Causes of Constant Coughing – Croup Cough

Croup, like many other causes of constant coughing, is caused by an inflammation of the upper respiratory system. It is primarily characterized by constant coughing, whose sound resembles a dry, barking noise. Generally, an underlying virus in the human body, such as parainfluenza virus or respiratory syncytial virus causes croup. Although it can affect older children, croup most commonly occurs infants and young children who are of six months to three years in age. In the beginning, a child might display the symptoms of a cold, like a stuffy nose or a slight fever. As the inflammation of the respiratory system begins to spread, the child will begin to develop hoarseness and the constant coughing. If the child’s airway becomes increasingly swollen, it cannot become extremely difficult for he or she to breathe.

Due to a lack of oxygen and constant coughing, the child may have difficulty sleeping, which leads to a tendency for the symptoms to worsen during the nighttime. Croup tends to develop in young children in the fall and early winter; however, it is generally not contagious amongst youngsters. Croup is rather simple for a doctor to diagnose due to the tale tall constant coughing.

Fortunately, in most cases, croup is rather mild. A doctor will most likely prescribe some type of steroids to reduce the swelling and inflammation in the respiratory tract. Many doctors also prescribe low doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Breathing moist air also helps relieve the congestion in most young children. Therefore, a parent may need to purchase a cool air humidifier for their child’s room.

Finally, a doctor will also perform X rays on a child to ensure that there is not another means of airway blockage in the child’s lungs. Viral croup generally runs its course within three to seven days. In the most serious cases, a child can develop pneumonia, although this is rare. It is important for a parent to ensure that their child drinks adequate amounts of liquids during this time. Dehydration can only exacerbate the symptoms of croup, like the constant coughing. Frequent hand washing is preferred in order to prevent a child from catching the viruses that cause croup. Although unpleasant, the disease is treatable, and most children make full recoveries.

Do You Have Constant Pain Under Your Left Rib Cage?

Back pain under the left rib cage is a dilemma for all patients suffering from it. Any constant pain is viewed by doctors as a very serious disorder or disease and requires immediate attention and cure. The rib cage is a formation that is composed by the thoracic vertebrae and ribs, sternum-breastbone, and the coastal cartilages that links the ribs to the sternum. The term cage is defined as a structure to house animals. The rib cage is a similar structure which houses and also protects the animal heart and lungs, also known as a thoracic cage in medical terms.

In the chest-thorax, nerves emerge from the spine and divide into two parts. The first part heads to the under part of the skin and further sends fibers to the surface of the skin it also travels half way around the chest. The second nerve travels from the bottom of the rib right around the sternum bone, and also surfaces to the skin and then heads back towards the side of the same level as the first nerve. A pain in the rib cage can be any pain or discomfort in the area of the ribs.

A fractured or cracked rib can cause rib cage pain, costochondritis, inflammation of the cartilage near the breastbone, osteoporosis and pleurisy. If you do encounter such ribcage you must first get the area x-rayed so as to determine if your ribs are fractured. In the event of a fractured rib an immediate surgery should be scheduled. If you’ve been suffering this pain for a long period of time (3 months or more) it’s necessary to go for an MRI or CT scan and consult a professional to check for nerve damage, tumor or cancer.

Inflammation of the cartilage that is between the ribs and breastbone can cause pain around the back and down the arms. This pain is such that it might radiate a sensation as if you were having a heart attack or lung problems. Although the duration of this condition is short but very painful and uncomfortable during the period it lasts.

There may be times when you will visit a gastroenterologist because of the constant back pain under your left rib cage because the problem starts with your stomach. You might often feel hungry and the feel the urge to let out a big growl, no matter how much you eat it still does not matter, but instead results in heart burn and pain on the left side underneath the cage. To eliminate the possibility of an infection of the intestine or pancreas routine blood pathology is conducted. Digestive, gastro and bowel disorders should be ruled out after seeking doctor’s medical advice. These indications might make you think it’s due to twisted bowel, so a through checkup of the colon should be scheduled.

Constant pain under the left rib cage is very uncomfortable for pregnant women especially those in advanced stages of pregnancy. They experience extreme pain near the area where the ribcage and breast meet. The pain causes extreme trauma and sometimes makes it difficult to sleep.

Rubbermaid Ice Chest – Best in Class

If you worry about where you are going to place your fruits, ice cream, canned sodas, bottled water and other food while on a long and dusty drive in the country, ice chest coolers is the answer to that dilemma. Just put ice cubes in the coolers and voila! Your drinks will still be cold after hours of driving. Your ice cream is still unmelted and intact. You do not have to worry about spoiled and rotten food in your trunk or your backseat. And you can still enjoy the cool feel of cold water down your throat after a hot afternoon under the sun.

Rubbermaid is one of the names known for producing storage materials such as coolers and water jugs. Their ice chest coolers have insulation that is thicker than the ordinary coolers. This ensures that the cold inside can not easily get out. Even if the temperature outside is scorching hot the Rubbermaid ice chest coolers can withstand that. You are guaranteed thirst-quenching drinks once you arrive at your destination.

These ice chests come in different sizes and colors. Some have wheels and some even have handles. They are great to use in any outdoor activities like family picnics, going to beaches, fishing and camping. They are durable and sturdy. They are very efficient for people who are always on the go.

A Rubbermaid ice chest cooler is a must-have for any adventurous person. You can take it anytime and anywhere. It is a good investment and you will surely get your money’s worth.

Marfan’s Syndrome

Are you excessively tall? Do you have long bones that aren’t proportionate to the rest of your body? Perhaps you have Marfan’s syndrome. Marfan’s syndrome (arachnodactyly) is a rare inherited disorder of connective tissue that causes defects in the eyes, skeleton and cardiovascular system. It affects both males and females and may occur any time from early infancy to adulthood.

The symptoms of Marfan’s syndrome develop gradually over the years. These include long slender bones which make a person excessively tall, long slender fingers and toes, heart defects and a partial dislocation of the lenses of the eyes.

“The most common signs of this disease are skeletal abnormalities particularly excessively long tubular bones and an arm span exceeding the patient’s height. Usually the patient is taller than average for his family, with the upper half of his body shorter than average and the lower half, longer,” according to Helen L. Davis of the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia in “Diseases.”

“His fingers are long and slender (spider fingers). Weakness of ligaments, tendons and joint capsules results in joints that are loose, hyperextensible, and habitually dislocated. Excessive growth of the rib bones give rise to chest deformities,” she added.

Other symptoms are pectus excavatum (funnel breast), frequent hernia and scoliosis (the sideways curvature of the spine). Death from Marfan’s syndrome is often due to cardiovascular complications.

In severe cases, the elastic fibers in the media (middle layer) of the aorta (the main artery of the body) may be damaged, leading to aneurysm (a ballonlike swelling).

There is no specific test for Marfan’s syndrome and the diagnosis is made mainly on its symptoms. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing complications. These include surgery to repair aneurysm, eye defects and spinal curvature, and hormone therapy to stop the patient from growing abnormally tall.

Elbow Pain – A Funny Bone With No Laughing Matter

The elbow is the joint that connects the end of the upper arm bone, distal humerus, to the bones of the forearm, radius and ulna, with ligaments, tendons and muscles.

The elbow allows us to bend, extend and rotate the arm. The radius and ulna, the two bones of the forearm, fit into the ends of the upper arm bone like a hinge forming the elbow joint. The distal humerus, the upper arm bone, flares out to form the medial and lateral epicondyles. The large bump of the ulna behind the elbow joint is called the olecranon. The olecranon forms the bony prominence of the elbow and connects with the triceps muscles of the upper arm.

At one time or another everyone has typically experienced a minor elbow injury. An example of this is when a person bumps their “funny bone.” The “funny bone” involves the ulnar nerve that runs down the back of the elbow. When this nerve is bumped, a feeling of pain and a tingling sensation is felt down the arm. This pain may be intense at first but is brief and will go away on its own.

Minor or serious elbow pain can include symptoms such as pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, weakness or a decrease in range of motion. Sudden or acute elbow injuries may be caused by a direct blow, a fall, or a penetrating injury. Other elbow injuries can occur by twisting, jerking, jamming or bending the elbow abnormally.

Examples of acute injuries include bruises, sprains, strains, fractures or dislocation. Overuse injures can occur when too much stress is placed on a joint or other tissue. This can be caused by overdoing an activity or through repetition of an activity. Some examples of overuse injures are bursitis, swelling behind the elbow, tendonitis, micro-tears in the connective tissue, and radial tunnel syndrome, which is the pinching of the deep radial nerve near the elbow joint.

Elbow treatment depends on several factors; the location, type and severity of the injury, how long ago the injury occurred and a persons age, health condition and activities. Elbow treatment measures include the application of a brace, splint, or cast, physical therapy, medication and in some cases surgery.

The elbow is a major joint that provides us with movements we use each and every hour. Taking care of this important joint is important in good health.

Stress Fractures, Blood Pressure Medications: Common Runner’s Health Issues

What’s the best way to treat a stress fracture?

Bone stress fractures are very common sports injuries. Any trauma to bones, such as repeated pounding when your heel strikes the ground during running, or landing on your feet after grabbing a basketball, can cause small cracks on the surface of bones called stress fractures. In healthy athletes, they can take from 3 to 12 weeks to heal, forcing an athlete to lose valuable training time. A study from Tulane University shows that intravenous pamidronate can heal these fractures quickly and keep the playing (Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, March 2005). Bones change constantly. Calcium is carried from bones by cells called osteoclasts and carried into bones by cells called osteoblasts. Bisphosphonates such as pamidronate prevent osteoclasts from carrying calcium from bones. The athletes received five weekly intravenous infusions of pamidronate and were able to continue training, even though they had painful small fractures in bones of their feet and legs.

Will blood pressure drugs interfere with your running program?

The beta blocker drugs used to treat blood pressure and heart problems can markedly impair your ability to exercise, according to a study from Switzerland (European Journal of Applied Physiology, October 2005). How hard you can exercise is limited by the ability of your heart to pump blood from your lungs to your exercising muscles. Beta blockers markedly reduce blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles. Beta blocker brand names include Toprol, Inderal, Blocadron, Coreg, Inopran, Levatol, Pindolol, Sectral, Tenormin, Timolol Trandate, Zebeta and Bisoprol.

Beta blockers are prescribed to treat people who have had heart attacks, heart pain, heart failure, rapid heart beat and atrial fibrillation. However, even though many physicians prescribe beta blockers to treat high blood pressure, there is no data show that they prevent heart attacks in healthy people. If beta blockers interfere with your ability to exercise, ask your doctor if you can take other types of medications such ace inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers or calcium channel blockers..

Cerebral Palsy and Medical Negligence

Cerebral Palsy is often a term used to broadly cover a variety of neurological disorders affecting an individual’s ability to control muscle function. Cerebral palsy is characterized as chronic and non-progressive, with assorted symptoms that differ from person to person. The United Cerebral Palsy Foundation estimates that as many as eight hundred thousand children and adults in the United States live with some form of the condition. It is also estimated that nearly ten thousand babies born in the United States will develop Cerebral Palsy. (Statistic courtesy of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Although some people are able to lead completely normal lives without the need for any major assistance, others may never be able to care for themselves properly. For these people, the expense of managing their condition can be astronomical.

There are essentially three main causes of Cerebral Palsy. In general, the condition is due to abnormal brain development or a brain injury in the area that controls bodily movement. For years many physicians believed Cerebral Palsy was due to complications that occurred during labor and delivery. Today, however, there seem to more definitive causes.

The first reason Cerebral Palsy can occur is due to a congenital issue. This means the abnormal brain development happened early on in the pregnancy, or that damage occurred to the white matter of the brain in later stages of pregnancy. It can also be a result of bleeding in the brain from a fetal stroke, and/or loss of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery.

A very small number of cases develop after the time of birth, but before the age of three. These cases generally come about because of a traumatic brain injury from an accident or abuse, or due to a severe illness such as meningitis.

The third, and most difficult cause of Cerebral Palsy to accept, is due to an issue that arose during the birthing process from medical negligence. This means that some action was taken by a member of the medical staff that could have or should have been avoided, resulting in an injury to the brain. These mistakes could have happened at some point during the pregnancy, during delivery, or even after delivery.

The symptoms can vary a great deal however there are some key warning signs that you should be aware of. These symptoms include: failure to reach key developmental milestones (such as walking or crawling), abnormal muscle tone (such as a floppy or stiff appearance), an early hand preference, or persistent reflexes. In order to be sure of whether or not your child has developed the condition a full medical exam needs to be carried out. This will be able to completely eliminate other movement disorders, or other types of medical conditions. It is important to note, there are several forms of Cerebral Palsy, as explained below.

Cerebral Palsy Spastic: Identifiable by awkward movements and stiff muscle tone. Other possible symptoms can include, trouble with speech, inability to eat, seizures, learning disabilities, weakness on one side of the body, and a “scissored gait”. This type of Cerebral Palsy is the most common.

Cerebral Palsy Ataxic: The most recognizable symptoms of this form of the condition include poor coordination, poor balance, and an unusually wide gait. This is the least common form of Cerebral Palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Dyskinetic: Common symptoms include floppy muscle tone, difficulty walking, difficulty sitting, involuntary movements, difficulty eating, trouble with speech, and difficulty performing everyday tasks. These symptoms may worsen under stress, yet become completely unnoticeable while sleeping.

Mixed Cerebral Palsy: This form of the disorder can cause a mixture of symptoms including floppy and stiff muscle tone, and a wide range of dyskinetic movements.

Children who experience symptoms usually also have other issues with cognition, behavior, sensations, communication, and perception. Other medical issues such as recurrences of pneumonia and seizures are common as well.

Many infants and children who suffer with Cerebral Palsy may have to be cared for by a professional over the course of their entire lifetime. This may mean regular physical, speech, drug therapy, and surgical treatments to help improve or correct abnormalities. These individuals may also require orthotic devices such as braces, walkers, wheelchairs, and even specialized communication aids such as voice synthesizers.

If you believe your child’s Cerebral Palsy was a result of medical negligence it is absolutely essential that you meet with an experienced attorney that can provide you with the assistance you need. These attorneys are a type of personal injury lawyer who know exactly how to go about obtaining the justice you deserve.

Compensation can be significant and can include: current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, financial loss, and emotional distress. In many cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages as well.

Your attorney will be able to determine the validity of your claim and make sure it meets the basic principles for trial. This means you must be able to prove the medical professional did not act appropriately (within a reasonable standard of care) and that this failure resulted in the child developing Cerebral Palsy.

The process of filing this type of claim can be quite complicated. Your attorney knows exactly how to see the process through the system, obtain all necessary medical records, interview medical professionals, collect all needed evidence, and arrange for expert witnesses to testify. Since these attorneys typically work on a contingency basis, you pay nothing upfront.

If you are still unsure of whether or not you should contact an attorney, consider these facts: The cost of a lifetime of care for a child with Cerebral Palsy is over $920,000. This figure is in addition to the expenses of a person who does not have the condition and does not include costs for emergency room or hospital visits, residential care, and other miscellaneous expenses. (Statistic courtesy of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) The monetary reward you may receive cannot repair the damage that has occurred, but it can help to provide a positive future for you and your child.

MMA Training For Those With Hiatus Hernia Symptoms

For those suffering hiatus hernia symptoms Mixed Martial Arts training can assist as part of a plan for natural treatment. However martial arts and MMA fans who have found themselves with a hiatal hernia need to be careful when and how they train to avoid triggering symptoms.

Those with acid reflux problems like GERD, acid reflux disease and hiatus hernias MMA training and diet can sometimes be a challenge. Though at the same time sufferers from these conditions can greatly benefit from martial arts training even if they never plan on jumping into the UFC octagon. Obviously the training, exercise and a healthy diet can even help prevent many other health problems from developing.

Hiatal hernia symptoms just like GERD and acid reflux include regurgitation of stomach acid and stomach contents (food and liquid), heartburn and chest pain. A large part of the battle with hiatus hernia symptoms involves diet and exercise which are also two of the biggest factors in Mixed Martial Arts training.

If you have been training heavily or have been taking part in MMA competitions and have been experiencing symptoms, you may have a hiatal hernia and not know it. Diagnosis can be performed by a doctor using an s-ay. A hiatus hernia occurs when part of the stomach and the lower esophagus slides up through the hiatus (hole) in the diaphragm. Or when part of the stomach squeezes up through the hiatus next to the oesophagus. Those with a hiatal hernia need to be careful not to do themselves further injury. But building strength in core muscle can help prevent getting a hernia and help with symptoms. The potential link between GERD and hiatus hernias means those with a hiatal hernia should spend extra time focusing on the center body and abdominal.

Part of the root cause of hiatus hernia symptoms is digestion. Exercise and training promote better digestion and a good metabolism. This will prevent food from sitting in the stomach too long and creating the potential for heartburn. This doesn’t have to mean grueling training for hours on end, but hitting a martial arts other workout class or the gym for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times a week can go a long way towards helping hiatus hernia symptoms as well as regular walks. If you suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux or other hiatus hernia symptoms you need to be careful when you work out. Avoid working out after meals as bending over or laying down can trigger hiatus hernia symptoms.

Diet can often appear like an issue for those who are serious about their MMA training and that have hiatus hernia symptoms. It may seem like the goals you want to achieve and what it takes to avoid irritating symptoms requires two opposite diets. Because it is highly acid foods like eggs and meat that are the worst culprits for causing high production of stomach acid, but are the same foods that are favoured by those desiring to pack on muscle. Thankfully there are plenty of foods that can be added to your diet to keep you healthy while helping you keep in great shape. Martial artists and fitness fans also often plan there meals in a way that is very effective for eliminating hiatus hernia symptoms. Most often it includes eating 6-7 small meals during the day as opposed to a couple larger ones and promotes staying well hydrated with 6-10 glasses of water a day. Treatment is also best combined with other natural remedies and home cures for balancing stomach acid and preventing reflux.

What is Osteoporosis and What Do You Need to Know?

Most people have heard of osteoporosis. We know it has to do with bones becoming brittle and weak. Yet many of us don’t really know what it is. As we age it is important for everyone, especially women, to understand what osteoporosis is. Although the disease is not curable, we can take treatments to prevent further bone loss and prevent fractures.

What is osteoporosis?

Simply put, osteoporosis is a progressive disease of the bones. Our bones become less dense and more porous. Often the first sign will be a simple fall resulting in a broken bone. Another sign might be severe back pain from cracks in the spine known as compression fractures.

Osteoporosis causes bone fractures and spinal deformity

When osteoporosis has progressed, a person can be so fragile that a simple sneeze or cough can cause a fracture. The risk of falling becomes very serious and hip fractures are common. A hip fracture can result in permanent disability and even death. Sometimes the spine becomes so weak that it is permanently bent over and rounded into a hump.

Osteoporosis affects more women than men

Men get osteoporosis, but the risk for women is higher. One reason is that women have smaller bone structures which break down faster. The main reason is that the drop in estrogen levels after menopause speeds up bone loss. In the 5 to 7 years after menopause, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone mass. One in 4 women over the age of 50 will have osteoporosis.

What causes osteoporosis?

At this point scientists haven’t been able to identify one single cause for this disease. There are many risk factors. Having one or more risk factors makes it more likely that a person will get osteoporosis. Some of the risk factors are being a post-menopausal woman, aging, family history of the disease, inactivity, low calcium intake, excessive caffeine or alcohol use, and smoking.

How do doctors define osteoporosis?

A common method of diagnosis is bone mineral density (BMD) testing. The most common test is Dual Energy Absorptiometry (DXA). A low dose x-ray scans your spine and hips to find out how dense or thick your bones are. The results are compared to the average bone density of a young adult and are called “T-scores”.

A negative T-score indicates that the bones are below average for a young adult. Older adults usually have a negative score as bone loss is part of the normal aging process. A score below -2.5 indicates osteoporosis. A score between -1 and -2.5 indicates low bone density, which is called “osteopenia”.

Osteoporosis can be prevented and treated

Whether you have osteoporosis or want to prevent it, the keys to healthy bones are regular exercise, balanced diet, and sufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D. If you learn that you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, your doctor can offer medications to reduce bone loss and the risk of fracture.

An Accident Reconstruction Primer

Traffic accidents are the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about. We go about our daily lives without thinking for one moment about what might happen if we are involved in a serious crash, because we always believe that our vehicle will not be the one that is being craned out of a deep ravine, or loaded onto a flatbed truck in a heap of twisted metal. Unfortunately, statistics suggest it is more likely than not that some who read this will be involved in a serious accident at some time in their life. Further, in our increasingly litigious culture, there is exists a very real potential that we will become involved as plaintiffs or defendants in a civil or criminal action resulting from a car accident. When this happens, you should hire the best attorney you can afford, and preserve as much evidence as you can. Every driver should understand a little about what makes up a typical accident study, if only to protect his or her own interests in the aftermath of a terrible collision.

Generally speaking, accident reconstructionists are professional experts and consultants who are usually retained by legal advocates. We are oftentimes engineers, physicists, ex-police officers, or highway safety professionals, but we are specialized by experience and training in the analysis of traffic collisions. Though we usually work for the legal advocates defending or prosecuting a particular case, we are independent of any particular “side” in a legal action. The story of each accident study is different, but the efforts accident reconstructionists travel along well-worn paths to eventually arrive at our expert opinions.

At the first consultation with a potential client we may reject a case because it does not appear that we can offer any help (e.g. their client is clearly at fault, there is no legitimate accident to reconstruct, the deadline is too soon, etc.). Sometimes initial contact is made at the accident location so that the issues and circumstances can be better understood and an informed decision can be made as to whether or not we should become involved. Accident reconstructionists try to avoid being compelled to render opinions contrary to our client’s case.

Determine the facts. Usually the first evidentiary item found in a typical file is the traffic collision report (TCR), as they are called in California; elsewhere they have other names. This documents the police investigation into the accident and usually provides most of the factual information necessary to conduct an analysis. Although some accidents are more thoroughly investigated by law enforcement than others, most reports identify the parties and their vehicles, provide witness statements and contact information, offer some description of the accident scene as it was found by the investigating officer, and may contain some measurements and/or diagrams that describe the locations of various items of physical evidence. This evidence might include any tire marks, gouges, dirt tracks, debris, and the vehicles’ points of rest. Hopefully the investigation includes photographs of the scene, which are critical to any traffic collision report. It seems that police officers do not always think so because only about 50% of the crashes I investigate include scene photographs, and less than half of those cases include useful photographs because of the low priority most agencies put on accident investigation training. This is a terrible shame because peoples’ memories fade with time, but photographs can preserve evidence that was not collected at the scene of the crash or memorialize temporary conditions that no longer exist.

If you are ever involved in a traffic accident, the best advice I can offer is that you do not provide a statement to the police at the scene. This may seem a little strange coming from a person who relies heavily on the information presented in the police report, but it is in your own best interest to provide a written statement at a later time. Immediately following an accident, emotions are high and a person might say inaccurate things because they feel guilty or feel bad for another party who was hurt. I have never read a statement that did anything to help the person making it, but I have read hundreds that led to their arrest. I suggest a written statement because police officers are humans who cannot be expected to paraphrase your statement perfectly. Any differences between your statement and what eventually is recorded in the report can completely change the meaning of what you said. Once the officer has filed his report, the statement cannot be taken back so choose your words very carefully.

Site Investigation. After we have the location and some details regarding the issues we have been asked to evaluate, we visit the accident site to conduct an independent topographic survey. We conduct a survey as it would be conducted by a traditional surveying firm with the obvious exception that we pay particularly close attention to any remaining physical evidence. The site is photographed comprehensively and the survey might also include surface friction tests, sight-distance measurements, video, radar speed surveys, illumination level readings, ball-bank measurements, and any other tests requested by the client or that we feel will help us in our investigation. Sometimes when the accident site is in another state or if we are severely limited by time, other surveying firms are contracted to provide us with topographic measurements. However, most accident reconstructionists prefer to conduct their own investigation at the accident site.

Vehicle Inspection. If the subject vehicles have not been destroyed or repaired, a reconstructionist will inspect them to collect evidence that is helpful in most studies and critical in product liability lawsuits. Inspections can occur at any time as the vehicles become available. My personal preference is to see the cars before the field review because sometimes questions arise during the vehicle inspections that can be answered by collecting evidence at the site. Without the clues sometimes discovered while examining the vehicles, I might miss the importance of something unusual or unique at the accident location.

Inspecting the vehicles can provide clues to the severity of the impact, the occupant motion, the crashworthiness of the vehicle, seatbelt usage, airbag performance, and may implicate the vehicle itself in the cause of the accident (e.g. tire puncture/blowout, electrical fire, brake failure). Most importantly, this information can sometimes be preserved by the owner of the vehicle through photographs. Any time you are involved in a traffic accident, you should take as many photographs of your vehicle as you possibly can before it is destroyed or sold for parts. The value of these photographs cannot be overstated, and one should not rely on 6, 8, or even 12 photographs to tell the story. Film is cheap and digital prints are even cheaper, so if you are physically able to do so, do not hesitate to take one-hundred or more photographs of your crashed vehicle.

A majority of vehicle inspections concern the recording of certain measurements that will later allow us to estimate the energy that was dissipated by the crushing of metal and deformation of structure that occurred at the time of an accident. Most people intuitively understand that the greater the level of permanent displacement to a vehicle’s form, the greater the effort must have been to displace it. In strictly Newtonian terms, if we consider crash-related damage to be the result of work that is done at the time of the accident, and that the energy to perform the work is provided by the mass and speeds of the vehicles in the collision, we can develop formulas to estimate the amount of energy that was required to do the work. If we can determine a reliable estimate of this work energy, we can draw conclusions about the speed change that a particular vehicle may have experienced as a result of the damaging event. This might ultimately lead to some conclusions regarding the approach speeds of the vehicles.

Discovery. For a period of time, which varies by statute and the jurisdiction of the case, the legal minds conduct discovery and provide us with other forms of investigative information. The discovery material often includes depositions of percipient witnesses to supplement statements from the TCR, depositions of the appropriate highway officials that have knowledge about the history and design of the roadway, depositions of other experts retained by various plaintiffs and defendants, photographs of anything related to the crash, and basically any information not part of the initial police investigation. Discovery can sometimes drag on for years during which information trickles into our office in bits and pieces. We continue working during discovery and revise our opinions and conclusions, if necessary, as new information is received. Our investigatory services are considered part of the discovery process because the reports and opinions we produce for our clients, with certain exceptions, become part of the public record and must be provided to any party who asks for them.

Accident Reconstruction. Once we have gathered sufficient discovery, identified what we are to evaluate, and have been given authorization, we can finally proceed with the accident reconstruction. Usually this begins with developing a diagram of the accident site based upon our survey, the TCR, and any photographs of the scene taken at or near the time of the accident. When I first started in the field, before micro-computers were commonplace, I used to draft everything by hand with technical ink pens. That was quite time consuming and with advances in technology I am happy to say most no longer draft using technical pens and lettering guides. I do all of my diagram development using AutoCAD and various third-party add-ons to the program that have greatly reduced the time required to put a diagram of the roadway environment together.

Once there is a diagram, the accident can be plotted using the discovery information. This is where the police investigation becomes critical and its shortcomings and strengths will become apparent. Since it is nearly unheard of for a reconstructionist to visit the scene of an accident, we must rely heavily on the police investigation for accident scene data. If we visit the site within a short time of the accident, we can record the locations of evidence independently. When accidents occur on high speed expressways, it is oftentimes impossible to get this data without shutting down traffic lanes, which almost never happens. I cannot express how important the police investigation is to our work, nor how often it is not taken seriously by the investigating agency. It is hard to believe by the uninitiated, but an untrained or unmotivated officer is not held responsible for any errors, mistakes, or flat out wrong information that may be in a TCR unless it can be proven that it was intentional. Sadly, careless or slanted accident reporting is simply accepted as the status-quo by most police agencies. This is not to say that I do not see very good, well documented, well researched, and excellent police investigations; but it is unfortunate to accident victims that conscientious police reporting is by far the exception rather than the rule.

Our accident plot usually includes scale representations of the vehicles in their positions at the point(s) of impact, points of rest, and any physical evidence associated with the accident superimposed on the scale diagram. This allows us to measure specific items like the distances traveled before and after impact, the approach and departure angles of the vehicles, the deceleration forces that influence a vehicle (skids, gouges, etc.), and any other relevant facts with respect to the physics of the crash. This step is of critical importance because it provides the basis for everything that follows. To wit, it is very difficult to evaluate the deceleration of a spinning vehicle without a good accident plot because the forces compelling that vehicle to slow are transient and are a function of what is known as the slip angle. The only way to know the slip angle at a given point in time or space is to know where the vehicle came from, where it is going, and where it is now, based upon the physical evidence. All of the information obtained during discovery has its appropriate value as it is examined within the context of a traffic accident, but how much value it has requires some subjective analysis on the part of the reconstructionist.

Calculations. Usually we will be asked to determine vehicle speeds in a given accident, but this is not always possible from the data provided. There are various methods we employ to make this determination. Some methods are empirical, meaning they are based upon comparing the subject accident to physical models that have been previously developed by controlled testing. This is how we usually evaluate damage energy, vehicle deceleration when we cannot test the actual surface friction, and other points that we have been asked to address. Other methods are theoretical, which is to say they are based upon the theories and principles of physics and mathematics, rather than documented observations from testing. That is not to say that theoretical methods have not been tested, but that they were not developed from testing. In accident reconstruction, non-empirical methods are derived from Newton’s Laws of Physics and from his formulas of uniform motion. Higher order math is employed to be sure; however, nearly all but the most esoteric theoretical analyses can be boiled down to Sir Isaac Newton’s observations of our physical world. To simplify the concept, empirical methods employ inductive reasoning and theoretical methods employ deductive reasoning, but they both can help us understand the physics of accident reconstruction.

Some of the methods that are typically used to estimate speed include the theory of the conservation of momentum, conservation of energy, damage energy estimates using crash test data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the myriad forms and permutations of Newton’s particle kinematic equations (I have even derived a few new theoretical formulas using these equations that are useful in certain situations). Sometimes, due to a lack of the appropriate data, there is no other way to estimate a vehicle’s speed in a crash than to consider the witness statements in the police report, or review the available deposition transcripts of percipient witnesses, and arrive at an estimate based upon the entire pool of knowledge one develops only through experience in crash investigation.

Sometimes it is not important to calculate the speed of a vehicle at all because it has been stipulated to, or because it is irrelevant to the immediate question at hand. It might be that what we really want to know is the time elapsed between events, or the distance a vehicle was from impact at the point in time that another party looked to see if it was safe to proceed. On other occasions, usually for highway design evaluations, we are more concerned with the operational speed or design speed of a roadway, so that we can evaluate the roadway using more objective criteria before comparing it to the subject accident. For example, if a roadway is designed for 65 mph traffic and we calculate that at 65 mph a car will loose traction around a curve on that roadway, then the curve should be engineered to reduce the high potential for run-off-road and head-on accidents at the deficient curve (e.g. curve specific signage, reduced speed limit + enforcement, increased illumination, advanced warning, etc.). In this example we do not need to know what the speed of a subject vehicle was to evaluate the potential for safety problems at such a location. Whether or not an analysis like the example is relevant to a particular accident situation is another matter altogether and that question is sometimes answered only through a synthesis of concepts from the fields of accident reconstruction, law, psychology, kinesiology, automotive engineering, highway engineering, and logic.

Conclusions. Now that everything has been brought together and thoroughly examined, we present our findings and recapitulate the facts that are most important to our analysis. This is probably where most reconstructionists will have disagreements between them. Depending on the hierarchy of facts, two analyses of the same accident may have different conclusions. If more weight is given to witness testimony and less to the police measurements, one conclusion may be presented. If the opposite is considered, another conclusion can be opined. It is not uncommon for the ultimate hierarchy of facts to be determined by a judge, legal referee, or the people asked to sit on a jury in a court of law. Few of these individuals are scientists, and even fewer are accident reconstructionists or highway engineers. They rely on the opinions and conclusions presented by experts on both sides of a case and must weigh which represents a more reasonable reconstruction of the events in a traffic accident. The presentation of opinions is therefore very important to an accident study, and the best scientific analysis by the research teams at JPL is worthless if it is not understood or believed by the people who must ultimately decide on its validity.

Sometimes the best analysis is not always the most accurate because automobile accidents rarely require extreme precision. Conclusions are often presented that consider ranges of speeds or distances that make very precise calculations impractical. For example, it makes little difference to most people if a vehicle is traveling at 54.2 mph or 56.1 mph, because they would say that car is going 55 miles per hour. Furthermore, I cannot think of a case where such a fine distinction could be discerned by the person in the car (or anyone else) at the time of the accident so what relevance could it possibly have on its cause? The obvious conclusion is that precision is important, but clarity and simplicity have their place in determining the hierarchy of facts that lead to a valid reconstruction.

Sadly, it should be mentioned that there are reconstructionists and engineers, driven by notoriety or money, that sacrifice their scientific integrity to achieve selfish ends. Sometimes reconstructionists are victim to the otherwise altruistic desire to do the best job possible for their clients, and can become blinded to the true hierarchy of facts. Other times, inaccurate or disingenuous conclusions are presented by experts who would rather not be bothered by the truth when it conflicts with the claims made by their “side” in a legal action. At one point or another every expert is presented with a difficult situation, and it is the character of the individual reconstructionist or engineer that determines how they will respond to it. As an individual accident reconstructionist, and as part of Krueper Engineering and Associates, Inc., I try to always be conscious of the greater responsibility consultants have as human beings and as trusted experts to present opinions and conclusions that we believe to be grounded in a pursuit of the truth, and by extension, the pursuit of safer ground transportation. Sometimes the truth is that a person has, whether through the actions or inactions of people or governments, been damaged in a crash; and they should be appropriately compensated. Other times we may conclude that a party was driving without appropriate care and is responsible for their injuries (and perhaps others’ injuries as well). Rarely is it so black and white because frequently the truth lies somewhere in between the claims made by both sides in a legal conflict. Most accidents are the result of many disperse and seemingly unrelated circumstances that converge at a particular time, in a particular place, and ultimately result in a serious traffic collision.

This is what accident reconstructionists and highway safety engineers do. We pull all of the information and data from every source available to determine what the circumstances were, why they came together as they did, and how they are relevant to the cause of a crash. Most importantly, an opinion is almost always offered that describes ways that the accident might have been avoided, or made less severe for the injured parties. As professionals, most reconstructionsists feel that it is a matter of no small importance that we make positive efforts to improve our collective driving experience. Whether through the advocacy of improved methods of roadway design and construction, or by holding a company, or government entity, or careless driver financially responsible for their level of causation in a traffic accident, we hope to make vehicular travel safer with each accident reconstruction and investigation. It is not likely, or even possible, the investigation of traffic accidents might someday eliminate traffic accident injuries and fatalities. However, I believe that the majority of accident reconstruction professionals would consider their lives a success, and gladly look for new employment, if our services were no longer necessary because traffic accidents had become anachronisms of a bygone age.

Peroneal Nerve Damage – What Are the Causes?

The peroneal nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve that crosses from behind the knee and then around the outside of the knee, to enter the muscles of the outside of the leg. Its thickness can be compared to the size of a pen. The purpose of this nerve is to supply energy and stimulation to the calf, ankle, and foot. Whether or not you can move your foot normally depends on the health of this important nerve.

No other nerve in the body is as frequently subjected to trauma as is the peroneal nerve. And damage to this nerve is a major cause of the condition called foot drop.

A sharp blow to the outside of the knee, such as may happen in a sports or car accident is a frequent cause of peroneal nerve damage, as is knee surgery itself. Of course, if the fibula, the bone in the lower leg, is actually fractured or broken, the peroneal nerve is in danger of suffering injury.

Also, due to its vital connection to the sciatic nerve, a broken hip, such as an elderly person might suffer in a fall, or even complications from hip replacement surgery or spinal fusion operations, can cause damage to this nerve.

The above reasons all relate to trauma or complications from surgery. However, less dramatic reasons for peroneal nerve damage exist; reasons that you may not have imagined. These have to do with too much compression of the area behind the knee.

We may not engage in sports activities that could result in injuries, or we may be fortunate enough to never sustain injuries in a car accident, but how many of us (ladies, are you listening?), sit a lot with out legs crossed, or, if we live in a cold, snowy climate, frequently wear high boots? While these actions may be seem perfectly innocent, the truth is that they are not good for our legs. We are risking the possibility of creating too much pressure on the peroneal nerve. Something else we need to be careful about is wearing a tight plaster cast on a broken leg. Of course, the cast is necessary, but if you think it might be too tight, don’t hesitate to speak up and let your doctor know.

All possible measures should be taken to avoid damage to all the nerves in your body. Each one has a vital role to play. But sometimes “life happens” and we have to deal with the deck we are dealt.

If you suspect peroneal nerve damage, by all means stay in close contact with your doctor.

Sciatica Natural Treatment – Cure Your Sciatic Nerve Pain at Home With a Medicinal Oil

Are you suffering from a pain that shoots down to the leg? It is very likely that the main actor of this pain is the largest nerve in your body, the sciatic nerve! It occurs that this nerve is trapped from a herniated disc in the lower back and causes pains, burning and numbness in one of the legs or feet. You would like to know a natural way to soothe your nerve pain with curative plants. Have you ever heard about St John’s Wort herb? How St John’s wort oil can help you to get sciatic nerve pain-free?

St John’s Wort Use

Greeks in antiquity knew very well the beneficial properties of this herb (known as Hypericum Perforatum by the botanists community) to treat healing, intern infection and neuralgic disorders. However, today, in many countries, St John’s Wort is most widely used as an herbal medicine for mild depression.

Main Constituent

The active component, Hypericin has particular properties that make it an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and healing remedy.

Medication Instructions

Apply topically St John’s Wort oil to the skin, on the injury area, one to three times a day. Prepare yourself your medicinal oil by soaking fresh herb flowering tops in olive oil. In many countries, you can purchase it fresh or dried at any local health-food store.

For internal use, Hypericum Perforatum can interact with a lot of drugs and has many side effects too. But don’t worry, for external use, there are no risk of drug interactions! Nevertheless, avoid exposing areas of skin treated with the oil directly to sunlight, especially those with fair skin.


It is far better to relieve your sciatica pain with such natural and harmless therapeutic oil than experience side effects from powerful pain-killers. On the other hand, natural or synthetic pain-killers and anti-inflammatory drugs are not able to correct spine alignment and muscle imbalances.

Chiropractic Analysis of Infant Torticollis

Infant torticollis or wry neck, which is observed at birth or within the first few weeks following birth, is known as congenital torticollis. The ideologies are many, and it is critical initially to differentiate variety of pathological causes prior to applying chiropractic treatment.

Comprehensive case history and examination, including neurological an orthopedic evaluation is essential in determining whether the torticollis is primarily musculo-skeletal, and therefore biomechanical in nature. The diagnoses to eliminate include traumatic fractures of the cranium, cervical vertebrae, sternum or clavicles, tumors are neoplasms of the brainstem, spinal cord, vertebral column and related soft tissue structures, congenital anomalies of the cranium and cervical vertebrae, and infections of the brainstem, spinal cord, vertebral column and cervico-thoracic soft tissues.

Torticollis is characterized by unilateral hypertonicity or spasm of the sterno-cleido-mastoid (SCM) muscle, often associated with a palpable mass due to the fibrotic contracture or hematoma in the belly of the muscle.

The etiologies are diverse. The most common cause is in-utero constraint, a traumatic event during the descent of the baby through the birth canal, or the application of forceps or vacuum extraction during the delivery process. The frank breech presentation is associated with a high incidence of torticollis, up to 34% of infants born in this position being affected.

The case history and/or referral mechanism is frequently attributed to a baby that prefers nursing from one breast only, with extreme fussiness and agitation on the other side. But all other potential breast-feeding problems have been eliminated, chiropractic spinal examination may prove revealing to a diagnosis of torticollis.

Parents may often observed that the infant has a favorite head position when sleeping or lying in the car seat, and this is a valuable question to be asked in the case history for every child. Torticollis may not always be visually observed by the parents or caregivers, and a line of questioning to eliminate the possibility should be routine in any case history.

It is also a value to inquire of the parents whether or not the infant is sensitive to touch around the neck and suboccipital areas. Additionally, although the biomechanical patterns for congenital torticollis may exist at birth, there may be no visual indications until the infant attempting to raise and maintain its head somewhat upright, certainly not until 2 to 4 weeks of age, sometimes later. Therefore, in all likelihood, the astute chiropractor maybe the first healthcare provider to identify the torticollis in the early days and weeks.

The clinical picture is most often that of the infant’s head laterally flexed towards the involved side, with con-commitment rotation towards the opposite shoulder. There may or may not be a presentation of cranial and facial moulding, most commonly brachioplagiocephaly where there is flattening of the occiput, parietal, and temporal bones unilaterally, and sometimes associated mandibular asymmetry.

Using a measuring tape, measure from the external occipital protuberance around to the midline of the frontal bone at the top of the nose, comparing the two sides, left and right, in distance. Confirm accuracy of your measurements by measuring the entire circumference of the head, the total of which should be equal to the sum of your two measurements for left and right.

Upon passive range of motion testing, the infant maybe a rigid in the affected ranges of motion, or expressed discomfort and distress to even light palpation attempt to move the head and neck. Segmental motion palpation is useful in determining the primary affected spinal segments.

Scientific research illustrates cervical spine involvement to be present in as many as 50% of cases of congenital torticollis. The most commonly involved segments are C-O C-1 C-2, displaying a subluxation pattern of C1 anterior rotation on the opposite side of SCM contracture.

The upper thoracic segments are often biomechanically compromised as well, examination of compensatory subluxation complex. Gentle suboccipital traction and stretching of the SCM muscle is a value clinically, and also taught as a home technique to the parents. This is performed by cautiously laterally flexing the infants neck to the side away from the torticollis, then gradually easing into rotation of the head towards the side of torticollis. This position can be held for 5 to 10 seconds, slowly released, and repeated 3 to 5 times during each session. They should only be performed on the infant is calm and relaxed, not one hungry nor fussy. Repeat the process every 3-4 hours.

This short article is not exhaustive of the information known about congenital torticollis. A specific chiropractic evaluation, by a trained chiropractor, can be the first step in assessing and correcting the underlying cause of the infant’s torticollis.

How to Get Rid of Strep Throat Homeopathically

This article will describe how to get rid of strep throat homeopathically based on an experience from a friend of mine. She just got back from the doctor and was diagnosed with Strep throat. Unfortunately, she has to take a 7 day treatment of antibiotics. Her children and she have always gotten strep, and it can become rather serious. The doctor who was a substitute for the one she regularly sees, said that it is as commonly caught as a cold.

She was wondering if I have any info on strep, what one can do homeopathically to get rid of it, or what to do to avoid getting it. She has been in perfect health as of late, just came down the other night with a horrid sore throat. For her, there is nothing worse than a sore throat. It brings back nightmares of last year and her mono episode.

My advice for her (or you) is, you can use tea tree oil to treat strep. It’s not homeopathic, but it does kill strep. Another suggestion since you say you get strep easily is that you can find mouth washes or toothpaste with tea tree oil in them, and if you use them every day, they’ll keep you from getting it again. And the tea tree oil will also be killing candida at the same time.

I’ve gotten mouthwash and breath sprays from Melaleuca distributors that I’ve used to treat strep with, but I haven’t a clue how to find a distributor, because my sister used to be one, so I never had to look for one. But most health food stores usually carry things with tea tree oil in them. I used to get strep a lot when I was a kid. But I’ve been brushing my teeth for years with toothpaste that has tea tree oil, and I never get strep any more, even though I’ve been exposed to it every year from neighborhood kids, and even though I have a weak immune system. So the tea tree oil must be doing some good.

White Spots on Tonsils and How to Get Rid of Them

White spots on Tonsils accompanied with a sore throat can be a sign of a condition called Strep Throat. This is caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus. Strep throat can be very painful, but very curable if you seek a physician right away. A prescription of an antibiotic will most likely be used to cure Strep throat. Nevertheless, this might not be the case of it being Strep Throat.

The tonsils have a delicate layer of skin that sheds itself like most skin, but in some cases this layer of skin does not shed properly causing white spots on the tonsils. These spots are pockets of mucus caused by food particles that have gotten lodged in tiny hollow pits on the tonsils. They become solidified and can be very uncomfortable and bothersome when swallowing.  

The white spots on the tonsils are very easy to get rid of. Gargling with an organic apple cider twice to four times a day is a gentle way to dislodge the spots. Mixing two tablespoons of vinegar with warm water will help to remove the accumulation of these white spots. Rinsing and gargling with salt and warm water is another way to remove them. Salt water is a wonderful natural cleanser and also works as a natural antiseptic to help clear up the infection in the spots. Also taking a clean old toothbrush and rubbing the bristles gently against the spots is another way, although discard the toothbrush afterwards. Using a Q-tip (cotton swab) is a way to get at them and it’s not abrasive on the tonsil.  

The spots on tonsils are a bacteria growth and are not a serious worry. They are a very common condition that happens to many people. Proper oral care will help to prevent the formation of this. By following the different remedies that are mentioned these are the ways that you can remove white spots on Tonsils and how to get rid of them and the discomforts that come along with it.