Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is a common health problem among elderly individuals. RA can be debilitating and a crippling disease, especially during flare ups of symptoms. As there is no cure for the disease, it becomes more important to manage the disease, so that it affects your life least and do not hamper your day to day activities. It is important for you (if you are suffering from RA) to learn ways to protect your joints and at the same time there is minimal disturbance in your lifestyle and day to day activities. Here are some tips to remain pain free and lead a normal productive life as far as practicable, in presence of RA.
Stretch your joints and body:
Except during flare up of symptoms, when you are pain free it is very important to stretch your all joints every day to the extent that you can tolerate and to the extent that it does not cause pain. A physiotherapist or your doctor can help you tailor your stretching methods. Patients of RA usually feel stiffness of joints in the morning, hence, taking a warm bath before starting stretching exercise is helpful and make it less painful.
Use a cane:
You may be thinking using cane is not helpful and it is a symbol of disability, but studies suggest that using a cane can take off as much as 20% of your body weight off from legs, hips, and ankles. As long as using a cane is helpful for you never mind if it is a symbol of disability.
If your RA is symptomatic and causing pain in joints, using hot wax can reduce symptoms and make joints less painful. Hot wax helps by reducing inflammation (and RA is a chronic inflammatory disease). Using hot wax is like using warm water as the distribution of heat is even and better than hot pads. Hot wax can be used at home also by yourself, without need of expert/professional help. You can buy hot wax online easily, without any difficulty. Read more…
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health problem, especially among urban population with sedentary lifestyle and more than normal body weight. Hypertension, as such may not produce any symptoms, especially at the initial stage. Hence, many patients with hypertension may not be aware of the disease they are suffering from. High blood pressure may be detected during visit to a doctor or clinic for some other medical condition or it may be detected during routine medical checkup.
In developed industrial countries such as United States, hypertension affect as many as one in every three adults, affecting as many as 60-70 million people in US. This is alarming indeed, because hypertension is a leading cause of death, by causing heart attack or brain stroke. Hypertension is even more common among African Americans than Caucasians.
You are at high risk of developing high blood pressure if you have:
- Obesity (BMI of 30 or more) or overweight.
- Family history of diabetes or you belong to racial group with higher incidence of hypertension
- If you are currently in pre-hypertension stage. Systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mm Hg is considered as pre-hypertension stage.
- If you are a man of more than 45 years of age or woman of more than 55 years
Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is fairly common health problem among elderly individuals. Your adults are not immune to RA, although incidence is much lower, compare to elderly individuals. RA patients suffer from flare-ups, which are very painful, despite presence of number of medications to treat RA. Although there are number of medications available for treatment of RA, the outcome is still not satisfactory. Despite continued medications, flare-ups may occur and cripple the individuals during this time. Fortunately, there are ways that can help prevent/reduce flare ups and also prevent pain.
Following ways can help reduce pain and flare ups and one must do these things to avoid RA flare ups:
Protect your joints:
RA patients should always take measures to protect joints, even during symptom free period. Small things can help protect your joints such as holding books or other objects with your palm, instead of your fingers. Do not lift heavy objects, instead slide it. Instead of pushing open a door with your hand, use your shoulder. These small measures can help protect your joints.
Start doing exercise:
Regular exercise is important to keep your joints functional and keeping joint pain at bay. Exercise can also help elevate your mood and make you energetic. Consult your doctor before starting exercise to find out what suits you and which are not harmful. Walking, cycling, swimming, light training exercise etc. are useful exercises for RA patients. Start with mild exercise and gradually increase it. Avoid heavy exercise. If your pain persist for more than one hour after exercise, you should know you are overdoing you exercise. Do not exercise when your joints are inflamed and painful. Take a break during exercise if you feel pain. Use alternating position if you are cooking or gardening or doing similar activity. Read more…
Swine flu is pandemic at present. Swine flu, if not treated adequately and promptly may be fatal, hence it is very important to prevent swine flu. Like common flu, swine flu also spread by same mode, through respiratory secretion.
CDC recommends, swine flu vaccine for every person older than 6 months. Vaccination is one of the best way to prevent swine flu. Swine flu virus (H1N1) is commonly part of seasonal flu vaccine in many countries. Hence, seasonal flu vaccine can prevent swine flu along with other respiratory viruses such as influenza virus. Seasonal flu vaccine (along with H1N1 strain) is available as nasal spray or injection. Availability of vaccine as nasal spray makes it easier to administer and one can avoid shot. The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use from among healthy people of 2 years of age to 49 years of age, except during pregnancy.
Following measures can help prevent spread of swine flu (as well as seasonal flu):
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after coughing and sneezing and after touching your nose. Use simple soap for washing hands. If soap is not available, you can use hand sanitizer or alcohol based hand gel. Frequent washing of hands is essential, because flu viruses can survive in surface (such as door handle, door knob or any similar surface, where they may be lodged) for two hours or more.
- If you are sick, stay at home. If you or any of your relatives have H1N1 infection, get admitted to hospital without delay for treatment and for prevention of spread of the disease. A H1N1 infected patient can transmit the disease 24 hours before starting symptoms and up to one week after symptoms develop.
While performing everyday tasks, does your shoulder(s) hurt? Do you find it painful and/or difficult to perform simple daily tasks such as bathing, putting on dress or driving? Do you also find it difficult to lie down comfortably due to shoulder pain? Do you find it difficult to raise your arm with ease and comfort? Well, if you have the above mentioned problem/symptoms, there is very high possibility that you are suffering from Frozen Shoulder. If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, consult your doctor (orthopedic surgeon) immediately and do not ignore the problem.
Frozen shoulder is a common health problem, especially among middle age persons. Although it is common and troublesome health problem, many patients ignore it, thinking that it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, if it is frozen shoulder, there is very little chance, if any, of it going away on its own. Frozen shoulder can bring your life to a standstill, practically. Commonly it affects middle age individuals. Start treatment at initial of your symptoms, because if ignored, later on it may take very long time for recovery from frozen shoulder. Good news is that, with appropriate treatment, frozen shoulder can be treated satisfactorily.
Shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, where head of humerus (the bone of upper arm) is plugged inside a round socket in shoulder bone, known as “capsule”. Sometime the inside wall of the “capsule” become inflamed, which result in it becoming thick. Which cause it to swell and as a result it leaves less room for movement at shoulder joint, which result in pain and difficulty. It makes shoulder joint stiff and movements at joint become restricted and reduced. In medical term frozen shoulder is canned “adhesive capsulitis”. Read more…
Swine flu, technically refers to flu in pigs. However, since spring of 2009, when it was first identified, it is known as swine flu. The disease is like common flu, however it can be occasionally transmitted from pigs to humans, such as farmers and veterinarians. Since August 2010, WHO has declared swine flu a pandemic disease and it is still causing large number of deaths every year.
Swine flu appears during particular season, like any other flu and spread it the same manner as other flu spread. The strain of swine flu is H1N1 (H for glycoprotein hemeagglutinin and N for glycoprotein neuraminidase), which is included along with other flu viruses in seasonal flu vaccine. Swine flu affects respiratory system.
Symptoms of swine flu:
Signs and symptoms of swine flu are similar to other types of flu and include:
- Cough, sneeze, sore throat, runny nose, blocked nose
- Headache, generalized body ache
- Generalized weakness, loss of appetite
- May be diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
The symptoms of swine flu develops few days (two to three days) after getting exposed to the virus and may continue for about a week. If left untreated, swine flu may be fatal, unlike most other common seasonal flu. Read more…