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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.
11160 people found this helpful

Do All Medicines Actually Expire?

General Physician, Pune
Do All Medicines Actually Expire?
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? Experts 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!
11123 people found this helpful

Ginger - 13 Health Benefits You Never Knew

MD, DYA, PGDCR
Ayurvedic Doctor, 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.
10991 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.
10831 people found this helpful

Expired Medicines - What to Check Before Throwing Them Away?

Diploma In Cardiology
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!
10674 people found this helpful

Running Vs Walking - Which Is Better?

CCEBDM, PG Diploma In Clinical Cardiology, MBBS, certificate course in rheumatology and joint disorders.
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.
9542 people found this helpful

Don't Wait To See A Doctor For Severe Back Pain!

Multi Speciality, Mumbai
Don't Wait To See A Doctor For Severe 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.
9480 people found this helpful

Summer Is Back - 5 Tips To Help You Get Through!

General Physician, Pune
Summer Is Back - 5 Tips To Help You Get Through!
With summer, woes of oily/dry skin and hair, cough and cold, flaky scalp, asthma attacks, dust allergies and joint pain keep cropping up. Here are a few tips to help you stay cool and refereshed during summers:

Increase Vitamin C intake: Vitamin C boosts immunity that helps prevent frequent cough and cold, sore throats and sneezing bouts. Available in the form of delectable oranges, it should definitely be included in the diet.
Include more vegetables in your diet: Summer is the season for a plethora of seasonal green vegetables, which are available fresh. They work wonders on your hair, skin and general health. Legumes too are important as they help prevent heart diseases and even cancerous growths. They are a rich source of potassium, magnesium, vitamins and fibres.
Moderation in diet: During summer, the metabolism of the fast, but too many calories can be difficult for the body to digest. It is important to regulate the intake of sugar and carbohydrates. Digestion and gastric problems are common during summers, therefore, it is necessary to cut down on processed food and eat healthy.
Take care of your skin: The skin turns oily and flaky during summers. Dry skin is susceptible to freckles and wrinkles, therefore, constant moisturising and nourishment are of utmost need. A lot of body oils, moisturising lotions and creams are available in the market and must be used according to skin type. Lips become chapped and can even bleed profusely if not tended to at the right time. Hence, the use of lip balms and petroleum jelly is of utmost importance during this time. The use of sunscreen is a must as the ultraviolet radiations are extremely harmful for the skin.
Look after your hair: The hair tends to lose its moisture, turn rough and frizzy. Split ends become an incessant problem; dandruff and itchy scalp become annoying problems. You must start using medicated oils and shampoo to prevent further damage.
Apart from the above mentioned tips, one must try and keep warm and protected as much as possible to prevent catching cold and flu. People suffering from asthma can make use of masks while out on the streets, to prevent an attack caused by the dust and pollution.
9255 people found this helpful

Management Of Chronic Low Back Pain With Radiology!

Multi Speciality, Mumbai
Management Of Chronic Low Back Pain With Radiology!
Many people all over the world often suffer from chronic back pain due to various reasons. Persisting for weeks together, this type of acute pain in the back can even cause severe damage to one's daily work schedule. It is often the neck or the lower back or upper or middle back that cause such pain and forces one to look for medical assistance. And it is this necessity for obtaining a cure or treatment solution that radiology becomes extremely helpful in dealing with chronic back pain. Read further to have a better idea of how radiology can be of great help in getting relief from the annoying and distressing chronic back pain.

What is radiology?
Radiology refers to a branch of medicines which dealing with radiant energy, helps in the proper diagnosis as well as treatment of a disease. This specialty specifically uses medical imaging for diagnosing a disease or the root of illness and treating it. This field is divided into two major areas, one is interventional radiology, and the other is diagnostic radiology.

Radiology and chronic back pain
Radiology is known to be an ideal solution for getting relief from the constant suffering of chronic back pain. Whether it's a pain in the spine or the hip, radiology helps in ensuring accurate treatment while reducing the chances of inappropriate treatments which often is performed due to the lack of knowledge about the root problem. With the image-guided injections and the accurate diagnosis, radiology reaches to the root of the back pain and helps the medical professionals have a better understanding about what's ailing the patient.

How is radiology effective in treating back pain?
While the majority of the back pain can be dealt with proper rest, anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy sessions, when it turns out to be a chronic pain, proper diagnosis is the best option for dealing with the pain. Using different radiological imaging services such as CT or computerized tomography, MRI or magnetic resonance imaging and X-ray, the location of the pain can be easily identified and then is treated properly. And treating the back area with different therapeutic injections becomes necessary, such as nerve root injections or facet joints injections or epidural injections, for dealing with the chronic back pain, again it s radiology that turns out to be an irreplaceable part of successful treatment.

Chronic back pain being one of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor, opting for the right diagnosis procedure becomes crucial for identifying the main underlying reason which is causing the pain. And there's no doubt that it is with the help of the latest imaging facilities of radiology that accurate diagnosis as well as managing the pain can be possible.
9246 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.
9027 people found this helpful