Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Neck pain, ranging from a steady, dull ache to incapacitating spasms, is a very common complaint, with many causes and manifestations. The pain may originate in any of the neck structures muscles, ligaments, tendons, and the disks that cushion the seven cervical vertebrae, as well as bony overgrowths and spurs. Or it can originate else where; for example, the shoulders or the temporomandibular joint (TM)) of the jaw and radiate to the neck along nerve pathways that serve both areas. Increasingly, chronic neck pain is due to occupational demands on the upper musculoskeletal system, such as long hours spent driving or working at a computer display terminal. Psychological stress is still another common cause. Or a whiplash injury that seems inconsequential initially may produce chronic pain weeks later.

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

After asking questions about the onset and nature of the pain and doing an examination, a doctor will order X-rays. If he suspects a disk problem, he may also recommend a CT scan or MRI. When the sufferer is an athlete or a gymnast, dancer, or instrumentalist, a video of the patient at work may reveal biomechanical problems.

Medical Treatments

When neck pain is treated with drugs, the first choice is one that combines analgesia and anti inflammatory properties, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Where pain is immobilizing, an injection of cortisone may help. Neck pain caused by muscle spasms may be treated with baclofen (Lioresal), chlorzoxazone (Paraflex), or diazepam (Valium). However, long-term use of any of these drugs is discouraged as a rule, because they can become habit forming. In some cases, wearing an orthopedic neck brace helps. An acute strain of the muscles and tendons is treated with rest. Surgery may be recommended for a herniated disk or bony overgrowths.

Alternative Therapies

Appropriate alternative therapies are often combined with or substituted for conventional treatments.

Acupuncture

A series of treatments may be all that is needed to provide lasting relief, especially for neck pain caused by muscle spasms and stress.

Alexander Technique

Learning new postures and ways of moving are helpful for people whose neck pain is job related. Many professional musicians, for example, benefit from this technique.

Aromatherapy

Combined with massage, this is a good way to relax muscles.

Biofeedback

Training in biofeedback skills can help overcome muscle spasms. Biofeedback may also be useful in stopping tooth grinding and other habits that cause TM] problems.

Chiropractic

Treatments are concentrated on the neck and upper back to alleviate pressure on nerves in the neck.

Meditation And Yoga

Breathing exercises, relaxation methods, and focused meditation can ease stress related pain.

Self Treatment

A heating pad can be helpful, but even more effective is the wet heat provided by special pads such as Thermaphore. Otherwise, self-care centers on exercises to relieve tension at the back of the neck. The following routine can be done several times a day, at home or at work. To increase their effect, do the first two exercises as slowly as possible, and when you drop your head, drop your lower jaw too and close your eyes.

  • Roll your head slowly three times clockwise, then three times counter clockwise, dropping its full weight at the end of each cycle.
  • Drop your head forward, without moving your shoulders, then from one side to the other; next, tilt it backward as far as you can. Do this 10 times.
  • Without tilting your head, swivel it slowly from side to side 10 times, and then repeat the exercise more quickly.
  • To relax neck and shoulders, sit in a chair with good back support. With your feet about 18 inches apart and flat on the floor, stretch your arms and trunk upward. With buttocks firmly placed on the seat, drop your body forward, letting head and arms dangle.
  • Standing straight, with feet parallel and about 12 inches apart, stretch arms high above your head, then drop your upper body forward from the hips so that your arms, head, and shoulders are hanging loose. Keep this position for about 30 seconds, then shake arms, shoulders, and head, and raise your body slowly. Repeat several times.

Other Causes of Neck Pain

Arthritis, structural defects, and wry neck are a few causes of neckaches. Pain also may be referred to the neck during earache, headache, or toothache.

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9 Tips to Prevent Nail Fungus

9 Tips to Prevent Nail Fungus

Prevention is better than cure as the proverb goes the same is when it comes to finding the best treatment for any kind of infection or disease especially nail fungus disorder as trying to prevent the spread of this disease at the onset is better than treating it when it is full fledged as it saves you not only from unwanted troubles but also pain.

The problem of nail fungus can attack anyone as this is commonly found in people suffering from excessive sweating in the hands and feet, people suffering from nail disorder and having a poor immune system are more prone to the attack of this infection. At the same time not all people suffering from poor immune system are prone to this infection. The thing that you need to take utmost care is that as this infection is a contagious one the earlier treated the better.

Treatment for nail fungus

Prevention is the best way out and enlisted below are some effective preventive measures

  1. The need to use protective footwear when using pubic facilities like the locker rooms, gym showers and swimming pools as you will not know who is infected with this nail disorder so remember that this is a contagious infection.
  2. Try to keep your nails as short, clean and dry. Trimming of the nails should be done regularly. The need to dry the hands and feet after bath is important as the fungus grows in damp and humid areas.
  3. The use of anti-fungal powders and sprays is important in order to eliminate the problem of fungus completely. The need to dry your shoes is important so that the sweat dries up, sweating excessively is also a reason for the growth of the fungus so change the socks everyday and you should also use sandals alternatively so that the growth of the fungus is eliminated.
  4. If you are fond of applying nail paint to your toes then you need to avoid it as the nail paint is known to trap the fungus and the moisture thus aggravating the problem.
  5. The need to get nail pedicure and manicure from a reputable par lour is important, though they may be expensive they see to it that all the instruments that are used are sterilized thus helping prevent nail fungal growth.
  6. The need to wash the hands thoroughly after applying ointment or medication like funginix to the affected area is important as it can affect the other nails too.
  7. Avoid picking the skin around the nails as this can cause as this can break the skin surface thus giving access to the germs and fungus to enter the nail base.
  8. Don’t ignore the symptoms of the nail fungal disorder and the earlier you get it treated the better.
  9. The need to eat a balanced diet so as to keep the immune system functioning efficiently and healthy is important. This will help your immune system to fight against all those unwanted germs, bacteria, fungus and viruses.

Everything is ultimately in your own hands so take all the precaution so that it will not only save you from the pains of nail disorder but will keep your immune system healthy and functioning efficiently.

Canker Sores

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small, painful mouth ulcers that develop most often in the soft fold of tissue where the inner cheeks meet the gums. Other common sites include the soft palate, tongue, and floor of the mouth; it is not unusual for two or three to appear at a time, even 10 or more in some cases. They start as small red areas and within a day or two, each center forms a yellow or white crater. Ranging in size from an one eighth inch to one-half inch or more across, they can be painful enough to interfere with speaking and eating the first two or three days. Some people also develop a low grade fever, swollen lymph nodes, and feelings of general malaise. Their specific cause is unknown, but canker sores are frequently linked to fatigue, stress, poor diet, or debilitated physical condition due to another ill ness. People with AIDS or certain types of cancer often develop the sores, possibly due to a weakened immune system. In contrast, some researchers believe that the sores are more likely to develop when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. Another possible cause is irritation from overly vigorous brushing of the teeth, eating certain foods, dental fillings that scrape the mouth, and poorly fitted dentures. In women, canker sores often appear just prior to menstruation. Recurring attacks are common, but most canker sores heal within two weeks and leave no scars.

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

The sores are readily diagnosed by a visual examination. In some cases, a laboratory culture may be needed to distinguish them from those of herpes, and to rule out the presence of a secondary bacterial infection.

Medical Treatments

Medical care is not usually necessary unless the condition persists or recurs frequently. In such cases, a mouthwash with tetracycline may be prescribed to relieve pain, especially if a secondary infection is present. In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe steroid medication to be used both as a mouthwash and in tablet form. Other prescription products are anesthetic mouthwashes to make eating more comfortable, and a paste that is applied to the ulcer to relieve pain and promote healing.

Alternative Therapies

Aromatherapy

Lemon oil applied during a facial massage is recommended for treating canker sores.

Herbal Medicine

The tannic acid in tea is astringent, helping to dry up canker sores and bring relief from pain. Dip a regular teabag into boiling water, squeeze out most of the water, allow it to cool, then apply it to the canker sore for three minutes. Repeat as needed until the sore disappears. Herbalists also suggest rinsing the mouth with a rose water decoction, made by simmering rose petals in a pint of water. Other popular herbal remedies include rinses made from raspberry leaf, burdock, sage, or red clover decoctions. Tincture of myrrh may be applied directly to the sore, but caution is recommended, because it can damage delicate mouth tissue.

Naturopathy and Nutrition Therapy

Until the sores heal, it’s best to eat soothing, cool foods. Milk, gelatin, ice cream, puddings, and custard usually are well tolerated. Yogurt with active lactobacillus acidophilus cultures is both soothing and reportedly speeds healing. In fact, many naturopaths advocate acidophilus pills, starting with two tablets per meal, decreasing the dosage as the condition clears up. Onions, either raw or cooked, are recommended for their high sulfur content. Avoid chocolate, citrus fruits, acidic foods, and salty or spicy foods, which are likely to irritate the ulcers. If you suffer from recurrent sores, have a nutritionist analyze your diet to make sure it provides adequate folic acid, iron, zinc, and vitamin B 12 . A limited number of studies have shown a link between canker sores and deficiencies of these nutrients.

Yoga and Meditation

Because canker sores at times appear to be related to stress, these and other relaxation techniques, including breathing exercises, can be a helpful aspect of both treatment and prevention.

Self Treatment

Most canker sores will clear up within 7 to 10 days. In the meantime, to relieve pain, try an over the counter anesthetic gel or liquid, applying it directly to the ulcer. A styptic pencil, such as those used by barbers to stop bleeding from minor nicks, numbs the nerve endings and provides temporary relief. Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can also help with pain. Rinse your mouth several times a day with a mild solution of saltwater( ½ teaspoon of salt in I cup of warm water), and clean the sores frequently with a cotton swab dipped in a solution of one part 3-percent hydrogen peroxide to four parts water. To clean teeth, use a soft toothbrush and baking soda, which is less irritating than toothpaste. See your dentist if you think the sores are being caused by braces, dentures, or a rough tooth.

Other Causes of Mouth Ulcers

A herpes simplex infection causes fever blisters or cold sores that resemble canker sores. If you have previously had a herpes infection, the sores may recur at the same time canker sores appear because they seem to share precipitating factors. Also, oral thrush, a yeast infection, shows up as white patches in the mouth, which can result in small painful ulcers. Smoking promotes mouth sores in some people, but it more commonly causes leukoplakia, thick whitish patches that often evolve into cancer.

Subungual Exostosis

It starts up with development of tumors of the bone or an outgrowth of bone from the upper most portion of the toe or finger. It is called subungual because it happens below the nail arising on the distal phalanx. It’s very first case was of involving the thumb in a six and half year old-female child. Its cause is still unknown till now. It is necessary to perform X-rays of the lesion to know its bony origin.

It is rare case of Osteochondromas which are bone plasms & they are the commonly found tumors of the toe of foot. The growth of tumor is seen in the last part of tiny bones, known as the tip of the toe. Though it can not be noticed so easily but when treated gives a lot of pain to the patient.

It is defined Exostosis Cartilaginea due to its distinctive variety cartilaginous cap like the tumor emerges from the nails plate. It is type of a lesion which is mostly asymptomatic but sometimes can pain & ulceration of the bed of nail could occur. It normally develops during teenage & less common in males than females. Subungual exostosis cases are very minute under the age of nine years. Some factors which have been told for this exostosis are trauma, chronic infection or sometimes a genetic disorder. Etiology had also declared as congenital, but trauma looks to be commonly reported news in the famous subungual type tumor.

It can transform into a chondrosarcoma. Its transformation from benign tumor to malignant tumor had also been found, but not subungual Osteochondromas. It can be removed by surgical treatment. The lesions grow outwards up throughout the nail bed and look as strong, marble like lobulated or sometimes little translucent. As per myzetaclear.com, it’s diagnosis is mostly is made on radiographs. On radiographs, subungual exotosis appears as bony outgrowth growing from the parent bone of the toe or finger. The growth has clear cortical margins without any destruction of the parent bone. The growth of cortex and medulla are continuous with the parent bone. It’s cap is not seen as it is radiolucen and can be viewed on histopathology. By the histopathological reports, subungual exotosis resembles an osseous callus in its shape and gradations to bony trabeculae (a base of trabecular bone is lined by a cartilage cap with some ossification starting from base to cap).

Treatment options can have curettage of the lesion, allogenic bone graft, ablation and the use of cauterization. Differential checkup includes osteochondroma, enchondroma, and other malignant tumor of some cartilaginous origin or chondroblastoma. The cartilaginous part of the tumor was destroyed and reduced down to raw bone. A very high speed rotary burr was then employed to saucerize and remove the remaining bone. A curette named tool was then employed to remove any loose bone from the base of any injury or any defect. After some days of removal of the tumor, healing of the nail bed is observed. After some days of surgery nail bed re-growth takes place.