How Can I Treat Phimosis at Home?

The conditions of Phimosis is where there is an inability to retract the foreskin over the glans (head) of the penis. Paraphimosis is the entrapment of a retracted foreskin below the head of the penis.

In the majority of cases the tight foreskins which cause these two conditions may be loosened sufficiently after a few weeks of persistent stretching. Eventually this stretching process will encourage the growth of new skin cells, which will permit normal retraction.

Listed below are described two techniques for stretching a tight foreskin:

1. Ridged band stretch

Insert the ends of two fingers at the inner sides of the foreskin opening and start to pull them gently apart. Gently apply just as much tension in order for the stretch to feel mildly uncomfortable but not painful. Hold on this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then relax for several seconds before repeating. Keep this up (no pun intended) for as much as 15 minutes and do it two times a day. Ideally this should be done after soaking in a warm bath.

After being performed persistently this exercise will also help to avoid Paraphimosis which is where the retracted foreskin gets trapped below the glans of your penis which may be both painful and distressing.

In such a circumstance try to ease the foreskin forward but if after several attempts you don’t manage to bring the foreskin back over the glans then seek medical help.

2. The pull back stretch

If the foreskin is particularly tight and inserting two fingers in the opening just isn’t yet feasible then the easiest first approach will be to simply withdraw on the skin at the shaft of the penis so your foreskin opening feels tight and stretched over the glans but again pain free. Hold the stretched position for two minutes and after that relax. Again repeat this process during a period of 15 minutes a couple of times a day. Using this method is more effective and easier if performed with an erection.

Following persistent stretching over a few weeks the opening will get bigger and arrive to the point where it could almost fit over the rim of your penis glans when erect. At this stage make sure to avoid trapping the foreskin behind the glans (Paraphimosis) when it becomes loose enough to happen but tight enough to be hard to bring forward again. Instead proceed to the 1st ridge band exercise described above.

In both of the above approaches should the foreskin opening become sore or small splits develop you must stop and let things heal. You may notice that as you progressively expose more of the glans (the head) of the penis that it is super sensitive as well as painful to touch. Gradually this over sensitivity will subside as you continue your exercises. Try gently exposing the glans to the flowing water of a tap or even the spray of the shower to reduce sensitivity. Should you continue slowly with this process it is highly likely you will notice results after a few weeks, stop too quickly however and most likely things will just firm up again. Depending on the relative tightness of your foreskin the process may take an additional few weeks.

You can actually ask your physician to prescribe Betamethasone 1% ointment. A small quantity of this ointment can be applied to the tight section of the foreskin. It can accelerate the stretching process but won’t do anything alone, without stretching. Stretching will still work without having the ointment, just less quickly. After stretching be always sure to pull your foreskin back over the glans.

Why A Cat Tree Is Good For Your Cat

Cats Need Space Too

Cats have lots of energy. They are naturally curious, too. Keeping them in an area where they can’t climb, scratch, play and explore can leave them very frustrated. This can cause them to use your furniture and shelving as scratching posts and climbing spaces. We all know what that means, shredded furniture and picture frames or decorations on the floor. Not to mention how many times have you come home to find your cat on top of the kitchen cabinets. Give your cat a place to exercise and play away from your furnishings. Cat trees offer the best solution for that. They allow your cat to feel like they have a space that’s all theirs.

Cat Trees- The Substitute Tree

As I said before, cats LOVE to climb. They have a natural instinct to climb, just like their larger cousins in the wild. A cat tree is a great way to keep your kitty happy. And as their name states, it’s a tree built for your cat. There are many sizes and styles of trees available. Some have lots of perches and sleeping spaces while others are smaller with less hiding spots. You can even get ones with hanging toys for your cat to enjoy too. Cat trees have multiple posts for scratching and exercising their paw muscles. It also gives them a place to leave their scent. While the perches offer them the heights they seek to feel just like their outside climbing a tree.

Choose The Best Size For Your Home

Cat trees are available is lots of heights and sizes. Smaller units are great if you have limited space while larger units offer more perches and hiding spots. Don’t be afraid to buy a larger unit. Keep in mind that your kitten is going to grow. As it grows, it will also want more space to explore as well as new heights to reach. Taller cat trees offer the height your cat seeks while only taking up the floor space of a smaller unit. Most units offer sisal wrapped posts and carpet or plush lined condos. While older cats tend to nap more, remember younger cats will be looking to play. Many cat trees offer dangling toys for playful pets as well as the condos and climbing tunnels. Be sure to get one with a couple scratching areas. Once your cat has chosen one of these areas, they should start to leave your furniture alone. If you have multiple cats, look for one with more levels and hiding spots so they all can play and relax together. No matter the size of the cat tree you choose, your cat will be sure to love it.

A great cat owner knows that to keep your cat happy, you have to keep them busy. Cat trees offer your cat a playground all their own within the safe walls of your home. Make your home a cat friendly space by adding a cat tree for your kitty.

"I Can Only Wear Gold Jewelry" – The Truth About Jewelry Allergies

I can only wear gold jewelry, everything else breaks me out.” How many times did I hear that exact phrase from my mother when I was a child? Every time I would give her jewelry that was her response.

Why does everything but gold break my mother out? Is that statement even true? When I started designing jewelry over ten years ago I decided to find out. I wanted to design jewelry for my mom that she could wear without fear of a breakout. Now I am going to let you in on what I have discovered.

My mother, like many people, develops contact dermatitis when her skin comes in contact with some types of jewelry. Her dermatitis is a result of an allergic reaction to the nickel found in many types of jewelry. Nickel allergies are very common, in fact one out of every seven people are likely to suffer from a nickel allergy. More often, women tend to suffer from nickel allergies than men. Allergy treatment can help with the symptoms of a nickel allergy. Unfortunately once the allergy has developed, a person will remain sensitive to nickel for the rest of their life.

Nickel is found in many types of costume jewelry, especially those that are mass-produced. It may also be found in other everyday items like coins, zippers, eyeglass frames, and cellphones.

So why is my mom allergic to nickel, you may ask. For some reason, which science still does not understand, her body has mistaken nickel (or similar metals like cobalt) as a threat. In response to that threat, her body causes an immune response (aka allergic reaction) to get rid of the threat. This reaction causes her to breakout in an itchy rash. But others could have a more severe reaction to nickel.

Now that I knew what was causing my mother’s breakout, I set out to find out which types of jewelry did not contain nickel.

First I looked at gold jewelry. Generally speaking, yellow gold (above 14 karat) will not cause an allergic reaction. However white gold may. White gold alloys contain nickel and other “white” metals to produce its silver coloring. One out of every nine people will react to the nickel in white gold.

Another form of gold jewelry is gold filled or “GF” jewelry. Gold filled jewelry metal is created when a base metal is coated with a layer of gold. Gold filled differs from gold-plated by the amount of gold applied. The layer used in gold filled jewelry is typically 50 to 100 time thicker that the layer used to coat gold-plated products.

Next I looked at silver jewelry. For those who are nickel sensitive, fine silver and sterling silver are great choices for “white” metals.

Fine silver is by definition 99.9% pure silver. Jewelry is generally not made of fine silver because the metal is extremely soft and does not withstand normal wear and tear well.

Most silver jewelry is made using sterling silver. Sterling silver is by definition 92.5% pure silver. In most cases, the remaining 7.5% metal is copper. Copper is infused to harden the silver and make it more durable. I use this type of sterling silver in my jewelry designs it is a great metal for nickel allergic people. Sometimes you can distinguish sterling silver by a “925” mark found on the jewelry. This is common on manufactured pieces, but may not be present on artisan jewelry.

Some other metals that are considered safe for people with nickel allergies are:

Copper – Copper jewelry is generally considered pure and not mixed with nickel or nickel alloys.

Platinum – Platinum jewelry contains 95% platinum and 5% of a secondary metal typically iridium.

Titanium – Titanium jewelry is both hypoallergenic and durable. It is a highly recommended metal for those who suffer from nickel allergies.

Niobium – This is a relatively new metal in the jewelry industry. It is a rare earth metal that can be anodized (naturally coated with beautiful colors). Like titanium, this metal is recommended for nickel allergy sufferers, especially those looking for a pop of color.

Since I have given you a list of safe metals, I thought I would also give you a list of metal terms to watch out for when you are shopping for jewelry.

Fashion or costume jewelry typically has base metals that include nickel. Sometimes these metals are plated; however that plating will wear off over time exposing the skin to the base metals. If you choose a plated metal, remember that it will need to be re-plated regularly.

Some have suggested that brass may be a hypoallergenic option. However my research has suggested that brass is sometimes alloyed with small amounts of nickel or even lead to strengthen the metal.

German silver or nickel silver is a metal to stay away from where jewelry is concerned. German silver does not contain any silver. The silver refers to the silver coloration of the metal. The color is derived from a combination of nickel, zinc, lead, and tin found within the alloy.

Surgical or stainless steel – Surgical grade stainless steel is made to be in the human body. However, the steel alloy contains between eight and twelve percent nickel. I have heard varying reports about how safe this metal is for people with nickel allergies. Since the steel alloy does contain nickel, I would tend to avoid it, but some people swear by it.

If you do buy a piece of jewelry and are concerned that it may contain nickel, commercial test kits are available online. These kits contain chemicals that react in the presence of nickel.

Doing a little research can prevent a nickel allergy attack and still allow you to wear beautiful jewelry.

Common Urology Problems In Men

Urology is the medical specialty that centers on urinary tracts of both males and females and male reproductive systems. Medical experts who specialize in this medical branch are called urologists. They are trained to treat patients who have urology problems. The organs that are primarily deal with under urology are adrenal glands, kidneys, urinary bladder, urethra and ureters. Amongst the male reproductive organisms, urology covers epididymis, vas deferens, testes, prostate, penis and seminal vesicles.

This article will discuss about some of the major urology problems that men commonly face.

Urinary tract infection – Often abbreviated as UTI, urinary tract infection is mainly caused by bacterial infection in the urinary tract of men. The infection usually affects the bladder area. Symptoms include frequent urge to urinate, burning sensation while urinating, blood in urine, etc. If treatment is delayed, the infection can reach kidneys and cause symptoms like vomiting, chills, fever and pain.

Erectile dysfunction – Under this medical condition, a man fails to have an erection or keep up an erection for a long time. This condition hinders a man to perform sexual activities. Typically, erectile dysfunction is caused by diabetes, chronic alcoholism, kidney ailments, and vascular diseases. At times, medications can heal this condition but when they do not, one needs to take resort to surgery.

Premature ejaculation – This is a common male problem, especially seen in youngger men. Anxiety and lack of experience can lead to premature ejaculation. Many men do not talk about this issue, but it has treatments. Psychological counseling, medications, changes in sexual methods, etc. are the commonly used procedures to treat premature ejaculation.

Incontinence – Although this is more frequently seen in women, it can happen to men too. This urology problem can impair the ability to control of urine leakage. Stress, surgery and trauma are the most probable reasons behind incontinence. Therapy, surgery and proper medications can treat this urology problem.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – In older men, prostate glands tend to increase in size due to hormonal changes within their body. Prostate gland is located near the bladder and surrounding the urethra. So, the tube through which the urine passes can cause solidarity on the bladder and the urethra. This can lead to restriction in flow of urine. Common symptoms include dribbling of urine, urinating at night, etc. Usually, men who are 50 years or more face this urology problem.

One must seek the help of a medical expert in treating urology problems. Greenbelt citizens can contact Murdock Urology Associates to get them diagnosed diagnosed right away.

How to Lose Fat – Top Five Foods That Increase Metabolism

Losing fat does not need to be difficult or stressful. By implementing the following five foods into your diet, you will not only increase your metabolism but you will lose fat which is stored in your body. The metabolic process changes your caloric intake into energy. You need this energy in order for your body to function properly.

Your metabolicism is always on the move – whether you are sleeping or exercising. Metabolism plays an important role in creating new cells and tissue. If your metabolism is sluggish, it does not burn fat as easily which leads to weight gain and you will not be able to lose fat. By adding exercise to your daily schedule, you increase your metabolism even more!

By incorporating these five foods into your daily diet, you will not only increase your metabolism but you break down fat within cells which will help you lose fat over time.

1. Whole Grains: Choose whole grain bread, pasta and brown rice which are packed with fiber. Steel cut oatmeal makes a healthy breakfast. The fiber found in whole grains lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and will help you lose fat.

2. Fruits and Vegetables: Not only do fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals, they play an important role in the fat-burning process. Other rich sources of fiber can be found in broccoli and berries. Fruits and vegetables also contain important antioxidants which help fight disease such as cancer.

3. Low Fat Yogurt: Yogurt plays an effective role in the metabolic process. Yogurt is packed with calcium – a mineral is much needed to build healthy, strong bones. If the body does not get enough calcium, it releases calcitrol – a hormone which causes the body to store fat, making it very difficult to lose fat. By eating low fat yogurt, the calcium found in yogurt helps regulate fat storage which promotes weight loss.

4. Lean Turkey: Lean meats such as turkey also increase the metabolic process. Turkey contains protein which is essential for building muscle mass. Turkey contains an important amino acid leucine which keeps muscle mass intact which will help you to lose fat. The protein found in lean turkey increases the body's metabolic rate (which aids in further weight loss).

5. Peanuts: Peanuts help regulates the body's blood sugar levels which help with hunger pangs. Opt for low salt peanuts – too much salt can elevate blood pressure which is not healthy.

Additional tips to remember when increasing the body's metabolism:

• Do not skip breakfast because that slows down the metabolic process. It's important to start the day off with breakfast. Choose healthy breakfast options such as steel-cut oatmeal or fruit.
• Do not starve yourself. Do not drop caloric intake to under 1,000 calories per day. When your body goes into starvation mode, you slow down your metabolism which is not healthy for the body, and makes it hard for you to lose fat.
• Eat smaller meals on a more frequent basis. Smaller, frequent meals regulate blood sugar levels (glucose) and keep your metabolism running efficiently (which keeps off the pounds!)
• Incorporate aerobic exercise such as cycling, running, swimming or walking into your daily routine. It's important to increase your heart rate which speeds up the metabolism and aids in burning calories and will aid you to lose fat.

How to Maintain a Hard Erection Without Prescribed Medication

It is quite common for men to loose their erection during intercourse. Not being able to get or maintain an erection is a condition that is called erectile dysfunction or impotence.

One of the most basic reasons behind erectile failure in men is reduced blood flow to the penis. Other factors can include low testosterone levels and psychological issues like stress, depression etc.,

How to Maintain a Hard Erection

The mist well known cure for erectile dysfunction is Viagra. However, prescribed rugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra as well as their generic versions can produce side effects which can even be fatal. Such medications are not for everyone.

For instance, men who have a cardiac disorder are advised not to take Viagra since it can result in very low blood pressure that can prove fatal. Not only this, some men can also experience vision or hearing problems with such medications.

Curing Erectile Dysfunction without Prescribed Medication

This is possible with the help of some highly effective and all natural penis enhancement pills. Such pills are a powerful and potent blend of herbs and other botanical extracts and nutrients that can do a lot more than just help you maintain hard and firm erections.

Such pills increase blood flow to the penis without altering your blood pressure and also boost testosterone production in your body naturally.

Both of these factors play a cruel role in helping you get rock hard erections.

Moreover, such pills also help boost the production of nitric oxide in the walls of the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. This is extremely important. One of the main reasons why men are not able to maintain hard erections is that nitric oxide production Declines with age.

Nitric oxide is that important catalyst which ensures increased blood flow to the erectile tissue and it does so by helping the smooth muscles that surround the penis relax. This helps blood vessels to expand or widen up and increase blood flow to the penis. The net effect is that you get hard and firm erections.

Although there are many herbal pills, they tend to vary in terms of quality and effectiveness and this is large due to the quality and choice of ingredients used.

High quality pills use certain exclusive ingredients together some well known herbs like ginseng, ginkgo, muira pauma, horny goat weed, saw palmetto etc.,

Some of the exclusive ingredients include Pomegranate 70% Ellagen or Bioperine.

Bioperine is nothing but a black pepper extract that allows more faster and ready absorption of all the other ingredients including faster and better results.

Pomegranate 70% Ellagen, is even something even more effective. Pomegranate not only benefits male libido but also improved the secretion of nitric oxide. This is exactly what Viagra is known to do. Here, it is being called the Natural Viagra.

Such pills not only help you get and maintain rock hard erections but also:

  • help you last longer in bed
  • improve libido or sex drive
  • increase semen production
  • speed up recovery after ejaculation so that you can have multiple sex sessions in a single night.

Over and above, such pills do not have any side effects. No wonder, more and more men are now buying them to please their women in bed and enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying sex.

If you want to Maintain Hard Erections , check out more on the Most Powerful and All Natural Penis Pills that have been coated as the Best Male Enhancement Product in more than 7 Years.

Honey Bees and Bumblebees

Honey bees are among the most useful creatures on earth; not only do they provide us with honey and other byproducts that we can consume as food, but honey bees and other bees play a crucible role in the pollination of plant life. It has been estimated that up to 30 percent of the food that humans consume around the world is reliant upon pollination by bees. However, we are just as likely to find bumblebees in our gardens as honey bees; how do these two types of bees differ?

Both are members of the family Apidae; honey bees belong to the genus Apis and bumblebees to the genus Bombus. Although there are more than 250 known species of bumblebee, there are only 7 recognized species of honey bee. Both play a role in the pollination of plant life. Both are social animals, living in colonies, and so worker bees gather nectar from flowers to take back to their colonies, for consumption and to feed to their young.

Beeekeepers raise honey bees for honey, beeswax, and other commercial products; bee colonies kept by beekeepers can last many years, and those bees in the wild also tend to establish permanent homes. Typical honey bee colonies have 30,000 to 50,000 bees, whether domesticated or in the wild; the vast majority of the bees in a colony are female worker bees, who are sterile and perform almost all the work of the colony. Colonies also contain a queen, who is capable of laying eggs and producing young; and a few hundred male drones, whose only function is to mate with the queen.

Bumblebees, on the other hand, have much smaller colonies – sometimes fewer than a hundred bees. Bumblebees do not construct permanent homes as honeybees do; they often nest in tunnels in the ground, but sometimes they will produce a wax canopy for protection. Bumblebee societies are structured similarly to those of honey bees, with workers, drones, and a queen all fulfilling specific functions, but bumblebee workers are not sterile; they are able to lay haploid eggs that develop into male drones. Only queens are able to lay diploid eggs that can mature into female workers and queens as well as males.

This reproductive competition between the queen and the workers results in colony behavior that differs from that of honey bees. Early in the reproductive season, the queen will suppress the egg-laying ability of her workers by physical aggression as well as pheromonal signals. The queen will then produce all the first male larvae of that season, as well as all the female larvae. As the queen's ability to suppress the workers wanes later in the season, worker bees, too, will begin to lay eggs that produce male larvae.

After they have matured, new males and queens will be driven from the colony; these outcasts spend nights on flowers or in cavities in the ground. The queens and drones will also mate with each other; a mated queen will search for a suitable location to hibernate through the winter. The following spring, the queen will emerge from hibernation and find a location for a nest. The queen, then, forms a new colony and broods her eggs on her own.

Bumblebees do produce honey, from the nectar they gather from flowers; the process is similar to that of honey bees. However, honey bees tend to produce more honey than they need; it is that easy for beekeepers to harvest honey from domestic hives while leaving enough for the bees' own needs. Because bumblebee colonies are so much smaller, they are barely able to produce enough honey for themselves; beekeepers therefore do not attempt to raise bumblebees for their honey. Additionally, it is difficult and usually destructive to extract honey from wild bumblebee nests. Bumblebee honey is perfectly edible, but thinner and more watery than honey bee honey.

It sometimes may be hard to distinguish between a them, but they are distinct animals with different habits and life cycles.

Hemophilia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hemophilia is not the name of a single disease but many integrated bleeding disorders. This disease is inherited and it involves a large amount of bleeding. This term involves both kinds of hemophilia, including hemophilia A and B. The only difference between them is of the gene mutation. This gene mutation causes bleeding. Since these gene mutations are caused more in X chromosome pattern, this disease is more likely to occur in males and females.

Almost one male birth out of every 5000 sufferers from this disease; Both the versions of this ailment can happen in all the races. However, the incidence of hemophilia A is more precalent than hemophilia B. The latter happens in a single male birth out of 20 to thirty four thousand births. Hemophilia has also been given the name of royal ailment because Queen Victoria, the first queen of England suffered from this disease. Then this disease was transferred to the royal families of other countries through her daughters.

It's very rare for a girl to have hemophilia.

The excessive bleeding of this aliment occurs because the clotting becomes defective. Hemophilia can have distinct degrees of severity. These multiple levels are caused by the kind of mutation that arises. The most severe form of this ailment involves less than 1% activity of the gene-affecting factor, while 1.5% if characterized as moderate and higher than 5% factor activity includes mild disease. So, this factor determines the kind of bleeding. When a person has severe hemophilia the bleeding starts at a young age and can occur at any time. People who have mild hemophilia can suffer from bleeding due to injury.

This disease is dangerous because once the bleeding starts it can not be stopped due to defective blood clotting. Bleeding can happen in any part of the body and can cause organ damage also. For example, in this ailment bleeding of the joints called Hemarthrosis is more common. This kind of bleeding can be strictly injurious because it can result in dislocation of the joint spaces which can cause a lot of pain. The joints are destroyed which makes its necessary to have joint replacement surgeries. Dental procedures can also lead to bleeding. Young children can also have bleeding when they are getting newer teeth. Bleeding can also occur in the gastro intestinal tract, which causes bleeding in the human excreta. Bleeding of the urinary tract is also prevalent which has an impact of blood in the toilet. The worst is when bleeding starts in the brain which can cause nausea, lethargy and vomiting. It can also cause death due to blood hemorrhage.

In the severe cases of hemophilia, bleeding can occur during the first two years of life only. So, men can get bleeding when they have just underone the process of circumcision. Even high bleeding after a surgery indicates that a person sufferers from this disease. The most important cause of hemophilia is genetic mutation.

Physical Therapy for the Lower Back: How to Prevent and Treat Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common causes of job-related disability and why some people miss work. It is also the second most common neurological ailment in the United States, second only to headache. In fact, approximately 80% of adults in Western countries have, at some point, experienced lower back pain.

For some fortunately people, pain in the lower back may be resolved by itself or with the aid of medication within two to four weeks. However, there are some cases of lower back pain that may last for more than a few weeks, during which case the condition is termed as "chronic" and "progressive," meaning it can only grow worse over time.

Moreover, 60-80% of those patients who suffer their first episode of lower back pain may experience recurring pain within one year.

According to current research, there are certain muscles in the back that work to stabilize the spine. When the spine or the back suffers an injury, these muscles are reflexively inhibited or shutdown. Worse still, these muscles do not spontaneously recover, and this is true even if patients do not feel pain and are able to return to normal activity levels.

As a result of the inhibitory of these muscles, called lumbar multifidi and the transversus abdominus, lower back pain occurs. However, there are steps you can take to prevent the same thing from happening to you.

Lower Back Pain and Physical Therapy

One way to prevent the inhibition of the lumbar multifidi and transversus abdominus is through a series of physical therapy exercises.

Designed to strengthen the muscles of the lower back and keep the spine healthy, these physical therapy exercises may range from back stabilization exercises to muscle development development and several wide variety of techniques.

In addition, a physical therapist may also recommend such methods as heat therapy, ultrasound, massage, mobilization, and education about posture and body mechanics in order to prevent lower back pain from recycling.

Some of these methods will be discussed later on. You will also find some practical self-help tips provided by experts to help you avoid lower back pain or prevent the condition from worsening.

However, before we head on to learning how lower back pain is treated through physical therapy, it is important that we first understand what causes lower back pain.

Lower Back Pain: CAUSES

There are actually many types of back pain, but the most common is pain in the lower back. Why? You might ask. The reason is simple: you carry most of your weight in the lower back. Thus, it is highly likely that a person would suffer pain in that area.

There is no definitive cause of lower back pain. Sometimes, the causes of the condition are so complex that it is difficult to pinpoint just a single one.

However, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals have observed that lower back pain is often a result of strained back muscles and ligaments due to any of the following activities:

o Improper posture

o Heavy lifting

o Sudden awkward movement

o Muscle spasm

o Stress

We could all be guilty of the above activities. We may not suffer any back pains now, but it is likely that as we get older and the degree of inhibitory of the back muscles as a result of these activities increases, back pain becomes a very distinct possibility.

In addition to these common activities, lower back pain may also result from specific conditions, such as:

o Herniated disk (when the disk material presses on a nerve)

o Sciatica (when a herniated disk presses on the sciatic nerve. The condition causes sharp, shooting pain through the buttocks and the back of the leg.)

o Spinal stenosis (when the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots becomes narrow. This is caused by arthritis and bone overgrowth, the pain resulting from when a nerve gets pinched in the narrow space.)

o Spondylosis (a type of arthritis affecting the spine due to degenerative changes brought on by aging)

o Spondylolisthesis (when one vertebra in the spinal column slips forward over another)

Lower Back Pain: TREATMENT

The treatment of lower back pain depends on several factors, including the specific type of lower back pain (whether it is chronic or acute) and the purported cause.

For instance, acute lower back pain is commonly treated with pain relieving drugs, such as analgesics, or some forms of exercises that can help relax the muscles.

On the other hand, chronic back pain – or one that lasts for more than two weeks and is progressive – may be caused by some underlying condition, during which case the treatment plan may consist of resolving the underlying condition to treat the back pain.

Lower Back Pain and Physical Therapy Exercise

Physical therapy exercise is one of the most common methods of treating lower back pain. In fact, many home remedies for lower back pain consist of exercise, because the general theory is that if you remain active, you remain healthy. This is true in most cases.

However, for purposes of this article, the exercises featured here will be those that are practiced by physical therapists to treat patients with lower back pain.

Generally, in physical therapy exercises, the exercise program for back pain should encompass a set of stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, and low impact aerobics. Read below for more on these exercises:

-Stretching

The back of a person is composed of the spinal column and contiguous animals, ligaments and tendons. All these are designed to move in consonance with each other so that any limitation in the range of motion in any of these components of the back result in back pain.

Stretching for lower back pain specifically targets soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments and tendons, found in the back and around the spine. By stretching, the spinal and soft tissues are mobilized, increasing motion and thus, relieving pain.

There are many kinds of stretching exercises employed by physical therapists. One is the Hamstring Stretching Exercise which works to relax tight hamstrings, a common symptom of lower back pain. This exercise is said to help decrease the intensity of lower back pain among sufferers.

-Strengthening

Physical therapists generally use two forms of strengthening and back pain relief exercises, usually depending on the specific condition of the patient. These are the McKenzie exercises and dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises. However, the two forms of strengthening exercises may also be combined should the therapist find it appropriate to do so.

-McKenzie Exercises

Named after a physical therapist in New Zealand, McKenzie exercises are primarily extensible exercises that could help reduce pain generated from the disc space and also may help reduce the symptoms of herniated disc by reducing pressure on a nerve root.

For acute pain, the McKenzie exercises should be done frequently, at least once every two hours. In addition, patients are advised to avoid flexing their spine when exercising.

-Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization Exercises

Using this back exercise technique, the first thing that a physical therapist does is look for the patient's "neutral" spine. This reflects to the position that allows the patient to feel the most comfortable.

Afterwards, when the patient is in that position, the back muscles are then exercised in order to "teach" the spine how to stay in this position.

Performing these exercises on a regular basis can help strengthen the back muscles and keep the spine well-positioned.

Low Impact Aerobic Exercises

The purpose of low impact aerobic exercise is to recondition the back. Patients who undergo reconditioning of the back through low impact aerobic exercise will have fewer episodes of lower back pain.

In addition, whenever an episode of lower back pain does occur, the pain is less intense and lasts only for a short period.

Another benefit of low impact aerobic exercise is that patients tend to stay functional – that is, they can continue with their regular work and carry on with recreational activities. In contrast, patients who do not undergo low impact aerobic exercises typically experience the gradual loss of their functional abilities.

For low impact aerobic exercises to achieve their desired results, they should be continuous. This will increase the heart rate and keep it elevated as well as increase the production of endorphins, which are pain fighting hormones released by the body.

Here are some examples of low impact aerobic exercises that you may want to try in order to lessen or reduce lower back pain:

-Walking

One of the simplest forms of aerobic exercises, walking is generally considered as very gentle on the back. To get the maximum benefit from walking as a form of low impact aerobic exercise, walk two to three miles three times per week.

-Stationary Bicycling

This form of aerobic exercise is less painful on the back since there is lower impact produced. This is beneficial for patients with lower back pain who may find walking too painful.

-Water Therapy

Sometimes referred to as aquatherapy, water therapy is simply doing exercise in the water. The buoyancy works to provide effective conditioning at the same time stress on the back is reduced.

Do Nitric Oxide Supplements Work?

Nitric Oxide is a gas formed in the body by the breakdown of L-Arginine to L-Citrulline through an enzyme group called Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS). Although NO2 is used for many purposes, it's ability to increase blood flow will be discussed in this article.

In general supplement companies claim that NO2 supplements can:

Increase recovery post workout
Increase resistance to muscular fatigue
Increase muscular work output

These three claims are largely based on the assumption that an increase in blood flow to muscle tissue will enable users to experience the claims that supplement companies put forward. Obviously there are many other variable factors that can influence your muscle mass growth and strength gains for example you general diet and training. So the claim is that if your diet and training are in place, taking a NO2 supplement will enable your body to build more muscle mass that the same diet and training regime without the nitric oxide supplementation.

There is absolutely no doubt that NO2 supplements increase blood flow. Just ask anyone how has taken a nitric oxide supplement and they will tell you blood flow is substantially increased. But does this blood flow actually produce the results that are claimed? Or is it mostly a mental advantage from feeling the pump!

Vasodilation

Vasodilation is the process of a relaxation of blood vessels, allowing them to carry more blood to and from working muscle tissue. Vasodilation (to high levels) is triggered by the sunset of exercise as the need for oxygen and nutrients is heightened during this time. The process of vasodilation is highly influenced by nitric oxide.

High levels of nitric oxide aid in the conversion of an enzyme (GTP) into another (cGMP) which serves as an important messenger to, among others, the relaxation of smooth vascular muscle in order to create vasodilatory effects. Therefore, if levels of nitric oxide are inhibited vasodilation may not occur to the amount that allows maximum performance.

In essence, vasodilation occurs when high levels of nutrients need to be transferred into muscles for energy production. Vasodilation itself is highly influenced, and limited by the amount of NO2 that is available as it has been observed that a limited production of nitric oxide can lead to vasoconstriction.

It can be suggested that before that if we can enable the body to produce adequate amounts of nitric oxide, proper levels of vasodilation can occur, enabling the body to transport ample amounts of nutrients to working muscle for maximum power output.

What Should Be Supplemented To Increase NO2 Levels?

Most 'NO2' supplements on the market currently use ingredients such as

L-Arginine
Arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate
L-Citrulline
Citrulline Malate

As nitric oxide is produced by the conversion of l-arginine it can be assumed that supplementing with l-arginine will have an effect on NO levels. However the evidence as yet shows no correlation between oral arginine supplementation and nitric oxide levels. Unfortunately l-arginine concentration does not directly affect the rate of nitric oxide production. Citrulline, the amino acid that l-arginine is converted into in the NO2 conversion process has actually been shown to have a greater effect of nitric oxide levels with oral supplementation. However these amino acids alone do not seem to have a direct effect on nitric oxide levels.

Insulin

Insulin is an incredibly important hormone that allows nutrients, including glucose to be transported to muscle cells and has been shown to be a regulator in vasodilation and blood flow.

It is important to discuss insulin levels as it has been studied that the effects of insulin on vasodilation are dependent on insulin sensitivity ie how much insulin can be released when carbohydrates are ingested. These studies have concluded that nitric oxide production by insulin can decrease in people that are insulin 'resistant' rather than people that are sensitive to the effects of insulin release.

It can be extrapolated that a heightened in insulin levels can produce hyper vasodilation and in fact, this has been shown in resulting studies.

How Can Insulin Be Raised To Spark Vasodilation?

In fact the products mentioned earlier that are used in many nitric oxide products do increase insulin sensitivity in the body, therefore they do increase vasodilation but through heightened levels of insulin rather than a direct effect on l-arginine conversion.

How Are NO2 Supplements Best Supplied?

Insulin has a linear relationship with the ingestion of carbohydrates; if large amounts of carbohydrates are ateen larger amounts of insulin are released. Therefore many powdered NO2 supplements will combine their ingredients with simple fast acting carbohydrates such as dextrose in order to increase vasodilation and 'the pump'. These carbohydrates are shuttled to muscle literally forcing the carbohydrates into the cells and filling them up like a balloon creating a larger muscle mass.

Powdered products are usually taken pre-workout only as supplementation of simple sugars is not recommended at any other time. Nitric oxide pills do not contain the sugars and will produce a slight effect on vasodilation by increasing your insulin sensitivity. Therefore carbohydrate ingestion is recommended around your workout to allow for the greatest chance of vasodilation trough insulin use.

The Claims

Earlier the three most common claims of the supplement companies were stated and in general it can be concluded that NO2 supplements can produce those results (obviously there are other factors that can influence this). If vasodilation occurs with an increased insulin response from supplementation of NO2 products it can enable users to gain better results from supplementation.

Childhood Obesity – Taking Growth Into Account

Being overweight is difficult enough for a child. Adding a low calorie diet to it can be more than just uncomfortable. Without help it could also be unhealthy.

Standard Adult Diet Rules : It's fairly simple. Calories in need to be lower than calories out. There are some foods that bought to be avoided and exercise is needed both to help with the calories and to tone the body. That's not necessarily what a child needs.

All Kids are Different : Actually, it's the same for anyone. We all have differences in metabolism, insulin amounts and so forth. Children are much the same but add on that they do not all grow at the same age. One child may have a huge growth spurt at eight and another might not until ten.

Pediatrician : The first thing that needs done for an overweight child is a complete checkup. This should probably include blood tests. Some disorders cause weight gain. The doctor can also give you information about calories needed, what the ideal weight is for the child and what physical activities are wise.

Nutritionist : A nutritionist will help you come up with a diet plan that fits all of the child's needs. The child's likes and dislikes can also be addressed. Some snack foods that are high in calories can be made in a much lower calorie version. If there are other problems either along with or causing the weight problem the food options can be made clear.

It really is in a child's best interest to have professionals take the weight problem in hand. That way the child can grow as well as get into better shape.

Sarcoidosis Diet – The Super Foods Which Treat Sarcoid

A natural sarcoidosis diet is showing promising results in treating this debilitating disease. As well as relieving uncomfortable symptoms like fatigue, sore lungs, breathlessness, swollen glands and a skin rash, many patients are reporting total remission of their illness.

Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself, even when a potentially serious illness like sarcoid hits. When provided with the right foods, your cells can cleanse and repair themselves and help you regain your health and life. Lets have a look at the super foods that make up the sarcoidosis diet.

Firstly an alkalising diet based on an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables is essential. These natural foods are rich in enzymes, antioxidants and fibre that cleanse and rebalance the pH of your cells. Juicing your vegetables and fruit will accelerate your healing process.

The next step in the sarcoidosis diet is to eliminate acid producing foods that disrupt cell function. These toxic foods include alcohol, coffee, colourings, preservatives, excess animal protein, trans fatty acids and chemicals. Too much carbohydrate like that found in sugar and processed grains can worsen inflammation, so should be minimised on this diet.

The addition of healing herbs and nutrients to your sarcoidosis diet will optimize your results. Herbs like ginger, peppermint, milk thistle and immune-balancing Chinese herbs are showing therapeutic benefits in sarcoid patients. Anti-inflammatory nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and fish oil can repair damaged tissues and prevent further damage.

Lastly the use of plant and animal-derived enzymes is invaluable in breaking down the clusters of abnormal immune cells called granulomas which are seen in sarcoid.

The healing foods in the sarcoidosis diet should be at the forefront of your fight against this nasty disease. Unlike conventional drugs, these foods and supplements have no side effects. They are also affordable and easily sourced from your health food shop or grocer. If you or a loved one are struggling with sarcoid, then these foods may be the answer you have been looking for.

Organic Skin Care For Men VS Chemical Skin Care For Men

When we men start buying skin care products, we do not look too much in the components and nature of the product in front of us. We just tend to glaze over the counter and read general features, such as "anti-aging", "no more wrinkles", "bye bye greasy skin". However there is one of these features that we should be more aware of: "organic product".

Organic skin care or natural skin care, refer to the use of all natural ingredients to take care of our skin. These products are generally made of more than one type of herbs and seeds, that combined are able to bring the same results as a chemical based products. Organic lifestyles and the rediscovery of ancient herbs are making organic skin care increasingly popular in men skin care products, and put chemical based products under the spotlight.

Chemical skin care became popular thanks to its sometimes incredible results in correcting skin problems. And that was the reason they had a higher price too. But as years had passed, medical investigations had shown that some of these components are not safe. Components such as Aliminum, Propulene Glycol and Imidazolidinyl urea, have been proved to be harmful to people. Their effects include links with breast cancer, contact dermatitis, ototoxicity, kidney damage and more. Most of the products with these components have been banned, but there are some that not, even with all the research to back that up. There may also be other components not YET found harmful.

As men we are in contact with a lot of these chemicals, but not as much as a woman. An average woman uses 12 beauty products a day, this adds up 168 chemicals!

However, with all that, we should not rely so blindly in Organic skin care. Organic products are notoriously under-regulated and some of these so called "All-natural" products use chemicals, and chemical processes to blend the components. Of course not too many people speak loud about these, and you come to discover the effects by yourself.

The best advice to take is this: Know what you are using. You have to be informed, because it is your skin what we are talking about here. You may think that as a man your skin is tougher, but that is not true. Facial skin is more sensitive in men due to constant bad shaving habits. Do a search on Internet for the ingredients on the product you're about to buy and if possible ask a doctor for advice.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction – Psychological and Physiological

Erectile Dysfunction is a condition that affects millions of men around the world. This article discusses some of the most common causes, both psychological and physiological, of Erectile Dysfunction.

Erectile Process Understanding how an erection occurs is the first step in understanding the causes of ED. In order to achieve an appreciation, a number of factors are involved, and certain complex processes have to occur.

An inscription depends on psychological factors, such as the level of stress and anxiety, physical factors such as the blood vessels and muscles in the penis itself, the level of sex hormones, and the central nervous system.

The process begins with a signal to the brain, in response to one or more sexual stimuli, which can include touch, smell, auditory and visual signals. When the brain interprets these stimuli, it sends signals to the nerve centers at the base of the spine. The spinal cord nerve fibers connect to the penis through nerves in the pelvic region, and instruct the blood vessels in the penis to relax, and to engorge with blood. The shaft of the penis consists of two erectile bodies, each called the corpus cavernosum. It is the smooth muscles in these two bodies that control the flow of blood into the penis. When the smooth muscle relaxes, the penis becomes engorged with blood, resulting in anection. At the same time, the veins that drain blood away from the penis are closed off as the erectile bodies enlarge.

Anything that disrupts this chain of events, thereby causing less blood to flow into the penis, or more blood to flow out of it, can cause erectile failure. A number of different factors can be responsible for this, including stress and anxiety, physical condition or illness such as obesity and diabetes, nerve damage as result of certain types of surgery, and certain medicines.

Erectile dysfunction can generally be divided into two types, psychological and physiological.

Psychological causes Anxiety, stress and depression are all psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. And when erection problems occur, this in itself produces a significant emotional reaction, known as "performance anxiety", which can further interfere with normal sexual function. Other psychological causes include feeling nervous about sex, work or financial stress, and problems in your relationship.

It should be noted that the issue of psychological causes is quite complex. Some men may lose interest in sex because of stress, or relationship issues, or any other reason, and simply may not be aroused enough to get an appreciation, or to keep the section until ejaculation. This in itself does not mean that your sexual function is impaired, or that you have erectile dysfunction. However one episode of failure, regardless of cause, may result in further stress that results in further erectile failure.

Physiological causes There are certain conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and low hormone levels, which are all associated with erectile dysfunction. Tests by your doctor can determine whether any of these conditions are present. Often, the effects of these conditions on erectile function can be reversed, through diet and exercise. Other diseases known to cause erectile dysfunction include kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver (usually the result of too much alcohol), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

Nerve damage as the result of certain types of surgery can cause erectile dysfunction. Specifically, surgery in the pelvic area, such as abdominal or prostate surgery, may affect the nerves and arteries near the penis, resulting in erectile dysfunction.

Certain medications used for treating other conditions are known to cause erectile dysfunction. These include antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, antihypertensives (for high blood pressure), antiulcer drugs, medicines used for prostate cancer, and drugs for lower cholesterol. If you are using any of these drugs, do not stop taking them without consulting your doctor. If you think they may be causing erectile dysfunction, you should talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

With Great Reverence

One of the things I meant to do when I returned to Scotland four years ago was to look up an old Scottish friend that I'd last seen some twenty years ago in London. In truth I had a whole hatful of aspirations and intentions on my list, and rather to my own surprise and to the utter amazement of my wife and daughter, I've gradually managed to tick them off over the last few years. Alright, I know you can not wait to find out what was on this list, so I'll just run through some of them briefly. First of all, since I was no longer a full-time musician, having developed the guitarists version of tennis elbow, I needed something else to fill my time, and the only other thing I was good at (apart from snooker) was art. I had always painted and sketched, mostly landscapes, although I rarely sold anything.

I had an idea that there was a market for pet portraits if I could reach it, and and the way to do that seemed to be via the internet, so I bought a computer, digital camera, printer etc and hired a local company to design and run a website for me. After a while I realized that it was much cheaper to design your own site, so I thought I'd have a go – how hard could it be, right? Very hard, was the answer, as anyone who has tried it will tell you, but after two years of HTML, jpg's, links, virus's, backache, eye strain and late nights I finally got the hang of it, although as a result of being self-taught I find I'm quite knowledgeable about some aspects of web-building and appallingly ignorant about others.

Another project near to my heart was the search for any survivors of the Scottish side of my family – a side I had lost contact with as a child. This was one of the reasons I'd gone on the internet in the first place, and yes, there were still Collins's living in the Edinburgh area and Cowdenbeath, where I was born.

When I made the trip down to Fife, I met my cousin June, who told me about my dad, who I never really knew, and about my grandad, who was a miner (as all the men in the area were before the mining industry was destroyed by the – but do not get me started). Grandad was known as Tiger Collins because of his red hair. My cousin also told me that I had a half-sister who had been looking for me for years, and was under the impression that I had emigrated to Australia.

I had known that I had a sister but what I did not know was that she lived just twenty miles from where I used to live in England. I now know there are Collins's across west to Glasgow and probably all the way over into Ireland and down to Dublin in Cork, where all Collins's extremely come from. I'm also connected to the Donaldsons (my middle name). The Donaldsons or Clan Donald were Lords of the Western Isles at the time of the Jacobite rebellion, but that's a story for another time.

Another idea that I had was to own a collie and after I lost my Patch I acquired a border collie cross called Oscar and we've just bought a rough collie as a companion for him. We call her Daisy May. There are a couple of items still on my list – I can not find a decent snooker club and there are no chess clubs within easy reach, but there is one idea that will never be realized. Lindsay Cooper, my old friend from London died the year we moved up to Scotland.

I found this out recently when I finally got around to making a search on the internet. When I knew him he was the spitting image of 'Animal' from Hill Street Blues – remember the little guy with the dark hair and the droopy moustache? – except he had the broadest of Glaswegian accents. He played the double bass and also the cello. He played jazz but he also loved Bach.

I'm talking about a time before I'd met my wife. I was very young and, it seemed to me now, pretty dumb, but I was lucky enough to be living in a house of bed-sits – or one-room apartments – peopled mainly by musicians. It was run by a little woman called Angie, who was near the end of her career as a dancer. At this time she had a whip act with a guy called Dennis. It was quite a skilful act, as he had to crack this whip around her throat from a distance, and, as she explained it, one little mistake and the whip would throttle her.

Angie liked a drink or two and always wore dark glasses. She did not get on well with her partner. I think he had once been more than her stage partner, but now they bickered constantly, like an old married couple. Dennis was a big man with a little goatee beard. He had a soft, whiney voice, like David Beckham but he was mighty strong. I remember once giving Angie a lift in her minicar (she did not drive), after they had had a row. He came out of the house and stood in front of the car to make it stop and then twisted off the wing mirror with one hand and tossed it in the gutter. Then he just ambled off. A nice guy, really, I do not think he ever hit her.

As I said, most of the tenants were musicians. There was Maggie, who had a great voice and adored Billie Holiday. In fact everyone in the house adored Billie Holiday, except one guy who was a second-hand furniture dealer. There was George, another bass player, who, on being hauled up in front of the captain of a liner when he was working on a cruise, stood eyeball to eyeball with him and told him that he (George) was just as good at his job as the captain was at his. He probably was, too.

Then there was Kenny Vick, who was a jazz guitarist. He was very fastidious and tidy, and would follow you about the room, picking up any bits of fluff or crumbs thst you might have dropped (a trait he shared with my mother). He was a great player though.

I learn from all these people (with the possible exception of the furniture dealer, who nobody liked anyway), but the one I remember most is Lindsay Cooper. I remember playing flamenco in a pub while he read Frederico Lorca poetry in English (his idea) and I remember him dragging us all down to a music shop which had a sale on. He insured that I buy a book of Bach's partitas and sonatas for violin. I could not afford it but I bought it anyway. I still have it on my bookshelf, and I would never part with it.

We used to get together in someones room about once a week to talk about whatever came into our heads. One time the talk turned to South Africa. (This was long before the end of apartheid). The conversation was animated as usual. Everyone had something to say except Lindsay, who said nothing about about half an hour. Finally the talk died down and everyone looked at Lindsay expectantly. He said nothing for a while, then cleared his throat. "South Africa's a turnip". There did not seem anything to add to that.

Although he had a love of classical music he was not a great traditionalist. He thought that the past was sometimes a hindrance to creativity. I did not have his bold, fearless approach then, and I havn't got it now. I remember asking him, at one of our gatherings, how he could ignore something like the paintings of Rembrandt and he said he would get rid of them. I asked him how, and he said he'd burn them. Nobody said anything. Lindsay looked around, noticed the stunning silence and hastened to make amends. "Oh, but with grrreat rrreverence", he said in his broad Glaswegian accent.

Rest in Peace, Lindsay.

James Donaldson Collins