Knee Fractures and Dislocations – How a Patella Knee Brace Can Help

The Knee Joint

The knee is the largest joint in the human body, and it’s used on a daily basis. Most of us take our knees for granted, and it’s not until something goes wrong with them that we take a moment, pause and realize just how much we actually need our knees.

1.) Knee Fractures

Knee fractures are rare. It is far more common to suffer a sprained or dislocated knee than it is to break it. In most cases, a knee fracture is caused by falling, extreme pressure being applied to the knee or a severe twisting of the knee.

Your knee is made up of three major bones: the knee cap or patella, lower thigh bone or distal femur and the leg bone (tibia). If you suffer a fracture, it is to one of these bones and it can be extremely painful. It generally takes a lot of force to break your knee. Usually, a knee fracture is caused by a sporting injury, a fall or extreme force, such as a car accident that causes your knee to be smashed against the dashboard.

2.) Symptoms

Symptoms of a dislocated knee or fractured knee are similar, and painful. Once you have dislocated your knee once, it is easier to dislocate it a second time, especially if the same forces that dislocated your knee the first time are reproduced a second time.

Symptoms include:

Pain

Swelling

Bruising

Unstable knee joint that makes it either impossible or difficult to walk

Unable to bend your knee

Kneecap is pushed to the side of the leg

If you suffer a fractured or dislocated knee, you will have to have the bone set or the knee placed back in the socket. Elevating the injured knee and applying cold packs are a good way to reduce swelling. You may also have to have your leg and knee splinted in order to immobilize it. Like many things, rest is imperative to the healing process.

3.) Knee Brace For Support

You could also consider using a knee brace to help add support to the knee. This is especially true if you have dislocated your knee. As mentioned above, your knee is more likely to get dislocated a second time, and the use of a brace can help prevent this from happening.

Protect your knee from injury by using a knee brace when engaging in sporting activities is a great way to prevent injury in the future. Do not take your knees for granted. Protect them whenever you can.

Penile Fractures, Curvature, Weak Erections and More – The 5 Penis Problems You Should Never Ignore!

They say that a dog is man’s best friend…but as every bloke knows, that’s not strictly true…it’s their penis. The focus of much attention throughout life and undoubtedly a source of endless pleasure, he’s your intimate little buddy who’ll stick with you through thick and thin.

But your penis can also be the source of great concern and anxiety – from how he looks to how he functions. Below you’ll find five common symptoms that can afflict the little guy deciphered and explained; which should help you to better understand his complex character. From erections that won’t subside to injuries that can leave him permanently paralysed, as well as the answer to that age-old question as to whether he truly measures up, the following ‘symptom checker’ should help to keep your relationship with your penis on track.

Symptom: You’ve developed a significant bend in your erect penis…

Cause: Penises come in all shapes and sizes; and it’s quite normal to have some degree of curvature to the left, right, up or down from birth. However, if the little fella develops a prominent bend during adulthood, you may well be suffering from a condition known as Peyronie’s disease.

Peyronie’s is characterised by a build up of scar tissue on the sheet of tissue (called the tunica albuginea) which encapsulates the erectile chambers. Because this scar tissue (known as a plaque) is unable to stretch with the rest of the tunica albuginea during an erection, the penis bends at the point of the plaque build up.

The degree of curvature can be so severe that it prevents intercourse; and is often (but not always) accompanied by painful erections, as well as a narrowing of the penile shaft at the point of the problem.

The cause of Peyronie’s disease is subject to fierce debate. A percentage of cases are believed to be the result of minor penile trauma (which may be so slight as to have gone unnoticed at the time). However, incidences do rise in men in their 50’s and 60’s, are sometimes accompanied by other connective tissue disorders and may even have a genetic link.

Treatment: Due to the fact that the cause of many cases of Peyronie’s remains a mystery, medical treatment options are often hit and miss. Doctors often recommend oral vitamin E supplementation as a first line treatment option because of the vitamin’s ability to reduce the formation of scar tissue throughout the body. In more severe cases medications that help to breakdown collagen (a protein which is believed to play a key role in the development of Peyronie’s) are injected directly into the affected tissues – but again with varying levels of success. Corrective surgery to reduce the severity of penile curvature is usually considered a last resort, as the various surgical procedures available either tend to cause a degree of penile shortening or have a relatively high risk of causing further erectile impairment. A recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that penile traction might offer a viable non-surgical alternative for men who’ve failed to respond to other forms of treatment.

Symptom: Whilst having sex you hear a nauseating cracking sound, followed by extreme pain, your erection deflates quicker than a blown out tyre and your little fella promptly turns black and blue…

Cause: This nightmare scenario is caused by sudden trauma to the penis which results in a ‘penile fracture’. Whilst your penis contains the same number of bones as the average mollusc (none), the cracking sound is a result of the tunica albuginea (the sheath of tissue covering the erectile chambers mentioned above) splitting or tearing under extreme force.

Violently bending a fully erect penis is the common culprit – an easy mistake to make during the throws of passion (particularly if she’s on top). But if the worst does happen and you consider your other half to be culpable, don’t expect any monetary compensation – a man who tried to sue his (not surprisingly ex) girlfriend for that very thing had his lawsuit for reckless endangerment dismissed.

Treatment: Prompt surgical intervention to repair the damaged tunica is usually a necessity. Left untreated experts warn that there’s a 10 – 50 percent chance that you’ll sustain irreparable damage that could result in permanent distortion to the penile shaft, pain during sex and worst of all, permanent loss of erectile function.

In all honesty though, you’re not likely to need much encouragement to rush yourself to A & E if you’re ever unlucky enough to experience the mind numbing agony, swelling and bruising that usually accompanies a penile fracture.

Symptom: Mr Happy has outstayed his welcome…

Cause: Although a perpetual hard-on might sound like fun (behind closed curtains at least), take heed, because an erection that lasts more than four hours requires urgent medical attention to prevent permanent penile damage.

Medically referred to as Priapism, involuntary erections that refuse to subside can be caused by a host of factors. In healthy men, illicit drugs including cocaine and marijuana and the abuse of anti-impotence medications for recreational purposes are common culprits. The condition is also a known side effect of various blood disorders including sickle cell anaemia and leukaemia; and can even be a symptom of Malaria…which is something you never see in those old WWII movies. But if it happens to you, don’t assume it’s the side effect of something more sinister…an unrelenting boner can occur for no explicable reason in healthy blokes too.

But do swallow your pride, get a hat to hide the offending anatomical protrusion and leg it down to the emergency room as quickly as you can.

Treatment: Unfortunately, treatment options for Priapism all involve sharp metal objects coming into hazardous proximity to your little buddy. But these are a necessity to restore normal blood flow in order to prevent permanent nerve and tissue damage.

First line options involve injections of a type of drugs known as alpha-agonists straight into the penile shaft. These help the cavernous artery that feeds the penis with blood to contract, which in turn relaxes the blood vessels that allow blood to escape. Alternatively, (this is where you might want to cross your legs) a technique called Corporal irrigation involves the insertion of a needle into the little soldier’s helmet, through which saline solution is pumped in to flush out the trapped blood. If all else fails, a small device known as a ‘shunt’ which is used to redirect blood flow is surgically implanted into the penis.

Of course, all the above is done under either local or general anaesthetic…though naturally you may want to look the other way.

Symptom: Your erections seem to have lost their zest for life…

Cause: Lacklustre erections can be a symptom of a multitude of underlying problems, both emotional and physical.

Anything that affects your mental well-being, from everyday stress to clinically diagnosed depression can leave your penis a little deflated. To compound matters, many of the drugs prescribed to treat such disorders list male sexual dysfunction as one of their most common side effects. What’s more, self medicating with recreational and illicit drugs from alcohol, through to marijuana and cocaine can all have a similar negative effect on your erection quality.

As far as physical causes are concerned, hormonal imbalances and restricted circulation to the penis are the two most likely culprits – but both can again be caused by a host of underlying physical causes.

Hormone imbalances such as lowered testosterone can result from many things including lack of sleep, being overweight, age related decline or even damage to the pituitary gland caused by a minor knock to the head (the one above your neck).

Because of its relatively small size, the cavernous artery which supplies the penis with blood is also often the first victim of Atherosclerosis – the process whereby arteries become gradually clogged with fatty deposits. Weakened erections, particularly in men over 40, can therefore be the first sign of cardiovascular disease, which obviously warrants further investigation by your doctor.

Treatment: Again treatment depends on the underlying root problem. The first step your doctor is likely to take is to give you a full physical to check your cardiovascular health and screen for hormonal imbalances. If you’re on one of the many anti-depressant or high blood pressure medications that list weak erections as a side effect, these can be substituted or doses changed for something more erection friendly. Many psychotherapists claim that counselling can be effective where there’s an underlying psychological cause – particularly for those suffering from ‘performance anxiety’. But before you go down the psychotherapy root, it’s of course important to rule out physical causes – there’s little benefit in feeling great from psychotherapy if you’re about to die from a heart attack.

The most proactive thing you can do as an individual to improve the quality of your erections is to improve the quality of your lifestyle. The improvements to both your emotional and cardiovascular health from regular exercise can have a massive erection boosting effect. Similarly, if you smoke…stop. A recent study into the relationship between ED and cigarettes suggests that up to 1 in 5 cases can be linked directly to the habit. Limiting the amount of saturated fats in your diet is another no brainer for keeping the arteries to the penis clear of fatty deposits, whilst vitamin C supplementation helps to maintain the integrity of arterial walls. Linus Pauling, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, was a firm believer in the powers of vitamin C to keep the arteries free from disease – suggesting that 500-1000mg taken twice a day could have strong protective effects.

Always remember…anything that’s good for the arteries is also good for the penis too.

Symptom: Your little man is…erm…too little…

Cause: Unless your erect penis length measures less than 7cm (2.75 inches) you won’t be classified in the medical sense at least, as having an abnormally small penis. The 0.6 percent of men who do fall into this category are termed to suffer from a condition called ‘micropenis’ which is believed to be caused by a hormonal imbalance in the womb during the later stages of foetal development.

According to experts, those who fall within the ‘average’ size range but who nevertheless experience extreme anxiety or low self-esteem regarding their penile size could well be suffering from a recognised psychological disorder called penile dysmorphophobia (also known by the slightly less verbose name of ‘small penis syndrome’). As with other body dysmorphic disorders, the preoccupation of the perceived physical abnormality can be so severe that it impinges on every aspect of life. Penile dysmorphophobia is considered a chronic condition that often doesn’t improve without psychotherapy.

But what is average? Well according to a paper published in the medical journal BJU International in 2007, it’s an erect penis length of between 5.5 and 6.3 inches (14 – 16 cm) and an erect girth of between 4.7 and 5.1 inches (12 – 13 cm). This study based its conclusions on the synthesis of 12 previous studies into penis size – so the findings probably provide a pretty accurate reflection.

If you’re of average size and still not entirely happy though, don’t be concerned…you’re not necessarily suffering from penile dysmorphophobia. The same study also concluded that around 45 percent of men suffer a degree of concern about their penis size. The researchers pointed out that men have a habit of underestimating their own penile dimensions, whilst overestimating what’s average. Ironically, the study also found that 85 percent of women were in fact satisfied with the size of their partner’s penis.

Treatment: In decades gone, those unfortunate to be diagnosed with Micropenis in childhood were often ‘treated’ through gender reassignment surgery. These days fortunately, diagnosis (again, usually made in childhood) tends to be followed by growth hormone therapy.

Sufferers of severe penile dysmorphophobia usually need psychotherapy to improve the quality of their lives; and such therapy is also often recommended as a first line treatment option for men who are considering surgical enlargement procedures.

Of course, as mentioned above, a general dissatisfaction with the size of your penis is far from abnormal (it’s a dissatisfaction shared by almost half of all men) – and as such doesn’t mean you need to be treated for penile dysmorphophobia. What’s more, particularly in these modern times when men are exposed to the same media and social pressures as women to have the perfect physique, this male preoccupation with penis size seems to be on the up (pun sort of intended).

Numerous surgical and non-surgical ways of beefing up your member have been touted over the years – although most fail to stand up to scrutiny.

Penis lengthening surgery has been shown to be nominally effective, with studies suggesting that gains of around an inch in flaccid length and half an inch in erect length can be expected from a successful procedure. But even with the constant refinement of such ‘phalloplasty’ techniques over the past few years, most professional medical bodies still consider the rewards not to warrant the risks.

Osteoporosis Symptoms – The Tell Tale Signs of Osteoporosis

The fear that every day you may break a bone or be heading towards a quality of life hindered by a stoop or hip problems can be terrifying; this is what Osteoporosis can do to you! Everyone would like to know what the symptoms are so at the first signs of Osteoporosis they can seek medical advice. The only problem is there are NO clear symptoms! Pains in the hip and spine may sometimes trigger people to seek medical advice but there are many conditions and ways you can hurt those parts of your body. So what can you do to find out if you have or might get it?

First we need to look at what it is and what causes it.

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones of the body start to lose density and become more frail and prone to breaking. It can also cause bone to collapse upon itself creating a “dowagers hump” when the spine and hip compact together.

How do our bones become so frail though? This is because bone is a living tissue that is constantly being regrown using two major cells in bone forming; osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Simply put osteoclasts are cells that move through the bone looking for old parts that need renewal and destroy that old bone leaving a gap. Osteoblasts are cells that move through the bone looking for those empty spaces and fill them with new bone. In this way the bone is renewed all the time.

Osteoporosis is the condition when there are not enough osteoblasts to fill all of the gaps left by the osteoclasts leaving the bone peppered with many, many small gaps that lower bone density and cause the fragility of your bones.

So we can ask what are the symptoms of losing osteoblasts?

Unfortunately this is not something we can see or measure easily by ourselves; instead we must look at WHY we would lose so many osteoblasts and track down the root causes of it.

The primary cause of this poor bone renewal is in our blood. If the blood in our body is too acidic it can strip away calcium from the bone to restore a healthy blood balance, however this calcium is not replaced quickly enough to the bones and the osteoblasts cannot keep up. This acidic blood is mainly caused by diets high in meat, processed food and oddly enough dairy products. While dairy products put calcium into your body they also acidize the blood making those gains worthless combined with other dietary deficiencies and chemical intake like smoking, excessive alcohol and poor exercise (especially lack of weight training).

So what does all this mean? What symptoms are there? Well, if you follow the causes of the condition we see diet is the main factor. While we cannot sense nor feel the bone fragility we can inspect our diet, and lifestyle if it is too full of foods that will make your blood more acidic and is lacking in good weight based exercise there is a very good chance your body will start stripping away your precious bones! The only real way to test for signs and check your bone density is by seeing a doctor and asking for a specialized test called a ‘bone mineral density’ (BMD) test.

Scoliosis in Children With Cerebral Palsy

Scoliosis is an affliction characterized by an unnatural curvature to the spine. Left untreated, scoliosis can lead to extreme deformities of the spine and other related health issues. Children who suffer from cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy are especially susceptible to developing scoliosis. If detected early, scoliosis is a treatable condition.

Minor curves to the spine are natural; however, curvature that exceeds 10 degrees can be diagnosed as scoliosis. Scoliosis is hereditary and occurs most often during the growth spurt just before the onset of puberty. In children with cerebral palsy, however, the onset can occur much earlier. The likelihood that a child with CP will develop scoliosis is approximately 20 percent, especially if the child has movement limitations. Females develop scoliosis twice as often as males.

Signs that your child may be developing scoliosis include: uneven shoulders or a prominent shoulder blade, an uneven waist or elevated hips, or leaning to one side or the other. If you detect any of these signs, bring them to the attention of your child’s pediatrician. In its early stages, both the disorder and the treatments are relatively painless.

Diagnosis of scoliosis requires a few simple tests. The doctor will most likely start with the “forward bending” test, where he will ask your child to bend forward and attempt to touch their toes. From this position, he can easily examine the spine to look for unusual curvature or uneven ribs. If he suspects anything, he will most likely schedule some x-rays to take a closer look.

Mild scoliosis is between 10 and 20 percent. Moderate cases are 20 to 30 percent. Severe curvature is anything over 30%. The main goal in treating scoliosis is the prevention of further curvature. The secondary goal is the reversal of previous curvature. Treatment will be based on the speed at which the spine is curving and the severity of the curve. Some mild and most moderate cases may be treated by fitting the child with a brace. The brace is intended prevent the spine from further curvature as the bones grow and strengthen. Severe cases might require an operation such as spinal fusion surgery. It is best not to perform spinal fusion surgery until the bones are done growing, however, in some extreme cases, this is not possible. Sometimes adjustable metal rods can be placed in the spinal structure. This allows for periodic adjustments as the child grows.

Whatever treatment option is employed, as your child continues to grow, he will need many follow-up appointments to continue monitoring the growth and shape of the spine.

To reiterate, especially if your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the sooner the presumption of a spinal disorder is medically diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin and the higher the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

To Stop Sleep Paralysis – Effective Techniques

Some spheres of the medical circle narrow down sleep paralysis as a neurological condition that is psychological in nature. What they are saying is its all in the mind. If you have experienced sleep paralysis before you would know that it’s more than just your mind playing tricks on you and there are ways available to avoid or to stop sleep paralysis from affecting you.

Some of the dreams we have can be quite frightening. It’s very fortunate that the mind and the body understand this and we can sleep through a dream without physically reacting to it. The process of waking up is a slow process. If it ever happens that that you are suddenly awoken in the middle of REM sleep there is a time lag between the body and the brains response. Paralysis will occur when you are partially conscious and you try and react to things that are occurring in a dream.

There are so many things that are known to cause paralysis. Basically though; it is anything that will disrupt your normal sleep routine and cause you to suddenly wake up. If you want to know how to stop sleep paralysis, just stay away from sleep disturbances that’s all. Two of the most common culprits are light and sound. Sleeping in a dark room that is free from sound is highly recommended.

If you take any stimulants before going to sleep they are likely to cause you to wake up before the night is over. Things like caffeine, alcohol and tobacco should be avoided at night times.

Sometimes avoidance techniques are not totally comprehensive and you might need to combine them with other known techniques and methods. Natural methods or home remedies usually offer the best solution. When it comes to ways to stop sleep paralysis they are worth considering.

Symptoms And Causes For Hiatus Hernia

Hiatus hernia is a condition usually diagnosed in later stages due to the lack of symptoms and the initial symptoms very assembling to other digestive diseases. Hiatal hernia is most common in persons of 55 years and more but can theoretically occur at any age. It is caused by a weakening of the diaphragm hiatus (esophageal opening) allowing the upper part of he stomach to turn up into the chest cavity. This condition is known as hiatus hernia and is responsible for the occurrence of gastric reflux.

The late diagnose is caused by the absence of symptoms in the early stages; when the patient begins to accuse pains in the esophageal part of the abdomen, the condition is usually in an advanced stage. There are more pathological forms of hiatus hernia according to the apparition cause. During sliding hiatus hernia, the esophageal lower sphincter gets weaker and allows the upper stomach part to slide upwards through the diaphragmatic opening. This form is the most easy to indulge and the body usually heals it by itself.

One more complex form of hiatus hernia is the rolling or fixed one that occurs when the part of the stomach connecting with the esophagus gets inflamed and causes the protrusion of the upper gastric segment through the diaphragmatic opening. Severe symptoms and complications are related to this hiatus hernia type.

Along the most commonly encountered causes of hiatus hernia is the age of the patient, knowing that an age of 55 and above can directly lead to the occurrence of the condition. Also an increased pressure while coughing or an abnormal sitting position can trigger hiatus hernia as well as a genetically inherited weakness of the diaphragm and esophagus. Obesity and heavy weight lifting will also cause the occurrence of a hiatus hernia. Some particular foods are held responsible for hiatus hernia; such products are chocolate, spearmint and cigarettes. Hiatus hernia has proven to have a hereditary component as well.

The most frequent symptoms of the hiatus hernia, when they occur, are heartburns, chest pains as well as pains in the esophageal area and frequent attacks. Some persons with this type of hernia also suffer from gastro esophageal reflux might experience sudden vomiting and nausea. A loss of consciousness may occur due to a decreased blood supply to the stomach or a high pressure exercised on the heart. A feeling of incapacity of swallowing food may be present in hiatus hernia.

Types of Bone Fractures

A bone fracture, commonly called a broken bone, is a painful injury that can require weeks or months to heal. There are many different types and severities of bone fractures, from a minor hairline fracture to a full break. While most people think of a “broken bone” as being a more severe injury than a fracture, these terms actually refer to the same injury. If you believe that you may have a fractured or broken bone, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Acute vs. Chronic Bone Fractures

Typically, broken bones are divided into two different types: acute fractures and chronic fractures. An acute break occurs when a bone is fractured by a one-time force, such as a car accident or a fall. However, the severity of the break can vary from person to person. A person with strong bones could fall and experience only a small hairline fracture, while someone with brittle bones could experience the same fall and have a much more serious break.

Chronic bone fractures, on the other hand, occur when a bone is exposed to low-energy forces for a long period of time. These are also more commonly referred to as stress fractures. Sports activities and other work that requires repetitive motions often lead to chronic bone fractures. Some examples of activities that could lead to a stress fracture include:

  • Running
  • Pitching or throwing
  • Gymnastics
  • Rapidly switching directions

If you or someone you know has a fractured bone or is experiencing bone pain that may be a fracture, be sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. A fracture that is left untreated could heal improperly, causing pain and possibly limiting your range of motion permanently.

Jaw Misalignment – What Does it Mean?

Jaw misalignment is considered to be one of the main causes of TMJ, and treatment of this disorder often focuses solely on re-aligning the jaw in order to reduce the amount of pain and discomfort associated with this condition. Jaw misalignment is characterized by the jaw joint moving out of alignment, and occurs as a result of the muscles of the jaw as well as those used to chew the food not working properly.

These muscles may malfunction due to poor chewing habits, grinding the teeth or clenching the jaw repeatedly, bad bite due to broken or missing teeth, poorly fitting dentures, unusual movements of the neck, poor posture (which may affect the muscles and bone alignments in the spine, neck, and subsequently, jaw areas), an inherited deviation mandibular deviation, and some diseases of the joints (including arthritis).

However, it is believed that both jaw misalignment, weak muscles, and bad bite can at times all be a cause of the other; a bad bite (otherwise known as malocclusion, or a misalignment of teeth or bad fitting of the teeth) and the associated poor chewing may cause the jaw to eventually become misaligned, while weak muscles may also cause the jaw to move improperly and shift to one side, and, in some cases, eventually mis-aligning the teeth and creating a bad bite. Either of the above disorders may be the cause of the other.

In further detail, a jaw may become mis-aligned as follows:

The joints in the jaw area move and function with the aid of these jaw muscles, and have are joined by a disk connecting the ball and socket of the joint; however, once the muscles, or any other of the above parts of the joint, begin to malfunction this can create jaw misalignment. More specifically, once the muscles begin to malfunction, they may also weaken, resulting in the jaw not only becoming misaligned but also overworking to compensate and creating stress and tension on this joint.

Other muscle malfunctioning may occur as a result of continual tightening of the jaw muscle – a jaw muscle that is permanently clenched loses its ability to relax and un-clench, and over time this may cut off the blood supply to this muscle, causing it to constrict, affect jaw movement, and affecting the jaw joint’s ability to move or function (this may lead to a symptom known as lock jaw).

A malocclusion may also result from weak and shifting muscles which cause the jaw to move abnormally and affect the patient’s ability to chew properly, the malocclusion may cause the jaw to move abnormally as well, and may be another cause of a jaw misalignment in addition to or instead of the weak muscles. Finally, teeth grinding or clenching may also cause a jaw misalignment either due to the bad bite which it may create, or the abnormal stress which is placed on the jaw joint itself,as chronic stress may also create a jaw misalignment as well.

In general, muscle malfunction, stress on the joint area which causes it to move abnormally, and inherited joint disorders all may contribute to jaw misalignment. This joint is prone in particular to misalignment due to its structure as well as complexity; the tempromandibular joint, unlike the joints of the fingers or toes, actually functions with two joints that control the movements of sliding and rotating separately. This structure makes it more susceptible to its the cartilage and bone components wearing down, eventually leading to jaw misalignment.

Overall, jaw misalignment is a result of many factors and habits, and its causes should always be investigated thoroughly; this condition is one of the main and most common causes of tmj, and hence should not be taken lightly or left un-treated.

Trigeminal Neuralgia – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that includes symptoms associated with facial pain. The trigeminal nerve in your face carries information from your nerves to your brain. Sometimes this nerve is pinched and serious pain results. You may experience pain that lasts only for a few seconds or as long as a few minutes. This is a serious condition and you should see medical help to prevent further progression of the disease.

Thankfully more research is has been conducted on the condition and more advanced medications, surgeries, injections and treatments have been developed. If you suffer from some of these symptoms, you may have Trigeminal neuralgia.

Women are in their fifties are most likely to suffer from this condition, but it can also affect men. The disease typically progresses as you age. You may notice sharp pain in the left or right side of your face. It is uncommon for people with this condition to have pain on both sides. Simple tasks like brushing your teeth, speaking, drinking water, touching your face or eating seem to trigger pain. You find the pain occurs only during specific facial expressions.

The most common cause of Trigeminal neuralgia is when the nerves in your face and brain have trouble communicating. This typically occurs when a blood vessel, like a vein or artery, puts pressure on the nerve. There are still other theories about what exactly causes the condition, but through advances in science this had become the most widely accepted explanation.

The most popular treatments for this disease are daily medications to reduce pain. If the pain persists you may also consider routing alcohol injections. Finally, surgery can be used to reduce the pressure on the vein or artery. There are many different procedures and these should be discussed only with your medical doctor. Be sure to keep a detailed record of often the pain occurs, the location of the pain and if there seem to be any triggers. This will help the doctor giving you advice.

Herniated Discs and Pinched Nerves – Side Effects – How To Help Avoid Lower Back Pain

How is your lower back feeling these days? Do you suffer from pain in your lower back that really is starting to hinder your daily activities?

1.) Introduction

When you have a lower back problem, whether it is due to a herniated disc, pinched nerve or a muscle strain, the result can stay the same… Your back pain can start to consume your life! You can have lumbar or sacral pain problems due to a number of different ailments. We will review them in this article and help you find pain relief as well.

Remember, a back problem is something that you do not deserve to deal with! – You should not have to deal with lower back pain for any reason! – If you suffer, then read through this brief, free article.

2.) Herniated Discs

As a result of a herniated disc, you may have pain due to nerve compression in your lower back. You might also lose partial function of certain muscles that are effected by your herniated disc as well. – Unfortunate, but true. – So now what? – You can not let the disc problem win, so it is time to start thinking about your treatment options.

3.) Treatment Options

Many times your physician might suggest that you undergo physical therapy and take pain medication. These two methods have helped people in the past, but there is a down side in our opinion. Pain medication can sometimes only mask the pain and how much physical therapy is enough? – Money can start pouring down the drain and now you will have to worry about the back pain, and in addition you will need to start worrying about your bank account as well!

Rest is also a very useful treatment option. It is, but how many of us can talk a lot of time off of work or school to lay in bed and rest? – Many doctors actually disagree with more than 2 days of rest anyways because your muscles that support you do not remain as strong and this can really start to be bad for your lower back as well.

4.) A Power Treatment Option – Conservative, Yet Extremely Useful

Lower back support is a medically documented treatment option that many physicians recommend. Why? – Biomechanically, a quality made lower back brace can off load your lower back and help to immediately alleviate your pain symptoms. This can help promote healing as well.

Good posture can also be facilitated by the use of a lower back support. This can be a very good thing because when the brace helps to limit painful and damaging movements, you will then realize the benefits of the support. The truth is that you may forget you have the brace on but it does not forget about you. – When you block those one or two movements that will further your pain and injury level, per day, you will begin to promote healing and this is a very useful concept for people with lower back pain. Not only that, many quality made, low profile supports are easily concealed by the use of a t-shirt as well!

* This is health information. We have seen back supports help more people than we can count, but in the end it is best to talk to your physician about medical advice. Every situation is unique and your physician may very well recommend that you get a back support, but this article is not medical advice.

7 Sure-Fire Tips For Potty Training Toddlers

There seems to be a widely held impression, past down from generation to generation, that potty training toddlers is arduous.

Follow this practical plan and you will be able to go from all those diapers to dry in days. But only if you are prepared not to be side-tracked by other distractions during this period and able to give your focus to toilet training.

1. Evaluating Your Child’s Readiness

Does your toddler have the required verbal understanding? This includes being able to understand and carry out simple instructions.

Does your toddler show signs of wanting to do more things for themselves such as pulling up their own pants?

Is your child’s bladder and bowel control adequately developed? For instance, can he or she go for two or three hours before wetting their diaper?

You really must not go on to item 2 until you are confident your toddler can handle being toilet trained.

2. Let’s Go Shopping

You want to make this trip to the shops as much fun as possible for your toddler. So what’s on that shopping list?

You should get:

  • An anatomically correct doll (a boy doll if you have a son, a girl doll if you have a daughter);
  • Potties (yes it’s best to have two or three around the home so there is always one close at hand when it’s wanted);
  • Underpants, preferably vibrantly colored. It’s even better if there’s a picture of one of their favorite cartoon characters on them. Diaper or training underpants can be a practical solution for any trips out but make sure you treat them as real pants not diapers;
  • a wall chart and stickers.

Remember to let your toddler have a say in the purchase choice.

3. Toilet Train The Doll

Silly as it may seem, you potty train the doll. The doll is a great teaching tool, it should not be seen as a toy. You will be using the doll to model correct behavior.

4. Celebrate The Doll’s Success

Each time the doll correctly uses the potty it is praised and a sticker is placed on the wall chart that records the doll’s progress. And when the doll has been potty trained it gets a party.

You want your toddler to realize that being potty trained is a happy, fun experience.

5. It’s Farewell to Diapers

Put your toddler in pants. There’s no retreating back to diapers even if there are two or three accidents along the way.

6. Give Your Toddler Plenty Of Fluids

The more your toddler drinks the more they will need to urinate. So they should get plenty of practice in using a potty.

7. Ask Your Toddler If They Need the Potty

If they say no that’s fine. With all those drinks they’ll soon need to go. Quiz them again a little later.

If they have a little accident you must not let your child see you are angry or disappointed. Just tell them they’ll do better next time. Take them to the potty and have them sit on it for two or three minutes. Give them fresh pants to put on. At short intervals take them back to the potty for a total of ten times. This will help to build muscle memory. Very soon they will urinate in the potty.

A little food for thought. It is not just what you say, it’s how you say it. This is certainly true when it comes to teaching a toddler new skills.

How To Tell If Your Headache And Sore Throat Is A Result Of Sinus

Sinus infection symptoms affect people in two ways; over the short term, usually from a few days up to two months or more than two months in which case the person would more than likely have a chronic condition.

Symptoms Of Sinus Infection

Sinus infection symptoms come in various forms. Headaches are a common symptom while facial pain and fever are others. In more severe cases, a sore throat will accompany infection while stuffiness of the nasal passages and discolored nasal drip are other tell tale symptoms.

It’s important to realise symptoms of sinus infection aren’t all created equal. Many times, your doctor will determine which sinuses are affected and if the symptoms are acute or in a worse case scenario, chronic.

What Is Sinus Infection?

In short, it’s the inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. The sinuses are designed to connect the area between the nostrils and nasal passages as well as provide an insulation effect for the skull. When sinus infection symptoms are present, meaning bacteria has entered the sinuses, an infected person will experience anything from headaches to facial pain.

Bacteria will breed when the sinus openings become blocked. This can be as a result of the hairs in the sinuses not functioning properly with mucus being retained within them.

Sinus infection symptoms can result following respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu as well as allery conditions. Not every one is affected by symptoms of sinus infection with the estimated number being about one person out of every eight to ten.

Treatment Options For Sinus Infection Symptoms

If symptoms persist for any length of time such as headache and sore throat then see your doctor. Reducing sinus congestion is one of the aims of treatment. Antibiotics can be prescribed and usually do the trick while a corticosteroid spray to alleviate swelling can be effective.

In more persistent and extreme cases, a referral to a specialist may be required. Chronic sufferers have reported good results following surgery. Surgery is performed to clean the sinuses and this is usually recommended for people with fungal infections.

Home Treatment For Sinus Infection Symptoms

There are several ways to treat the symptoms of sinus infection from home. Humidifiers have proven an effective relief strategy or, if you are more adventurous and your budget doesn’t allow it, then inhaling steam several times a day can provide much needed relief.

Expectorants are available over the counter in most cases and can aid in the relief of infection by thinning the mucus but prolonged use of expectorants is not encouraged. In fact, it might be wise to see a doctor first before self-prescribing yourself this medication.

For pain and inflammation, pain relief medication containing ibuprofen or aspirin can be effective. The warning is the same though; avoid prolonged use. Sinus infection symptoms are uncomfortable for those suffering from them and if in doubt about what to do or you want peace of mind, then always make an appointment to visit your medical professional.

Home Treatment For Tonsil Stones

A lot of people live out their lives without even knowing what tonsil stones are. Tonsilloliths are small and hard yellowish or whitish lumps that form at the back portion of the throat, within the tonsillar crypts or the crevices of the throat, and it is mostly caused by poor hygiene. These lumps tend to differ in size. They can be very small like a size of breadcrumbs, and they can also be as big as a pea. When you have a stone, you get the feeling of having a foreign object sticking out of your throat, which is very uncomfortable. Having tonsilloliths doesn’t imply that there is something wrong with your system; however, it can be very annoying and irritating. If you are suffering from t-stones, there is nothing to worry about as there is a treatment for for you, and you can even do it at home.

In some cases, when the Tonsilloliths are just small, a treatment may just include coughing out until the stones make their way out of your throat. Sometimes, t-stones are accompanied with bad breath. In certain cases, these could mean that the stone is quite big and it needs a different treatment aside from coughing it out. Doctors would recommend using a medicine dropper to dislodge the chunks by suctioning them. This treatment would require assistance from another person, as it is quite difficult if you do it alone. In other cases, those who have great control of their gag reflexes, can make use of a toothbrush coated with some agent that could magnet these ‘throat rocks’ as you gently brush your tonsils.

Remember, keeping a good hygiene is important to prevent the development of stones. However it is sometimes inevitable to develop one, the best treatment is something that can be done inside your home.

What Causes a Crackling Sound In the Ear?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes a person to hear sounds and noises that no one else can hear. Tinnitus is a fairly common condition that occurs in about 10% of the population. Tinnitus is normally found in the elderly however more recent studies have shown an increase in tinnitus occurrence in younger populations. More than likely this change in occurrence is due to the increased exposure of younger generations to loud noises such as music, guns, blow dryers, etc. People who suffer from tinnitus hear different sounds such as musical tones, hissing, whistling, buzzing or ringing. No two people will hear exactly the same noise. Most affected people find these noises to be no more than an annoyance or nuisance but are able to continue on with their daily lives. However, in some instances tinnitus can greatly affect ones quality of life due to the constant inconvenience of the noise.

Tinnitus can be put into two categories, objective and subjective. Only a doctor can differentiate between the two types. Objective tinnitus can actually be perceived as sound emanating from the ear. Anatomical body sounds such as muscle spasms, heart beat or pulse, and blood flow can all be heard through the ear of the patient. Subjective tinnitus is more common because it describes the symptoms that the patient is feeling. In subjective tinnitus sounds are not present for the doctor to hear emanating from the ear.

Tinnitus has no cure and determining the exact cause of tinnitus is difficult. There are four areas that tinnitus can stem from, the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear and brain. Wax or foreign bodies can block the noise from outside and can cause damage to the outer ear. In the middle ear fluid, infection, or disease in the bones of the ear or in the eardrum can cause damage. Damage to the nerves in the inner ear can distort noise. Lastly, abnormalities in the brain can cause symptoms of tinnitus.

Additionally, several disease, deficiencies, drugs, and emotional factors that can cause the symptoms of tinnitus as well. However the most common cause is damage to the nerves in the inner ear (cochlea). The nerves in the cochlea transmits electrical impulses to the brain which interprets these signals that are sent to the brain are distorted. Distorted signals are interpreted by the brain as noise. Determining how the nerves become damaged is the ultimate cause of tinnitus symptoms.

Elderly people are more likely to experience the symptoms of tinnitus. As we age like many other areas of the body, the inner ear or middle ear gradually change which causes symptoms of hearing loss. Age related hearing loss is called presbyacusis. The change in the ears occurs over longer period of times and normally occurs in both ears. In younger persons exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss as well. Cumulative effects of repeated exposure to loud noise will ultimately lead to presbyacusis. Depending upon duration of exposure and frequency of sound will determine if the nerves in the ear are damaged. In some cases, damage can cause temporary hearing loss however permanent damage can cause tinnitus or the need for hearing aids. Although, not all tinnitus symptoms are caused by exposure to loud environments or due to old age. Some of the changes that can occur within the ear include otosclerosis. Ear bone changes causes stiffening of the bones in the middle ear. This abnormal growth puts pressure on the other bones and nerves within the ear.

Our normal body functioning such as breathing, heart beating, muscle contractions and blood flow all make noise. However, most people don’t hear these noises because we are surrounded by noise that masks our ability to hear these minuscule sounds. However, if you eliminate outside noise, it is more likely you will hear your own body’s anatomical sounds. Additionally certain changes in the body can cause you to hear these sounds more readily.

Metabolic disorders in the body can cause symptoms of tinnitus due to defects that interfere with ones metabolism. Most metabolic disorders are genetic in nature, meaning they are passed on by their parent’s genetic makeup. Metabolic disorders may cause abnormal enzyme function, the body produces too much or too little of a necessary substance, or can’t break down certain substances. Common metabolic disorders that cause tinnitus are thyroid disease, hyperlipidemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia.

Anemia is a condition where the blood becomes thinned of red blood cells, which provide oxygen and nutrients to the body. Thinned blood rushes through the veins so quickly, that it causes a sound. Anemia can cause fatigue and ultimately death, if not taken care of immediately.

Menieres disease is a disorder that causes abnormal flow of inner ear fluid, which affects hearing and balance. Normally causing hearing loss and tinnitus in one ear, Menieres disease causes inner ear fluid pressure buildup. More unlikely causes of tinnitus include a brain aneurysm, brain tumor or acoustic neuroma. Aneurysms commonly occur in arteries at the base of the brain. A bulge occurs in the blood vessels and fills up with blood and risk rupturing with increasing size. As the size of an aneurysm grows the more pressure it puts on the surrounding blood vessels. Brain tumors and acoustic neuroma, a non-cancerous benign tumor, that occurs in the brain puts pressure on the blood vessels which cuts off the nutrients and oxygen supply to the brain. Therefore the brain interprets increased blood pressure as distorted sounds. Acoustic neuromas normally occur on the cranial nerve that runs from the brain to the inner ear, which affects balance and hearing.

Earwax also known as cerumen is secreted in the ear canal to protect the earfrom bacteria, fungus, insects, and water. Regular removal of earwax should be maintained as to not allow an excess of wax build up. Although Q-tips were originally designed to aid in the removal of earwax, now they are tough to be more hazardous than helpful. By using a Q-tip you can cause the earwax to go deeper into the ear canal, which can cause an impaction against the eardrum. When the wax is pressed up against the eardrum it causes the brain to perceive these as noise signals.

Head, neck and Temporalmandibular joint (TMJ) injuries also have their affect on tinnitus. Chiari malformation, multiple sclerosis, skull fracture, whiplash, closed head injury, and TMJ disorders all affect the ears, nerves and blood vessels of the brain. Injuries and disorders cause abnormalities so the brain perceives electric impulses differently than it would in a normal persons brain. Neurological disorders also cause malfunctions in the brain, which can cause tinnitus symptoms.

Prescription medication and over the counter drugs also affect the bodies ability to decipher sound waves. Drugs both legal and illegal can cause the brain to receive distorted signals, which can cause tinnitus. Aspirin, antibiotics, cancer medications, diuretics, quinine and cloroquinine can all cause symptoms of tinnitus.

Lastly stress plays a huge role on the bodies ability to function properly. Unfortunately stress can inhibit the brains ability to interpret and perceive stimulus. Atherosclerosis, high blood pressure depression, anxiety, and nervousness are stressors that take toll on the body causing malfunctions in its ability to perform. Therefore the brain can misinterpret electrical impulses, which causes tinnitus.

Unfortunately with so many causes of tinnitus it’s hard to quickly determine which one is causing the subjective or objective symptoms. Therefore it can be a long drawn out process to find your specific cause of your condition. Until then tinnitus can be a huge inconvenience and annoyance on your life. Plus the amount of testing and treatments that you try without relief can be disappointing. However, there are many alternative medicines that can be useful in diminishing your symptoms until you can resolve your current condition completely.

Type 2 Diabetes – Will Yogurt Spike Your Blood Sugar Level?

Yogurt is a world-renowned healthy food but you have to know what to look for to get the best yogurt for a diabetic diet. That’s because some producers add so much fat and sugar their yogurt is really not healthy at all. As you may already know, yogurt is an excellent protein source and it has many nutrients which are especially needed by diabetics.

A cup of yogurt can often be a healthy substitute for dessert, replacing foods like ice cream which has a higher fat and sugar content. Diabetics in particular need to get low-fat forms of yogurt. If you don’t want to increase your carbohydrates too much, you can get yogurt sweetened with sugar substitutes. This can lower the calories often to a total of 70 to 100.

Yogurt Has Good Bacteria:

Yogurt has lactobacteria, which although it might not sound like it, is actually good for you. The most well-known is acidophilis, which not only cleans out your colon, but stops the creation of bile acids which cause cancer. The live cultures in yogurt also boost the immune system.

The calcium content of yogurt is high and it contains other vitamins and minerals needed by diabetics… vitamins B-6, B-12, and manganese. If you are lactose intolerant, you don’t have to worry about the sugars in yogurt because they are usually digestible. Some yogurts have just the right enzymes to help with digestion.

Big Source of Protein:

Yogurt packs a lot of protein in a small container. In fact, it has twenty-percent more protein than a normal milk serving. The protein is also more digestible. Because of this yogurt is one of the foods that is on the American Diabetic Association’s heart healthy list. If you have high cholesterol, eating yogurt may even lower it. That is exactly what it did in a number research studies. This is good news for people with type 2 diabetes, because they are so much more at risk for heart disease.

Choosing the Best Yogurt For You:

There are so many choices for yogurt in the dairy aisle that you could literally stand there for half a day reading labels. The things to be most cautious about are carbohydrate and fat content. The absolute healthiest yogurt to eat is plain yogurt which you can take home and top with fresh fruit. Honestly, you have to be pretty hard core to eat plain yogurt.

The next best choice in yogurt is non-fat and then low-fat. Sometimes it is hard to find a non-fat, artificially sweetened yogurt at some stores. Most large supermarkets have it but not so much at the smaller stores. Low-fat is more available and comes with sugar or sugar substitutes.

Try to avoid yogurts with whole milk as they have more saturated fat. However, like any food, you get away with eating it one once in a while as a creamy treat.

Yogurts with sprinkles, nuts, little pieces of chocolate and the like are not good to add to your diabetic diet, even though you might like to think so. These, just like candy, are sure to send up an immediate spike in your blood sugar. Yogurt with fruit is usually the best choice… and not chocolate or caramel yogurt. By just using common sense, sticking to what you really know about which foods help to raise your blood sugar level, means you should have no trouble adding yogurt and frozen yogurt to your diabetic diet.