; arthritis, a degeneration of the joint; and an acute injury, such as a tear.

Stephanie, 41, tore the meniscus, the cartilage that acts as a cushion, in her knee. Surgeon Dr. Andrew Weiss performs an arthroscopic procedure to repair the tissue.

Physical therapist Danielle Orland describes Stephanie's physical therapy regimen. It includes interferential electrical stimulation, which helps to reduce inflammation.

Core Exercises

The best exercise for the core? The plank! Fitness expert Alycia demonstrates how to perform the perfect plank.  

"The great thing about it is that it doesn't just help [recovery from] knee surgery, it can help almost any other ache and pain in the body," Danielle says.

The latest research indicates that many knee problems can be avoided altogether. "The most important thing anyone can do to avoid a knee injury is strengthen the core and the hips," Danielle explains.

The "core" is defined as the conglomeration of the transverse, oblique and rectus abdominus abdominal muscle family, as well as the pelvic floor and paraspinal muscles.

Alternative Back Treatment
A whopping 80 percent of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives. Discomfort often stems from muscle spasms or pinched nerves, and conventional treatments such as heat, ice and Ibuprofen are usually effective.

For those willing to try something new, Dr. Jim and Dr. Ordon demonstrate the latest in alternative back care that includes Platza massage and inversion therapy.

Platza is a healing treatment that originated in Russia. Practitioners thump patients with oak, birch or eucalyptus branches as a form of massage.

"The essential oils from the leaves get infused into the skin and released into the atmosphere of the spa, which helps with the relaxation response and to clear out the pores," massage therapist and Platza master Don explains.

Inversion therapy entails hanging upside down from supportive boots in an effort to stretch the spine. Theoretically, the force of gravity alleviates pressure on nerves and discs in the spine, helping to ease back pain.