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Lumbago - How Medications Can Be Of Help?

Lumbago - How Medications Can Be Of Help?

Lumbago or Lower back pain is a condition that is characterized by mild to serious pain or uneasiness in the lower back region. Lower back pain is more prevalent among the youth whose work includes physical exertion or sitting for long hours and is also common in individuals belonging to the 'retirement age' because of their sedentary lifestyles. The pain might be acute (sudden and extreme) or chronic if it has been endured over a span of three months. 

The most common causes of lower back pain are: 

  1. Overuse of the muscles and includes strains or sprains of soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments and vertebral compression fractures. 
  2. Pressure on the roots of nerves due to conditions such as spinal canal stenosis (narrowing down of the spaces within the spine) or herniated disc (a condition of the rubbery disc present between the spine bones (vertebrae)). 
  3. Osteoarthritis is a condition wherein the shock absorbers, found in the joints, progressively break down. 

When it affects the spine, the condition causes back pain by stiffening the spinal joints. Symptoms of Lumbago (Low back pain) include: 

  1. Stiff back 
  2. Numbness in the legs 
  3. Loss of weight 
  4. Difficulty in urinating 
  5. Sciatica, which is the pain running down the lower back to hips, legs and thighs. This occurs due to a compression by an intervertebral disc in the back, which leads to a pinched nerve. 

How to diagnose lower back pain or a slip disc?

Some methods that can be utilized for diagnosing back include Xray, CT Scans, Myelogram and MRI scans. 

Treatment options available -
Exercises along with correction of bad posture for relieving back pain are a common component of any treatment plan. Factors such as type and severity of the pain as well as the patient?s history can help in determining the type of treatment that can be administered. In most cases, the recovery time is usually six weeks without surgery. Typical treatment of back pain includes use of muscle relaxants, painkillers and physiotherapy. Surgery is suggested in severe cases. Some other treatments are discussed below: 

  1. Rest: A period of rest and inactivity would help the injured tissues to recuperate and relieve back pain. However, extended periods of rest lead to weakening of muscles and hence might prolong the existing back pain. 
  2. Heat and ice packs: Both heat and ice therapies are used according to the patient's preference to reduce inflammation. 
  3. Medications: A large variety of prescription and over-the-counter medicines are available. Some reduce back pain caused by inflammation and others prevent the pain signals from travelling to the brain. Examples would include acetaminophen, celecoxib and diclofenac.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Know the Causes and Treatments Available for Lower Back Pain

Know the Causes and Treatments Available for Lower Back Pain

Lumbago or Lower back pain is a condition that is characterized by mild to serious pain or uneasiness in the lower back region. Lower back pain is more prevalent among the youth whose work includes physical exertion or sitting for long hours and is also common in individuals belonging to the 'retirement age' because of their sedentary lifestyles. The pain might be acute (sudden and extreme) or chronic if it has been endured over a span of three months. 

The most common causes of lower back pain are: 

  1. Overuse of the muscles and includes strains or sprains of soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments and vertebral compression fractures. 
  2. Pressure on the roots of nerves due to conditions such as spinal canal stenosis (narrowing down of the spaces within the spine) or herniated disc (a condition of the rubbery disc present between the spine bones (vertebrae)). 
  3. Osteoarthritis is a condition wherein the shock absorbers, found in the joints, progressively break down. 

When it affects the spine, the condition causes back pain by stiffening the spinal joints. Symptoms of Lumbago (Low back pain) include: 

  1. Stiff back 
  2. Numbness in the legs 
  3. Loss of weight 
  4. Difficulty in urinating 
  5. Sciatica, which is the pain running down the lower back to hips, legs and thighs. This occurs due to a compression by an intervertebral disc in the back, which leads to a pinched nerve. 

How to diagnose lower back pain or a slip disc?

Some methods that can be utilized for diagnosing back include Xray, CT Scans, Myelogram and MRI scans. 

Treatment options available -
Exercises along with correction of bad posture for relieving back pain are a common component of any treatment plan. Factors such as type and severity of the pain as well as the patient's history can help in determining the type of treatment that can be administered. In most cases, the recovery time is usually six weeks without surgery. Typical treatment of back pain includes use of muscle relaxants, painkillers and physiotherapy. Surgery is suggested in severe cases. Some other treatments are discussed below: 

  1. Rest: A period of rest and inactivity would help the injured tissues to recuperate and relieve back pain. However, extended periods of rest lead to weakening of muscles and hence might prolong the existing back pain. 
  2. Heat and ice packs: Both heat and ice therapies are used according to the patient's preference to reduce inflammation. 
  3. Medications: A large variety of prescription and over-the-counter medicines are available. Some reduce back pain caused by inflammation and others prevent the pain signals from travelling to the brain. Examples would include acetaminophen, celecoxib and diclofenac. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
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Back Pain - Decoding the Causes Behind it

Back Pain - Decoding the Causes Behind it

Mild to serious pain or uneasiness in the lower back region is known as lumbago or back pain. The pain might be acute (sudden and extreme) or chronic, if it has lasted over three months. People who do a lot of physical exertion are often affected by it. Also back pain occurs as you age

There are a variety of reasons for back pain. Some of them are listed below

  1. Strain: Majority of the cases related to back pain occur due to strain in many parts of the body. These include:
    • Strained ligaments
    • Strained muscles
    • Improper lifting
    • Lifting something too heavy in an incorrect posture
    • A muscle spasm
    • Abrupt or awkward movement
  2. Structural problems: Problems such as bulging discs (a disorder of the rubbery disk within the bones of the spine), arthritis, abnormal curvature of spine (a condition in which the spine curves downward), osteoporosis (bones becoming brittle and weak) and ruptured discs (almost similar to bulging discs).
  3. Cauda equina syndrome (a condition in which the spine nerve roots get compressed)
  4. Infection in spine
  5. Cancer in spine
  6. Sleep disorders
  7. Awkward postures

Symptoms of back pain include:

  1. Stiff back
  2. Loss of weight
  3. Difficulty in urinating
  4. Sciatica, characterized by pain in the hips, legs and thighs. This occurs due to a compression in a slip or intervertebral disc in the back, which leads to a pinched nerve.
  5. Numbness in legs

How to treat it
Treatment for back pain is dependent on the type and severity of pain as well as the patient’s medical history. A large majority of cases of back pain take a recovery time of around six weeks without surgery. Exercises for relieving back pain are common elements of a treatment plan. Typical treatment of back pain involves use of muscle relaxants, pain killers and physiotherapy. Surgery is suggested in severe cases. Some other treatments are discussed below:

  1. Rest: A period of rest and cease of activity would cause the injured tissues to recuperate and relieve back pain. However, extended periods of rest might lead to weakening of muscles and hence, prolong the back pain.
  2. Heat and ice packs: Both heat and ice therapy is used to reduce inflammation and it is utilized according to the patient’s preference.
  3. Medications: A large variety of prescription and over-the-counter medicines are available, such as Acetaminophen and Diclofenac. Some reduce back pain caused by inflammation and others prevent the pain signals from travelling to the brain. It is to be noted that every medication has its own risks and side effects.

Role of Physiotherapy in Treating Back Pain:
In physiotherapy, the general goal of this treatment is to reduce pain in parts of the body; be it in the arms, legs or back. In the age we live in, where most of us are sitting in one place, hunched on our laptops, we are bound to get a back pain. Some pains are temporary and can go away with some sound sleep. The more severe back pains are usually chronic and can hamper your productivity.

The various approaches that are used to cure back pains with physiotherapy are: 

  1. Ionotophoresis
  2. Ice/heat packs
  3. Ultrasound therapies
  4. TENS units

These are called passive approaches as these are being done to the patients. 

The other approaches that are mostly exercise based are mostly done to rehabilitate the spinal cord. This approach is usually a cocktail of the following:

  1. Strengthening Exercises For Back Pain: Certain prescribed exercises such as lumbar stabilization or other exercises should be done for about fifteen to twenty minutes on a regular basis to strengthen your back muscles. These strengthen your core muscles and help in lower back pain as well. These can help in relieving pain if done right. This is why you should get directions from professionals or qualified physical therapists.
  2. Stretching Exercises For Back Pain: It is advised to stretch your hamstring muscles every now and then if you suffer from back pain. It is a very simple form of stretching but you may forget to do it every day. This is why you should schedule your exercises and adhere to the schedule. Incorporate it into your daily routine. There may be other stretches that you can look into or consult your physical therapist to advice you on.
  3. Heat and Cold Therapies: It is one of the most common types of therapy that is used and is mostly used towards the initial period of pain. While some may find heat therapy more useful, others may resort to cold therapies. Sometimes, people use alternate therapy. This therapy is recommended to be performed once in every two hours. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist.
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Elderly And Kidney Diseases - What Precautions You Should Take?

Elderly And Kidney Diseases - What Precautions You Should Take?

Elderly and Kidney Diseases - What precautions you should take.

The percentage of elderly people, classified as those above 60 years of age, is expected to go up in India from 8% in 2015 to 19 % in 2050. Various challenges including managing their health issues have been highlighted in a report released by UN Population Fund India titled ‘caring for our elders: Early response India Ageing Report 2017’. So in the country where we are already facing scarcity of health infrastructure, we have to be more aware regarding the increasing health problems and what steps we can take as primary prevention to decrease the burden of diseases in ourselves and our near and dear ones.

Like heart diseases and osteoarthritis of knees, kidney diseases are now recognized as a major medical problem worldwide. In India, Global Burden Disease 2015 kidney diseases are ranked as the eighth leading cause of death.

Diabetes and Blood pressure are major contributors of kidney diseases in India; others include long term pain killer intake, infections and renal stones.

Respect Your Kidneys – What we should do?

Kidney diseases are emerging as one of the important causes of morbidity which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease.

Daily Exercise - Stay fit and active

Staying fit and active helps to reduce your blood pressure and achieve better sugar control and therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease. 20-30 min of brisk walking is recommended at least 5 days a week.

Keep good control of your Diabetes (Sugar)

Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early. It is important to keep control of blood sugar levels as they decrease the progression of kidney damage.

Control Hypertension - Monitor your blood pressure

We all are aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack; very few know that it is also one of most common cause of progression of kidney damage. So it’s not important which or how many tablets you are taking, the goal is control of blood pressure as per your age.

Eat healthy and keep your weight in check

This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney Disease.

Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food.

Maintain a healthy fluid intake

Although there is not a single measure we can prescribe all but we should consume sufficient water to maintain good hydration. Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins but consuming excess water can also lead to state of fluid overload. So, always consult your nephrologist for exact amount recommended for you. In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.

Quit Smoking

Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, less amount of toxins are removed. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer significantly.

Do not take OTC (over-the-counter pills - pain killers and anti-acidity)on a regular basis

Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, diclofenac and even anti-acidity drugs like omeperazole are known to cause kidney damage if taken regularly and for long time. So, avoid taking these medicines for longer time without advice of your doctor.

 ‘High Risk’ factors – When you should get your kidneys evaluated

  • you have diabetes for long time (especially if you are also having diabetic related eye problems)
  • you have hypertension
  • you are obese
  • one of your parents or other family members suffers from kidney disease
  • you are of African, Indian, or Aboriginal origin

‘Early yet alarming Symptoms’

  • Froathing in urine
  • Decreased urine output
  • Increased frequency of micturition at night (Going for passing urine again and again at night hours)
  • Swelling under eye lids and on ankles

 

 

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