What Is Viral Pleurisy?

The lungs are covered with a two protective membranes called the pleura. The pleura are located between the lungs and other parts of the thorax such as the ribs, heart, and the diaphragm. The two layers function as a protective covering for the lungs well as to keep other parts of the body from disturbing them. An inflammation of these layers will result to a condition known as pleurisy. There are several factors that can cause the condition. If it is caused by a virus, it is called viral pleurisy.

Viral pleurisy is a pleuritis which is secondary to a viral infection. The common types of viruses that can cause pleurisy are causative agents of influenza and mumps, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, and Epstain-Barr virus among others. Symptoms can often include chest pain that is most pronounced during deep breathing, coughing, sneezing, or sudden movement. The stabbing, gnawing chest pain is often felt on one side of the chest, but can radiate towards the sides or the shoulders and arms. Some experience difficulty in breathing because of it and may even subconsciously try to control breathing just to lessen the pain. You may or may have symptoms of fever, chills, lack of appetite, muscle pains, headache.

Typical treatment for pleurisy is medication for lessening pain including some treatment directed towards the cause. For viral pleurisy, however, your only medication may only be for the pain as viral infections often resolve themselves. Pain killers such as acetaminophen or NSAID’s may be prescribed first to help relieve pain and inflammation. If NSAID’s do not work, other pain killers and corticosteroid drugs may be mixed to help you cope with the pain. Anti-tussives or cough-suppressants are given to help control cough if it is present. You can help your medication and speed up the recovery by resting more often. Some find that lying on the painful side helps lessen the pain. Splinting can be done by wrapping your chest with elastic bandage. Since your lung expansion is compromised, you might want to do some slow, deep breathings and coughing to help loosen the mucus. This exercise help prevent development of pneumonia.

Source by Lewis Freeman

Is Bronchitis Contagious? Yes and No

Bronchitis is the swelling of the bronchial tubes, otherwise known as the airways. These airways are the windpipes that directly connect to the lungs. Bronchitis happens when there is an irritation that occurs in the bronchial tubes. Next to the irritation, the formation of thick mucus will soon follow. Hence, the air passage will be blocked by the mucus, leading to difficulty in breathing. Bronchitis can be identified into two types: acute and chronic. The acute bronchitis is normally an illness that lasts for a short period of time. Usually, this is caused by severe cold. But most often, this is triggered by the viral infections. Acute bronchitis is characterized by the pain in the middle of the chest, cough that comes with green sputum. Fever might also happen, and a slight difficulty in breathing might also occur.

The Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is identified with a cough that produces mucus. And this lasts for longer period of time as compared to the acute bronchitis. The sufferers of bronchitis are also identified to suffer from different level of breathing difficulty. These sufferers may also have the possibility to attain lung infections sometimes. Hence, the breathing difficulty is worsen. There are certain occasions where chronic bronchitis is termed as “chronic obstructive lung disease” and “chronic obstructive airways disease.” From the terms themselves, the problem can already be identified-difficulty in air circulation that goes in and out of the lungs. Now, the question comes, is bronchitis contagious? The answer is yes. Bronchitis is extremely contagious. The virus can be transmitted by the means of cough, sneeze, and yes, even by simply touching the things that has been touched by the person infected. Bronchitis, basically, is the swelling of the bronchia, thus, it is not contagious. However, as the bacteria starts to form, the disease then is contagious the moment the bacteria was emitted into the air. In fact, there are already several affected people who confessed that they had the disease when they had a close contact with the infected person. Now, the question is how long is bronchitis contagious? According to the medical experts, the length of time of the disease contagiousness actually depends on the cause and type of the person’s bronchitis. For a person who suffers from bronchitis, it is suggested for him to visit and consult to a medical specialist of respiratory and pulmonary to assure whether he is already contagious and until when will it last. It is advisable for the infected person to consult to a medical specialist when bronchitis tends to occur, if not, it may possibly lead to pneumonia. Both the acute and chronic bronchitis have the threat to become contagious. Even the healthy person is not safe from the attacks of acute bronchitis. This is because of the viral infection. These viral infections can be transmitted from one person to other through indirect and direct contact.

However, the spread of bronchitis can still be avoided. The affected person only needs to maintain a healthy hygiene by regularly washing his hands and by using hand sanitizers afterwards. Most importantly, the affected person should cover his mouth whenever he is coughing. Hence, the possibility of transmitting the disease is reduced. People who suffer from asthma may also develop an acute bronchitis. Such circumstance reduces the risk of acute bronchitis to be contagious. It is the effect whenever the acute bronchitis acts as a complication of a certain disease. To totally eliminate the risk of spreading the disease, it is best to cure it. Antibiotic are not regarded as an effective way to treat acute bronchitis. This is because bronchitis is caused by viral infection. Only an ample amount of rest, an extra liquids intake, and a non-prescription medicine for cough are the suggested effective treatment for acute bronchitis. The antibiotic are only prescribe by the doctors whenever there is the presence of bacterial infection. Antibiotic will then serve to lessen the risk of secondary infection. For the asthmatics, the doctor may recommend a medication for asthma, most likely an inhaler. These medications will widen the contracted lung airways.

Source by John Todd

Posterior Hip Dislocation – The Use of a Hip Abduction Brace For Support and Prevention of Injury

1.) The Human Hip

The human hip is like the shoulder, in that it is a ball and socket joint. With respect to the hip, the ball of one bone (your thigh bone, or femur) fits into the socket of another bone (your pelvis). The hip is an amazing joint in that it can move backwards and forwards, from side to side and can also perform twisting motions, when healthy.

Like other freely moving, or synovial joints, the hip contains a small amount of fluid. This fluid helps to lubricate the joint when you decide to move it. Full function of the hip depends on all of its parts moving together. This includes bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves all working together.

2.) What Is a Hip Dislocation?

A hip dislocation can occur when the ball of the hip joint comes out of the socket. If you think about it, there is a large amount of force necessary to dislocate a person’s hip. Why? because the hip joint is typically very stable, using ligaments and large muscles to reinforce its stability.

3.) Three Main Ways to Dislocate Your Hip

A.) Posterior Dislocations: This is the most common way in which people dislocate their hip.

B.) Anterior Dislocations: When the hip bone dislocates anterior to the pelvis.

C.) Central Dislocation: This means that the hip can dislocate through the acetabulum in the person’s pelvis. The acetabulum helps to hold the ball part of this joint.

In a posterior dislocation, there is a lot of power forced onto a flexed knee and this translates to the hip. Anterior dislocations typically happen when the force is placed on a leg that is straight. Lastly, central dislocations happen when the force is placed on the shaft of the femur (your thigh bone), driving it into the acetabulum.

4.) Causes of Hip Dislocation

• Traumatic dislocation of an otherwise normal hip.

• Dislocation of a prosthetic hip, which can occurs anytime in a post surgical setting.

• Developmental dysplasia of the hip.

Moving vehicle accidents (MVAs) cause the majority of traumatic hip dislocations. Moreover, they also cause the most posterior hip dislocations. Why? In a car accident, the knees of the front seat occupant typically hit the dashboard during a head on accident.

Central fractures or dislocations usually occur when the person falls from a great height onto their hip. Or, there can be a lateral impact on the hip.

5.) Does a Dislocation Hurt?

Yes. You better believe it! – Hip dislocations are typically very painful. Many times the patient is not able to move the leg and if there happens to be nerve damage as a result, then there might be little to no feeling in the foot or ankle area.

6.) Rehabilitation

This rehabilitation process, or healing time can sometimes reach two to three months in length after a dislocation. Rehabilitation can be extended with the presence of other problems such as fractures. Orthopedic advice and physical therapy is very useful hip dislocation happens.

7.) Braces For Support

Many times a physician will request that their patient get an orthosis (brace) for the hip after a dislocation. Or, if someone is a chronic “hip dislocator” then a brace is indicated. This particular support is often called a hip abduction brace. It is unique because it has a dynamic hip joint that can allow varying degrees of movement. This brace helps to prevent movements that can injure the patient again. This is a conservative measure of treatment that can really help to secure the hip.

When using one of these supports, the hip and leg will be slightly abducted (it changes depending on who the doctor is) and there will usually be a limitation on flexion and extension of the hip joint. The purpose here is to help keep the hip secure while the healing process is still happening.

*Note: This is health information. This is good information but it is not a substitute for medical advice on bracing for your particular situation. Medical advice on braces should come from your local licensed orthotist. Advice should also come from your physician.

Source by Daniel Rinella

Fracture – Its Pathophysiology, Signs and Diagnosis

Violence or trauma leads to a break in the bone as well as injury to the underlying structures and soft tissues. There is tear in the periosteum which covers the bone. The blood vessels which supply the bone and the periosteum are ruptured leading to haemorrhage. The haemorrhage leads to the formation of a haematoma (a swelling containing clotted blood) around the fracture site.

In severe fracture, nerves, skin and muscles around the fracture site may be damaged producing severe pain and loss of function. Pain may also be produced as a result of severe swelling arising from bleeding from the damaged vessels and inflammatory reaction. Complete break across bone shaft brings about deformity which presents with change in alignment and contour e.g. angulation, rotation of a limb or shortening of a limb.

When there are bone fragments over the site of fracture as occurs in comminuted fracture there is crepitation on palpation or on attempt to move injured limb. Severe pain and shortening of the affected limb also occur as a result of spasm of the surrounding muscles. Severe pain and haemorrhage as occurs in open fracture produce shock.

Injury to underlying organs or tissues e. g. Brain, lungs, urinary bladder, spinal cord etc may occur as the broken bone ends penetrate into them thereby leading to brain injury, pneumothorax, bladder perforation, or paralysis. The bone may also damage the nerve supply to the part thereby causing thereby causing paralysis e.g. injury to the radial nerve as a result of fracture of the Radius can cause paralysis of the arm.

Communication of the bone end with the exterior and presence of an open wound give opportunity for micro-organisms to infect the wound. This may lead to osteomyelitis (Inflammation of the bone marrow) if not properly handled.

Signs and symptoms of fracture
1. Severe pain: Fracture is usually accompanied by a very severe pain. Pain from fracture is about the worst pain so far. The kind of pain sometimes is enough to make the patient go into a state of shock if not controlled.

2. Deformity: Deformity occurs especially with fracture of the limbs. The part below the affected limb can be rotated outwards or inwards. In some cases the affected limb is shorter than the second.

3. Loss of function: The individual is unable to make use of the affected part due to pain, tenderness or deformity. One obvious sign of fracture of the lower limb is that patient cannot walk with the affected limb. In case of the arm the patient can also not lift with the affected limb or move it above the head.

4. Muscle spasm: There is usually involuntary muscle contraction around the fracture site. This is often responsible for the severe pain and shortening of the limb.

5. Oedema: There is severe swelling around and below the fracture site as a result of effusion of blood into the surrounding tissues. Oedema could also be due to inflammatory reaction from the injury.

6. Crepitation: Crepitation is heard or felt as the patient attempts to move the affected part or on palpation. This is due to the bone fragments rubbing against one another.

7. Paralysis: Paralysis of the affected part may occur if the broken bone end pierces the nerve supplying the part. For example if the broken bone of the femur hits the femoral nerve there is going to be paralysis of the leg. Fracture to the forearm could lead to bone fragment piercing the radial nerve and subsequently paralysis of the forearm and the hand.

8. Discoloration: Discoloration of the site occurs as a result of the effusion of blood under the skin. This is referred to as ecchymosis.

Diagnosis of fracture
1. Presenting signs and symptoms: Signs and symptoms such as Crepitation, shortening, outward or inward rotations are diagnostic.
2. X-ray: This will reveal part of the bone that is broken.

Source by Joseph Ezie Efoghor

Care and Treatment of Clavicle (Collarbone) Injury

The clavicle is located between the ribcage and the shoulder blade. This structure connects the arm to the trunk of the body and lies above several important blood vessels and nerves. These vital body components do not usually become injured with a clavicle fracture.

What causes clavicle fractures?

The collarbone gets broken when there is a direct blow to the shoulder. This can occur during a fall onto the shoulder or during a motor vehicle accident. A fall onto an outstretched arm can also lead to a fracture of the clavicle. Many infants are born with a fracture to the collarbone – an injury that occurs during a traumatic birth.

What are the symptoms of a clavicle fracture?

If you sustain a clavicle fracture, it will most likely be very painful and hard to move your arm. Other symptoms include:

Shoulder sagging downward and forward

A deformity or “bump” over the area of the break

Inability to lift the arm without pain

Bruising, swelling, or tenderness over the clavicle

A grinding sensation when the arm is raised up

How is a clavicle fracture treated?

With some breaks, the ends of the bone have not shifted out of place and line up correctly. These types of fractures do not require surgery, and the orthopedic specialist can treat them with conservative measures. These include the use of an arm support or sling (worn to keep the arm in proper position while the bone heals), mild pain medication, and physical therapy. Therapy is done to increase muscle strength in your shoulder and to prevent stiffness and weakness of the muscles.

The orthopedic specialist will recommend surgery if the bones are displaced (out of place) and do not line up correctly. During the procedure, the bone fragments are situated into their normal alignment and held that way with special screws and plates that are attached to the outer surface of the bone. These structures are not removed until after the bone has healed. Some surgeons use pins to hold the fracture in proper position once the bone ends are put back in alignment.

AC Separation

The acromioclavicular joint (also called the AC joint) is the area where the clavicle meets the highest point of the shoulder blade. An injury to this structure that is common is an AC separation, where a force causes the ligaments that attach to the underside of the clavicle to tear.

What causes an AC separation?

The most common reason for a person to suffer an AC separation is a fall directly onto the shoulder. The force causes the ligaments to be injured and the collarbone separates from the wingbone (shoulder blade). This type of injury will cause the wingbone to move downward with the weight of the arm, creating a bulge above the shoulder.

How is an AC separation treated?

If the shoulder is not seriously deformed, and the AC separation is mild, the orthopedic specialist will recommend nonsurgical treatment modalities. These include the use of a sling, cold packs, and pain medications. Most people will return to full activity once the injury has healed without permanent, significant deformity.

If the pain of AC separation persists with conservative treatment, or the tears to the ligaments are severe, the orthopedic specialist will recommend surgery. This is done to trim back the end of the clavicle so that it will not rub against the shoulder blade. This procedure can be done long after the injury has occurred, too.

Source by Dr J Michael Watt

Cerebral Palsy – Problems With Bowel Movements

Children suffering from cerebral palsy have problems in movement, seeing, hearing, listening and thinking. Since children below 2 years of age are affected most of the times, a lot of cerebral palsy training is required to help the children perform their normal daily activities like the other children. This includes strength training to help them walk and toilet training to produce regular bowel movements, which forms an essential part of an individual’s routine.

Bowel training involves the establishment of a regular elimination pattern for the child. This is done by describing the action to the child in simple words and making them tell the parent about the action when necessary with the help of gestures. Once a regular pattern is established, it becomes easier for the child to produce bowel movements every day at the same time. However, there can be problems like constipation that might occur for the young child or an adult suffering with cerebral palsy.

Whenever a child is suffering from constipation, it is essential that you find a way to keep the bowels moving. In addition, the methods that you use should not further weaken or damage the already weak intestinal track especially strong laxatives which can cause intense damage to the child. Besides, the child should not start rely on these laxatives for future problems too. For this reason, you should use readily available preparations made from natural substances instead of laxatives to prevent permanent damage to the intestines. A good example for a prescription that is available over the counter for a cerebral palsy patient is ‘fybrogel’.

Apart from the many medications that can be done, a lot of preventive measures can be included. These include paying close attention to diet so that it may include foods that can ease constipation. The diet should include plenty of fruits, adding olive oil or ground sesame seeds or linseeds so that there is fiber and other nutrients which can avoid constipation. A gentle massage in clockwise direction on the tummy of the child, just below the navel at regular intervals will help especially when the action is to be performed. When constipation occurs, a number of herbal preparations can also be given which will help ease the problem of the child.

When the problem becomes serious, then suppositories can be administered, but this should not be done as a long-term course and can be used effectively on occasional basis to prevent long-term damage. Another thing that you should keep in mind is to avoid giving too many dairy products because this can be binding and not healthy. Also, ensure that the child is sufficiently hydrated by giving lots of liquid and drinks in the diet. Besides, the child should be consulted by a doctor to give the appropriate medicines and a dietician is required to tell you what the child can have and what he cannot. By taking all these measures, and with proper cerebral palsy training, problems such as constipation should not pose a threat to your child.

Source by Joshua K Neufeld

Canine Paralysis – What Are the Causes of Paralysis in Dogs?

Canine paralysis is distressing for both dogs and their owners. Is your dog having trouble moving around? Sometimes this can be caused by arthritis, but if you have a young dog this is unlikely.

Did the symptoms suddenly appear? Then this is quite likely to be canine paralysis and while this is a symptom rather than a disease in itself, it can be upsetting if your dog is affected. However a lot of cases can be quickly cured.

Now if you live in Australia, chances are your dog’s condition could be caused by a tick bite. Simply remove the ticks and the paralysis will go away.

Canine paralysis can also be the result of constipation. Changes in your dog’s diet will help here, as will providing plenty of fresh water. There are natural medications available for dog constipation if you need them. Do act quickly as constipation can lead to toxins entering the body.

If your dog’s paralysis is caused by a disease affecting the central nervous system, you may have to accept this as a long term situation. If your dog cannot move at all this may also mean he is suffering with incontinence and he will require a lot of care and nursing.

If your dog is showing any symptoms of being paralysed that can’t be easily explained, take him to a vet without delay. Your vet will be able to advise you what is wrong, how long it may last and how to look after your dog until he is better.

If your dog is only partially incapacitated and is making an attempt to get up and walk, he may be helped by means of a dog sling or other device to support his body. If he cannot move at all he should be kept warm and turned every so often so long as this doesn’t cause any pain, until he reaches the vet.

Although canine paralysis is a challenging condition to nurse, and may take a long time to heal, your dog has a good chance of complete recovery so long as the nervous system is not irreparably damaged. So don’t be in a hurry to have him put to sleep unless the vet advises that his condition will never improve. I wish both you and your dog all the very best.

Source by Wendy Owen

How to Cure a Hernia Without Surgery?

Once you have read the statistics that up to 30 per cent of men suffer lifetime pain after groin hernia surgery, it kind of makes you a bit concerned. As my friend Brian put it, ‘I decided against the op because two of my friends had it and have been in pain ever since’.

Luckily Brian had a small hernia and was under no pressure from his doctors to get the surgery straight away, though they did assure him it would get worse and need an operation eventually.

Brian decided he would try to prove them wrong. He embarked on a non-surgical hernia treatment program which he had found on the Internet, changed his diet, started an exercise program and began wearing an industrial-strength hernia support garment. How long did his hernia take to heal without surgery? Five years? Two years? In fact it was gone in less than six months.

So why do doctors insist that this isn’t possible when it clearly is? There are growing numbers of case reports on the Net, from people whose hernia healed without surgery. It’s not even a new concept. Back in the 19th century hernia cures were considered commonplace before the days of surgery.

The Herniabible Program

The program that Brian found on the Net is called the Herniabible system. It’s quite simple and is based on eating the right foods, doing the right exercises and keeping the hernia firmly in at all times. However you can’t just wear any old truss to keep it in. Some versions, though cheap and cheerful, have rounded pads that press into the gap in your abdomen and keep it open. You don’t want that because the edges of the gap need to come together in order to heal. Some trusses/belts also slip around and don’t always keep the hernia in very well. You have to use a hernia support that has flat pads and is also guaranteed to keep the hernia in at all times (even when cycling or playing football).

Foods to Eat for a Hernia

The Herniabible diet is all about controlling your hernia pain and swelling by eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and fibre-rich foods, and not overloading your digestive system. It’s also important to get enough vitamin C, zinc and other vitamins and minerals that are needed to make collagen – the protein from which skin and muscles are made. (Weak collagen is one of the reasons why hernias can occur in the first place.)

Hernia Exercises

To help heal a hernia without surgery it is definitely beneficial to do the right exercises. These exercises must target the right muscles, i.e. the core muscles such as the transverse abdominal muscles which lie underneath the six-pack. The Pilates system is ideal for this. Most abdominal exercises are designed to develop the six-pack, and will not be of any use to help heal a hernia.

Is that all there is to it? Yes, more or less. You can find other advice on the Net about using herbs like hawthorn, which also helps to control pain and swelling, or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan, which helps to strengthen collagen, but these won’t work on their own. You have to do the other stuff too. There are also some scams out there to beware of. I found a couple of scam sites that looked extremely professional and medical, and promised that their herbs were proven to completely cure any hernia. Don’t fall for it!

Source by Ewan Wellington

Spinal Fractures: Common Cause of Teen Back Pain

In 2003 the journal Pain published a study confirming that the incidence of back pain increases significantly between ages 13 and 15. A number of factors can cause back pain in teens, much to their surprise. Though we normally think of younger bodies as more resilient, the stress many growing bodies are subjected to today proves too much.

Injuries to the spine, particularly fractures, are a common cause of back pain among teens who participate in competitive sports. There are a different types of fractures the spine can undergo, the most common being spondyolysis, which is a stress fracture. Teens who regularly hyperextend their spines, meaning they bend backward, are especially at risk of spondylolysis; this includes gymnasts and wrestlers. Impact is also a risk factor of spondylolysis, so football players are at risk as well.

The fracture associated with spondylolysis occurs at the back of the vertebra at the section called pars interarticularis. This component helps to stabilize the spine and maintain alignment. When one or both sides of the pars interarticularis experiences a fracture, prompt diagnosis and recuperation is needed to prevent spondylolisthesis, or the misplacement of a vertebra. Spondylolisthesis may lead to spinal nerve compression by the moved vertebra or a nearby spinal disc that has protruded due to vertebral misplacement.

Spondylolysis often manifests as pain that feels like muscle strain. It almost always occurs at the bottom vertebra of the lumbar spine; aching across the lower back, accompanied by muscle spasms felt in the lower back and possibly the back of the leg, are indicators of spondylolysis in people who participate in rigorous physical activity. An X-ray confirms the condition, and a short period of rest with gradual return to activity usually suffices to heal the vertebra. Core exercises to support the spine may be desirable to prevent a recurrence of the condition, and supplementation of vitamin D and calcium may help to speed up the recovery process.

Fractures to the vertebra can occur in other places besides the pars interarticularis. When the main body of a vertebra suffers a fracture called a compression fracture, its height changes. Depending on the cause and location of the fracture, one side of the vertebra may lose height creating a wedge-shaped bone, or both sides may lose height. Wedge-shaped spinal bones distort posture and create uneven pressure on spinal discs. A bone that is shorter all around also changes the mechanics of the spine and the pressure placed on surrounding discs. As discs experience uneven or increased pressure, they may bulge and herniate. This can lead to nerve compression that causes tingling, weakness and pain along the nerve’s pathway.

While these types of fractures are commonly associated with osteoporosis affecting older people, teens who participate in high-impact activities like skateboarding, gymnastics and football can experience them. Direct blows to the back and landing hard from a fall are common causes.

Spinal fractures often signal themselves by sudden and severe pain. Standing and walking are difficult, and lying down may provide some relief. Bending and twisting will be especially painful. If you or a teen you know has these signs, it is important to seek medical attention. One vertebral fracture increases the risk of another one, and if healing is not prompted, a chain reaction can be set off that permanently distorts the spine.

Treatments for spinal fractures are similar to the treatment of spondylolysis. A back brace may be needed to minimize movement of the spine as the bone heals.

It is important for teens to understand that the injuries they acquire when young can lead to chronic back pain as an adult. While they may be tempted to push through the pain so as not to miss games and competitions, a short period of recovery now could mean the difference between health as an adult and disability. There are natural, safe treatments for teen back pain. The faster you deal with the problem, the faster you can return to the activities you love.

Source by Sean Burton

Disc Protrusion Vs Herniation: What Is The Difference?

Two of the most common spinal injuries involve the intervertebral discs. Commonly referred to as disc protrusion and herniated disc, many who suffer from these conditions are unclear as to the differences between them.

Spinal or intervertebral discs are a the fibrous “cushions” between the spinal vertebrae. Discs function to create flexibility of the spine while maintaining a separation between the vertebrae, thereby acting as a “shock absorber” and eliminating or easing friction between the bones. Some of the most common injuries of the spine involve the discs which are naturally susceptible to compression, tearing or bulging.

Common Symptoms

Both disc protrusion and herniated disc injuries can be painful and debilitating or alternatively have little symptomatic affect depending on the location and severity of the injury. Both conditions can worsen or lead to degeneration of the spinal column as the victim ages. Muscle weakness, loss of range of motion, arthritis and numbness in the extremities are common symptoms caused by a protruding or herniated disc.

Disc Protrusion Versus Disc Herniation

A protruding or bulging disc occurs when the outer ring surrounding the disc tears allowing the inner disc to change shape and protrude through its fibrous barrier upon compression. Much like a slowly leaking tire, the gelatinous center of the disc enlarges upon compression and bulges through the disc’s outer wall.

A disc herniation may also be referred to as a ruptured disc. In contrast to a protruding disc, one can think of a disk which has herniated as a tire which has experienced a blow-out. Typically more sudden and painful in nature, a disc herniation can include the fragmentation and subsequent displacement of cartilage or bone in addition to leakage of the soft central disc fluid.

Both conditions can only be detected through the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI since initially, soft tissues, not bones are involved in the injuries.

Treatment

Herniation or protrusion of the discs may both resolve with the passage of time, moderate exercise and sometimes limited bed rest. If this is not the case, victims of these conditions may suffer acute pain or nerve damage which can ultimately lead to muscle weakness, incoordination or loss of control of the bladder or bowel. If these conditions become apparent as a result of disc damage, medical treatment in the form of drug therapy and surgery may become necessary. When evaluating the necessity of these more advanced options, the probability of inflammation or muscle spasm in the muscular tissues surrounding the injury must be taken into account. Since spinal injuries are slow to heal, time may afford other possibilities for disc injury sufferers.

Source by Victor Brown

Trigeminal Neuralgia – Are You Unknowingly Overlooking These 6 Major Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

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Trigeminal neuralgia is a complex problem yet this may come as a shock to you. Could there be causes of trigeminal neuralgia that conventional medicine is not addressing? Are you being left in the dark and therefore suffering needlessly?

Read on to find out 6 major causes trigeminal neuralgia sufferers are missing, and best of all, steps you can take to effectively manage them.

One or more of these may be affecting you. So learning as much as you can and eliminating as many of them as you can is a major step in the right direction.

1. Heavy metal toxicity, especially Mercury, is a major contributing factor. Scientific studies indicate that about 40 – 50 % of the US population is affected by mercury toxicity as determined by hair analysis. Your Kinesiologist can help you determine if you are affected, and can get you started on a detoxification program

2. Sugar substitute especially aspartame and NutraSweet. Minimize your exposure to toxins from smoking and poor air quality as well as environmental toxins from household cleaners, personal care products etc.

3. Electromagnetic frequencies or EMFs, often contribute to trigeminal neuralgia – This electronic pollution is everywhere. If you are suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, for the next 3 months or longer, avoid exposure to cell phones, cordless phones, computers, electric tooth brushes, razors and other electrical appliances such as clock radios and microwave ovens. Some patients have improved just following this directive alone.

4. Subluxation of the Atlas – the top vertebra of the spine can be come misaligned by bumping your head, being in an auto accident or sustaining a fall. These are among the first things your doctor should ask when evaluating you for trigeminal neuralgia. If your trigeminal neuralgia pain was preceded by one or more of these situations, you should be evaluated by a UCC doctor. A UCC doctor is a chiropractor who specializes in upper cervical treatments.

5. An acidic body is caused by soda, coffee, acidic foods such as dairy products and meat as well as medications. The myelin sheath deteriorates by a diet and lifestyle that causes an acidic condition in your body. You can monitor your body’s alkalinity by pH testing of your saliva. You correct any acidic condition by eliminate acid causing foods and maintain an alkaline state by drinking alkaline water.

6. Microorganisms such as fungi, mold, yeast and parasites play a significant role in causing and perpetuating trigeminal neuralgia by creating and perpetuating an acidic condition in the body and robbing the body of essential B vitamins. The herpes virus is also often overlooked as a cause. In a major research trial using micro electric and micro magnetic current therapy, no results were obtained at all. Once the microorganism issue was addressed, patients experienced a dramatic improvement in their trigeminal neuralgia pain.

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Source by Boyce Berkel

Causes of Your Pain – Pulled Muscle, Pinched Nerve, Or Pain Syndrome?

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Sometimes it’s tough to know what is causing your painful symptoms. This is especially true if your pain is persistent, despite your attempts to relieve it and prevent it. If your pain continues for several weeks, or several months, many roots may be possible.

Muscle Strains, Fascial Sprains.

You can perform a few simple tests to narrow your pain down to soft tissue injury. These may help you determine if your pain is related to muscles and connective tissue, as opposed to nerves or the neuromuscular system.

Maybe you pulled, or strained, a muscle. You might have sprained the connective tissue, or fascia. Ask yourself these questions:

*Does it hurt when I move in a certain direction?

*Does it hurt when I press a body part against something (resistance)?

*Does applying basic first aid provide relief?

*Is my pain a deep soreness, nagging ache, or intense pain?

If your pain feels like numbness, tingling, zapping, shooting pains, or weakness, then you should consider nerve injury.

Pinched nerves.

When you have pain associated with blocked nerve signals, it is called impingement. Nerve signs are different from muscular signs.

When a nerve is impinged, or pinched, you are more likely to feel it at an area where nerve bundles pass through, instead of muscle pain that is felt in the muscle itself. You are more likely to feel shooting pain, numbness, tingling or weakness when nerve restrictions are causing your pain.

Pain Syndromes.

There are several different types of pain syndromes, or symptom clusters, which may also cause your pain. Their symptoms might resemble those mentioned above, but they will require careful diagnosis and a different treatment plan.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome might first appear to be pain in one or more areas. It may be confused for muscle soreness from exertion. Or it might feel like a muscle strain or tension. But the pain will eventually be felt in different parts of the body. And sometimes the pain in those areas might not seem related.

Your pain might feel like a pinched nerve, or mixed nerve signals. But it might be related to a condition like a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This kind of syndrome affects the nervous system and can be difficult to distinguish from common nerve impingements.

Perhaps you notice swelling, oversensitive skin or skin changes in the painful area, or circulation changes. If you feel these, alongside your muscular aches and/or nerve pains, especially if you have been experiencing a lot of stress in your life, then a CRPS should be considered.

If a pain syndrome is underlying your ongoing pain, then you need to take a different approach to relief and treatment.

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Source by Nina Schnipper

Wryneck Torticollis – Medical Treatments and Alternative Therapies

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Wryneck and torticollis are characterized by painful spasms in the neck. A wryneck usually occurs suddenly and is self limited, often vanishing mysteriously. In contrast, torticollis comes on gradually; at first it is intermittent, but it keeps worsening until affected muscles are chronically contracted and the neck posture remains abnormal more or less permanently. Wryneck and torticollis are relatively common, affecting about 1 in 10,000 people, with women slightly outnumbering men. What causes the muscle spasms is often unclear. In some acute cases, entrapment of a nerve arising from the upper spinal cord is responsible. Infection, inflammation, dislocation of a joint in the neck, a thyroid disorder, and a tumor are other possible causes. Heredity is also a possible factor. In congenital torticollis, a baby is born with an injured or malformed neck muscle. Many patients have other involuntary muscle tics and spasms, or spasmodic dystonia, as well. Doctors are frequently unable to identify any single reason for wryneck or torticollis. In the past, cases were often attributed to hysteria and treated as a mental disorder. Physicians now agree that although torticollis can lead to emotional problems, those problems are rarely, if ever, the underlying cause of the affliction.

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

Newborns should be carefully examined for signs of muscular asymmetry affecting the neck. Adults will be questioned about past nerve and muscle disorders, and recent accidents involving the head and neck. Tests will include a neurological examination, X-rays, CT scans, or MRI, and possibly electromyography, which are studies of the muscles’ electrical impulses.

Medical Treatments

Most patients benefit from a combination of medical and alternative therapies. Regardless of treatment, 10 to 20 percent recover spontaneously within five years. The outlook, however, is best for patients whose problem stems from an identifiable orthopedic disorder.

Drug Therapy

Prescribed drugs usually include such painkillers as aspirin or stronger nonsteroidal anti inflammatory agents; anticholinergic drugs such as trihexyphenidyl to block certain nerve impulses; and muscle relaxants, such as diazepam (Valium). In some cases, haloperidol or perphenazine (Etrafon or Triavil) are prescribed, but side effects such as lethargy and movement disorders limit their use. Studies indicate that injections of botulinum toxin type A into neck muscles reduce painful spasms and normalize head positions for up to three months in most patients. However, this treatment has not yet been approved by the FDA for neck problems.

Surgery

When other approaches have been unsuccessful, neurosl1rgery to sever some of the nerves that control the neck muscles may help.

Alternative Therapies

A combination of physical therapy and massage sometimes provides temporary relief, and if started in the first year of life, can cure congenital torticollis. The daily regimen includes stretching the shortened neck muscle that holds the head at an abnormal angle. Other alternative therapies include:

Acupuncture and Acupressure

Six sessions with a qualified acupuncturist may provide relief and halt the muscle spasms. Applying pressure to the jaw may give temporary relief.

Biofeedback Training

This technique, which helps a patient control and relax neck muscles, is now a standard treatment.

Chiropractic

Many chiropractors specialize in the treatment of neck pain, including wryneck, using manipulation and electrical stimulation.

Hydrotherapy. Whirlpool baths, alternating hot and cold needle showers, and underwater massage are used by some physical therapists to alleviate muscle spasms and neck pain.

Massage Therapies

Traditional massage, perhaps combined with physical therapy, can be helpful. Others find the more vigorous massage of rolfing or shiatsu beneficial.

Meditation

People who have tension induced wryneck might benefit from meditation and breathing exercises.

Self Treatment

Application of heat can sometimes ease simple wryneck. A battery operated vibrating neck massager that can be worn like a scarf while you read, work at a desk, or do chores may also help. If you work at a computer or use the telephone often, take frequent breaks. Change positions, shrug your shoulders, and gently move your head from side to side. Don’t cradle the phone between shoulder and neck; instead, try a speakerphone or headphone. Maintain good posture, keep your shoulders down, and avoid sudden head movements. Try to sleep on your back, using a rolled neck pillow. If you suffer chronic neck pain, use a special pillow that provides hot and cold therapy. Sold at medical supply stores, these have a gel pack that can be cooled in the freezer or heated in the microwave and then inserted into a sleeve that fits under the neck. On a long car or plane trip, rest your head on a traveler’s neck pillow. If a spasm develops, rub it with an ice cube wrapped in a plastic bag using a circular motion. If this doesn’t help, take a hot shower. A pulsating shower massage on the tensed muscle may relax it.

Other Causes of Neck Spasms

Whiplash and other neck injuries can cause muscle spasms and pain. In some cases, tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder caused by potent antipsychotic drugs, affects the neck.

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Source by Robin Brain

Infants Torticollis – What it is and How to Help Baby

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Does your baby have infants torticollis? If the baby’s head tilts to one side and they always seem to look in one direction the answer is yes. While some cases, called acquired torticollis, are more serious and are caused by a tumor or mass on the brain or spine, they are more rare. The more common form of infants torticollis that babies are born with is sometimes called congential torticollis and can be easily fixed.

Why does this happen? Usually it’s how the baby might be positioned in the womb or through some kind of trauma during delivery. This trauma or injury causes a shortening or contracture of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. If you notice the baby’s head tilting to one side and they have trouble tilting or turning to the other take them to the doctor right away. Torticollis is easily corrected when found early.

Once the doctor evaluates the baby he will suggest a stretching and exercise program for baby done either by the parents or a physical therapist. The baby’s neck muscles are gently stretched and strengthend by massage and exercise. The parents can play with the child and encourage him to turn his head the other way through different activities. They can hold a toy to his non-affected side or stand on non-affected side while talking to him. Place baby on tummy and hold toys above for him to look up at or during stroller rides have stroller toy in front for him to grasp.

Catching this condition early and use of physical therapy stretching and exercise will usually fix this problem and it is usually corrected by the time child is 18 months old. On the rare occasion this doesn’t work surgery is suggested and will fix this. The realization that your baby has torticollis can be distressing but it doesn’t have to be.

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Source by Dawn R. Solar

Breathing Exercises and Speech Pathology

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There are so many types of speech disorders, and many of them have something to do with the way a patient breathes. If you are a speech pathologist, you are probably aware of the many ways in which “wrong” breathing aggravates disorders, and regulated breathing exercises can improve a patient’s condition.

For instance, a stutter is at least partially rooted in a lack of coordination between breathing and speaking. Most people are able to perform the processes around each other quite naturally, but stutterers often have a hard time pacing their inhalations and exhalations in such a way as to allow normal speech.

Breathing is also connected to the aspects of speaking disorders that are all in a patient’s mind and feelings. Many speech impediments or disorders have psychological roots as well, as demonstrated by the fact that bouts are more likely to happen when the patient is nervous or distressed. Deep breathing exercises can help to keep a person calm, not just when he or she has to speak, but an overall calmness and mental clarity that will help his/her general psychological health.

Also, as pathologists know, not all speech impediments involve an inability to get the words out. A person may be unable to mentally form coherent sentences, while at the same time speaking so rapidly that he/he is unintelligible. This disorder is known as cluttering, and also has linguistic aspects. Breathing exercises may make a person more mentally disciplined and able to control their linguistic ability. They may also be better able to access their memory, a significant help for disorders when the patient feels that he/she is suddenly unable to remember words.

Some speech disorders are the result of a stroke. In that case, breathing exercises will probably be included in other aspects of the patient’s post-stroke therapy, already. Still, you should ensure that breathing exercise routines include procedures especially designed to restore normal speaking, insofar as that restoration is possible.

Regulated breathing has uses outside the treatment of severe cases of speech disorders, and may even be applied to improve the speech of the general population. After all, if one follows the strict rules, one must conclude that the “normal” speakers are a minority in the population. Most people have some slight ailment or impediment, and this is not a big problem. It is only the very grave cases that get brought to specialists. Still, even people with very mild, near undetectable disorders can benefit from proper breathing. Perhaps some of your loved ones are like this. You might even be one, yourself.

Of course, breathing therapy is not everything. There are certainly other components, such as memory and enunciation exercises, or even surgery, if the disorder has something to do with the formation of speech-related organs like the larynx. There are also the extremely grave disorders, which are so bad that they render a patient mute. Breathing therapy is likely to have only limited effectiveness there. Still, knowledge of breathing exercises and their effects is an indispensable tool in a speech pathologist’s arsenal.

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Source by Keith Tennent