Archive for March, 2011

Mar 31, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

Beds and Back Pain

It has been estimated that approximately 4 out of 5 people in the UK over the age of 16 will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. This pain may be long term or it may last for only one or two days. Regardless, back pain can have an extremely detrimental effect on a person’s day to day life. It can affect your working life, social relationships, as well as the obvious effect on physical activity.

What causes back pain?

There are numerous causes for back pain and in some cases it can be difficult to pinpoint one single factor. It is known that a poor quality or incorrect type of mattress can both add to the pain already suffered or in some cases can even be the main contributing factor.

How does a bed affect my back?

A mattress which is unsuitable may put your spine out adjustment, causing intense pain. In other cases where the back pain is already present, a mattress which does not support your back correctly can have a negative impact on recovery. This can result in the pain being prolonged and/or worsened.

How do I know what is right for me?

This is a good question and the answer will largely depend on you as an individual. It is fairly common knowledge that mattresses can vary in firmness. In other words, some mattresses are harder or softer than others. But did you know that you can purchase mattresses with different textures and those which are made from different materials? Some people with back pain find that mattresses with contouring materials or memory foam are particularly comfortable. Again, this is something which will depend on the pain you are experiencing.

It is a good idea to try various mattresses out yourself. Of course, reading and researching the options is beneficial and can give you a good idea of what is available but there is no substitute for your own experience.

Try lying on the bed to gauge whether it is the correct size, first and foremost. Don’t be afraid to spend more than just a couple of minutes testing it. This is an investment in your own health, after all!

Try and relax your muscles when testing out the mattress. This will give you a much more accurate idea of how well the mattress suits you as when you lie in the bed in your own home, you will be far more relaxed than you would be at a store for example.

It is important to note that when moving around the bed, that it should contour around your natural shape. It should be a suitable firmness, so should not be too hard or too soft. If it is an unsuitable firmness, you may find that this pushes your spine out of alignment which will worsen or prolong your pain.

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Please also remember that when it comes to back pain, it is definitely recommended that you speak to your doctor for advice on the best option for your condition. Your new bed should be thought of as a valuable asset to your health and should bring you some much deserved comfort at the end (and start) of each day.

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Mar 30, 2011 Posted Under: Allergies, Canadian Pharmacy

CanadianPharmacyNORX: Air Pollution And Skin Allergies

A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology discovered a link between itchy skin, irritated eyes, and headaches with certain types of pollution.

French researchers studied the air’s nitrogen dioxide, small particulate matter and ozone levels in urban areas surrounding Bordeaux. Bordeaux is an area in France where pollution levels are usually slightly higher than the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The research team collected medical case reports from SOS Medicins, a public health-care network that makes emergency house calls. They concentrated on the number of visits that are related to complaints of respiratory problems including tonsillitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, asthma, bronchitis, or cough, as well as conjunctivitis, skin rash, headaches and asthenia, a conditioned characterized by general feelings of weakness that are usually the result of allergies.

The researchers noted a 1.5 percent and 2.6 percent increase in the number of visits for upper and lower respiratory diseases respectively, a few days after particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide levels rose.

But what is most telling is the increase in doctor visits for other disease. On days when particulate matter was highest, visits for skin rash or conjunctivitis increased by 3.2 percent, while headaches and asthenia rose 3.5 percent.

When ozone levels rose, visits for skin rash or conjunctivitis increased by 3 percent, and 1.7 percent for headaches and asthenia.

Increased levels of nitrogen oxide caused a 2.8 percent increase in visits for headaches and weakness.

We know that air pollution affects the heart and lungs. But, these slight effects of air pollution on human health will likely affect more of us as it worsens.

“Once you start looking at the entire body, we start to realize this is not as benign as we think,” says Neil Kao, MD, an allergist at the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center in Greenville, SC, and a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. “It’s not just bad for your heart-it’s bad for everything.”

Whereas allergy to pollen can trigger obvious reactions like sneezing, the subtle impact of pollution may not be evident immediately. Kao recommends staying indoors during sunny-but-polluted days. “As much as I promote a healthy, happy lifestyle with lots of exercise,” he says, “there are certain days just can’t reset your immune system.”

If polluted air is affecting your health, here are some things you can do to avoid it:

Check the air forecast -stay on top of high-hazard air pollution days.

Stay indoors – staying inside your home helps, but only if the air inside is less polluted than the air outside. Air washers, filters and the like, can help rid the air of particulate matters. However, they are useless against nitrogen oxide, ozone and other harmful gasses. So on days when pollution levels are particularly high, keep you windows shut; and on days when the air is clearer, let your home air out to decrease indoor toxins.

Wear a mask – breathing through masks with an N-95 rating can help cut help lower pollution-related headaches. Wearing protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses when outdoors will keep particulate matter off our skin and out of your eyes.

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Mar 26, 2011 Posted Under: Asthma

Asthma and Traveling


Having asthma may be difficult to live with, but it doesn’t have to keep you from living a full life. With proper planning and management, you should be able to do all the exciting things that other people do who don’t suffer from asthma.

Proper planning and management includes things like keeping your nose and mouth covered while performing activities in frigid weather, taking a dose of your rescue inhaler 5 minutes before intense exercise, and when going out to eat, choosing smoke-free restaurants.

But even the best laid plans still sometimes fall short.

Leaving Home Without It

Did you ever see the effective credit card commercial with the tag line, Don’t leave home without it? It was effective because it reminded people of all the bad things that could happen when you’re away from home and unprepared.

No matter how well prepared you are, though, mistakes sometimes happen.

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of an attack when you’re away from home and unable to find your rescue inhaler? If so, you know how frightening it can be.

As scary as it may sound, knowing the right things to do could mean the difference between life and death.

What To Do

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you’re in the midst of an attack and you’re without your rescue inhaler, take these necessary and effective steps to help take control of the situation:

  • Don’t get anxious. Anxiety will cause your body stress, and stress makes you have to work harder to breathe.
  • Ask someone to take you to your inhaler if you know where it is. If you cannot get to it because of distance or because it’s lost, have someone take you to the emergency room.
  • While you’re waiting, sit down, close your eyes, lean forward and rest your head on your arms. This position will help relax you and expand your chest for more efficient breathing.
  • Pace your breathing. Exhale 2 to 3 times longer than you inhale. This will keep you from trapping air in your lungs making it hard to take deep breaths.
  • Purse your lips during exhalation. This will help keep your constricted airways from collapsing during exhalation and trapping air in your lungs.


Trapped air limits your ability to take deep breaths; using the techniques above will help keep this from happening.


The next best thing to using your inhaler during an asthma attack is to use the techniques of calming down, controlling your breathing, and exhaling through pursed lips. You’ll even recover a lot quicker if you use these techniques in conjunction with your inhaler.

Being prepared is essential to living a safe normal life when you have asthma. But no matter how well you plan, bad things sometimes happen.

If you ever find yourself in the midst of an attack without your rescue inhaler, knowing how to respond can potentially save your life.

Following the 5 steps outlined above will help you take control of a potentially bad situation. Remember, take control before IT controls YOU.

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Mar 25, 2011 Posted Under: Asthma

Should You Use a Spacer With Your Inhaler?

If you use an inhaler, you may want to consider using a spacer with it. A spacer consists of a plastic tube with a mouth piece on one end and a hole on the other to insert the mouthpiece of the inhaler into it. You use the inhaler the same way you normally would, except you place your mouth on the mouthpiece of the spacer when inhaling the medication.

Why should you invest in a spacer, or even take the trouble to use one?

There are three main reasons.

1) Using a spacer maximizes the availability of the medication from the inhaler that gets into your lungs. When you use an inhaler by itself, there are many things you can do wrong to prevent all of the medication from getting into your airways. Many people do not hold their breath after using the inhaler, or do not inhale slowly enough for all of the medication to reach the lungs. Even if you use it correctly, there are large particles which get caught in the back of your mouth and throat that when swallowed cause side effects.

This leads the the next reason,

2) Using a spacer decreases the amount of side effects you may have from using your inhaler by itself. The spacer blocks the large particles from leaving and only allows the small particles to enter your airways directly. Finally,

3) Using a spacer can reduce the risk of getting thrush-an oral fungal infection-from using a corticosteroid inhaler such as fluticasone (Flovent).

In addition to using a spacer to prevent thrush, make sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth right after using this type of medication.

Manufacturers recommend to change spacers every 6-12 months, but if taken care of (proper washing and hygiene), they can be used for years. Would I recommend a spacer to patients who use an inhaler? YES-they CAN be affordable and they really take away the uncertainty of proper use of the inhaler. There are a few different brands available, and if you try to buy them at a regular pharmacy you will usually find that they are very expensive (around $35-$50 dollars). In addition, many insurance plans do not cover spacers. However, you can get the same one you would buy at the pharmacy on the internet for much cheaper. For example, I have seen a few on Amazon for around $12.

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Mar 25, 2011 Posted Under: Diabetes

The Ultimate Diabetes Superfood

Move over green tea and blueberries, there’s a new diabetes superfood in town: almonds. A new study out of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found that almonds reduce the Type 2 diabetes risk and make diabetics more sensitive to insulin.

Here’s why a handful (or two) of almonds a day can keep the endocrinologist away:

Insulin Sensitivity: Scientists aren’t sure why, but a yet to be discovered compound in almonds boosts your cell’s ability to use insulin and clear glucose (sugar) from the body. The importance of this can’t be overstated as poor insulin sensitivity and high sugar levels are the underlying cause of heart disease and kidney failure in Type 2 diabetics.

While losing weight and exercising are a must for reducing blood sugar levels, almonds seem to work after a few “doses”… much faster than most other approaches for keeping tabs on blood sugar.

“Good” Fats: Fat phobia should have gone out of style in the 1990s along with the Spice Girls. Sadly, many health care professionals continue to cling to the notion that fat is bad for you. For diabetics in particular, nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike carbs and even certain sources of protein, fats barely make a dent in blood sugar levels.

But this doesn’t mean that spooning lard into your mouth is a wise idea. You want to get the majority of your fats in the form of healthy monounsaturated fats, which happen to be found in abundance in raw almonds.

Weight Loss: Type 2 diabetics that lose weight and keep it off have significantly lower blood sugar levels when compared to heavier diabetics. In fact, losing weight is one of the most crucial parts of diabetes management.

Purdue University researchers found that, while almonds are high in calories, they don’t contribute to weight gain or obesity. Purdue’s Richard Mattes thinks that the calories in almonds and other nuts aren’t as well absorbed as in other fatty foods.

Fiber: Fiber fills you up, clears out bad cholesterol levels and doles out carbohydrates more slowly into your blood stream. In addition to downing generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, adding almonds to your healthy diet is a fantastic way to give your body the extra fiber is needs.

Just a quarter-cup serving of almonds contains a little over four grams of dietary fiber.

Carb Blocker: Have you ever seen those supplements touted as carb blockers pushed on late night infomercials? It sounds too good to be true, and for the most part, it is. However, research published in Experimental Biology found that eating almonds with a carb rich meal blocked the digestion of carbs, resulting in better controlled blood sugar levels.

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Mar 22, 2011 Posted Under: Obesity

Help For Adolescent Obesity

If your child is struggling with adolescent obesity, it may be very heartbreaking for you to see them like that. Children are often cruel, and don’t develop proper empathy towards others until they are well into their teens and some don’t get there until they are adults. Teens with weight issues have a harder time with body image and they also feel the sting of people’s opinions about their weight more keenly than adults with the same problem. If your child is struggling with weight issues, you have to do something to help them, even if it means you have to turn your life around too.

There are some medical issues that can contribute to adolescent obesity, but most of the problems come from family genetics and poor diet and exercise programs. Children learn to eat from their parents, so if you have problems with your weight and you feed your children the same foods you are eating, they are going to have problems with adolescent obesity as well.

  • If you don’t make them play anything other than video games, they could have problems.
  • If your diets are very carbohydrate heavy, you end up in a vicious over-eating cycle that is hard to break, but for the sake of your child, you have to do it.

Instead of putting your child on a diet, which can harm their self esteem, you have to treat adolescent obesity with love and compassion. Never call your child fat or lazy. Remember, the habits they have they learned from you. Instead, concentrate on making more healthy choices for everyone in your home. That means changing what you eat, cooking at home more, and getting out as a family for activities like biking, hiking, and just walking. Don’t single the child out. Just change how things are done to give them a solid base from which to start fighting adolescent obesity.

Along with these lifestyle changes that can benefit the whole family, see your family doctor so that your child can have a full checkup. There could be some medical issues that need to be addressed. Some people develop something called insulin resistance (which is also known as pre-diabetes) that will lead to even more health problems. Adolescent obesity can be a sign of this. You want to continue making healthy changes, but your teen may also need some medical help to get the weight off and to learn how to make sure they keep it off in the long run.

Adolescent obesity is a huge problem in the world today, with the US having one of the biggest epidemics of unhealthy children. This should tell us all that our lifestyle in general is not what it should be.

We have to move away from processed and go for the fresh foods to live longer and healthier lives. If your teen battling with adolescent obesity does not learn now how to change things around, they could be facing a shorter life span than their parents and grandparents. That is not what any of us want for our nations children.

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Mar 20, 2011 Posted Under: Cancer

Your Basic Knowledge on Cancer

What is Cancer

Cancer is any malignant growth caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division. It is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are many different types of cancer; each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected. Cancer is harmful to the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps of tissue called tumors, which can grow and with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones alter body function. When a tumor spreads to other parts of the body and grows and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized, which results a serious condition

Classification of Cancer

Cancer is classified as below categories.

  • Carcinomas are cancers by cells that cover internal and external parts of the body include lung, breast, and colon cancer.
  • Sarcomas are characterized by cells that are located in bones, cartilage, fat, connective tissue, muscles, and other supportive tissues.
  • Lymphomas are cancers which begin in the lymph nodes and immune system tissues.
  • Leukemia’s are cancers which start in the bone marrow and often accumulate in the bloodstream
  • Adenomas are cancers arise in the thyroid, the pituitary gland, the adrenal gland, and other glandular tissues.

Cancers are often referred by terms contain a prefix related to the cell type, cancer originated and a suffix such as sarcoma, carcinoma.

General symptoms of Cancer

Cancer is a disease that can give many symptoms or signs of an entirely different type of illness. Cancer cells will develop in organs where they will not manifest themselves so that; a tumor often doesn’t produce symptoms. Some cancer types create symptoms as below.

Excess in Fatigue changes occur in bowel movements, Pain with cancer, which are usually cancers of the bones, colon, and ovary. Unexpected loss of weight, chronic indigestion is a symptom of tumors in the stomach. Any symptom should not be ignored and for further check up, it is recommended that to see a physician.

How Cancer Diagnosed

Early detection of cancer can improve the odds of successful treatment. To diagnose cancer, physicians use information from symptoms and several other procedures.

Doctors conduct an endoscope, which is a procedure that uses a small tube with a camera and light at one end, to look for abnormalities inside the body imaging techniques means, X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and ultrasound scans are used regularly to detect where the tumor is located and what organs will be affected by it. Absolute way to diagnose cancer is extracting cancer cells and looking at them under a microscope is the only, which is called a biopsy. To diagnose cancer, molecular diagnostics, biopsies, and imaging techniques are all used together.

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Mar 17, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Attention Training Software for the Inattentive Subtype of ADHD

Software tools are often used to test and diagnose the attention problems seen in all types of ADHD but that are especially seen in people with The Inattentive subtype of ADHD. These test tools screen for our ability to divide our attention and our ability to screen out distractions. WM (WM) diagnostic tools not only test our attention capacity they may be used as a training tools to increase our attention span.

The main problem for people with The Inattentive subtype of ADHD (ADHD-PI) is what neurologist call working memory deficits. This term does not refer to our ability to remember it refers to what some neurologist call “divided attention capacity”. A working memory strengthening tool may help increase attention span by improving our divided attention capacity.

Multitasking is the ability to attend to more than one thing. It has gotten a bad reputation these days especially given that many people try to do more than one thing at once while they are driving, caring for young children, or performing other dangerous activities. The most reported danger of multitasking involves cell phone use and driving.

This is not the type of multitasking that I am referring to. I am referring to the ability to divide your attention between information that is coming from two or more different sources. For example being able to watch what is being written on the blackboard while also listening to what the teacher is saying.

For those of us with The Inattentive subtype of ADHD symptoms it is important that we increase attention span for both incoming verbal and visual information. Working memory strengthening tools help increase attention span by strengthening the parts of our brain, the pre-frontal cortex, that control our ability to divide attention.

Brain training is a multi-million dollar industry because people with the Inattentive subtype of ADHD are not the only people needing tools to help to increase attention span. There are several software tools that have been shown to improve our ability to divide our attention and to increase our attention span.

These tools have been found useful for improving the divided attention capacity of aging and teenage drivers. The most well known and respected auto club in the nation has even endorsed the use of these software tools because they have been found to decrease motor vehicle accidents.

Two companies have software tools that help increase attention span and that improve divided attention. The programs are called Drive Sharp and MindFit. Both these software programs are made by very reputable companies and they have both been tested and found to be effective in increasing attention span.

There are several online sites that have WM strengthening tools that are free and that have also been found to increase attention span. While programs you pay for have more bells and whistles, I have found the free online WM strengthening tools to be quite addictive and almost fun. My favorite is the Icy Lime WM strengthening tool but I have found all of the free tools useful for increasing attention span.

Many neurologists believe that the main problem in people with the Inattentive subtype of ADHD is a deficit of working memory which impairs their ability to divide attention when there are competing bits of visual and auditory stimulation. Fee online WM tools such as the tools called ‘DualTask’, ‘TaskSwitching’ and ‘IcyLime’ can help.

Performing the tasks on the WM tools that I have discussed can reinforce our working memory and increase attention span. Those of us with the Inattentive subtype of ADHD and with children who have ADHD-PI should make these tools a part of our ADHD treatment plan.

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Mar 16, 2011 Posted Under: Other

Hip Dislocations – Anterior and Posterior Types

Have you ever dislocated your hip?

Or, do you know someone that has dislocated their hip?

1.  Introduction

Hip dislocations can be generally classified into one of two types, either congenital or traumatic in nature (anterior and posterior dislocation to be discussed later on).

  • Congenital: The incidence of congenital hip dislocations is approximately 2-4 cases per every 1000 births. 80-85% of congenital cases will affect females. Hip dislocations that are congenital in nature are commonly the result of a femoral head or acetabular dysplasia.
  • Traumatic Hip Dislocations: Traumatic, high energy dislocations that are caused by blunt force also happen in the adult community. In addition to natural hip joints, prosthetic hip joints may dislocate with far less force. When a dislocation of the hip joint occurs, it is considered to be an orthopedic emergency. Timely treatment may reduce the negative side effects of a hip dislocation of this kind.

2. The Hip Joint

The hip is a joint is considered to be a ball-socket joint. The femoral head (top of the thigh bone) is normally situated deep within the acetabular socket. This is enhanced by the cartilaginous labrum that is present as well.

3. Causes of Hip Dislocations

  • MVC (Motor vehicle crashes) account for approximately two thirds of traumatic hip dislocations.
  • Falls and sports injuries are also common reasons why people suffer from a hip dislocation.

4. Anterior Dislocation

When an anterior disclocation occurs, the femoral head is located anterior (in front of) the acetabulum. The femoral head in these cases dislocates because of a hyperextension force (like bending your body back behind your legs) and an abducted leg (abduction is when the leg is away from midline).

5. Posterior Dislocation

Posterior dislocations of the hip account for approximately 80-90% of hip dislocations that are associated with motor vehicle crashes. During a MVC, a force can strike a flexed knee that hits the dashboard. This will then send a force up the femur to the hip. If however, the leg is straight and the knee is locked, the force can travel up the leg to the hip joint, as the force comes through the floorboard of the vehicle.

6. Hip Abduction Braces

Orthoses (braces) for the hip can help to secure an injured or unstable hip. These braces are best provided by a local, licensed orthotist and help to control excessive movements in the wrong direction during the healing process. The braces can help provide security to the hip when it is unstable after an injury has occurred.

*Note: This is health information. Medical advice on bracing should be provided to you by your local, licensed orthotist.

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Mar 15, 2011 Posted Under: Other

How Massage Therapy Works To Help People

Used for centuries, massage therapy provides both physical and emotional relief. It helps to heal by increasing blood flow and releasing built up emotions. Other benefits include relieving sore muscles and reducing stress. Practitioners that are licensed must take numerous courses prior to licensure and then even more after to fulfill continuing education requirements.

Natural remedies, such as touch, appeal to many people. They believe that an individual should not be overly reliant on prescription medications or technological medical procedures for most of their ailments. The elderly, athletes and people with a lot of stress usually find this type of procedure very beneficial.

The tendency to store emotions within the body is completely human. Once they build up, they cause aches in places that a person would not think would normally hurt. A regular occurrence of this for many is at the bottom of the neck, just between the shoulder blades. However, this is not the sole place that it occurs. Massage forces these emotions to be released from their storage areas and from the body itself.

During sessions, many people tend to get emotionally overwhelmed and without knowing why. They may begin crying or become angry with very little reason that they can see. However, the reason is the release of pent up emotions, which following the initial outset, will help the person to feel much more relaxed. Having regular sessions reduced the overwhelming nature of the releases.

Those who are athletic in nature, perhaps competing in races or working out frequently, tend to put added pressure on their joints, tendons, muscles and bones. Massage reduces inflammation, which causes pain and injury. As it is very beneficial for two key ailments of most athletes, shin splints and joint pain, it should be sought regularly.

The aging effects of a reduction in blood flow are apparent in the look of the skin. The epidermis is tremendously benefited from applied pressure. The elderly cannot only benefit in their exterior looks by increasing their blood flow, but also in the pain felt in their joints or from arthritis. These symptoms are often reduced by massage.

This type of therapeutic treatment has been very useful in helping women that experience water retention and cramping during their premenstrual cycle. It helps to provide a release for the fluids and get the blood moving better. For those carrying a child, it helps to relieve some of the pain associated with child birth. The power of touch has also been known to help lessen breathing and respiratory problems associated with asthma. This all has to do with the advantages of increasing the circulation of the blood.

For many purposes, massage therapy is not meant to replace modern medicine as a treatment. It is a holistic approach to staying healthy and reducing negative stress or symptoms that could be problematic in the future, causing a need for modern medicine. Everyone receives a session in a different way and has a different need for it. However, anyone that makes it a regular occurrence can benefit from its provisions.

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