Heart Disease And A Deficient Immune System – What You Should Know

It is hard to believe that, with the tremendous advances in scientific knowledge and medical research, heart disease continues to be a leading cause of death in the U.S.

With estimates of more than 13 million Americans suffering from this painful and deadly disease, you, reading this article, may be among them; or, perhaps, someone in your family or in your circle of friends, is affected.

Most of us are aware of some key factors that contribute to heart health challenges, such as: Smoking, obesity, gum disease and poor diet, to name a few. But, few folks, particularly sufferers with heart disease, are aware of the growing number of researchers who are looking at the immune system’s connection to heart disease.

As you can see from the factors listed in the preceding paragraph, the development of heart ailments are significantly affected by lifestyle choices, including the health of the immune system.

Unless a person has an inherited predisposition to weakened immune defenses; making sure your immune system is working at peak efficiency is a worthwhile way to stem the progress of disease, yes, even heart disease. Why is this the case? Because when the immune system is weak or compromised, its inflammatory response is affected. What does this have to do with heart health?

This: Inflammation is typically a normal defensive immune response to what the body perceives as a foreign bacteria, virus, or, other harmful substance. However, if the system is imbalanced in any way, it could lead to an over-reaction, or, ineffectual response to an antigen.

If the inflammatory response is altered, it could cause problems for normal tissue, even heart tissue. In fact, researchers are trying to zero in on the connection between an improper inflammatory response and heart disease.

So what can you do?

A Healthy Immune System Contributes to a Healthy Heart

From the foregoing, it is clear that having an immune system that is functioning properly greatly contributes to maintaining a healthy heart. After all, both should normally work in concert, not in opposition to one another.

A balanced response from the immune system leads to a balanced level of inflammation required to address a threat to your health. When inflammation is properly controlled and applied by the body, the results lead to improved health.

So, how can you make sure that you are doing all you can to keep your immune defenses working in ‘tip-top’ order?

Raise And Sustain Your Glutathione Levels

One major player in the health of the immune system is a small, yet, potent protein called, glutathione. Keeping glutathione at peak levels is critical in optimizing your body’s defenses. Simple put; if you want to have a healthy heart, maintain a healthy immune response. If you want healthy immune response; keep your glutathione levels up.

The safest and most efficient way to do this, is to consume a clinically proven, patented, FDA classified, GRAS, whey protein supplement, that is guaranteed to raise and sustain your glutathione levels.

Tuberculosis, What Is It?

Tuberculosis ( abbreviated as TB for Tubercle Bacillusis) is caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium

tuberculosis. TB is most common in the lungs but can affect other areas of the body such as bones, joints, the circulatory system, the nervous system and the lymphatic system.

Tuberculosis, what is it and what are the signs and symptoms of the disease?

For most people that have the TB bacteria in their bodies, their immune system has encapsulated the

bacteria so that it doesn’t affect the body. This means that you can’t infect others with the bacteria. The bacteria could lay dormant in the body for years and years. Since you may have the bacteria in your body, it’s important to keep your immune system in top shape in order to keep the disease at bay.

Approximately a third of the worlds population has the TB bacteria in their bodies. However, not everyone that is carrying the bacteria will get the disease. About one in every ten people that are carrying the bacteria will get the active form of TB. About half of those that get the active disease will die from it. More and more people in developed countries are getting TB because their immune systems are compromised by HIV/aids or by drugs they are taking both legal and illegal. There are new strains of TB that are showing up that are resistant to the common drugs used for treatment.

There may not be any symptoms of the disease until it reaches an advanced stage. Some of the

symptoms that you may have the disease are: unexplained loss of weight, no appetite, loss of energy,

cough, a fever and night sweats. These symptoms are the same as other diseases so your doctor will

have to run tests and a chest x-ray to see if these symptoms are the result of active TB. Tuberculosis can also occur in other organs of the body such as the genitourinary tract and lymph nodes. There are several types of skin tests that are used to screen for TB, it takes 48-72 hours for the results to show up.

If you have these symptoms be sure to see your doctor immediately. It may not be TB, but you will want to know for sure. In any case you will want to know whatever it is and get it treated. I hope that this information helps you answer the question, Tuberculosis, What Is It?

Obtain New Hair Growth With a Laser Hair Comb

The laser hair comb may sound like a gimmick, but for people suffering from thinning hair or hair loss it is worth investigation. Laser hair therapy is the latest device for re-growing hair. It uses cool or red spectrum light laser to enhance the restoration of scalp hair without side effects or the need for clinic visits or prescription medications.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT ) or cool light laser uses laser energy to energize the tissue on the scalp. As the lasers in the laser hair comb are passed over the scalp area, the hair follicles receive the high intensity light and cell processes are stimulated, causing new or renewed hair growth. This process is scientifically known as Photo Bio-stimulation. Similar to photosynthesis in plants, where light energy is transformed into chemical energy to cause plant growth to create food, here the cellular energy creates new hair growth. This laser technology has been used for 25+ years in Europe and for nearly 10 years in clinics in the United States for treating hair loss. This treatment in a clinical setting was quite costly and time consuming as it required multiple weekly sessions that needed to be scheduled for 6 months at a time before the sessions could be tapered down to once a week or less. Now, the laser hair comb provides treatment at relatively low price and can be used conveniently at home or even while traveling.

The market today is flooded with remedies for hair loss including scalp creams, gooey shampoos and conditioners. In most cases, these substances just end up making people spend money without any positive results. However, the proper combination of low sudsing shampoo, a conditioner that leaves no residue, an amino acid scalp treatment, pre-treatment cleanser and the laser hair comb is very promising indeed! Add good nutrition, hair-specific vitamin supplements and you will have the optimum chance for jump starting those tired, worn-out follicles into action.

Many hair loss victims have resorted to the use of wigs, hair pieces, obnoxious hair styles or hats to cover up the problem. Often times, these choices just cause the scalp’s follicles to degenerate further as they are smothered and do not receive the proper light and air circulation to grow properly and remain clean and healthy. The use of proper hair care products and the laser hair comb can solve the problem, not just cover it up.

The laser hair comb has elicited many positive responses from users and with its new certification from the FDA it has considerable credibility. The laser comb is designed just like the normal hair brush and may be used in the same way. To maximize hair growth however, it should be used in laser mode for at least 20 minutes per day, every other day, covering the entire area of lessened hair growth. Additionally, it should be used in areas of “normal hair growth” as well to make sure these follicles are receiving proper care as well. This laser hair device has shown positive results after being used for only five to ten weeks. Hair has improved in quality as shown by improved thickness, strength and sheen. This regime has to be maintained to ensure that any positive results gained are not reversed. The laser hair comb, as well as any hair re-growth prescription medication, requires prolonged use to maintain an environment for optimum hair growth.

The laser comb has become very popular as this type of hair restoration therapy is safe to use and does not have any reported side effects. This is great news for all of those people who have spent money on products that haven’t worked or for those worried about the cost or side effects of taking prescription medications. This also eliminates the need for costly surgical procedures which cause down-time and may show scarring or a fake looking hair line. It’s time that modern technology can ensure sufficient restoration of weak hair follicles and create healthy, beautiful results.

The Meaningless Shrinkage of Tumor

Mark (not real name) is a 34-year old male. Sometime in September 2006 he had coughs which led to the diagnosis of lung cancer. A CT scan on 18 December 2006 showed a 5 x 5 cm mass at the right upper lobe of this lung. The right lung also had fluid (pleural effusion). In addition, there were several metastatic lesions in the partially collapsed right mid and lower lobes of the lung. The left lung was clear. Unfortunately the cancer had already spread to the fourth and sixth ribs.

A core biopsy of the lung mass indicated a moderately differentiated papillary adenocarcinoma.

From December 2006 to February 2007, Mark underwent chemotherapy with Gemzar and cisplatin. Two cycles were given each month and he received a total of six cycles. The cost of each cycle was around RM 4,000. The oncologist told him that there would be no cure but the size of the tumor could be reduced by the treatment.

After the chemotherapy was completed, a CT scan on 7 March 2007 showed right lung severely collapsed with a mass lesion measuring 6 cm over the hilum. Mark had to undergo a procedure to re-inflate his lung.

Mark was told that chemotherapy was not effective. He was asked to take the oral drug, Tarceva which cost RM 270 / pill. The progress of the treatment responses are as follows:

1. CT scan on 9 March 2007 showed a 7.5 cm x 6 cm mass and a daughter nodule measuring 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm.

2. CT scan on 31 May 2007 showed a mass measuring 4 cm x 2 cm, a significant reduction in size of the right lung mass.

3. CT scan on 13 September 2007 showed no significant change compared to the previous CXR.

4. CT scan on 13 November 2007 showed a larger mass measuring 8 x 6 x 4 cm. There was fibrosis in the right apex and the right lung base. There was destruction of one of the lower left rib suggestive of bony metastasis.

While on Tarceva, Mark was told that initially the tumour had shrunk to about eighty percent of its initial size. Unfortunately this shrinkage did not last. After eight months of Tarceva (costing him approximately RM 64,000) it was clear that the treatment had failed. Mark was told the disappointing news that the tumour had grown bigger again. Tarceva was not effective. In addition, the bony metastasis got worse. Mark was on Bonefos since his diagnosis and this medication cost about RM 400 per month.

Mark and his wife came to see us on December 2007. They wanted to know if by taking the herbs the tumour would shrink and how long would it take for the herbs to be able to do this. Honestly and frankly my respond was: “I am sorry I don’t know.”

Comments

Mark and his wife came to us to seek an assurance that herbs can help him. We have lung cancer patients who were told by their doctors that they only had six months to live, but after taking the herbs they went on to lead a normal life for another two to three years before they eventually succumb to the cancer. A man with bone cancer was told: Go home and prepare your will. You only have six months to live. He declined Bonefos medication, took herbs and is still alive to this day – almost seven years now. However, it is absolutely wrong on our part to claim that herbs can cure cancer. Unfortunately when Mark came to see us, I was unable to provide him the guarantee that herbs can cure anything if that was what he and his wife came to see me for. I told them, we could only do our best to help.

I am reminded by what Randall Fitzgerald said (in The Hundred Years Lie):

” “For many people who grew by and dependent on technology and the laboratory drugs of Western medicine, breaking free of that paradigm or even considering the use of strange-sounding treatments from other cultures, requires a leap of faith.”

” “For many of us, before we can discover natural healing alternatives, we must first experience the desperation of having exhausted the entire range of synthetic chemical remedies offered by modern medicine.”

However, for some people even the experience of failure does not bring any message. The sad truth about advanced stage lung cancer is that there is no cure for it – not even with chemotherapy or Tarceva.

Stephen Spiro and Joanna Porter in an article: Lung cancer- where are we today? (American J. Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 166:1166-1196, 2000), wrote that “although chemotherapy may be a logical approach, there is virtually no evidence that it can cure NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer).”

Ronald Feld et al. (in Lung. Clinical Oncology. 2nd ed. Harcourt Asia) summed up the present scenario: “Despite this large patient base for clinical trials, the role of systemic chemotherapy in the management of NSCLC remains one of the most controversial issues in medical oncology today.”

Dr. Jeffrey Tobias and Kay Eaton (in Living with Cancer) were more explicit when they wrote

” “For patients with NSCLC …(treatment) in truth is likely to be more valuable for palliation of symptoms rather than a treatment with a real prospect of cure… a cure couldn’t realistically be attempted.”

” “the early dramatic response to chemotherapy is rarely beyond a year or two … perhaps six months later (there is) clear evidence of the return of the cancer.”

What is Bonefos?

Bonefos is used in some cancers to reduce bone destruction that could result in bone pain and fractures. Its chemical name is Clodronate disodium belonging to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. It stops the calcium from coming out of the bone which makes it weaker and hence increasing the risk of fractures and pain besides increasing calcium blood levels. Nowhere is it stated that it cures bone cancer. And in this case, Bonefos was not effective.

What is Tarceva?

Go into the website and find some hard truth about this oral drug. According to the company’s website, [http://www.tarceva.net/survivalresults.aspx], Tarceva is the first and only oral HER1/EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor proven to significantly prolong survival. It significantly increased overall survival by 37% and demonstrated significant symptom benefits by prolonging the time to progression of symptoms.

This write-up is very impressive. But as always, let me caution patients to read information using some common sense. Ask what does increased survival by 37% means in real term? The data presented by the company are as below:

1. Median survival was 9.5 months with Tarceva versus 6.7 months with placebo. In real terms Tarceva only increased survival by 2.8 months. Mathematically it is very correct to say that the increased survival due to Tarceva is 41.8%. Definitely 41.8% increased survival sounds very attractive indeed.

2. Tarceva significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) by 82%. The actual figures are: PFS 3.6 months with Tarceva versus 1.8 months with placebo.

Nowhere in the medical literature is there a claim that Tarceva cures lung cancer! Patients need to decide if it is worth spending RM 8,000 each month on medication that was shown to only prolong life by 2.8 months. In this case, Mark had already spent RM 64,000, and found out that Tarceva had failed him.

Current therapy for pneumonia

There are more clinical types of Pneumonia and each of them is cured according to the path gnomonic mechanism which is responsible for its apparition. If the pneumonia case is caused by bacteria, less severe cases are cured with oral medication administered at home and more dangerous conditions are usually treated in hospitals by intravenous antibiotics if complications like other diseases or breathing difficulties are associated. In case of viral pneumonias, there is no actual treatment but medication for relieving the signs and symptoms of the infection are required.

The doctor’s choice for your particular treatment depends on different clinical expertise and on a possible resistance to certain types of antibiotics. All cases of pulmonary conditions are diagnosed after a complete registration of medical history, physical examination, chest X-ray and further laboratory testing of samples of your sputum, urine and blood tissue. Before the exact cause of your pneumonia is known, a symptomatic therapy is required; when the doctor has determined whether a virus, fungi or bacteria is responsible for your illness, he will prescribe you the specific medication in your case.

The most common therapy for previous healthy patients with no earlier antibiotic cures or with no ant biotherapy in the last three months usually consists out of the following medication:

1. Macrolids, such as Doxycycline, Clarythromicyne, Azythromicin or Erythromycin.

2. Fluorochinolones like Levofloxacin, gatifloxacin or Moxifloxacin

3. A Macrolide combined with Amoxicillin

4. A Macrolide combined with Augumentin

The therapeutic schema of patients with other associated conditions such as diabetes, cancer or heart failure, differ from case to case:

1. Macrolides like Azithromycin or Claritromycin

2. Fluoroquinolones like Levofloxacin, gatifloxacin or Moxifloxacin

3. A Macrolide combined with Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Cefpodoxime, Cefprozil or Cefuroxime.

In more severe pneumonia cases requiring hospitalization, the patients will be administered intravenous antibiotics and associated oxygen-therapy for assisting the difficult breathing. The most common type of pneumonia is caused by the bacterium called Streptococcus Pneumoniae and can be usually cured in 5-10 days of ant biotherapy. The remission period of the infection may be prolonged if pneumonia is caused by more aggressive bacteria like Pseudomonas or Legionella, by fungi or if the recovery is compromised by other medical conditions.

It is always important to take the complete medication prescribed by the physician and not only until symptoms disappear. Otherwise, it is possible that the blamed bacteria will get resistant to the antibiotic and cause more severe recurrence in the future; in this case the infectious germ will no longer respond to the previous antibiotic administered and the cure will be hardened.

GERD Complications – Inflammation Lung, Throat and Larynx

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is not generally a socially acceptable subject

because it is difficult to understand the pain a person is going through when

you are hearing about disgusting things like vomiting and heartburn. However,

understanding the complications of GERD is something that every person that has

ever had the condition should do, here are a few of the complications of acid

reflux, or GERD.

Throat and Larynx Inflammation

When the refluxed liquid moves past the

esophageal sphincter then it enters the area where the pharynx and larynx, or

throat and voice box, lie. This complication is relatively uncomplicated

overall, but can cause pain and discomfort in the form of a sore throat or horse

voice. While this does not seem to be too much of a problem, the afflicted will

disagree if they are in a field that requires a decent amount of public speaking

or sales talk. The presence of a weak voice can take away from the opportunity

of success to the individual with the problem.

Lung Infection and Inflammation

Many have felt the complication of liquid

entering the lungs, commonly referred to as aspiration. If you have aspiration

it does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from GERD, but if you have

GERD it is probable that you suffer from aspiration. Aspiration pneumonia can

be a serious condition that will require the immediate care and treatment of a

doctor. If it is not aspiration pneumonia then it could result in an eventual

scarring of the throat, or fibrosis, that damages the lungs. Aspiration

generally occurs at night when acid reflux is at its worst without the

assistance of gravity.

These are two of the seven major complications of GERD, continue on with your

reading to determine what the complication of your GERD could be. If you

have not seen one of the complications of acid reflux that you believe should be

mentioned then you should see your family doctor or physician to decide if your

complications are as a result of acid reflux or something else altogether.

There is nothing comical about acid reflux, even though it may be an

embarrassing and sometimes disgusting condition to discuss.

Common Cold Spread

Concern over common cold spread, as well as the spread of other viruses in schools, hospitals and other public places, should lead to increased focus on good health habits. There are over 200 viruses that cause common colds and washing with soap and warm water kills them. One of the best habits to remember in order to avoid coming down with a cold is to wash your hands before you touch your face, particularly your nose or mouth.

The rhinovirus, the virus that is most easily grown in a laboratory setting and the subject of most studies, can live for up to three hours on skin and surfaces. Once the rhinovirus enters the nose, it grows easily and infects the lining of the nose, causing sneezing, congestion, coughing and often a low grade fever. Scientists estimate that rhinoviruses cause approximately 30-35 percent of adult common colds. For unknown reasons, some people become infected with rhinoviruses and never develop symptoms, but may still be responsible for common cold spread, since the virus can still be found in nasal secretions.

Common colds are one of the leading causes of missed school days and doctor visits, even though that doctor visit may be unnecessary. Studies indicate that viruses and common cold spread in the waiting rooms of hospitals and doctor’s offices. These viruses become airborne when a person sneezes or coughs. So, another good health habit to remember, when you have a cold, is to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), children have about six to ten common colds per year. Adults typically have less, with the average around three, but the range varies widely. Those who work with the public and in hospitals have more than those who work at home or in small offices. People who have asthma are more susceptible to common colds than the average person. Recent studies have shown that asthmatics produce less anti-viral proteins, a function of the immune system, than normal. Supporting the belief that efforts to maintain a healthy immune system can reduce the number of colds a person has per year and thus reduce common cold spread.

Experts believe that children have more common colds than adults because daycare and school settings lead to close contact with other children. Children often forget to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing and washing hands is not a priority for them. Many elementary schools now request that parents supply tissues and waterless alcohol-based hand washing products in an effort to reduce common cold spread in schools. Additionally, since the rhinoviruses can live for several hours on surfaces, recommendations for preventing common cold spread include cleaning phones, stair rails, door knobs and other areas that people touch frequently with a disinfectant.

Expert opinions vary about the effectiveness of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other plant products for preventing and/or treating the common cold. Thousands of clinical studies have been performed, but results are not always reproducible. For example, two recent studies support the use of zinc nasal gels to reduce the duration of common cold symptoms, but one contradicts those findings and suggests that it is unethical to recommend a product that can cause permanent loss of the sense of smell to treat a temporary condition like the common cold. All of the studies were performed by reputable researchers, with no motive other than to help and inform the public, but when scientists cannot agree on an appropriate treatment, it leaves the general public more confused.

Health supplements that are safe and can help prevent common colds by supporting normal immune system function include; vitamin C (which works best when taken with calcium and magnesium), zinc supplements (which at normal dosages and taken in tablet form do not cause adverse side effects), green tea (a subject of numerous studies), Andrographis paniculata (which reduces flu symptoms and the likelihood of developing complications from viral infections), and many other natural substances. To learn more about how to reduce common cold spread, visit the Immune System Booster Guide.

Bronchitis Signs – How To Identify Them For Early Diagnosis

All disorders are accompanied by characterisitc signs, including bronchitis, a respiratory disorder that affects the lives of a number of people in different parts of the world. The signs of bronchitis are often mistaken to be cold. However, physicians around the world can make an accurate diagnosis on the basis of the signs of bronchitis described by their patients as well as the findings of laboratory tests.

Bronchitis is of two types–acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a milder form that lasts for a few days. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is a severe, long-lasting condition that requires careful medical attention and treatment. Doctors can easily distinguish between the varieties on the basis of the different signs of bronchitis in the patient.

Signs of Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis bears a lot of resemblance to common cold. The symptoms include severe coughing, low-grade fever, fatigue, pain in the chest and throat, and wheezing.

The signs of chronic bronchitis includes persistent and productive cough, obstruction of the air passages with mucus, breathlessness, fever, chest pain, and several attacks of acute bronchitis. A chronic bronchitis patient suffers from cough especially during the winter. The cough decreases in intensity during the summer.

In many cases, the signs of bronchitis are similar to the signs of other disorders of the respiratory system such as chronic sinusitis. Some of the the common signs are soreness, tightness in the chest, wheezing, malaise, low-grade fever, congestion, chills, sore throat, and breathlessness.

Recognising the signs of bronchitis leads to the correct diagnosis of this condition. Then an appropriate treatment plan can be drawn up to keep this condition under control. If you neglect the signs of bronchitis, it will lead to complications such as chronic bronchitis or even asthmatic bronchitis.

Things to Do and Avoid

To normalize breathing patterns after you are cured of bronchitis, perform aerobic exercises on a regular basis. Bronchitis patients have to exercise a lot even if the exercises are as simple as taking a walk. In addition, you could also try cardio exercises in order to improve your breathing, strengthen your muscles, and achieve a state of calmness.

If you are suffering from bronchitis, acute or chronic, avoid eating dairy food because it encourages the excessive secretion of mucus, which in turn can worsen the infection. You indirectly help the bacteria to grow and multiply in your system when you eat dairy products.

Pepper, garlic, and chicken stock will help you deal with acute bronchitis. These items liquefy the phlegm and make it easier for patients to expel it from their system.

Eucalyptus soothes the irritation in the bronchi and improve respiration.

Warm compresses and hot baths clear the mucus and stabilize the breathing process.

If you are a smoker, quit smoking for good. Avoid smoke from other smokers because this constitutes passive smoking, which is more dangerous than active smoking.

Signs of bronchitis serve to warn the person about its arrival. As soon as you observe signs of bronchitis in your body, visit the doctor. If you detect and treat the disease in its early stages, you can prevent further complications. Take the help of an experienced and reputed medical practitioner.

Treatments For Shoulder Dislocation – Get the Right Fix

If a shoulder becomes dislocated there are a few different treatment options. Here are some treatments for shoulder dislocation – first some home remedies until you can reach a doctor or emergency room.

1. Use a sling; if you don’t have a sling, you can make one using a piece of cloth made into a circle. A sheet is a good option for this.

2. Place a pillow between the arm and the body to add support

3. Do not eat – most treatment will require an empty stomach, so if you must have something, eat ice chips until you can be seen.

Sometimes there is no further action required to treat the dislocated shoulder than to place in a sling and take a prescription pain reliever; but for young patients, there is a higher risk for recurrence and so should be treated more aggressively. Patients over the age of 40 have a low risk for recurrence. Immediate treatment of some sort as soon as possible will reduce the amount of damage to the joint -so it is imperative to act quickly.

Medical treatments for shoulder dislocation include operative and non-operative. For first time shoulder dislocation a sling and physically therapy may be tried first. The patient would be required to limit the use of the arm for several weeks, by continuing to wear the sling and participate in physical therapy to build stamina, and strengthen the shoulder muscles, so as to prevent recurrence.

In the doctor’s office or ER, they may use medication to relax the patient and then relocated the shoulder manually after reviewing x-rays to see exactly what the extent of the dislocation is. The patient would then need to wear a sling and rest the joint for several weeks and could be prescribed physical therapy to help strengthen the shoulder. Medications and procedures to do this include general anesthesia or local anesthetics and sedatives. A dislocated shoulder can be extremely painful, but once the shoulder has been manipulated back into place, the pain relief is instantaneous.

For a more severe case operation may be the best option- surgery is done to repair and tighten the shoulder structure so as to prevent another incident. The most common procedure is open reconstruction, but there are newer, less invasive procedures that are becoming more available such as Arthroscopic surgery.

More treatments for shoulder dislocation include the use of an ice pack for the first 1 to 2 days and then a heat pack after the first two days for pain relief. Another treatment for shoulder dislocation is the use of a brace; while this can prevent further recurrence, the brace itself can be difficult for an athlete to continue to play their sport while wearing.

Cervical Nerve Root Neck Pain Treatment by Physiotherapy

Severe neck pain with pain radiation into the arm and hand is usually the result of a herniated disc or a traumatic injury causing the nerve exit to be compromised, compressing the nerve. Most commonly affected are the C6 nerve in 25% of cases and the C7 nerve in 60%. About 25% of arm pains are from an acute prolapsed disc. In older people the cause is more likely to be narrowing of the exit channel from bony outgrowths, disc bulging, ligament infolding and arthritic enlargement of the facet joints. Physiotherapists routinely assess and treat this kind of neck pain.

Factors making nerve root pain more likely are routine lifting of weights above 25 pounds (12 kilograms), driving or operating vibrating machinery and smoking. Cervical radiculopathy is not common and occurs much less frequently than lumbar root lesions such as sciatica.

There can be many reasons for the onset of nerve root neck pain or it can come on slowly without clear reason. If the neck is moved backwards, tipped to one side and rotated to the same side this can sharply narrow the nerve exit space and injure the nerve, occurring in a traumatic accident or a sporting injury. The opposite can occur with a quick side bend, combined with flexion or extension, tractioning the nerve and causing injury. Sudden loading of the neck in any posture can cause disc prolapse. There may be degenerative changes in an older group and with repetitive or sustained neck postures an osteophyte can impinge the nerve and give a slower development of arm pain.

The onset of cervical radiculopathy can be insidious without obvious cause or after an incident. During sport or trauma like a fall the neck can be extended back, bent to one side and rotated, suddenly narrowing the exit for the nerve and compressing it, causing an injury. Or a sudden bend to the opposite side with either cervical flexion or extension can traction the nerve on the one side with consequent injury again. If there is a sudden load on the cervical spine, in any position, it’s possible for a disc prolapse to occur. If there are osteophytes present in an older person, sustaining or repeating extension with rotation may cause nerve irritation with a slower onset.

People with root pain look tired due to poor sleep, don’t find anything funny and guard their arm in a protective posture against the abdomen or hold it out to the side with their hand on the back of their neck or the other side of the head. This may reduce the forces through the inflamed nerve root and so reduce pain.

A postural abnormality is often present with the neck held side flexed or rotated away from the painful side. Examination by the physiotherapist includes recording any muscle spasm, checking reflexes, sensibility and muscle power, any combined movements which might aggravate the pain and any easing factors such as manual traction. Acupuncture and cervical epidural injections of steroids may be useful if physiotherapy cannot reduce the pain sufficiently.

Posture is usually abnormal with the head tilted away from the painful side and the neck held stiffly with reduced ranges of movement. The physio notes the muscle spasm and tests the muscle power to determine which nerve root is affected, looks for sensory and reflex loss and notes which combination of movements are provocative and if manual traction reduces symptoms.

Reducing the pain and inflammation is the first goal of treatment and the physiotherapist can employ analgesics such as NSAIDs, cryotherapy, mechanical or manual traction and avoidance of aggravating activities and postures. Limiting the forces transmitted through the nerve root is an overall goal of management, using a collar to reduce neck movement, a cervical pillow or collar at night and manual traction from the physio to distract the joints. After the acute phase has settled physiotherapy concentrates on regaining neck movement and muscle power, starting with isometric exercises and moving on to isotonic and exercises for multiple muscle groups. Long term adherence to a regime of aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening and stretching may be useful.

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.

Shoulder Separation: A Common Injury With Uncommonly High Surgical Failures

Shoulder Separation also referred to as AC (acromioclavicular) dislocation or AC separation is a very common injury typically as a result of a direct force on the top of the acromion (shoulder blade) or fall on an outstretched hand. To better understand this injury, we have to take a step back and review the anatomy of the shoulder girdle.

The shoulder girdle (clavicle and scapula) is only truly connected to the rest of the body at the joint formed between the clavicle and sternum (breastbone).  The shoulder therefore is suspended and supported by many muscles that originate or insert on the bones making up the shoulder. The shoulder is really suspended from the clavicle (collarbone), being held in place by the ligaments between the coracoid (shoulder blade) and clavicle, along with the AC joint capsule, as well as the multiple muscles surrounding the shoulder. 

So if just the AC joint capsule is injured but the ligaments are preserved, this is considered a mild shoulder separation and does not result in a big bump or prominence of the clavicle. As the severity of the injury increases and more damage is done-the ligaments suspending the shoulder blade are torn-the shoulder now drops down, leaving the clavicle elevated, resulting in a bump. With even more injury, the clavicle can also be displaced or moved higher up, further back or even pushed down as well. 

The mild levels of injury are typically treated like any other sprain (think mild ankle sprain, for instance) and usually do not require any sort of surgical treatment to regain normal use. The really severe levels of injury are typically treated with surgery. The most controversial type of injury is the Type III Shoulder Separation, where the ligaments and AC capsule are disrupted.  This is the same injury suffered by NFL quarterback Sam Bradford during his last year of collegiate play at Oklahoma.  In some patients with a lot of muscle tone or bulk, the muscles are sometimes able to compensate for the injury by holding the shoulder girdle reduced while the injuries heal. Unfortunately, for many patients with this injury, the amount of shoulder drop that occurs cannot be fully compensated and they experience significant pain and dysfunction. 

Literally hundreds of surgical procedures have been described to repair and/or reconstruct high-grade shoulder separations.  The vast majority of these procedures are based on a modification of a surgery called the Weaver-Dunn surgery. This surgery and all the subsequent modifications involve transferring another ligament [the CA (coracoacromial) ligament] to take the place of the torn CC ligaments (coraco-clavicular).  Unfortunately, these procedures have been limited by highly variable success rates. The CA (coracoacromial) ligament is also increasingly recognized as important for shoulder function.  Although the incidence of shoulder separation is relatively high, the number of surgeons performing more than 5 shoulder separation surgeries annually is very small-meaning that most orthopedic surgeons perform these procedures only rarely. Especially for technically advanced procedures, it is very difficult for the surgeon only performing the procedure rarely to develop any sort of reliable expertise.  Add to this the vast array of procedures available and it is not uncommon to see surgeons trying a different type of reconstruction procedure for each separated shoulder subsequent case. 

Several major nerves and vessels also travel close to this area of the shoulder girdle and these can be involved in the mechanism of injury and must be greatly respected during any surgical approach.  Other potential complications include:

  • Loss of reduction of the clavicle (does not stay in proper position)
  • Clavicle or coracoid fracture
  • Infection
  • Painful scar
  • Deltoid/Trapezius muscle detachment

Many patients with this injury also have other injuries (rotator cuff tear, labrum tear, unstable shoulder, etc.) requiring treatment at the same time, so a reliable arthroscopic approach offers many advantages for both the patient and surgeon.  Our  technique  offers the following advantages:

  • An arthroscopic technique potentially offers reduced morbidity, improved cosmesis, and the ability to address concurrent shoulder pathology.
  • A single 4.5mm tunnel in the clavicle and coracoid instead of larger or multiple tunnels help reduce the risk of subsequent fracture.
  • The continuous suture loops placed through the coracoid and clavicle provide uniform compression of the graft at the coracoid and clavicle. Rather than relieve load from the graft, they create a tension band construct to maintain graft tension and position.
  • Placing the graft at the superior cortex of the coracoid more accurately reproduces the anatomic location of the native CC ligaments and avoids the possibility of anterior clavicle translation with passage of the graft around the clavicle.
  • The risk of neurovascular injury to structures medial to the coracoid is reduced as no dissection medial to the coracoid is required.
  • The placement of a single drill hole in the clavicle at 35mm medially allows the two limbs of the graft to reproduce the anatomic course and function of the Trapezoid and Conoid ligaments.
  • The #7 Adjustable Loop Toggle Loc Device has an average peak load of 1664.1N, 374.1lbs with 0mm cyclic loading slippage under testing resulting in the highly desirable likelihood of failure of the graft rather than at the points of fixation.

The combination of high initial strength of fixation with gradual incorporation of the graft to recreate the native ligaments offers both early return to function and long term durability.

Suffering a major shoulder injury like a high grade shoulder separation is painful enough; don’t make it worse by not doing your homework and finding the best solutions available to allow you to return to your regular routine as soon as possible.  In summary, we present a strong and reliable arthroscopic technique for anatomic reconstruction as an option for significantly symptomatic high grade acute and chronic shoulder separations as well as previously failed surgeries for shoulder separations.

How Can Cerebral Palsy Be Treated?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that is caused because some parts of the brain that control muscular movement are damaged. There is still no single cure for this disorder but various treatments are available to help elevate the patient’s suffering.

No single doctor can help to treat a patient who has cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy patients need a team of health care professionals who can develop a treatment especially for them depending upon their needs and problems. When planning a series of treatment for a cerebral palsy patient it is necessary to involve the family members, teachers, caregivers so that everyone gets a role to play in the treatment.

A team of health care professionals involving a pediatrician, pediatric psychiatrist and a pediatric neurologist gives those suffering from Cerebral Palsy treatment. A team of doctors comprising a family doctor, neurologist and a psychiatrist treats adults with cerebral palsy. While a pediatric psychiatrist provides primary care for a child suffering from cerebral palsy, a psychiatrist provides primary care for adults suffering from cerebral palsy. Other specialised health care professional who are also involved in treating patients with cerebral palsy include an orthopedist, physical therapist, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker and a psychologist.

Physical therapy is an important aspect of treatment, which should begin the moment cerebral palsy, is diagnosed in a patient. The patients should be taught a series of exercises that would involve moving their limbs so that it will help prevent their muscles form becoming weak or rigid due to contracture. Physical therapy when used in combination of special braces will help a child immensely and prevent contraction of spastic muscles that are stretched.

Treatment involves teaching children small exercises so that they can about their work independently. Most of these are suitably designed for children with cerebral palsy so that they can do small chores like brushing their teeth, dressing, writing and using the bathroom with any help.

Speech therapy, psychotherapy and medication for seizures are some of the other treatment that patients of cerebral palsy given. Speech therapy helps children with Cerebral palsy as they have problems when pronouncing words. Because of the disorder, cerebral palsy patients would often find it difficult to swallow and this often leads to drooling. Speech therapy helps in both communication and swallowing.

Medication is given to help prevent seizures from occurring. Almost all patients with cerebral palsy will be susceptible to seizures and to prevent this medications are given. Patients are also prescribed muscle relaxants and other medicines to help relieve their symptoms. Psychotherapy is used along with physical therapy so that the patient learns to improve both motor and muscular development. Lots of kind words and praise will help to instill confidence in their child suffering from cerebral palsy.

Positive reinforcement is an important tool that is used when treating children with cerebral palsy as it encourages them to use their weak limbs to walk, overcome defects in speech and helps to prevent negative behavior like biting and hair pulling.

Sleep Panic Attacks – Ever Heard of Night Terrors Or Sleep Paralysis?

Does this sound familiar? You are starting to fall asleep, but you’re not quite fully there-more like a daze. Suddenly, you feel your heart rate dramatically increase and then you start having problems getting your next breath. Perhaps you even feel like you can’t move-your body is paralyzed. All this is very terrifying and for lack of a better term you call it a sleep panic attack.

You are probably suffering from one of two conditions. One is called night terrors and the other sleep paralysis.

Here is the good news-if there can be anything good about waking up in horror-neither condition is a serious health threat. However, it is always good to check in with your doctor concerning your sleep issues. For example, sometimes thyroid conditions can cause symptoms similar to what we have described.

Night terrors usually develops within the first hour or so of sleep and is more common in children than adults. A person suffering from night terror will yell, scream or moan while sleeping, but will probably not become fully awake during their episode. Even if someone tries to wake them it will be difficult to do so. One very distinguishing feature of night terror is that the person suffering from it will rarely be able to remember exactly what happened to them and what they did during their sleep terror. However, they will be able to remember the fear they felt when their heart was racing and breathing was difficult.

Children suffering from night terrors will have very similar symptoms as adults, but they generally only impact children under the age of six. While not real common, approximately 1 in seven children will suffer from night terror sometime in their childhood.

Night terrors are generally related to anxiety issues, improper sleeping patterns and bad diet choices. Reducing stress, establishing plans to assure consistent and quality sleep and improving diet choices will go far in reducing night terror in both children and adults.

Sleep paralysis occurs when a person is unable to move their bodies either as they fall to sleep or as they start to wake up. It is a very frightening experience and is also accompanied by difficulty in breathing and a feeling of tightness in their chest area. They are often fearful they will die because of these breathing problems.

There isn’t a medical explanation for the cause of sleep paralysis; however, there is some indication it can be related to genetics and a family history of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis will pass after a few minutes and the person will either quickly regain the use of their limbs or will progressively improve.

People with sleep paralysis often suffer from panic attacks during their waking hours, so there is definitely a correlation. Like most panic related issues, getting proper exercise, improving eating habits and establishing sleep routines to assure more and higher quality sleep will assist in reducing sleep paralysis.

While night terrors and sleep paralysis can be extremely frightening and distressing, they usually don’t involve serious health issues. Hopefully, their symptoms can be avoided or reduced by making relatively simple changes in life-styles choices.

Emergency Inguinal Hernia Surgery vs. Elective Inguinal Hernia Surgery

Inguinal hernia is a very common disorder, affecting millions of people in the United States alone. Considered to be a surgical disease, inguinal hernia accounts for thousands of annual operations worldwide.

Although inguinal hernia can occur in both sexes, the disorder predominantly affects men. Also, this type of hernia has the highest incidence in the elderly, people who frequently sustain physical effort and smokers. Inguinal hernia usually occurs on the background of a weak lower abdominal wall, allowing the internal soft tissues to pierce through it. The symptoms of inguinal hernia are: abdominal pain and discomfort (which intensify with intense physical effort or sudden moves), abdominal bloating and nausea. Some people with inguinal hernia are asymptomatic, rendering the process of diagnosing the disorder a lot more difficult.

There are many factors that can lead to the development of inguinal hernia, such as birth defects, internal disorders or acquired weaknesses of the abdominal wall. In the recent past, the majority of patients who were diagnosed with inguinal hernia were suggested to have their disorder surgically corrected as soon as possible. However, nowadays there are many debates over the necessity of surgical intervention when dealing with patients diagnosed with inguinal hernia. Although the surgery for inguinal hernia is a simple procedure, most patients experience a post-operative recurrence of the disorder. Hence, in many cases the surgical treatment for inguinal hernia only provides temporary relief, and most patients who suffer surgical hernia repair are later hospitalized due to complications.

Physicians have begun to doubt the efficiency of most surgical treatments for inguinal hernia and nowadays they only recommend surgical interventions to patients with complicated forms of the disorder. The majority of patients diagnosed with uncomplicated inguinal hernia nowadays have the possibility to decide whether they will have their hernia surgically repaired or not and in many cases, the best option for patients is to delay surgery until it is absolutely required. Statistics reveal that the patients who have their inguinal hernia surgically corrected can in time experience a relapse of the disorder and they are actually more exposed to developing complications than the patients who delay their surgery.

In many cases, the factors that lead to the recurrence of inguinal hernia in patients who suffer surgery are related to native predispositions. It seems that most patients who experience a post-operative recurrence of their inguinal hernia have a weak abdominal wall or other internal physiological abnormalities. The categories exposed to the highest risk of relapse are: people with native defects of the internal organs (gastrointestinal problems), people with physiological abnormalities of the abdominal wall and people whose careers involve intense physical activities. Patients who belong to these categories are advised to delay their inguinal hernia surgery for as long as possible, in order to prevent a recurrence or even an aggravation of the disorder.