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Top Health Tips on Managing Knee 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.
10958 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.
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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!
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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.
10221 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'.
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Pimples - 6 Common Homeopathic Remedies!

MD - Homeopathy, Masters Degree of Homoeopathy
Homeopath, Mumbai
Pimples - 6 Common Homeopathic Remedies!
Pimples are the most common type of skin issue and almost each one one of us are affected by them. Though these pimples often go away themselves, but when the situation aggravates it is always best to get it check from a doctor. Homeopathic is branch of medicine which offers cure for such type of cases with zero side effects. Homeopathic remedies to get rid of pimples

Psorinum: It is considered to be the best homeopathic drug for acne. Acne indurata, acne simplex and acne pustular are all treatable with Psorinum. In oily skin with over worked sebaceous glands, the skin is left greasy, making it more prone to acne. Psorinum can help reduce secretion of oil and in effect, treat the underlying cause of a pimple outbreak. It is also used in treating acne that gets worse with consuming chocolates, meats, sweets and fat. Itchy winter acne may be treated with this as well.
Calcarea Sulphurica and Hepar Sulph: Calcarea Sulphurica and Hepar Sulph are homeopathic remedies that are very effective for treating pustular acne. Pustular acne means pus filled acne. Often, there is blood staining the pus. Hepar Sulph is effective if the pimples ooze out pus or blood mixed with pus. These pimples may be extremely painful. It is especially useful to treat pimples in teenagers.
Kali Bromatum: Kali Bromatum is a wonder medicine that treats chest, shoulders and facial acne. It is generally marked by a persistent itch. The acne might be indurated, pustular or simplex. The scar forming acne is also generally treated with Kali Bromatum. Purple tinged acne is best treated with Kali Bromatum.
Natrum Mur and Antimonium Crudum: They are very effective in the treatment of facial acne, especially those affecting the cheeks. Cheeks which turn hot due to acne are best treated with Antimonium Crudum. It may be pustular or papular in nature. Another complaint in such cases is a burning sensation. Natrum Mur is a homeopathic medicine that shows maximum efficacy in case of itchy pimples on cheeks. Anemic girls are also benefitted by Natrum Mur.
Sulfur: It is used in extremely itchy acne. People with unhealthy looking and dirty skin are benefitted from the use of this homeopathic wonder drug. The itch generally gets much worse at night or with the application of warmth. For acne that hasn t responded to previously applied topical medicines and ointments, sulfur has shown marked improvement and has even obliterated all signs of acne.
Silicea: Acne affecting the forehead heals fast with the application of silicea. Even pustular acne has shown drastic healing with this homeopathic medicine.
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Chronic Shoulder & Neck Pain - Ways It Can Be Diagnosed!

MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Chronic Shoulder & Neck Pain - Ways It Can Be Diagnosed!
The neck and shoulder have a huge range of movement and thus they are more prone to injury. The ball and socket joint at the upper arm is the shoulder and both the neck and the shoulder are made up of soft tissues, muscles and ligaments.

Reasons behind pain Injured rotator cuffs:

Rotator cuffs are the tendons supporting the shoulder. If they are injured it might lead to a chronic loss of the range of movement. This is more commonly known as a frozen shoulder.

Dislocation: Dislocated disc of the neck or shoulder due to an accident would cause severe pain in the affected area.
Fractures: Fractured collarbone or the upper arm bone may result in chronic pain.
Tendonitis: This occurs due to the over usage of the arms or neck or strains due to over exertion like in sports.
An unstable shoulder joint: If there is instability in the ball and socket joint of the upper arm, chances of having a chronic pain is high. Others: Degenerative arthritis, herniated disc, and even heart attacks can be the other possible causes of chronic neck and shoulder pain.
When to go to the doctor?

When the patient experiences a pain due to a severe blow or injury, the neck pain radiates down the legs and arms, a feeling of numbness and tingling sensation, or has a stiff neck with fever or vomiting, it is essential to seek the advice of a Doctor.

Diagnosis for shoulder and neck pain X-ray:

The main form of diagnosing a pain is an x-ray. It helps to reveal diseases from arthritis, tumour, slipped disc, narrowing spinal cord, fractures and spinal cord instability.

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging or simply the MRI reveals the detail of nerve-related issues along with the problems in the ligaments and tendons.
CT scan: There may be instances when the injuries are difficult to be diagnosed. And, in the case of a fracture, a CT Scan is advised for more details. It is also an alternative to MRI.
ECG: An Electrocardiogram is a way of diagnosis if shoulder and neck pain continues along with chest pain or shortness of breath. If there is a risk of an individual having a heart attack, then an ECG is recommended.
Electro Diagnosis: Electromyography referred to as EMG and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) are used to diagnose pain in the arm, neck, shoulder followed by a numb feeling on the affected areas.
Treatment for chronic shoulder and neck pain
A simple sprain on the neck and shoulder would demand a rest for a few days along with pain medication. If the pain is due to muscle spasms application of dry or moist heat may provide relief. In the case of a swelling due to injuries, a cold ice pack 4 to 8 times a day will provide immense relief. Patients might be advised a cast or sling for the shoulder pain. The soft tissues in the neck and shoulder can be treated with pain relievers taken for a few days. Muscle relaxants are also prescribed depending on the severity of the pain. Local corticosteroid injections are helpful for shoulder arthritis. Platelet rich plasma injection is another modern treatment for arthritis or tendinopathy. In some situation, radio frequency procedures are very helpful. Exercises are very effective for both neck and shoulder pain movement. Surgery might be an option if nerve roots are affected.
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Ayurvedic Treatment for Knee & Joint Pain

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Delhi
Ayurvedic Treatment for Knee & Joint Pain
Gone are the days when mostly septuagenarians complained of joint and knee pain. The problem today has become common among all age groups. Knee or joint pain at any stage of life is painful, however, the health problem striking early on is scary as one just dreads of living with it in the so many years to come.

Ayurveda is a very old system of medicine, which originated in India. Using herbs found in nature to cure various illnesses, knee pain and joint pain can also be permanently cured with this method indigenous to India. Arthritis and Joint pain are among the most prevalent problems faced by adults, mostly old people. As per Ayurveda, 'vata dosha' Is responsible for joint and knee pain.

Here are some common Ayurvedic remedies, which help reduce knee pain:

Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is medically known as Withania Somnifera. In the West, Ashwagandha is popularly known as Winter Cherry. Also, it has a lot of therapeutic properties, which include reducing joint pains.
Banyan: The Banyan tree's medical name is Ficus Benghalensis. It has a sap very similar to the form of rubber known as latex is derived from the Banyan tree. The Banyan tree's sap is externally applied over the joints and the pain usually disappears after a few regular applications.
Garlic: The medical name for garlic is allium sativum. Five to six cloves eaten everyday has proved to reduce knee pains.
Ginger: Ginger is biologically called Zingiber Officinale. These can be easily included in your diet and go a long way in curbing knee pain.

The following are some Ayurvedic home remedies that can be utilized to treat joint pain:

Hot & Cold Compress: Cold and hot compresses can be utilized to ease your joint pain effectively. Heat compression decreases the pain, increases the blood circulation and relaxes the swollen joints and muscles. On the other hand, cold therapy lessens the inflammation of the affected joint. Place hot and cold towel alternatively on the affected area to achieve immediate relief from persistent pain.
Turmeric: Add a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink this solution on a regular basis for a week. Turmeric contains anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which makes it an excellent remedy for treating joint pains.
Healthy diet: A balanced diet that comprises a lot of green leafy vegetables and fresh seasonal fruits is good for your joints. The uncontrolled intake of fatty food, dairy products, and high sodium diet must be avoided in order to avoid arthritis and joint pain. Prevention is better than cure and in order to follow that it is always beneficial to get your complete body check up done from time to time.
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Alcohol - 10 Healthy Foods that You Can Eat With It!

M.Sc Dietetics and Food Service Management, B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hubli-Dharwad
Alcohol - 10 Healthy Foods that You Can Eat With It!
It is a known and proven fact that eating while consuming alcohol is necessary. One tends to grow hungrier, the more he or she drinks alcohol. This is because alcohol has the attribute to stimulate one s appetite in such a way that one would have you craving for food that is rich in salt and high in fibre. Consuming only alcohol ignoring the hunger would lead to several diseases like pancreatitis and issues with the liver.

Though the appetite of an individual during alcohol consumption tends to incline towards snacks like pizza, french fries, nuts and cheese cubes, it is wise to opt for healthier food choices. Salty food can worsen the dehydration effects of the body. And as the body tends to be dehydrated during drinking, it is better to avoid salty food. High-fibre food items are not good for the health either. It delays the digestion process, which is not a good sign for the body. Also, it is also not advisable to eat food in large portions before going to bed, especially after alcohol intake.

There is a variety of healthy food that one can eat along with alcohol

Soup: A clear soup, like chicken clear soup or vegetable clear soup, which has a broth-like texture, is a healthy choice. Creamy soup with cream of chicken or cream of mushroom should be avoided as it would make one heavy, thus delaying the digestion process.
Rice: Plain rice is said to be one of the best food that is easy to digest, paired up with a light vegetable dish. It is very nutritious as well.
Chicken sandwich: Grilled chicken sandwich without cheese and mayo is a healthy food tip as it contains sodium.
Popcorn: Popcorn does not contain fat, neither is it high-fibre. It is the best low-calorie food to go along with alcohol and it tastes really good too.
Wheat crackers: Wheat crackers contain whole grains. It is full of complex carbohydrates, which help the alcohol to absorb easily. It also consists of Vitamin B, which like potassium, gets reduced with the consumption of alcohol.
Banana: It is rich in potassium. Though an individual would never have a banana along with alcohol, it is healthy as the level of potassium should be taken care of while drinking alcohol.
Wheat bread: Wheat bread toast can be consumed with alcohol without butter or cheese. It is an alternative to wheat crackers for those who do not prefer it.
Oats: Cooked food is easy to digest with alcohol, so a pot of cooked oatmeal can be a healthy accompaniment. It can be spiced up a bit to add flavour.
Salad: Salad is refreshing and healthy at the same time. It can be bland, but it is better to have healthy salad as an accompaniment than having salty food with alcohol.
Milk cereal: Cereal, especially whole grain cooked with low-fat milk, is healthy.
By being aware of the right eatables, the ill effects of alcohol can be mitigated to a large extent.
8078 people found this helpful

Fibromyalgia - Can Extensive Pain Be A Sign?

MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Fibromyalgia - Can Extensive Pain Be A Sign?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread body pain along with sleep deficits, memory loss, mood problems and fatigue. Symptoms may be triggered after a surgery, physical trauma, infection, or stress. Women are much more vulnerable to this disease than men. Many people affected with fibromyalgia may have suffered from headaches, backaches, depression, anxiety, tension, temporomandibular joint disorders and irritable bowel syndrome.

Most of these patients have undergone multiple consultation with various doctors and undergone many tests, but no diagnosis could be made. These patients are often ignored by doctors and family members as always "complaining of pain".

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Extensive Pain: Pain related to fibromyalgia is often depicted as a dull pain that lasts for at least three months. Pain can involve any body part like back,neck, chest, arms, legs. Patients have pain in multiple areas of body and painful areas change over time.
Fatigue: Patients afflicted with this disorder feel tired even after sleep. Such people are reported to sleep for longer hours than normal people, but their sleep often gets disrupted due to sleep apnoea and restless leg syndrome.
Cognitive Difficulties: These patients find it difficult to concentrate at work and also suffer from memory deficits in daily activities.
Other Symptoms These patients may also have symptoms like burning urination, urgency of urination, numbness,loss of appetite, tingling sensation,diarrhoea, constipation, tinnitus, depression etc.

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia There are no specific test to diagnose fibromyalgia. Diagnosis is made by a doctor specialised in Pain Medicine using clinical methods based on symptoms and examination. Blood tests like Haemogram, Thyroid function test, RA Factor, ESR are done to rule out other diseases which can cause similar symptoms.

Treatment of fibromyalgia

First step in treating these patients is to accept their problem and discuss with patient and family members regarding the presence of such disease entity.
Lifestyle changes like active involvement in cardiovascular exercises, swimming, yoga, meditation are important to control symptoms.
Conventional painkillers do not work in these patients. They requires special medications prescribed by a pain specialist for control of symptoms.
Counselling of patient is beneficial for associated depression. Sometimes these patients need interventions/injections.
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