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Managing Your Chronic Back Pain From All Angles

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized |

To get the most relief from your persistent back pain, your doctors will come up with a pain management plan that incorporates many approaches. Your plan will evolve to include the treatments to which you best respond. Treating both the physiology and psychology of pain, here are some of the components that may be included in your specific treatment plan:    Medication Treating chronic back pain with medication requires finding the balance between pain relief and the side effects caused by the drugs. Not enough and you still have sharp throbbing pain. Too much and you feel sluggish all of the time. Some anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can give you some relief, but may damage your liver and kidneys at sustained high doses. Your doctors will find the right combination of medications to help with your pain but keep you safe and alert. Physical Therapy You’ll be given exercises to do that strengthen the core muscles in your abdomen and surrounding your spine. These muscles will give your spine better support to prevent pain from developing as you sit for long periods or when you must be on your feet moving for your job. Spinal Traction This technique helps to relieve pressure on the spine. Also called non-surgical spinal decompression, the treatment is done on a special table that gradually pulls on your spine to relieve the tension on the muscles around the spine. Hot and cold packs and massage may be done before or after the traction sessions to increase the pain-relief benefits of the treatment. Occupational Therapy You’ll learn more about how your body moves and the impact on the muscles in your back. The therapist will show you the correct ways to lift heavy items, bend and reach so as not to put stress on your back. They will also show you ways to keep the muscles in your back limber when sitting for long periods at a desk, while driving or on a long flight. Acupuncture The placement of tiny needles into spots on the body that map to ancient Chinese energy centers gives relief to some people with back pain. It improves circulation in some areas which reduces the inflammation associated with tense muscles in your back. Meditation Learning how to move your thoughts away from the pain can give you some relief during the day and help you sleep at night. A particular form of meditation, called mindfulness meditation, teaches you how to dissociate your thoughts from the pain so you are aware that the pain is there, but your body doesn’t react to it as intensely. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Pain Treatment...

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2 Homemade Facial Cleansers For Acne-Prone Skin

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Imperfections on the skin are normal, but an excess amount of blemishes affects your appearance and self-esteem. Red, raised blemishes on the skin are not only unappealing, but they are also a sign of unhealthy skin. If you are part of the 40 to 50 million people in American who suffer with acne, improving the look and underlying health of your skin with proper skincare is imperative. Using these homemade facial cleansers for acne-prone skin, your face will look and feel clean and healthy. Honey Visit your local discount store or specialty beauty realtor and you will most likely find numerous products that contain honey. Although commonly used as an ingredient for baking or sweetening beverages, honey is also an effective option for ridding your skin of harmful bacteria. Using raw honey on your face each day will reduce your risk of acne due to its natural antibacterial properties. To use, complete the following steps each night: Splash warm water on the face to wet your skin. Wash your hands and dry before adding a tablespoon of raw honey onto your fingertips. Massage the honey onto your face using circular motions. Be sure to massage the entire face, along your hairline, behind your ears, and on the neck. Allow the honey to rest on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes. Dampen a clean washcloth under the sink faucet. Be sure the water is warm. Use the cloth to wash the honey off of your skin. Splash your skin with water from the faucet for a final rinse. Pat dry with a clean towel. Olive Oil Oil is naturally found on and in your skin. Unfortunately, when this oil combines with dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells, it builds up in your pores. This buildup becomes inflamed, leading to acne. While surprising to hear, you can absorb this acne-causing oil on your skin using olive oil. After washing and drying your hands, add a few teaspoons of olive oil to your fingers. Massage the oil all over your face and neck, allowing the olive oil to soak into the skin. Dampen a washcloth with warm water and place over your oil-soaked face. Let the cloth rest on your face, forcing the steam into the skin. After 5 to 10 minutes, remove the cloth and splash your face with lukewarm water to rinse off the olive oil.  The combination of the olive oil and steam will absorb problematic oil and surface debris from your skin, reducing the risk of acne. Properly cleaning your face is important if you want attractive, healthy skin.  Using these natural cleansers, you can fight acne while improving the look of your skin. However, if you feel you need additional help to rid your skin of acne, consider contacting a local specialist, such as Medical Skin Care Center, to discuss what’s best for you and your...

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The Subtle Ways That Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Your diabetes can slowly be robbing you of your eyesight and you may not notice until the damage is severe. Having regular eye exams is important to stay ahead of any eye disease if you have diabetes, even if it’s well under control. Here is how this disease affects your eyes and the treatments available to you. Diabetes Targets the Blood Vessels in Your Eyes The tiny blood vessels in your eyes can become weak and less flexible. They normally expand and contract easily as the blood flow through them fluctuates. Blood vessels damaged by diabetes may stay constricted, increasing the blood pressure in your eye. Other vessels swell, allowing blood to pool in them. This lack of flexibility is what hurts your vision. Diabetic Retinopathy There are two ways in which diabetes can damage your retina. Each can become so serious as to cause a loss of vision. Nonproliferative retinopathy – Damaged blood vessels on the retina swell and let the fluid pool in them instead of smoothly moving through. This increases the pressure in the blood vessel. Fluid leaks out onto the surface of the retina under this pressure. The fluid builds up on the retina, blocking the light that hits it. Initially, your vision will become blurry. As more fluid collects on the retina, you’ll begin to notice dark blotches and shadows in your vision. Proliferative retinopathy – In later stages of diabetic retinopathy, new blood vessels develop on the retina. These vessels are small and weak. Some will produce scar tissue that pulls on the retina. When enough scar tissue develops, your retina can be pulled away from the back of your eye causing blindness. Symptoms are Slow to Develop The damage to your retina is slow and you may not notice any symptoms until you start to lose your vision. When symptoms do happens, they may include: blurry vision gray or black blotches tiny floaters in your vision pressure in the eyes aching in your eyes Treatment of Diabetic Eye Damage Diabetic retinopathy cannot be cured, but your doctor can slow down the progress and your loss of vision. Frequent eye exams to catch the disease early will prevent it from affecting your eyesight. Some of the treatment options available include: laser surgery to dry up the fluid that has leaked out onto the retina reduction of the pressure on the retina by removing some of the gel within the eyeball medication injections into the eye to limit the development of the new, weak blood vessels These treatments cannot restore any vision that has already been lost. By controlling the pressure in your eye, the development of new blood vessels and the fluid on the retina, your doctor can prevent any future vision loss. For more information, visit sites...

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Treatment Options For Urinary Incontinence After Childbirth

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Giving birth is a miraculous moment in a woman’s life, but pregnancy and childbirth can also cause some embarrassing postpartum problems. A common problem that women experience after giving birth is urinary incontinence. Delivering a child vaginally can cause the pelvic floor muscles to weaken and the nerves that control the bladder can be damaged, and as a result a woman may experience urine leakage. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence after giving birth, don’t be afraid to talk to your ob/gyn about the problem– there are many things that can be done to correct urinary incontinence. Some common treatments for urinary incontinence after childbirth include: Pelvic Muscle Exercises Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can go a long way in ending urinary incontinence. These exercises involve squeezing the muscles in your genital area as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. For the best results, consult your ob/gyn or a nurse to learn the proper way to do these exercises. Your doctor may also refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist for further treatment. Medication There are several types of prescription medications that can help with urinary incontinence. They typically work by either relaxing the bladder muscles or preventing the bladder from having spasms.  Weight Loss Being overweight places extra pressure on the bladder and the muscles around it, which can contribute to incontinence problems. It is natural to be carrying extra weight after giving birth, but your doctor may be able to help you develop a healthy eating and exercise plan to help you lose weight and hopefully fix the urinary incontinence issue. Bladder Retraining Bladder retraining involves using the bathroom at set times throughout the day before you feel the urge to empty your bladder. Over time, as you gain more control you can increase the length of time between when you use the bathroom.  Surgery If urinary incontinence is disrupting your life and you do not respond well to other treatment options, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the problem. Two types of surgery are typically used to fix urinary incontinence- sling procedures and bladder neck suspension procedures. A sling procedure involves your surgeon using synthetic mesh or your own tissue to create a sling under your bladder neck for support and to help keep the urethra closed so urine does not leak out. During a bladder neck suspension procedure, your surgeon will use sutures to reinforce the bladder neck and urethra to prevent them from sagging and allowing urine to leak. To find out more, speak with a company like Western Branch Center for...

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Questions About In-Home Healthcare? Find The Answers Here!

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Bringing a home care provider into your home can mean the difference between independent living or going into nursing care. You likely have a lot of questions that you want answered before opening up your home and life to this service. Below, find the answers to some of the most common questions about senior home care. Question #1: Will your insurance cover home care? Answer: This depends. Medicare does cover some home health care services, for example. Generally, these are when the care is prescribed by your physician and the services include skilled medical care, such as physical therapy or nursing care. Private insurance plans may also cover all or a portion of your home health care costs. There are also longterm care insurance policies available, which may also have the ability to offset some or all of the cost. Question #2: What services will be provided? Answer: If your services are covered by health insurance or Medicare, then covered services will likely be only those that are prescribed by your doctor for medical reasons. This includes physical and occupational therapy, skilled nursing services, hearing or speech therapy, and the changing of dressings on wounds. Optional services are also available, which you can pay for out of pocket if you don’t have additional insurance coverage. These include personal care, such as bathing and grooming help, along with household services, which can include cooking, laundry, and running errands. Question #3: Are there temporary options available? Answer: Often, home health care is only for a limited time. For example, you may only need the services to help you recover from a recent surgery, illness or accident. Sometimes, you may only have one or two visits, such as if you need home health services to help you learn how to use a new assistive device, such as a wheelchair. You will likely have a limited time for services if it is covered by insurance or Medicare, which will depend upon the limitations of your policy and the length of time it is prescribed for. Question #4: How is communication handled amongst your various care professionals? Answer: Fortunately, you won’t need to try and remember everything that happens at home or at the doctors. As medical professionals, your home health provider will share your medical records from home – including things such as blood pressure readings and physical therapy stats – with your doctor. They will also have access to your records with your doctor. It is also highly likely that all of your medical professionals will work together via phone or email to develop an integrated treatment plan for both home and in-office. For more information, contact a professional like those at In Your Home...

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3 Things To Remember When It Comes To Exercising During Pregnancy

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you exercised regularly before you got pregnant, then you should be fine to continue exercising after you are pregnant. However, keep in mind that you will likely feel different and your body will be going through some major changes. Because of this, you need to look at exercise a bit differently. This article will discuss 3 important things to remember when it comes to exercising during pregnancy.  Ask Your Doctor  If you have any questions regarding exercise whatsoever, be sure to ask your doctor. If you were exercising before you got pregnant, and if you have a healthy and safe pregnancy, then your doctor will likely recommend continuing your fitness regimen. They will tell you not to increase you workouts, though, because this will put your body under stress that it isn’t used to. This can be especially harmful for you and your baby. Your doctor will also tell you that you need to avoid and modify some exercises, which will be discussed in the next section.  Make Modifications  Since your body is changing and growing a human, it is important to keep the two of you safe. To do this, you will need to make some changes to your fitness routine. Sometimes it is a simple modification, but other times it is finding a different type of workout that works that same muscle group. For example, it is not wise to do crunches on your back after the first trimester because of the pressure that it puts on your organs. However, there are other safe abdominal exercises that you can do, so you will want to do those instead. You may also need to make smaller modifications, such as decreasing your weight on certain exercises, and walking when you feel fatigued during a run. It is also very wise to completely avoid unsafe exercises such as skiing, ice skating, etc.  Listen To Your Body The most important thing that you can do when you are exercising while pregnant is to listen to your body. If you feel great, then keep doing what you’re doing. If you feel fatigued, stop. It is okay to take a break or call it good for the day if you just aren’t feeling it. Also keep in mind that as you get further along in your pregnancy, exercise will become more and more difficult, so it is okay to cut back on the time that you spend exercising each day and also the amount of days that you exercise per week.  If you have any further concerns about exercising while pregnant, talk to an OB GYN, like those at Mile High OB...

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A Diabetic’s Guide To Ingrown Toenails

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many people suffer from ingrown toenails and find them to be nothing more than a minor annoyance. However, if you’re a diabetic, an ingrown toenail can be a serious problem. Diabetes often impairs circulation to the feet, which can cause any infection that starts in the ingrown nail to proliferate rapidly and possibly spread to the surrounding tissues. If you’re a diabetic and think you may have an ingrown toenail, here’s what you need to do: Call Your Physician or Podiatrist Immediately Even if there are no signs of infection (like pus and swelling), you should call your podiatrist immediately if you develop signs of an ingrown nail. If you do not regularly go to a podiatrist, call your regular physician. Signs of an ingrown nail include: Redness in the area surrounding the nail Sensitivity when you press on the toenail or an area of the toenail Pain in the toenail when you wear shoes The visual appearance that the nail is growing into or under the skin to its side Depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing and how well controlled your diabetes is, your podiatrist or physician may want to see you immediately, or they may schedule you for an appointment within a few days. Go to the Emergency Room If… There are actual signs of infection in your toenail. If you see any pus, the toe is throbbing and red, you’re developing chills, or you think you may have a fever, there’s a good chance the toe is infected. Head to the emergency room so you can get treatment right away before the infection has a chance to spread to the other tissues in your foot, or worse yet, to your blood. You should also head to the ER if you cannot reach your podiatrist or physician – even if the nail does not appear to be infected. How Ingrown Nails Are Treated Your podiatrist will likely trim your ingrown nail in a way that keeps it from growing into your skin any further. (Do not attempt this at home. Without the proper equipment, you’ll increase your risk of infection even further). If there are any signs of infection, you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic to ensure that the infection does not spread. Any pus pockets that have developed will likely be lanced and drained. If your toenail is not yet infected, your podiatrist will likely give you an antibiotic cream to apply to prevent infection. If you have severely impeded circulation due to your diabetes, you may require a brief hospital stay just to ensure the infection does not spread. When you’re a diabetic, an ingrown toenail is not an ailment to be taken lightly. Since an infection in the nail could prove deadly if it spreads, seeking prompt treatment is certainly in your best interest. For more information, contact West Central Podiatry Consultants or a similar...

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4 Things You Need To Know About Pitted Keratolysis

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Pitted keratolysis is a skin disorder that affects the soles of the feet. Here are four things you need to know about this condition. What are the symptoms of this condition? If you have pitted keratolysis, you will see shallow pits in the skin on the soles of your feet. These pits are circular and may overlap with each other to form larger pits. Sometimes, the pits have a green or brown hue, but they may also be the same color as the rest of your skin. These pits tend to occur on the pressure points of your feet like your heels and the ball of your feet, but anywhere on the sole can be affected. Usually, the condition occurs on both of your feet, not just one. This condition may also make your feet smell quite bad which can be embarrassing for sufferers. What causes pitted keratolysis? Pitted keratolysis is caused by a bacterial infection on the soles of your feet. Many types of bacteria are naturally present on your skin, and given the right conditions, they can grow out of control. If your feet are exposed to excess moisture, the bacteria may be able to proliferate and lead to pitted keratolysis. The excess moisture responsible for this condition may be the result of working out in shoes that don’t allow your feet to breathe or working in wet environments. If you have a condition that makes you sweat excessively, such as hyperhidrosis, you may also develop pitted keratolysis. How do dermatologists treat it? This condition is treated by keeping the feet dry. You may be given a medication such as aluminum chloride 20% solution to keep your feet dry. You may also be given a medication to kill the bacteria on your feet such as an antibacterial cream. In severe cases, oral antibiotics may also be given. You will also be instructed to wash your feet twice a day. How common is pitted keratolysis? Pitted keratolysis occurs throughout the world and is a fairly common condition. The prevalence rates vary based on the occupations and environments of the people studied; people whose feet are in a wet, hot environment are more likely to have the condition. Here are some of prevalence rates reported by studies done throughout the world, including in America. 20.4% among homeless men in Boston; 13.5% among athletes in Germany; 42.5% among ride paddy workers in India; 53% among American soldiers stationed in Vietnam; 2.6% among boarding school students in Turkey. If you notice small pits on the bottoms of your feet and a foul odor, see your dermatologist (like those at Advanced Dermatology Care) right away. You may have pitted keratolysis, a treatable...

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A Patient’s Guide To Dealing With A CT Scan

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When you want to be sure that you are prepared for your CT scan, there are a number of guidelines to keep in mind. Whether you have cancer or have sustained potential injuries, having to go in for computerized axial tomography can be an uncertain experience. To make sure that you are best able to understand this process and get through it, follow the points below and consult your doctor if you have further questions.  Wear The Proper Clothing The most important first step to take when it comes to getting a CT scan is to be mindful of what you wear. First and foremost, be sure that any clothes you wear are loose and comfortable. You may be subject to the scan for an extended period of time and should not wear anything that is stressful or confining. In some cases, the doctor may also provide you with a gown that you can wear. Before taking your CT scan, be sure to get rid of any objects that might contain metal. This includes your glasses, wedding ring, earrings and hairpieces. Methodically Deal With Your Stress Since CT scans are often set up in the pursuit of finding potentially bad news, it can be an incredibly stressful experience. For this reason, you should follow some steps that will allow you to deal with this anxiety and worry. You should also begin meditation, yoga or any other relaxation techniques that will help you deal with the potential stress of your scan. Going into the CT scan with plenty of sleep and a relaxed body and mind are the best things you can do. Be Mindful Of The Next Steps Once the CT scan is over, you should be ready to take the next step. Do as much research as possible ahead of time, so that you are always aware of potential diagnoses and what your options are moving forward. Physically, you should be fine once the CT scan is complete, though your doctor may recommend that you stay at the clinic for a while to be sure that you are fully recovered. Further, be sure to drink plenty of fluids when you get home and get plenty of sleep. Follow these steps and use them as you prepare for your CT...

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Softening The Blow: What You Need To Know About The Health Benefits Of Soft Water

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have problems with hard water in your home — which can cause dishes not to get clean, laundry to always look slightly dirty, and soap not to lather — you’re not alone; it’s estimated that 85% of Americans are in the same boat as you. Making sure that you change your hard water to soft water might be a no-brainer when it comes to making sure you home has resale value, but did you know it can have health benefits as well? If you’re wondering what health benefits can come from soft water, then here’s what you need to know. A Hairy Situation Two of the most important factors of hair health are your hair’s natural oils and the slickness of its cuticles. If your hair’s cuticles are roughed up (like they are from the minerals in hard water), your hair will be rough and prone to frizz and fly-aways. Hard water strips away the natural oils in your hair, which can cause dry, brittle hair and even make you more prone to dandruff. Soft water will allow the shampoo to lather, creating a deeper clean, but will also rinse away the soap without having dry and damaged hair. Skin Deep It’s an irony of skin care that the same substance — soap — that helps keep you clean and hygienic also can damage your skin if left on too long. Hard water prevents your skin both from being cleaned as well as washing off the soap when you’re done lathering it up — leaving behind a slightly sticky soap residue called “soap curd.” Soft water prevents soap curd from forming, allowing the soap to wash off easily and preventing the soap from clogging your pores, leaving behind refreshed and healthy skin that can replenish its own natural oils after you get out of the shower. The Nail In The Coffin Your nails might seem like an unimportant part of your body to be worrying about, but nail health is actually extremely important. Having clean, healthy nails can prevent painful and annoying breakages and can add to an overall polished look, no matter if you paint and/or dress up your nails or leave them bare. All of the minerals in hard water can be hard on your nails, especially since they’ll be soaking in that water while you bathe or shower, and can cause them to become brittle or even split. Contact a professional business, like Hague Quality Water of Kansas City Inc., to discuss your options for a water softener...

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4 Things Travelers Need To Know About The Cholera Vaccine

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Cholera isn’t a major concern in the United States or other developed countries anymore thanks to good water treatment systems, but if you plan to travel to less developed countries, you could encounter cholera. Fortunately, there is a vaccine available for this disease, so there’s no reason to get sick on your trip. Here are four things you need to know about the vaccine: What is cholera? Cholera is a disease that spreads through water or food that is contaminated with the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Most people who are exposed to the bacteria don’t get sick, but about 10% get sick. The main symptoms are severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This diarrhea can cause you to lose up to one quart of fluids every hour, so you can quickly find yourself dehydrated. Dehydrating can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, and if the fluids aren’t replaced quickly, you could go into shock and die.  Where is cholera a concern? Cholera is still a concern in countries that don’t have well-developed water and sewage treatment facilities. This allows bacteria from sewage to contaminate the water supply, and if you drink this water or eat foods that came into contact with contaminated water, you could get sick. If you plan to travel to less-developed parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, make sure to get a cholera vaccine before you go. Cholera can also be a concern in parts of the Carribean, such as Haiti. How is the cholera vaccine given? If you usually avoid getting immunizations because you’re scared of needles, you’ll be happy to hear that the cholera vaccine is given in pill form. Adults need to take two doses of the pills between one and six weeks apart, and after that, they’re protected for two years. Children under six need three doses of the pills, and their doses only protect them for six months. How effective is the vaccine? The cholera vaccine doesn’t protect you against all strains of the bacteria responsible for cholera, so it’s perfectly effective. It is about 86% effective, which is significantly better than nothing, but you still need to take precautions. Drink bottled water instead of tap water, avoid eating fresh fruits or vegetables, and steer clear of food carts and restaurants with questionable hygiene practices.  If you plan to travel to an area where cholera is still a major concern, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated before you go. To learn more, contact a company like The Pediatric Center with any questions you...

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