Archive Monthly Archives: May 2019

What are the Best Ways to Get Relief from Back Pain

What are the Best Ways to Get Relief from Back Pain

First and foremost, at some point in their lives, close to 80 percent of Americans try to get relief from back pain of some kind. Next, adult women experience more back pain than adult men. Also, 33 percent of adults say back pain effects everyday activities, including sleep. Moreover, 90 percent of acute low back pain is resolved within six weeks.

Relief from Back Pain

Relief from Back Pain due to Spine Problems

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This type of arthritis typically starts by making your lower back and hips stiff and sore, especially in the morning. Over time, it spreads up your spine and to other joints and organs. Vertebrae and bones in the rib cage could fuse, leaving you hunched over. Young men get it more often than women and it may be hereditary. Early treatment with exercise and medication helps slow the progress.

Cauda Equina Syndrome

The nerves that branch out from your spine in the lower back help your brain control your legs and the organs in your pelvis. A herniated disk, fracture, or other condition could put pressure on this group of nerves, called the cauda equina. Surgery is needed right away to restore any loss of feeling, movement, or control of your bladder and bowels.

Cervical Spondylosis

As you get older, the following can happen to the spine in your neck: you could get a slipped disk; or the vertebrae may sprout extra bone, called spurs; or the ligaments that connect the vertebrae can get stiff and tight. Consequently, your neck may hurt or harder to move. Or you could have permanent damage if the disks or vertebrae squeeze nerves and nerve roots a lot.

Relief from Back Pain due to Kyphosis

In this condition the spine bends forward. It usually happens when the vertebrae crack or mash down. It’s most common in older women. It can cause pain and other problems, and, in severe cases, it bends your whole body out of shape. Treatment include painkillers, exercise, or surgery.

Osteoarthritis

Most noteworthy, each of the Spine’s vertebrae has slippery tissue at both ends that helps the back flex without friction. If this cartilage gets rough or wears down, the vertebrae start to rub against each other, and it makes your back painful or stiff. Known as Osteoarthritis, this problem occurs because of:

  1. 1
    Repeated overuse from performing a specific task or
  2. 2
    Playing a favorite sport or
  3. 3
    Exercising such as jogging or running for years or
  4. 4
    From carrying around excess body weight

Eventually the repeated impact, from these activities, thins or wears away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the vertebrae. As a result, the vertebrae rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop, and the joint swells. Usually, the first symptom of osteoarthritis is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility. Regrettably, osteoarthritis tends to get worse over time. While it can’t be reversed, painkiller, therapy, and exercise can help ease the symptoms.

Osteoporosis

In the United States, more than 53 million people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass. In fact, osteoporosis, is a condition resulting from loss of bone tissue. As a result, bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. In addition, osteoporosis can result in a loss of height, severe back pain, and change in posture. Finally, osteoporosis, can impair a person’s ability to walk and can cause prolonged or permanent disability.

Most noteworthy, some of the risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:

  1. 1
    Thinness or small body frame
  2. 2
    Family history of the disease
  3. 3
    Being postmenopausal and particularly having had early menopause
  4. 4
    Abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea)
  5. 5
    Prolonged use of certain medications, such as those used to treat lupus, asthma, thyroid deficiencies, and seizures
  6. 6
    Low calcium intake
  7. 7
    Lack of physical activity
  8. 8
    Smoking
  9. 9
    Excessive alcohol intake.

Incidentally, osteoporosis can progress undetected for many years without symptoms until a fracture occurs. Osteoporosis is diagnosed by a bone density scanner.

Relief from Back Pain due to Sciatica

The sciatica nerve causes pain to shoot down your lower back through into your leg. This happens because a herniated disk, bone spur, or some other spine problems puts pressure on the nerve. Hot packs, cold packs, stretching and painkillers can help.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition where your spine is out of shape. The most common type affects children during their growth spurt bending the spine sideways. The shoulders might be uneven or one shoulder blade might stick out more than the other. A brace may help as well as surgery.

Slipped or Herniated Disk

A cushion called a disk is located between each pair of vertebrae. As you get older, these disks start to dry out. Consequently, if you put too much stress on your back, the disk may tear or break. As a result of this herniated disk, the arms or legs might hurt or fell numb or tingly. Hopefully exercise or painkiller may help. If not, the only alternative is to have an operation.

Spinal Stenosis

The spine has a space in the middle for the spinal cord and nerves that branch out. When those space shrink, bones can press against the nerves. Any time these nerves are touched, you could feel pain, tingling, or numbness, or your muscles might seem weak.

About 90% of those with this condition develop it as part of the natural process of aging. As you age, your bones naturally go through a process of degeneration. This is called spondylosis. This process is worsened by osteoarthritis—arthritis of the bone that is felt in the joints. This leaves less space between your individual vertebrae which, along with loss of bone mass, can promote bone spurs. Your body’s facet joints begin to grow to account for the extra stress your back is put under by this process. That leaves even less space for the nerve roots that flow through your spinal cord and down your spine. In severe cases, a surgeon can make more room for the nerves.

Spondylolisthesis

Vertebrae may slide sideways, so that they don’t line up with the ones above or below them. This is a main cause of lower back pain. It happens as your body ages, but it can affect young people who do sports that stress the lower back like football, gymnastics, and weightlifting. Rest helps, but surgery might be needed.

Syringomyelia

Sometimes, a little fluid-filled sac called a cyst can form in the spinal cord. It could happen when brain tissue pushes down from your skull into your spinal cord or from an injury or tumor. Syringomyelia does cause problems. However, if the cyst keeps growing, in can injure your spinal cord, in which case surgery is needed.

Tumor

Cancer growing in the lungs, breasts, prostate, and bone more likely spreads to the spine. Consequently, your back hurts with the pain spreading throughout the body. Your arms or legs may become numb or weak. Part of you body could even be paralyzed. At this point, surgery, radiation, or chemo are the most likely way to get some relief.

Relief from Back Pain due to Behavioral Causes

Backpack

Backpacks are great for carrying load as you walk or hike. However, the wrong backpack or not wearing it correctly puts a strain on your shoulders, neck, and back, as well as tiring out muscles supporting your spine. Therefore, use the following guidelines to avoid or lessen these effects.

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    Reduce the weight in the backpack. In fact, heavy load may cause spinal discs to compress
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    Carry only what is essential
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    Put the heaviest items close to your back and the lighter items on the outside away from your back
  4. 4
    Use a backpack with wide padded shoulder straps. The width and the padding helps distribute the load as well as providing a cushion.
  5. 5
    Because it helps distribute the load, always use both straps to carry the backpack
  6. 6
    Better still, get a backpack with a waist belt. These take some of the load off the shoulders. Consequently, neck pain and back pain above the waist is reduced.

Relief from Back Pain From Wrong Type of Bicycle

Hunching over to grab the handlebars of a bicycle, like a professional is bad for your back. Regrettably, you get back pain if you are too stretched out or cramped up on the bicycle. Therefore, before you buy a bike, get an expert to verify if the bicycle is right for you.

Exercise

First and foremost, regular exercise helps prevent or aggravate back pain. In fact, back pain is more common in those who are unfit or overweight. Also, those who only exercise intermittently have an increased risk of back injury. Most noteworthy, those with acute back injury can recover with a mild exercise program that gradually gets intense.

Meanwhile, don’t do too much of any exercise (including yoga) because overdoing exercise causes back pain. Finally, people who are too thin are also at risk for back pain, especially those with eating disorders and osteoporosis.

Food

Above all, eating unhealthy foods means your body doesn’t get enough nutrients to stay strong and this leads to inflammation. In fact, processed foods made with refined white flour and white sugar are top culprits in causing inflammation. Most noteworthy, these processed foods include packaged white breads and rolls, baked goods and candy. Also, soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks are in the same category.

Next, fried foods and fats -- such as margarine, shortening and lard -- also promote inflammation. So do processed red meats, like bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami and other deli meats. Even lean red meat should be limited to once or twice a week.

Instead, replace these foods with those known to be anti-inflammatory, those high in natural antioxidants and other protective compounds.
Incidentally, these include good-for-you fats such as mono- and poly-unsaturated plant-based oils, most types of nuts and seeds, and fish with omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and sardines. Furthermore, other anti-inflammatory foods that should be on your menu are whole grains, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes. Citrus fruits, berries and cherries are also key for fighting inflammation. Next, the body needs lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats like those found in an avocado, to build strong bones, muscles and soft tissue in your back. Finally, eat foods containing nutrients like phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D.

Regrettably, overeating makes you add extra pounds, which put a strain on the bones and muscles in the back. Therefore, it’s best to eat slowly healthy foods with fewer calories.

Relief from Back Pain due to Jogging or Running

As you get older, its best to stop running or jogging. Above all, running or jogging jar your body and the vertebrae with each step. Regrettably, as you get holder, this jarring can lead to arthritis in the lumbar region of the spine. If you must, see your medical provider regularly to make sure the bones in your spine are not deteriorating. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late at which point you have no choice but to stop both running and jogging.

Lifting Weights

Next, lifting weights excessively can result in back pain. Most of all, it’s important to lift weights using correct form. So, if you are not sure what that form is, ask a trainer at the local gym or sports club to show you the correct technique.

Other

Back pain can also be caused by injuries, disk degeneration, and infections.

Sedentary

Next, being sedentary is another reason for back pain. Above all, your spine needs support from strong stomach and back muscles. And, lifting weights or climbing stairs can help. Also, low-impact exercises like walking, biking, or swimming can help by protecting the disks between the spine’s vertebrae.

Sitting for Long Periods of Time

Next, sitting for long periods of time stresses back muscles, neck, and spine. Also, your body doesn’t like sitting for long stretches. So, to relieve your body, it’s best to get up and move around for a few minutes every 30 minutes.

In addition, every hour, gently stretch and move your head and neck in all four directions. Also, once is a while try leaning back in the chair with your feet on the floor with a slight curve in the lower back. Finally, at every opportunity, stand for a few minutes.

Relief from Back Pain due to Sitting Position

One cause of back pain is from sitting hunched over a desk working on a computer. Another cause is from slouching in a chair.  Regrettably, if you hunch over or slouch often enough, over time, the spine’s natural curve is affected. In addition, the cushioning of the disks that lie between the spine’s vertebrae gets damaged. Consequently, arthritis starts to show up.

Moreover, sitting up too straight, in a chair, can also result in back pain. In fact, the best remedy for this is to sit straight in a chair that supports your back. Also, set the chair’s height so that your feet rest naturally on the floor.

Sit-ups

Sit-ups are hard on your back. They push your curved spine against the floor and work your hip flexors. Incidentally, hip flexors are muscles that run from the thighs to the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back. Moreover, when the hip flexors are too strong or too tight, they pull on the lower spine, which puts stress on the lower back.

Instead, do planks. They use a better balance of muscles on the front, sides, and back of the body than sit-ups which only targets a few muscles.

Sleeping Mattress

First and foremost, sleeping on a mattress that hasn’t been replaced in years can hurt your back. Indeed, the mattress needs to be firm enough to support your back, but soft enough to fit the shape of your body.

However, people differ in their response to mattress firmness. In fact, a study on mattress firmness was done in Spain. Some of the study participants slept on a medium-firm mattress. Indeed, a medium-firm mattress is one that is rated 5.6 on a 10 point hard-to-soft scale.  showed that those who slept on a medium-firm mattress (rated 5.6 on a 10 point hard-to-soft scale) had less back pain and disability than those who slept on a firm mattress (2.3 on the scale).

Therefore, at the next opportunity, try out a new mattress and find one that helps you the best.

Relief from Back Pain due to Sleeping Position

While sleeping on your back is fine for some people, for others this can cause low back pain or make the back pain that they already have even worse. If you are used to sleeping this way, one way to get relief is by putting a rolled towel or pillow under your knees. This will help keep the natural curve of you back.

On the other hand, sleeping on your belly is bad if you have a back problem. However, if you are used to sleeping on your belly, put your head on a very soft pillow or sleep without a pillow. This will help keep your neck and back in the best position.

Meanwhile, side sleeping is the best option for a back pain. In addition, putting a pillow between your legs takes the pressure off your hips and lower back.

Smoking

Smoking decreases blood flow to your spine. Consequently, the cushioning disks between your vertebrae break down quicker. Smoking can also weaken bones and give you osteoporosis. Even coughs from smoking can cause back pain. So, it’s best to stop smoking.

Remedies to Get Relief from Back Pain

  1. 1
    Bed rest helps with an acute back strain or injury. But don’t stay in bed too long. In fact, remaining immobile in bed can make the back pain worse.
  2. 2
    Other things that help back pain include spinal manipulation and massage from a chiropractor, acupuncture can relieve many types of backpain that do not respond to other treatments. Yoga, progressive relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy can also help.

The Many Ways Medical Peddler Helps People Get Better

The Many Ways Medical Peddler Helps People Get Better

Medical Peddler is used for physical therapy to help people get better. Moreover, described below, are examples of the ways a medical peddler is used.

Medical Peddlers

Medical Peddler to Help Knee Replacement Surgery Patients

The first four days, after a knee replacement surgery, are spent recovering from the surgery. However, from day 5 to week 4, the medical pedal exerciser may be used to strengthen the knee. Because pedaling backward is easier on the knee start your recovery by pedaling backwards. And, pedal forward only after a comfortable cycling motion is achieved by pedaling backwards.

In addition, as you become stronger (at about 4 to 6 weeks) slowly increase the tension on the medical peddler. Meanwhile, start using the medical peddler for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day. And gradually build up so that you are using the medical peddler for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Furthermore, use the medical peddler three or four times a week.

Medical Peddler to Help Those with Parkinson’s

Why the Disease Develops

First and foremost, neurons, in an area of the brain called substantia nigra are responsible for producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Regrettably, in some people, these neurons gradually die. As a result, dopamine levels fall. And, when dopamine levels fall, motor symptoms such as tremors and bradykinesia (or slow movement) start to appear.

Treatment

Above all, the current treatment for Parkinson’s disease is Levodopa. In fact, Levodopa increases dopamine levels in the brain. Regrettably, Levodopa can’t help the damaged neurons.

Exercise Increases Dopamine Levels

However, there is some evidence that exercise increases dopamine levels. In fact, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans of 17 Parkinson’s patients showed that habitual exercisers had higher dopamine levels in the dorsal striatum. By the way, the dorsal striatum also receives dopamine from the substantia nigra. And higher levels of dopamine in the dorsal striatum helps control movement.

Exercise Improves Motor Symptoms

In addition, exercise also helped Parkinson’s patients perform better on functional tests assessing motor symptoms such as the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part 3.

Exercise Increases BDNF

Moreover, exercise may be even better than levodopa. In fact, exercise also increases brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor (BDNF). And BDNF promotes survival of neurons that make dopamine, namely the neurons in the substantia nigra.

In fact, studies show that BDNF levels in Parkinson’s patients were lower than in healthy people. Furthermore, studies show that patients who exercised for 8 to 12 weeks increased serum levels of BDNF. In addition, another study showed that consistent aerobic exercise increased BDNF serum levels in healthy people. On the other hand, strength training had no effect on BDNF levels.

High-Intensity Exercises Help UPDRS Scores

Yet, another study showed that newly diagnosed patients who did high-intensity treadmill exercises for 30 minutes four times a week, maintained their UPDRS scores.

Motorized Pedals Helps Parkinson’s Patients

Meanwhile, a 2009 study at the Cleveland Clinic, showed that a motorized cycle improved aerobic capacity as well as UPDRS part 3 scores. Especially relevant, a motorized cycle was better than those who cycled using only their own strength. Indeed, the motorized cycle made the riders keep pedaling, while those who cycled on their own effort, tended to slack off, thereby not getting all the benefits they could.

Motorized Pedals Improves Thalamo-Cortical Connectivity

Also, another study showed that forced (as by a motor) pedaling rate improved thalamo-cortical connectivity. In fact, thalamo-cortical connectivity plays an important role in cognition. Consequently, improving the thalamo-cortical connectivity improves cognition. Meanwhile, the faster the pedaling rate the greater the improvements in thalamo-cortical connectivity.

Exercise Delays Parkinson’s Motor Symptoms

Most noteworthy, exercise may help delay worsening of Parkinson’s motor symptoms. In fact, a study, involving more than 12,000 Parkinson’s patients, reported that exercising 2.5 hours a week slows the decline of motor symptoms. In addition, other similar studies recommend advising newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients about the benefits of regular exercising.

Medical Peddler to Help Those with Cystic Fibrosis

What is Cystic Fibrosis

First and foremost, cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease that results in progressive obstructive lung disease, chronic malnutrition due to pancreatic insufficiency and ultimately a shortened lifespan. Above all, cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. In fact, the body produces a thick and sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and obstruct the pancreas. Most noteworthy, advances in treatment means that people with cystic fibrosis often live into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.

Regrettably, currently there is no cure for cystic fibrosis. Furthermore, some 30,000 people in the United States have cystic fibrosis. In addition, 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis develop each year.

Why the Disease Develops

First and foremost, cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. In fact, the defective gene responsible for cystic fibrosis leads to the creation of mucus that is thicker and stickier than usual. Moreover, the mucus is difficult to cough out of the lungs. Consequently, breathing is difficult and leads to severe lung infections. In addition, the mucus interferes with pancreatic functions by preventing enzymes from properly breaking down food. Consequently, digestive problems result, which can lead to malnutrition.

Treatment

There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis. Meanwhile, treatment only manages the symptoms of the disease. On the other hand, researchers are looking into how physical exercise can help clear airways and improve overall lung function.

Exercise as a Treatment

Especially relevant, a study theorized that physical exercise may serve to increase sputum expectoration secondary to vibratory effects and increased levels of ventilation. In addition, the study theorized that exercise may lead to strengthening of ventilatory muscles as well as possibly altering conductance of sodium channels, leading to less sodium reabsorption and increased mucus hydration.

Also, the study measured nasal potential differences during exercise and showed that there did seem to be an alteration in sodium conductance during exercise and that this may be partly responsible for the benefits noted in cystic fibrosis patients who exercise.

Meanwhile, it has been found that exercise is associated with increased pulmonary function, fitness levels, everyday functioning and survival rates. And, there were both short term as well as long term benefits from an exercise program.

Aerobic Workouts Using a Medical Peddler

Patients who participated in an intensive aerobic workout using pedal exercisers or exercise cycles or a strength training session had a short-term increase in their Forced Expired Volume in one second (FEV1).  In addition, patients who participated in exercise on a regular basis, not only had this short-term effect, but also had a long term benefit of decreased rate of decline in their Forced Vital Capacity (FVC).

Indeed, regular exercise, using pedal exercisers or exercise cycles, leads to increased aerobic capacity, activity levels, quality of life, weight gain, lung function, leg strength and a decrease in decline in lung function.  Therefore, exercise likely led to increased airway clearance and possible improved ion channel function as well.  In fact, the outcome of this study showed that if activity levels increased over time, the patient’s rate of decline in their FEV1 decreased.

Effectiveness of Aerobics on Survival Rates

Finally, a study followed cystic fibrosis patients over an 8-year period. Most of all, the study looked at their survival rates in relationship to their aerobic fitness, age, gender, BMI, FEV1, end tidal CO2. Also, the study measured their fitness in terms of oxygen consumption at peak exercise intensity (VO2 peak). And, the study found that:

  1. 1
    Those with the highest level of fitness (VO2 peak > 82%), had increased rates of survival, even when taking into consideration their other risk factors, and
  2. 2
    Those with the lowest level of fitness (VO2 peak < 58%), were 3 times more likely to die during the 8 years as those with the highest level of fitness.