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What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition wherein the bone becomes fragile and breaks easily even with a minor fall. The bones of spine, wrists and hips get affected the most. These fractured bones lead to severe pain and can force a person to become immobile. A spine fracture can even lead to a loss of height.
What is parathyroid hormone?
Parathyroid is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the amount of calcium present in the body. They mitigate the risk of bone breakage in the body for a patient suffering with osteoporosis. These hormones are injected into the body on a daily basis to maintain the normal flow of calcium in the body.
How does the treatment work?
Treatments are available in the form of drugs and injections. A doctor can prescribe drugs, if the patient is at an increased rate of bone breakage. The parathyroid hormone helps to protect the bone from breaking, but have no role when the bone actually breaks. The body has a natural process of breaking a bone and rebuilding it by itself. Osteoporosis sets in motion when this process of bone formation is disturbed.
When does a doctor prescribe hormonal treatment?
If a patient has undergone a number of vertebral compression fractures and the condition has not improved, a doctor might suggest to undergo parathyroid hormone treatment. The treatment requires nursing support due to a patient’s delicate bone condition. A maximum dosage of 20 micro grams of parathyroid can be injected for a time duration not exceeding 2 years.
Things to know about the treatment:
- Be informed: It is good to be well informed about the course of the treatment, treatment duration, plausible problems etc. This will help a patient to be on top of the decision making process. The helpline of the 'National Osteoporosis Society' can be reached to understand the preparation required for a patient to undergo the treatment.
- Take the right dosage at the right time: Parathyroid injections should be injected on a daily basis for a maximum time period of 2 years. These injections are taken daily at the same time. It should be ensured that none of the injections are skipped without the prior approval of a doctor. The injection, which lasts for 28 days, needs to be stored in a refrigerator. In case a patient is travelling, special bags are available that has space for storing gel packs.
- Side effects: Most patients do not report any side effects, but they do exist. Possible side effects include dizziness, arthralgia, depression and headache. These symptoms often suggest that your body is reacting to the parathyroid hormone treatment. A doctor may or may not prescribe any further drugs to address these symptoms.
Torn cartilages are quite a common form of injury occurring in the human body. While one can’t always be too cautious of injuries, one can still try to be conscious of their muscles and do not move about in an abrupt manner to cause injury to themselves. Further, even though torn cartilages are very common, they are quite painful and most often they occur in the knee. Here are some tips to ensure that your torn cartilage heals well and you are exposed to less pain during the healing period:
Rest: You must take rest. While it is advised to take bed rest, humanly it is impossible to spend all day in bed. Thus one can move about a little but avoid walking and straining their legs and knee too much. At times crutches can be taken while taking a few steps in the room.
Ice Therapy: Putting ice bags in the affected area helps in relaxing the muscles and reducing the pain quite a lot. Though previously people adhered to putting hot water bags, the scenario is slowly changing to ice therapy.
Compress: When you are suffering from a torn cartilage, the doctor often puts a bandage on the knee to compress the area. This is done so that the muscles are brought together and they can heal on their own with time and rest.
Elevate the Knee: Often it is seen that during such cases, the knee or the hands are rested in an elevated platform. This platform is created with the help of a pillow mostly. This lets the cartilage get time to rest and heal on its own.
Avoid Strenuous Activities: This includes jumping, running, jogging, kicking etc, when it comes to the legs and writing, lifting weight etc. when it comes to the hands. These activities require a lot of strength and power and most of all the use of the cartilages. Since the cartilages are torn and in their healing mode, it is best to avoid such activities for a certain amount of time to not put pressure on the cartilages and damage them further.
Painkillers: It has been already mentioned that the healing period can be painful. Thus, the doctor may prescribe some painkillers to ease the pain during this time.
Thus, these are some of the easiest ways to deal with a torn cartilage. The recovery period may be painful, but it happens to many people and is completely healable in nature.
Dislocation refers to an injury, which causes the bones to abnormally separate from each other in the joint, which is the meeting place of the bones. Dislocation causes intense pain and is most common in the fingers, shoulders and the elbows. Although a timely diagnosis can make your pain go away, any future injury in the tendons or the ligaments might bring back the injury.
What can cause a dislocation?
The causes of dislocation are as follows:
- A body joint can get dislocated if you have suffered a fall.
- If you are into any form of sports that requires strenuous physical activity and intense exertion on certain body parts like gymnastics, football or volleyball you have a chance of suffering from dislocated body joints.
- Automobile accidents can also cause dislocation of joints.
- Some People who are with a loose ligament and are more likely to get a dislocated joint than other people. This may happen without the influence of a major physical trauma or stress.
Understanding the signs and symptoms
In the majority of the cases, a dislocation of the joint is easily detectable as it induces inflammation along with redness and deformation of the affected area. Some of the other symptoms that might occur as a result of the dislocation of the body joints could be:
- You might experience severe pain while moving the dislocated joint.
- There will be a lack of sensation near the dislocated portion.
- There might be a stinging sensation in the dislocated area.
- In certain areas you may not be able to move the joint at all
If you have a dislocated joint, the doctors can easily relocate them. Depending on the amount of swelling and pain you are experiencing, the doctor might administer local anesthesia during the process. If the joint dislocation is too severe or has multiple instances of dislocation, then you may have to undergo surgery. Surgery may also be suggested if the adjoined ligaments or tendons are severely affected along with the joints.
Bones are similar to a porous framework which is filled with minerals that make it hard and strong. With age, there is gradual degradation and the mineralized portion is lost, thereby leading to thinning of the bone. The word osteoporosis literally translates to porous bones, which is due to the gradual demineralisation. In addition to the natural ageing process, there are other diseases that can accelerate the demineralization process.
Women are more prone to demineralisation, and after the age of 40, they should take extra precaution to slow down the onset of the condition. The following are some ways to improve bone health and halt osteoporosis in the long run-
Diet: Ensure that your diet has sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium. Though calcium is the essential mineral for bone formation, vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium, and therefore both these elements play a vital role in maintaining the quality of the bones in our body. Most people require about 1,000 mg of calcium and about 500 units of vitamin D for optimal bone health. This requirement goes up slightly in postmenopausal women.
Sun Exposure: In most people, exposure to the sun allows the body to make vitamin D, but careful sun protection prevents this from happening. Also, with age, the body’s ability to form intrinsic vitamin D also declines. The body, therefore, relies on supplements. Most dairy products are good sources of calcium. In addition, spinach, salmon, turnips, and broccoli are some calcium-rich foods. Supplements of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate can be taken if your diet is lacking in calcium. Vitamin D also should be included in the supplementation. The treatment for osteoporosis is incomplete without these two supplements.
Exercise With Weights: The constructive tension that exercise puts on the body helps in bone building, whatever the age may be, which prevents the onset of osteoporosis. Any exercise which improves muscle mass strengthens the bones, and puts stress on the bones is advisable. Since the fractured area due to osteoporosis mainly includes the spine, lower back exercises, yoga, tai chi, and abdominal exercises all work wonders. Pick any of these and do them for 30 minutes three times a week.
Quit Smoking: Continuing to smoke while taking osteoporosis medications is completely useless. Nicotine negates all the effects which defeat the purpose of taking the medication and is as good as taking no medication at all. So if you want the bone thinning to stop, stop smoking.
Alcohol Consumption: While a drink or two per week is permissible, more than this can harm the bones significantly.
Constant Health Watch: Talk to your doctor about how other routine medications (if any) can affect your bone health. Also, identify how frequently you should check your bone mineral density and stick to the schedule.
Bone health and osteoporosis can be managed with some conscious efforts.
Muscle strain or muscle pull is a condition, which is characterized by damage to the muscles or its adjoining tendons. Undue pressure can be exerted on the muscle when you are carrying out routine activities such as sudden lifting of heavy things or playing contact sports. The damage to the muscle is usually in the form of partial or complete tearing of the tendons and fibres attached to the muscles. The small blood vessels in the muscles can also be damaged by the tearing of the muscles, leading to local bleeding and bruising.
The symptoms of muscle pain are:
1. You will experience pain even while resting
2. There will be bruising, swelling and redness around the affected area
3. You will experience weakness of the muscles and tendons
4. The movement and mobility of the muscle will be impaired
5. You will experience pain when you use the affected muscles
The causes of a muscle strain are:
1. Playing contact sports can lead to injuries
2. Lifting heavy things
3. Exercising without a proper warm up routine
4. Lifting extremely heavy weights during exercise without proper acclimatization
5. Sleeping on one side only for a long period of time
6. Not stretching properly
7. Falling from a height
The treatments for muscle strains are:
1. Pain medications: You can opt for pain relieving medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help combat the associated pain of a muscle strain.
2. Rice: Rice stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment is usually the first step after suffering a strain, before opting for medications. This treatment prevents further aggravation of the problem.
3. Compress: You can alternate between hot and cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain.
4. Stretches: Once the affected area has healed, it is important for you stretch the muscles to improve their mobility and strength.
In the technologically advanced era one lives in, it is pretty much easy to use up one’s entire day glued to the digital screens; right from checking the social media updates while commuting to sitting before the computer for everyday work. Yet nobody is aware of the fact that apart from creating a social gap, these electronic gadgets can take a toll on their postures too.
- You lean against your desks with your neck leaned forward in an attempt to grasp what is on the computer screen and your hand on your mouse scrunched up on one side. Sadly, human body was never designed to pose in such a consorted way resulting in adverse side effects.
- The head usually weighs 10 to 12 pounds on an average when it is balanced evenly over the shoulders. However, with each extra tilt forward, the weight on your spine might escalate up to 60 pounds and even beyond that. Excessive weight on the spine can lead to its subsequent collapse.
- Too much use of tablets and smart phones for swiping or texting can cause inflamed index fingers, thumb joints and tendons. You tend to suffer from wrist pain, enfeebled grip or popping sound while moving the fingers. Typing with one thumb without giving considerable breaks in between can also exert stress on the fingers.
- Hunched over, shoulders slumped and necks bent down are the ways majority of the people use their electronic gadgets. This can trigger misalignment of the spine aggravating your health. Spine protects the nervous system, coordinating and controlling various functions of the body. Any sort of disruption might render a drastic consequence.
- Poor posture impacts the ligaments and muscles in a negative way giving way to a series of complications such as gastrointestinal problems, back or neck pain or severe curvature of the spine, heightening the risk of arterial or pulmonary problems.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Fractures are simply a break in a bone. They can be caused due to injury, (traumatic fractures) or a pre-existing condition like osteoporosis that causes weakening of bones (pathologic fractures). There are many ways to classify fractures. All fractures fall into the major categories of simple and compound fractures. Simple fractures are fractures where bones remain inside the skin and don’t jut out. They are also called closed fractures.
Compound fractures, also called open fractures, are broken bones that penetrate through the skin. These types expose the bone and deep tissues to the environment. Compound fractures are more serious of the two. The healing here may be affected due to deep infections for which antibiotics need to be used. There are many different sub types of fractures and we’re only going to skim through them here.
- Comminuted fractures: Severe fractures in which a bone breaks into several smaller pieces.
- Avulsion fractures: A small piece of bone is completely torn off from the main bone due to fierce pulling off a part of the body.
Other types of fractures are characterised by the many different angles the bone breaks into like transverse, oblique and spiral fractures.
When a bone is broken there are symptoms like swelling that doesn’t subside on its own and pain. In such a case it’s imperative that one goes to a doctor for a diagnosis. Doctors can usually recognise most fractures by examining the injury and taking an X-ray. The X-ray also provides a clear idea about the type of fracture and the degree of displacement of the bone. And, it’s important that the patient doesn’t wait too long before approaching a doctor. This is because bones begin to heal very quickly after a fracture and the bone tissue will heal using any tissue available. This can lead to a misalignment of broken pieces of bone and cause disability and loss of function.
There are cases when X-ray may not show a fracture. This is especially common in fractures in the hip and wrist in older people. For diagnosing these, doctors will get some other tests done such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a bone scan.
Fractures have to be treated by doctors. The doctors set the fractured bones in their proper place and hold them there so that they can heal. Setting a bone is called "reduction." Reduction without surgery is called "closed reduction." But if the fracture is serious, it’s going to require surgery with bone repositioning, called open reduction.
In extreme cases, pins, plates, screws, rods, or glue are used to hold the fractured bones in place, inside the body. Once the bone abutment has been treated, the bone is immobilised to allow the broken pieces to heal. In most cases, the fractured part is set in a rigid cast. The fractured ends of the bone can be fixed into place using metal pins connected to an external frame. This is removed after the bone has healed. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!