Medical Tips

Unconventional Treatments For Arthritis


Because some kinds of arthritis can be so overpowering at times, many people understandably strive for some sense of control over the disease-both to obtain peace of mind and to promote healing. Some do this through faith or optimism, some by educating themselves about their disease, some with diet, some with exercise. While all these efforts may indeed be helpful, what may make them seem especially significant is that they are things that you control.

That same positive desire to pitch in and participate in your own arthritis therapy can make you vulnerable to expensive and unproven remedies, however. Especially when things seem to be moving slowly, it’s harder to resist the confident claims of many alternative therapies or products that simply don’t work. At worst, some may harm you. At best, some may lift your spirits for a while or ease pain momentarily.

If you want to pursue alternative treatments, two concepts are key: You don’t want to hurt yourself, and you should never neglect or abandon standard medical care. You also don’t want to throw your money away: Alternative treatments are seldom covered by health insurance. While there are reputable alternative practitioners, there are also many who are not and who are all too happy to relieve you of your money for speculative treatments.

If you choose to visit an alternative therapist, ask for recommendations from friends or doctors, and be sure to ask about credentials and licensing. Bear in mind, however, that most alternative healers can hang out a shingle without extensive training, objective review boards, or any sort of consistent regulation. Unfortunately, it’s often a case of ” let the buyer beware.”

With those warnings in mind, here is a look at alternative practitioners who may have helped some people relieve pain. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that proves these methods are helpful for arthritis. However, some people do feel they have benefited by giving these practitioners a try.

Acupuncturist. In this ancient branch of Chinese medicine, very thin needles are inserted painlessly into the skin to relieve pain or other conditions. Although no one is quite sure how it works, one theory is that acupuncture triggers the release of natural endorphins within the body that act as natural painkillers. Your main concerns are that the acupuncturist is well trained, maintains scrupulous sterilization techniques, and uses disposable needles. (The improper use of needles, whether for acupuncture or tattoos, can transmit hepatitis or even AIDS.) No formal qualification, unfortunately, is required to practice, but there are licensed acupuncturists. Check with the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists (202-232-1401) for help in locating one. Or the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (800-521-2262) can refer you to a medical doctor who has had at least 200 hours of training in acupuncture. Expect to pay an acupuncturist from $40 to $100 for a first visit and $30 to $70 for each follow-up visit and more for a medical doctor who also does acupuncture.

Chiropractor. A chiropractor concentrates on adjusting the spine, joints, and muscles, using physical manipulation for therapy. Chiropractic care can be helpful for common low back pain but can be very dangerous for people with ankylosing spondylitis. Manipulation of these people can be fatal. Also, chiropractic should play no role in treating rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, in which the wrong kind of manipulation can cause further pain and damage. Chiropractic treatment may also include massage, application of heat and cold, or TENS the unproven electrical stimulation method for pain relief that some physical therapists use. A chiropractor should have six years of training at the college level and a state license.

Massage therapist. For sore or overtaxed muscles, massage from a well-trained therapist can feel wonderful. Though it’s true that massage can relieve stress and pain in tight muscles, there is no scientific evidence that those good sensations are more than momentary. And they won’t make your arthritis disappear. If you enjoy the stress-relieving comfort of massage, there’s no harm. But be sure to see only a trained and licensed therapist who also understands the aches and pains of your particular kind of arthritis.

Always bear in mind that some types of alternative treatment may not be suited for your particular condition and might even make it worse. You can also try some dietary supplements such as the Glucosamine Chondroitin, which has been shown to relieve some pain in many cases. So again, before you consider one, be sure to ask your doctor if it will harm you. Whether or not your doctor “believes in” a specific alternative treatment, she can tell you of any possible damaging results. And during any such treatment you do choose to undertake, keep your doctor informed of any changes in your condition.

Treat Gingivitis Using These Simple Home Remedies


One common disease that leads to receding gums is gingivitis. It is the inflammation of the gum tissue caused by bacteria inhabiting the oral cavity. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to teeth loss and other infections that can cause other more serious health problems.

It is important that you get rid of the bacteria thriving in your mouth to prevent this from happening to you. Luckily, there are home remedies that you can use to effectively treat gingivitis.

Saline Solution

This is perhaps the simplest remedy of all for gingivitis. As salt is a natural disinfectant, it can help eradicate the bacteria thriving in your oral cavity. Aside from that, it also alleviates swollen gums.

All you have to do is dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a half cup of warm water. Use this as a “mouth rinse” and make sure to gargle for at least one minute. Repeat this treatment at least five to six times a day.

Garlic

Garlic is popularly known to have an antibiotic effect due to its active component allicin. According to the journal of Medicinal Food, allicin found in garlic can treat dental infections such as periodontitis.

You can extract allicin by crushing one to two cloves of garlic. Wait for the juice to come out for a few second and place it directly on the infected gum.

There are times that garlic can cause a burning sensation. To reverse this, you can add some coconut oil, aloe vera or honey to the garlic juice before applying it to your gums.

Aloe Vera

A study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology states that aloe vera mouthwash can be used to treat plaque-induced gingivitis.

You can take some aloe vera using a clean finger and apply it directly on the affected area. They can easily be purchased as a gel at any pharmacy. You can also use an aloe vera plant if you have one laying around.

Turmeric

Turmeric has a long history in traditional medicine. It has been used to treat many ailments including ulcers, asthma and even chronic inflammation. Because this spice contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, this makes it a great natural remedy for gingivitis.

You can mix some turmeric powder with a little bit of water to create a paste. Rub that paste to your gums and teeth at least twice a day.

Baking Soda

Since baking soda can help neutralize an acidic mouth, it reduces the risk of gum disease and even tooth decay. It also suppresses bacterial growth that can cause other dental-related problems like cavities and plaque.

You can treat gingivitis by simply mixing 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with water and use it as a mouthwash. Swish the mixture around your mouth for at least 30 to 60 seconds to kill the bacteria. Make sure to rinse your mouth again with fresh water after spitting out the baking soda mouthwash.

Treating gingivitis usually takes more or less two weeks to clear up. But in serious cases, it could possibly take longer.

To ensure a good dental hygiene, it is recommended that you see a dentist at least once a year. And if you have any health issues that can possibly lead to gum problems, you have to see your dentist more often.

Though there are effective and inexpensive natural remedies for gingivitis, it does not mean that you can neglect your oral health. As daily brushing reduces gum infections by 60%, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day.

Each session of brushing should last at least two minutes and do not forget to floss once a day as well. As much as possible, try not to skip on using a mouthwash as it helps clear any bacterial growth in your mouth.

The Benefits Of Physical Therapy

Sometimes a physical therapist can seem like a magician, restoring the mobility that you thought was lost long ago.

He does this by helping you tune up muscles you may not have known you had, and these muscles can then help support an arthritic joint. He can also help relieve pain that has kept you from using an arm or leg and teach you exercises to strengthen the damaged limb.

Physical therapists can also prescribe items such as braces or wheelchairs, and can help make your home better suit you. A therapist may suggest grab bars in the bathroom or an elevated toilet seat that is easier to sit down on and get up from, for instance.

All physical therapy programs emphasize exercise. Some exercises are passive, in which the therapist moves your limb for you. In others, you provide some of the motion and the therapist provides the rest. Massage and manipulation are often part of physical therapy.

If you do not want to suffer too much from all this stress, it is always a good idea to be fit and healthy. The better your shape, the easier your body can take all sorts of shocks. Check the lean belly breakthrough review if you want to learn about some of the best techniques to avoid carrying excess weight.

In manipulation, the therapist gently stretches and manipulates your stiff joints to increase their range of motion. Some exercises are resistive, which means you are pushing against a weight-which is sometimes just the therapist’s hand.

Other methods of physical therapy also help increase mobility and decrease pain. These include applying heat and cold, such as with heating pads, hot packs, ice bags to reduce swelling, or vapocoolant sprays that numb the skin so a muscle underneath can be gently stretched.

You’ll probably enjoy hydrotherapy in a heated pool or whirlpool: Sinking into the warm water can give wonderful relief And because water helps support your weight, moving in the pool is much easier than when you’re high and dry.

Gentle exercises in warm water can increase your range of motion and improve your circulation and coordination. Or you may use contrast baths-alternating in cold and hot water to decrease the swelling of painful hands or feet.

Other treatment methods physical therapists offer include ultrasound and biofeedback. Ultrasound is high-frequency sound waves that penetrate tissue and raise temperature to relieve pain, particularly around tight muscles and tendons.

Biofeedback uses electrodes attached to your skin and a device that records and relays electrical signals from your muscle fibers as an audible tone. You use these signals to learn to relax or contract almost any muscle in your body, which in turn helps ease pain.

Some physical therapists may also offer TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), which sends low electrical impulses into painful areas. Although some people believe that TENS eases pain, research studies have actually indicated that this treatment is no more effective than a placebo (a treatment used for comparison that appears the same but actually transmits no current).

Cancer Prognosis – The Questions You Might Ask


Cancer is probably one of the toughest ordeals a person could ever face. Knowing what your prognosis is can be difficult for you, for your relatives, and for your doctor.

Prognosis is knowing how the disease is taking over your body, what are the expectations in the coming days, months and years, and how far along will the disease go for. Discussing this topic can be both depressing and difficult for most people.

What Affects My Prognosis?

There are many factors that affect a person’s prognosis. Here are some of them: the type of cancer you have, the location of the cancer in your body, how big is the cancer, is the cancer spreading, how abnormal are the cancer cells, traits of the cancer, your health and age before the diagnosis, how you can face the treatment.

How Do I Get My Prognosis?

As soon as you know you have cancer, you can immediately ask your doctor about it. However, this also depends on the kind of cancer you have. Some will require further testing and further exams. It’s difficult to assume what will happen. However, you and your family will definitely face decisions like: are you getting treatment? Who’s going to take care of you? Or, How do you deal with the legal and financial matters?

For most people, they prefer to get their prognosis as it helps them to cope. You can ask your doctor about the survival rate of the kind of cancer you have. If you prefer not to know the statistics, you don’t have to ask your doctor about it.

How Do I Understand The Statistics?

There are three commonly used statistics. They are “cancer-specific survival”, “relative survival”, “disease free survival”, and “overall survival”. The first talks about the percentage of patients with a specific type of cancer. Their basis is the number of people who have died from the same kind of cancer during a certain duration of time after they are diagnosed.

Depending on the statistics, it may be 2, 3 or 5 years after diagnosis. Relative survival on the other hand is the percentage of the patients who were able to survive for a period of time after their diagnosis. This statistic does not use the information on how the patient died.

Disease free survival is the percentage of cancer patients that have no signs of cancer (or recurrent cancer) for a certain period of time after the treatment is done. The last one, which is overall survival, in the percentage of the cancer patients who haven’t died from a particular cause after they got their diagnosis.

These statistics are based from a large group of people and may not predict what can happen to you. Every person is different. Treatments for one may not work for the other as body responses can go differently. You can expect that if you have the kind of cancer with a high survival rate, the doctor will give you a good prognosis. If the cancer is difficult to control, you are most likely to receive a bad prognosis.

I’m Not Sure If I Want Treatment

There are many cancer survivors who have treated themselves naturally by making a 360 degree turn on their lifestyle. However, this may not be the right solution to another patient. If you want to fight the cancer, getting treatment is the only option. However, if you opt not to, that is a decision only you can take.
What’s The Difference Between Remission and Cure?

Remission means the signs and symptoms of your cancer has already lessened. It may be complete or partial, depending on the kind of treatment you had and the kind of body responsiveness you did. Remission only means that the signs and symptoms are gone, but the cancer might still be there.

Cure, on the other hand means the treatment had worked and the cancer has been totally eliminated. This means the cancer will never come back.

Some cancers are curable, some are not. However, there are many factors and considerations you need to take in order to make a decision on what path to choose. Cancer isn’t easy, but there are ways to beat it.

The Best Exercises To Relieve Back Pain Fast


Do you have problems with back pain? Back pain can be incredibly debilitating. In some cases, people that have back pain aren’t able to carry out many physical activities. They are overwhelmed by their pain nearly all the time.

If you’re in this situation, you don’t necessarily have to take medication to treat your back pain. There are actually a number of other options that are available to you. One of these options you should explore is exercise. Exercise can help you get the relief you need.

If you want to relieve your back pain fast, then these are the exercises that you should try.

Yoga And Pilates

If you’re in a lot of pain, you may not have any interest in exercises. A lot of people in pain don’t have the energy to do much at all. However, not all forms of exercises require you to exert yourself. There are exercises you can do that won’t require much from you at all.

Two types of low-stress exercise are yoga and pilates. These exercises are similar in a number of ways. While advanced yoga can be a challenge, a simple pilates or yoga workout can be done even if you’re in the midst of back pain.

These kinds of stretches can help soothe aching muscles. They can also improve the condition of your back. If you have issues with back pain, then you should take up yoga or pilates. If you exercise regularly, your back pain should eventually become a thing of the past.

Exercises Balls

You may not feel like working out on the floor or on a yoga mat if you’re not feeling well. However, it’ll be a lot easier for you to get a workout in if you have an exercise ball. The right exercise ball will help you say goodbye to your back pain for good.

When you have an exercise ball, you won’t be required to lie down on a hard surface while you work out. Instead, you’ll have a soft and supportive service to lay on. The right exercise ball will help you stretch your back without injuring it any further.

Gravity Workouts

Our endurance levels are often limited by the effect of gravity. However, there are ways to workout without these limits. There are types of workout equipment that are deliberately designed to circumvent the impact of gravity.

You may have access to this kind of machinery at your local gym. If you do, you’ll be able to get in an excellent workout. If you don’t have access to such tools, then you may want to purchase something for home use. A lot of gravity workout equipment is actually very affordable.

Partial Crunches

Crunches are one of the most popular floor exercises. They’re a great way to strengthen the body and tighten up the abs. However, standard crunches are something that people with back pain generally can’t handle.

Thankfully, traditional crunches aren’t the only option that you have. If you can’t do these crunches, then you could try out partial crunches instead. Partial crunches won’t just help you strengthen your core. They can help you relieve a lot of your back pain. Try out partial crunches and see if you can handle them.

Wall Exercises

If you’re having a hard time getting in exercise mode, then you may need to find a way to give your back some extra support. If you have the right backing, you’ll be able to strengthen your muscles and workout in spite of your bad back. It’s a good idea to try various wall exercises out.

Wall sits are an especially good option for someone who is trying to relieve back pain. When you do this exercise, you won’t be irritating your back in any way. You will be getting relief. You’ll feel a lot better after your exercise is complete.

Do you want to say goodbye to your back pain? If you want your back pain to be a thing of the past, then you should try some of the exercises above. They will help you to get relief quickly. They will also help you to avoid pain in the future.

How To Stop Smoking


It’s no secret, smoking has so many health risks, it damages just about every organ you have. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), they estimated that for every 5 deaths, one of them is tied to cigarette smoking. Cigarette has become deadlier than a vehicular accident, alcoholism, drug abuse murder, suicide, or even HIV/AIDS.

One of the most notorious effects of smoking is cancer. Among all of cancer cases in the United States, a third of it are smoking-related cases. The most closely linked cancer of all to smoking is lung cancer. Smoking causes almost all of the lung cancer deaths in our country. According to CDC, 90% of male deaths and 80% of female deaths.

Lung cancer isn’t the only kind of cancer linked to smoking cigarettes. Cancers of the kidney, cervix, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, larynx, throat and bladder are all linked to smoking as well. Some leukemia cases are caused by smoking too.

If the effects didn’t reach to cancer yet, you are most likely going to experience respiratory disease. Smoke is extremely bad for the lungs. As soon as you puff a cigarette, the damage begins. The risk of a smoker dying from a disease like emphysema, or chronic bronchitis is times 10 compared to a non-smoker. Chronic bronchitis happens when the smoke triggers your airways to produce excessive mucus.

The cough becomes chronic as you continue to smoke because your lungs will continue to keep producing mucus. The coughing helps clear the airways, but too much of it will cause swelling and scar tissues. This individual is also at risk of having pneumonia and other lung infections. Emphysema occurs when the tiny air sacs in your lungs get destroyed due to smoking. When this happens, the individual will have breathing problems and will eventually struggle to breathe.

Cardiovascular diseases become a norm with smokers. Smoking increases your triglycerides. It increases the bad cholesterol, which then clogs up the arteries of your heart. This is called atherosclerosis. A person is in great risk of stroke or heart attack when this occurs. This is why smoking is also linked to obesity. Other than that, it is 4 times more likely that a smoker will suffer from coronary heart disease.

Other health issues are widespread in the body too, like premature wrinkles. Smoking causes premature wrinkles because it prevents proper oxygen absorption in the body. Oxygen is very important in the renewing of cells. Without it, your cells tend to take up its time to heal, or it will never heal at all. Cataracts are closely tied to smoking as well. Muscular degeneration happens when you smoke.

This slowly damages the optic nerve of your eyes. The eyes will be cloudy and will block your eyesight. Periodontic issues are also caused by smoking. The toxins in the cigarette can cause damage in your gums, making them recede. It also weakens your enamel which puts you at risk of tooth decay.

Now, this goes to non-smokers as well. Just because you don’t smoke doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful. Second-hand smoke can be as dangerous as smoking a stick of cigarette. Non-smokers who are exposed to friends or relatives who smoke should also take some precaution. Every year, 49,000 lung cancer deaths are due to secondhand smoke.

If you live or work in an environment with smokers, this puts you at least 20% to 30% at risk of getting the diseases mentioned above. Children whose parents or guardians are smokers are also at risk of getting pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and ear infections. Smoking pregnant women can also put their babies at risk of SIDS or Sudden Death Infant Syndrome.

Nobody wants to experience the tough consequences of smoking. As soon as you quit smoking cigarettes, your body can start to repair the damages it caused. Remember to take control of your health.