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Myth: Brain damage is always permanent.
Fact: The brain can repair or compensate for certain losses, and even generate new cells.
People once believed that we were born with a finite number of brain cells, and that was it for life; if you damaged any of them you could never get them back. Similarly, many scientists believed that the brain was unalterable; once it was" broken" it could not be fixed.
Now, of course, we know that the brain remains plastic throughout life, and can rewire itself in response to learning. It can also generate new brain cells under the right circumstances.
The sciatic pain caused due to a lumbar herniated disc can radiate down your legs and may make you immobile. It is quite common for a herniated disc to press against a nearby nerve and inflame, leading to pain radiating along the length of the affected sciatic nerve. For getting relief from lumbar herniated disc pain, you need to become active. Daily hamstring stretches are considered to be an effective way to tackle such pain if you do them regularly.
Here are three important hamstring stretches which will help you in strengthening your hamstring muscles:
- Seated chair stretches: This stretch is perfect for people whose mobility is limited or for those who have unusually tight hamstrings. It is carried out in a sitting position. While performing this stretch, you have to sit on a chair with another chair placed across. By resting one foot on the ground and the other on the second chair, you need to straighten your back and lean forward over the leg which is extended. Once you feel a stretch in the upper and rear thigh, you should be in that position for at least 30 seconds. You should switch legs and repeat the stretching exercise thrice for each leg.
- Towel hamstring stretch: If you like stretching while lying down, this stretch is an ideal option for you. For performing a towel hamstring stretch, you have to lie down on the floor and keep one leg flat. Tighten your abdominal muscles while you lift the other leg and keep it straight. You should wrap a belt around the elevated leg’s instep and use it for pulling back the leg towards you. Hold the position for around 30 seconds when you feel a stretch.
- Wall hamstring stretch: This stretch is for people who find the towel hamstring stretch hard to execute. For such people, extra stability can be attained by taking help of a solid surface such as a door jamb or a wall. You can rest the raised leg against the wall for support. You need to lie on the floor near a wall corner and leave one leg straight while placing the other against the wall. Your hips should be on the floor.
While you do stretches of any kind, you should only stretch as far as you are comfortable. You must not stretch to a point which causes pain. These hamstring stretches are quite safe, but you should avoid them in case of any sudden, acute pain. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The womb or the uterus is a muscular structure that is fixed in its place by the ligaments and the pelvic muscles. If these ligaments or muscles become weak or stretch, they no longer will be capable of holding the uterus, resulting in a prolapse. Uterine prolapse happens when the uterine slips or sags from its usual position into the birth canal or vagina. The main indications of uterine prolapse are recurrent bladder infections, constipation, a tug at the pelvic area, the cervix or uterus protruding out of the vagina, problems during sexual intercourse, increased discharge and vaginal bleeding.
What causes it?
1. Age is the most important reason for this condition to manifest itself.
2. A dip in the estrogen level as this hormone keeps the pelvic muscles strong.
3. Damage to the pelvic tissues and muscles due to pregnancy or during childbirth can also contribute to this condition.
4. A woman who has undergone multiple vaginal births is at an increased risk of this condition.
5. Any physical activity that exerts pressure on the pelvic muscles can also result in this disorder.
6. Chronic constipation and obesity, over time, can lead to this disorder.
How it can be treated?
1. Nonsurgical methods:
- Shedding the extra kilos helps reduce stress from the pelvic structures. This helps to avert this disorder.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects throughout the course of the treatment.
- Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises help build up the vaginal muscles.
- Estrogen replacement therapy or Hormone Replacement Therapy can help relieve the symptoms of this disease.
- Wearing a pessary (an instrument that is placed into the vagina and fits under the cervix) helps to push up and stabilize the cervix and the uterus.
2. Surgical treatments:
- Uterine suspension- In this case, the surgeon inserts the uterus back into its former position by reattaching the pelvic ligaments by the use of surgical techniques.
- Hysterectomy- Here, the surgeon removes either the whole or just a part of the womb.
Treatment for breast cancer depends on the type of cancer, hormone sensitivity, size, grade and stage of cancer. A doctor considers the overall health of the patient and the patient’s individual preference before recommending a treatment plan. While there are many treatments options available for breast cancer, surgery is by far the most popular option for most patients. Along with surgery, some other treatments that a patient undergoes include radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
- Lumpectomy: This is a procedure wherein the surgeon cuts the tumour and removes some of the surrounding healthy tissue in order to ensure that cancer does not spread to the healthy cells after the surgery. This procedure is applicable for small tumours.
- Mastectomy: This is a procedure in which all tissues of the breast are removed. This includes lobules, fatty tissue, ducts, areola, and nipple. In a skin-sparing mastectomy, all of the breast skin, except the nipple and the areola, is preserved, which makes the reconstruction process easier.
- Sentinel node biopsy: Since the sentinel lymph nodes are the first place that cancer is likely to spread, a doctor might suggest a sentinel node biopsy if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. If no trace of a cancer cell is found in the nodes, it is unlikely that any more nodes need to be removed.
- Removal of breasts: Many women who have cancer in one breast often choose to remove both the breasts in order to avoid the risk of cancer spreading. While a family history of breast cancer can greatly increase the chance of breast cancer in a woman, statistics show that most women who have cancer in one breast do not develop cancer in the other one.
- Radiation: This is a process where a high-powered beam of energy is directed at the cancer cells to kill them. This method is often used after a lumpectomy. Radiations are of two types—external beam and brachytherapy. Some side effects of this treatment include fatigue, hair fall, loss of appetite and rashes.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer by cytotoxic and other drugs. This is often recommended by doctors when there is a good chance of the cancer cells spreading to other locations of the body. This form of treatment is often recommended before the surgery to shrink a tumour or restrict the growth of cells.
- Hormone therapy: Hormonal therapy is used to treat cancers that have hormonal sensitivity. They can be used before or after the surgery in order to ensure that cancer does not reoccur. Some of the treatment methods in this section include medication that restricts hormones from getting attached to the cancer cells, medications that restrict the body to produce oestrogen post-menopause and a medication that destroys cancer receptors.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
One of the things that Shannen Doherty and Rita Wilson, the wife of Tom Hanks, have in common, apart from their fame is that both were affected by breast cancer. No matter how normal a person may seem, breast cancer can strike anyone. In fact, it usually strikes one in eight women. So, it makes good sense to know what it can appear as!
Breast cancer makes up a rather big amount of the general cancer cases as 15% of the cancer cases which are reported on a yearly basis are usually breast cancer cases. That being said, there are quite a few things which can be done in order to reduce a person’s risk to breast cancer.
Prevention is Prudent-
Get Fit: The first thing which should be done is that a reasonable level of fitness should be maintained. Many studies have found that if a person is significantly heavier than her recommended weight, she is at a far great risk to develop all sorts of cancer and breast cancer, in particular, than a person who is able to keep her weight in check. The difference in cancer risk rates is about 40%. This is because a greater amount of fat leads to more estrogen being produced, which increases the risk of breast cancer.
Quit Smoking: While most people associate smoking as something which increases the risk of cancer to the lungs and are not aware that it increases the risk of breast cancer, too. So, the best solution is to kick the habit!
Get Off the Pill: Once a woman crosses past her mid-thirties, she should try to avoid relying on birth control pills to reduce the risk of pregnancy. This is because these pills have an effect which increases the risk of breast cancer, which heightens as a woman gets older. As long as the woman cuts out the use of the pill, the risk quickly gets cut, as well.
Get Regular Check Ups: While screening for breast cancer by making use of mammograms does not cut the risk of it, the screening helps detect breast cancer early if it does exist. As a result, a woman has a much better chance of fighting breast cancer. So, a woman who is past the age of forty should try to have a mammogram on an annual basis with the frequency of the same increasing as she gets older. However, it is to be kept in mind that going for a mammogram too often is also not a good idea as the tests themselves pose risks of DNA changes.
Women all around the world are susceptible to breast cancer. While there isn’t a 100% chance of avoiding it, taking care of yourself and leading a fit and active lifestyle can significantly cut down your risk of contracting this condition. Remember, your health is in your hands, so the earlier you start, the better! In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord. It’s an extremely serious type of physical trauma that’s likely to have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life.
The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages from the brain to all parts of the body. It also sends messages from the body to the brain. We are able to perceive pain and move our limbs because of messages sent through the spinal cord.
If the spinal cord sustains an injury, some or all of these impulses may not be able to ‘get through’. The result is a complete or total loss of sensation and mobility below the injury. A spinal cord injury closer to the neck will typically cause paralysis throughout a larger part of the body than one in the lower back area.
A spinal cord injury is often the result of an unpredictable accident or violent event. The following can all result in damage to the spinal cord:
- a violent attack such as a stabbing or a gunshot
- diving into water that’s too shallow and hitting the bottom
- trauma during a car accident (specifically trauma to the face, head and neck region, back, or chest area)
- falling from a significant height
- head or spinal injuries during sporting events
- electrical accidents
- severe twisting of the middle portion of the torso
Some symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- problems walking
- loss of control of the bladder or bowels
- inability to move the arms or legs
- feelings of spreading numbness or tingling in the extremities
- pain, pressure, stiffness in the back or neck area
- signs of shock
- unnatural positioning of the head
If you suspect that someone has a back or neck injury:
- Don’t move the injured person – permanent paralysis and other serious complications may result
- Call 911 or your local emergency medical assistance number
- Keep the person still
- Place heavy towels on both sides of the neck or hold the head and neck to prevent them from moving until emergency care arrives
- Provide basic first aid, such as stopping any bleeding and making the person comfortable, without moving the head or neck
Treatment should be focused upon that individual and tailored specifically to their condition. A treatment programme is formulated following a thorough physical assessment which might include:
- Stretching activities to maintain muscle and tendon length and reduce or keep muscle spasms/spasticity to a minimum.
- Flexibility and strengthening exercises for the whole body.
- Breathing exercises to maximise lung function and prevent chest infection.
- Balance and posture exercises which can help to reduce pain associated with poor posture and balance impairment and ensure correct transfer techniques (in/out of wheelchair, bed, toilet/bath, car etc.)
- Functional activities to improve fundamental movement patterns such as rolling over and sitting up, and standing where appropriate.
- Walking re-education, if there is sufficient muscle activity and power in the legs.
Your physiotherapist might also be able to advise an individual on use of appropriate equipment such as wheel-chairs and pressure releasing cushions, exercise equipment and electrical muscle stimulators.
Because spinal cord injuries are often due to unpredictable events, the best you can do is reduce your risk.
Some risk-reducing measures include:
- Always wearing a seatbelt while in a car
- Wearing proper protective gear while playing sports
- Never diving into water unless you’ve examined it first to make sure it’s deep enough and free of rocks
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The symptoms caused due to herniated disc can be very severe and can also cause a bit of disability. The disc of the spine is like a cushion and separates the set of bones on the backside. The discs are shock absorbers of the spine and are mainly composed of 2 parts, a soft jelly centre called the nucleus and a tough outer covering called the annulus.
Effects of Herniated Disc
A herniated or cracked disc is a severe condition and it seems to happen most commonly in the lower back. It happens when a fraction of the soft centre gets pushed through the destabilized area due to degeneration, trauma or by putting pressure on the spinal cord.
Nerves are located precisely at the back of every disc and are responsible for controlling everything in our body. While a disc gets herniated, the external covering of the disc tears and creates a bulge. The soft jelly gets shifted from the centre of the disc to the region where the damage has occurred on the disc. Most commonly, the bulge occurs in areas where the nerve is located and it causes strain on the affected nerve. It has been observed that individuals do not feel any painful sensations even if their disc gets damaged.
When is Surgery Recommended for Herniated Disc?
Surgery for herniated disc is recommended only after options like pain relievers, exercise and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs do not work. If the pain persists even after these options, then it becomes important to go for surgery. There are certain risks involved in this surgery like infection, bleeding or nerve damage.
There are chances that the disc may get ruptured again if it is not removed. If you are a patient suffering from degenerative disc disease, then there are chances that problem occurs in other discs. It is very important that a patient maintains healthy weight to prevent any further complications.
The main factor that increases the risk of herniated disc is excess body weight, which causes a lot of stress on the lower back. A few people become heir to a tendency of developing this condition. Even individuals with physically demanding jobs are prone to this condition.
Surgery for herniated disc is recommended only after options like pain relievers, exercise and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs do not work. If the pain persists even after these options, then, needs to be removed as steroid injections is not advisable per se.
Activities like bending sideways, pushing, twisting, repetitive lifting can increase the risk of a herniated disc. At times, emergency surgery is also required to avoid paralysis in a patient. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
I am 34 years old male. I am suffering from back pain for the last 3 years. I have done MRI. In MRI it is found that 1. MILD DIFFUSE DISC BULGE IS NOTED AT L3-4 LEVEL CAUSING ANTERIORTHECAL SAC indentation MINIMAL NARROWING OF BILATERAL NEURAL forminal AS WELL AS LATERAL RECESSES. 2. MILD DIFFUSE DISC BULGE IS NOTED AT L4-5LEVEL CAUSING ANTERIOR THECAL SAC INDENTATION AND NARROWING OF BILATERAL NEURAL forminal AS WELL AS LATERAL RECESSES. MILD facial ARTHROPATHY IS NOTED BILATERALLY. please MAKE ME UNDERSTAND WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AND WHAT IS THE SOLUTION.
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.
With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.
Signs & Symptoms
It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:
- A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).
Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:
- The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50
- Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of breast cancer
- Being overweight
- Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12)
- Late menopause (after the age of 55)
- Never had children
- Late childbearing
- No breast feeding
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time
However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.
Early Detection and Screening
More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery is also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:
- Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
- Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
- Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.
Types of Breast cancer
- Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
- Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.
Making A Diagnosis
If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging work up is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.
Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage of cancer and likelihood of cure, your general health and your preference. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.