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Top Health Tips on Reducing Joint/Muscle Pains

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.
10926 people found this helpful

Desi Haldi Milk - 5 Life-long Benefits of it!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Karnal
Desi Haldi Milk - 5 Life-long Benefits of it!
5 life-long benefits of drinking desi haldi milk

Haldi is a vital spice used in the Indian cuisine and other south Asian cuisines. Also known as turmeric, it constitutes of some sugars, proteins, and resins, and is a ubiquitous Asian kitchen ingredient; almost every meal cooked has a dash of haldi in it. But apart from the colour, taste and aroma that it adds to the food, when added to milk, it becomes a magical potion known as desi haldi milk that can prevent and cure diseases.

Here are 5 lifelong benefits of desi haldi milk:

1. Has anti-inflammatory properties: Haldi has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. According to Ayurveda, it has been named as the natural aspirin. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, when combined with milk, it becomes a really useful drink that helps prevent cancer. It stops the growth of lung, skin, colon, breast, and prostate cancer, and for cancer patients, it helps reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Additionally, haldi milk provides relief from arthritis pain and improves the flexibility of joints and muscles.

2. Is a blood purifier: Blood impurities can lead to severe health problems and desi haldi milk is considered an excellent blood purifier and cleanser if the principles of ayurveda are to be believed. It can revitalize and boost the blood circulation in the body. Acting as a blood thinner, haldi milk plays a significant role in eliminating all impurities from the blood vessels and lymphatic system of your body.

3. Helps control weight: Turmeric contains curcumin, an antioxidant capable of preventing inflammation of various cells of your body like fat, muscle, and pancreatic cells. This also results in lower risks of health issues arising due to obesity like high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, insulin resistance and other metabolic problems. Also, haldi milk helps in the breakdown of dietary fat. This can be useful in controlling the weight.

4. Gives you healthier skin: Haldi is a very useful ingredient for battling skin issues. Drinking haldi milk helps in getting enviable glowing skin and can also be used for application on the face and body. Dipping a cotton ball into haldi milk and applying that to your face can help you get rid of any rash, skin redness or blotchy patches. Moreover, bathing in turmeric milk can be helpful in attaining soft, supple and radiant skin.

5. Ensures better bone health: Haldi milk is an excellent source of calcium, and has bone-strengthening properties, which are necessary to keep the bones healthy and strong. It also helps lower bone loss and prevent osteoporosis.

So go ahead, mix up the ever easily available haldi and milk from your kitchen, and drink up to a healthier you.
9775 people found this helpful

Alcohol - How Much Should You Drink Everyday?

MD, House Job Certificate ( SKIN & STD) , MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
Alcohol - How Much Should You Drink Everyday?
How much alcohol can you safely drink every day? Moderate, say the experts. Alcohol abuse has serious health downsizes, but moderate drinking can actually be good for your heart. Moderate alcohol use has a few other health benefits too. Let s see what these are.

Reduces risk of developing and dying from heart disease
Reduces your risk of ischemic stroke during which the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing reduction of blood flow to your brain
Reduces your risk of diabetes
The link between alcohol and health is tenuous at best and the health benefits of moderate drinking are by no means certain. Also every one may not benefit from alcohol. Moderate alcohol use - Guidelines
One drink a day is considered moderate for healthy women of any age and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men younger than 65. This alcoholic drink can be:

Beer: 12 ounces
Wine: 5 ounces
Distilled spirits : 1.5 ounces
Moderate alcohol use can be counter-productive for you, if you have risk factors for heart disease. It s always better to take care to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a heart-healthy diet to reduce your heart attack risks.

Risks of heavy alcohol use
We know about the definition of moderate drinking, but what s heavy drinking? It is defined as more than three drinks a day for women and men older than 65 (or more than seven drinks a week), and more than four drinks a day for men less than 65 (or more than 14 drinks a week).
Binge drinking is even worse. If you drink four or more drinks within two hours as a woman and five or more drinks within two hours as a man, it is referred to as binge drinking. Heavy drinking, including binge drinking, can increase your risk of serious health problems, like:

Cancer, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus
Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas
Sudden death due to pre-existing cardiovascular disease
Alcoholic myopathy or damage to heart muscle, which causes heart failure
Stroke
High blood pressure
Liver disease
Brain damage in fetuses
It s best to ditch alcohol altogether. It is the healthiest thing you could ever do. The guidelines make it very clear that you shouldn t start drinking alcohol, albeit moderately, to make your heart healthy. The best way to have a healthy heart is to eat and exercise right. However, if you are an occasional drinker, you could make sure that your alcohol intake is within limits and you drink moderately at all times so that you don t attract any health penalties associated with heavy alcohol use.
8872 people found this helpful

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.
8171 people found this helpful

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.
8153 people found this helpful

Know The Best Ways To Treat Lower Back Pain!

MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Know The Best Ways To Treat Lower Back Pain!
Lower back pain is a household condition in today s times. It has become a concern to reckon with, thanks to all the different job descriptions which require sitting for long stretches in front of desks and computers. This automatically puts a pressure on our lower back, resulting in lower back pain.

Symptoms
Lower back pain is actually a pain perceived in the lumbar region, which is situated below the ribcage. The spinal muscles, tendons, nerves and bones located in the lumbar spine experience severe pain which is referred to as lower back pain. Some of the major sources of lower back pains are:

The ligaments, joints or bones get damaged
Degeneration of the inter vertebral disc
Irritation in the long nerve roots which start from the lower back and extend to the legs can cause pain
Strain on the lower back muscles
Although with adequate rest lower back pain heals over time, seek advice from a doctor immediately if you have the following indications.

Sudden fever or a feeling of chill all over your body
Sudden weight loss
You experience weakness in legs
A problem in metabolic activities or improper functioning of bowels. You may feel unable to control your urine or have difficulties in bowel functions
A persistent and severe pain in the abdomen
Factors that put you at risk

If you are overweight
Maintain bad postures while sitting or standing
Follow unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive smoking or drinking coupled with a bad diet
Lift heavy items/weights in your work
Treatment
It is advisable to consult a doctor, if the lower back pain persists for a prolonged period. But if you have occasional bouts of pain, there are certain home remedies which you may follow:

For a temporary pain relief, use a heating pad on the affected area. You may also take a warm bath.
Do light exercises and yoga helps to prevent back pain. One thing you must remember is that you must exercise according to your body weight and postures.
Medications can be used when pain affects daily life Interventional pain management like facet joint injection, SI joint injections, trigger point injections, epidurals helps in difficult situations when other options have failed.
Finally, bring in some change in your lifestyle, if you never want to experience any kind of lower back pain. Make exercises an indispensable part of your daily life, cut down on alcohol and quit smoking immediately. To top it all, try to follow a healthy diet.
8133 people found this helpful

Joint Pain - How Panchkarma Therapies Can Help You?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS), PG Dip Panchakarma, PG Dip Ksharsutra For Piles, Pilonidal, Sinus & Fistula Management, Post Graduate Diploma In Hospital Administration (PGDHA), Certificate In Diabetes Update
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
Joint Pain - How Panchkarma Therapies Can Help You?
Joint pain is considered to be one of the first few signs of aging. According to the science of Ayurveda, joint pain is triggered mainly by an accumulation of toxins in the body. These toxins can create an imbalance in the doshas which in turn can cause pain and inflammation on the joints. Along with joint pain, a person is likely to experience a loss of flexibility, weakness, tenderness and enlargement of the joints.

Unlike some popular forms of medication that focus on relieving the pain, Ayurveda addresses the root cause of the issue. Panchkarma aims at cleansing the body of toxins and clearing blockages in the body s digestive and circulatory system. This helps the vatta dosha flow easily through the body and reduces pain associated with arthritis etc. Panchkarma can be defined as a collection of five ayurvedic techniques. These are:

Vasti or Medicated Enema: Vasti aims at removing toxins and waste products from the body through the colon. In doing this, it cleanses the digestive channels and improves circulation of air or the vatta dosha in the body. With better circulation, joint pain is effectively reduced. An enema also nourishes the body and gives it the strength to rebuild tissues while boosting the immune system.
Abhyanga or Full Body Massage: This technique helps I the removal of toxins from deep tissues within the body. It pacifies the vatta and nourishes the body while simultaneously reducing stress and enabling better quality sleep. A full body massage also helps calm the body both physically and mentally.
Potli or Poultice Massage: As the name suggests, a potli involves massaging the body with medicated herbs tied together in a tiny bundle that has been warmed with medicated oils. This potli is then used to massage the entire body. This technique helps relax the muscles of the body and soothes the aggravated vatta dosha. It is very effective when it comes to providing relief from joint pains caused by arthritis, spondylitis, muscle cramps etc.
Pizhichil or Rich Oil Massage: A rich oil massage involves subjecting the body to streams of lukewarm oil that has medicinal properties while simultaneously softly massaging the body. This type of massage helps relieve tension and stress and is a very effective remedy against joint pains. It is highly recommended in the case of rheumatic diseases.
Svedana or Steam Bath: A steam bath helps cleanse the body both physically and mentally by aiding in the removal of toxins through sweat and calming the mind. It also helps soften the muscles and tissues and dilates the channels in the body.
8060 people found this helpful

6 Best Ways To Deal With Sports Injuries!

MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
6 Best Ways To Deal With Sports Injuries!
How should you approach pain caused due to sports injuries?

Sports injuries can happen to any person who engages in sporting activities. These affect full-time athletes as well as those who partake in sports and exercising on an occasional basis. Most sports injuries are acute and affect the muscles and skeletal system. Usually, they are not chronic unless caused by a grave accident or left untreated.

The most common types of injuries caused due to sports are as follows:

ankle sprain
wrist sprain
concussion
knee injury
tennis elbow
hamstring pull
cartilage damage
Treatment of sports injuries depends on a number of factors such as the type of injury, part of the body affected, the intensity of the pain, and the patient's age and medical history.

Accordingly, the most common ways of approaching the pain caused by sports injuries are:

Immediate remedies: Several quick aid, home remedies are used to treat pain that is caused by minor injuries to muscles, such as sprains and strains. It involves alleviation of pain through rest, using ice packs and hot water bags, wearing supports and elastic compression bandages.
Medication: Many medicines such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory pills, creams and sprays effectively reduce pain caused by sports injuries. In extreme cases, morphine and codeine are also prescribed.
Physical therapy: A number of injuries can be treated and cured through certain exercise and workout routines. These aim at stretching and strengthening the affected area to provide pain relief through increased flexibility and muscle activity.
Injections: Various substances and chemical compounds can be injected into the injured area which works on the affected ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Surgical procedures: This is generally resorted to in case of damage to the skeleton in the form of broken bones and cracked ribs.
Interventional Pain relieving procedures: These include regenerative or stem cell therapy, and neuromodulation techniques using radio frequency current. They may result in best results without any tissue cutting or damage. A pain specialist may be able to help you best in that case.
Devising the exact treatment method requires a thorough examination of the injury. Diagnosis can only be provided after taking into consideration the many factors that affect treatment. The method of treatment varies from case to case and consequently, the recovery time also differs.
7844 people found this helpful

How Ayurveda Helps Manage Knee Pain?

MD, DYA, PGDCR
Ayurveda, Nashik
How Ayurveda Helps Manage Knee Pain?
Knee pain can be caused due to a variety of reasons as the knees are large joints that are often subjected to heavy loads. The occurrence of knee pain is on the rise, which may be caused due to sports injuries and unilateral load. Osteoarthritis, arthritis, wearing of the patella, inflammation of bone and cartilage are some of the common forms of knee pain. If you had been suffering from knee pain for quite some time, then there is nothing to worry about; Ayurveda has a great solution to alleviate this condition.

The herbal remedies offered by Ayurveda help in improving immunity, providing strength and endurance.

Massage: Massage therapy can relieve the joint pain by soothing inflammation and improving the circulation. Several health studies indicate that the regular massage has the power to alleviate pain along the affected joint. You can pick up any oil such as coconut, mustard, olive, castor or garlic oil and heat it and apply it with a gentle pressure while massaging.
Hot and cold compress: Heat therapy can help in increasing blood flow, decreasing pain and relaxing sore muscles and joints whereas cold therapy aids in reducing inflammation and benumbing the area around the affected knee. But before you apply them, you will have to wrap them separately in towels and not apply directly to the skin. The hot compress can be placed for 3 minutes and then immediately replaced with cold compress for about a minute. The entire process can be repeated for about 20 to 30 minutes. But you shouldn t be using hot compress if the affected area is hot and irritated. Also, do not opt for cold therapy in case you have circulatory issues.
Fenugreek: Owing to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, fenugreek or Methi is a highly favourable home remedy for knee pain. It is particularly helpful for people suffering from arthritis. So you can swallow a teaspoonful of fine fenugreek seeds powder and drink a glass of lukewarm water after that. Follow the process regularly unless you get positive results. You may also soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in warm water overnight and eat them in the morning.
Ayurveda has a solution to all your mental and physical problems, but it is important to note here that the treatment must be administered after evaluating your present health condition and medical history. So speak with an expert today and opt for the home remedy that s best suited to alleviate your knee pain.
7829 people found this helpful

Hot Or Cold Water Bath In Winter - Which Is Better?

Modern Allopathic System of Medicine
Ayurveda, Ahmedabad
Hot Or Cold Water Bath In Winter -  Which Is Better?
As the days become warm, you tend to turn the shower towards the cold water and as the days get cooler, bathing water usually gets warmer. A cold water shower can be very refreshing in the summer, similarly, a warm shower in winters can be quite relaxing. But have you ever thought about what actually is good for you? Well, there is no hard and fast rule about which one is better. As a general rule of thumb, according to Ayurveda, hot water should be used for bathing your body and cold water should be used for the head. However, when you clearly have to choose between hot water and cold water, a number of factors have to be considered, such as individual s age, constitution, habits, diseases, if any, season, etc.

Let s take a closer look

Age: Young children and elderly people will get more benefit from warm to a hot water bath. Teenagers and people up to the age of about 45-50 years can have a cold water bath. For students who need to be alert and be able to focus on their studies, a cold water bath is ideal.
Constitution: According to Ayurveda, there are three types of doshas; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. If you have a pitta body type, you should bathe with cold water. On the other hand, if your body type is Vata or Kapha then, a hot water shower is much better for you.
Habits: Your habits can also influence the water temperature. If you like to bathe early in the morning, a cold water bath is advisable. However, if you like to bathe in the evening, try a hot water shower. As the evening is dominated by the Vata dosha, hence it is ideal. Similarly, if you like to exercise before your bath, you must bathe with hot water.
Diseases: If you are suffering from diseases caused by an imbalance of the Pitta dosha, you should bathe with cold water, such diseases include indigestion and liver disorders. If you are suffering from an imbalance of the Vata or Kapha dosha bathe with hot water. Diseases caused by the Vata dosha imbalance include arthritis, joint pain and foot pain. Those caused by kapha dosha imbalance include respiratory diseases and allergies.
Some Ayurvedic practitioners also advise alternating between hot and cold baths. What is important is that you should not bathe with water that is either too hot or too cold as bathing with really hot water can disturb the pH level of the skin, while bathing with water that is too cold can make you catch a cold. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
7762 people found this helpful