Without our lungs, it would be impossible to breathe. People suffering from chronic lung diseases have compromised lung functioning. This leads to shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness. In turn, this can make the person avoid anything that exerts the lungs such as exercise. While this may seem like a good idea, it is actually detrimental. Not exercising can further weaken the lungs and muscles and make this a vicious cycle. This is where physiotherapy can help with lung rehabilitation or pulmonary rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy is a branch of medicine that treats diseases and health conditions with exercise and manual therapy. Physiotherapists may also use radiation, sound waves, electric therapy, prosthesis and assistive devices. The aim here is not to cure the disease but to improve lung functioning and the patient’s quality of life. Pulmonary rehabilitation can help in a number of ways.
Seeing someone who used to do all their activities on their own turn to someone who needs help even with small things like going to the bathroom can be very difficult.
The lungs are vital organs in that they are essential to supply oxygen to the entire body. If the various organs do not receive adequate oxygen, their function can be impaired. Therefore, lung function needs to be maintained. Lung function can be impaired by chronic conditions like COPD and bronchiectasis. In both these, the overall ability of the lungs to take in adequate oxygen is reduced. Therefore, the lungs need to be rehabilitated so that they can improve their ability to function better. These exercises are aimed at the following:
It has been proven beyond doubt that in addition to medications, physiotherapy plays a vital role in improving lung function over a period of time. Depending on the actual condition of the patient, a physiotherapy program is drawn up. Initially, the therapist will guide the patient and/or the caretaker with the various exercises. Over a period of time, the caretaker and the patient can do these on their own. The intent of these common exercises is to improve breathing efficiency, clear mucus, and improve overall lung function.
It has been proven beyond doubt that with no side effects (unlike medications), physiotherapy improves the overall quality of life in people with COPD.
Conventional medicine treats pain with the help of medications; by either blocking the transmission of pain signals in the body or by correcting the underlying problems caused by the pain in the first place. However, traditional and alternative forms of medicine such as acupuncture manage pain issues within the body through the means of redirecting disrupted energy flows. One of the very few forms of alternative treatments used in conjunction with conventional treatments, acupuncture is seen as a mercurial rise in popularity in the past few decades.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture dates back to ancient China, about 2500 years ago. It has been widely practised there for a number of millennia, not only pain relief but also for treating many ailments. Acupuncture isn’t just considered a form of therapy, but a holistic form of medicine. Acupuncture works on the principle of the flow of energy within the body, also known as ‘Qi’, in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture strives to correct the disruptions in ‘Qi’ that may cause pain by manipulating over 2000 of the specific pressure points within the body with the help of specially created needles.
Where is acupuncture effective?
Acupuncture is very effective in treating a host of ailments, especially in relieving the associated pain. Some of the areas where acupuncture has proven its effectiveness are:
1. Treating nausea and vomiting caused due to chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients
2. Very useful in treating post-operative pain caused due to dental procedures
3. Rehabilitating patients who have suffered strokes
4. Fibromyalgia (musculo-skeletal pain with fatigue accompanied by sleep and memory issues)
5. Effective in combating withdrawal symptoms caused due to addiction
6. Pain from menstrual cramps
7. Tennis elbow
8. Osteoarthritis (a type of arthritis caused due to the erosion of tissues present at the ends of one’s bones)
9. Pain of the lower vertebrae within the spinal column
How does acupuncture work within the body?
According to modern medicine, the specific pressure points utilized by acupuncture within the body help in releasing chemicals that can block or at least reduce pain. It encourages the flow of chemicals from the brain, which acts as nerve and pain blockers. It also helps stimulate the muscles and nerve endings, which can lessen inflammation and thus help in reducing pain.
Foot problems can occur due to a number of causes that, in most cases, are easily diagnosed. An orthopedic is a specialized doctor whose advice you should seek if you have any kind of discomfort in one or both of your feet. Discomfort may include chronic or regular pain, difficulty in movement and/or disfigurement. These are generally a result of arthritis, physical injury or a genetic or hereditary condition. In some of the cases, the pain and discomfort can be treated without any surgery, by using medications. However, in extreme cases, where medication, physical therapy, and other such non-surgical methods fail to have any impact, surgery is the only way to go.
These surgeries are less invasive and require limited recovery time. They are also one of the most successful types of surgery. The surgical procedure is successful in dealing with the main complaints of a foot problem. It successfully treats a foot by,
Arthritis is also a cause of a number of foot problems. In more cases than not, surgery becomes a necessity to treat your foot. Here are some of the surgeries that cater to arthritis-related foot problems:
The word 'surgery' is often dreaded by most patients. Be it an invasive oral surgery or a keyhole gallbladder surgery, it does not evoke a ready "yes" in most patients. There are too many patients who are ready to be on long-term medications if they could avoid the surgery and its complications. While there could be swelling, bruising, tingling, and many other symptoms, the one feared by most is the postoperative pain. What happens after the effect of the anesthetic wears off can leave many patients in a very anxious and fearful state. The trick is to prepare oneself - not just for the surgery but for the after effects.
Before the surgery, a detailed discussion with the doctor on the following is very important:
After the surgery, the following are some ways to cope with the pain:
1. Pain killers - Don't wait for the anesthesia effect to completely wear out. Take the pain killer much before the pain starts so that the onset of pain is delayed or nullified. For severe cases, opioids may be used to manage immediate postoperative pain. However, in most cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen are used. They may also be used up to a few days after surgery to ease the pain and inflammation, depending on the type of surgery.
2. Topical creams/lotions - In cases involving skin incisions, these help reduce the pain in the skin along the incision.
3. Compression stockings - In addition to reducing blood clot, they also reduce pain in the legs.
4. Physiotherapy - If there is a joint involved, doing physiotherapy after surgery is extremely beneficial. In addition to reducing pain, they also help improve mobility.
5. Sleep - Sufficient sleep (more than you normally would) promotes healing and helps your ability to cope with the pain.
6. Heating pads and ice packs - If these are your regular remedies for pain, feel free to use them even in postsurgical pains.
7. Reduce Stress - This will help you cope better with the pain and heal faster.
A given patient and a given surgery are a unique combination. No two patients will react the same way to a particular surgery. Postsurgical pain can be managed very effectively with a little planning.
Acupuncture is a kind of therapy that combines needles with pressure and pain points in order to delicately apply pressure for pain relief. This form of physical therapy is being increasingly recognised as an efficient method of treating pain in joints, muscles, bones and even for migraine pain. So let us find out more about Acupuncture and pain management.
* Chronic or Long Term Pain: There are many ailments that cause chronic or long term pain. These include back pain, neck pain, stiffness in the joints, osteoarthritis, headache and migraine, and pain in the shoulders. All this can be treated over a long period of time with the help of simulated acupuncture which uses pointed apparatus for activating better blood circulation for overall improvement in the pain that is being experienced in the area. The use of this apparatus helps in avoiding the harmful medication that can have adverse side effects.
* Menstrual Cramps: A fine needle method at the right points can help in bringing down the symptoms of the painful condition called dysmenorrhoea during menstrual cycles. With acupuncture, the acupuncturist can administer acupoint therapy to relieve menstrual cramps. This will help in moving the qi, or life force, in a better way so that the pain will stop.
* Acute Pain: Over use of muscles, joints and repetitive, work related movements and strain can lead to acute pain. This includes wrist pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, back pain, lower back pain, neck pain and even leg pain. With acupuncture, the patient gets rid of the pain in close to twelve sittings.
* Pain due to Cancer Treatment: Cancer and its treatment can take a heavy toll on the body and lead to a series of complications which also includes pain. A clean needle procedure can be followed along with the chemotherapy and radiation or after it, so as to relieve the patient of the pain experienced. Also, it can be used to replace traditional chemotherapy and radiation.
* Better Rest: When the needles or apparatus touch the pressure points and circulate the blood and life force, it actually creates a soothing effect and helps the patient sleep and get better rest. This is also a requirement for pain relief. It can bring better blood flow to the area and help in removing anxiety and stress related to pain so that there is a better chance of getting rest.
With the use of acupuncture, pain can be taken care of with the needles and various tools that come in various shapes. These tools and equipment can also use laser treatment along with the point focused treatment.
Dermatological conditions refer to a range of skin disorders that may be permanent or temporary, painful or painless. Some of the conditions may be caused due to environmental changes or an underlying health issue, while others may be genetic.
Types of Skin Disorders
Here is a list of skin disorders ranging from minor to serious dermatological conditions –
• Acne – Commonly seen on the neck, face, chest, upper back and shoulders, these are characterized by breakouts of pimples, blackheads or whiteheads, nodules, and cysts. Acne usually leaves behind darkened scars on the skin.
• Rosacea – This chronic skin disorder goes through cycles of relapse and fading. Symptoms include facial redness, raised bumps, sensitivity and dryness of the skin.
• Eczema – These are characterized by white or yellow scaly patches that flake off. The affected areas may appear itchy, oily or greasy, and reddish.
• Psoriasis – These are silvery, scaly, sharply defined patches of skin, usually located on the lower back, elbows, knees, and scalp. The condition is mostly asymptotic.
• Cellulitis – A fungi or bacteria entering through a cut or crack in the skin leads to this urgent medical condition. The person observes swelling and redness on the skin that may ooze pus.
• Contact dermatitis – The condition results from coming in contact with an allergen. Rashes and blisters appear hours or days after the contact. The skin becomes itchy, scaly, raw, and red in colour.
• Melasma – This refers to a common dermatological condition, which usually causes dark patches to appear on your face and rarely on the chest, arms, or neck.
• Keratosis pilaris – This is a minor condition, causing tiny, rough bumps on the cheeks, upper arms, or thighs. They are typically white or red, and usually, do not itch or hurt.
Most of the skin disorders stated above are curable. You could turn to medications but most often, they are accompanied by side effects. Therefore, doctors and medical practitioners are now considering acupuncture therapy for the treatment of certain dermatological conditions.
Acupuncture for Dermatological Conditions-
Lower back pain is fast becoming an epidemic not just among the elderly, but across all age groups. Primary causes of back pain are quite a few including lumbar hernia, disc degenerative disease (DDD), spondylosis etc., but the symptoms are usually the same excruciating pain in the lower region of the spine, followed by stiffness. Since back pain is caused due to a number of spinal problems, it manifests differently in different patients. The pain may be dull, burning or sharp. It could also be felt at a single point or over a broad area and could be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness or even shooting pain in one or both legs.
Back pain can also be differentiated according to the time period:
Sometimes symptoms resolve on their own, but in many cases conservative treatment, such as physiotherapy, which often works better than surgery, becomes essential. Alternate therapies like surgery, acupressure, acupuncture as well as yoga and Ayurveda also help.
Physiotherapy - Exercises that work
Since the reason for low back pain is not always same, a patient’s treatment too should be tailored for his specific symptoms and condition. This is what the physiotherapist will do design an exercise plan based on the patient’s specific problem and its cause.
Physiotherapy treatments may include:
Physiotherapy exercises help support the back and strengthen muscles so that the spine is cushioned properly. This is why physiotherapy is relevant as a treatment for backache. Treatments like traction help in lengthening the spine and relieving compression of nerves that cause sciatica, radiating pain into legs largely due to lumbar herniation. If back pain is extreme, a patient will require physical therapy along with medication, which will help in managing pain and bringing the inflammation down. But in the long term, being physically active, going for walks, sitting properly and maintaining a good posture will help the most.