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Posture ! your Spine

 

 

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87 % of Young People develop back pain due to incorrect posture using computers .

 

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February 5, 2015 Posted by | Back Pain, Excercise, HEALthME, Joint Pain, Orthopedics, Pain, Physiotherapy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Correct – do you know your Diagnosis Dx

Chronic Pain

Don’t sing poems and sit still for joint pain ! Learn the steps, stretches, and moves that will keep you on the go and in the routine.

Get ‘CORRECT’  not  ‘SELF’  Diagnosed , for your good health – Unless the treatment matches the condition, you can do more harm than good.

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Back Pain, Career, Excercise, Infection, Joint Pain, Neck Pain, Orthopedics, Pain, Physiotherapy, Weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cervical Spondylosis – knowing what it is & a ”way Out”

Neck Pain

Cervical spondylosis most often causes neck pain and stiffness.

Cervical spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in your neck. As the disks dehydrate and shrink, bone spurs and other signs of osteoarthritis develop.

Cervical spondylosis is very common and worsens with age. There also appears to be a genetic component involved because some families will have more of these changes over time, while other families will develop less.

More than 90 percent of people older than age 65 have evidence of cervical spondylosis and osteoarthritis that can be seen on neck X-rays. Most of these people experience no symptoms from these problems. When symptoms do occur, nonsurgical treatments often are effective.

CERVICAL-SPONDYLOSIS

Cervical spondylosis is also called cervical osteoarthritis. It is a condition involving changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck. These changes are caused by the normal wear-and-tear of aging. With age, the discs of the cervical spine gradually break down, lose fluid, and become stiffer. Cervical spondylosis usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people.

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As a result of the degeneration of discs and other cartilage, spurs or abnormal growths called osteophytes may form on the bones in the neck. These abnormal growths can cause narrowing of the interior of the spinal column or in the openings where spinal nerves exit, a related condition called cervical spinal stenosis.

Risk Factors for Cervical Spondylosis

  • Aging is the major factor for developing cervical osteoarthritis (cervical spondylosis). In most people older than age 50, the discs between the vertebrae become less spongy and provide less of a cushion. Bones and ligaments get thicker, encroaching on the space of the spinal canal.  Cervical spondylosis is a normal part of aging. Spinal disks tend to dehydrate and shrink with the passing years.
  • Another factor might be a previous injury to the neck. People in certain occupations or who perform specific activities — such as gymnasts or other athletes — may put more stress on their necks.
  • Poor posture might also play a role in the development of spinal changes that result in cervical spondylosis.
  • Occupation. Certain jobs may place extra stress on your neck. This may include repetitive neck motions, awkward positioning or a lot of overhead work.
  • Genetic factors. Some families will have more of these changes over time, while other families will develop less.

Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Headache that may originate in the neck
  • Pain in the shoulder or arms
  • Inability to fully turn the head or bend the neck, sometimes interfering with driving
  • Grinding noise or sensation when the neck is turned
  • Symptoms of cervical spondylosis tend to improve with rest. Symptoms are most severe in the morning and again at the end of the day.

Presenting features of Cervical Spondylosis 

  • Cervical pain aggravated by movement
  • Referred pain (occiput, between the shoulder blades, upper limbs)
  • Retro-orbital or temporal pain (from C1 to C2)
  • Cervical stiffness—reversible or irreversible
  • Vague numbness, tingling, or weakness in upper limbs
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Poor balance
  • Rarely, syncope, triggers migraine, “pseudo-angina”

If cervical spondylosis results in pressure on the spinal cord (cervical stenosis), it can put pressure on the spinal cord, a condition called cervical myelopathy.

Symptoms of cervical spondylosis with myelopathy include:

  • Tingling, numbness, and/or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Lack of coordination and difficulty walking
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Muscle spasms
  • Loss of control over bladder and bowel (incontinence)
  • Another possible complication of cervical spondylosis is cervical radiculopathy, when bone spurs press on nerves as they exit the bones of the spinal column.
  • Pain shooting down into one or both arms is the most common symptom.

Differential diagnosis of cervical spondylosis

  • Other non-specific neck pain lesions—acute neck strain, postural neck ache, or whiplash
  • Fibromyalgia and psychogenic neck pain
  • Mechanical lesions—disc prolapse or diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis
  • Inflammatory disease—rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Metabolic diseases—Paget’s disease, osteoporosis, gout, or pseudo-gout
  • Infections—osteomyelitis or tuberculosis
  • Malignancy—primary tumours, secondary deposits, or myeloma

bina431080.f1Cervical spine in  patient with cervical spondylosis showing loss of disc height, anterior osteophytosis, and narrowing of the foramina

Complications

  • If your spinal cord or nerve roots become severely compressed as a result of cervical spondylosis, the damage can be permanent.

Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosis ?

The doctor will generally begin by asking you about symptoms and taking a medical history. This will be followed by a physical exam of the body, with a focus on the neck, back, and shoulders. The doctor is also likely to test reflexes and the strength of hands and arms, check for loss of sensation, and watch you walk.

Other tests that might be done include imaging exams such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI scans use large magnets, radio waves, and a computer to produce the best images of the body. You might also be referred to a neurologist.

During the exam, your doctor will check the range of motion in your neck. To find out if there’s pressure on your spinal nerves or spinal cord, your doctor will test your reflexes and check the strength of your muscles. He or she may want to watch you walk to see if spinal compression is affecting your gait.

 

Preparing for your appointment

You’ll likely first bring your concerns to the attention of your family doctor. Depending on your signs and symptoms, he or she may refer you to Doctor who is a specialist Physical Therapist or to Doctors specializing in Spine disorders or Orthopedic surgery.

What you can do  – Before your appointment, you might want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • When did your signs and symptoms begin?
  • Does any type of movement or positioning make them better or worse?
  • Do you know if your parents or siblings experienced neck problems?
  • Have you ever had whiplash or any other neck injury?
  • Do you have other health conditions?
  • What medications or supplements do you regularly take?
  • What to expect from the doctor

A doctor who sees you for neck pain may ask:

  • Where exactly does your neck hurt?
  • Have you had previous episodes of similar pain that eventually went away?
  • Do your symptoms include any changes in your bladder or bowel control?
  • Do your symptoms include any tingling or weakness in your arms, hands, legs or feet?
  • Do your symptoms include difficulty walking?
  • What treatments or self-care measures have you tried so far?
  • Have any treatments or self-care measures helped?
  • What is your occupation?
  • What are your hobbies and recreational activities?

Imaging tests

A variety of imaging tests can provide details to guide diagnosis and treatment. Examples include:

Neck X-ray. An X-ray may show abnormalities, such as bone spurs, that indicate cervical spondylosis. It is ordered primarily as a screening test to look for rare, serious causes for neck pain and stiffness — such as tumors, infections or fractures.
Computerized tomography (CT scan). This test takes X-rays from many different directions and then combines them into a cross-sectional view of the structures in your neck. It can provide much finer details than a plain X-ray, particularly of the bones.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves and can produce detailed, cross-sectional images of both bone and soft tissues. This can help pinpoint areas where nerves may be getting pinched.
Myelogram. This test involves generating images using X-rays or CT scans after dye is injected into the spinal canal. The dye makes areas of your spine more visible.
Nerve function tests

In some cases, it may be helpful to determine if nerve signals are traveling properly to your muscles. Nerve function tests include:

Electromyogram (EMG). This test measures the electrical activity in your nerves as they transmit messages to your muscles when the muscles are contracting and when they’re at rest. The purpose of an EMG is to assess the health of your muscles and the nerves that control them.
Nerve conduction study. For this test, electrodes are attached to your skin above the nerve to be studied. A small shock is passed through the nerve to measure the strength and speed of nerve signals.

Treatments and drugs

The best treatments are exercise, manipulation, and mobilisation, or combinations 

Treatment for cervical spondylosis depends on the severity of your signs and symptoms. The goal of treatment is to relieve pain, help you maintain your usual activities as much as possible, and prevent permanent injury to the spinal cord and nerves.

 

A –  Medications

  1. Depending patient conditions and other systemic complications .

B –  Specialist Physiotherapy Treatment

PT1

  1. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Some people with cervical spondylosis may benefit from the use of mild traction, which can help provide more space within the spine if nerve roots are being pinched.
  2. Specialist  Physiotherapist to help with pain relief and for advice on specific neck exercises.

Various treatments may be advised by a physiotherapist. These include traction, heat, cold, manipulation, etc. 

PT

However, what is often most helpful is the advice a physiotherapist can give on neck exercises to do at home.

C –  Other treatments – Some other treatments which may be advised include:

A good posture may help. Check that your sitting position at work or at the computer is not poor (that is, not with your head flexed forward with a stooped back). Sit upright. A firm supporting pillow seems to help some people when sleeping. Try not to use more than one pillow.

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Find out more on Posture – Posture Matters   and  Pos!ture or tor?ture

D –  Treatment may vary and you should go back to see a doctor:

  1. If the pain becomes worse or severe.
  2. If other symptoms develop such as loss of feeling (numbness), weakness, or persistent pins and needles in a part of an arm or hand, as described previously.
  3. If you develop any problems with walking or with passing urine. Again these symptoms suggest that cervical myelopathy may be developing as a complication of the cervical spondylosis.
  4. If you develop dizziness or blackouts when turning the head or bending the neck. This can suggest that the vertebral artery which supplies the brain is being nipped by the degenerative changes in the spine.
  5. Chronic neck pain is also sometimes associated with anxiety and depression which may also need to be treated.

E –  Surgery

If conservative treatment fails or if your neurological signs and symptoms — such as weakness in your arms or legs — are getting worse, you may need surgery to create more room for your spinal cord and nerve roots. This may involve removing a herniated disk or bone spurs, or it could require the removal of part of a vertebra.

 

Lifestyle and home remedies

Mild cases of cervical spondylosis may respond to:

  • Regular exercise. Maintaining activity will help speed recovery, even if you have to temporarily modify some of your exercises because of neck pain.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Heat or ice. You might want to try applying heat or ice to your neck, especially if your neck muscles are sore.
  • Soft neck brace. These collars allow the muscles of your neck to rest, but they should be worn for only short periods of time because they can eventually weaken neck muscles.

Don’t sit still for joint pain ! Learn the steps, stretches, and moves that will keep you on the go and in the game. To your good health

September 8, 2014 Posted by | Back Pain, Headache, HEALthME, Neck Pain, Pain, Physiotherapy | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stretch your Mornings

health-benefits-of-stretching-in-the-morning01

 

In most cases, back pain in the morning is caused by tense muscles. One simple way to relax your muscles is to stretch regularly every morning. But the health benefits of stretching in the morning go beyond back pain relief. There are many other health benefits of stretching you should know about. Four most important health benefits of stretching in the morning are explained in the article below.

Health benefits of stretching in the morning go beyond back pain relief

4 most important health benefits of stretching in the morning

1. Stretching in the morning reduces and prevents back pain

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How often have you woke up in the morning and felt back pain? If you know that the back pain isn´t caused by illness or injury, there is a great change you will find help from stretching. Stretching relieves and prevents back pain by reducing tensions in your spine and muscles. For many people this one is the most important from all health benefits of stretching in the morning.

2. Increased flexibility is another great health benefit of stretching in the morning

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Low level of physical activity and sitting down all day tightens your muscles and reduces flexibility. Stretching in the morning lengthens and relaxes your muscles and improves flexibility.

3. Better Posture

Tense muscles lead to poor posture. Regular stretching in the morning relaxes and lengthens your muscles. Relaxed muscles keep the back in better shape and improve posture.

4. Improved circulation and increased energy level

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Stretching in the morning helps to increase the blood flow to your muscles. More blood in your muscles means more energy in the morning. Stretching also increases blood flow to your brain and sharpens your concentration in the morning.

When stretching in the morning, remember to start slow and exhale as you stretch different muscle groups.

As you see, the health benefits of stretching in the morning really improve your quality of life. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes to stretch every morning, but the effect last throughout the day.

Always, Consult Specialist / Doctor for ongoing Pain Management at early stages for a better prognosis.

June 27, 2014 Posted by | Back Pain, Excercise, HEALthME, Physiotherapy | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Heels Hurt

heelshigh-heels-pain USE

December 21, 2013 Posted by | HEALthME, Pain, Physiotherapy | , , , , | Leave a comment

No Looking Back

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“All of us develop a degree of degeneration in the spine and inter-vertebral discs as we become older , “As the discs degenerate over the years, they become thinner. The nearby muscles, ligaments, and nerves may become irritated by these degenerative changes which can cause symptoms like pain in the neck (cervical spondylosis) or pain in the lower back (lumbar spondylosis).”

“The reason for the sudden acceleration in the numbers can be attributed to factors like work environment . “Today, a majority of us are confined to our desks for long, often irregular hours and so we don’t get natural sunlight that is so essential for the bones. (Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D.) On top of this, an almost sedentary lifestyle combined with factors like smoking, stress and unhealthy food make our muscles weak quite early in life.”

Women once were more prone to cervical spondylosis than men,  but today men are equally vulnerable.

Learning Curve

Apart from our work environments, neck pain can also be caused by an injury, muscular problem or by a trapped nerve between the vertebrae.  But primarily, it’s caused by bad posture. “Inappropriate working or sleeping postures can put a lot of pressure on the spine, and that can result in pain. “Even people who usually ride two-wheelers are at risk, as their posture while driving is usually not correct.”

Both cervical and lumbar spondylosis can be caused by bad posture. “We usually slouch, and we tend to sit in this same slouched position for hours at work, which only aggravates the problem. “Similarly, we don’t sleep straight which puts extra pressure on the spine and results in pain in the lower back. We even bend in a wrong way and that strains the spine again. The correct way to bend is from the knees.”

Pain in the NECK

Causes-Of-Back-Pain-On-The-Right-Side

Symptoms

  1. Pain in the Neck
  2. Headaches from time to time. The headaches often start at the back of the head, just above the neck, and travel to the forehead.
  3. In cervical spondylosis, pain in the neck is caused by ageing, long hours at work and lack of exercise. It could spread to the base of the skull and shoulders. Sometimes it could also spread down the arm to the hand or fingers. Movement of the neck may worsen the pain.
  4. A stiff neck, particularly after a night’s rest (You may feel a knot, stiffness, or severe pain in your neck. )
  5. Numbness, pins and needles or weakness may occur in part of the arm or hand. In some cases, you may feel a slight dizziness when you put your head down.
  6. If your neck pain is long-lasting (chronic), you may have trouble coping with daily life. Common side effects of chronic pain include fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

Get a fix

Exercise seems to be extremely beneficial in relieving the pain of both conditions, along with certain precautions like better posture, regular breaks from work and no sudden jerks.

“Hot fomentation at the area of pain can also help take care of the inflammation .

Cold conditions can increase the pain in some cases. Increase physical activity – walk for at least 40 minutes regularly – to help strengthen the muscles. Always use a pillow while sleeping, one that is neither too hard or too thick. Avoid lifting heavy weights. Those suffering from obesity or diabetes need to be extra careful.”

If the pain spreads down to the arm or the back, physiotherapy is recommended. “It is a long-term solution. “Regular isometric exercises, avoiding looking down for too long, and skipping are also advised. An increased intake of calcium through milk and other dairy products is also helpful.”

 

Give exercise a chance

Here are a few simple exercises you can do anywhere, anytime (even in office while sitting in your chair) to help you deal with that pain in the neck

  1. Side rotation : Turn your head to the left slowly, wait for three seconds. Then repeat, this time turning your head to the right. Do this at least 5 times.
  2. Chin up : Bend your head down slowly till your chin touches the chest. Rest. Raise your head slowly, stretching your neck as much as possible. Rest. Do this at least five times. In case of neck pain, avoid looking down.
  3. Press it : Place your hand on the side of your head. Try to move your head towards your hand; at the same time resist the pressure with your hand. Repeat, this time with the other hand. Then, place your hand at the back of your head, move your head back, and at the same time resist with your hand. Do the same with the forehead.  Repeat all three times, hold till the count of 10.

Pain in the BACK

Spondylosis which is also known as spinal osteoarthritis can affect the lumbar (lower  back), thoracic (mid back) region besides the cervical (neck). Ageing and bad posture cause the degeneration.

Symptoms

  1. There could be pain and stiffness in the back or difficulty in walking.
  2. Weakness, tenderness or numbness in the lower back, legs or feet.
  3. Pain that decreases with rest or after exercise
  4. Persistent aching or stiffness anywhere along your spine, from the base of the neck to the tail bone
  5. Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back — especially after lifting heavy objects or engaging in other strenuous activity. (Pain in the upper back can also be a sign of a heart attack or other life-threatening conditions.)
  6. Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods
  7. Back pain that radiates from the low back to the buttock, down the back of the thigh, and into the calf and toes
  8. Inability to stand straight without having severe muscle spasms in the low back

Get a fix

If you have back pain, you should try to remain as active as possible and continue with your daily activities. In the past, doctors recommended rest for back pain, but most experts now agree that being inactive for long periods is bad for your back. Moderate activity, such as walking or doing everyday tasks, will help your recovery.

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, if you feel the need to. Hot or cold compression packs may also help reduce the pain. You can buy compression packs from your local pharmacy, or a bag of frozen vegetables and a hotwater bottle will work just as well.

Your state of mind can also play an important role. Although it can be difficult to be cheerful if you are in pain, research has shown that people who remain positive tend to recover quicker than those who get depressed.

Choose to have manual therapy, such as physiotherapy or osteopathy, as soon as the pain starts.
For back pain that lasts more than six weeks (which doctors describe as chronic), treatment typically involves a combination of painkillers and exercise classes or manual therapy.

Spinal surgery is usually only considered when all else has failed.

Give exercise a chance

Exercise and staying active may relieve low back pain and can help speed your recovery. Stretching and strengthening your stomach, back, and leg muscles helps make them less susceptible to injury that can cause back pain. Strong stomach, back, and leg muscles also better support your spine, reducing pressure on your spinal discs. This may help prevent disc injury.

Aerobic exercises-such as walking, swimming, or walking in waist-deep water-also help you maintain a healthy back. Aerobic exercise makes your heart and other muscles use oxygen more efficiently. Muscles that frequently receive oxygen-rich blood stay healthier.

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Flex Your Foundation To do ankle pumps – Lie flat on your back.Flex your ankles so your toes point toward you and then away from you.Repeat for a total of 10 times.

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Press It Flat :  To do a pelvic tilt  – Lie on your back and bend your knees. Put your feet flat on the floor at hip width. Bring your knees closer together than your feet. Put your arms next to your sides.Flatten your back against the floor.Hold the position for several seconds.Repeat for a total of 5 times.

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Give Yourself a Hug : Lie on back & bend  knees. Put  feet flat on floor with  arms next to sides.Raise knees together & pull them to chest with arms.Hold for 5 seconds.Lower one leg to the floor and then the other.Repeat  5 times.

How-to-squat-compressed1-200x300

Sit a Spell : To do wall squats – Stand with your back against the wall.Take small steps so that your feet are 12 inches away from the Hold your stomach muscles and gradually bend your knees as you slide down the wall.Hold for 5 seconds.  Slowly straighten your legs and return to a standing position.Repeat for a total of 10 times.

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Hold That Angle : To do the the pelvic lift – Lie on your back and bend your knees. Put your feet flat on the floor at shoulder width with your arms next to your sides.Bring your hips off the floor slowly but don’t arch your back. See if you can make your body form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your hips to the floor.Repeat for a total of 5 times.

Consult DOCTOR , combining an exercise programme with a course of manual therapy, when pain is persistent .

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February 6, 2011 Posted by | Back Pain, Counselling, Excercise, HEALthME, Neck Pain, Pain, Physiotherapy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

   

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