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Top Health Tips on Managing Back Pain

Sleeping Positions - How They Affect Your Health?

MBBS, MD - Aerospace Medicine, Eular Certification in Rheumatology
General Physician, Pune
Sleeping Positions - How They Affect Your Health?
Have you ever realised the importance of your sleeping position? Perhaps, you hardly care about the posture, you just lie down and close your eyes. But, did you know your sleeping position can directly affect your health? As quoted by Thomas Dekker, "sleep is the golden chain that ties our health and bodies together."

You may have your own preferred position which you like to fall asleep in and grovel about, but you never care if it is correct or not. While sleeping on your back with your arms by your sides is considered to be the best, here are some common sleeping positions and their effects on your well-being:

On your back, arms at sides: Sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides is proven to be the perfect sleeping position in regards to your neck and spine health. That being said, back sleepers tend to snore more as compared to those who sleep in any other position, and sleep apnea is greatly associated with sleeping on the back.
On your back, arms up: Also called starfish position, sleeping on your back with your arms up is good for your lower back. This type of sleeping position can also help to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. However, this can also result in excessive snoring and problems, such as acid reflux.
On your stomach, face down: Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion but can put a lot of strain on the neck. This type of sleeping position is most likely to tilt your face in one direction or the other. Also, sleeping with your face down can cause back pain, as the curve of your spine is not supported.
Fetal position: Sleeping curled up into a ball, probably is the most comfortable position for some, but it actually is the worst sleeping position to go with, as it can lead to pain in back and neck. Also, sleeping in this position can restrict deep breathing.
Arms at sides: The spine is best supported when you sleep on your side with both arms down. This position helps reduce back and neck pain along with reducing the problem of sleep apnea. However, the downside is that side sleeping can contribute to skin aging, sagging breasts, and facial wrinkles. The side you choose to sleep also makes a difference. Sleeping on the right side is bad for your heart health while sleeping on the left side can put a strain on organs like liver, lungs, and stomach. For pregnant women, it is usually advised to sleep on the left side, since this can improve blood circulation to the fetus.
Pillow-supplemented: Though it is important to choose the right sleeping position, however, regardless of which sleeping position you prefer, it s always recommended to supplement your body with a comfortable pillow to get a sound sleep.
10961 people found this helpful

Peyronie's Disease - How It Can Be Treated Naturally?

MD-Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Haldwani
Peyronie's Disease - How It Can Be Treated Naturally?
Peyronie s disease is a disorder that occurs due to the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis, which usually causes injury to the penis. Men who have a penis which is severely bent are considered to have Peyronie s disease. The men suffering from Peyronie s disease may also experience painful erection which in turn may affect the sexual health and performance.

What causes Peyronie s disease?
The exact cause of Peyronie s disease is still unknown; however, it is believed that it may be a result of repetitive injury to the penis. People with family history of Peyronie s disease are at a higher risk for developing the same. Aging is also believed to contribute to the development of the disease.

Symptoms of Peyronie s disease
The symptoms of the Peyronie s disease may appear gradually or suddenly and the main symptoms include the following:

Erectile dysfunction
Scar tissue
Pain in the penis
Shortening of the penis
The penile pain is felt by men without or with an erection. It takes about 1 to 2 years for the pain to reduce during erections, but the curvature remains. In very rare cases, the pain associated with the Peyronie s disease and curvature improve without any treatment.

Effective natural herbal treatments for Peyronie s disease

Castor oil: Apply castor oil on the penis, particularly on the scar tissue and the plaque spots. The oil liquefies and softens the hard tissues and works effectively for the sufferers. The remedy takes about 12 weeks for the improvement and to completely straighten the penis. The result may vary from individual to individual. Also, it may take between 2-3 weeks until you see a difference in the appearance of the penis. Ensure you buy castor oil from a good brand and massage a small amount of the oil on the affected area. Then put a cotton bandage on it. Apply the oil every night at bedtime for best results.

Acetyl-L-carnitine: One can use carnitine supplements as they are very effective and safe for treating Peyronie s disease. You can purchase Acetyl-L-carnitine from health food stores. This has proven to be more effective than the counterparts available in the market. The dosage for the supplement is provided on the bottle.

Gotu Kola: Use herbs like Gotu Kola as they help decrease the problems related to the formation of fibrous tissue below the skin. The herb is useful in the treatment of the curvature of the penis. It is made available in the form of an ointment, capsule, and tincture. Some of the common side-effects associated with the consumption of gotu kola include headache, dizziness, upset stomach, and nausea. This herb in some cases can also interact with certain diabetes and cholesterol-lowering medications. Therefore, it is always advised to consult a specialist before using gotu kola for the treatment of Peyronie s disease.

The prevalence of Peyronie s disease occurs in men over the age of 55.It is always better to see the doctor if the curvature of the penis stops you from having sex and causes a lot of pain. For a holistic treatment of your problem, consult here.
10751 people found this helpful

Expired Medicines - What to Check Before Throwing Them Away?

Diploma in Cardiology, B S M C Bankura in 1985
General Physician, Kolkata
Expired Medicines - What to Check Before Throwing Them Away?
When it comes to health, there is no taking a chance. Most of us are in the habit of storing some medicines at home, which could come in handy, say for a headache or an acidity attack. However, these often remain in the medicine kit for a long time before they are actually used. So, finally when the day arrives when there is an actual need for it, we are not sure if it is still usable. The one thing we dread is the use of a medicine, which is past its expiry date.

What if there is an adverse event? What if there is a complication or a side effect?
Then, if we are not in a position to get a fresh pill, we would rather endure the pain or acidity than pop that outdated pill. Is it really prudent to do so? I say otherwise. Most medicines have the expiry date to indicate the date or time, until when the drug would have the most potency and efficacy. Meaning to say, the drug may become weak (take longer to act or may require more of the drug to produce the same effect) when taken after the listed expiry date.

The truth is that most pharma companies list a date, which could be months, if not years, ahead of the actual expiry date. In reality, a drug never really expires. Most medicines can be used up to a few months after this date. Some medicines may even be useful after years of their expiry date.

It depends as to what the medicine is for:

Painkillers are usually harmless to take beyond the expiry date. If there is no effect (even prolonged), then try to get a fresh one.
Chronic medications like anti-hypertensives and anti-diabetic medications can be used up to a few months at the most, not beyond. Make sure to monitor readings to check for the efficacy. Often times, a greater dose may be required to get the desired effect, but this should not be done without medical supervision.
Biologic products like EpiPen, eye drops or injectable substances should not be used, if they are cloudy. In fact, most of these should be kept for a very short period after opening.
With any expired medicine, keep your doctor posted, especially your chronic meds to seek further advice and information.
The place and the way the drug is stored also may help in retaining its strength. A drug stored in the fridge is safer than something stashed away in a cupboard with a lot of other things. Keep these in mind, and take a call!
10538 people found this helpful

Ginger - 13 Health Benefits You Never Knew

MD, DYA, PGDCR
Ayurveda, Nashik
Ginger - 13 Health Benefits You Never Knew
There is probably no house in India, where dishes are prepared without the use of ginger. It forms an amazing spice that is savoury, both for spicy and sweet dishes and as a result, most Indian dishes include this spice for making them tastier and healthier. But did you know that both fresh and dried ginger has medicinal properties as well?

Here are the top 13 benefits proffered by ginger

Healing properties: Ginger can be used as a fresh root or a milled powder for healing all kinds of sores and cuts and it prevents spread of infections.

Helps in relieving pain: If you can boil ginger for a short time and drink the liquid, it can help in alleviating the chronic and acute pain caused by arthritis, rheumatism, abdominal cramps, back pain, bronchial asthma and bronchitis, neck stiffness, inflammation in the kidney and liver.

Regenerating properties: Ginger can help in increasing the blood circulation, eliminating toxins and regenerating the tissues that have been harmed with any kind of disease.

Fat burning abilities: Ginger can act as a fat burner and aids in weight loss. It can create a feeling of fullness and reduces sudden food craving so that you will not have to snack in between meals.

Anti-inflammatory properties: Regardless of what has triggered the cause of pain, ginger has the potential to set you free from it owing to the anti-inflammatory properties contained in ginger roots.

Helps in relieving sinusitis: Ginger has a notable impact on the health of those suffering from sinusitis. If you are suffering from asthma, you may have it too.

Alleviating nausea: Ginger root can soothe the nerve and can prevent headache, vomiting and migraine. It can relieve you from tiredness and soreness of muscles caused due to long voyages.

Fighting abdominal discomfort: By consuming ginger tea on regular basis, your digestion, as well as food absorption, can be prevented.

Reduction of inflammation: Ginger root helps in soothing swollen joints and tired muscles. It is also recommended for relieving pain and burning sensation.

Fighting menstrual problems: Dipping a towel in ginger tea and putting in the region of the uterus can aid in relaxing the muscles.

Relieving stress: A cupful of ginger tea can aid in improving the mood and reducing stress and tension.

Empowering the immune system: The antioxidants contained in ginger roots can help in strengthening the immunity system by reducing stroke risk and cleaning arteries.

Treating cancer: It has been proven that ginger tea can kill cancer cells.

There are specific rules and ways of consuming Aadrak (ginger) by people of different constitutions and regions. An Ayurvedic constitutional examination can help you in understanding which and when is the best way for you to consume ginger.
10227 people found this helpful

Running Vs Walking - Which Is Better?

CCEBDM, PG Diploma In Clinical Cardiology, MBBS
General Physician, Ghaziabad
Running Vs Walking - Which Is Better?
Walking is a low intense cardio exercise that is suitable for all age groups. For people with bone problems and back pain, walking is the perfect exercise. It is less stressful on the body and has similar benefits to running or jogging.

So if you are looking for reasons to jump on the bandwagon of walking as an exercise, here are a few:

Good for the Heart: Running puts some amount of stress on your heart muscles, but does not seem to reduce the chances of premature death; whereas walking at a brisk pace puts less stress on the heart and considerably reduces the risk of premature death. Running may also cause inflammation in the muscles of the heart and increases free radicals in the body.
Increases immunity: Walking has a beneficial effect on the immune system of the body vis-a-vis running. Running may induce conditions in the body which allow various bacterial infections like cold. You end up falling sick more often, if you run.
Helps in weight loss: Walking is a steady state exercise resulting in moderate level of heart rate. Moderate heart rate sustained for 45-60 minutes is advised to lose fat. Running tends to raise the heart rate to drastic levels which cannot be sustained for long, thus leading to reduced fat loss.
Stress on the joints: Running is a vigorous activity that places a lot of stress on the knee joints and the lower back. If you have conditions such as osteoarthritis and lower back pain, then running is a strict no for you. It is recommended to walk at a brisk pace for an hour every day for maximum benefits.
Walking can be done anywhere: You can take a walk inside your office premises or even walk back to your home after work due to the light nature of the exercise. Running or jogging may require proper gear and may not be suitable for all places.
9469 people found this helpful

You Will Stay Headache Free Naturally, If You Do These 5 Things!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), CRAV
Ayurveda, Bangalore
You Will Stay Headache Free Naturally, If You Do These 5 Things!
5 Effective Home Cures for Headache Relief

A common complaint, painful headaches (including migraine), can be really bothersome and cause serious disruptions in your daily routine. Even though over-the-counter medicines can help, you can’t ignore the side effects they can potentially have on your body.

So, instead of popping pills to stem off the pain, why not try these simple and effective home remedies for a change? Moreover, apart from offering you respite from a headache, you can be sure that these remedies will cause no side effects whatsoever. Here are some of the tried and tested remedies for you to use at home.

1. Eat almonds

A natural remedy to cure a headache could be consuming nutritious almonds. Almonds contain a natural pain relieving agent called salicin, which helps in easing the pain. Furthermore, their high magnesium content aids in reducing nerve excitability while relaxing the muscles, thereby decreasing the incidence of headaches caused by anxiety and stress. Ideally, you should have about 10-12 almonds every day for preventing as well as alleviating headaches. So, munch on some almonds the next time you get a headache.

2. Try ginger juice or ginger paste

To get instant relief, you could also turn to ginger for help. Ginger eases headache by bringing down the swelling of the blood vessels in your head. You can have ginger in more ways than one.
You can try mixing lemon juice and ginger juice in equal parts and then drinking the juice once or twice daily to cure headaches. Alternatively, you can apply a paste made of ginger powder and 2 tablespoons of water on the affected area (temple or forehead) for fast and instant relief.

3. Make a paste of cinnamon sticks

Pound some cinnamon sticks into a fine powder and make a thick paste out of it by adding some water. Once done, apply the paste on your temples and forehead, and wash it off after 30 minutes using only lukewarm water.

4. Opt for clove oil or clove inhalant

Due to their pain-relieving and cooling qualities, cloves are highly effective in providing you relief from throbbing headaches.
For treating your headaches, all you need is a handkerchief containing crushed cloves for inhalation from time to time. Alternatively, you could massage your temples and forehead with clove oil.

5. Have basil tea

Possessing pain-relieving benefits, the wonder herb, basil, is another easily available home remedy for treating headaches. Basil is very effective in curing headaches that arise from stiff muscles and tension. You can cure headaches by having a soothing cup of basil tea. To make the tea, boil one cup of water into which you’ve added 3-4 leaves of this herb. Have this steaming tea with a little honey.

Whether you opt for almonds or hot basil tea, these simple and effective home remedies are sure-shot ways of getting respite from painful headaches.

If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'Consult'.
8878 people found this helpful

Sleeping More Than 8 Hours - How It Can Put Your Health At Risk?

MBBS, Associate Fellow of Industrial Health
General Physician, Chittorgarh
Sleeping More Than 8 Hours - How It Can Put Your Health At Risk?
Sleep is a vital component of the human construct. This is the time when the body restores itself. While too little sleep can be dangerous for the body, new research has shown that too much sleep has its pitfalls too. Oversleeping is an indication of certain health risk. It also indicates few medical conditions that a person might have. Here is more on the risks of oversleeping:

Difficult to get pregnant: A study conducted by a Korean research team in the year 2013 found that out of a sample size of 650 women who were undergoing in-vitro fertilization, the ones who got pregnant had 7-8 hours of daily sleep. The study also suggested that sleep can affect menstrual cycles, circadian rhythms, and hormone secretion. While research is yet to find out a direct co-relation between sleep and infertility, a number of researchers are trying to break the jinx.
Risk of diabetes: A Quebec study conducted in 2013 clearly showed that a person who sleeps for more than eight hours in a day is more risk prone to suffer from type 2 diabetes and reduced glucose tolerance. On a six-period time frame, people who sleep for more than 7-8 hours, are more likely to suffer from diabetes related complication, even if they keep body mass under control.
Mental health and depression: Depression is a major symptom of oversleeping. While people with depression tend to suffer from insomnia, an estimated 15 percent patients suffering from depression tend to oversleep. Compared to regular sleepers, the ones who oversleep tend to suffer from anxiety symptoms and persistent depression. A recent study has revealed that sleeping too much can increase the chances of genetic heritability. Another study revealed that people who sleep for more than 10 hours can result in mental illness. Another research conducted at the John Hopkins Medical School revealed that an irregularity of the body s sleeping clock can lead to temporary mental depression.
Increased inflammation: Oversleeping can increase the risk of certain diseases such as the Alzheimer s disease, cardiovascular disease etc. A study conducted by a group of researchers revealed that women who slept for more than eight hours are likely to suffer from 44 percent higher C-reactive protein. Another study reported that C-reactive increased by more than 8 percent for every hour of additional sleep an individual takes.
More pain: While sleep and rest are often associated with healing, oversleeping can, at times, exacerbate symptoms. Spending too much time in bed can aggravate back and shoulder pain. Oversleeping is also associated with a higher frequency of headaches. Oversleeping often triggers one-sided migraine and increases the level of stress in a person.
8878 people found this helpful

Hypertension - Can it Affect Your Sexual Bliss?

M.D.Medicine, Diploma in Diabetology
Sexologist, Jaipur
Hypertension - Can it Affect Your Sexual Bliss?
Blood pressure is basically what happens when the blood exerts force against the walls of the blood vessels. This force matches the cardiac output and also, the resistance experienced from the walls of the blood vessels a process that produces blood pressure. Hypertension is a condition that occurs when this pressure rises above the normal which is anything over 140 over 90 mHg. The symptoms of this condition will include hot flashes, dizzy spells, fatigue, accelerated heartbeat and other debilitating conditions. Sex is also an area that gets affected by hypertension.

Let us find out the causes and treatment for the same.

Hypertension and male sexuality: A chronic patient of hypertension will go through a depletion of the lining that flanks the blood vessels, which in turn, limits the flow of blood. This also means that there is less blood flowing towards the penis and surrounding areas that get activated during sexual intercourse. This makes it difficult for many hypertensive men to achieve and retain an erection for long enough to enjoy sexual activity. This problem is most commonly known as erectile dysfunction. Also, these blood pressure problems can have an effect on ejaculation which leads to lack of sexual satisfaction. Many drugs prescribed for such patients may also lead to this problem as a side effect, which causes further fear and anxiety for the patient.

Hypertension and female sexuality: While the effect of high blood pressure on a woman s sexuality is not as conclusive as its effect on male sexuality, it is a medically proven fact that decreased blood flow due to high blood pressure will also lead to a reduction in the blood flow to the vaginal area. This can lead to many problems including vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse, lack of arousal, difficulty in achieving an orgasm and relationship as well as anxiety issues.

Treatment: For women, better lubrication for better arousal is one of the key factors. For men, the use of safe medication as far as hypertension is concerned, is crucial. Medicines like sildenafil and tadafil as well as vardenafil are not known to interfere with the blood pressure medication. Yet, it is important to contact the doctor before having any medication.

Therapy: Better responses can be garnered by building intimacy, an area that a sex therapist or sexologist can help you with. With the help of proper therapy, the patient can learn to relax and enjoy the act with lots of foreplay and experiences that will help in building closeness like taking a warm bath together and other such activities. Promoting overall health can also help in improving your sex life if you are a patient of hypertension.
8856 people found this helpful

When Should You See a Doctor for Back Pain?

Multi Speciality Clinic
Multi Speciality, Pune
When Should You See a Doctor for Back Pain?
Pain is unpleasant suffering caused by injury or illness. Back pain may be sudden/constant, dull, severe or not responding to short rest and medication. Constant pain in back in any region of spine for more than few days to weeks needs intervention.

Pain which is intense especially at night requires urgent visit to a specialist.
Sudden onset of pain in back with or without injury needs urgent attention.
Back pain with difficulty in walking, pain while getting up from position of comfort, pain during change of posture or pain after prolonged sitting (for work) can lead to serious permanent damage, if left untreated.
Pain which travels to one or both legs may be due to pressure on the nerve/s and if left untreated for long can lead to permanent weakness or damage.
Pain associated with numbness, tingling or weakness in legs, especially below the knees, commonly called Sciatica, needs to be investigated. Various spinal ailments can lead to weakness in one or two limbs or all four limbs. There may be associated or isolated numbness (loss of sensation to touch, pain or temperature) without back pain.
Numbness, tingling or weakness may be the only symptoms without any complaint or without history of back pain.
Problems related to bladder control which may be difficulty to control, hesitancy in passing or dribbling of urine. There may be associated constipation. Loss of bowel/bladder control is caused by pressure on spinal cord &/or nerves which may be due to injury, infection, disc prolapse or tumor.
Sudden swelling and redness in back usually happens after an injury or accident but sometimes are signs of underlying severe illness.
Loss of normal shape/curvatures of spine can present with or without pain. It can lead to forward, sideways or rarely backward bending.
Unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite, evening rise of fever or disturbed sleep with associated back pain/weakness/numbness needs visit to a specialist.
8549 people found this helpful

Back Pain - 7 Exercises For It!

MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Back Pain - 7 Exercises For It!
If you are suffering from back pain, you should know that the tiniest of movements can trigger the same. Back pain may occur due to several factors or reasons and it hampers your daily activities and standards of life to a great extent. However, you need to become active instead of being immobile for relieving back pain. There are several exercises which help in strengthening your back muscles and performing these on a regular basis will provide you relief from back pain drastically. Here are 6 common exercises which you should carry out:



1. Pelvic tilt: You have to lie on your back and keep your knees bend, but touching. Your feet should stay flat on the floor. By flattening your lower back against the wall and tilting your pelvis downwards, you must maintain the position for 20 to 40 seconds. Meanwhile, you must breathe slowly and deeply and then release. This stretch requires small movements for reducing tension, thereby easing your back pain.

2. Lumbar stretch: You need to sit on a chair, roll your head, chest, neck and lower back forward till your head gets between the knees. Hold the position and take deep breaths. Slowly, get back to the sitting position. Repeat this twice.

3. Cat position: You have to kneel on your fours and keep the knees and hip width separate. Keep the stomach muscles tense, arch your back like a cat does and maintain the position for five seconds. Repeat this and then allow your stomach to drop towards the floor direction and hold it for five seconds again.

4. Curl ups: For this exercise, you should lie on your back with the knees bent and your feet kept flat on the floor. Placing your hands behind the head will make the stomach muscles tense. Then, lift your shoulders, head and upper back from the floor. Do this around 10 times. This is ideal for strengthening your back.

5. Dry swimming: Begin by lying on your stomach, keeping a rolled-up towel under your belly for support. By tightening your buttocks, raise one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously. Switch your arms and legs and perform this for about two minutes.

6. Leg lift: For leg lifts, you should lie on your back with the knees kept bend and the feet kept flat on the floor. You have to press your lower back to the floor and straighten a leg with the knees aligned. After bending your leg, return to the starting position and repeat the exercise on the other side.

7. Cobra stretch: The cobra stretch is another ideal movement for stretching your tight abdominal muscles and lower back. You need to lie on your stomach with your legs extended and your palms planted on the sides of your head.


8462 people found this helpful