Plant Growth Stages – How Plants Grow

Plant growth stages mirror other living things with a beginning, reproductive, and ending stage, except some plants have an additional dormant stage. The terms for these stages are: Vegetative, Reproductive, Senescence, and Dormancy.

Starting with the seed, a plant seed is similar to a fertilized egg. It contains a food store for the new plant life, and a protective outer shell. In the first stage of plant growth, the Vegetative stage, the seedling absorbs moisture and nutrients from the inner food store inside the seed. When the plant has absorbed the seed foods and starts growing the root stem, and shoot that becomes leaves, it penetrates the seed’s protective wall and begins growth. The root grows down into the warm moist earth, while the shoot rises upwards towards the sunlight and warm air. Upon emergence, leaves unfold and the roots continue to grow and spread. This continues until the plant seedling is fully developed with extensive roots, root hairs and leaves. The roots and leaves absorb moisture and nutrients from soil, water, and air.

The next of the plant growth stages would be a Reproductive stage. At this point, when the seedling has matured, it will produce a flower that has either male or female parts, or both. The flower contains pollen, which is then transferred to the egg part of the flower and a transformation into new seeds, or pods containing seeds, begins to grow to maturity. The pollination can occur with the help of wind, vibrations, insects like bees, and animals. Or, humans can artificially breed and cross breed plants through pollination efforts or splicing branches to other plants. The benefit to pollination of seeds is that gene diversity can occur, which may help survival.

A third growth stage occurs after new seeds or pods have been produced and spread to make new plant life. This would be Senescence, or old age in plants. This can be seen in the fall as the leaves on certain deciduous trees change color before dropping off. Plants show deterioration similar to other organisms in old age, such as damage from free radicals and telomere shortening.

Another growth stage that is different than Senescence is the Dormancy stage. In Dormancy, the plant goes into a state of hibernation, allowing it to survive intense winter weather and revive in the springtime with new growth, without going through a seed stage. This is easily seen in trees, that drop leaves in the fall, and the sap runs up, then the tree remains in a dormant stage until new buds come out in the warmer spring weather, to run the entire cycle year after year until the tree eventually dies. Dormancy can give plants an edge because they can build on prior year’s growth instead of starting over from seed. This gives them a competitive edge in competition for sunlight and soil, as they are bigger.

Plant growth stages are similar to growth and deterioration of other organisms, all part of the chain of life.

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.

Pneumonia – Symptoms and Treatment

Pneumonia (Inflammation of a person’s lungs) can be caused by different organisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses with more than sixty thousand people in the united states dying from the illness each year.

Typical symptoms that would indicate a pneumonia infection are high fever, cough, cold, pectoral pain, sleepiness, muscular pain, and phlegm which may either be yellowish or green in color. The symptoms experienced by the affected individual will vary depending upon the causative organism.

Pneumonia occurs when bacteria or viruses are able to move past our body’s defence system and get right into our air sacs. Due to the congregation of white blood cells, bacteria and pathogens in the air sacs the entire area gets clogged and hence makes breathing difficult.

People with low immunity, other diseases ans new born babies are generally at a higher risk of getting a pneumonia infection due to their body’s low resistance against such organisms.

In some can develop into serious complications. This does not usually happen but older adults are more prone to develop complications. Some of the complications that an individual can develop from a pneumonia infection are bacteremia and lung abscess. Bacteremia is a condition where the bacteria are able to penetrate directly into the bloodstream of a person and thereby spread to other areas causing more problems.

A pneumonia infection is usually confirmed with the help of an x ray to determine where the infection and how bad it actually is. To determine the organism causing the infection a sample of phlegm may be taken and examined.

A bacterial pneumonia infection is usually treated with the help of antibiotics taken orally but if it turn life threatening or dangerous, the individual would have to be put in a hospital and given medication intravenously.

Symptoms of Lymphoma in Women

Symptoms of lymphoma in women are generally the same as for men.

Lymphoma often develops quietly and with few symptoms so it may take a while before you may realize that there is something very much the matter.

Following is a list of the typical symptoms of lymphoma in women and symptoms of lymphoma in men alike.

One thing to keep in mind is that these lymphoma symptoms can be symptoms of any of a large number of conditions that are generally harmless.

For this reason, it’s wise to consult with your doctor if you experience any of them.

1. Enlargement of the Lymph Nodes

This is the most characteristic lymphoma symptom and can be the only symptom that one experiences.

It’s very important to note that a lot of different things can cause an enlargement of the lymph nodes and it does NOT necessarily mean you have lymphoma!

Typically, the lymph nodes of the groin, armpit and neck will swell but cause no pain.

Humans have 500+ lymph nodes in the body which are basically “forts” of immunity.

When they swell, it is often indicative of the body initiating an immune response against some type of microscopic invader.

You may notice these lumps in the course of your daily routine, such as when showering or applying creams, etc.

The symptoms outlined most often only indicate a possible lymphoma if they are discovered in addition to swollen lymph nodes.

2. Losing Weight

Typically, sudden weight loss will occur over a period of several months with no good reason.

Weight loss can range from a few pounds to up to 20 or so.

3. Running a Fever

A random fever that keeps occurring for no good reason (i.e., is not connected with a flu, cold, etc.) is usually an indication to go see your physician.

Symptoms of lymphoma can be confused with symptoms of other illnesses and, in fact, a lymphoma that causes fever accompanied by lymph node swelling is frequently mistaken for a flu or something similar.

Additionally, in those afflicted by a Hodgkins type lymphoma, a quintessential type of fever termed Pel-Ebstein fever can develop.

4. Night Sweats

Excess sweating at night may find you waking up soaked in your own sweat.

5. Pruritis (Itchiness)

Lymphoma cells can secrete certain substance which cause the entire body to be itchy, a condition known as pruritis.

6. Lack of Appetite

Individuals with lymphoma can experience a drop in their usual appetite which can also cause weight loss, one of the other symptoms of lymphoma listed above.

7. Fatigue and Listlessness

Cancer cells hijack the body’s energy resource that would otherwise be utilized by healthy cells, causing a drop in energy levels.

8. Swelling

Depending upon where a lymphoma grows (and it can occur in any organ of the body), it may compress and block off veins, effectively limiting blood supply and causing swelling.

Site-specific lymphomas produce rather widely varying symptoms.

A lymphoma of the brain may cause pains in one’s legs while a lymphoma in the stomach can cause stomach pains.

General Symptoms of Lymphoma in Women and General Symptoms of Lymphoma in Men

The first and most obvious sign of lymphoma is adenopathy, aka lymphadenopathy, which is a painless swelling of the lymph nodes.

Swollen lymph nodes by themselves, however, are NOT necessarily an indication of lymphoma.

It requires medical testing to confirm or negate the diagnosis.

Symptoms of lymphoma can come in many varieties, dependent upon the location of the lymphoma, the stage of growth, size of tumor, etc.

Symptoms linked with bone marrow issues such as becoming anemic (having a low red blood cell count) are uncommon in the beginning stages of a lymphoma but often are seen later in the game and often as a result of treatment.

MALT (Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue) lymphomas affect any mucosal site, the stomach being the most common one. Alterations in bowel movement and stomach pains can be indications.

As far as the stomach lymphoma goes, if it is a result of infection with the H. Pylori bacterium, antibiotic treatment can cause the lymphoma to regress in 70%+ of cases.

How To Report Your Symptoms To A Doctor Effectively:

Describe the intensity of your symptom on a scale such as “This hurts about a 7 out of 10″.

For visually observable symptoms, show them to the doctor and also explain how they started off and looked like initially.

Explain when you first experienced your symptoms

How long have you been experiencing this symptom?

Is the symptom constant or does it come and go?

Describe any medications or dietary supplements you take/did take starting from the time symptoms manifested.

Do the symptoms change depending upon body positioning, time of day, etc.?

Do certain foods trigger the symptoms?

Be as descriptive as possible. The more accurate and specific the information you give, the more your doctor will be able to pinpoint the nature of your problem (if you have any!) and the better he/she will be able to treat you and advise you.

As you can see the Symptoms of Lymphoma in Women are generally the same as they are for men. It’s important to pay attention to your body and note any symptoms you may have so that you can discuss them with your doctor in detail and he will be in a better position to help you.

Recurring Common Cold Symptoms Could Be Allergies

Some people are troubled with recurring common cold symptoms or a large number of colds per year. During cold and flu season, typically from September to April, the grocery store aisles that contain the over the counter and some of the herbal remedies for common cold symptoms are crowded with people. You can become infected with a cold virus any time of the year, but it appears that most of the viruses that cause cold symptoms survive better when the humidity is lower. In most of the United States, those are the winter months.

According to information published by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), you can get relief from cold symptoms by resting in bed, drinking plenty of fluids, gargling with warm salt water, using throat sprays or lozenges for a scratchy or sore throat, using petroleum jelly for a raw nose and taking aspirin or acetaminophen for headache or fever. (Note: Aspirin and aspirin containing products should not be given to children, because of the link to Reye’s syndrome, a rare illness that can be life threatening.) Additionally, the NIAID advises that frequently recurring common cold symptoms that last for much longer than two weeks may be an allergy, rather than an infection with a common cold virus.

Opinions vary on the effectiveness of over the counter and herbal remedies for common cold symptoms. Research often comes to contradictory conclusions. Antihistamines, cough suppressants and nasal decongestants are believed to be safe when used as directed, but can cause unwanted side effects, such as nervousness, dizziness, insomnia or drowsiness. Additionally, these products are not believed to shorten the duration of symptoms.

Some research has shown that zinc nasal gels or sprays can shorten the duration of common cold symptoms when taken during the early stages of a cold, but other research concluded that they were ineffective and may have caused the permanent loss of the sense of smell in some people. Zinc lozenges, tablets or dietary supplements are sometimes recommended to shorten the duration of symptoms and have no unwanted side effects when taken in appropriate dosages.

Vitamin C is not really one of the herbal remedies for common cold symptoms, but because it is a natural product, it is sometimes grouped with them. Many studies have been done concerning the effectiveness of vitamin C for recurring common cold symptoms, both as a preventative and a treatment. The conclusions of these studies have sometimes been contradictory, but it is known that available amounts of vitamin C circulating in the blood stream are quickly depleted during an infection. When taken in appropriate amounts, it can shorten the duration and severity of symptoms and has no unwanted side effects. Mega doses of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so it is important to follow the supplement manufacturer’s directions and reduce the dosage if diarrhea occurs.

Echinacea is one of the popular herbal remedies for common cold symptoms, but again research results do not always support its effectiveness or safety. Indian echinacea or andrographis paniculata is included in some herbal remedies for common cold prevention and has been shown to have very low toxicity in animals, even when used in large amounts. Curcumin or turmeric has been shown in studies to be a mild expectorant, while causing no unwanted side effects. Piperine, from black pepper, has been shown to enhance the beneficial effects of Curcumin.

Many vitamins, minerals, plant components and herbs work best when accompanied by others. This may be the reason that some research supports their use and others are inconclusive. Some of the best health supplement manufacturers take these facts into account when creating proprietary blends to be used for specific purposes, such as reducing recurring common cold infections. To learn more about these products, please visit the Immune System Booster Guide.

What Causes Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is as a result of the inflammation of the large bronchi. This inflammation is caused by the presence of harmful pathogens. Causes of bronchitis differ in individual cases. The symptoms are all the same. These include fever, fatigue, headache, expectorant cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and occasional chest pains. According to what causes bronchitis, the treatment is different.

The main causes of bronchitis are viral and bacteria pathogens. Viral pathogens include adenoviridae virus, influenza and rhino virus. The adenoviridae virus can also cause pains in the abdomen. Viral pathogens are the main causes of bronchitis. The symptoms caused by these pathogens disappear in a few days time. They therefore do not require treatment. Bacteria caused bronchitis needs to be treated with antibiotics and an expectorant cough syrup.

What causes bronchitis in smokers? This can be a direct infection with the pathogens that cause the disease. An inflammation caused by the tar is also possible. Tar smoked in builds up in the inside walls of the bronchi. If this continues over time, it can cause other life threatening conditions apart from bronchitis. These include cancer and pneumonia.

What causes bronchitis mainly depends on the type of pathogen one is exposed to. Most of these pathogens are contagious. Therefore, it is very likely to treat a number of people in one are just having one type of pathogen caused bronchitis. Always practice simple hygiene basics such as washing your hands and using clean handkerchief when blowing your nose and coughing. This will reduce the spreading of the pathogens.

Shoulder Pain, Injury and Treatment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports shoulder pain afflicts nearly 1 in 10 people. Shoulders have a range of motion greater than any other human joint. It is no wonder they are frequently injured!

Shoulder Injuries: As a personal injury attorney, I represent clients who have suffered serious shoulder injuries and broken bones as the result of being in an accident. Injury to the shoulder may occur when a bicyclist is hit by a car in a crosswalk, in a grocery store fall when someone slips and falls on a spill on the floor or falls in a pothole or other tripping hazard as well as in pedestrian/car collisions.

Shoulder Anatomy: Shoulders are the most commonly dislocated joint. The shoulder is not put together as snugly as our body’s other ball and socket joints. Shoulder sockets are shallower, flatter, and the balls (the upper end of the top arm bones) have to be held in position by a lot of soft tissue.

Shoulder Problems: Aside from wear and tear,shoulders are susceptible to many other injuries.Problems more often occur in the ligaments and tendons of the shoulder rather than in the bones. Doctors may diagnose the precise location of shoulder pain by performing an examination, or through x-rays or an MRI.

Types of Shoulder Injuries: Dislocation: When the ball-shape top of the upper arm (humerus) becomes pulled out of its socket (glenoid) the surrounding soft tissue is stretched and often torn, causing a lot of swelling and pain in the shoulder. As a result, the supporting ligaments in the front of the shoulder may become damaged. Dislocation of the shoulder can cause excruciating pain. A doctor can usually maneuver the arm back into place, although sometimes shoulder surgery is indicated.

A dislocated shoulder injury is frequently the result of a slip and fall accident or pedestrian or bicycle accident.The nature of the injury makes it more vulnerable to future dislocation. When this occurs in an older adult, the damage may be more severe, due to soft tissue becoming weaker with age.

Treatment for a Dislocated Shoulder: Treatment generally includes rest, cold packs, pain medicine, muscle relaxants, and physical therapy. Separation: A separated shoulder happens not in the ball-and-socket joint but closer to the neck, at the point where the top of the shoulder blade (scapula) meets the collarbone called the clavicle. The ligaments holding the two bones together are stretched or torn.

Treatment for Separated Shoulder: Treatment for a separated shoulder joint injury usually involves rest, ice, pain relievers, and physical therapy.

Rotator Cuff Injury: The rotator cuff is the structure that holds the ball of the shoulder in its socket and comprises four muscles and several tendons that are attached to the ball, beneath the deltoid and pectoralis muscles. A rotator cuff injury can progress from inflammation to partial tears, small tears, and larger tears. One of the tendons in an injured rotator cuff may begin to detach from the arm bone. Symptoms include pain in the shoulder and upper arm which becomes worse with time and when the arm is lifted overhead or lowered.

Treatment for rotator cuff tears: If caught early, they may be treated with rest, ice and an anti-inflammatory, and physical therapy. Ultrasound, along with a steroid cream, can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, which speeds up healing. Tendons may be reattached using arthroscopic surgery, in more serious shoulder rotator cuff tears.

Frozen Shoulder: Some people, who have an injured shoulder requiring immobilization as part of their treatment plan, suffer what is called, frozen shoulder. This is caused when the shoulder is immobile and scar tissue forms locking the shoulder joint into place.

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder: Frozen shoulder can be quite painful and is sometimes treated with an anti-inflammatory, heat and stretching. More serious cases require the injection of steroids into the shoulder joint or electrical stimulation. When frozen shoulder does not respond to conservative care, doctors perform a forced manipulation under anesthesia to actually free the joint from the scar tissue.

Dislocated Your Shoulder? Try This Dislocated Shoulder Therapy Exercise

So you dislocated your shoulder eh? Its not fun. Been there, done that. Its an experience you only need to experience once… am I right?

Luckily, I was privileged and got to enjoy dislocating my shoulder 4 times. Fun, I know.

Chances are you stumbled across this article while looking for dislocated shoulder therapy exercises you can do to get your shoulder back in shape. Well, you’ve come to the right place. I have for you, 1 of the 3 essential exercises that a chiropractor gave me.

But before I get into this exercise, I feel it is important that you know these exercises aren’t just known by chiropractors, in fact, if you take the time to look around you will find that these three exercises are widely practiced and preached by therapists and osteopathic doctors alike.

They are the top of the list when it comes to shoulder therapy exercises, but still, you should know there are still a great number of other ones to follow that help target other regions of the shoulder. This exercise just so happens to be the most popular.

Exercise 1 – Lay on your left side. Get a light, light weight, preferably under 5 pounds (3 does the trick). Trust me, its all you need when you are exercising a blown shoulder. Rest your upper arm on your side, and let your right forearm cross your belly button. With the weight in your right hand, and your upper arm acting as a door hing on your side, rotate your forearm up about 45 degrees, then lower it for a complete rep. Do about 3 sets of 30 a day with a light 3 pound weight.

This exercise alone will target a portion of the weakened rotator cuff muscles, and help strengthen it. Combine this exercise with the other two exercises and you will be well on your way to regaining strength and motion in your shoulder.

Beleive me, I know how much a dislocated shoulder can hurt. I also know how long it can take to heal. Its been nearly a year and I still haven’t regained the strength in my dislocated shoulder, even while doing these 3 key exercises.

But hey, what can I expect, I did dislocate my shoulder 4 times within 4 months…

I expect rehabilitation for me to take as long as two or three years… but that’s the price you pay for not doing the exercises in the first place (its a long story).

Your story may be different. You may be one of the lucky ones that just dislocated their shoulder once… and if you are, please know that without a steady routine of shoulder therapy – it will only be a matter of time until you re-dislocate your shoulder.

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.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain and Injury

The shoulder is one of the most common problem areas on the human body. It is a complex anatomical mechanism with muscles, bones and ligaments all working together in unison. Shoulder injuries are most commonly caused by overuse or acute injury.

The anatomical structure of the shoulder consists of a ball, socket, and three main bones: the humerus, clavicle and scapula. These are known as the upper arm, collarbone and shoulder blade respectively.

The shoulder has the largest range of motion of any joint in the entire body. The range of mobility is a double edged sword because it provides great range of motion to the arms, but is susceptible to minor and major injuries. The stability of the shoulder comes primarily from the rotator cuff muscles and the cartilage around the shoulder. While impressive, the shoulder’s range of motion is tenuous because of the injury potential.

The symptoms of a shoulder injury are what you would expect; swelling, pain, stiffness, lack of mobility, tingly sensations, and weakness. Lesser known symptoms of an injury include coldness, paleness, and the area turning a shade of blue. If you experience any of the above symptoms it is important to see a health care provider right away. If neglected, shoulder injuries can have lifelong consequences.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain and Injury

An acute injury arises from sudden trauma to the shoulder causing damage. An acute injury typically occurs after a fall or a direct blow. Sports activities, accidents around the home, or motor vehicle accidents are common causes of acute shoulder injuries. Falling onto your outstretched hand while falling is a very common cause of injuries such as fractures and rotator cuff tears.

Acute shoulder injuries can damage muscles, bones, and ligaments. For example, a person taking a direct blow to the shoulder could experience a broken collar bone, damage to one of the four shoulder tendons, or a contusion to the muscle. This is why getting a proper diagnosis to a shoulder injury is critical, to prevent long term consequences.

Wear and Tear Injuries

Aside from acute injuries, another common cause of pain and injury to the shoulder comes from overuse. Overuse injuries can cause symptoms to gradually occur over time or they may seemingly come from out of nowhere with severity. Overuse injuries are caused when the shoulder is under duress for extended periods of time. Athletes such as pitchers, swimmer, and tennis players often experience shoulder injuries from overuse. Individuals who lift with their shoulders are also prone to overuse wear and tear leading to injury.

The most common problem is termed impingement syndrome and includes inflammation of the protective covering termed the bursa. The problem is aching and painful and responds best to conservative measures such as injections and medication and physical therapy.

Common injuries caused by overuse of the shoulder include bursitis, shoulder tendinitis, and muscle strain. Just like acute injuries, overuse injuries can affect one or all components of the shoulder.

What Are the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy falls into three different categories namely spastic cerebral palsy, Athetotic palsy and Ataxic cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disorder that occurs when the part of the cells that makes up the part of the brain in control of muscular movements are damaged or destroyed.

The signs and symptoms of more than a single type of cerebral palsy can be seen in a mixed condition in some children. However, generally the signs and symptoms exhibited by children with cerebral palsy could be from mild to even severe. The symptoms of cerebral palsy however do not get worse as the child grows.

The signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy in children include stiffness in muscles and spasticity when the muscles become completely frozen, a walking gait that is asymmetrical with either one foot or leg, which they tend to drag. They have lack of muscle co ordination when they perform actions. Their muscles could be either too stiff or floppy and they will show signs of excessive drooling because they are unable to swallow anything even the saliva. This can be seen especially when they suck something or when they are speaking. Tremors can be seen on their body and they will find it difficult to perform simple actions like buttoning a shirt or suing a pencil or pen to write something. Though some children with cerebral palsy can show signs of mental retardation, others are very bright and intelligent. While some may need assistance to go about their daily lives there are still others who may need special care and the use of a wheel chair.

In infants who are suffering from cerebral palsy the signs are obvious from an early age itself. If parents notice that their infants are not making the milestones that infants of the same age group are making then they have to seek medical assistance to diagnose if their infant has cerebral palsy. Infants may take more time to roll over or even difficulty I controlling their heads. They may be very slow when it comes to crawling and standing or even walking. Parents need to watch for these signs in their infants and if they feel that their infant is not making any headway in walking or even crawling by the time it is 18 months old then it is obvious that their infant has cerebral palsy.

Another sign in children with cerebral palsy is seizures and abnormal movements. Seizures occur because of electrical short circuits that take place in the brain. If you happen to see a child who has difficulty in swallowing or even while speaking with their saliva drooling from their mouths then you can be sure that that the child has cerebral palsy as drooling is a sign of this disorder. Drooling happens because of the child’s difficulty to control and move not only its tongue and mouth but also its throat muscles.

All these above signs and symptoms are sure indications that you child has cerebral palsy. You need to consult your physician immediately.

The Dangers of Herbs

Herbal medicine is a wonderful thing. Nature made some miraculous plants that can feed our bodies, soothe our souls, and enchant our vision. As with anything “too much of a good thing can be dangerous”. Herbs can be dangerous and in some cases even fatal. Each year people delve into the world of natural medicine searching for alternatives to traditional medicine. Unfortunately, each year people jump into a world they no little to nothing about and take for gospel what they may read. Not everyone should be suggesting herbal remedies for ailments. Just as not everyone has a medical background and can not practice medicine, unless someone has a background in the study of herbs – they too should not practice herbalism on others. Having a deep respect for nature is of utmost importance. Every plant and herb has a purpose, that purpose just may not have anything to do with medicinal remedies.

Among some of these dangers are those who misidentify plants. Some herbs look so familiar to the untrained eye that they are often mistaken for one another. Cases of misidentification have been reported across the country with horrific results. One story in particular comes to mind. An elderly couple plagued with arthritis heard of the wonders of comfrey tea to relieve the aches and pains. Deciding to give the herb a try, the woman collected what she thought was comfrey in her own backyard. Within hours both husband and wife were dead. What the woman actually picked was foxglove which looks extraordinarily like comfrey, however, it is the source of the toxic heart drug digitalis.

Plant identification is not an easy one. Even trained experts sometimes take pause when looking at herbs. Many times the same plant can have so many varied species within it making identification complicated. There is an old saying that goes like this “He who self-medicates has a fool for a doctor”. Any time anyone is seeking out herbs as an alternative form of medicine, your health care professional should be consulted. Some one at a health food store may have amazing things to say about some herbal remedy, and to their defense for most people it is wonderful. But without your medical history, knowing what traditional medicines you are on, and your particular allergies, you could be in for a unpleasant result that may be mild to severe in complications.

There are a number of herbs that are dangerous, some poisonous, and even some that kills quickly. Some are only dangerous when taken over long periods of time. There are at least 36 different herbs that are listed with the FDA that are either dangerous or highly toxic. The FDA admittedly states the list is far from complete; however, it does list some of the most common herbs that can cause serious repercussions.

Aconite is very toxic and can be absorbed through the skin. There is no known antidote.

Aloe is a wonderful herb to heal external wounds and burns – taken internally is dangerous.

American or Black hellbore is a violent narcotic that effects the heart – it can kill.

Angelica contains carcinogens. Pregnant women will miscarry. It is also shown to induce skin cancer even without being in the sunlight.

Arnica is violently toxic to the heart when taken internally and can cause death.

Autumn crocus has been used to help with sexual problems however, as little as 7 mg can be lethal

Bayberry has been shown in laboratories to cause cancer when ingested.

Bloodroot was used by American Indians as a skin dye however ingested it can burn the stomach causing paralysis and even death.

Blue cohosh has been used to stimulate childbirth; however it is toxic to some people and has caused death taken by pregnant women.

Broom has been used to alter mood swings but when smoked has caused the respiratory centers to become paralyzed resulting in deaths.

Coltsfoot has been used for cough remedies. Try slippery elm bark instead. Coltsfoot has been shown to increase risks for liver cancer.

Deadly nightshade is often used as a sedative. Also known as belladonna, it can take as little as 15 minutes after ingesting to cause toxic results. Some only need to touch the sap of the plant to have toxic results.

Foxglove often confused with comfrey contains digitalis which can cause death quickly.

Hemlock has long been known to cause central respiratory paralysis followed by death.

Juniper has been used to flavor gin in the past but it is known to cause abortions to kidney failure in its pure form.

Lobelia is sometimes sold in aids to weight loss. Used over long periods, prepared incorrectly or taken in to high of dosages is toxic and death has resulted from improper use of this herb.

Mistletoe traditionally used to kiss beneath is a wonderful holiday addition but ingested will cause agonizing convulsive death.

Pokeweek has been employed for chronic rheumatism but overdoes are fatal.

Rue may live up to its name as an insect repellent but those who even touch that are pregnant will most likely abort.

St Johns wort is commonly suggested these days for many things such as tranquilizing action and increasing blood flow; however, in some people it causes loss of eyesight, swelling of the face, and reducing capillary fragility.

Sassafras is well known as an ingredient in many teas, but it also has been shown to cause degeneration of the heart, liver, and kidneys. Safrole is a chemical constitute of sassafras and is banned for use in any foods. That should give a hint of the potential danger.

Yohimbe has been used as an aphrodisiac as it causes tingling in the genitals; however, it dilates the blood vessels and can cause blood pressure to plummet to dangerous levels.

This is by no means a complete list of even the FDA’s list. It is a list of the more common herbs used medicinally or ones that are so toxic they should be avoided at all costs.

Herbal medicine is a wonderful alternative to assist with a great variety of ailments. Nature has provided many benefits for the human body. Many herbs have shown promise as curative medicines. However, they can also be dangerous if you are not familiar with them. Be sure to consult a holistic or homeopathic professional before self-medicating yourself with herbal supplements. It could be your life.

Recovering From Hiatal Hernia Surgery

Hiatal hernia surgery is a major operation performed under general anesthesia. Incisions are made into the abdomen that require a few weeks to heal. Your stomach is pulled out of the esophagus and because of this, these organs must also be allowed to heal before a normal diet can be resumed.

After hiatal hernia surgery, you will have the nasal gastric tube in place for draining out stomach acid. You will not be allowed to eat for two or three days or until the tube is removed. You will recover in the hospital for a period of one to six days before being sent home to finish recuperation.

By the time you return home your incisions will have begun to heal but you may still have optional dressings on. You may want to wear one for comfort’s sake because it will prevent friction between your incision and your clothing. Follow your doctor’s instructions concerning the care of your incisions. You will probably be allowed to get your incision wet, and you may be instructed to apply ointment. However, do not put anything on your incision if you have not been instructed to do so.

You may be discharged with medications to take during your recovery. This might include antibiotics and prescription painkillers. Take all medications according to label instructions. Do not stop taking your antibiotics even if you feel well. Do not drink alcohol when you are taking prescription painkillers and do not combine prescription painkillers with over the counter pain relief medications.

You must resume your normal daily activities slowly after hiatal hernia surgery. Initially you will be allowed to shower, take walks, ride in the car, use stairs, and lift up to 2 pounds. However, you should not drive for two weeks and you must use caution when bending, lifting, or twisting your body for three months after your surgery.

When you return home, you should eat small amounts more frequently throughout the day. For the first two weeks after hiatal hernia surgery, you should only consume clear liquids. This includes foods like water, broth, ice chips, fruit juice, jello, and popsicles. You should not eat solid foods, thick liquids, soft drinks, candy, or chew gum. Start with 1/2 cup of liquid and gradually consume more until you can drink 1 cup at a time.

Starting on the third week after your surgery, you can add soft foods like milkshakes, yogurt, pudding, oatmeal, and strained soups. On the fifth week after surgery, you can add mushy foods like pasta, fish, applesauce, cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, ground beef, and soft fruits. You should continue to avoid meat, bread, and raw vegetables.

Because your upper digestive tract has to heal following hiatal hernia surgery, you must be careful not to irritate it with hard or sharp foods for up to three months after surgery. In addition, it will take approximately three months for your incisions to fully heal so that you can continue with regular activities that might include heavy lifting and bending.

When you first arrive home after your surgery, you should watch your incision for signs of infection. Call your doctor if you noticed any swelling, redness, or drainage from around your incision. You should also notify your doctor if you have a fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

It is possible that your doctor will give you specific instructions related to your particular medical condition. Above all else, follow your doctor’s guidelines to ensure you have a speedy an uneventful recovery. Be sure to keep your follow-up appointments with your doctor so he can monitor your recovery from hiatal hernia surgery.

Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures – Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty

An elderly lady presents to Casualty with complaints of acute onset, severe pain in the mid back while getting out of bed in the morning. X ray shows collapse of the height of D12 vertebra.

A diagnosis of Osteoporosis is made by the Casualty doctor.

What do we do?

This is a common scenario in Orthopedic practice. The treatment options include:

1. Bed rest for 6 weeks,

2. Ambulation with Brace- Taylor brace/ Anterior spinal Hyper-extension brace

3. Kyphoplasty

4. Vertebroplasty

In elderly population, keeping the patient on bed rest for 4-6 weeks will invite a spectrum of issues like bed sores, hypo-static pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and accentuation of Osteoporosis.

So, we need to keep the patient ambulatory, unless the fracture configuration is unstable.

The principle behind bracing is to prevent flexion at the site of fracture, as this will increase the deforming forces. But the collapse that has already occurred, does not revert.

This eventually leads to progressive dorsal curvature of the spine with the fracture level acting as apex. This may further produce secondary narrowing of the spinal canal, producing risk to the spinal cord and nerve roots.

So, something needs to be done that takes care of the pain and maintains the vertebral height.

The answer lies in Kyphoplasty.

This technique involves inflating the interior of the collapsed vertebral body to restore the contour, and then injection of bone cement to fill the space.

Kyphoplasty is theoretically superior to Vertebroplasty. The latter involves injection of cement into the collapsed vertebra without elevating it.

Thus Vertebroplasty can produce pain relief in a Vertebral collapse fracture by de-nervation using bone cement heat of polymerization, but it does not prevent a subsequent kyphotic deformity.

However, the drawback of Kyphoplasty lies in its cost.

Further study needs to be performed regarding the cost- benefit analysis between Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty.

Bruxism – How Is It Related To TMJ?

Many people grind their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism, doing considerable damage to their teeth and annoying their bed partners. For a long time, it has been blamed on stress, even in children. We now know that there is a relationship between bruxism and TMJ disorders as well as sleep-disordered breathing, even in its severe form, obstructive sleep apnea.

CAUSES OF BRUXISM

The dental and medical community alike have blamed stress for the gnawing and gnashing of teeth at night. Our fast-paced society does indeed pose a considerable level of physical and emotional stress and we do know that bruxism increases with additional stressors. From some of the research done on children, we know there is a link between bruxism and the body’s survival mechanism to keep the airway open. If a child is grinding his or her teeth at night, the first causative factor to look for is an obstructed airway. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are a common cause for airway obstruction in children and even contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. Bruxism triggers a muscle in the back of the throat to spasm and keep the airway open. It is hard to blame teeth-grinding on stress in a young child. Most children do not have the level of emotional stress that adults do. Adults with compromised airways also brux to keep the airway open. This is particularly apparent in people suffering from sleep-disordered breathing, the most severe cases being obstructive sleep apnea. In adults the cause is usually not enlarged tonsils and adults, but a collapsible windpipe that contributes to the sleep apnea.

When the jaw is in the wrong position, the body attempts to correct it by bruxism. The muscles of the jaw and face spasm and attempt to move the jaw to a more comfortable position. As these muscles spasm, the teeth slide back and forth in response to that muscle activity . This can occur particularly in a person whose facial and jaw muscles are shortened-a muscle cramp in the jaw. The teeth grind to relieve the spasms much like stretching the relieves a cramp in the calf muscles.

SIGNS OF BRUXISM

– Severely worn teeth

– Receded gums in the absence of gum disease

– Higher incidence of root canals, major dental work on back teeth

– Sore jaw muscles in the morning

– Headaches

– A face that looks shortened between the nose and chin

EFFECTS OF BRUXISM

After even a short period of grinding, the lower jaw can recede backward causing a jaw joint disorder or TMJ disorder. The lower jaw fits in to a socket of the upper jaw and is protected by a cartilage disc. If the lower jaw is allowed to retrude to the back of the socket, a couple of things can occur:

– Compression of the nerves and blood vessels in the back of the jaw joint, which can cause headaches, face, jaw and neck pain

– Displacement of the cartilage disc, indicating a dislocation of the joint and resulting in clicking, popping or grating noises upon opening and closing of the jaw

– Further compromise of the airway, making obstructive sleep apnea even more possible

TREATMENT FOR BRUXISM

As in all medical treatment, therapy should be directed towards eliminating the cause of bruxism. If the airway is collapsing, treatment should directed towards opening the airway with the use of oral appliances or dental devices in mild-moderate cases and CPAP therapy in severe cases. If the jaw is in an improper position, treatment should be aimed at repositioning the jaw with specialized oral appliances for day and/or night wear. Proper care must be taken to find the correct therapeutic position of the jaw that creates a healthy jaw joint and opens the airway. Since bruxism is both a cause and effect of a TMJ disorder, proper diagnosis with extensive and thorough testing and records is imperative.