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Insomnia Coping and Support

October 27, 2013   

Insomnia can cause you to be mentally slow and more irritable; these two factors can increase your stress experiences. Listed below are some of the ways you can try to deal with stress-related insomnia.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

One cause of sleeping difficulty is too much muscle tension in your body. When a person is stressed out, he may not be aware of the tightened muscles in his body caused by his stress.  Progressive muscle relaxation is one sure way of relaxing the muscle tension in his body.

Journaling

Another effective way to help you get a good night’s sleep if you frequently wake up at night due to constant worrying is journaling. Journaling means jotting down whatever you wish, especially a pleasant experience that you remember or fantasizing about a new idea that makes you happy. Journaling is a therapeutic way to remove your mind of worries and negative thoughts and to keep thinking positive things that night and tomorrow when you wake up. You can also reflect on the day that ended, about the things that happened during the day and then letting them go. Journaling offers you a great way to let go of your stress and clear your mind so that you may be able to sleep well.

Work through Your Stress

A person who cannot sleep due to anxiety can be able to relax and fall asleep with a change of perspective. Anxiety is usually a natural reaction that entails some sort of action needed to be done to address the cause of the anxiety. Anxiety is about worrying and when you worry at night it keeps you awake. If you look at your situation as a challenge to you rather viewing it as a threat, you can more or less tackle this situation in a more proactive and decisive way instead of continuing in a passive and anxious frame of mind. If you can look at your situation in a different perspective, you may be able to see opportunities you may have initially overlooked.

Take the Pressure off Sleep

The problem when you begin to keep having frequent sleeping problems, bedtime itself can then become a not too pleasant experience as well. To prevent you from going into this kind of situation you can perform certain things to help take out the pressure caused by insomnia. One thing you can do is to arise from your bed (if you feel that you’re far from getting sleepy).  This will help you avoid the pressure of monitoring the clock for several hours. You can then occupy yourself with an activity. This way you may feel that you’re managing your time well unlike being in bed and looking at the clock for hours which can cause stress. Another thing to do is to make your bedroom first and foremost your sleeping area. This means you should only associate your bedroom and bed with sleep rather than stress. Doing other not-too stimulating activities like reading a book or watching a rather unexciting movie can bring sleep into your mind and body.  Try also not to take in caffeine during the afternoon and at night.

Seek Help

Unfortunately a lot of insomnia sufferers are unaware that joining a support group for their problem is a very effective way to help them deal with insomnia. A support group not only can assist you in getting sleep, it can also provide you with lots of information about your problem that can enable you to better handle and treat this condition.

Nawei Jiang is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Nawei’s Acupuncture Clinic in Colorado Springs, CO.

Influenza – Lifestyles and Home Remedies

October 27, 2013   

The following are some home remedies and lifestyle and suggestions that can help in reducing and accelerating treatment of your influenza symptoms:

  • Gargle with salt water – Doing this helps resolve your sore throat.
  • Slippery elm – This herb has been reported to relieve sore throat and cough. You can take in slippery elm by eating candy that has slippery elm as one of its ingredients.
  • Shower with warm water – The steam from the warm water can melt the mucus in the airways clearing them and the sinuses up.
  • Garlic – This herb is widely known to possess anti-bacterial and even antiviral properties that help you get relief from your upper respiratory congestion. You can put raw garlic in your meals or eat them raw.
  • Chicken soup – Put pepper in your hot chicken soup as well as garlic and hot curry powder to help loosen the mucus in your mouth and throat
  • Heat compress – If your stuffy nose is aggravated by a severe headache, you can apply a moist and warm compress to the cheek and sinuses to lessen these symptoms
  • Lemon – Chop the lemon and place the lemon together with its seeds and skin in boiling water. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes. You can inhale the steam to melt the mucus in your airways. Strain the mixture and allow it to cool down. To make it tasty add some honey and drink the mixture. Lemon has varied benefits for a person’s health including anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that are important for treating flu symptoms.
  • Honey – Honey can likewise help dilute mucus. You can drink a glass of warm water and mix it with a tablespoon of honey and drink it. Honey is widely believed to be a potent remedy for the symptoms of flu
  • Ginger – This spice/herb has great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory attributes that aid in battling viral infection in the body
  • Turmeric – This herb can be taken two times a day by adding a teaspoonful to milk and drinking it. Turmeric has great antibacterial and antiviral properties that help bring relief in flu symptoms. It can also stimulate the liver which becomes weak when a person becomes sick
  • Thyme – Boil water with a tablespoon of thyme for 5 minutes. Then inhale the steam and when the mixture cools down add honey. Strain the mixture and drink it. This helps loosen infected mucus enabling you to cough it out
  • Mustard – This plant contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory attributes that can be inhaled (through steam) when boiled with water or by other means. You can also make a mustard paste by mixing lukewarm water with 4 tablespoons wheat flour and a tablespoon of dry mustard. Apply the paste on a clean dry cloth that can cover your chest area. Put a little olive oil on your chest and put the cloth with the paste in it on your chest. Leave the cloth there for a few minutes then remove it. Wash yourself to remove any traces of the paste
  • Long Pepper – Mix half a tsp of ginger juice, 2 tbsp honey and half a tsp of long pepper powder. You can drink this mixture three times a day to protect yourself from throat complications. This mixture can greatly reduce the severity of your flu symptoms.
  • Nasal irrigation – This is often done with a neti pot. Put a few salt in boiling water and put the solution into a sterilized bottle. Allow the water to cool down and afterwards apply two to three drops of this solution using a dropper in one of your nostril. The solution melts the mucus making it easier to blow it out. You can use a neti pot that is widely available in the market. This is an effective and very safe way to resolve nose blockages.

Lifestyle/ Diet Recommendation to Treat Flu Symptoms

  • Maintain good hygiene – Keeping yourself and your surroundings clean is essential to prevent infecting yourself and others from the flu.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Abstain from taking in caffeine
  • Avoid sugar
  • Take in mega doses of vitamin C
  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Humidify yourself
  • Adequate rest
  • Stop eating processed, highly seasoned and junk foods
  • Drink boiled water
  • Properly ventilate your room

DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129
(305) 677-3214
http://www.miamiacupunctureclinic.com/

Sciatica – Preparing for Your Appointment

October 27, 2013   

Your appointment with your doctor may be brief and since you may have a lot of questions and things you want to ask him about your sciatica, preparing then for your appointment is the best thing to do to make the most out of your appointment. To help you out, listed below are some tips to better prepare for your appointment and what you can expect from your physician.

How to Prepare

You should be cognizant of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you have just made your appointment, the next thing to do is to know what you need to do in advance. This can be preparing for loose clothing in case you need to undergo an imaging exam or start making diet restrictions for yourself.

Use a journal to list down all known symptoms you are experiencing. That can be anything that may not seem related to the problem that prompted you to make the appointment in the first place.

Also list down in the journal all the medications you are taking including any steroids, supplements or vitamins you regularly use.

Bring along a friend or family member to your appointment. Having someone to accompany you to your appointment can assist you in remembering all the information the doctor says regarding your condition and what you need to do and not do.

List down in your journal all questions to ask your doctor. Remember that your time with your doctor may only last 15 minutes so compiling a questions list will optimize your appointment time. For your sciatica problems, some good questions to ask your doctor can include:

  • What most probably is the reason for my condition or symptoms?
  • Besides the most probable cause, what are the other possible reasons for my condition or symptoms?
  • What types of tests do I need required to undergo?
  • Do I have a chronic or temporary condition?
  • What course of treatment is the best for me?
  • What alternative treatments besides the primary approach can you recommend?
  • I have other health issues. What can I do to best manage my back problem along with my other conditions?
  • What are the restrictions do I need to follow?
  • Do I need to consult with a specialist? How much will that cost? Will my insurance plan include consulting with a specialist?
  • Do you have informational brochures and any other printed materials that I can read at home? Are there any websites you can recommend that I can visit regarding my condition?

If you have other questions for your doctor outside this list of questions, be sure to ask them all if possible.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor will have questions of his own to ask you as well. Some of the questions may be like these:

  • What symptoms have you experienced? Do you feel any weakness, pain, tingling or numbness?
  • What part of your body do you specifically feel those symptoms?
  • How long have you felt these symptoms?
  • Have they been occasional or continuous?
  • What makes your symptoms get worse?
  • Is there anything that makes it better?
  • Do you have a hobby or job that entails you to perform repetitive movements?

Anemia – Risk Factors

October 21, 2013   

Anemia due to iron deficiency often is the result of poor nutrition in people. About 2 billion individuals in the world suffer from this type of anemia and in the United States the lack of iron in the body is the number one type of nutritional deficiency in this country. Iron-deficiency anemia often goes hand in hand with poverty and people in the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder have twice the chances of acquiring anemia than people in the upper or middle class.

In the United States and the rest of the world, it is young children who are at the highest chances for developing iron deficiency anemia; women in their premenopausal phase are next. Those with the lowest risk for this type of anemia include postmenopausal females and adult and adolescent males.

Infants/Children

In the US about 20% of children can develop anemia during their childhood and up to adolescence. The percentage is higher for children in third world countries (80%).   Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia found in children. Still, there are other different types of anemia that can affect children; anemia caused by hereditary blood conditions is one of them.

For children two years old and younger around 9% suffer from iron deficiency but only 3% of kids in this age bracket have anemia. All children are prone to getting anemia but the lower the income of the family, the higher the risk of children developing iron deficiency.

In the United States, infants who are 9 to 18 months old are the age group with the highest possibility of developing iron-deficiency anemia. Infant males are 10 times likelier to develop iron deficiency anemia than female infants. Infants who are breast fed can rely on their mother’s milk to supply them with enough iron up to the time they reach 6 months old. Beyond that they need to avail of other food sources for their essential iron requirements.

In small children and infants the likely causes for their iron-deficiency anemia can include factors such as:

  • Breastfeeding stoppage too soon or utilizing milk formula that does not contain iron
  • Prolonged bottle-feeding – Research has determined that toddlers a year old and above should refrain from drinking more than a cup of milk a day. Unlike mother’s milk, cow’s milk contains lower amounts of iron and drinking it too much can make the babies lose their appetite and hinder them from taking in foods rich in iron which they really need.

Usually toddlers would find foods rich in iron unpalatable. Nevertheless, parents should ensure that these babies eat foods laden with iron including:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Fortified cereals
  • Meat
  • Beans

Pre-menopausal Women

The rate of adult and adolescent females suffering from iron deficiency is around 10%. Only 3% of adolescent females are likely to become anemic though. If ever adolescent women experience anemia, it may be because of some of the following factors:

  • Pregnancy – The rate of iron deficiency among pregnant females in the industrialized world is about 20%. Multiple pregnancies heighten the risk of pregnant women having iron deficiency anemia.
  • Abnormal bleeding in the uterus – This may be due to uterine fibroids
  • Massive menstruation lasting 5 days or more

Older Adults

The rate of anemia sufferers among adults 65 years of age and above is about 10%.  Around half of the older people staying in nursing homes are anemic. Older adults develop due to the following factors:

  • Chronic renal disease
  • Chronic inflammatory disease
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Alcoholism

People who regularly drink alcohol can develop anemia in three ways:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Lack of vitamin B
  • Lack of folate

Iron-Poor Diets

Most Americans love to eat meat. Still, there are instances when people can likely develop iron deficiency because of their diet choices. Iron deficiency can develop when:

  • People often eat processed foods that may incredibly be bereft of real meat
  • The person is a vegan – A vegan is a person that exclusively feeds on non meat and non dairy diets. A diet without meat often is lacking in iron vitamin B and iron.  Green vegetables and dried beans do contain iron, but they take more time to be absorbed by the body than meat

Serious or Chronic Illnesses

If a person suffers from a chronic ailment that entails bleeding or inflammation, then that person will be a good candidate in developing anemia. Critical or serious illness of a patient in the ICU (intensive care unit) can likely include some form of anemia.

Too Much Exercise

Regular workout may have a lot of health and fitness benefits but at a minor cost: loss of iron that is equivalent to iron loss due to menstruation. The common cause for sports anemia is poor diet choices. Sports anemia can also come from sustained and intense, exercises such as a marathon run and the underlying factors that cause this problem can include:

  • Poor absorption of iron by the intestines
  • Low intake of iron
  • Impaired  RBCs (red blood cells)
  • Slight hemorrhage of the gastrointestinal tract

Pregnancy

Iron deficiency is experienced by around 20% of pregnant females in developed countries. Sadly about half and even more of females in non-industrialized nations lack in iron, and about 30% to 50% are lacking in folic acid. A high death rate and severe anemia go together among pregnant females although light to fair anemia do not really pose any heightened risk.

Pregnancy heightens the risk of anemia by:

  • Enhancing the body’s need for more folic acid increasing the chances for deficiencies as well as increasing likelihood for megaloblastic anemia
  • Enhances the body’s need for iron increasing the chance for iron-deficiency anemia Increasing the intake of iron to at least 30 mg per day due to the placenta’s increasing size and weight
  • Creating large amounts of plasma which can lead to the dilution of red blood cells and eventually causing anemia.

 

Brent Keime is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Brent Keime, LAc, MSTOM in San Diego, CA.

 

Migraine Symptoms

October 21, 2013   

Migraine headaches can be very severe and can feel like stabbing pain in the temples and eyes of the sufferer. Knowing the signs and symptoms of these types of headaches is basically the beginning of searching for a treatment to address the pain.

Migraine headaches can sometimes be preceded by signs of an approaching migraine attack. These signs can be used to help the doctor diagnose the migraine and help him formulate a right plan of treatment.

Prodrome is the term used to denote that a migraine attack is on its way. “Migraine with aura” describes a person who experiences an aura prior to a migraine attack. The aura might manifest hours or even a whole day before the actual headache comes.

Some migraine auras can be described like these:

  • Zigzag pattern
  • Shiny stars or spots
  • Blind spots (like what one experiences immediately after looking directly at the sun)

Some auras affect the senses and can trigger conditions like:

  • Speech problems
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

Some non-aura signs that precede a migraine attack are also often experienced by migraine sufferers. They can include:

  • Cravings for sweets
  • Extreme thirst
  • Increased energy
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Migraine Headache Symptoms

Some sufferers may not experience the aforementioned warning signs. To help them know that they have migraine, they need to identify its symptoms that are totally distinct from a typical headache. If you have experienced the following symptoms, chances are you suffer from migraine headache:

  • Dramatic onset of pain
  • Sensitivity to certain smells
  • Sound sensitivities
  • Photophobia or light sensitivity
  • Nausea accompanied or not accompanied by vomiting
  • Intense stabbing pain

One other difference from typical headaches, a migraine headache often is severe from beginning to end. Physical activity and bright lights can amplify the headache. These are some signs and symptoms of a migraine headache.

Identifying the signs and symptoms of migraine is essential in precisely diagnosing this severe condition. You need to pay attention, even writing down the symptoms you experience. You can then report them during your appointment with your physician. Knowing the warning signs can lead to a more faster and effective treatment and/or migraine pain relief.


BodaHealth

1245 West Broadway #302
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G7, Canada
(604) 733-2632
http://bodahealth.ca/

Eczema – Preparing for your Appointment

October 20, 2013   

Normally, it is not difficult coping with your eczema symptoms; however, if you find that your symptoms are worsening and becoming intolerable or if you notice new and unusual symptoms, scheduling an appointment with your doctor or skin care professional may be just the thing you need to address your worsening and unusual problems.  Below are some good tips on how to best prepare for your appointment.

The physician will converse with you regarding your medical and family history, allergies you may have and the medicines you are taking for your eczema and other conditions.  You need to answer the doctor’s questions as honestly as possible so he may come up with an accurate diagnosis and hence a right plan of treatment. To achieve this, you need to get as much information as you can about your medical history and keep a journal that contains all the important aspects of your health history in order not to forget them. Jot down your eczema symptoms and signs as well as their duration and the time and date they occurred. You also need to list down all the known and suspected factors that trigger or exacerbate your symptoms. These can be things like hot and long showers, sweating, cigarette smoke, detergents or soaps.

Your doctor or skin care professional may also ask you about any modifications you recently made to your lifestyle. He may also query you about some of the new products you’ve been using that he suspects to be triggers for your eczema. You need to include all types of drugs and skin products that you use including steroids, vitamins and herbal supplements. Stress is a big factor in causing eczema and you may need to tell your doctor if you have lately been under a great amount of stress.

You may undergo certain skin exams recommended by your doctor so he can diagnose the type of eczema you’re experiencing.  Corresponding treatments are given to certain types of eczema. Some symptoms may require the use of topical medications to alleviate symptoms such as irritation and redness. Oral medicines may be prescribed by the doctor if your symptoms are severe. You can write down all questions you have for your doctor so you may not forget to ask them during your appointment. Do not be ashamed asking questions that you think need to be asked to your doctor.

Some relevant questions you can ask your doctor regarding your eczema can include:

  • What do you think are the causes of my eczema symptoms?
  • Do I need to undergo tests to ascertain the diagnosis?
  • What do you think is the best treatment plan for my condition?
  • Is my skin condition temporary or long-term?
  • Is it right to just wait for my condition to resolve on its own?
  • What other treatment plans are available besides the ones you’re suggesting?
  • What skin care regimens can you recommend to uplift my condition?

The doctor, in turn, will ask you a number of questions related to your conditions. The questions can come like these:

  • When did you first notice your symptoms?
  • How frequent do these symptoms occur?
  • Are your symptoms occurring occasionally or continuous?
  • What things seem to better your symptoms?
  • What things seem to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you have allergies or asthma? Do any of your family members and close relatives have allergies or asthma?
  • What skin products do you use?

 

Vital Gate Acupuncture
107 W 82nd St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-4244
http://www.vitalgate.com/

Definition of Eczema

October 12, 2013   

Eczema is a Greek word that means ‘to boil over’.  It is a skin inflammation that is itchy and characterized as well by other symptoms like:

  • Evidence of secondary infection like crusty deposits or weeping
  • Blisters or lumps in the affected regions
  • Dry skin that thickens in areas of the skin that have been scratched
  • Redness on the affected areas of skin

Eczema is further classified into smaller subgroups according to the factors that mainly cause the eczema in the individual. However, the appearance and symptoms in the skin can also look the same in the different types of eczema. The classification of eczema may not be as accurate as one wants it to be since each person can develop eczema from different causes or factors. Nevertheless, the treatment approaches of the different types of eczema can all be the same.

The basic differences are the individual’s unique responses to the factors causing his eczema.  If, for example, his eczema has got to do with his exposure to a chemical irritant at work, protection or removal of this irritant will become an integral part in the management of his eczema as opposed to another individual who is not affected by this exposure.

Types of Eczema

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. It usually strikes people who also suffer from:

  • Problems in the barrier of the skin that causes moisture to seep out and germs to set into the skin
  • Family history of hay fever, asthma or eczema
  • Hay fever or asthma

Atopic dermatitis often develops early in life. It can set in during infancy or childhood but it can also develop at any stage in life.

Parts of the body affected by this disorder include:

  • Back of the knees
  • Inner elbows
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Face

Continuous scratching on the affected areas can cause the skin to turn and red and thicken. Persistent scratching can also cause wounds that can develop infection. Products considered irritants for many people that worsen the symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:

  • Household chemicals
  • Coarse clothing
  • Perfumed soap

Dust mites, certain foods and other allergens can also worsen the symptoms.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis has two forms:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Irritant contact dermatitis

Both these forms can arise when a substance damages the skin. Frequent hand washing and certain chemicals are some of the factors that can cause contact dermatitis.  Things like poison ivy, cosmetics and nickel are some of the more typical ones that can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis, on the other hand, is caused by repeated skin contact with an irritating substance.

The hands are the most susceptible parts of the body that can develop contact dermatitis.

Dyshidrotic Dermatitis

This is a form of eczema that targets the hands and feet. Dyshidrotic dermatitis develops from unknown causes and is characterized by extreme itching then skin blisters which can turn into scaly patches a few weeks later. Occasionally the skin of the fingers or hands develops deep cracks from this condition. Dyshidrotic dermatitis can become painful and chronic.

Nummular Dermatitis

Men are more prone to this skin condition than women. Men often develop nummular dermatitis before they reach their mid-50s; women are likely to develop this condition during their teens or early adulthood.

This type of dermatitis is characterized by red marks that look like coins appearing usually on the:

  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Forearms
  • Back of the hands
  • Legs

Nummular dermatitis stems from unknown causes but risk factors for this skin problem can include exposure to:

  • Metals especially nickel
  • Chemicals like formaldehyde
  • Dry, cold air

Neurodermatitis

This eczema type is characterized by itchy skin spots that develop from continuous scratching.  Neurodermatitis can develop in the person’s:

  • Behind and inside of the ear
  • Ankles
  • Wrists
  • Scalp
  • Genitals
  • Back or sides of the neck

Because of consistent scratching, neurodermatitis can turn into a skin outbreak that is albeit limited in scope; however, the affected skin can become extremely wrinkled and thicken and sometimes infection can develop in the affected areas.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

More popularly known as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis in infants usually develops in the scalp while adults may develop this common type of eczema in the:

  • Center of their chest
  • Groin
  • Parts behind the ears
  • Sides of the nose

Seborrheic dermatitis can make the skin fall off in flakes.  An overgrowth of a certain type of yeast is one suspected factor in causing this skin condition residing in the aforementioned parts of the body.  Overproduction and the immediate shedding of skin on the scalp is also another cause.  People with autoimmune disease may find it hard to treat this harmless condition.

Stasis Dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis can occur when the veins in lower legs of people are not strong enough to transport blood back to the heart. This type of eczema causes crusting and weeping of the skin and can develop quickly. Eventually, stasis dermatitis can lead to the development of brown stains in the skin after a certain period of time.

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824
http://www.bellinghamacupuncturecenter.com/

Bronchitis Coping and Support

October 12, 2013   

Some healthy ways to cope well with bronchitis can include:

Stopping smoking – If you are a smoker and suffering from bronchitis, you need to immediately cease smoking. Chronic bronchitis often is caused by long-term smoking. When you smoke you not only are doing yourself a favor but also help others near you from developing bronchitis since second hand smoking can also cause this condition.

If you don’t want to trigger any bronchitis flare ups, avoid as much as possible any crying or shouting as these activities can result in problematic coughing spells. Staying quiet and calm can effectively prevent coughing spasms.

When you have bronchitis you should avoid taking cough suppressants as these medicines only exacerbate your bronchitis. Cough expectorants are needed to thin and loosen mucus making it easy to cough them up. If you cannot sleep at bedtime because of your nagging cough, try taking just the right amount of cough suppressant syrup to enable you to sleep. Avoid taking cough suppressants during the day so you may be able to cough up the infected phlegm.

If you work or live in a heavily polluted area or where allergens abound, don a mouth mask to prevent these pollutants from being inhaled by you. Allergens can trigger an allergy that can cause bronchitis-like symptoms and pollutants can irritate your lungs and worsen your bronchitis.

Get a humidifier for your home – A humidifier can moisten the air in your room that can loosen mucus and reduce your coughing. Regularly clean the humidifier so that bacteria do not become an issue.

Consult a respiratory specialist who can recommend a program that can assist in strengthening your lungs as well as help you exercise. You can also avail of a pulmonary rehabilitation program to effectively help you with your bronchitis and other lung problems.

 

Willow Tree Wellness Clinic
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Ph: 503-281-0030
http://willowtreeclinic.com/

Causes of Tonsillitis

October 6, 2013   

Diagnosing tonsillitis is not always easy to do though in most cases, the inflammation can be completely traced to a bacterial or viral infection. The thing is it isn’t always easy to know what type of bacterial or viral infection is causing the condition. One’s tonsillitis can be due, for example, to the flu, common cold, or even long-term tonsillitis. Some kinds of tonsillitis can be either caused by staph or strep infections and in some instances the inflammation isn’t due to any infection at all. It is instead due to certain irritants or by the presence of tonsil stones.

Bacterial and Viral Infections

If your tonsillitis is brought about by a bacterial or viral infection, then you may manifest symptoms that are distinct from tonsil inflammation caused by tonsil stones. You may, for example show swollen lymph glands or a mild fever.

You can also have symptoms that will overlap with pathogen infections if your tonsillitis is caused by tonsil stones. You might, for example, exhibit a white film on your tongue, have swallowing difficulty or bad breath.  The overlapping of these symptoms may make it hard for the doctor to accurately diagnose your condition.

Whatever the case may be, if you feel your tonsil inflamed due to pathogenic causes, the first thing you need to do is to see your doctor who will perform diagnostic tests to correctly identify what type of tonsillitis you have.

Tonsil Stones

An inflamed tonsil caused by a condition called “tonsil stones,” will manifest symptoms like white and hard masses developing on your tonsils. These masses are the ones called tonsil stones.

If you are suffering from this condition, you can begin treatment by attempting to remove these stones on your own. Try gargling saline solutions and using oxygenating toothpaste and gently brush your tonsils with a moistened q-tip.  This procedure will aid in removing and preventing the future development of these stones.  If this procedure fails then you need to see a doctor.

To recap, if you are suffering from tonsillitis, it might be due to pathogenic infection, tonsil stones or to certain temporary or chronic condition. Try applying the aforementioned procedures methods to sort out between the possible causes when you want to know the cause of your tonsillitis.

Davis Acupuncture Clinic
2043 Anderson Rd
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 400-1239
http://www.davisacupuncturist.com/

Back Pain Treatments and Drugs

October 6, 2013   

When the physician has diagnosed your back problem, then the next step is for him to create a treatment plan for you.  Sometimes your treatment plan may entail more than one procedure to treat your condition most effectively. Your treatment plan may entail, for example, a combination of regular massages, physical therapy and prescription medications to make it maximally effective.

The kind of treatment you will be getting for your back pain will be based on the cause and severity of the pain. One of the most common procedures for back pain is medication which quickly relieves your pain albeit transitorily.

Prescribed Medications for Back Pain

Prior to prescribing your medications, the doctor will need to know the other medications you’re presently taking.  This is important to help him prescribe to you other drugs that will not harmfully interact with your other medications.

Opioids – Opioids are given for severe types of back pain. These kinds of drugs like morphine are administered under a physician’s careful supervision and are used to manage chronic pain.

Anti-depressants – Antidepressants work by blocking pain receptors from reaching your brain.

These are effective pain blockers that are used to relieve chronic back pain.

Muscle relaxants – If you are suffering from chronic back pain caused by muscle spasms, then relaxing these muscles is one way to relieve this type of pain.

Over-the-Counter Medications for Back Pain

Over-the-counter drugs are also useful in relieving many types of back pain and are ideal for the treatment of acute back pain.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs – Aspirin and ibuprofen are the most common forms of these drugs and they are good at reducing not only pain but inflammation as well.
Acetaminophen – This type of drug, Tylenol being one example, is good at relieving body pain including back pain; however it is useless at addressing inflammation.

Spinal Injections for Back Pain Treatment

Spinal injections are other effective ways to give relief for back pain.

Epidural steroid injection – This is a powerful injection that delivers steroids to battle inflammation of the nerve root. The doctor usually administers two or three injections to the affected part of the back. Three injections is usually the maximum dose since side effects can develop if more than three is given.

Other injections – These can include facet joint injection for the relief of spinal arthritis pain, mechanical back stress or back injury pain.

Other Treatments for Back Pain

Spinal injections and medications are the most common conventional treatments for back pain. Other alternative back pain treatments that can prove just as effective to address your back pain include:

  • Exercise – This exercise can involve stretching or light walking. They are very effective relievers of back pain and can make the back strong and healthy. They also enable you to manage your back pain effectively and prevent it from worsening.
  • Spinal bracing – The use of a spinal brace is to protect a spine suffering from, say, spinal fracture from worsening. It helps to control back pain by curtailing unnecessary and extreme movements and to stabilize your spine.
  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy or PT for short, adopts various kinds of techniques to address back pain.  These therapies include the use of cold and hot therapies among many others.
  • Chiropractic care – This is a specialized form of spinal cord treatment that addresses many kinds of back pain and back problems and safeguards the back from worsening its already bad condition.
  • Alternative therapies – Some of the most effective alternative back pain treatments include physiotherapy to help relieve muscle pain and inflammation.
  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture involves the use of sterilized and very thin non hollow needles inserted at certain points in the body.  Many back sufferers have reported long term pain relief from their acupuncture therapy.
  • Yoga – Yoga has many poses and postures and basically all of them involve relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.  Studies have shown that yoga provides back pain sufferers some kind of relief from their pain.

If all these treatments prove unfruitful in addressing your back pain, one other radical form of treatment you can try is back surgery. It is up to your doctor to decide whether this course of action is really needed for your condition.

It is always important to talk about all your treatment choices with your doctor so you may choose the best treatment plan for yourself.