Preventing Osteoporosis: Avoiding Bone Robbers

As we age, osteoporosis becomes more of a concern, and not just for women. One in four men will lose height or otherwise suffer from osteoporosis. Most people believe that osteoporosis is inevitable and that the only way to handle it is to take expensive medicines for the reminder of their lives. That is simply not true! There are things you can do to prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis for those who do not have it, and for those who do, these can help to lessen your risk. Avoiding bone robbers in your everyday life is one of the things that you can do to lower the effects of osteoporosis in your life.

Bone robbers may sound like Victorian villains, but they're far more commonplace than that. Common, seemingly innocuous lifestyle choices can rob your bones of their mineral density and make your other efforts less effective. Here are a few bone robbers to avoid in your daily life to help you to prevent or reduce the effects of osteoporosis.

An Inactive Lifestyle

Without muscles pulling against our bones to strengthen them, our bodies do not want to put forth the effort to build strong bone matter. When we lead an active lifestyle, our muscles do not need to work as hard, which means our bones also do not need to work as hard and can deteriorate. Try to incorporate strength training into your daily routine, as it is of special benefit to the bones. Other exercises can also help, including even taking simple walks or going for a swim. Remember, even 30 minutes every other day is better than nothing at all.

Cigarette Smoking

In addition to being absolutely horrible for the rest of your body, cigarettes are bone robbers too. Smoking can double your chance of bone loss and fractures because it reduces the effectiveness of estrogen, a hormone without which our bone density decreases rapidly. If you still smoke, quit for both your bones and the rest of your body's sake.

Drinking Excess Alcohol

Chronic heavy drinking has been linked with an increase in bone loss risk and in the likelihood of fracture. Limit yourself to a maximum of two drinks a day, with one or none being obviously better.

Malnourishment, Being Underweight, and / or a History of Eating Disorder

When our bodies are starving, they will find nutrients wherever they can, including by robbing them from our bones. Even those who over-exercise to the point of having very little body fat are at risk of their bones losing mineral density due to their bodies requiring more minerals to function at the levels demanded of it.

Drinking Soft Drinks

Cola-flavored drinks in particular may contain extra phosphorus that may bind with calcium to make it more difficult to absorb than it would otherwise be. Scientists are uncertain if this is exactly the cause, but they have found a correlation between soft drink consumption and lower bone density.

{ Comments are closed }

Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

Developmental dysplasia of the hip is a problem with the formation of the hip joint in infants and children. Children with this condition often need to spend the first several months of their lives in corrective braces to allow their hip joints to form properly. If used early, the condition is easy to treat, but children condition condition is not discarded at or shortly after birth may face corrective surgery. If untreated, developmental hip dysplasia can prevent a child from walking or cause major problems with their hips as they develop.

Babies at Highest Risk

Certain babies are at higher risk for being born with hip dysplasia than others. These include:

  • Girls – Statistically, girls have a higher incidence of developmental hip dysplasia than boys, and it is especially common in firstborn girls.
  • Babies born in breech position.
  • Babies born with other conditions that result from womb positioning, like clubfoot and torticollis.
  • Children born to families with a history of hip dysplasia.
  • Babies born to mothers who suffered from oligohydraminos, or lack of intrauterine fluid

Although risk is greater for babies in these groups, it is possible for any child to be born with developmental dysplasia of the hip, so most countries have a protocol for checking the child shortly after birth.

Diagnosis

Hip dysplasia is usually diagnosed through a physical examination shortly after birth. Physicians use special leg maneuvers called the Barlow and Ortolani tests to try to feel for a “hip click,” which typically indicates that dysplasia is likely. Because young infants bones do not show up on X-rays, doctors will likely perform an ultrasound on your baby's hip to confirm diagnosis. If diagnosis is uncertain, your baby will need further testing. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will recommend that you see a pediatric orthopedist.

Treatment

Your pediatric orthopedic specialist will recommend a course of action to help your child to overcome their hip dysplasia. Often, this treatment plan will rarely strongly on how old the child is at the beginning of treatment. If used early enough, hip dysplasia can easily be corrected through the use of braces. However, if it is not caught within the first six months, braces may not be enough. Older babies usually need to undergo placement in a more restrictive cast to maintain the position of the hip joint. Over one year of age, and your child will likely need surgery to correct their hip joint positioning, so early detection is critical. Success of the treatment also strongly correlates to the age of the child, with young infections having the highest success rates.

{ Comments are closed }

Broken Bones: How to Tell, What to Do, and What Healing Involves

There are many cases where it can be useful to diagnose what might be a broken bone before medical professionals can come and know what to do should you believe a bone is indeed broken. If you are indeed dealing with a broken bone, there may be a long and painful road ahead to achieve healing. Learn more about how to know if a bone is broken, what to do if you think a bone is broken, and what the healing process may be like if you have indeed broken a bone.

Knowing If a Bone Is Broken

Sometimes it is very easy to tell that a bone is broken, like when a limb is obviously out of place or misshapen or when bone breaks through skin. However, if there are not obvious signs, there are still ways to accurately gauge that a bone might be broken before medical professionals can come on the scene. Intense pain, numbness or tingling, swelling, bruising, bleeding, and limited mobility or the inability to move a limb are all signals that a bone may be broken or fractured. Children will sometimes not express the pain they are in, so if they will not put weight on or move an arm or leg after an accident, it's best to insure something is broken.

If You Believe a Bone Is Broken

If you believe you are dealing with a broken bone, you should avoid moving the person if at all possible. Obviously, if you are in immediate danger, moving is the better option, but if you are not, stay put and wait for medical help to arrive. Try to keep the person still and as calm as possible. If you must move the individual, immobilize the broken bone before moving them; rolled up newspapers, strips of wood, and other long and fairly hard objects are great for immobilization. Once you're in a reliably safe place, lay the person down flat, lift their feet, and cover them with a blanket or coat to try to prevent shock. Always practice proper bleeding control if the person is bleeding.

Once Diagnosis Is Confirmed

Once you've seen your doctor and they have confirmed that a fraction is present, you have a long road ahead of you. If the bone can be set, it must stay immobilized for some time before it can be used. If the bone is difficult to set, it may require the specialized care of an orthopedic surgeon. After the cast comes off, physical therapy will be necessary to rebuild muscles that have atrophied during the healing process. Although physical therapy can be challenging and sometimes painful, it will be worth it in the end when you are able to fully use your body once again.

{ Comments are closed }

Bone Density 101

One of the most common diseases among post-menopausal women and certain older men is osteoporosis. If your doctor suspects that you might be at risk for osteoporosis, they may suggest that you have a bone density test done to help determine your risk factor. But what is bone density, how is it checked, who should be tested, and is there any way to preserve or improve it? Read on to find out.

What Is It?

Bone density is the measurement of the amount of mineral concentration in your bones. It can also be called bone mineral density. It can be used as an indicator for osteoporosis and the likelihood of a fracture. Poor bone density is statistically linked to a higher probability of sustaining a fraction, so doctors are able to tell if patients are at a higher risk for fracture by performing a bone density test.

How Can I Check Mine?

Your doctor can check your bone density through a density test. This test uses X-rays to determine the concentration of calcium and other minerals in a segment of bone. The most commonly checked bones are the spine, hip, and forearm.

Who Should Get Tested?

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that the following groups be tested for low bone density:

  • All women aged 65 and older regardless of risk factors
  • Younger postmenopausal women with one or more risk factors.
  • Postmenopausal women who present with fractures.
  • Estrogen deficient women at clinical risk for osteoporosis.
  • Individuals with vertebral abnormalities.
  • Individuals receiving, or planning to receive, long-term glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy.
  • Individuals with primary hyperparathyroidism.
  • Individuals being monitored to assess the response or efficacy of an approved osteoporosis drug therapy.
  • Individuals with a history of eating disorders

Although there are many risk factors for low density in bones, the main ones doctors look at near your age and sex are your family history, whether you went through menopause early (if you're a woman), if you have a low body weight , and if you've had previous broken bones or any height loss.

How Can I Preserve or Improve My Bone Density?

There are several steps you can take to either improve your bone density or at least stop loss. Regular exercise is one of the most important ways to encourage healthy bone mineralization. Other ways to help your body produce its best bones are to get enough calcium and vitamin D daily, which people often take supplements for; to eat a good diet full of fruits and vegetables, which can provide your body with additional minerals and nutrients that can help with bone growth; and to cut back on smoking and alcohol consumption, both of which can affect the body's calcium supply. Your doctor may also prescribe medicine to help encourage your body to optimize its calcium absorption.

{ Comments are closed }

Different Types of Chiropractor Services

A chiropractor is able to treat and diagnose problems related to the nervous, muscular, and skeletal system. A chiropractor takes an alternative approach to health which does not rely on drugs or surgery, although they will refer a patient to a doctor or specialist if they are not able to treat a specific problem. Even though the chiropractor will treat spinal related disorders, the actual type of work they perform can vary depending on the particular field that they specialize in.

After completing an initial examination, a chiropractor will be able to discuss potential treatment options with a patient to suggest the best course of action for assisting with a particular problem.

Here is a basic overview of main types of chiropractor services available –

A general chiropractor is often involved in a range of health related problems related directly to the muscular and skeletal system, and the negative impact these problems have on a patient's nervous system and overall well-being. Certain treatments may involve the manipulation of the spelling for helping to alleviate discomfort, suggesting an exercise program that is able to align and strengthen the spine, give advice on promoting a healthy lifestyle, offer a balanced nutrition program and stress management. In order to help with correcting in the posture and controlling pain, the chiropractor might suggest the use of certain types of straps or braces.

A specialist chiropractor may well focus their attention on a particular field, such as those that relate to sport injuries, pediatrics or nutrition. For instance, the pediatric may help the child overcome such medical conditions relating to colic and asthma, as well as the back and neck problems. If training to become a specialist chiropractor further tuition is required, and this is tailor to the specific chosen field. A wide range of Chiropractor colleges are available for those that wish to specialize and continue to learn in a particular field.

Beyond the chiropractor that aims to address the root cause of a condition, there are those that focus much of their attention on trying to relieve symptoms of a particular condition. Some of the treatments available include acupuncture, electrotherapy, and massage to help decompress the joints.

Also, dependent on the level of pain or discomfort that a patient is feeling, frequency of visits to the office can vary quite significantly, which repeat visits often determined by the extend of damage in need of correcting.

{ Comments are closed }

Health Benefits of Nopal Cactus

For those suffering from joint pain, swelling, inflammation and stiffness, most of the treatments are based on prescribed medicines that have side effects. However, there are natural products that can help limit flare ups and can actually reduce inflammation of the joints. The healths benefits of the Nopal cactus for example has now been incorporated into juice form that is tasty and easy to include into a healthy diet.

The health benefits of Nopal cactus starts with its unusual source. While most fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins and nutrients, they do not provide the inflammation-decreasing qualities that are found within the cactus itself. The cactus, which is native to the Sonoran dessert, contains many of the rich vitamins and nutrients that are found in fruits and vegetables, but it is also a strong source of antioxidants that helps to remove the toxins in your body that otherwise can damage the cells .

The rich source of antioxidants is the key to the health benefits of the Nopal Cactus. In juice form, this product provides a powerful source of the daily vitamins and minerals along with the inflammation reducing properties the body needs.

Here are some of the health benefits.

  • eases the digestive system
  • decreases inflammation int he joints
  • relieves stiffness
  • provides a rich source of fiber
  • help alleviate the pain associated with inflammation

The health benefits are certainly a strong statement to the powerful, positive effects it can have on the human body. Along the ones listed above, there are additional side health benefits of Nopal cactus as well.

Regulation Blood Sugar: For those who may be in danger of suffering from the effects of Type 2 diabetes, the cactus can be an important part in helping to regulate blood sugar levels in association with a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Improve Colon Health: By reducing the toxins in the body and adding much needed fiber, the cactus can literally sweep away the remaining toxins in the colon which can help you feel healthier.

Lower Cholesterol: The fibers of the cactus combine with the bile salt found in the intestines to help reduce the blood fats absorbed into the body. In turn, this can reduce your cholesterol level.

Healthy Liver Function: By clearing away the toxins, your liver has less work to do which means a stronger, healthier liver over time.

Removes Plaque in Blood Vessels: The powerful antioxidants remove the body fats in blood vessels that can form into plaque.

The powerful health benefits of Nopal cactus are well documented and the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants alone are enough to recommend this product to everyone. But the additional benefits, including reduced inflammation in the joints, improving the health of the colon and liver while reducing cholesterol certainly makes this the one product to include in your daily diet regimen. Be sure that if you purchase Nopal cactus in juice form that it does not contain added sugars which can unbalance the effects of the nutrients to your body.

{ Comments are closed }

Knee Tendon Bursitis – Cause and Symptoms

Pain and tenderness along the inside of the knee, about two to three inches below the knee joint, presents symptoms of knee tendon bursitis. This condition is medically known as pes anserine bursitis.

The pes anserine bursa is a small and lubricating sac that is located in between the shinbone and three tendons of the hamstring muscles, along the inside of the knee. Bursitis in this location results in significant pain and increased difficulty in mobility if left untreated.

Causes of Knee Tendon Bursitis

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of bursitis in the knee tendon, including:

· Obesity, or prolonged periods of being overweight
· Tight hamstring muscles
· Incorrect exercise and training techniques, such as excessive hill running and neglect of stretching properly
· An out-turning of the knee or the lower portion of the leg
· Osteoarthritis development in the knee
· A medial meniscus tear

The inflamed bursa results in bursitis that develops due to an overuse or improper use of the area. This condition is common in athletes, particular runners, due to constant friction and stress on the affected area.

Symptoms of Knee Tendon Bursitis

The primary symptoms associated with knee tendon bursitis include the following:

· Pain that gradually develops and worsens on the inside of the knee and sometimes in the center of the shinbone, approximately two to three inches below the joint of the knee.
· Pain that increases with exercise, activity and climbing stairs.

Treatment Plan

Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor will most likely prescribe a modified lifestyle change, with regards to a changed workout routine. Other forms of treatment may include:

· Rest – Discontinue regular activities or substituted different activities until the bursitis clears up and symptoms are resolved.
· Ice – Ice should be applied at regular intervals through the day. Typical ice application schedules are three to four times a day for 20 minutes at a time.
· Anti-inflammatory drugs – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are recommended, such as ibuprofen, to reduce pain and swelling associated with the bursitis.
· Injections – Your doctor may recommend a steroid injection directly into the bursa, which may result in prompt or immediate relief.

Since many of the symptoms associated with knee tendon bursitis may mimic those of a stress fracture, x-rays are usually ordered to determine the proper diagnosis. A careful and thorough examination of the knee is necessary in drawing the proper conclusion on which course of treatment should be followed.

{ Comments are closed }

Home Remedies for Soothing a Stiff Neck

If you have ever woken up with a sore neck then you can appreciate how painful and annoying it can be. A pain is noticed as soon as you try to turn your head in the morning. If for whatever reason your neck goes out-of-place while you are sleeping there are several different remedies which might be used to help with soothing a sore or stiff feeling neck. Here are some of the main remedies that might be used at home –

Medications

If you wake up with a sore neck due to sleeping in a somewhat awkward position then a first thing to reach for in the morning might the supply of NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the medicine cabinet. These may include aspirin, naproxen sodium or ibuprofen, which are all everyday pain medications that can be quite effective in relieving the sore neck symptoms.

Gently Move the Neck

A common reaction to waking up with a sore neck is to twist and turn to try to loosen it up. However, this is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Rather then aggressively moving the neck, it is a lot more beneficial to gradually move the neck in a left and right, up and down direction, which should be done in small movements. Always aim to be gentle in your movements. You might also want to try to massage the neck to help with loosening up the sore neck muscles. If you continue to do this gently for five to ten minutes then the neck should start to loosen up.

Use an Ice Pack

Beside doing a gentle massage, another effective technique that can be used to loosen the neck muscles is to place an ice pack on the sore area, which should slow help to alleviate the pain and reduce the inflammation. An ice pack can often be used over a period of 72 hours if the stiffness persists.

In most cases the sore neck is a result of sleeping in an awkward position and because of that you wake up hurting. However, if the aches seem to be more persistent and noticeable than usual it might mean that something more serious is the problem. Neck or back pain can be serious, so if the symptoms of a sore neck include numbness, fever, or a headache then it is often best to visit a doctor to find the full extent of the problem.

{ Comments are closed }

Pain Killers Bad For Kidneys, Worse for CKD

Do you pop pills at the slightest pain? If you are a pill-popper here is something you should know about analgesics also known as pain killers. They may lend your pain but may be harming a vital organ in your body: your kidneys. Even worse is those analgesics further reduce blood flow to the kidney when a person suffers from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

How can the use of analgesics hurt the kidneys? The long-term use of ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and other higher dose aspirin can cause chronic interstitial nephritis. For this reason, over the counter (OTC) pain relievers should not be used for more than 10 days and fever reducers for more than three days. This is clearly indicated in the warning labels of OTC analgesics. OTC analgesics include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and ketoprofen. Prescription analgesics are also available, and are usually stronger than OTC ones.

Additionally, analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been known to contribute to gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers. The use of NSAIDs also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. NSAIDs are a group of pain relievers that include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and ketoprofen.

It is strongly recommended that analgesics be used as prescribed by your doctor, or as stated on the label for OTC drugs; they should be taken at the lowest dose; and used for a short period.

Those with reduced kidney functions are not recommended to take higher dose aspirin and NSAIDs. If necessary, kidney patients should take NSAIDs under a doctor's care. NSAIDs also have contra-indications for people with heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure and those over 65. These pills increase the risk of kidney failure and cause progressive kidney damage.

Meanwhile, acetaminophen is the recommended analgesic for kidney patients. Aspirin is not recommended because it acts as a “blood thinner” and may cause bleeding complications. Patients on regular acetaminophen use should be supervised by their doctors. Alcohol should be avoided while on this medication.

The good news is kidney disease caused by the use of analgesics is PREVENTABLE! Here are some guidelines on how to use analgesics without harming your kidneys: Remember what was earlier said about prolonged use? Well OTC analgesics should not be used for more than 10 days for pain, and more than 3 days for fever. Drink at least eight glasses of fluids daily when taking analgesics, and avoid drinking alcohol. Analgesics with a mixture of painkillers and caffeine in one pill should be avoided. These can drastically damage the kidneys. Read the warning labels for all OTC analgesics. Those with under medical conditions like high blood pressure, kidney or liver diseases should take NSAIDs under the doctor's care. Last but not least, your doctor should be aware of all the medications you're taking.

{ Comments are closed }

Why It Hurts – Part 1

In the headlines we hear things such as:

-Chronic pain is responsible for more than $ 150 billion spent on healthcare- and disability-related costs. – US Census Bureau 1996

-Addressing chronic pain, a hard-to-treat yet highly common condition, costs the United States as much as $ 635 billion. – Reuters March 2012

-Lost productive time because of common pain conditions alone among workers costs an estimated $ 61.2 billion per year. – Excerpt from JAMA in 2003.

All of this is for the most part astounding but for those of us who are suffering it is like so what. The thing that has the greatest impression upon our minds is, why does it hurt?

Let me add another question to that one for you, why do babies cry?

I know that it sounds a little crazy to ask such a thing but I want you to think of an answer in just a single word. Once you have your answer go ahead and write it down or just keep a mental note of it for now. I'm sure by now that you already have your answer. Let's consider the reason that a baby or infant cries is to alert the parent to address a need that it has and desires to be met. The greater the need that child has, the greater the cry or longer it will cry. This is not rocket science here folks and neither is it meant to be. What you need to realize is that our body is no different than that crying baby. The problem is thanks to its wiring the method your body will use to communicate with you the most is pain.

Pain is your body's way of informing you that there is a need that must be addressed or a situation that requires your utmost attention. Pain is part of a natural electro-chemical process and in most cases it is stimulated by a disruption within or without of the body. The manifestation of this disruption may be an actual injury or even a perceived injury. Also the manifestation could have been in the form of a sickness, or emotion which could lead to a set of characteristic behavior that further complicates the original disruption. For now we will just focus on an injury. The greater the injury or the longer it goes without being addressed the greater or longer the pain lasts or recurs.

Even if you looked at the more technical explanation of why pain hurts and look into the receptor terminals on the skin and organs that our nerves are attached to and just focused on the noceceptive chain of events that come from noxious stimuli or even take into account the psychological stimulors and the overall undercoming impact on the body, is not this still communication? Our entire nervous system is nothing more than a very complex communications network designed to effectively do one main thing, which is get your attention and pain once again is one way in which God designed our bodies to carry out that communication.

You see it does not really do much good to the person suffering to have a nice list of big words and explanations that usually are hard to understand just to get the simple gist that hey your body is trying to tell you something. In the grand scheme of things there must be a paradigm shift from practitioner as the expert to patient as the expert. Let me let all of you out there suffering from pain in on a little known secret, you are the expert on your condition.

Why and how is this so? Simple, you are in your body all day not, your physicist or practitioner. Once you really get this straight, things can begin to change for you permanently. I know you were expecting something more technical and hard to understand that would likely take a degree but that is why the heads read the way they do right now. It is time for you to realize that hey my body is not against me but is really trying to let me know what that next step is and no one else can tell you. Help is a good thing but the right kind of help is a great thing. People today do not need more prescriptions but need to be provided with the right:

-Tools
-Guidance
-Encouragement

These are the formula for real relief and possible reversal of whatever condition they deal with. In the rest of this series we will be going to defect into why it hurts and elaborating more so by and by on the type of tools, guidance and encouragement that are useful to have real elevation from your painful state. So stay tuned to learn how you can effectively apply the power you already have to confidently take steady steps down the road to recovery.

{ Comments are closed }

TMJ Dysfunction and the Anatomy of the Temporomandibular Joint

When you hear people talk about TMJ it typically represents the term for TMJ dysfunction, or dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. Professionally speaking, TMJ just is a representation of the two temporomandibular joints in the skull, the right and left TMJ. TMJ dysfunction then means any of the associated symptoms and pathologies that result as problems occur in the two craniofacial joints.

In order to completely understand what TMJ dysfunction means and how it occurs, it first makes sense to look at the anatomy of the TM joints and what can potentially go wrong when these joints get affected by trauma or dysfunction.

We will first look at a normal TM joint and then look at some examples of pathology.

Normal TMJ – Absence of TMJ dysfunction

In a normal TMJ where there is a healthy joint, you will find that the joint head, or condyle, is encapsulated by a lubricating disc, which is concave on the top and the bottom. This bi-concave disc is a protective layer between the joint space (or fossa) and the condylar head. When the jaw opens and closes, the disc stops completely in between the joint head and the fossa space and does not have any movement associated with it. The movement occurs in two parts: rotation and translation. In the absence of TMJ dysfunction, the movement is fluid and does not contain any vibrations.

The movement of the TMJ is guided by a set of muscles, most importantly the pterygoid muscles. This muscle group is composed of an anterior or upper head, and an inferior or lower head. Regular movement of these muscles will cause rotation and translation and thus the joint will move fluidly in the joint space and jaw opening occurs. Since there is so much complexity in the joint movement, it is no wonder that TMJ dysfunction is a common occurrence.

In contrast to the normal joint movement, sometimes the ligament that is connected to the disc gets overstretched so resulting in the disc getting started in front of the TMJ. This is one of the major causes of TMD.

TM Joint with ADDR – Anterior Disc Displacement (has TMJ dysfunction)

In this case, posterior ligament and tissues behind the joint get stretched out and the concave disc gets stuck in front. This is called an anteriorly displaced disc. If the joint stops or clicks while opening and closing occurs, this is known as a displacement and reduction. The term reduction denotes that the disc is moving back into the normal place. For many people suffering from TMJ dysfunction, the clicking and popping noise can even be heard. Sometimes it hurts and other times it is simply a nuisance. There are many different stages of DDR TMD and depending on how much the ligament is stretched out, it can be known as a partial disc displacement (PDDR) or a complete DDR. During partial DDR the disc is not completely off the disc and pain may occur.

Often times trauma is the main cause of this type of TMJ dysfunction pathology. Now since the condyle is actually a 3-dimensional joint, the displacement can occur both anteriorly (in front) or medial / lateral (from side to side).

So What is TMJ Dysfunction and TMJ?

Now that we know that the term TMJ simply reiterates to the joint itself and not the problems of the joint, it is noted that TMD is the correct term for TMJ dysfunction. If you hear someone say that they have TMJ, they are correct – in fact they can actually say that they have two! So now you can tell them the correct term for the pathology is TMD of the TM joints!

For the most part, your dentist is best trained to treat TMD, but that is not always the case. Now that you have learned more about TMD, you are geared to understanding the some of the treatment options.

{ Comments are closed }

TMJ Symptoms That Lead to TMD

TMD, or commonly known as either TMJ dysfunction or simply 'TMJ' by the lay person, can often show many faces and various TMJ symptoms can arise. Due to the plethora of symptoms that can arise, you will find many health care professionals have difficulty trying to identify the pathology and dysfunction and even treat it.

We will review many of the common TMJ symptoms here and many of these can be the beginning of a problem that gets worse more often than not. One of the most common symptoms that people experience is the TMJ clicking and / or popping. When the joint is in the improper position in the joint space or fossa, the lubricating and supporting 'disc' can become out of place and cause the joint to click or pop during opening, because the disc move between the correct and incorrect position.

When the joint head is in the improper position, the nerves and blood vessels can become under pressure from the close contact of the joint and these TMJ symptoms can become painful. Headaches and eye pain often become prevalent. Some even experience migraines and headaches. Other TMJ symptoms include ear pain, ringing in the ears, imbalanced awareness or vertigo, and ear aches. These symptoms occur because the joint is in close proximity to the ear canal.

Since the joint is encapsulated by a number of muscle groups including the pterygoids (superior and inferior heads) and the masseters (under your cheek), an improper bite leading to clenching and grinding can make these muscles clench hyperactively and these TMJ symptoms cause pain for may sufferers. The problem with this is that the patient many times can not tell whether the TMJ symptoms are from the teeth, the muscles, or the joint. There are cases where patients have had tooth extracts because the dentist did not properly diagnose the condition, whereas under better diagnostic practices would have led the clinician to identifying that the problem was in fact in the muscles and not the teeth.

There are also a series of tests you can perform to see if you have some more unidentifiable TMJ symptoms. One test you can do to see if you have trismus, or over-worked muscles is to try and fit the width of your index, middle, and ring fingers in your mouth. If you can not, you may have a TMJ issue.

Also, you can look in the mirror and watch the path of your mouth opening. Watch your jaw move as you open slowly; if it moves to one side and comes back or goes off to one side and places, these are TMJ symptoms known as deviation and deflection, respectively.

If you are showing any of these signs of TMJ symptoms, make sure to check with your dental professional and make sure that they have an EMG unit and a Joint Vibration Analysis.

{ Comments are closed }

Few Things To Consider Before You Visit A Chiropractor

Most people suffer from body pain at some point in time in their lives. Popping a painkiller every time does not seem to be very appealing. A Chiropractor is the best alternative today when it comes to curing such pain. There is no surgery needed and because of this it is perhaps a better option than most other methods of treating pain.

Chronic pain can really affect your daily living. You can not concentrate or even move when you are in pain. Although you can consume medicines, but the real source of pain is still not treated. Chiropractors offer a more natural way of healing your pain without getting your body exposed to different chemicals and other harmful side-effects. This is one of the major advantages of going in for such therapy. Drugs and antibiotics may not be very useful in the long run. If you allow your body to heal naturally, it will develop stronger muscles and you will enjoy relief for much longer periods.

But there are some things you need to be careful about before visiting a Chiropractor. You must ensure that the person is qualified and experienced.

You need to remember that the procedure involves the spine which can be a critical area. If it is not done properly, it may even cause paralysis. That's why you have to make sure that the specialists are well-trained and he or she has a license to do the procedure. You can not just entrust yourself to someone who does not even know what he or she is doing. Ask for references and check with some of the previous clients so that you can be very sure before you go in for your treatment.

The treatment does not start without a proper examination. They will very well do the assessment, especially on your spine to make sure that everything is done correctly. Such examinations may generally include an X-ray, physical examination, neurological examination. He will also go through your health history before starting the treatment.

Since the experts are proven and tested, after the procedure is done, you will feel a huge difference. With constant application of the techniques, you will be free from the pain. The practitioners will usually prescribe lifestyle models to prevent the re-occurrence of such pain.

A lot of people now prefer non-surgical methods of treating their ailments. Chiropractors have become popular in recent times as they have been able to treat people naturally without excessive drugs or medicines.

{ Comments are closed }

Chiropractor Vs. Osteopath Vs. Orthopedic Doctor – Who Should I See?

There are many medical fields that deal with body pain, and many patients often ask if they should visit a chiropractor, an osteopath or an orthopedist. While these professions seem related to each other, they are actually different health practices, each with their own specific specialties.

Chiropractors, osteopaths and orthopedic doctors specialize in different things, so the best health provider for you will depend very much on your condition or injury. Before making a decision, it is important to understand what chiropractors, osteopaths and orthopedists do and what makes them different from each other so you can easily choose the right health care professional.

Chiropractors

Chiropractors are individuals who treat conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. They are also called DCs or Doctors of Chiropractic. DCs deal with pains and discomfort relating to the bones, muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves. Most of them treat pain conditions in close proximity to the spine. However, they also specialize in musculoskeletal pain on the various extemities of the body.

The profession is well established in the United States and is the third largest health profession field after medicine and dentistry.

What Do Chiropractors Do? The chiropractic approach is non-pharmacological in nature. Professionals make use of their hands or various instruments to manipulate joints, muscles, ligaments and other affected area. Most treatment plans involve several sessions of manipulation.

Aside from manual adjustment and manipulation, they may also provide counseling to their patients. Chiropractors do not prescribe medication, but may usually recommend nutritional supplements or give suggestions on exercise and positive eating habits.

Chiropractor Training. To practice the profession, an individual needs a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree. Achieving this requires 4 years of post-graduate education after obtaining an associate's degree. They will also need at least 500 hours of hands on experience and training for manipulations and adjustments.

Osteopaths

An osteopath or doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) is a medical professional who puts emphasis on the body's self-healing ability. Osteopaths advocate a care approach that focuses on the “whole person.” They believe that physical problems and abnormalities affect the whole body. To help facilitate the healing process of the body, they make use of manipulation and manual therapy.

What Do Osteopaths Do? Like chiropractors, osteopaths also follow a natural approach to healing. They use a technique called osteopathic manipulative treatment or OMT. This technique allow them to use their hands to diagnose and treat injuries and painful conditions on the joins, ligaments and muscles.

DOs typically employ gentle forms of manipulation such as stretching and application of mild pressure on the affected areas. What makes the practice different from chiropractic is the fact that osteopaths can write prescriptions and do surgical procedures.

Osteopath Training. Obtaining a DO degree also requires 4 years of post graduate study after finishing a 4-year undergraduate degree. The degree requires students to go through at least a year of internship and rotations in hospitals. They can practice, prescribe medication and perform surgeries anywhere in the United States.

Orthopedics

Orthopedists are surgeons that specialize in the musculoskeletal system. While they are surgeons in nature, they do not needarily use surgery every time. They also employ nonsurgical means to treat muscle and trauma and injuries, degenerative diseases, tumors, infections and congenital disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The labels orthopedists and orthopedic surgeons are often used interchangeably and mean the same thing.

What Do Orthopedists Do? Orthopedic surgeons diagnose and treat various musculoskeletal problems. They diagnose conditions through physical exams, X-rays and other laboratory tests. Majority of the conditions are usually treated with non-surgical procedures such as physical therapy, exercises or even pain management methods. In severe cases of pain disorders, orthopedists perform surgical treatments like joint replacement, soft tissue repair and arthroscopy.

In cases that do not require surgical procedure, orthopedists may recommend patients to see physical therapists or osteopaths for therapy or manipulation. Because orthopedic surgeons are Medical Doctors (MDs) by profession, they can write prescriptions for their patients.

Orthopedic Training. Orthopedic surgeons are required to complete a four year undergraduate degree and four years of medical school. Medical school graduates then have to undergo a five-year maintenance training to specialize in surgery. The five-year training consists of one year for general surgery and four years for orthopedic surgery.

Who Should I See?

Finding the right health care provider can be confusing for first time patients. Who you choose to see will greatly depend on your condition and the kind of approach you prefer. An osteopath is a good choice if you want holistic treatment. If you have acute back pain or pain caused by injury or trauma, a visit to a chiropractor may be a good idea. An orthopedic surgeon, on the other hand, may be recommended for extreme cases of pain or those caused by other underlying physical conditions.

{ Comments are closed }

Steroid Injections Could Lead To Bone Loss, Fractures

The recent meningitis outbreak has caused a lot of attention to be given to the use of steroid injections for lower back pain management. Aside form concerns about insufficient regulation of compounding pharmacies like the one that distributed the tainted steroid, complaints from health professionals and researchers about the overuse of this unproven method of treatment have also been sounding loudly. Epidural steroid injections are generally seen as a short-term, unreliable method of back pain management.

There may be more concerns associated with these injections that have not been made public knowledge. For example, oral and intravenous steroids have long been associated with bone loss, but it was not until recently that a link was established between injected steroids and bone loss. Researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital presented findings of a study that they produced to the North American Spine Society in Dallas this October which establish such a connection.

Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by the loss of bone density, commonly leads to bone fractures. Spinal fractures are the most common type among those with osteoporosis. The disease generally affects men and women over 50, and women are 4 times more likely to be affected. According to the American College of Rheumatology, osteoporosis-related fractures will affect 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 and 1 in 6 men.

Henry Ford Hospital researchers reviewed data for 6,000 patients treated for lower back pain between 2007 and 2010; half of the patients had received at least one steroid injection, and the other half received none. They found that the likelihood of incurring a bone fraction increased 29% for each injection received. More on the study can be found at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095014.htm .

This study is in its preliminary stages as it has not gone through the peer review process yet. Its results still give cause for concern among both health professionals and patients over 50 with lower back pain. The study is reliably short-term, establishing a link between injections received among older patients and bone fractures incurred within a few years of having an injection. More studies are needed to consider a possible link between lifelong steroid injection use and risk of bone fractures later in life.

While it is true that this study has not yet been subjected to the rigorous peer review process that would render its findings exclusively valid, it at the very least merits the issuing of a warning to patients over 50 with back pain. Knowing that there is a possible association between the injection and bone fractures may be enough to motivate back pain patients to seek other, less risky forms of treatment.

Patients have a right to know all available arguments for and against various types of pain treatment. Keeping up-to-date on the latest back pain research will put you in a position to make the wisest treatment choices possible.

{ Comments are closed }