Neck pain or Cervicalgia, and the Migraine Syndrome

“My neck always hurts. Sometimes it kills me so bad, I cannot think and have to go lie down. It all started when I injured my neck years ago. When I get stressed out it is the worst. Well, it doesn’t take much to stress me out nowadays. It’s always the back of my head and neck. I wish I could cut it out. Then maybe I could think and remember better. The last time I had a massage she said my neck and shoulders were the tightest she had seen in months! Nothing seems to help for any length of time. I’m so frustrated!”

This is a very common presentation of the migraine syndrome [http://www.migrainesyndrome.net]. Frequently their problems are compounded by overmedication—either by self-medicating or prescription drugs. Often there is a history of injury to the neck, for example, whiplash. Often they have been to the chiropractor and have been told there neck is so far out of alignment that the curve in the neck is reversed. The curve in the neck is straightened or reversed because of painful spasm. The trigeminal nerve (sensation of the face) and the cervical (neck) nerves are adjacent to each other in the brain stem (the base of the brain). What affects one affects the other. Migraineurs who smoke usually will develop neck problems. It is absolutely essential for the migraineur who smokes to abstain! Smoke is a smell. The sensitivity to the smell is the problem! Also secondhand smoke and perfumes are major problems. The patient can develop extreme sensitivity to stress and after years with frequently develop fibromyalgia.

Neck pain can be debilitating and frustrating. The migraine syndrome makes neck pain make sense. No matter what underlying conditions are there, the migraine syndrome can make it worse. This person falls into the migraine syndrome profile. Let me explain what I mean by the migraine syndrome. It is the outward expression of the body’s sensitivity to light, sound, smell, food, and/or stress. Some people are more sensitive than others; therefore, their reactions to different stimuli are greater. This sensitivity can be manifested in the body as migraines, sinus headaches, neck aches, palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, motion sickness or vertigo, reactive hypoglycemia, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), panic attacks, and/or fibromyalgia. Now that’s a mouthful! Understanding what is going on with you is very important in the healing process.

Gout Linked to Diabetes

Gout and diabetes have been together longer than peanut butter and jelly. These two sinister diseases have been wreaking havoc on the human population for many years, but why?

Before we discuss the connection between diabetes and gout, let’s review exactly what diabetes is. Diabetes is a disease where sufferers inject insulin to treat high levels of sugar in the body. A diabetes sufferer doesn’t make enough insulin by themselves so they need injections on a daily basis. Sometimes, patients need multiple injections per day to remain healthy.

While this may not sound like such a big deal, the major headache associated with diabetes come from the practically endless list of long-term problems that result from it.

The list of complications associated with diabetes reads like a laundry list of debilitating diseases: cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, severe eye damage, nerve damage, sexual dysfunction and possible gangrene, which can lead to amputation.

It’s here that gout shows its ugly face. The connection between gout and diabetes is linked to poor blood circulation in the limbs. The chances of coming down with gout increase when poor circulation in the feet result in a build-up of uric acid in the joints. Poor circulation is a hallmark of diabetes, so the two illnesses are closely associated.

So, what can be done?

While there is no cure for diabetes, there are some treatments available to help increase blood flow to parts of the body.

One of the most basic treatment methods is the application of a warm, wet cloth or towel to the infected area. The heat and moisture can help dilate blood vessels in the foot, therefore increasing blood flow.

If this rudimentary treatment doesn’t work, there are other options.

Exercise is a common way to help increase blood flow to the limbs. This may be difficult, however, for sufferers of gout, since standing or putting any pressure on a gout-ridden foot tends to be excruciating. So this works best as a preventative measure.

Drinking an extra glass or two of water per day has shown to help blood flow problems.

There are also many all-natural supplements that you can add to your diet to help put an end to gout outbreaks associated with diabetes.

Cayenne tincture has been a long-used cure all for anyone suffering from circulation problems. The herb has shown in studies to not only increase circulation, but also help in clearing the arteries and strengthening the muscles around the heart.

Ginkgo biloba is another herb that has many benefits for the body beyond simply improving circulation. While it does a fine job in that, ginkgo can also help improve memory, help with asthma symptoms and helps strengthen blood vessels.

If you’re looking to improve your circulation, keep gout away and scare off vampires, than garlic is the herb for you. Not only will it help your blood move easier, it is an excellent blood cleanser and helps with high blood pressure.

In conclusion, diabetes and gout are inexorably linked. While you may not be able to fully avoid gout if you suffer from diabetes, there are ways to help lessen your chances of coming down with this painful joint condition.

Heart Attacks in Women – Causes and Symptoms

For years the idea persisted that women were unlikely to experience a major coronary event due to the protection afforded by certain female hormones. While there is shred of truth is this long held view we now know that by age 65 women are just as likely as men to have a serious heart problem, and more likely to die from it. With the average age of a heart attack being 66 years of age one could quickly come to the conclusion that women and men are both equally at risk.

A heart attack occurs when near to total blockage of one of the coronary arteries occurs, this condition is known as myocardial infarction. In most cases this event comes to a crescendo when a blood clot forms in a part of the coronary artery which has already been narrowed by the accumulation of arterial plaque. This would explain why an unexpected heart attack can occur in women without any warning signs or symptoms.

Heart attack symptoms in women are generally severe with some describing the event as someone sitting on their chest. Generally, the pain and tightness starts in the chest, quickly spreading through the upper body into the neck, arm, shoulder, or jaw, and does not go away with rest. Symptoms in women more often than not consist of generalized pain rather than the more specific and localized variety seen in men.

For women who are over the age of 60, or those with diabetes a heart attack may occur with no pain. This phenomenon is known as a silent heart attack.

With or without pain symptoms in women will almost always include one or more of these heart related symptoms: sporadic or constant pressure or squeezing in the chest; pain emanating from the chest to the shoulders, neck, arm, and jaw; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing without chest pain; a fast or irregular heart beat (palpitations); an abnormally fast or weak pulse; a change in facial coloring (graying); extreme fatigue, anxiety, or weakness with no apparent cause; cold sweats; dizziness; and stomach upset.

Note: One of the of a serious coronary blockage in women listed above is jaw pain. This is a common heart attack symptom in women and often overlooked both by caregivers and doctors alike. If you are experiencing jaw pain and no reason can be found for your discomfort, you should seek immediate medical attention to determine whether or not you are having a heart attack.

If any of the signs above are noticed seek immediate medical attention. It is important to point out that when a severe heart attack occurs your cells are deprived of oxygen and will begin to die in 4 minutes or less.

HIV and Night Sweats

The human body undergoes many changes while it attempts to fight off HIV. As time progresses and more research is done on HIV/AIDS, treatments are becoming better and more affordable. One thing that is still an untreatable discomfort, though, are night sweats.

Sweating is totally normal. The average person sweats about 1 quart of water each day, which is why it’s so important to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Night sweats are common in those who live with HIV, and are profuse sweats that occur during the night. They have a sudden and rapid onset, leaving you covered in and surrounded by sweat when you wake up.

Though they can be triggered from the HIV infection itself, they also may be a symptom of another infection. If you are waking regularly from night sweats for the first time since being diagnosed with HIV, consult with your doctor to be sure you don’t have a bacterial or fungal infection.

Though there are no cures for night sweats, there are many ways to deal with them. Vitamin E, ginseng, Vitamin C, magnesium and dong quai have proven effective in aiding menopausal women. Of course, you should check with your doctor before beginning any sort of herbal regimen to ensure it will not interact with your HIV medications.

Keep a cold compress or ice water and towel by your bedside to help you cool down when you awake from your night sweat. Be sure to use light materials for your pajamas, sheets and blankets. If your sweats are regular, take a cold shower or bath before bed in hopes of bringing your body temperature down.

Certain foods are known to trigger the sweats. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and spicy foods before hitting the sheets to keep your sweats at bay.

Cancer, Epigenetics, and Nutrigenomics – How Food Affects Your Cancer Genes

One of the causes of cancer is abnormal genes. Cancer causing genes are called oncogenes and genes that prevent cancer are called tumor suppressor genes. Cancers can occur when the normal genes are not functioning normally. Genes, as you know, are the blueprints to the body. They tell a cell what it will be and what it will do. We could not function if the process did not run well. There is a system in place that is designed to keep good genes running and suppress bad genes. This process is called epigenetics.

Epigenetic changes are modifications to the genome that are heritable during cell division but do not involve a change in DNA sequence. Expression of genes is not regulated by the DNA sequence, which is the same in every cell, but by epigenetic marking and packaging. This process regulates chromatin structure through DNA methylation, histone variants, post-translational modifications, nucleosome positioning factors or chromatin loop and domain organization.

How can this cause cancer? Well, if a tumor suppressor gene is abnormally turned off, or an oncogene is turned on, then cancer (carcinogenesis) can occur. One key is a chemical change to the DNA called methylation. First, we need to define the process to make it clearer.

DNA contains four bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymidine, but there is a fifth base methylated cytosine. DNA methyl-transferase (DNMT) produces methyl-cytosine where cytosines precede guanine (CpG). The CpG areas are not symmetric but clustered in CpG islands located at promoter regions. The promoter region is the region at the beginning of a gene and it controls the start of gene transcription. If the promoter is off, then the gene never is expressed.

Abnormal methylation in cancer has been known for 20 years. Hypo-methylated areas turn on normally silent areas such as virally inserted genes or inactive X-linked genes. Hyper-methylated areas silence tumor suppresser genes.

We know that cancers have abnormal levels of methylation and we know foods can help prevent cancers. Is there a link between foods and epigenetics? Yes!

The study of food nutrients and their effect on disease through epigenetics is known as nutrigenomics. This is a growing field, in fact, it is exploding. A Google search for the term nutrigenomics produces 127,000 entries.

Epidemiologic studies suggest there are bad foods and good foods. BAD: red meat, processed meat, grilled meat, dairy, animal fat, partially hydrogenated fats. Good: Fish, fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains.

You can study the epigenetic effects of bad or good foods. I’m going to talk about some of the cancer preventing foods and how their mechanisms include epigenetic effects.

Foods with epigenetic effects include green tea, cruciferous vegetables, and grapes. Usually we hear about antioxidants and foods. Antioxidants are important but there are beneficial substances in foods called polyphenols which can affect genes. Of the polyphenols, different forms exist but flavonoids are the most highly cited for health benefits and are found in a variety of vegetables and fruits. Types of flavonoids include flavanols in tea, isothiocyanate in cruciferous vegetables, anthocyanidins in grapes and berries, flavonone in citrus fruits, flavonols in onions, isoflavones (genistein) in soy.

All tea contains polyphenols, but the highest levels are in green and white tea. Green tea has been well studied and appears to have anti-cancer benefits. In China, green tea drinkers are 50% less likely to develop gastric or esophageal cancer (Carcin 2002; 23 (9): 1497), and 2 cups daily added to topical tea extract reversed oral leukoplakia (J. Nutri Biochem 2001; 12 (7): 404).

Green tea has powerful antioxidant effects but it also helps to balance normal methylation in DNA. In fact, one study in esophageal cancer cells demonstrated that EGCG from green tea is able to turn on tumor suppressor genes that had been chemically silenced by methylation (Cancer Research 2003;63:7563).

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Bok choi and their anti-cancer effects have been demonstrated in epidemiologic studies. These powerful vegetables not only induce enzymes that break down carcinogens but they also inhibit DNA methylation allowing tumor suppressor genes to thrive. Inhibiting abnormal methylation also helps cruciferous vegetables to inhibit the cancer causing action of tobacco smoke by preventing the formation of nitrosamine-DNA adducts.

Grapes, which contain reserveratrol, are excellent for heart health and they have anti-cancer activity. Grapes work by preventing the formation or initiation and promotion of cancers. They don’t have methylating actions as discussed above but they work by modulation histones.

Histones are the chief protein component of the DNA chain (chromatin). They act as spools for the DNA to wind around which then shortens the length of the DNA to 30,000 times shorter than an unwrapped strand. This process not only allows the long DNA chain to fit into a cell but also plays a role in gene expression because how the genes are wound affects which are exposed and available for turning on or off. Rolling the spool a different way would expose other genes and change their expression.

Histones are modified after translation by acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination. The changes occur at lysine residues (except for phosphorylation of serine or threonine). When the histone is acetylated the charge is changed and the histone loosens its grip on the DNA strand and the DNA unwinds, exposing the genes to be transcribed, or repaired.

When histone tails (H3,H4) are acetylated, genes are transcribed, when they are deacetylated, genes are turned off. Histone deacetylases work to maintain deacetylated sites.

Resveratrol, found in grapes, activates Sirtuins; SirT1 (Sir2 proteins). There are at least 7 Sir2-like proteins and they are histone deacetylators. Sirtuins are induced in animals during starvation states. They seem to have a life preservation effect. Interestingly, when an animal is starved, it can live longer. When the calorie intake of rodents was decreased by 40% in rodents, they actually lived 50% longer and appear to have fewer chronic diseases. The same benefit occurs when rodents when they are given resveratrol in their diet.

Resveratrol deacetylates histones causing tighter packing of the chromatin and a lower level of transcription of DNA. This silencing of the DNA is thought to be the mechanism of life prolongation, heart health, and its beneficial actions to prevent cancers. This is why grapes or red wine is beneficial to your health. How much red wine should you drink? No one knows for sure, but any beneficial effects might be negated after two glasses a day because of the alcohol. I wouldn’t advise drinking more than this until more is known. The data is very promising, but more research is needed.

Our knowledge of disease expanded in the genomic era due to the human genome project but the study of genes is not enough. Epigenetics is a very important and complicated concept that helps explain how genes are turned on or off. As more studies are completed we will be able to unlock the mechanisms to diseases and produce new therapies that could turn off bad genes and turn on good genes. More importantly, these studies will demonstrate how foods affect your genes and can prevent or reverse diseases or cancers. Nutrigenomics, the study of how food chemicals (nutrients) affect genes, is a growing field and promises to change the way we look at and eat our meals. Some of the most beneficial foods include green tea, cruciferous vegetables and grapes, but don’t stop there. The more fruits and vegetables the better when it comes to your health.

How To Stop Pneumonia From Becoming Cancer

They say you can die from pneumonia, but what do they mean by that? Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics, but sometimes not all the bacteria is killed off by the antibiotics and the pneumonia can return.

Pneumonia also causes inflammation in the lungs. If the inflammation remains, your body will fight back by developing what is called pleural effusion. Pleural effusion occurs when inflammation causes fluid to accumulate between the lungs and the lung linings. If the pleural effusion is not treated and remains, it will eventually thicken and form nodules or plaques. This thickening is called “pleural thickening”.

What, Exactly, Is Pleural Thickening?

The lining of the lungs, called the pleura or pleural membranes, consists of thin membranes that cover the lungs and provide protection and support. Some diseases such as bacterial pneumonia can cause these membranes to thicken, often as a result of inflammation.

So pleural thickening is the thickening and hardening of the pleura or pleural fluids.

It can occur in 2 forms:

1. Diffuse pleural thickening extends over a large area and may restrict expansion of the lungs.

2. Pleural Plaques are localized areas of pleural thickening/calcification which do not usually interfere with breathing.

To diagnose the condition a doctor will use an imaging test such as an MRI or a CT scan, and may also take a fine needle biopsy of the lung tissue. Pleural thickening is considered to be a life threatening condition.

Some of the early symptoms of pleural thickening include difficulty breathing immediately after physical activity and a slight pain in the chest. In most cases, the initial symptoms of pleural thickening are difficult to detect even for the person experiencing them.

The more advanced symptoms of pleural thickening include extreme difficulty breathing even when at rest, chronic chest pain and a chronic cough.

These pleural symptoms can also occur in conjunction with a condition called hemothorax, which is caused by the presence of blood in the chest cavity.

Thickening of the pleural membranes is not a condition which is treatable. Because the thickening is a symptom of a disease, treatment is more focused on the underlying cause of the thickening.

Causes of Pleural Thickening:

Pleural thickening can occur as a result of any inflammation occurring in the lungs.

Diagnosis of Pleural Thickening:

The degree of thickening helps doctors determine whether the cause is benign or malignant (cancerous). The appearance of nodules, circumferential thickening (thickening with well defined borders) and thickening of more than 1 cm may be a sign of malignancy.

Prevention/Solution

In most cases, by the time symptoms of pleural thickening trigger a diagnosis the condition cannot be treated. Doctors will focus on relieving the symptoms of pleural thickening such as the chest pain and the inability to breathe. From time to time the lungs may fill with fluid and the doctor may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure caused by the fluid, but there is no medication or surgery that can control the spreading of the effects of pleural thickening once it has advanced to the point of creating noticeable symptoms. If pleural thickening is caught early enough it may be treated by surgery. Doctors will remove any infected lung tissue, and this may mean the removal of an entire lung.

If the nodules are diagnosed as malignant, the usual cancer treatments will be ordered by your doctor, like surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

But the way to avoid all this is to get rid of the pleural effusion before it begins to thicken and form the nodules in the first place.

There are things you can do to help your doctor and yourself. When you have been diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia:

– Always finish taking any prescribed medications. If you don’t finish taking your medications your pneumonia can come back and antibiotic-resistant bacteria can continue to grow.

– Keep all of your future appointments and xrays your doctor has ordered. You might feel better, but sometimes the round of antibiotics you took might not have gotten rid of all the bacteria. It’s important for your doctor to keep an eye on your health for some time to make sure your pneumonia does not come back.

– Turn down your humidifiers and put a cap of bleach in the water each time you fill them.

– Omega3 fatty acids, Flavonoids, Carotenoids, Cruciferous, Alfalfa and Aloe Vera, taken orally, will help to soothe the lining of the lung and help with inflammation and tissue repair/replacement.

– Vitamin E will help you breathe easier and will help dissolve scar tissue.

– Garlic capsules can help kill bacteria.

– Drink lots of water as it will help to flush toxins. Also, liquids keep you from becoming dehydrated and help loosen mucus in your lungs.

– Stay away from alcohol and smoke.

– Get plenty of sleep — don’t push it. Things can wait to be done until after you are completely healed.

Some herbal formulas relieve symptoms without interfering with the healing process. For example, white willow bark contains a different form of salicylic acid than aspirin, so that it blocks only the inflammation chain of the prostaglandins and not the healing chain.

Eat whole, natural foods and stay away from convenience foods and fast foods which conatin additives, toxins and chemicals. If there are foods that are out of season in your area then you should supplement your diet with vitamins. This will not only make you stronger, it will help your medications work better.

There was a link found between lung function and Vitamin D levels in a study done at University of Auckland in New Zealand (December 2005, “Chest”). The higher levels of Vitamin D that were present determined how much better the lungs were preforming. Harvard University did another study and found that improved survival rates were connected to higher levels of Vitamin D in cancer patients who had surgery.

Dr. Ray Sahelian who is an alternative medicine expert explains that oxidative inflammation and stress greatly influence lung damage. Supplements with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants can counteract this and using them benefits general lung health. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, curcumin, omega-3 fatty acids and resveratrol are examples of anti-inflammatories and strong antioxidants. Dr. Sahelian notes specific research from Japan on COPD patients who take omega-3 fatty acid supplements that shows improved breathing.

Warnings

Do not use antioxidant supplements if you take pharmaceutical drugs. Some antioxidant supplements can interfere with certain types of chemotherapy drugs because they remove chemicals and other toxins (drugs) from your blood, so if you are undergoing this treatment for lung cancer, do not take antioxidants. Quit taking them a week before starting treatment and then you can begin taking them again a week after your treatments are completed. Also, if you are undergoing chemotherapy you should stop taking any Vitamin B supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E can interact with blood-thinning medications and in themselves work like blood thinners so you should not take them before or during surgeries. Certain herbs such as St. John’s Wort, gingko, and ginseng can interfere with blood clotting and can cause potentially harmful changes in blood pressure and heart rate in people undergoing anesthesia. If you plan to take supplements along with your treatment, do your homework and research the effects these herbs and supplements have on different drugs, treatments or surgery.

Back Pain When Coughing

Coughing generally has the purpose of expelling mucus and other materials from the lungs and upper respiratory pathways, though sometimes it is a symptom of an allergic reaction and produces nothing. Whether your cough is related to a cold, flu, allergies or asthma, coughing can cause chest and back pain. There are two main types of coughing back pain.

Muscular Pain

When you cough, a number of muscles in your body contract. These are the normal respiratory and the accessory respiratory muscles. The muscles of the stomach and ribs are normal respiratory muscles. Accessory muscles are found in the back and chest.

You are most likely to suffer a muscle strain from coughing if your cough is prolonged or violent. The constant tensing of a muscle causes it to fatigue, at which point it is not receiving fresh blood flow or ridding waste properly. An overworked muscle can suffer small tears that normally heal within a couple of days, but only if allowed to rest. If you continue to cough, the tears may accumulate and the strain becomes a prolonged situation.

Muscular pain from a cough tends to be sharp. It can be felt especially when coughing, but the muscle will also be tender and sore when you aren’t coughing. In order to repair the muscle, you need to get a handle on your cough. This may require prescription medications, over-the-counter medications or home remedies like apple cider vinegar and honey or steam-bathing your head over a pot of hot water infused with eucalyptus oil.

Ice is the best way to manage painful inflammation in and around the injured muscle. With your cough under control and frequent icing for 15 minutes at a time during the first two days of injury, your muscle strain should heal. If the strain has become exacerbated by an inability to stop coughing, talk to a doctor about your options.

Nerve and Disc Pain

When you cough, the pressure in your chest and abdomen increases. This is caused by the relaxation of the diaphragm combined with the tightening of your rib and stomach muscles when you cough. As pressure increases inside the body, it pushes outward on surrounding structures, including the spine.

If you have a bulging or herniated disc in your lower or upper back, coughing will likely be especially painful. A disc is comprised of a fluid center and a tough exterior ring. If the ring weakens, the fluid is pushed to the weaker side and a bulge forms. If the ring breaks and the fluid leaks out, the disc has herniated. Both of these situations can cause nerve impingement; spinal nerves run through a column in the spine positioned behind the discs. When a disc bulge or herniated fluid irritates a spinal nerve, sharp localized pain is felt as well as pain, numbness and/or tingling along the affected nerve’s pathway.

The increase in pressure experienced during a cough affects the lower and upper back. If a bulging or herniated disc is present, the push it experiences from the stomach or chest will cause more fluid to be pushed into the bulge or out of the herniation, leading to the symptoms above. In rare cases, a chronic cough could cause disc damage due to the near-constant pressure on the spine, but it is more likely that the disc problem existed already and coughing has merely exacerbated it.

Disc problems are best treated with decompression treatments, chiropractic care or exercise therapy depending on the cause.

Coughing can strain muscles and place excess pressure on injured discs. Getting your cough under control is the first step to relieving these types of back pain.

Warm And Cold Winter Vacation Spots

If you are looking to take a vacation in January or February there are some places you should definitely look into for an unforgettable vacation.

If you want to go to somewhere warm the following are good choices…

1. Hawaii. During the winter months Hawaii is still usually around low to mid 80 degrees. The beaches and water in Hawaii are absolutely beautiful. Plus, there are so many fun activities to do such as scuba diving, helicopter tours, surfing, hiking, snorkeling and more. You can also get to see volcanoes.

2. Aruba. It tends to be in the 80’s all year round in Aruba. There are a lot more secluded beach spots in Aruba than in many other tropical beach spots. The greatest part about going to Aruba during January and February is that is when their carnival season begins.

3. Florida Keys. If you live in the United States and don’t want to go too far from home, then try Florida. The weather is usually between the 70s and 80s. There are also many fun activities like snorkeling, water skiing, golf, and more.

If you want to go somewhere cold during the winter months there are some really fun and interesting places to go. Maybe reading about the cold winter vacations places will make you forget all about going to a warm place.

1. Sweden. In Jukkasjarvi, Sweden every year the famous Ice Hotel is created. That’s right you can plan a vacation where you get to stay in a room and a bed made from ice. The Ice Hotel is beautiful and amazing and staying there is probably not something most of your friends can say they’ve done.

2. Alaska. Once again this is a great vacation that involves staying right in the U.S. In Alaska you can even go dog sledding. Plus, if you go in the winter you can view the Northern Lights, a beautiful and almost magical sight.

3. Colorado. Aspen, Colorado is famous for its ski resorts and slopes. If you want to go skiing without leaving the country go to Colorado. It has beautiful scenery and the state offers a lot more than just skiing.

Bronchitis Treatment – List Of Excellent Drugs

Modern society suffers mostly from various kinds of respiratory disorders, some contagious and some noncontagious. The markets are flooded with a variety of drugs to treat bronchitis and other disorders. All of us need to have adequate knowledge about how to maintain good health. We need to know the best drugs to treat bronchitis, in case we are stricken with it.

Bronchitis, a respiratory disorder that can affect anybody at anytime, is one among the most widespread ailments. However, people residing in polluted areas, cigarette smokers, infants, young children, old people, and people already suffering from lung disorders are more susceptible to bronchitis.

Treatment of Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is the milder of the two types of bronchitis. There is no need to take any drugs to treat bronchitis of this type, which is a short-term disorder. Acute bronchitis lasts only for a couple of weeks or lesser if treated with care. The duration of the illness also depends on the type of microbe causing it.

However, some patients take expectorants to facilitate easier breathing. Anti-inflammatory drugs will help you obtain relief from the various symptoms of bronchitis. In certain cases, bronchitis can lead to very painful sinusitis. Decongestants will help you alleviate this symptom. You might also require pain killers to ease the muscle pain that always comes with bronchitis.

There is no need to take any drugs to treat bronchitis that is caused by viruses. You simply need a lot of rest, water and fruit juices in abundance, and a humidifier. In addition, you have to avoid dust and polluted environments. The only drugs required in this conditions are those that alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis–anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, expectorants, and nasal decongestants.

You have to take antibiotics or antibacterial drugs to treat bronchitis that is caused by bacteria; the drugs destroy the bacteria that are infecting your bronchi. In rare cases, the bronchitis might be caused by a fungus, and you will have to take antifungal drugs in addition to the other medicines that tackle the symptoms of bronchitis.

Along with the medication and the rest of the treatment plan, it is essential that you stop smoking. The earlier you quit smoking, the sooner you can undo the damage done to your lungs.

Treatment of Chronic Bronchitis

On the other hand, chronic bronchitis, a long-term disorder, requires long-term care. If you are suffering from chronic bronchitis, you need to take a variety of drugs to obtain relief from the symptoms of the disorders along with drugs that might help cure the condition.

Some of the medicines typically taken by patients suffering from chronic bronchitis are bronchodilators to dilate the bronchi and to enable easier breathing, antibiotics to destroy any bacteria that might be infecting your respiratory tract, and steroids. In certain cases, people suffering from chronic bronchitis require supplemental oxygen to help them deal with the low levels of oxygen in their body.

Chances for complete recovery from chronic bronchitis are slim. You need to identify the disease in its earliest stages and arrest its further progress immediately. You can do so by making major lifestyle changes such as moving to a cleaner area, quitting smoking, and giving up alcohol altogether.

Before taking any sort of drug to treat bronchitis, consult your doctor. Your doctor will determine, on the basis of your medical history, whether or not a particular drug will be beneficial for you. Doctors are the most qualified to determine the best combination of drugs to treat bronchitis. They also give you the correct instruction about the usage of these drugs.

An Unstable Knee Joint – Does it Feel Like it Ruins Everything!? – Improve Stability With a Support

What Is An Unstable Knee Joint?

An unstable knee joint can be the result of an injury or an underlying medical condition that causes the knee joint to give out on occasion (or all the time!). Many people refer to this condition as a trick knee. This can be caused by an injured or torn knee ligament, such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. The condition can be treated either by wearing a knee brace or surgery.

Symptoms of an Unstable Knee Joint:

1.) Knee giving out from under you when walking or standing
2.) Pain or stiffness in the knee
3.) Cracking sound in the knee

These symptoms of the unstable knee joint can also be symptoms of other problems such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, although the knee giving out usually is indicative of an unstable knee joint due to an injured ligament.

How do you get an Unstable Knee Joint?

Trauma, or a sudden turn or twist to the knee can cause a ligament to give out on you. More often than not, a sports injury will “do the trick”, but average everyday people can also suffer these injuries in a multitude of ways.

What are the Treatment Options?

Treatment options include total rebuilding of the knee ligament or conservative treatment such as using painkillers when needed, as well as using a knee brace.

Debating the Pros and Cons of the Treatment Options

A.) Knee Surgery: Knee surgery to repair the ligament can be done, although this is an expensive operation and is not 100 percent successful. As is the case with any type of surgery, there is an element of risk, especially since the person must undergo a general anesthetic. The surgery is usually followed by rehabilitation and pain killers. Some people who undergo knee surgery develop an addiction to pain killers that are given after the surgery. (Speak with your physician about medications that you may, or will be taking.)

The positive aspect of the knee surgery is that if successful, the knee will be as good or almost as good as new. A person can resume all of their activities once the knee has completely healed. However, there is an indication that many people who have a problem with a torn ligament are more likely to undergo the same problem again.

B.) Conservative Treatment: Conservative treatment for an unstable knee joint includes wearing a knee brace that will keep the joint stable as well as taking medication for swelling. Rest can also be incorporated into the treatment. Some homeopathic doctors recommend an anti-inflammatory diet, supplements and massage for the condition. For the most part, a knee brace will work well to stabilize the joint and help reduce your pain problems This is not costly and non-invasive. With conservative treatment the risks are usually lower.

The majority of people who have an unstable knee joint opt for conservative treatment whenever possible. The pain that is present can be almost always be managed and when wearing a knee brace an unstable knee joint does not adversely impact their daily life. Nevertheless, you must always exercise caution and wear the brace properly.

If you want to take your knee stability to the next level then it is time you considered using a brace for support. They do not have to be super expensive, or awkward either. Check one out today.

Shoulder Injury and Shoulder Stiffness

The shoulder consists of the head of your upper arm bone (the humerus), your shoulder blade (the scapula), and your collarbone (the clavicle). The humerus fits into a round socket called the glenoid. The rotator cuff is a combination of tendons and muscles that keep your humerus in alignment.

The shoulder’s unique mobility leads to problems of impingement of the bony structures or the soft tissues as well as instability. With some shoulder injuries, you may only feel pain with movement of the joint. Others, however, result in pain at rest.

What are the types of shoulder injuries?

Most shoulder injuries fall into one of the four major categories: 1. tendon inflammation or tear; 2. instability; 3. arthritis; and 4. fracture.

Rotator Cuff Tears – The rotator cuff is one of the most significant structures of the shoulder. This component allows you to lift your arm and reach overhead. When your rotator cuff is injured, you will have loss of function of the shoulder.

Bursitis – A bursae is a small, fluid-filled sac that is located in the shoulder joint and other joints of the body. When the bursae is inflamed and swollen, there is loss of cushion between the bones and the overlying soft tissues that reduce the friction of the gliding motion. This condition is called bursitis, and it can cause the shoulder to have pain and loss of function.

Tendinitis – A tendon is a cordlike structure that connects muscle to bone. Tendinitis of the shoulder is the result of wearing down of the tendon from overuse. The acute form of tendinitis results from excessive throwing or other overhead activities during sporting activities or work. Chronic tendinitis is due to age, and there is degeneration of the tendon with this condition.

Tendon Tears – The tendon can split and tear from an acute injury or degenerative changes related to the aging process, long-term overuse and wear and tear, or from sudden trauma. Tendon tears can be partial or complete.

Impingement – Shoulder impingement is the result of the top of the shoulder blade putting pressure on the underlying soft tissues during arm lifting. The blade rubs on the bursa and rotator cuff causing limited movement and pain. If left untreated, severe impingement can result in rotator cuff tearing.

Instability – The shoulder is considered unstable when the head of the humerus is forced out of the socket. Instability occurs from sudden trauma or due to overuse of the joint. Dislocations can be partial (called subluxation), where the ball of the upper arm just partially comes out of socket. A complete dislocation is where the ball comes all of the way out of position. If the surrounding support structures are torn or loose, dislocations can occur repeatedly. Shoulder instability leads to increased risk of arthritis.

Arthritis – When there is wear and tear on a joint with inflammation, the joint is considered to have arthritis. Shoulder joint arthritis causes stiffness, decreased range of motion, crepitus, and pain. This type of injury is more common among older people.

Fracture – A fracture is a broken bone. Shoulder trauma can result in a fracture of the humerus, the clavicle, or the scapula, and this causes severe pain, bruising, and swelling of the shoulder.

What can I expect at the doctor’s examination?

If you have a shoulder injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation in order to determine the cause of your shoulder pain and offer prompt treatment. During the physical examination, the doctor will inspect your shoulder for physical abnormalities, deformity, muscle weakness, tender areas, and swelling.

It is also necessary to assess your joint range of motion and strength. To properly evaluate your injury, The orthopedic specialist will take X-rays and possibly order a MRI, CT scan, and/or ultrasound. An arthroscopy is a surgical procedure where the doctor will look inside the joint with a tiny camera to evaluate the extent of the injury. This may be necessary for repair and diagnosis of certain shoulder injuries that are complex.

What is the treatment for shoulder injury?

The treatment of your shoulder injury depends on the type of injury. Some of the various options include:

Activity Changes – Treatment typically involves alteration of your activities and rest so your shoulder can regain strength and flexibility.

Physical Therapy – Certain types of shoulder injuries require physical therapy. This treatment involves exercises and range of motion techniques that help you regain strength and motion of the shoulder joint.

Medications – Often, the doctor will prescribe certain medications to reduce inflammation and pain. Also, specific shoulder injuries require injections of anesthetics or steroids.

Surgery – While some shoulder injuries respond to conventional treatment modalities, others require surgical correction and intervention. Rotator cuff tears and recurring dislocations often require surgery. Arthroscopic procedures are also performed to remove scar tissue and repair torn tissues for some shoulder injuries.

Plastic Surgery Repair of Cheek Bone Fractures

Cheek bone (zygomatic) fractures are one of the most common facial fractures, Over the years, I have seen many cheek bone (malar) fractures and they are commonly the result of personal assaults (being punched in the face) and sports injuries. The cheek bone sits on a very prominent part of the face and, as a result, is easily struck. It acts as a protector for the eye which is situated above and behind it.

The bulk of the cheek bone is what we see but it sticks out as such because it is attached by four ‘legs’ to the deeper parts of the face. When the cheek bone breaks, it moves because these attachments fracture, allowing it to collapse inward and downward. As it falls back and in, it goes directly into the underlying maxillary sinus which is just an open air space. Because part of the cheek bone makes up a portion of the floor of the eye, a fractured cheek bone results in loss of the cheek prominence and an eye which make look like it is fallen lower.

Repair of these fractures involves putting it back in place and securing one or more of these legs with plates and screws. Fixing the fracture can be done by an incision inside the mouth, through the lower eyelid, or both depending upon the degree of bone displacement. Plate and screw fixation composed of the metal titanium and being very small in size works quite well for repairing these facial bone injuries. I have done many with this metallic method and it is the standard of care today.

Over the past ten years, I have also repaired cheek bone fractures with a resorbable plate and screw system composed of the polymer, LactoSorb. These resorbable plates and screws have been used in over 100,000 craniofacial cases since 1996 and has a proven track record of safety and effectiveness. In properly selected cheek bone fractures, LactoSorb plates and screws can provide good stable results. Plates of 2.0mm size are placed vertically along the posterior maxillary buttress (if possible) and obliquely from the zygoma to the pyriform aperture. (which is always possible). Plates smaller than 2.0mm are not of adequate strength. The cheek fractures that work best with this resorbale fixation method are what I call simple fractures, where an intraoral approach with only one or two plates is all that is needed to adequately restore their pre-injury anatomic position.

Repositioning the cheek bone back in place will almost always leave a bone gap between it and the front wall of the maxillary sinus. If this bone gap is unduly large, one might want to consider a bone graft for long-term stability.

My experience with repairing cheek fractures with LactoSorb fixation has always been satisfactory. I have not experienced any infections, collapse of the cheek bone, or adverse reactions to the material as the bone heals up and the material absorbs up to a year after surgical repair.

Shoulder Injury and Shoulder Stiffness

The shoulder consists of the head of your upper arm bone (the humerus), your shoulder blade (the scapula), and your collarbone (the clavicle). The humerus fits into a round socket called the glenoid. The rotator cuff is a combination of tendons and muscles that keep your humerus in alignment.

The shoulder’s unique mobility leads to problems of impingement of the bony structures or the soft tissues as well as instability. With some shoulder injuries, you may only feel pain with movement of the joint. Others, however, result in pain at rest.

What are the types of shoulder injuries?

Most shoulder injuries fall into one of the four major categories: 1. tendon inflammation or tear; 2. instability; 3. arthritis; and 4. fracture.

Rotator Cuff Tears – The rotator cuff is one of the most significant structures of the shoulder. This component allows you to lift your arm and reach overhead. When your rotator cuff is injured, you will have loss of function of the shoulder.

Bursitis – A bursae is a small, fluid-filled sac that is located in the shoulder joint and other joints of the body. When the bursae is inflamed and swollen, there is loss of cushion between the bones and the overlying soft tissues that reduce the friction of the gliding motion. This condition is called bursitis, and it can cause the shoulder to have pain and loss of function.

Tendinitis – A tendon is a cordlike structure that connects muscle to bone. Tendinitis of the shoulder is the result of wearing down of the tendon from overuse. The acute form of tendinitis results from excessive throwing or other overhead activities during sporting activities or work. Chronic tendinitis is due to age, and there is degeneration of the tendon with this condition.

Tendon Tears – The tendon can split and tear from an acute injury or degenerative changes related to the aging process, long-term overuse and wear and tear, or from sudden trauma. Tendon tears can be partial or complete.

Impingement – Shoulder impingement is the result of the top of the shoulder blade putting pressure on the underlying soft tissues during arm lifting. The blade rubs on the bursa and rotator cuff causing limited movement and pain. If left untreated, severe impingement can result in rotator cuff tearing.

Instability – The shoulder is considered unstable when the head of the humerus is forced out of the socket. Instability occurs from sudden trauma or due to overuse of the joint. Dislocations can be partial (called subluxation), where the ball of the upper arm just partially comes out of socket. A complete dislocation is where the ball comes all of the way out of position. If the surrounding support structures are torn or loose, dislocations can occur repeatedly. Shoulder instability leads to increased risk of arthritis.

Arthritis – When there is wear and tear on a joint with inflammation, the joint is considered to have arthritis. Shoulder joint arthritis causes stiffness, decreased range of motion, crepitus, and pain. This type of injury is more common among older people.

Fracture – A fracture is a broken bone. Shoulder trauma can result in a fracture of the humerus, the clavicle, or the scapula, and this causes severe pain, bruising, and swelling of the shoulder.

What can I expect at the doctor’s examination?

If you have a shoulder injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation in order to determine the cause of your shoulder pain and offer prompt treatment. During the physical examination, the doctor will inspect your shoulder for physical abnormalities, deformity, muscle weakness, tender areas, and swelling.

It is also necessary to assess your joint range of motion and strength. To properly evaluate your injury, The orthopedic specialist will take X-rays and possibly order a MRI, CT scan, and/or ultrasound. An arthroscopy is a surgical procedure where the doctor will look inside the joint with a tiny camera to evaluate the extent of the injury. This may be necessary for repair and diagnosis of certain shoulder injuries that are complex.

What is the treatment for shoulder injury?

The treatment of your shoulder injury depends on the type of injury. Some of the various options include:

Activity Changes – Treatment typically involves alteration of your activities and rest so your shoulder can regain strength and flexibility.

Physical Therapy – Certain types of shoulder injuries require physical therapy. This treatment involves exercises and range of motion techniques that help you regain strength and motion of the shoulder joint.

Medications – Often, the doctor will prescribe certain medications to reduce inflammation and pain. Also, specific shoulder injuries require injections of anesthetics or steroids.

Surgery – While some shoulder injuries respond to conventional treatment modalities, others require surgical correction and intervention. Rotator cuff tears and recurring dislocations often require surgery. Arthroscopic procedures are also performed to remove scar tissue and repair torn tissues for some shoulder injuries.

The Impact of Partial Paralysis

It is generally understood that injuries and accidents are difficult to experience. However, too often these quick accidents can result in very serious injuries, potentially causing permanent damage and forever impacting the well being and happiness of an innocent individual. This is certainly the case with accidents leading to partial paralysis, or paraplegia. By knowing what the impact of paraplegia can entail you are better able to take steps for the protection of your personal well being and that of your loved ones.

Paraplegia Accidents

Paraplegia is an impairment of the lower extremities in an individual. It impacts motor and sensory abilities, meaning those affected will not only lose the ability to use their lower extremities, but they will also not be able to feel them. This is typically caused by a spinal cord injury, which can easily occur when others are acting negligently or recklessly.

The Effect of Paraplegia

Those who fall victim to partial paralysis accidents are likely to experience a variety of emotions, hardships, obstacles, and restrictions. These can include the following:

  • Inability to continue working in the profession practiced before the accident
  • Initial inability to receive income
  • Long term physical disability
  • Need for expensive long term medical treatment
  • Costly recovery efforts, such as physical therapy and psychotherapy
  • Intense emotional and mental suffering
  • Severe physical pain

When an innocent individual falls victim to partial paralysis at the hands of another it is imperative those responsible for the accident are held accountable for their actions. This can be done through the assistance of an experienced legal professional.

For More Information

Smoking and Its Negative Effect on Spine Fusions

Smoking and your Surgery

If you are a nonsmoker or have stopped smoking longer than 2 months prior to spinal fusion surgery, your chances for a successful outcome are improved, according to researchers. In cervical (neck), thoracic (midback), or lumbar (low back) spinal fusion surgery, the results were significantly better for people who never smoked and for those who stopped smoking compared to those who continued to use nicotine products.

Smoking and Spinal Fusion Surgery

Patients who have failed conservative treatment to address their spine related pain may be faced with the prospect of surgical intervention. Treatment may include fusing or mending two or more vertebra together to help reduce instability and pain. The process of mending two bones together and creating a fusion is often difficult under ideal circumstances and its success will hinge on issues such as blood flow, adequate oxygenation of the blood, the patient overall physical condition, and many other medical conditions that adversely affect the bones of the body to heal properly.

A solid fusion or union of the bones of the spine together will indicate a radiographic success and when properly applied with good indications can reduce pain and disability, thus improving the patient’s ability to return to their activities of daily living.

Creating this solid fusion in diabetics, smokers, as well as a host of metabolic conditions is difficult. The reason why smoking has such a significant negative affect on the healing of all tissues especially bone is multi-factorial.

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of tobacco that competes with oxygen at the level of the red blood cells. Our normal red blood cells are looking to pick up oxygen in the lungs as it passes through. In a patient who are smoking, these cells will pickup and distribute throughout the body an increased concentration of carbon monoxide instead of normal concentrations of life giving oxygen.

Nicotine which is also a byproduct of tobacco will be liberated into the blood stream and acts as a constrictor of the blood vessels. There is therefore a reduced amount of blood due to the smaller vasculature, being circulated to the areas that need to heal.

There has been many studies that have exposed the negative affect of smoking on human health. Drawn from these studies are startling statistics that paint a very negative picture when it comes to spinal fusions in smokers. Success rates for non-smokers undergoing lumbar fusion surgery was 80 to 85 percent. For those who chose to continue to smoke, they can expect a reduced success rate that is often less than 73 percent. The success of surgery will impact directly the person’s ability to return to work and normal activities of daily living. We have seen similar differences in success rates for those undergoing neck (cervical) fusions. Nonsmokers can expect a 81 percent chance of success and smokers will see at best a 62 percent chance of success.

Impact of Smoking on Health

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death. More than 440,000 people per year die in the United States from tobacco-related diseases. Smokers can expect to live 7 to 10 years less than those who have not smoked. Smoking is linked to heart and respiratory diseases and to several cancers. In addition, smoking has a significant impact on your bones and joints, and can help to accelerate the age related changes we often see in all joints including the discs of the spine.

Facts:

•Smoking and nicotine increases your risk of osteoporosis with reduced bone density, by reducing the blood supply lines to bone.

•Smoking increases the risk of a hip fracture in the elderly population.

•Smokers were 1.5 times more likely to suffer overuse injuries than nonsmokers.

•Smoking has a negative effect on bone and wound healing.

•Fractures take longer to heal in smokers secondary to nicotine on bone-forming cells.

•Smokers have a higher rate of complications and poorer outcomes after surgery than nonsmokers.

•Smoking reduces athletic performance.

•Smoking slows lung growth and impairs lung function; there is less oxygen available for muscles used in sports.

•Smokers suffer from shortness of breath almost three times more often than nonsmokers, and smokers cannot run or walk as fast or as far as nonsmokers.

•Smoking increases your risk of suffering with chronic low back pain.

Quitting smoking now will improve many of your odds in the future related to long term survival, musculoskeletal health, and surgical success if you find yourself without another choice. For more information, please visit the American Lung Association web site or consult your Primary Care Physician for more information and help kicking the habit.