Overcoming Bronchitis And Its Health Effects

What is Bronchitis anyway?

Bronchitis is something you are likely to have in your lifetime at least once. Since it usually follows a cold or other respiratory condition, most people will develop it in the course of their lifetime.

Your chest is throbbing in pain. You are coughing and it hurts to do so. These are the first symptoms of bronchitis. Although it is a common condition that many face, for some it is even worse. That’s because for some people bronchitis is disabling and more frequent.

The good news is that you can do just that. Bronchitis doesn’t have to be a condition that you can’t shake.

Before you can actually deal with bronchitis, you need to know what it is and how it affects your body. Having an education in this information puts you at the forefront of spotting symptoms and taking action before you become ill further or even lessening the effect that bronchitis can have on your daily life.

Bronchitis happens in your lungs. In fact, it is a condition that affects the inner walls in your air passage ways of your lungs. There, bronchitis causes the lining to become infected and inflamed, causing you the symptoms of fevers, chills, coughing and a pain in your chest.

These are the symptoms of acute bronchitis, something that many people will get after they have had a respiratory infection.

On the other hand, bronchitis that comes back time and time again is something to be concerned about. Bronchitis can lead to more serious conditions such as emphysema, asthma or even chronic bronchitis. These need medical attention as soon as possible.

If you are someone that smokes, your chances of getting chronic bronchitis are often much more severe than those that are likely to get acute bronchitis.

Symptoms To Look For:

The main sign of this condition is that of a yellow/gray or even green colored mucus that comes up when you are coughing. This mucus is called sputum. The mucus should be a sign to you that something is wrong, especially with this type of coloring.

Some people don’t have a large accumulation of the product in their throats and therefore do not cough it up. For this reason, you should realize that you can have bronchitis without having any mucus.

There are additional signs that you should pay attention to in order to tell if you have bronchitis.

o A pain in your chest that makes you feel constricted

o A burning sensation in your chest, soreness there

o Congestion

o A sore throat

o The feeling of not being able to catch your breath

o Wheezing, coughing

o Fever, which should not be too elevated. If so, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

o Chills

When you experience any of these, especially a combination of them with mucus, you could be suffering from a bronchitis infection.

Causes Of Chronic Bronchitis

The causes of chronic bronchitis are often a bit more drastic. If you have this condition, the walls of your bronchial tubes have become thickened and they are inflamed to such a degree that it is considered nearly permanent. When this happens, chronic bronchitis is evident.

Most with this condition must cough at least some time during each day to clear their throat. This is especially true of those that have chronic bronchitis due to their smoking habits.

Those that suffer from chronic symptoms of bronchitis often develop asthma because of it. This is caused by the long term inflammation of your air passageways, it is essential that you get help from your doctor in dealing with your condition.

Are You At Risk, Then?

Since anyone can get acute bronchitis from a cold that they have, it is not difficult to imagine that virtually everyone is at risk for developing this condition. Yet, there are some additional reasons why this condition can effect you more often or even just more severely than it will effect other people.

Those that are living in conditions where bronchitis is likely, such as a smoking home, will also have increased risks of developing pneumonia, colds, respiratory infections, asthma and ear infections.

In some cases, such as those that revolve around occupational bronchitis, just removing the irritants from your lifestyle will ultimately improve your quality of life and reduce the occurrences and health risks associated with bronchitis.

Do You Need A Doctor?

This question is one that you’ll have to answer yourself, depending on the type and severity of the condition you are in. For most people, the need for a doctor is not there, because they are suffering from acute bronchitis, which will likely go away on its own within just a few days to a week.

In order to help this to happen, get as much rest as you can and get lots of fluids. Keep your home’s air moist as well. Treat bronchitis in the same basic way you would treat a cold to see improvement.

Those that have a fever, which is to be expected in most cases, should contact their doctor if there temperature reaches higher than 101 degrees F. If you are coughing up blood, yellow mucus, green mucus or you can’t catch your breath, call on a doctor as soon as possible because your condition may have progressed.

When bronchitis progresses, it ends up being that of pneumonia, a very serious condition that can be fatal if not treated properly. In addition to this, you should seek the help of your doctor if you find that your bronchitis has not gone away within six weeks. Those that face chronic bronchitis can develop additional conditions like asthma when their air passageways remain inflamed.

Certain people should seek the help of their doctor sooner. If you have chronic health problems such as chronic lung problems, congestive heart failure, emphysema, or asthma, then you need to see your doctor as soon as you feel an episode of bronchitis coming on.

To find out more detail about the condition you must read this grate eBook that you can download in the next 10 minutes. It has all there is to know. There are lots of interesting facts and cures, the author has spent weeks researching the subject and compiled an ease to understand eBook in plain English.

Prickly Ash – A Herb With Many Benefits

Having heard of Prickly Ash before, but really never knowing what is it was or what it did, it was about time to find out. It is also known by the names Toothache Tree, Yellow Wood, Tumburu, and Hua Jiao to name a few and is native to North America. The bark,and berries are used as medicine. There is a Chinese prickly ash that is related and this grows in Asia and is also used for herbal treatment to many ailments.

Generally the prickly ash is an effective herbal remedy for poor circulation, fevers, mouth sores, paralysis, ulcers and wounds. There are many other uses of this herb in the alternative medicine genre currently still being discovered.

The Native American tribes relied on prickly ash bark as an effective remedy for upset stomachs, sore throats, aching muscles and skin infections. Still in the USA toward the end of the 19th century, the Prickly Ash Bark was used as a digestive tonic that stimulated the nervous system; this was also used for the treatment of cholera. Rheumatic sufferers were also treated effectively.

Prickly Ash Bark possesses oils, fat, sugar, gum and tannin along with many alkaloids components. It gives stimulation to the entire body. It aids sluggish digestion whilst at the same time destroys toxins such as worms and yeast overgrowth.

The plant stems have even been used as a toothbrush, as well as being used as a poultice for toothaches, hip and back pain as well as a lotion for poor circulation as massage oil.

The prickly ash helps in providing additional oxygen and nourishments to the blood circulation and at the same time helps in removing the waste materials from the body.

In China the Chinese version of prickly ash has its use in helping get rid of parasites, this is in addition to many other cures mentioned earlier.

The prickly pear can easily be bought online at many herbal medicine sites and comes in many forms, it is a big business now, but still in the States and China, home made tonics are made and used and well practiced. Living out of these regions the only access is through commercial suppliers. However the commercial products can be found to be reasonably priced considering the benefits they give.

Doc… I’ve Got Severe Pain Between My Shoulder Blades – What’s Causing It?

There are many causes of pain in the shoulder blades. Pain between the shoulder blades can occur as a result of mundane problems such as working at the computer too long without a break. Some causes though are serious and must be addressed immediately.

Here are some them:

Gall Bladder Pain

Sporadic pains in the middle of the upper abdomen, or just below the ribs on the right side are felt. The pain may spread to the right shoulder or between the shoulder blades. The pain can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting and sometimes excessive gas. The attack can last from a few minutes to two to three hours before getting better. The frequency and severity of attacks is very variable. Attacks can be triggered by eating fatty foods such as chocolate, cheese or pastry. It can be difficult to distinguish the pain from other diseases, such as: gastric ulcer, back problems, heart pains, pneumonia and kidney stones.

Neck source from arthritis or disc disease

This is a general pain located in the neck area and may be associated with stiffness in the neck muscles. The pain may radiate down to the shoulder or between the shoulder blades. It may also radiate out into the arm, the hand, or up into the head, causing a one-sided or double-sided headache. The muscles in the neck are tense, sore and feel hard to the touch. Acute pain can give rise to abnormal neck posture in which the head is forced to turn to one side; this condition is known as torticollis.

The pain at the base of the skull may be accompanied by a feeling of weakness in the shoulders and arms. There may be a prickly or tingling sensation in the arms and fingers.

Angina Pectoris

Angina pectoris derives from Latin and translates as ‘tight chest’. It feels like a heavy, crushing pain or a constricting feeling in the center of the chest behind the breast bone (sternum) or on the left side of the front of the chest. The pain can radiate out to either one or both arms, more often the left. It can be experienced in the throat, jaw, the stomach and, more rarely, between the shoulder blades.

Angina is often brought on by:

o physical exercise

o psychological stress

o extreme cold

o a heavy meal.

Once these trigger factors stop, the pain generally ends quickly, usually within 2 to 10 minutes.

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer, an abnormal cell growth in the liver presents in two ways:

o Primary cancer means that the cancer started in the liver

o Secondary cancer of the liver occurs when a cancer starts someplace else and spreads to the liver.

The early warning signs of liver cancer:

A hard lump in the abdomen, below the rib cage on the right side.

Discomfort in the upper abdomen on the right side.

Pain around the right shoulder blade, or pain between the shoulder blades.

Yellowish skin color (jaundice)

Abdominal swelling causing a feeling of fullness

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer appears as a tumor, or an abnormal growth of cells in the esophagus. The esophagus is the food passageway that connects the throat to the stomach.

Esophageal cancer usually does not cause any symptoms until the cancer has advanced to a stage that is too late for effective treatment. The main symptom is difficulty in swallowing food. There is a frequent sensation of food getting stuck in the throat or chest.

Signs of advanced esophageal cancer include:

Pain when swallowing.

Pain in the throat or back, behind the breastbone or pain between the shoulder blades.

Decreased appetite and weight loss.

Hiccups with the feeling of food getting stuck in the throat or chest.

Vomiting and coughing up blood.

Aortic dissection

When the aorta, the major artery leading from the heart, tears, there can be sudden sharp pain in the spine between the shoulder blades. This is an obvious surgical emergency.

Dog Arthritis – Common Types of Arthritis in Dogs

Dogs can suffer from different kinds of arthritis, which literally means inflammation of the joints. The most common form of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis or canine arthritis. Dogs are more prone to arthritis than in cats or horses and can usually take one of the several forms:

Osteoarthritis – A slow, progressive disintegration of cartilage in your dog joints is called osteoarthritis and is a chronic degenerative joint disease. When the cartilage of a joint is worn away the adjoining bones begin to rub against one another causing muscle discomfort and joint pain.

Hip Dysplasia – A malformation of the hip sockets is called hip dysplasia. The irregular malformation of the “ball and socket” allows excessive movement in the joint causing muscle pain, chronic inflammation leading to tissue deterioration and occasional calcium deposits. Hip dysplasia is most common among larger breeds of dogs.

Elbow Dysplasia – Another form of dysplasia is found in the elbows usually of large breed dogs. This disorder is typically hereditary in nature. In elbow dysplasia the bones become misshapen causing chipping with use resulting in discomfort and pain. An animal suffering from this condition will display lameness in the affected leg.

Knee Dysplasia – This malformation of the joints can also be found in the knees. Knee dysplasia also has the same “bone chips” which cause pain and lameness as it progresses.

Stifle Knee – A common problem with the stifle joint (knee) involves torn ligaments which creates instability of the joint. Joint dislocation is a common complication of the stifle knee. The stifle joint is placed under tremendous use and strain making inflammation at this location common. Poor or irresponsible breeding practices are the greatest reason for these issues.

Osteochondrosis – Inflammation of the cartilage or osteochondrosis is directly linked to poor breeding. Inadequate nutrition can also exacerbate this condition. The symptoms of osteochondrosis include pain and inflammation, and is coupled with cartilage disintegration.

Kneecap Dislocation – When the kneecap repeatedly moves and pull out of it’s proper joint position it is known as kneecap dislocation and is associated with leg bones that are poorly formed. Again, this is a condition resulting from poor breeding or genetic inheritance.

Look to Neck Problems As the Source of Most Headaches & Migraines

Most of us have experienced a headache at least once in our lives. But for tens of millions of Americans, headache and migraine pain is a part of their daily lives. It is such a widespread problem that billions of dollars each year are spent in research and prescription drug sales (all in an attempt to try to help people get out of pain and get their lives back).

But despite all of the work and money being thrown at the problem, the bottom line is that pharmaceuticals (be it over the counter or prescription strength medications) do not cure the root cause of headaches & migraines. They merely mask symptoms offering temporary relief.

Current biomechanical research has found a common thread with most headache sufferers. This commonality is that those people who experience ongoing headaches and/or migraines have problems in the cervical (neck) part of their spine. The cervical spine has seven vertebrae (the bones which surround and provide some protection to the spinal cord). The vertebrae are moveable and can twist, bend, flex and extend. This motion allows us to move our necks with a considerable amount of freedom.

The mobility of the cervical vertebrae comes with a price. Sometimes the vertebrae can get suck out of alignment (in relation to the other bones). When this happens, it is called a “subluxation”. “Sub” means less than. “Luxation” means dislocation. So a subluxation is an abnormal position of a bone, but not so much so that it’s dislocated. Vertebral subluxations can occur with as little as one degree of misalignment. They can also occur when the vertebrae is suck, and isn’t able to move correctly. Instead of the joints gliding on each other freely, they feel like a rusty old hinge that needs a squirt of WD-40.

When vertebrae become subluxated, it sends off a cascade of abnormal sensory signals to the brain. At first, the problem is at a sub-perception level (meaning you can’t feel it). But after enough time passes, the abnormal sensory signals to the brain grows in intensity, and eventually is perceived as pain.

So how does this have anything to do with headaches an migraines? The nerves which branch up into the head stem from the cervical spine. When you irritate a cervical spinal nerve (which travels to the head), it eventually is perceived as a headache. The source of the problem is a hard bone pressing on a soft nerve – all in the neck area.

When a chiropractor adjusts the cervical spine, he gently re-aligns the cervical vertebrae, taking pressure off the nerves. If those nerves happen to be the ones which travel up into the head, the result is elimination of headaches & migraines. The results can often be fast and surprisingly powerful.

If you have headaches or migraines, look to the source of the problem. Have your cervical spine checked for subluxations by a Doctor of Chiropractic.

10 Steps For Quicker, Healthier Healing Of Bone Fractures

Bone dislocations and fractures feature among the most common medical ailments, among people from all over the world. While most bone fractures get healed within 3-4 weeks, not following certain basic treatment procedures can prolong the agony. In case of serious hip fractures and other joint problems, permanent deformities can also be an offshoot of such negligence/ignorance. Over here, we will list out 10 steps for getting your fractured/dislocated bone(s) healed quickly, and in the proper manner:

a. Consult an orthopaedic doctor as soon as possible – If you have taken a heavy fall, or been in an accident – and have been feeling acute pains in bone joints (coupled with a loss of mobility in the concerned limb) since, get in touch with an orthopaedic expert immediately. Get the radiology tests, as recommended by him/her, done. A proper diagnosis is of essence, for pursuing the right course of treatment.

b. Keep the affected area protected – If you have suffered a wrist, arm, ankle, or shinbone fracture, keeping the reset bones plastered for at least a couple of weeks is important. However, things can get a bit tricky, if there is a hip or an acetabular fracture. In most of such cases, advanced treatment would be necessary.

c. Prepare yourself for surgery – In case you have a fracture in your shoulder, hip, or knee joint, a replacement surgery would probably be necessary. A pelvic fracture also generally requires corrective operational procedures. Prepare yourself mentally for the surgical process. Make the requisite financial arrangements too – and request the surgeon to use artificial joints of the finest quality.

d. Manage your diet – During the bone-healing process, following a healthy diet routine is practically imperative. Ask your doctor about the level of strengthening proteins, vitamins, and other necessary nutritional supplements that should feature in your meals. Have plenty of fluids too. Stay away from fizzy drinks.

e. Keep an eye out for post-operative inflammations – Complications can arise, even after the successful completion of a bone surgical process. While inflammations and swellings can occur soon after knee or hip replacements, you might experience sharp pains, within a few days after a pelvic fracture surgery. Do not pop strong OTC painkillers on your own, and seek medical help as quickly as possible.

f. Go for regular checkups – There is a specific time-frame for the complete healing of most health ailments, and bone fractures are no exceptions to this. Fix appointments with the doctor who had supervised the surgery/joint replacement, and go for regular checkup sessions during this period. This will give the orthopaedic expert the opportunity to find out whether the healing process is going well.

g. Do not smoke or drink – Affinity to cigarettes and alcoholic beverages is harmful for your bone structure in general – but during the fracture-healing period, they are an absolute ‘no-no’. Have chewing gums (preferably of a medically approved variety), which you can take, every time you feel the craving to have a puff.

h. Ask about extra protection for the tender, healing bones – If there has been a femur/hip fracture, doctors often recommend patients to wear a medical belt – to ensure that the reset bone(s) do not get displaced again. Such additional protection can also be necessary during the couple of weeks after a pelvic or acetabular surgery. Inquire your doctor about this issue, and don the protective gear that (s)he suggests (if any).

i. Start exercising the affected area/limb – After a few days of the plastering/joint replacement procedure, you need to start gently moving the concerned limb. For instance, if you have an arm fracture, you will be advised to move your hand up and down a certain number of times every day. There can be cases of severe mobility impairment after a knee or hip replacement surgery – and if you are experiencing any such problems, inform the orthopaedic expert immediately about the same.

j. Resume your daily chores only when you feel fully fit again – No matter how busy your daily routine might be, never compromise on the required amount of rest, during the bone healing phase. If you have undergone knee, shoulder, or hip replacements – trying to get back to normal life too soon can result in further, even more serious accidents. Even for relatively smaller fractures in the arm or the acetabular area, you need to keep the affected bone/joint nice and relaxed, until the fracture is diagnosed to be completely healed.

With the evolution of medical treatment methods, treating even very serious forms of acetabular, hip, and pelvic fractures is now possible in India, easily. All that you need to do is to contact a reputed, reliable orthopaedic surgeon, and follow the health guidelines mentioned above. Once you do so, you can be confident of regaining complete fitness, in the matter of a few weeks!

How Much is My Workers Compensation Claim Worth?

If you have been injured at work, you may be considering, or even in the process of filing for Workers Compensation. You may not know what to expect from the process. You may not even know if your benefits will be enough.

Depending on your state, Workers Compensation laws and procedures may differ a bit, but the basic process is the same. You begin by filing a claim. This claim is review for validity. Assuming that your claim is approved, you will begin receiving a weekly benefit package.

Now we get to the important question. How much is my Workers Compensation claim worth? In other words, will I still be able to pay my bills? Benefit amounts will differ depending on the severity of the injury. If an injury leaves the employee totally unable to work, the benefit amount is based on a fixed formula. For an injury which allows one to continue working in a limited capacity, the benefit amount is based on a rating system adapted by the American Medical Association. In this system, physical function is assessed, and a disability percentage is given to determine one’s ability to perform job functions. This AMA impairment rating, and the subsequent multiplying factor, would establish your benefit amount.

Again, some states differ when figuring out your benefit amount. General consensus among most states is that you are entitled to up to two-thirds of your average weekly income for an injury resulting in total disability. In most states, however, your benefit amount is usually limited by an established average income within your state. For example, if you get injured at work, where you receive $1000 a week, then you would be entitled to up to $666.67 per week in Workers Compensation benefits. However, if you live in a state with a lower average income, that limits the maximum benefit that you can receive. If you were earning the same $1000 per week in Kansas, for example, then you would be limited to the current average income of $546 per week.

In comparison, a worker who is only partially disabled by an injury would receive substantially less. In these cases, an AMA impairment rating would be established before the benefit amount could be determined. For the purpose of comparison, we will assume that the same employee makes the same $1000 per week. That employee is then injured at work, becoming partially disabled, and an AMA impairment rating of 25% is given. A 25% AMA impairment rating carries with it a factor of 1.15. If you multiply these together, you are left with a disability rating of 27.5%. This rating is then multiplied by the maximum benefit amount for a total disability, which leaves a maximum partial disability benefit of $183.33 per week.

Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Children with cerebral palsy will most likely experience a lifetime of treatments for physical debilitation, behavioral problems and mental deficiencies and they will have to deal with a condition that will only worsen. The costs for the medical care for families with children with this disorder is extremely high and insurance doesn’t always cover it. There are many organizations that help families with resources needed to care for their child. However some families are entitled to more compensation by a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical Malpractice?

It is known that there is a connection between cerebral palsy in children and medical malpractice. In these types of cases, families can depend on a medical lawyer for help obtaining money that is due to them because of malpractice. There are financial losses and emotional losses that result.

A lawyer can assist in recovering damages include the following:

* The lifetime medical expenses

* Costs of therapy

* Emotional pain

Though you can’t always know if medical malpractice contributed to the condition of the child, there are cases that may point to it. There are cases in which the causes are unknown. Parents need to be aware of any incidents that may have occurred during and after birth, including infections to the baby, seizures, unexpected C-section just to name a few.

If you or your baby had experienced any if the mentioned above, you need to have your case evaluated by a flags were present during the delivery of your child, you should have your case looked at by a lawyer. Medical lawyers know your rights.

Damage to the Brain

When there is damage to an infant’s brain, a fetus’ brain or even a young child’s brain; cerebral palsy can result. Many times the reasons are unknown to why children develop this disorder but lack of oxygen to the brain is sometimes the cause..

It is the doctors’ and the medical personnel’s responsibility to make sure that the mother and her baby receive the proper care during childbirth. If an infection goes without treatment, C-sections are not taken care of in a timely manner, or any failure of recognizing issues can hurt the child, and possibly cause cerebral palsy.

Contact a  Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Contact a medical malpractice lawyer if you think your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice. A lawyer knows your rights involving medical malpractice. These cases have a statute of limitations so act as soon as possible.

Sleep Paralysis/Old Hag Syndrome

This is probably the most frightening and mysterious sleep disorder and I can speak from personal experience having suffered with this for many years.

Many sufferers are reluctant to talk about the condition as certain aspects of it can appear to be at first glance – of a supernatural nature. Sufferers experience many things during an ‘episode’ of sleep paralysis which can often be very unpleasant.

Basically, Sleep Paralysis is when you awaken usually during the night (although it can occur at any time) to find that your whole body is paralyzed. Other symptoms can include:

Increased heart rate

Whooshing sound in the ears

A feeling that you are not alone in the room

A presence usually malevolent, sitting on your chest or touching parts of your body sometimes in an inappropriate or invasive manner. The presence can often take the form of a haggard old woman and the condition is sometimes referred to as ‘Old Hag Syndrome’

Struggling to breathe

Voices or whispering in your ear

A feeling of floating or being ‘out of your body’

These are just some of the symptoms sufferers experience and it is no wonder that they are reluctant to talk about them. Sufferers have often been dismissed by such ignorant comments as: “You’re just dreaming” or “You’ve had a nightmare and just thought you were awake”.

This is clearly not the case and if anyone is reading this that suffers from sleep paralysis and doesn’t recognize what it is or if you think you are alone or having some kind of mental breakdown then I can assure you THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR.

Sleep Paralysis is more common than people think and although there is no final explanation of what it actually is, it is widely recognized among the medical profession and we are closer to understanding the causes of it. Although the subject is far too complex to go into in this article there are many and various publications, websites on the subject.

FACT: The singer Sheryl Crowe is a long time sufferer of Sleep Paralysis.

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy

Hyperbaric medicine, also known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the medical use of oxygen at a higher than atmospheric pressure. Hyper means increased and baric relates to pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) refers to intermittent treatment of the entire body with 100-percent oxygen at greater than normal atmospheric pressure. The earth’s atmosphere normally exerts about 15 pounds per square inch of pressure at sea level. That pressure is defined as one atmosphere absolute (1 ATA). In the ambient atmosphere we normally breathe approximately 20 percent oxygen and 80 percent nitrogen. While undergoing HBOT, pressure is increased up to two times (2 ATA) in 100% oxygen.

This increased pressure, combined with an increase in oxygen to 100 percent, dissolves oxygen in the blood plasma and in all body cells, tissues and fluids at up to 10 times normal concentration-high enough to sustain life with no blood at all (from 20% to 100% oxygen is an increase of 5 times, from 1 ATA to 2 ATA can double this to a 10-fold increase). 

Some of the many amazing benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy are that it : 

* greatly increases oxygen concentration in all body tissues, even with reduced or blocked blood flow;

* stimulates the growth of new blood vessels to locations with reduced circulation, improving blood flow to areas with arterial blockage;

* causes a rebound arterial dilation, resulting in an increased blood vessel diameter greater than when therapy began, improving blood flow to compromised organs;

* stimulates an adaptive increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of the body’s principal, internally produced antioxidants and free radical scavengers; and,

* aids the treatment of infection by enhancing white blood cell action.

The use of increased atmospheric pressure for medical therapy has intrigued many physicians and scientists for hundreds of years. Though not new, HBOT has recently gained importance for treatment of chronic degenerative health problems related to atherosclerosis, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, diabetic ulcers, wound healing, cerebral palsy, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, and many other disorders. Wherever blood flow and oxygen delivery to vital organs is reduced, function and healing can be aided with HBOT. When the brain is injured by stroke, CP, or trauma, HBOT may activate stunned parts of the brain to restore function. 

Results can be dramatic. Patients with cerebral vascular disease commonly recover from complications of stroke more readily after HBOT. This is also true for potentially gangrenous legs and feet caused by blocked circulation, and for slow-healing diabetic ulcers. HBOT relieves pain, helps fight infection, and keeps threatened tissues alive.

One of the world’s most experienced authorities on hyperbaric medicine Dr. Edgar End, clinical professor of environmental medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin had this to say : “I’ve seen partially paralyzed people half carried into the HBOT chamber, and they walk out after the first treatment. If we got to these people quickly, we could prevent a great deal of damage.”

Shingles Pain Management – Natural Remedy Vs Medication

Shingles is one of the most annoying viral infections to catch as it is highly painful for most people. Anti-Virals are commonly prescribed by doctors as they help to ease pain and fast recovery. Corticosteroids, an anti-inflammatory medication that helps to reduce pain is another common prescription. However, you should note that anti-inflammatory is not recommended for people with weak immune system.

Corticosteroids can be risky for a person with a weak immune system or for the elderly. With natural remedies, however, there is no fear of side-effects and there are no risks involved. In fact, fresh fruits and vegetables and a diet rich in vitamins can give a natural boost to your immune system and is generally a major part of a natural treatment for shingles.

There is a variety of medications out there in the marketplace to help relief pain and discomfort. Some common over-the-counter options include ibuprofen and aspirin. Doctors may also prescribe anti-depressants and anticonvulsants, topical medicines or antibiotics, anti- inflammatory drugs, opioid painkillers, nerve block injections. These options are especially useful when the pain does not go away even after the rashes have. This condition is known as post-herpetic neuralgia and requires stronger medication.

The dark side of these medications includes side-effects. Patients may suffer from side-effects such as nausea, dizziness and constipation. Topical lotions and antibiotic ointments can irritate the skin in some cases and might lead to further burning and itching.

Another strong point against the mentioned medications is that they might not fully cure shingles and provide long term pain relief solutions. A study conducted at John Hopkins Medical School reveals that just 32% of patients suffering from shingles get pain relief from the use of anti-depressants, and 30% of them are benefited from opioids.

Natural, non-medicated treatment, on the other hand, does not pose any threat to patients, and can work wonders. Ice packs provide temporary relief to itching and pain, whereas natural remedies like herbs and oils not only provide pain relief, but also keep the rashes dry and keep the infection to the minimum. To heal shingles, you need to keep the rashes dry and they will soon disappear.

Oatmeal and clay are very good drying agents and are the appropriate natural remedy for shingles. You can also try massaging with eucalyptus oil as it helps to reduce the burning sensation, itch and pain. Another natural remedy to relief pain and quicken the healing process is mixing and applying aloe vera with coconut oil and cayenne pepper. Natural remedies, unlike doctors prescribed medications, can be used by any patient regardless of age.

Natural remedies are a boon for those who are not benefited from medications. There are also times when prescribed medications do not seems to work at all for certain patients. At this time, natural treatment remedies will serve as the best alternative treatment options.

Hence, it is ultimately upon the person to decide which course to take. There are both pros and cons when using either natural remedies or medication. While it is extremely important to contact your health care provider on the outbreak of shingles, you may want to opt for a more natural way for pain relief from shingles and its complete healing.

You can always continue prescribed medicines and couple them with natural remedies after consulting your doctor. Remember that every person is different and what suits one may not suit all. At the end of the day, you must assess and see what works best for you. The choice, after all, is all yours.

Three Simple Exercises for Sciatica Relief That Really Work

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back through the buttocks, along the back of the thighs and calf and ends at the foot. If any part of this immense nerve is pinched, or inflamed for any reason the pain can be excruciating, long-term and very annoying. For many people, sciatic nerve inflammation is debilitating and can be reoccurring, especially if it is caused by disc degeneration or misuse of the body. What most people look for immediately when they have sciatic nerve pain is a solution to the problem.

Is Exercise a Solution for Sciatic Pain?

Most physicians upon seeing a patient with sciatic pain and its telltale symptoms of pain and even numbness will recommend exercises as a way to deal with the pain. Additionally, exercises designed specifically for sciatica when done as part of a routine are proven to help avoid flare ups of the sciatic nerve. In fact, exercise for sciatica is perhaps the most commonly ‘prescribed’ way of dealing with the pain. Not only is exercise natural, and an easy way to re-oxygenate the cells to promote healing, it is also essential in preventing sciatica.

Most people don’t know exactly where the sciatic pain originates from. Since the nerve is so long, and the pain is widespread it can be difficult to pinpoint one location to massage or stretch. Experts suggest trying the following exercises to both relieve and prevent sciatica flare-ups.

Three Exercises for Sciatica You Should Not Be Without

It is extremely important when doing exercises for sciatica to include the piriformis muscle. This small muscle is centrally located in the hip and is responsible for helping the hip to rotate. Unfortunately, it is very easy to aggravate this muscle and cause it to swell whether you are a cross-country runner or just a mom who likes to wear heels. When the muscle swells, it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Stretching this muscle regularly and at the first sign of pain, can bring about quick and drug free relief. Plus, it’s easy to do.

The first step is to sit on the floor and put your ‘pain free’ leg out in front of you. With one leg straight, grab your ‘sore’ leg by the ankle and pull it as close to your chest as possible. Try and hold this stretch for at least 5 seconds. You can do this several times a day, and before embarking on any exercises. This can help to stretch the piriformis muscle and release the pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Often, sciatic nerve pain originates in the lower back. When back and core stomach muscles are not strong, it is easy to injure or strain these muscles, which will then put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Extending and stretching the lower back, is a great exercise for both prevention and to help alleviate pain.

All you need to do to is lie flat, belly down, on the floor. Lift your top half up by using your elbows, and slowly rise up until you are holding your back stretched with your palms on the floor. This will help to stretch all of the muscles of the lower back. If it causes pain at first, do not rise above the elbows. Try to hold the stretch, taking deep breaths for at least 10 seconds.

Another easy exercise that you should do before, and after exercise is the cat stretch. This helps to stretch the back and hip flexors and can bring some relief to sciatic pain. Many people also find that being on the floor on all fours, (like a cat) tends to make the pain of sciatica less. From this position, all you need to do is bow your back in and out. First push you’re back to the ceiling as high as you can, allowing your head to hang low. Then, push your belly toward the floor, stretching your head and neck forward and up. Hold these positions for up to 10 seconds before switching. If one feels better than the other, do that one more often.

Of course, there are plenty of exercises for sciatica as well. If you are a runner you should definitely make sure to stretch your hamstrings by flexing your feet, as well as standing up and touching your toes before and after all exercise including running.

The most natural way to heal from the pain of sciatica is to exercise and stretch very day.

Why Stomach Sleeping Is So Bad For Your Upper Back, Neck, and Shoulders

Sleeping is an essential function of our everyday lives. Most people never take into account the effects it may have on the health and stability of the upper back and neck. If you are in the wrong position, you could be causing trauma or injury to your upper back area.

Of the three sleeping positions that we can use at night (back, side, stomach), sleeping on your stomach is the least desirable for several different reasons. When you sleep on your stomach, you have to turn you head either to the right or to the left in order to breath. Most of us sleep for a duration of 4 hours to 10 hours a night. That means that for 4-10 hours a night, your head is turned to one side allowing the muscles on one side of the neck to shorten and the muscles on the opposite side to be lengthened.

The shortening in length on one side of the neck and the lengthening of muscles on the opposite side of the neck creates disproportionate muscle tension (DMT). When DMT kicks in, it starts to create pain in the neck and upper back. DMT not only causes pain, it restricts the ability of the joints to work in their normal state.

Another reason sleeping on your stomach is not recommended is because it causes your shoulders to fall forward into an anterior tipping situation. Basically what this means is that the shoulders drift forward due to gravity causing the pectoralis or chest muscles to tighten which then causes the shoulder blades to tip forward. The change in the muscle length at the pecs usually causes a vicious cycle of pain at the neck, shoulders and upper back.

The last reason that sleeping on your stomach is not encouraged is because if you don’t sleep with your hands by your side, you usually have your arms above your head. This position can place stress along the median and ulnar nerves in both hands creating a scenario in which your hands fall asleep or go numb. This can cause lots of problems in the future.

As an alternative, the preferred position for sleeping is on your back. The muscles and joints tend to assume their neutral position while lying on your back. Ensure you have a semi-firm pillow that maintains the natural curvature of the spine, essentially what we would refer to as the neck and upper back. By doing this, you promote stability and balance in the spine and surrounding muscle tissue.

When to See a Doctor for Strep Throat

If you have strep throat or think you do, you should be experiencing a full sensation in your throat, a painfully sore throat, swollen glands in your neck, and a fever of up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Then it’s time to see the doctor and make sure you get an appointment for the day of the onset of your symptoms or the day after at the very latest. If this isn’t possible, go to an urgent care center or emergency room to be seen for the treatment of the symptoms.

At that time, the doctor will examine you and will probably do a Quick Strep test or a throat culture. A Quick Strep test is a test that comes back within fifteen minutes or so and can detect the presence of group B streptococcus on a cotton swab. After swabbing your tonsils, the doctor will send the swab off to the lab and the tests will be done. You can find out if you have strep throat fairly quickly and can be placed on an antibiotic.

The antibiotics the doctor chooses will be either an erythromycin based antibiotic such as erythromycin itself or azythromycin, which is Zithromax. Penicillin based antibiotics can also be used. Cephalosporins are popular as there isn’t as much resistance to those antibiotics. Tell the doctor if you are allergic to any antibiotics and the right antibiotic will be picked out for you.

You can expect to get better within a week or so even though the antibiotic is given generally for a ten day period of time. It’s vitally important to take the whole course of antibiotics even though you may feel better after a week’s period of time because you need time for the antibiotic to kill the bacteria that are harbored in the crypts or recesses of the tonsils. These bacteria can, if left unchecked, start a case of strep throat up again and you’ll be back where you started. The whole course of antibiotics must be taken also because the resistant bacteria are killed last and if you stop taking the antibiotics, the next case of strep throat you get (which will be soon following the previous one) will be much harder to treat and you will be sicker for longer the next time around.

One of the reasons why you should see a doctor if you think you have strep throat is that it usually does not get better by itself. You can come down with rheumatic fever, which is a complication of strep throat that causes heart valve problems and heart failure. Not all cases of strep throat will lead to rheumatic fever. Other cases of strep throat can lead to strep glomerulonephritis, which is a kidney disease that can come from an untreated case of strep throat.

The most common complication of untreated strep throat is a peritonsillar abscess. This is a collection of bacteria that are harbored in the back of the tonsils, causing swelling of the space between the tonsil and the neck tissues. Such an abscess must be treated by excision, which could mean having surgery to correct the abscess.

Can You Always See Tonsil Stones?

Anyone who has had those stinky tonsil balls has felt them in their mouth but for some reason couldn’t find them thus posing the question, can you always see tonsil stones or is there a reason why you can’t.

How many times did you get that nagging feeling to check for the annoying tonsil balls? You know the drill, move your tongue around and probe the back of your throat. Next thing you know you feel something there, something hard hanging somewhere back there. You then tried to get a look using a mirror and a flashlight. You were expecting to find something but no luck. Why is this?

Tonsil stones are known in the medical community as tonsilloliths. Tonsilloliths are white or yellow in appearance and have a strong foul smell. The smell is horrible because they are composed of a variety of things including: postnasal drip, food particles, oral bacteria and dead white blood cells.

As the mixture of these things come together and harden in the back of the throat and in the tonsils, they hide in places like the crypts. The tonsilloliths are visible as they always come in white or yellow which makes it easy to see. However, the reason why they become “invisible” is because of their placement in the throat.

The usual place they hide in is behind the tonsil close to the back of the throat. A second place that they are common to be found is between the flap of the throat skin and the tonsils. If you move the skin just slightly you may be surprised to find quite a few of these balls of bacteria. The third place they can be found is in the crypts, which are simply indents or scarring left behind from pus pockets that burst during a bout of tonsillitis.

So as you can see they can potentially be seen as long as they are in a visible area. Unfortunately they have a tendency to hide very well and are seen once they come out.