How I Live With Longstanding Back Pain

For many years, I have suffered from lower back pain. It happened slowly, and I’ve always been aware of it, which kind of normalized the situation for me. It took me a long time to take some steps to get things looked at, and I only wish I had done it sooner. So, if you or anyone you know are suffering from back pain, don’t put up with it. I hope this little guide can help.

Understand the situation

In many cases, there are no quick fixes for the kind of lower back pain that I endured for many years. It’s important to understand that before we get started, as you may feel disheartened. Please don’t let it put you off, though. Finding out what’s wrong and starting the process to put things right will be worth it. Now, this guide isn’t for those of you that have had a tweak and a little pain for a couple of days, and more for those that have consistent, long-term issues. However, the advice might be suitable for anyone – but always see your doctor first.

Medical check

Your first step is to go and see your doctor. Be as descriptive as you can and explain your situation. As back pain is very common, it can be easy for a physician to jump to a conclusion, but it’s important that you press the issue if you feel it’s necessary. You don’t want a list of things it could be; you want to know exactly what’s wrong, so you will be better placed to deal with it. For example, two common back problems are scoliosis and herniated disks. I suffered from the latter, but the effective treatment for both is entirely different.

My freakin' back #1

Image credit: Emily – https://flic.kr/p/5oRUGd

Improve your posture

Once you have the cause of your pain, your doctor will recommend a care plan. One part of that will be to improve your posture. I can’t stress enough how much better I have felt since I addressed my bad posture. It takes a while to stop your shoulders from slouching and you back from arching, but it can be done. In fact, bad posture is a likely culprit for many of the western world’s back problems – as evidenced in this article.

Tell your employer

Don’t hide your back problems from anyone at work, no matter how ‘weak’ it makes you feel. Forget about weak. There’s no reason you should suffer from pain and not expect a little assistance here and there. It could be that your employer gets you a more comfortable chair or gives you an hour off to do some exercises. Most bosses will be sympathetic to your needs, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Find a chiropractor

I’ve been getting chiropractic treatment for back pain for some years now, and it’s worth every cent. It helps me move better and has strengthened my back muscles to a point I didn’t know I could get to before. It does depend on your condition, but if you can see a back specialist, then they will be a lot of help.

I hope this guide has been helpful. Of course, everybody has different problems, but if you make sure you carry out as many of these steps as possible, I’m sure things will improve.

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Medical Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Sometimes, our bodies present us with little ‘niggles’ small oddities that we usually brush off and ignore. Things cold hands for instance are ‘waved’ away with a ‘cold hands, warm heart’ comment. Nobody wants to bother their doctor every time something pops up, but it does pay to take notice. Sometime, small symptoms could point to something more important.

Pins & Needles in the hands

What it could be: A vitamin deficiency, namely Vitamin B12. This Vitamin can be found in dairy products, seafood and eggs.

See your doctor: If you also develop blurred vision, this can be an indicator of multiple sclerosis (MS). There may also be other symptoms present such as issues with balance and noticeable weakness in the muscles. Symptoms vary because of the way MS damages nerve fibres. If there is persistent tingling in the hands, or the feet, constant exhaustion and any loss of vision then get your doctor to have tests carried out

 

Flashes of light in your vision

What it could be: posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). This is a natural part of the ageing process. When we get older, the vitreous substance in the eye starts to become more liquid in the centre. When this happens, it then tends to shrink away from the retina.

See your doctor: If these symptoms have suddenly appeared, get worse and you develop other symptoms such as blurred vision. If ‘floaters’ or a ‘shadow’ floats across your vision, then this could be a detached retina and you should contact www.sjogeye.com.au or a similar specialist.

 

Stomach pain

What it could be: Indigestion, which can be caused by eating too fast.

See your doctor: When the pain is accompanied by nausea and this happens after a fatty meal, then it might be gallstones. If gallstones are blocking the ducts of the gallbladder, it can create problems like intense pain in the upper abdomen and even look like jaundice. Now is the time to see your doctor.

 

Cold hands & feet

What it could be: Cold hands and feet are a sign of poor circulation, which is usually brought on by smoking or stress.

See your doctor: Cold hands that cannot be warmed up could be a sign of Raynaud’s disease. This disease causes small blood vessels in the extremities to contract in cold weather. When this happens, skin will usually turn first white, then blue. It will then feel numb as blood flow fails to reach the outer layers.

An attack can last for several hours. The problem is that when the circulation improves and the blood flow returns to normal. It’s a problem because the tingling can very well become painful. With secondary Raynaud’s disease, you can also feel pain in the joints too or notice swelling.

 

We should never ignore the small things because they may turn out to be much bigger than we imagined. If you are ever in any doubt speak to your doctor – you have nothing to be embarrassed about and you are not wasting their time!

 

Image credit: Pixabay.com

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Rule-out Asthma attacks!

Asthma, a lung disease is usually inherited but nowadays it can be acquired no matter what the age is, due to external factors – environment. Air pollution is severe that sometimes in the morning when you wake up, you cannot distinguish a fog from a smog, especially when you are living in the Metropolis.

Asthma is characterized as a chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes that involves and triggers swelling and narrowing (constriction) of the airways. The consequence is difficulty in breathing, and wheezing. The bronchial narrowing is generally either totally at least partially reversible with treatments.

An Allergologist is a medical specialist on allergies. He informed us that once you’ve been clinically determined to have asthma, your physician may prescribe more than one asthma medication to alleviate asthma symptoms and control asthma for the long-term.

My eldest son, who’s now 25 years of age has fully recovered from asthma, his attacks were not so severe and approaches only during changes of weather. My youngest son, however has severe asthma attacks clinically diagnosed at the age of 1 but due to early diagnosis and treatment, he has less asthma attacks since age 5.

We rely on our pediatricians when our kids are sick and not feeling well. Most often mothers stick to only one physician for checkups, considering the fact that the children are “hiyang” (compatible) with. On the contrary, I am the kind who is not contented with only one physician. I usually decide after the second and third opinions and I prefer older doctors due to experience-wise. It isn’t that I don’t believe in them, I just want to make certain, because Yahmir isn’t getting any better for a year of repetitive asthma episodes, but it only worsens on the next approach.

The fifth pediatrician who’s been treating Yahmir recommended us to his friend Allergologist. He told us that it is necessary for Yahmir to be treated by a specialist due to the severity of his respiratory disorder. He had undergone several allergen tests to eliminate what triggers his bronchial asthma. There are two classes that provokes it.

allergens

• “seasonal” pollens
• year-round dustmites, molds, pets
• foods, including seafoods such as fish, crab and shrimps, egg, peanuts, nuts, cow’s milk, and soy
• additives, like sulfites

nonallergens — mostly irritants

• tobacco smoke
• outdoor factors, including smog, weather changes, and diesel fumes
• indoor factors, like paint, detergents, deodorants, chemicals, and perfumes
• emotional factors, such as laughing, crying, yelling, and distress.
His allergen test including skin and blood tests indicated that he’s got allergies on the first two allergens aforementioned and peanuts.

He is sensitive also to sudden weather changes and perfumes. These allergens often activate symptoms. Thus, aside from asthma he is also diagnosed having allergic rhinitis.

His medication included a bronchodilator, an antihistamine/corticosteroid and a nasal spray. We bought a home nebulizer for home medication.

nebulizer1

As my children go through medication, I find it very important that you take notice of the adverse reactions of the medicines that was being prescribed to your kids. Albuterol has shaking or trembling effects on Yahmir that’s why it was changed to Terbutaline, the bronchodilator in the form of syrup.

For his nebulizing, he was prescribed with Ipratropium + Salbutamol nebule. This is a bronchodilator which treats wheezing and shortness of breath.

For his Allergic Rhinitis, he was handed a nasal spray – Physiomer. It relieves congestion & helps restore nasal respiration. I utilize it too when my allergic rhinitis attacks.

physiomer

Due to Yahmir’s frequent asthma attacks, he was given Ketotifen Fumarate, medication for a long term control. It is an anti-inflammatory drug, a second-generation H1-antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer, to minimize the frequency and harshness of asthma attacks, please take note that Ketotifen is not effective in treating an active asthma attack (acute attack). Yahmir was on Ketotifen medication for one year.

Please take note that the above mentioned medicines are prescribed by Yahmir’s Allergologist for his respiratory condition, and they might not be suitable or appropriate for your child’s condition.

Our allergologist always advice us to never ever, self-medicate or home medicate your children struggling with asthma. It is best to seek medical assistance to rule out the standing condition and severity of the disorder.

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Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

When the temperature drops and the amount of sunlight we see each day gets shorter and shorter, it’s understandable that most people experience the winter blues. For some people, however, the winter blues is actually something much more serious: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

SAD is a specific type of depression that typically strikes in late fall or winter in relation to the lack of sunlight during that time of year.  An estimated ten million Americans are affected by SAD, and another 1-2 million suffer from a mild form of it, meaning that it affects a total of one in every thirty people in the United States. Since SAD is related to sunlight, it’s more common the farther north you live; prevalence reaches 9.7% in New Hampshire, but it’s only 1.4% in Florida.

No specific diagnostic test exists for SAD; instead, it’s diagnosed through a patient’s history of seasonal depressive episodes. The disorder has been observed to run in families, so a genetic component seems likely; along the same lines, 55% of SAD sufferers reported a close relative with a severe depressive disorder, while 34% reported a close relative with an alcohol addiction. In addition to a lack of light exposure, SAD may be associated with low vitamin D levels in the blood.

There are several common myths surrounding SAD. For example, SAD is more than just a lack of energy or other negative feelings felt during the winter; milder conditions like that are commonly treatable by increasing physical activity. Also, the definition of SAD means that you only experience depression seasonally, during the last two consecutive winters; therefore, people who believe they have SAD do not suffer from other depressive conditions like clinical depression or bipolar disorder.

Some common symptoms of SAD include:

  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Decreased activity level
  • Depression
  • Crying spells
  • Body aches
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Overeating and associated weight gains

Seasonal_Affective_Disoder_Infographic_1

 

If you’re suffering from these symptoms and think you may have SAD, you don’t just have to wait for winter to be over. Instead, try one of the treatments for SAD. For example, phototherapy is the exposure to natural or artificial (typically fluorescent) light for a certain amount of time every day, and 80% of SAD sufferers benefit from phototherapy and show quick improvements after beginning treatment. You may also be able to temporarily or permanently relocate to a more sunlit climate, and traditional therapy may help as well.

 

 

 

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Dealing with Insomnia the Natural Way

We all need to rest but there are times wherein sleeping is just so hard to achieve.  Every night, you spent several hours lying on your bed, have been changing positions but eventually end up hopeless and still wide awake.  In short, you’re experiencing a sleep disorder commonly known as insomnia.

 

insomnia

photo credits: freedigitalphotos.net

Just think about how you’re going to survive the entire day if you were not able to sleep the night before. You’ll end up sluggish and won’t be able to do anything right for sure.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorder yet one of the least-understood. Before you lead yourself to the nearest drugstore and buy those anti allergy drugs which are known to induce sleep, ask yourself first on how long are you going take them? These medicines aren’t meant to be used regularly because it will eventually cause addiction and other adverse effects.

Instead of ingesting those drugs, why don’t you resort into some natural remedies to solve your sleeping problem? Dim your lights and make sure you’re sleeping in a comfortable bed. If it’s too noisy, wear your ear plugs and close your doors. If you’re a coffee lover, just refrain from drinking one before you sleep because it contains caffeine that is a known stimulant.

A little bit of warm milk and cookie snack before going to bed can be helpful. You can also sip some herbal tea with a teaspoon of honey in it. Some amount of sugar before sleeping can become a sedative.

These remedies aren’t that difficult to prepare and you can even save yourself with time from going to the drugstore and of course money for the sleeping pills you’re planning to purchase.

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Exploring The Link Between Hearing Loss and Alzheimer’s

It’s long been thought of as a fact that as one ages, hearing loss and memory loss are bound to follow. However, recent research shows a connection between Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Among people over 60, hearing loss accounted for over one-third of the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.

 

Alzheimer_hearingloss_FINAL-opt fit

 

Many of the symptoms associated with early Alzheimer’s disease are the same as those associated with hearing loss. For example, some of these symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased distrust of others’ motives
  • Problems talking and understanding what is being said
  • Inappropriate responses to social cues
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Lower scores on mental function tests
  • Denial
  • Defensiveness or negativity

The connection between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss may be found in the brain. When we hear, sound travels into the ear and stimulates small hair cells, which then vibrate and trigger electrical impulses traveling to the brain stem and then the temporal lobe. The temporal cortex, occipital cortex, posterior parietal cortex, and brain stem all affect our ability to hear a sound and perceive its location.

Hearing loss affects brain activity as well. The small hair cells can disappear as a result of age or continued exposure to loud noises. Without these small hair cells, it’s harder to capture sound, and the less sound you hear, the less active your nerves are, which in turn makes your brain less active. An inactive brain can shrink and can lead to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain.

Mild hearing loss doubles the risk of dementia, and the risk of dementia appears to rise as hearing declines. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, talk to your doctor about getting tested for early hearing loss. Many studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients show an improved ability to communicate and understand after being fitted with hearing aids.

 

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