Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Managing Back Pain

There is generally no respite from back pain, once you have an injury in this area; a one hundred percent effective back pain relief cure has yet to be found but that does not mean that some easing of the discomfort cannot be found.

Although some medication may be effective and bring pain relief, it doesn't really help with the underlying problem of the condition causing the distress. Many people with spinal problems become addicted to the medication that relieves the back pain but this should really be the responsibility of a doctor.

The problem with the back is although it is strong, at the same time it is easily damaged; large numbers of people have caused permanent damage to their backs just by sitting poorly for long periods. Most spinal problems are a result of lifting heavy weights but they can also be caused by lifting even light weights incorrectly, the pain is usually experienced in the lower back. More recently people are willing to try natural back pain relief treatments to stop their reliance on other types of medication.

An easy, inexpensive method to treat pain and bring relief is stretching; it actually relaxes the back muscles which can become knotted and tight, causing discomfort. Another type of treatment called reflexology uses a massage technique applied to the feet; it works very well in relieving back pain. Another benefit to reflexology is how it can improve the circulation which helps to ease tense muscles.

Acupuncture is used frequently by people suffering spinal agony by giving them back pain relief just as it has for thousands of years, although, only recently in the West. The Chinese believe all humans have an energy force that flows through us called qi which is affected by our health. Acupuncture works by releasing the 'chi' or energy flow that every living thing has to improve health. Like reflexology, acupuncture seems to be used by people who suffer with chronic conditions like back pain which requires relief.

Another ancient oriental discipline, Tai Chi is similar to many types of Yoga but the movements are much slower and deliberate. This method uses breathing control as the main source of relief with some stretching involved. It is so easy to learn by the young and old alike.

A good preventative form of back pain relief is to actually exercise more regularly; it would be a shame to forget the benefits that exercise can provide generally.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for time off work and visits to health professionals. Up to 70% of the population will be affected by it at some time.1Back pain can be triggered by heavy lifting or overuse of the muscles or ligaments. If body tissues become inflamed or damaged, local pain sensors send messages to the central nervous system and cause you to feel pain.To reduce your risk of lower back pain, you should take care when lifting and always warm up the muscles of the lower back with a few gentle stretches before attempting any strenuous activity.


  • Exercise regularly to improve muscle strength, mobility and flexibility.
  • Only take up sport or activity suited to your fitness level – don’t overdo it.
  • Always warm up and stretch before you exercise.
  • When lifting heavy or awkward items, always bend and lift with your knees.
  • Carry all heavy objects close to your body – holding them away invites back injury.
  • Beware of posture when sitting.
  • If you work at a desk, make sure your desk is at elbow height, your monitor is at eye level and you are sitting with knees slightly lower than your hips.
  • Avoid carrying heavy bags on one shoulder, overloaded backpacks or briefcases.

Exercise for health joints

You can help take pressure off joints by strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding them.

Here’s just a couple of the exercises recommended by Readers’ Digest Health Solutions: aim for 30 repetitions in one session.

Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other lying flat on the floor. Flex the foot of the flat leg (ie. point your toes backwards towards your head), tighten your knee so the leg is straight, then lift that leg until your foot is 60cm off the floor. Count slowly to five, then lower the leg slowly, touching the floor with your calf first. Repeat with other leg.

Look straight ahead with your chin slightly dropped. As you continue staring straight ahead, lower your head sideways so that your ear moves towards your shoulder (don’t lift your shoulder towards your ear). Bend your head to the other side and do the same.

FOR A STRONG, SUPPLE BACK Sit with legs crossed and hold your feet with your hands. Slowly lean forward, moving your face towards the floor.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Tramadol for Joint Pain

Tramadol is a prescription medication approved by the Food drugs Administration (FDA). Tramodal is used to relive moderate to moderately sever pain.

Worldwide 55 million patients prescribe to have tramodal for their pain relief. Most commonly, it is used to treat pain caused by surgery and chronic condition such as cancer or joint pain. Tramadol is in a class of medication called as opiate analgesics. It works by decreasing the body's sense of pain. .

Tramadol is an oral medication and it is taken by mouth as prescribed. It is usually taken every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Make sure that you take this medication accordingly your doctor's prescription. This drug can be habit-forming so do not increase your dose, use it more frequently or use it for a longer period than prescribed.

When used for extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing.

Consult your doctor if the medication is not working well or when you feel you are getting the result even after making use of it.Tarmadol medication may cause some commonly side effect such as dizziness, incoordination, weakness, nausea or vomiting, stomach upset, headache, constipation, anxiety, drowsiness, irritability, dry mouth, or increasing sweating.

If you notice any one of these side effects, inform your doctor. In case if you develop, any serous effects while taking this medication like chest pain, skin rash, rapid heart bit mental confusion, trouble in breathing then immediately notify your doctor about this. Do not stop taking tramadol suddenly without informing your doctor.

If you stop it suddenly then you may experience side effects. Let your doctor decide about stopping your medication. Before you start with tramadol tell your doctor your medical history. Especially of kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease any allergies you may have. Discuss all the benefits and risk of this medication with your doctor. For more information on tramadol, log on to

What is Gout?

Gout is a painful disease of the joints, which usually affects the big toe first in most people. It is caused by too much uric acid in the blood.

Uric acid is formed by the breakdown of chemicals called purines, which can lead to high levels of uric acid and cause many problems such as joint swelling and kidney stones. Normally the uric acid is dissolved in the blood and passes out via the kidneys into the urine but if this does not occur it can build up in the body and cause the crystals to deposit and cause gout.

Some genetic diseases affect the breakdown of uric acid and also cause it to build up. Other causes include exposure to lead, foods high animal protein, some medications, obesity, excess alcohol or foods rich in purines. Some foods that cause gout are organ meats such as liver, brain and kidneys. Other foods include herring, anchovies, peas and dried beans. Alcohol affects the elimination of uric acid especially when taken in excess.

Medications such as diuretics (which help the kidney eliminate more urine) or aspirin cause gout. And people who have had an organ transplant are prone to gout. P

atients on numerous medicines should talk to their healthcare provider to see if there are interactions between medicine and if an alternate drug may help.

The common vitamin niacin can also trigger gout. Low carbohydrate diets, especially when very protein rich and with inadequate water intake can also cause gout. A family history of gout may also predispose a person towards getting it.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Music as treatment fro Joitn Pain

It turns out a DJ really can save your life. Not only does listening to music boost your mood, it can do wonders for your health, too.

New research, published this week in medical journal Brain reveals that you can improve your chances of recovery after a stroke if your favourite tunes are playing.

The research found that by listening to music every day, stroke victims regained their memory and impaired speech skills faster. Scientists in Helsinki also discovered that it made patients less depressed and less confused.

Music can help you tune out back or joint pain. In his book, Ultra-Longevity, Dr Mark Liponis cites a Korean study that found music therapy actually reduced the pain of fractures in people with broken legs. Another study, by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the US, found simply listening to music for one hour a day could ease back pain by 20 per cent. "This is because music seems to stimulate the release of pain-masking endorphins in the brain," says Cheryl Dileo, a music therapy professor.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Does Chondroiton work in Osteoarthritis

Chondroitin may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis when used with glucosamine and manganese ascorbate; however, the American College of Rheumatology doesn't recommend substituting chondroitin for traditional treatment.

Chondroitin sulfate is a natural substance found in the body. It prevents other body enzymes from degrading the building blocks of joint cartilage.

People who use these nutritional supplements hope that they will relieve the pain of osteoarthritis, and perhaps even repair or restore the joint cartilage.

But there is no proof that either substance, taken singly or in combination, will actually slow the degenerative process or restore cartilage in arthritic joints.

Evidence suggests that chondroitin may relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis more effectively than placebo, and that results endure for at least 1 year. Evidence that chondroitin can alter the natural history of osteoarthritis by slowing progressive joint damage is weaker.

Study says that Glucosamine doesn't help with Osteoarthritis

A new research has reveled that glucosamine sulfate, a dietary supplement used as a treatment for osteoarthritis, had absolutely no impact on reducing pain and inflammation of hip arthritis.

Arthritis means inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the UK. OA mainly affects the joint cartilage and the bone tissue next to the cartilage.

The results of the study revealed that glucosamine sulfate does not appear to treat hip arthritis and that the difference between glucosamine and placebo group in treating mild to moderate hip arthritis were very small.

Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, feet, spine, and large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. Most cases of osteoarthritis have no known cause and are referred to as primary osteoarthritis. When the cause of the osteoarthritis is known, the condition is referred to as secondary osteoarthritis.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Glaxo Pay $44m in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment deal

GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to contribute$44 million plus royalties to EUSA Pharma Inc for the worldwide rights to the company's pre-clinical antibody aimed at treating lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis, affecting about one in 100 people.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's defence mechanisms go into action when there's no threat and start attacking the joints and sometimes other parts of the body. It's not yet known why the immune system acts in this way in some people.

Glaxo agreed to fund future development, production and marketing of the antibody as part of the licensing deal.

The human antibody, called OP-R003, targets a protein called interleukin-6. EUSA has previously sought to develop it as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and lymphoma.
Fully human therapeutic antibodies avoid the use of animal material to reduce the risk of any adverse patient reactions. A number of companies are looking at treatments involving the interleukin-6 protein.

Pfizer funds massive drug trial for Arthritis

THOUSANDS OF arthritis sufferers in Scotland have been asked to take part in drugs trials that could improve the lives of millions with the disease. The three-year trial, which will involve 400 GP practices and 16,000 patients, has been given £24 million by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to work out which painkillers offer the best relief with the fewest side-effects.

Arthritis is a common condition that affects an estimated 8 million people in the UK. There are about 200 forms of arthritis affecting young and old alike and the symptoms can affect many parts of the body. Most people with arthritis find that being armed with information helps them make positive changes to their lives.

Currently, chronic sufferers are forced to take a toxic cocktail of drugs which have a range of health implications, including increasing the risk of heart disease in older people by 70%.

The kind of arthritis , its severity and peoples own wishes will all influence what treatment is provided.

Arthritis sufferers have cautiously welcomed the news, in the knowledge that a cure is not yet in sight. The tests will rely on Scotland's world-leading health statistics system, which detected a 17% drop in admission for heart problems after the smoking ban came into force.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Children affected by Artritis

Arthritis is a problem you usually associate with the elderly but almost 300,000 children in the US suffer from arthritis. It's usually diagnosed after a child has had joint pain for several weeks unrelated to any injury or activity.

This is a separate condition from rheumatoid arthritis. In many cases the inflammation stops in late childhood, but about a third of children affected have problems that last into their adult life.

Pediatric rheumatologist Larry Vogler said, "When the child is complaining of their joint hurting and it seems to be worse in the morning than in the afternoons or evenings and that should raise some concern."

There are three common types of juvenile idiopathic arthritis:

Pauciarticular arthritis

Systemic disease

Typically treatment includes anti-inflammatory medication as well as an exercise regimen to keep their joints loose.

The Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association is the leading charity in th UK for childrens arthritis. It's run by parents and professionals to provide help and information for children with arthritis, their families and professionals involved in their care.
They offer emotional and practical support to maximize choices and opportunities and raise awareness of childhood arthritis in the community.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Marijuana compound helps with fibromyalgia pain

A recent study at the University of Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital has revealed that nabilone, a synthetic form of marijuana may aid in reducing pain and anxiety among fibromyalgia patients.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, pain in the muscles and ligaments (the bands of tissue that connect bone to bone), and tender areas in certain points of the body.
Although the tissues involved do not suffer long-lasting damage, the symptoms may continue for months or even years.

As many as 3 per cent of the population have fibromyalgia, with 10 times more women affected than men.

The researchers at the University of Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital conducted the trail on 40 participants and divided them into two groups, nabilone and placebo, and treated them for four weeks.

The findings revealed that the nabilone group showed significant drop in pain and anxiety along with functional improvement in fibromyalgia patients.

Although a small number of patients have short-lasting complaints the majority may continue to suffer from the symptoms for months or even years. However, most patients learn to control their condition. Some help can be sought from fellow suffers and support groups.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Rheumatic Fever and Joint Pain

Multiple joint pain and swelling in a child can indoicate Rheumatic Fever.

Rheumatic fever affects joints, brain and heart. The joints and brain usually recover completely without any residual problem but damage to the heart can be permanent. It affects the heart valves preventing them from functioning properly.

Rheumatic fever is related to a bacterial infection. Usually, when bacteria enter our body, the immune system develops defense mechanisms in the form of antibodies and activated white cells that destroy the bacteria. Common throat infections are caused by viruses. In about 15% of cases, a bacterium called Streptococcus is involved. As usual, antibodies and white cells would usually fight the infection, however in some people, these defense mechanisms don't go according to plan. . The tissues in the heart, brain and joints have certain characteristics similar to that of Streptococcus and the white blood cells and start attacking the patient's own tissues.

Rheumatic fever is not directly caused by the bacteria but because of the altered immune response to it.

What are the symptoms of rheumatic fever?

Fever and fatigue

Joint Pain. Usually involves larger joints like knee, ankle and elbow and at multiple sites, are affected, swollen, red and painful. At times, the typical changes may be seen only with one joint while other joints might be painful but not swollen.

Small nodules, hard, round swellings under the skin. Rare.

Reddish patches especially over the trunk and proximal parts of the limbs. Rare.

Heart - Excessive chest and neck pulsations.

All these symptoms may resemble other conditions so always consult a doctor if one of your children notices these symptoms.

Not everyone with a Streptococcal throat infection will develop rheumatic fever? Usually only in about 3% individuals with sore throat are affected.

Children in the age group of 5-15 years are particularly susceptible but it can affect children as young as three. It' very rare after about 4 years of age.

We can prevent the rheumatic fever by treating throat infections with antibiotics for adequate duration. With general improvement in the living conditions, the incidence of Streptococcal throat infection and rheumatic fever decreases.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Joint Pain and Running

Do you love to run, but worry about the future of your knees? You are not alone. If you take care of your body, it should take care of you and keep you running for life. Here are a few suggestions on how to make sure you are keeping your knees in top condition for life.

Don't run through joint pain. Listen to what your ankles, knees and hips are telling you! Deal with injuries quickly to prevent long term damage. Make sure to allow any injury to thoroughly heal before upping your running regimen.

Here are a few tips to help keep you in top running condition.

Stick to soft surfaces whenever possible. Choose asphalt over concrete and grass over asphalt.

Wear good supportive running shoes.

Replace your running shoes when they wear out. It is recommended that you replace your sneakers every 300 to 350 miles. Give those shoes the twist test to see if they are still supporting your feet.

If you are training for a long race, respect your rest days. Give your muscles and joints time to repair themselves from the wear and tear of your training.

Keep the muscular strength of your legs balanced and keep your hamstrings, quads and calves flexible. Tight leg muscles can put unnecessary pressure on your knees and create misalignment issues.

If you do get injured or suffer from joint pain, try to keep as mobile as possible through the recovery phase.

Check out this link for information on other pain like migraines

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Overuse of NSAIDS

Patients who took both over-the-counter and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had reduced pain from arthritis during daily activities, but this practice may increase complications, according to the results of a study reported in the January 31 Online First issue and will appear in the February 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research. See Medscape

"Inadequate prescription therapy pain management, lack of doctor-patient communication about over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and easy accessibility of OTC medications may contribute to patients using more than 1 medication to manage pain," write Stacey H. Kovac, PhD, from Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

It is well established that taking multiple nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems. Little is known about whether use of more than 1 NSAID (i.e., dual use) is related to patient self-reported outcomes.

Patients may self-manage their pain to improve their daily activities by taking more than 1 NSAID," the study authors write. "However, by attempting to obtain symptom relief, patients may be putting themselves at risk for complications. Providers are likely unaware of patients' risk

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Managing long term pain

Everyone experiences pain at some point, and it is often an indication that something is wrong in the body.

However Chronic pain can persist despite the fact that an injury has healed. Pain signals may remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. This can result in physical symptoms such as tense muscles, limited mobility, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Emotional effects can include depression, anger, or anxiety.

  • Common chronic pain complaints are:
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves)
  • Psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or visible sign of damage)

One of the goals of long term pain management is to improve a person’s ability to function and participate in daily activities.

There are a number of options for the treatment of pain; however, some are more effective than others.Depending upon its severity, pain may be treated by:
  • Drug treatments, such as non-prescription medications like Aleve, Motrin and Tylenol; or stronger prescription medications
  • Nerve blocks (the blocking of a group of nerves with local anesthetics)
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery
  • Counseling, behavior modification or biofeedback

One of the goals of pain management is to keep pain from becoming chronic. Pain actually causes the brain to send out a stress response. Over time, this makes the nerves more sensitive and they become better able at telegraphing intense pain signals.

So get an accurate diagnosis and then set up an early intervention pain strategy with your doctor.