Being flexible is not always about doing splits or doing some random bending. It is about achieving a level of mobility that will not hold you back from doing whatever you are able to do. Most people think that stretching or flexing your muscles and body as the first method to defend you from pain. But if stretching and flexing can be done correctly, it can lengthen one's muscles and give one relief from pains and aches. Stretching is also done to increase the functional range of one's joints and muscles. There are various ways by which one can stretch their muscles. However, the question which looms over here is which is the correct procedure and which is the wrong one.
The Wrong Vs the Right Way: Before discussing about the correct way, let us talk about the various wrong ways in which stretching can be done. The first rule is that if stretching is causing you pain or if it is hurting you, then you are probably taking it too far. A muscle needs to relax as much as possible, if it needs to stretch. If one is stretching so hard that he or she cannot relax then the muscle will not lengthen. Stretching should never be painful.
One should also avoid stretching for an insufficient length of time. Only a few seconds of stretching will not hold the therapeutic effects of stretching.
The following methods are few of the correct ways to stretch:
Stretching the Correct Muscle: There are muscles, which need to be stretched and there are muscles, which should not be. So getting to know the correct muscles to be stretched is as important as knowing the correct procedure to stretch your muscles. Every muscle, which does not hurt should not be stretched. There are different types of muscles that cause pain like stiff, tight, short muscles and long muscles. Muscles that are tight should only be subjected to stretching. Stretching muscles that are too long is not a good idea.
Using Physiotherapists: Most people who cannot determine which muscle should be stretched and which should not be should consult a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists can quickly and easily diagnose muscular issues. They will also show ways to stretch which are most effective for particular needs.
Stretching should be made a part of one's life. It is a way by which one can become their healthiest self and avoid muscular imbalances.
Muscle strain or muscle pull is a condition, which is characterized by damage to the muscles or its adjoining tendons. Undue pressure can be exerted on the muscle when you are carrying out routine activities such as sudden lifting of heavy things or playing contact sports. The damage to the muscle is usually in the form of partial or complete tearing of the tendons and fibres attached to the muscles. The small blood vessels in the muscles can also be damaged by the tearing of the muscles, leading to local bleeding and bruising.
The symptoms of muscle pain are:
1. You will experience pain even while resting
2. There will be bruising, swelling and redness around the affected area
3. You will experience weakness of the muscles and tendons
4. The movement and mobility of the muscle will be impaired
5. You will experience pain when you use the affected muscles
The causes of a muscle strain are:
1. Playing contact sports can lead to injuries
2. Lifting heavy things
3. Exercising without a proper warm up routine
4. Lifting extremely heavy weights during exercise without proper acclimatization
5. Sleeping on one side only for a long period of time
6. Not stretching properly
7. Falling from a height
The treatments for muscle strains are:
1. Pain medications: You can opt for pain relieving medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help combat the associated pain of a muscle strain.
2. Rice: Rice stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment is usually the first step after suffering a strain, before opting for medications. This treatment prevents further aggravation of the problem.
3. Compress: You can alternate between hot and cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain.
4. Stretches: Once the affected area has healed, it is important for you stretch the muscles to improve their mobility and strength.
In the upcoming year, all of us want to put our best foot forward and ensure a happy and healthy life. We want a new thinner, healthier, more energetic and flexible body next year. We also want to get back to our few years old skinny jeans. So, what are the new year resolutions for 2019 that will up our health quotient substantially?
Read on for the five hottest dietary changes to take care of your health:
Start a food journal to keep track of what you eat and also convince your friends and family to join in your healthy New Year plans. This way, you will have a support system in place to keep you motivated and on the go.
Bell’s Palsy is a disease, which causes a sudden, temporary weakness in the facial muscles. It is facial paralysis that makes patients unable to control his facial muscles on either side of his face. This disease can occur at any age.
There is no known reason for its cause. However, the disease is believed to be caused because of swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on the affected side. The risk factors include diabetes and upper respiratory tract infection. This is caused due to the malfunction of the cranial nerve.
Bell’s Palsy affects millions of people worldwide. For most of them, the disease is temporary. The symptoms usually start to improve within a few weeks from the first appearance. The complete recovery takes close to six months. There are a few people who continue to have the Bell’s Palsy for their complete life. The disease rarely affects someone twice. People who recurrently face the disease are often found to be a victim of diabetes or viral infections.
People, often, unknowingly interpret the disease as a stroke. It, however, is not a stroke. A stroke affecting the facial muscles would also affect the body muscles and cause weakness in other parts of the body too.
Bell’s Palsy Causes-
The causes that trigger Bell's Palsy in the human body are still unknown. Often researchers associate it with an exposure to a viral infection. The facial nerve passes through a narrow bony area in the skull and when it swells, it pushes against the hard surface of the skull when there is a viral infection. Apart from the facial muscles, the disease also affects tears, saliva, taste and a small bone positioned in the middle of the ear. At other times, researchers also associate it with physical damage to the facial nerve that causes a similar swelling of the face.
Mostly the disease occurs due to viral infections. The infections play an important role in the development of the disease. The viruses that are linked to the development of the disease are:
1. Cold sores and genital herpes, also known as herpes simplex
3. Infectious mononucleosis, which is also known as herpes zoster
4. Cytomegalovirus infections
5. Respiratory illnesses or adenovirus
6. German measles or rubella virus
7. Mumps or the mumps virus
8. Flu or the influenza B virus
9. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease or the coxsackievirus
Some Risk Factors of Bell’s Palsy-
It has often been noticed that Bell ’s palsy follows a pattern when affecting people. These include:
1. The disease often occurs in females who are pregnant and are in the third trimester of the gestation period. It can also affect the mother after the first week of the birth.
2. People having an upper respiratory infection, such as the flu and the cold, are commonly affected.
3. People having diabetes are also frequently affected.
As mentioned before, the disease rarely affects the same person recurrently. If there is a family history of the disease recurring repeatedly, it suggests a genetic trait or predisposition of the disease.
Bell’s Palsy Symptoms-
There are a few symptoms which constantly recur when Bell’s Palsy strikes a person. These symptoms include:
1. Inability to move the eyelid or blinking.
2. The eye on the affected side of the face waters more or less than it occurs usually.
3. Drooling even in a conscious state.
4. A reduced sense of taste in the mouth.
5. Twitching of the facial muscles.
Of all the symptoms drooling and facial weakness, reach their peak in a day or two. These symptoms then begin to reduce, which helps people to recover within a couple of weeks. Complete recovery happens within 3 months. Some of the patients may show neurological symptoms, which are defined as mononeuritis. This is what causes the tingling, headache, memory and balance problems. Other symptoms, which are unexplained by the facial nerve dysfunction, are ipsilateral limb weakness, ipsilateral limb paresthesias, and clumsiness.
Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis-
Bell’s Palsy is a disease which requires the diagnosis of exclusion. As there is no specific test for the disease, the doctor observes the diseased person’s face and asks him to move various parts of his face, including the facial muscles, for instance, closing the eyes, lifting the brow, showing the teeth and various other movements. Observing these parts, the doctor eliminates various other possibilities and tries to determine a reasonable cause for the disease.
As the disease is treated on the basis of exclusion, there is no routine testing or imaging test that can help in the diagnosis process. However, the degree of the nerve damage can be assessed using the House-Brackmann score. There are many studies, which have revealed that 45% of patients are not referred to a specialist. This simply suggests that the disease requires a straightforward diagnosis and is easy to manage.
Differential Diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy-
As there is no particular diagnosis in the treatment of the disease, doctors make use of the differential diagnosis technique in the treatment of Bell’s Palsy. In differential diagnosis, doctors distinguish a particular disease from other diseases that present similar clinical features. The technique finds its usage while diagnosing a particular disease to eliminate imminently life-threatening conditions.
During the differential diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy, there are various diseases which are easily eliminated such as a stroke. However, it is very difficult to eliminate the involvement of the facial nerve with the herpes zoster virus. In order to understand the major difference between the two, one must look for the small blisters on the external ear.
The Lyme’s disease also produces facial palsy, which occurs at the same time as the classic erythema migraine rash. Other times, it occurs at a later stage. In cases where the Lyme disease is common to the Bell’s Palsy disease, it may lead to facial palsy.
Bell’s Palsy Treatment-
As mentioned before, a vast majority of people have shown improvement in health and recovered completely from the disease with and at certain times, without treatment. There is no designated treatment for the disease. Doctors may suggest various medications or physical therapies that help to speed up the recovery of the patient. The medicines may vary from doctor to doctor. However, these medications may differ in accordance with the doctor. Surgery is rarely a solution or option in case of Bell’s Palsy.
Having said that, there are various procedures for the treatment of Bell’s Palsy. They include usage of the following:
5. Alternative Medicinal Therapies
1. Steroids – Various steroids such as corticosteroids, improve recovery of the patient within 6 months. Due to this, early administration of corticosteroids such as prednisone is recommended. The early treatment is necessary as it provides the patient with around 14% higher chances of recovery.
2. Antivirals –Various tests and reviews have shown that antivirals are not as effective in treating the disease as steroids. In fact, they are only beneficial in cases that display some form of mild diseases. There is another review, which stated that antivirals combined with corticosteroids were advantageous for the duration of the treatment. There is a huge amount of speculation when it comes to using antivirals for the treatment. However, antivirals still result in a benefit, which is slightly less than 7%, and therefore this course of treatment is not ruled out.
3. Physiotherapy – Physiotherapy helps in maintaining the tone of the impacted facial muscles and stimulating the facial nerve. Because of this, physiotherapy can be beneficial to some individuals.
4. Surgery – Surgery may help patients recover from facial nerve palsy. There are various techniques that exist to assist with the process of surgery. A form of surgery is a procedure that is beneficial in restoring the smile of patients suffering from facial nerve paralysis. However, this is a surgery that can be as harmful as it is beneficial. There are various side effects associated with the surgical technique. One may experience total hearing disability. In fact, around 3-15% patients experience hearing loss after the surgery.
5. Alternative Medicinal Therapies – Alternative Medicinal Therapies include various techniques such as acupuncture on the affected region. Paralyzed muscles often tend to shrink and shorten causing permanent contractures and pain. Physical therapies can guide the patient to prevent such an incident from occurring.
However, the efficiency of such techniques still remains unknown to the doctors. This is due to the fact that the studies conducted are available in a low quality. Another therapy is the hyperbaric oxygen therapy. However, the evidence available for the therapy is quite tentative.
Myths related to Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s Palsy disease often confuses people leading them to believe various myths. The most prominent myths include:
Myth #1: Bell’s Palsy Causes Permanent Facial Paralysis
Bell’s Palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis. The facial nerve that is on one side of the face is disrupted. Due to this, the message, which is received from the brain, is interfered. However, in a majority of cases, the disease is temporary. The paralyzed area of the face starts to cure within a few weeks and within three to six months; the paralysis completely disappears on its own. In a few percentages of cases, the nerve function does not return to normal. The nerve function may return but the full function does not return.
Myth #2: There is No Treatment Which Ensures the Treatment of Bell’s Palsy
There are various techniques which are available for the treatment of Bell’s Palsy. As mentioned above, the disease can be defeated using steroids, antivirals, physiotherapy, surgery and alternative medicinal therapies. These are the most effective treatments for the disease. Apart from this, selective neurolysis and botox can be used to treat the disease.
Selective neurolysis involves releasing a platysma muscle downward and reducing the activity. The selective neurolysis is very useful for a patient to regain his ability to smile. The botox treatment is a non-surgical treatment. When injected by a nerve expert, it helps patients to regain some symmetry into their faces and improve their facial appearance.
Myth #3: Prognosis of the Disease is not Very Good
There are many people who are under the impression that prognosis for Bell’s Palsy is not very good and hence they hesitate in using it for the treatment. However, doctors state that prognosis is generally very good for the patients.
After making use of the prognosis method, a person starts to improve on his symptoms within the first two weeks. The duration for complete recovery remains the same, i.e. three to six months.
Back Pain Symptoms
Back plays a very important role in a human body. It is composed of a complex structure of muscles and ligaments that supports the body and enables us to stand, move around, and indulge in almost every physical activity. The inconveniences with any of these bodily structures can lead to back pain which might range from severe to moderate. This is very common among people from all age groups due to their sitting and standing position.
Do you think why you have a back pain every time? Well, the cause of back pain is still unknown. The back pain varies from one person to another. Some of its symptoms suggest that back pain has a more serious cause that includes fever, weight loss, and numbness.
Symptoms of Back Pain
In most cases, back pain gets cured and one does not go to a doctor. Back pain is accompanied by many symptoms; some of those are included below. If a person experiences any of these symptoms, it might be a sign of a back pain; the doctor should be informed about it.
- Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia causes pain in the entire body. A person has painful tender joints that hurt a lot even after taking medicine. In this condition, the affected person should not indulge in any kind of exercise. The symptoms of fibromyalgia differ from one person to another, but symptoms such as stiffness, fatigue, and issues while sleeping are common. Apart from back pain, patients also experience stiffness in the shoulders and neck. Patients complain of feeling extremely tired, especially waking up and feeling pain in specific areas called tender points. Many patients complain about stiffness, which is worse in the morning and increases as the day passes. Any physical exertion increases the pain.
It can be improved by adopting lifestyle changes that include a change in diet and exercising daily.
- Degenerative arthritis –This condition occurs due to an internal damage caused to the facet joints. The surfaces of the joints are lined with smooth cartilage that allows movement. Both sides of the joint rub against each other, thus allowing a free movement. In case of injury or internal damage, apart from back pain, patients may also experience stiffness and pain in bending over. The joints are smaller when compared to the body weight they bear. The stress and strain may cause damage to the cartilage. Injuries and other internal and external damages over a lifetime may cause the joints to degenerate.
- Inflammatory arthritis– It is a group of disease caused due to inflammation of joints and other tissues. In this condition, there is pain in the lower back, together with morning stiffness in the hips or both; in some cases. There is also pain, feeling of tiredness and stiffness in the neck or the chest. Other symptoms of this disease include psoriasis, eye pain, and fever; depending on the specific disorder that is causing the back pain.
- Osteoporosis – This condition is different from rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis as it only affects joints without affecting organs or soft tissue areas of the body. It is often characterized by thinning and weakening of bones that fracture easily. It is most common in postmenopausal women. When vertebrae are compressed because of a fracture, along with a slight to moderate slouch, it may result in back pain. This condition does not cause any pain unless a bone fractures.
- Cancer in the Spinal Column: If cancer spreads to spinal nerves that control the bladder and bowel, there may be bowel incontinence. Its symptoms depend on various factors, including the tumor type, size, age and health. Some of the common symptoms include back pain, numbness, weakness and difficulty while urinating. These symptoms even get worse with time.
Sometimes the symptoms may occur quickly and sometimes slowly and it may take hours and days. Metastatic spinal tumors, which spread to the spine from a different location in the body, progress quickly.
- Protruding disk: A spine intervertebral disc when sustains an injury to the spine, it is commonly referred to as Protruding disk. This injury can not only occur in the lower, upper, and middle back, but also at the cervical spine. People with significant disk disease go through severe pain in the lower back. If a disk compresses a nerve, the pain may spread down to one leg. In this condition, one should avoid bending or twisting. It is mostly caused due to poor posture while sitting and standing. To lower the effect of poor posture on the spine it is necessary to continuously maintain a good posture or regularly change the posture.
- Back sprain: A series of ligaments and muscles hold the bones of the spinal column together. A person may strain these muscles by stretching them too much. This can even tear the tissue.
The muscles get weak due to which it cannot be held at one place. Because of this, the spine gets a little unstable and causes back pain.
Back pain usually occurs after heavy exertion in which muscles in the back, buttocks and thighs get stiff.
One can avoid back pain by improving one’s physical condition by adopting certain changes in lifestyle.
- Exercise: One should start their day with light aerobic activities that do not strain the back. This can increase the strength of the back by allowing the muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are the most recommended form of exercise. Alternatively, people can talk to a doctor about which activities they should indulge in.
- Build muscular strength: One should practice abdominal crunches and back muscle exercises that strengthen muscles so that they can work together. Communicating with the therapist to know the right exercises is important.
- Watch your weight: Being overweight strains the muscles of the back. Overweight people should cut down on their weight in order to avoid back pain.
People suffering from back pain should bring about some changes in their normal routine and temporarily avoid lifting heavy items and sitting for long hours. If a patient is recovering from back pain, they can ask the doctors to follow up regularly to know whether the symptoms have been cured or not. Once the symptoms have relieved and the patient feels decrease in the intensity of the back pain, they should go back to their normal routine.
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup designed out of medical grade silicone or rubber, which can be inserted inside the vagina. It is not used for absorbing blood; rather it collects the menstrual blood.
Advantages of menstrual cups over tampons
Reasons why you should use menstrual cups
Menstrual cups rarely cause allergic reactions, unlike tampons. One menstrual cup lasts an entire day, month and even years. They are also the most environment friendly choice as there is no need to dispose them after every use. They prevent staining, leakage and do not increase muscle cramps. There is no risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) from menstrual cups, which is a major risk from leaving tampons inside the body for too many hours. Menstrual cups are also helpful if you are a swimmer. They don’t make things difficult for you at all. Menstrual cups are made from 100% medically approved silicone and not cotton or rayon. If you are unable to use tampons, you may choose menstrual cups as the insertion is generally smoother. However, it completely depends on individual preference. Menstrual cups also reduce the bulk of having to carry like sanitary napkins during travel, and urgent needs to change. Thus it makes a long journey worry free. No matter what protective measures you take, remember to be comfortable. Try and maintain a diet rich in nutrients, that can help regulate the blood flow and prevent painful blood clots. Also, it is important to remain physically active to prevent muscle cramps and back pain.
What is Joint Dislocation?
A dislocated joint is a joint that slips out of place. Dislocations may occur in your major joints like shoulder, hip, knee, elbow and ankle or in the smaller joints in your fingers, thumbs and toes.
Symptoms of Joint Dislocation-
Causes of Joint Dislocation-
Risk factors of Joint Dislocation-
Complications of Joint Dislocation-
Diagnosis of Joint Dislocation-
Diagnosis of Joint Dislocation involves the following tests:
Precautions & Prevention of Joint Dislocation
Treatment of Joint Dislocation
Homeopathic Treatment of Joint Dislocation-
Homeopathic treatment reduces swelling and pain in the affected joint. Homeopathy can be used to prevent and treat tendency of joint dislocation. The following are some homeopathic remedies for treatment of joint dislocation:
Acupuncture and Acupressure Treatment of Joint Dislocation-
Acupuncture relieves by improving the physiological function of the organs and organ system. In acupuncture, therapist will first diagnose the case on the basis of energy system or chi blockage as well as on the basis of status of five elements. On this basis, certain disease-specific acupoints are selected and stimulated.
Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Joint Dislocation-
Surgical Treatment of Joint Dislocation-
Surgical Treatment of Joint Dislocation is needed if :
Other Treatment of Joint Dislocation-
Putting ice on your injured joint helps reduce inflammation and pain
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic disorder. It is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia-
Causes of Fibromyalgia-
Risk factors of Fibromyalgia-
Complications of Fibromyalgia-
Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia-
There is no lab test to confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia but your doctor may want to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. Blood tests are recommended which may include complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and thyroid function tests.
Precautions & Prevention of Fibromyalgia-
Treatment of Fibromyalgia-
Treatment of Fibromyalgia-
Homeopathic Treatment of Fibromyalgia-
Homeopathy provides safe, natural and lasting cure of fibromyalgia. Homeopathic treatment for fibromyalgia depends on the person’s physical, emotional, and psychological makeup. It strengthens the vital force of the body that balances many functions and provides protection from illness. Some of the remedies for fibromyalgia are:
Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Fibromyalgia-
Acupuncture and acupressure helps to relieve pain symptoms caused by fibromyalgia. The acupuncture needles helped to increase blood flow in fibromyalgia patients to a much greater degree than in the healthy controls. This increases the blood circulation helped to reduce the number of tender points and increase muscle health.
Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy Treatment of Fibromyalgia-
Anxiety and stress have a negative impact on fibromyalgia patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of psychotherapy. It helps to ease pain symptoms. it can also help you to take control of the extent to which pain, tiredness, or other symptoms interfere with your life. Hypnotherapy quickly relives deep psychological issues causing or aggravating fibromyalgia. It also helps by working on pain tolerance.
Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Fibromyalgia-
Conventional or allopathic treatment can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and improve sleep. Analgesics, Antidepressants and Anti-seizure drugs are prescribed by the doctors. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen sodium are also recommended.
Dietary & Herbal Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Let's first get to know what are menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea or period pains are throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen.Many women experience menstrual cramps just before and during their menstrual periods.
Who gets menstrual cramps?
About half of women experience menstrual cramps and about 15% describe the pain as severe. It has been shown that women who do not exercise experience more painful menstrual cramps. Certain psychological factors such as emotional stress may also increase the likelihood of having uncomfortable menstrual cramps. Additional risk factors for these cramps include:
How can you 'AVOID' menstrual cramps?
10 Ways to treat period cramps:
1. Improve Your Diet to Alleviate Period Cramps
2. Pop a Safe Painkiller
3. Turn to Tea to Calm Menstrual Cramps
4. Try Fish Oil and Vitamin B1
5. Needle Away Period Cramps
6. Massage With Essential Oils for Pain Relief
7. Curl Up With a Heating Pad to Ease Period Cramps
8. Boost Endorphins Your Way
9. Up the Magnesium in Your Diet
10. Lean on Your Contraceptive
Walking is one of the best low-impact exercises, and it's also one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to get healthier; however, many Americans walk less than half of the daily recommended steps. Walking can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer while reducing chronic pain and stress.
Warm up your body. Warming up your body by starting slowly when you walk will reduce over-exertion on your muscles. This can help you walk longer, and at a better pace. Try to warm up by walking slowly for five to 10 minutes at the beginning of the walk.
Improve your walking posture. When walking, try to use purposeful movements when you stride and pay attention to your posture. Make sure you have good, erect posture. Try to look 12-20 feet in front of you as you walk.
Walk heel to toe. When walking, you should step forward with your foot. Let your heel land on the ground in front of you. Then, roll your foot forward, transferring your weight to the ball of your foot. With your other foot, raise your heel, push your foot off the ground with your big toe, and repeat the first process.
Straighten out your legs if you have tight hips or hamstrings. If you sit too much, you may have a tendency to always bend your knees while walking. This usually means that your hip flexors and hamstrings are too tight. As you walk, make a conscious effort to straighten out your legs.
Avoid hyperextending your knee. Hyperextending your knee means moving your knee backward slightly when standing or walking. Some people may have a natural tendency to hyperextend their knees, but hyperextending your knee can cause increased stress to your joints. When walking, be conscious of your knees to avoid hyperextending them.
Walk at a fast clip. To get the greatest health benefits from walking, try to walk at a slightly faster pace than a mere stroll. Strive to walk with quick, not long, steps.
Make walking a habit. Try to build more walking into the course of your regular day whenever possible. If you get into a routine, you’ll soon see the steps and health benefits adding up.