An Orthopedic Surgeon Can Help With Many Ailments

If you are struggling with an injury of the musculoskeletal system or joint pain, you should consider turning to an orthopedic surgeon. Keep reading if you want to find out what these kinds of specialists can do for you.

One area of health that this specialist can address is arthritis. Arthritis is a disease of the joints which causes stiffness, pain, and inflammation. This disease can lead to joint cartilage damage and can make a person’s life very difficult. Patients with severe arthritis may not be able to walk easily and they may have trouble completing everyday tasks like brushing their teeth. An orthopedic surgeon can help you treat arthritis by giving you medication and helping you make lifestyle changes.

An orthopedic surgeon can help you recover from an injury to the musculoskeletal system. They can help you treat an injury that occurred as a result of sports, exercise, and high risk activity. They can also help you treat spine conditions, rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, and pulled muscles.

This type of surgeon also performs joint replacement surgery. The knees, hips, and elbows are some of the joints that people can surgically replace. If you have pain in any of these areas and you are having a tough time functioning, you may improve your situation and relieve your pain with joint replacement surgery.

Such specialists treat many different disorders, conditions, and skeletal system injuries. They treat injuries to the joints, muscles, and ligaments. They treat back pain, sports injuries, foot and leg pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome, and they can perform surgical repair when they need to. These doctors also treat degenerative conditions and diseases like osteoporosis. Additionally, they can repair damaged nerves or relocate compressed nerves.

Following an emergency, a surgeon specializing in orthopedics can help you with fractures, dislocated joints, broken bones, and severe sprains. They can help you heal from an injury and help you prevent many conditions and health problems.

Orthopedic surgeons also perform arthroscopies, which is minimally invasive. This procedure explores knee, hip, and shoulder damage. This procedure can also be used to correct minor joint problems, but other more serious conditions may require surgery.

The health problems these kinds of doctors treat may be the result of aging or injury. Keep in mind that these doctors can treat many problems with drug therapy and physical therapy, and many different kinds of treatments are available. They do a lot more than surgery, and can use a variety of procedures and methods to help patients heal, such as giving an individual a back brace when they have scoliosis or casting broken bones and knees.

If you are experiencing pain or problems that relate to the human skeleton, tendons, joints, and ligaments, you will benefit from visiting an orthopedic surgeon.

Physiotherapy Treatment of Shoulder Fractures

Humeral fractures occur commonly with up to five percent of all fractures falling into this category, eighty percent of humeral fractures being minimally displaced or undisplaced. Osteoporosis is a contributing factor in many of these fractures and a fracture of the forearm on the same side is a typical presentation. Nerve or arterial damage from the fracture is an important consideration but not common. Typical sites of fractures are the top of the arm (neck of humerus – “shoulder fracture”) and the middle of the shaft of the humerus.

The usual cause of a humeral fracture is a direct fall on the arm, either on the hand, elbow or directly onto the shoulder itself. Due to all the muscles that attach to the upper humerus, there can be a lot of muscular force at the time, dictating how much the bones are pulled into a displaced position. Humeral fractures are more common in the elderly with an average age of fracture of around 65 years and younger people usually have a history of forceful trauma such as motor accidents or sport.

If the fracture occurred without significant force then a pathological cause such as cancer must be suspected. On physio examination pain will occur on movement of the shoulder or the elbow, there may be extensive bruising and swelling, the arm may appear short if the fracture is displaced in shaft fractures and there is very restricted shoulder movement. Radial nerve damage is rare in upper humeral fractures but more common in fractures of the shaft, leading to “wrist drop”, weakness of the wrist and finger extensors and some thumb movements.

Management of Humeral Fractures

After the fracture the patient’s movements are kept restricted and sufficient analgesia provided to keep them comfortable. With little or no displacement the management is non-operative but if the greater tuberosity is fractured then it is important to suspect rotator cuff injury. This is more common in injuries with high forces, when the patient is older or the tuberosity is displaced significantly. Humeral neck fractures can be kept in line with a collar and cuff, allowing the elbow to hang free, while shaft fractures are difficult to manage but can be braced.

Open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) is often performed for displaced fractures with three or four fragments and more commonly in younger patients, while older patients have humeral head replacement to prevent pain and stiffness in the shoulder. Nailing or plating is used in shaft fractures if necessary but these usually heal without surgery. Humeral fractures can have complications including injury to the radial nerve in shaft fractures, frozen shoulder and death of the humeral head due to loss of blood supply. Although normal healing time is 6-8 weeks, older sufferers may never re-establish normal range of shoulder movement.

Shoulder Fracture Treatment by Physiotherapy

Initially the physio assesses the arm, asking the patient about their pain level as this varies greatly, examining the swelling and bruising of the arm. The physiotherapist then checks the available range of movement of the shoulder, elbow, forearm and hand. Any muscle weakness and sensory loss is noted as this may denote nerve damage. If not operated on, a sling is continued with and if the fracture is not too painful or severe, early exercises are started by the physiotherapist. Pendular exercises, with the patient bending over at the waist, are important in the early stages as they allow movement of the shoulder joint without much force.

Three weeks after the fracture bone healing will be well under way so the physiotherapist will instruct the patient in auto-assisted exercises, using the other arm, to help reduce stress on the injury. Unassisted exercises are the next step as the arm becomes stronger, to practice lateral and medial rotation and flexion. At six weeks the bone will be clinically sound so the physio can progress to more vigorous movements with resistance and gentle end-range stretching. Joint mobilisations can be useful to free up the sliding and gliding movements of the joint and strengthening and joint range work continued with Theraband.

Treatment, Surgery And Rehabilitation Of Complex Fractures

Complex fractures are breaks to the bones that are more severe than the majority of injuries normally treated by an orthopedic surgeon. Complex fractures most often occur in aging adults and athletes. Due to the challenging and intense treatment normally required for these patients, complex fractures of any kind should only be treated by an orthopedic surgeon who is highly experienced in this area of orthopedic.

Complex fractures frequently occur in the wrist, spine, ankle, leg, pelvis or hip. Of these, the majority of fractures occur to the wrist with women aged 60 and older being at the greatest risk of receiving a complex fracture to this area. The degree of injury is usually proportional to the impact that caused the fracture, regardless of the area that sustains the fracture. However, the elderly are at a greater risk because of an increase in the number of falls they take and osteoporosis which makes bones more fragile. Due to the irregularity of complex fractures, individual assessment and treatment should be provided on a case by case basis. There are a variety of types of complex fractures as well as a number of methods used to treat them. The different ways that complex breaks occur are:

• The bones are broken into multiple pieces

• Damage to the surrounding soft tissue is severe

• Trauma results in the loss of bone

• Severe injury to the cartilage in a joint

• Multiple fractures in different levels of one bone

• An associated joint is dislocated

Common Causes of Complex Fractures

While athletes and aging adults are at the highest risk for complex fractures, they can occur to individuals of any age. Automobile accidents, falls and sports-related injuries result in severe injuries that require immediate intense treatment. In addition to the treatment of an experienced orthopedic surgeon, the individual may also be treated by other specialists for comprehensive treatment to the affected area.

Diagnosis

For complex open fractures in which the skin is broken from the bone, diagnosis is usually easy. The surgeon will typically perform a physical examination, take a medical history and use X-rays or MRI to evaluate the type and severity of the fracture.

Treatment

An orthopedic surgeon may use casting or pinning to treat a complex fracture or open surgery with plates and screws to secure the bone may be required. Sometimes fusion is used to secure two bones together. Both internal and external devices may be used to secure the broken bone in place. Since fractures occur in a number of patterns, choosing the best method of treatment is done according to the individual injury. The goal of the surgeon is to promote healing, restore anatomic alignment and prevent complications from occurring later on. For athletes, their future careers will depend on the ability of the orthopedic surgeon to repair the bone and related damage to the surrounding area.

Rehabilitation

The period of rehabilitation depends on the injury and the type of treatment used. Following surgery, the patient can expect to be restricted from putting weight on the broken bone for up to 8 weeks. The orthopedic surgeon will determine the rate at which the patient should add weight to the affected area, what type of therapy may be required, and when normal activities can be resumed.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Workers Compensation

Back injuries are on of the most common injuries in Illinois work injury cases. This is an overview of spinal injuries.

Spinal Injuries

Some common forms of spinal injuries are those that relate to the spinal discs. Spinal discs are pads of cartilage that separate and cushion the spinal vertebrae. When the body moves, the spinal discs protect the vertebrate from shock. Over time, spinal discs can be hurt by injury, degeneration and disease.

One common spinal injury is known as a herniated disc, which can also be referred to as prolapsed, bulging, or ruptured. Herniated discs can cause pain, weakness and numbness in various areas of the body, including the lower back, legs and feet. A disc becomes herniated when the hardened outside layer tears, and leaves the softer inside material of the disc pushing out.

Diagnosing a Back Injury

Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic surgeons are the most appropriate doctors for diagnosing back injuries. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission views diagnoses and treatment from neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons as more credible than diagnoses and treatment from chiropractors and internists.

Doctors are most likely to diagnose a back injury by first administering an objective examination before ordering expensive tests. The most critical factor for diagnosing an injury is oftentimes the patients’ own description of the pain. For instance, a herniated disc can be diagnosed when a patient mentions pain shooting down his or her leg. Many problems eventually require an MRI or CT scan because some back injuries don’t show up on a simple x-ray.

Causes of Back Injuries

Back injuries can arise from various activities. Usually herniated discs arise from heavy lifting, car accidents or other traumatic activity, but they have also been know to sometimes occur from simple activities such as sneezing.

Spinal disorders can arise from soft tissue injury, structural injury, and degenerative conditions. The development of spinal disorders can be influenced by injury, aging, general health, and lifestyle. In Illinois, workers are entitled to workers compensation benefits when a pre-existing condition is aggravated by work activities.

Treatment for Back Injuries

Once a back injury is diagnosed, there are usually treatment involves either physical medication with pain medications or surgery.

1. Physical therapy and pain medications

Physical therapy strengthens the back and prepares it for increased activity. Usually physical therapists design exercises to simulate work activity if a back injury is preventing a patient from working. In addition to physical therapy, pain medication can also assist patients regain the ability to participate in normal activities. Medications vary in strength depending on the severity of the injury. Usually, if pain medication doesn’t provide relief, doctors consider surgery.

2. Surgery

The three basic types of back surgery are:

o Fusion: Spinal fusion involves the permanent connection of two or more spinal vertebrae. In order to complete this surgery, the surgeon needs small pieces of extra bone to fill spaces between the vertebrae. Extra bone can either come from a bone bank or from a patient’s own body. When preformed after other surgeries, fusions are usually unsuccessful.

o Laminotomy or laminectomy: The lamina is the back part of the bone over the spinal canal, and both of these surgeries involve removing all or part of it. A laminectomy involves a complete removal of the lamina. The laminotomy only involves the removal of a portion of the lamina to relieve pressure or allow the surgeon to access a disc that is pressing on a nerve.

o Diskectomy: To relieve pressure on a nerve, this procedure consists of removal of a portion of the disc.

The following two surgeries are gaining popularity because they are more modern and less invasive:

o Vertebroplasty: This procedure involves the use of bone cement. The cement is injected into fractured or collapsed vertebrae. The fracture stabilizes and pain is relieved as soon as the cement hardens.

o Kyphoplasty: This is similar to a vertebroplasty in that it involves the use of bone cement to stabilize vertebrae. The difference is that it involves use of a balloon-like instrument to expand the compressed vertebra while injecting bone cement.

Paraplegia

When a spinal cord is severed, or if nervous tissue inside the spinal cord is damaged, paraplegia results. Paraplegia is the paralysis of the entire lower body. Paraplegia affects the legs and usually any internal organs below the waist. Such damage to the nervous tissue can result when the spinal cord is pressed up against by a broken vertebrae.

Quadriplegia

When an injury severs the spinal cord or damages nervous tissue inside the cord, quadriplegia may result. Like paraplegia, quadriplegia is a paralysis of the body, but it affects the arms as well as the legs. The distinguishing factor that causes quadriplegia as opposed to paraplegia is that the injury occurs to the upper part of the spinal cord, inside the neck. When an injury occurs in the upper end of the spinal cord, the spinal cord is unable to send messages to any part of the body below the injury.

Managing a Child With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that affects thousands of children around the world. Many parents simply go into raptures when for the first time they watch with love how their little ones first turn over on the tummies, sit up, crawl and later try to stand on the legs and take those very first steps. These are all normal growth milestones that happen in the lives of normal children. However, those afflicted by cerebral palsy will find that none of these happen in their early years and most end up either on the wheel chairs or have to use crutches and braces to walk or move. A child with CP will certainly not be able to talk much and even if they do, the words would be incoherent and not easily understood by others.

Cerebral palsy in a child is certainly not contagious, as many fear it to be and most definitely not a disease. A medical condition happens because the part of the brain that controls the muscular movements is damaged or improper growth of the brain has taken place. The brain has all the controls and gives instructions to the various muscles, body parts, organs and nerves on functioning. If that part of the brain that controls muscle coordination gets affected then the child will have cerebral palsy, which means the child will not be able to speak, walk, run, eat or play as other normal children do.

There are three main types of cerebral palsy and a child with CP can be affected by anyone of them. They are Spastic, Athetoid and Ataxic. Most children are often diagnosed with having Spastic CP while a child with athetoid CP will not be able to control their muscles and the movements of the limbs would occur in a haphazard manner. The child with spastic CP would have problems in balancing and muscle coordination. CP in a child can be either mild or severe. If mild then the child will face only a few defects in their limbs and may not have to use the wheel chair to move around. On the other hand, if the CP disorder is severe then the child will be stricken to the wheel chair and will not be able to speak much without drooling. Partial paralysis can also be seen in severe cases where the child with CP will not be able to move one side of their body entirely.

A child with Cerebral palsy needs to be diagnosed quite early in life as soon as symptoms are detected. This will help a team of physicians to formulate what type of treatment would best suit the child. The child needs to undergo psychotherapy, physiotherapy, speech and behavioral therapy, occupational therapy to help him or her to go through life smoothly. These therapies help the child with CP to tackle all their daily chores like brushing their teeth, taking a bath, dressing up, taking food etc. Nevertheless, to help them cope with other daily activities and school they need additional therapies like music, dance and yoga which will help boost their self confidence.

Creative Writing Prompts- A Cure For The Dreaded "Blank Screen Paralysis"

Picture the scene. You head off to your creative workspace, head full of great ideas, ready to get writing and create wonderful, rich, three-dimensional characters in believable, realistic scenarios.

You’re keen to write the stories that will touch and inspire people, make them say “that character spoke to me, I’m just like them!”.

You open your notebook, switch on your computer, sit down, and… er, nothing happens, that’s it.

For all your ambition and great intentions, you don’t know where to start. You can’t think what to write. You begin to wonder if you can even string together a couple of sentences, let alone a complete story or novel.

You’re in the grip of the dreaded “Blank Screen Paralysis”.

Also known as creative block, or writer’s block.

But don’t give up, because there’s a way this story can still have a happy ending.

Creative writing prompts are an excellent tool to combat writer’s block.

A creative writing prompt is a small phrase, idea, or picture that can be used to kick start your creative writing. They provide that initial little push we sometimes need to get our creative writing going.

Once we have got going, the momentum easily builds and we can write freely and deeply.

Creative writing prompts can be used as and when you need them, for example when you feel you’re hit with some kind of creative block. But the great thing is, by using creative writing prompts regularly, you actually begin to create more easily without them.

Using them often means your mind begins to learn new ways of approaching your writing and finding starting points when it feels there aren’t any. In a short space of time of using creative writing prompts written by others, you quickly begin to automatically come up with your own.

If you haven’t used creative writing prompts before, try them out today and realise what a wonderful tool they can be to enhance your creative writing.

Surgical Support For An Umbilical Hernia – 5 Steps to Repair

If you or someone you care about has a hernia, you probably now have a desire to understand as much as possible about what a hernia is, how it is treated, and how to recover from hernia surgery.

In general, a hernia is simply the development of a weakness in a major muscle wall of the torso, such as the groin or abdomen. The weakness occurs at those natural seams that “sew” the various muscle sections of our bodies together. When a hernia occurs, the weakness allows a gap to form which lets internal tissues and/or organs to “pop out” through that muscle wall.

A hernia can be painful, but it does not have to be. Many types of hernias do not require immediate medical treatment, although if the protruding organs become “strangulated” – whereby the blood and oxygen supply is cut off from the tissue – then the situation should be taken very seriously and will require immediate surgical attention.

Most doctors agree that even non-strangulated hernias require eventual medical attention. Most hernias are corrected through surgery.

What Is An Umbilical Hernia?

There are many types of hernias. One common variety is the umbilical hernia. This type involves a weakness in the abdominal cavity that allows a sac to form in the inner lining of the belly.

This type of hernia is fairly common, and the condition can occur in newborns, children or adults. These hernias are most commonly found in overweight people and in women who have recently been pregnant.

If left untreated, umbilical hernias will often get larger over time. In the case of a baby with an umbilical hernia, crying can cause it to bulge out more due to the pressure that it causes.

Surgical Support for an Umbilical Hernia – 5 Steps to Repair

Umbilical hernias that are left untreated can pose danger to the patient. For example, if the protruding tissue becomes incarcerated (or stuck), it could result in the blood and oxygen supply being cut off to this area (strangulation).

In the case of infants, umbilical hernias are not usually treated with surgery; the hernia usually shrinks and closes on its own by the time the child reaches age 3. However, in the case of adults who umbilical hernia becomes painful, bulging or starts to turn dark blue, surgery is often required.

Here are the 5 major steps that most surgeons take when correcting an umbilical hernia:

1. The procedure starts with general anesthesia:

Of course, as with any major surgery, general anesthesia is administered to the patient. For a small hernia, this could be a spinal or an epidural block. As a result, the patient feels no pain during the surgery.

2. Surgeon makes a surgical cut in belly button:

The surgeon then makes a cut in the belly button. The incision is used as a way to access the hernia itself from the outside.

3. Tissues are pushed back inside the body cavity:

Next, the protruding tissues or organs are pushed back inside of the body. If the surgery is done correctly, the tissues should never protrude through this area again.

4. Strong stitches used to repair the incision area:

The stitches are made to withstand the intense pressure being exerted on the area.

5. Mesh may be laid over weak area:

Finally, a synthetic mesh that will not be rejected by the body is inserted, as well. The mesh helps reinforce the strength of the affected area for the rest of the patient’s life.

If you or someone you know has gone through umbilical hernia surgery, your next step is to learn how to take care so as to speed along the recovery process.

Multiple Sclerosis Misdiagnosis – Why This Happens?

Multiple sclerosis has a range of symptoms that are similar to a number of other illnesses including autoimmune, infectious, vascular and other diseases. This can increase the likelihood of misdiagnosis so it is imperative that you are sure your diagnosis of MS or one of the other illnesses that can mimic MS is correct.

The issues of varied presentation amongst sufferers and a number of illnesses that have similar symptoms of MS can pose difficulties for doctors not only with diagnosis but also with treatment. These mimics may have similar symptoms but different treatments so a wrong diagnosis will only lead to wrong treatment being prescribed and possible complications for the individual in the future. Research suggests that up to 10% of people diagnosed with MS may have been misdiagnosed.

How is MS diagnosed?

Doctors need an accurate family and personal history detailing information on all the risk factors such as neurological problems in the family, geographic locations you have lived, substance abuse, reactions to heat, medications taken, past surgeries, illnesses and allergies.

You should tell the doctor about any symptoms you have been experiencing, when they started, information about what you were doing when you experienced them can also provide the doctor with insights into the diagnosis.

Neurological examinations to test exaggerated reflexes, eye examinations to determine optic nerve damage. MRI scans to identify lesions in the brain and possibly determine when they were developed gives the doctor additional evidence which they can then use to rule out alternative diagnoses and illnesses that mimic the symptoms of MS.

All this information will help the doctors avoid possible multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis.

What illnesses look like MS?

This is one of the most important questions asked by persons who may be experiencing symptoms and are concerned that they may have MS.

Autoimmune, infectious, vascular and other disorders can display symptoms that mimic MS.

Autoimmune disorders

Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) affects the blood and kidneys. Many of its symptoms resemble those of MS including extreme fatigue, sun or light sensitivity, achy, swollen joints and seizures.

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) affects the brain and the spinal cord. Optic neuritis, lethargy, delirium and paralysis of a limb on one side of the body are common symptoms of this disease.

Sjögren’s Syndrome affects the entire body as it is a systemic disease. Symptoms can include fatigue, difficulty swallowing and speaking, joint pain and numbness.

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) sufferers can exhibit muscle fatigue, weakness of the limbs and impaired eye coordination amongst other symptoms.

Sarcoidosis patients can experience vision problems, excessive thirst and fatigue and chronic arthritis.

Any of these illnesses can result in a multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis when proper history and testing are ignored.

Infectious diseases

Neurosyphillis and Lyme disease are infectious diseases that mimic MS. Partial paralysis of the lower limbs, incontinence of the bladder and bowel and impotence are some of the symptoms of Lyme disease whilst Neurosyphillis can cause visual problems.

Vascular disorders

Strokes, Central Nervous System Angitis,Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas and Binswanger’s are all vascular diseases that mimic MS and can escalate the chances of multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis.

Others

Muscular dystrophy (MD), Fibromyalgia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), vitamin B12 deficiency, migraine, Beçhets, hypo-thyroidism, Arnold-Chiari deformity and hypertension all mimic MS and can increase the likelihood of multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis.

Shingles – Treatment and Prevention

Most of us get chickenpox as children, and a few of us are left with a tell-tale souvenir of the experience: a tiny scar on the face or neck where we scratched once too often. But some of us are left with another legacy of that usually harmless childhood infection: shingles.

Shingles is an excruciatingly painful rash which occurs in people who have had chickenpox. The virus that causes chickenpox, scientifically known as the varicella-zoster virus, is the same one that causes shingles (a form of the herpes virus). What happens is that after you’ve had the pox, it lies dormant in your body. Then, perhaps decades later, it re-emerges – in the form of a painful and desperately painful and unpleasant rash.

Sadly, shingles is a lot nastier than chickenpox for the vast majority of people who come down with it. The worst bit, although it is fairly uncommon, is that you can be left with postherpetic neuralgia. The best way to explain it is that your skin “retains” a memory of the rash, making it extremely painful to touch for years to come, even after the original infection is gone.

About one in five people who develop shingles get postherpetic neuralgia, and the majority of them see the pain disappear in about one to three months. For people who have it quite badly there are several medications on offer, including ones used to treat depression and seizures (now there’s a bonus!). However, it usually takes a few weeks for them to work.

Some researchers say that shingles is not just a skin disease requiring a trip to the dermatologist, but a nerve disorder. It has been described as feeling like a hot curling iron is being applied to the skin. The reason: the root of the nerves is where the chickenpox virus has been hiding ever since you got it, probably as a child. Now it’s emerging again – but this time with a vengeance.

Knowing You Have Shingles

Shingles can mimic other infections, but it’s actually fairly easy to spot (no pun intended). For some bizarre reason it occurs on one side of the body or face only, and is characterized by a chickenpox-type rash full of fluid-filled blisters. Some lucky folk just find that their shingles itch, others find them too painful to believe.

According to the Mayo Clinic, here are the signs that you might have shingles:

Pain, burning, tingling, numbness or extreme sensitivity in a certain part of your body

A red rash that begins a few days after the pain

Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over

Itching

Fever and chills

Headache

Upset stomach or abdominal pain

Please note that if you never had chickenpox but were inoculated against it, you are still a prime candidate for contracting shingles. Sorry!

Preventing Shingles

The Zostavax vaccine will reduce the risk of getting shingles – and can reduce the duration of the infection if you catch it. Originally the vaccine was for people aged 60 and above only. In trials, it cut the number of infection in half. Treating a first attack with antiviral drugs can also reduce the severity of the infection.

Interestingly, adults with shingles can pass the virus onto others, usually a child, and he or she will get chickenpox. You cannot pass actual shingles on to others, and people with chickenpox cannot pass on shingles to others.

Here is what an individual identified only as Q wrote on a sports website about his experience with shingles:

“Had it on the side of my head over to my eyelid about 3 years ago. Sore head for about a week, then got worse and eventually felt like someone was crushing my head in a vice for about a week. Was on antiviral drugs for a couple of weeks plus 2 types of painkillers. Also eye drops to stop spread onto eyeball which can cause blindness. I still get pain in that side of my head now and again, apparently this is quite common and can last for years.”

Shingles Complications

Like its little brother chickenpox, shingles is usually relatively harmless. But it can cause complications in some people. If you are HIV-positive, had had a recent organ transplant or have a suppressed immunity for other reasons, stay far away – ditto if you are pregnant or an adult who has never had chickenpox. In these people, shingles can cause severe complications.

There is often the rare complication of Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which occurs when shingles affects the ear. This can cause not only earache but also dizziness, facial paralysis and confusion. Extremely rarely shingles can also affect the brain and vision.

Remember that the virus can be reactivated, although typically this happens with elderly people who have an impaired immune condition. Having chemo or radiotherapy, excess alcohol consumption, taking steroids long-term and stress can all play a role in activating shingles. In fact, doctors have said that stress can play a major role in our getting the virus.

If you get shingles stay away from vulnerable people and take it easy. It will usually clear up on its own within a few weeks. You can take oatmeal baths and apply creams to relieve the symptoms, much as you would do with chickenpox, and also take antiviral drugs – the earlier the better. They will shorten the duration of the infection and help make it more bearable.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care an appropriate health care provider.

The Link Between Magnesium Deficiency and Nerve, Muscle Pain

Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions that keep our bodies going. Among its many duties, magnesium helps the heart pump, regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels, strengthens bones, metabolizes energy, synthesizes protein and maintains nerve and muscle function.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 57% of the U.S. population is deficient in magnesium. Researchers are currently assessing what role this deficiency could play in the prevalence of pain problems.

Muscle Pain

Taking in more magnesium can help combat muscle pain caused by tension. Magnesium plays a major role in the relaxation of muscles; it allows calcium into muscles when they need to contract and pulls it out when it is time to relax. Insufficient levels of magnesium means that calcium may build up in muscles, holding them in a state of tension.

Muscle tension is a common cause of back and neck pain. When tension exists for a prolonged period of time, muscles develop knots and have more difficulty relaxing. Myofascial pain syndrome, a condition characterized by the formation of knots in tight muscles and myofascia (the connective tissue surrounding the muscle), may result from chronic tension. This condition can cause localized and referred pain; it can also replicate itself in other areas of the body, since tight muscles grow weak and require other muscles to compensate for them, thereby making the compensatory muscles tense and weak, etc.

Getting sufficient amounts of magnesium through diet and/or supplementation will help prevent chronic muscle tension.

Nerve Pain

Magnesium may also help quell nerve pain. One study tested magnesium in the treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain in rats. Magnesium was found to decrease the number of receptors for a neurotransmitter called NMDA, which is responsible for carrying pain signals. By modulating NMDA communication, magnesium may interrupt pain signals in people with nerve pain from conditions like diabetes and sciatica. See more on the study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20837644.

Magnesium deficiency affects nerves in another way. Just as the mineral is important for relaxing muscles, it relaxes nerve endings as well. Low levels of magnesium can cause nerves to be overstimulated, firing in the presence of little to no stimuli. This may be connected to central sensitization, a condition believed to cause the widespread, chronic pain experienced by fibromyalgia patients.

See the chart at

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-magnesium for information on recommended daily values of magnesium by age and sex. If you have kidney problems, ask a health professional before supplementing magnesium. Excess levels of the mineral can cause diarrhea; supplement wisely.

Magnesium can help eliminate nerve and muscle pain. Making sure your body has the nutrients it needs to function properly will help you stay pain-free.

Toddler Behavior Problems

Every child goes through toddler behavior problems at some point, and as a parent these times can be very testing indeed. As a full time parent myself, I have been through all those shouting matches, public spats and upsetting experiences and it isn’t a pleasant experience for either party. However through personal experiences I now have built up lots of knowledge of how to discipline toddlers effectively and I want to show you some super effective methods right here in this article.

When your child has toddler behavior problems I think it’s best to remember that they are just a child. I used to try and calm my child down through logic and reasoned thinking; what a fool I was! I say this because two year olds are not going to understand logic and instead you need to take effective action rather than talking them round.

Temper tantrums are simply a part of growing up unfortunately! Now obviously you shouldn’t try to be the strictest disciplinarian because remember they are just kids and they are not going to be perfect all of the time. Instead you should focus on disciplining them on their actions that you think are unacceptable. Now what’s the best way to do this I hear you ask?

When you realise that toddler behavior problems are simply them testing your boundaries and trying to be centre of attention, you realise that you shouldn’t react when they get angry. If your child gets angry at you because you won’t give them what they want, but then you give in to their demands to keep them quiet, how are they going to learn that screaming and shouting is wrong?

You need to be strong in these situations and simply ignore them. Do not give your toddler any kind of positive reinforcement when they are acting up. This will teach them that they cannot get what they want by kicking and screaming at you.

It is very important that you praise their good behaviour because then they will learn that by behaving sensibly they will be treated for it. Let me tell you that kids love to be praised and make sure that you treat them positively when they are being good so they learn that this is how to act.

The simple fact is that toddler behavior problems need to be addressed quickly and efficiently by you, the parent. It is your job to bring them up disciplined and polite and if you do not deal with your child’s problems now, their situation could get much worse.

The Top 10 Ways to Cure a Sore Throat

Sore throats are a common manifestation of many illnesses, such as colds, the flu, and sinus and respiratory infections. Most of these diseases are self-limiting, requiring only self-care at home to treat the symptoms. Surely, the itchy, painful, raspy, inflamed tissues of a sore throat is one of the most bothersome and uncomfortable of these symptoms. Here we give you the top 10 ways to cure your sore throat through simple home remedies.

1. Gargles with salt water

Mix one teaspoon of table salt with 1 cup of warm water until dissolved. Gargle the saltwater for 30 seconds, spit out, and repeat as needed. The salt helps reduce the swelling of the throat tissues and kills bacteria.

2. Ginger Tea

Peel and chop a large ginger root and place in a saucepan or kettle. Boil with three cups of water for 5-10 minutes, until the water smells like ginger and has a yellow tinge to it. Sip slowly on the hot liquid.

3. Lemon and Honey

Mix hot water, 1-2 tablespoons of honey, and the juice from 1 medium lemon in a mug. Sip slowly on the mixture and repeat as needed. Caution: do not give honey to children under the age of two, since a bacteria commonly found in honey can give them infant botulism.

4. Hot Sauce

Eat small spoonfuls of hot sauce, drink hot water mixed with hot sauce and honey, or eat very spicy foods. The capsaicins in hot sauce help over-ride the nerve cells at the back of the throat to decrease their sensitivity. Most hot sauces also have vinegar and salt, which also help improve the sore throat.

5. Cough Drops

Many types of cough drops do help soothe a sore throat. However, avoid sugary, commercial brands, and instead try natural and herbal brands such as Burt´s Bees and Ricola. Sucking on sugar-free candies can also provide relief.

6. Humidifier

Use a humidifier in your room to increase the water content in the air. Also try draping your head over a pot of steaming water with a towel over you to inhale the steam directly. Avoid air conditioning, climate-controlled air, and any other type of dry air, which further aggravates the sore throat.

7. Garlic

Suck on whole garlic cloves, or mash the garlic and mix with hot water and honey. Your breath might stink, but this really does work!

8. Vinegar

Gargle or drink spoonfuls of vinegar, or mix with hot sauce and honey for a more palatable drink. Apple cider-vinegar is preferable.

9. Fluids

Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Staying properly hydrated and rested is essential for any immune system process, such as getting over a sore throat. Drink hot tea, soups, and lots of water to stay hydrated.

10. Analgesics

Many non-prescription analgesics are available to help directly reduce the inflammation and swelling that causes a sore throat. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are good choices.

Try any of these methods or in combination to see what works best for you. Remember to get plenty of warm liquids, avoid cold, dry air, and get plenty of rest!

Type 2 Diabetes – Polyuria, Polydipsia and Polyphagia!

Complications from Type 2 diabetes can also cause many side effects. While some are more commonly known, there are others an individual may be experiencing and not even know they are related to their disease. Some complications often overlooked are:

  • polyuria,
  • polydipsia, and
  • polyphagia.

In all three of these conditions, the first part of the words, “poly”, means too much of something.

1. In polyuria, it refers to when an individual urinates excessively or has increased urination. What is considered excessive or increased urination? The average amount of urine expelled is considered to be around 3 liters per day for adults and 2 liters per day for a child.

This condition can be due to a defect in the water balance of an individual who does not have control of their Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. But it can also be due to polydipsia, which refers to excessive thirst.

2. Polydipsia can be found in both children and adults, but is most often found in middle-aged women or with individuals who are taking certain medications. Certain medications can have their own side effect of giving the sensation of having a dry mouth.

But there is another cause for this condition and it has to do with the presence of hypothalamic lesions that work directly against the thirst sensation. These lesions are often associated with certain medical conditions such as sarcoidosis, which is inflammation of certain areas of the body, most often the lymph nodes, liver, lungs and other tissues.

It also occurs when individual are not taking their Type 2 diabetes medication correctly, or when the prescribed doses are no longer effective. Regardless of the cause, this is a condition that can become very serious. If the body is consuming far more liquid that it is effectively able to excrete, then the individual’s serum sodium level can become dangerously high, resulting in possible seizures and even cardiac arrest.

3. Polyphagia: The last of the conditions, known as polyphagia, has to do with an individual having an excessive appetite or enormous feelings of hunger. In relation to diabetes, this condition occurs when the body’s cells are not getting enough glucose, or sugar. It can be due to the body either being resistant to insulin so the sugar that is “knocking” at the cell’s doors and cannot be processed, or the body is simply not able to produce enough insulin for its needs. This causes the sensation of feeling hungry.

A person with this condition goes through a vicious, and often uncontrollable cycle. They eat large quantities of food from which excess sugars are flushed out in their urine. The energy the body would have benefited from is gone, the cell’s cannot absorb sugar, so the body reacts in the only way it knows, which is to feel hungry. Polyphaiga is most commonly found in diabetics, Type 2 diabetics. Unfortunately, this is also probably the most difficult to prevent.

Obesity Statistics – 10 Alarming Obesity Facts

Statistics and estimates as reported by the The International Obesity Task Force, the US Census, WHO World Health Report and other organizations indicates the enormity of the world wide obesity problem:

  • Over 300 million people worldwide are obese and 750 million more are overweight.
  • More than 22 million of the world’s children under 5 are overweight or obese.
  • In some parts of Africa, fatness and obesity afflicts more children than malnutrition does – sometimes four times as many, a study showed that 0.7 percent of children are showing features of malnutrition, but over 3 percent are overweight or obese.
  • In the United States about 13 percent of children are overweight or obese and the percentage of overweight children between the ages of 6-and 11 has nearly doubled since the the 1980’s.
  • In some countries, more than 30 percent of the children are obese.
  • Six million American adults have a BMI 40+ and are classed as morbidly obese (BMI of 40+), almost twice as high as in 1980, while another 9.6 million have a BMI of 35-40.
  • About 60% of American adults are overweight, that is 39.8 million people.
  • In 2008 Americans spent more than $40 billion on diets and weight loss products and diet and weight loss supplements reached sales of $16.1 billions. About 20 000 different products are produced by more than 1 000 manufactures. These products are used by a estimated by 100 million Americans.
  • The economic cost of obesity is immense, in the USA the direct medical costs of obesity are calculated at more than $93 billion a year
  • According to the US National Institutes of Health, obesity and overweight are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States and an estimated 300,000 deaths per year are caused by obesity.

If you need to lose weight there is no point in postponing or looking for excuses, you need to take positive action and to start doing something about the situation!           

First of all, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting a diet or weight loss program.

If your goal is to lose weight permanently you should follow a weight loss program or diet that leads towards slow, steady weight loss. Official weight loss guidelines indicate that no matter how much excess weight or fat you have, you should not lose more than 2 pounds of fat a week. Initial weight loss may be greater due to the loss of water. An exception to this would be if your doctor believes that it would be beneficial to your health if you lose weight more rapidly.

Overcoming an obesity problem is often more a matter of changing to a healthier life style than following just a diet. Here are 10 basic steps to take that would do you a lot of good:

  • Start drinking more water.
  • Stop drinking that endless and bottomless cups of coffee.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Get more exercise, walk don’t drive whenever possible.
  • Join a gym and follow an exercise program.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables.
  • Included high fiber foods in your diet.
  • Limit fat and sugar intake.
  • Stop smoking.

An easy way to start changing your life style is to make a list of things that needs to be addressed and then set goals for yourself. Then start making the changes needed, even if it is only one small step at a time.  

Penis Health 101 – What Causes Penis Blisters?

Penis blisters can develop for a number of reasons. Some of these can be easily treated at home, but it is important to see a doctor for a firm diagnosis before attempting to self-treat any type of blisters on penis skin or the surrounding area. Men who have signs of blisters or other open sores should abstain from sex until the condition clears to avoid passing it on to a partner. Making smart decisions about partners, using barrier protection and adequate penis care and hygiene are recommended for preventing chronic penis problems.

Some common causes of penis blisters:

STDs

While there can be other explanations for the appearance of watery blisters, penis blisters can be symptomatic of socially transmitted diseases such as genital herpes and syphilis. Even men who think they have been careful about their partners should be tested for these and other social diseases if they notice blistering on the head or shaft of the penis. Abstaining from sex until a positive diagnosis has been made and the condition has been successfully treated is urged to avoid spreading the disease to others.

Penis cancer

In rare cases, blisters on the penis can be an early indicator of penis cancer. Since early diagnosis is critical to the successful treatment of cancer, any suspicious spots, moles, sores or blisters should be checked by a doctor.

Rough masturbation

Frequent and/or aggressive masturbation, especially without the help of a lubricant, can cause irritation, soreness and even blistering on the head and shaft of the penis. Moisturizing the penis skin regularly and using a personal lubricant during manual stimulation may help to prevent friction-related blisters. If they do occur, it’s best to take a break for a few days to allow the skin time to heal. Treatment with skin-friendly vitamins such as A, C and D may help to speed the healing process and prevent toughening of the affected skin.

Yeast infection

While less common than other symptoms such as itching, redness, rash and a whitish, lump discharge, yeast infection of the penis (also known as thrush) can cause the formation of white or watery blisters on the skin. Treatment with an antifungal cream is generally recommended for yeast infections, but men who are experiencing these symptoms for the first time, or who develop frequent yeast infections, should be evaluated by medical professional. Supporting the natural chemical balance of the skin through regular use of a penis vitamin cream may be helpful in preventing common penis infections such as thrush.

Folliculitis

Inflammation of the skin follicles (pores) can sometimes cause the appearance of blisters on and around the penis. While these generally subside on their own, cleansing the skin carefully every day, shaving with a clean, unused razor and applying a natural antibacterial such as vitamin A may help to prevent the development of folliculitis.

Scabies

Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by a parasite. It typically presents as itching, skin rash, and in some cases, the formation of blisters. Scabies is generally treated with a topical medication. While it may not be possible to avoid all incidence of skin infections such as scabies, keeping the skin smooth, well-moisturized and blemish-free may prevent the formation of microscopic skin lesions which allow microorganisms to penetrate and gain a hold in the body.

Preventing and treating minor penis skin conditions

There are no guarantees that men will not develop some type of penis skin condition such as blisters, rash, itching, and/or inflammation, adequate penis care can go a long way toward boosting overall penis health and protecting the body against disease. Bathing regularly, rinsing away the dead skin cells and body oils that accumulate under the foreskin, using protection during sexual encounters and nourishing the skin with a high quality penis health formula (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can be helpful in maintaining a healthy penis and decreasing the likelihood of contracting an unpleasant disease of the penis skin.