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How to treat toe bursitis

July 29th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat toe bursitis)
Sweaty palms and feet

Toe bursitis is a condition that causes pain and discomfort especially when walking. It happens in various areas across the foot, around the joints of the toe, sides of the foot and heel and the ankles.

It is normal for a small number of bursae to be present in the foot and toe and other areas of the body but when applying excessive pressure and friction, the body will produce abnormal amounts of bursae and lead to the development of bursitis. Other areas of the body that can be affected by bursitis include the hips, elbows, and the shoulders which are joints that are utilized extensively in performing repetitive movements.

Causes of toe bursitis

  • A direct blow or injury on the toe which causes inflammation of the bursae.
  • Repetitive straining of the toe
  • Diseases that affects the joints of the toe such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout can cause swelling of the bursae
  • Bacterial infections that causes the bursae to become inflamed.

Symptoms

Toe bursitis

An aching and stiff sensation can be felt on the toe.

  • The affected toe becomes sensitive when touched
  • The skin becomes fiery red or an “angry” red and the area is swollen
  • An aching and stiff sensation can be felt on the toe.
  • The skin feels hot with a burning sensation

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected toe for fast healing of the condition. Wear a sling, splint or padding to lessen the pressure placed on the foot. Avoid performing strenuous exercises until the affected toe is completely healed.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and swelling of the affected area.
  • Apply cold and warm compress on the first 2-3 days. Apply an ice pack on the affected toe to reduce swelling. After a few days, replace the cold by applying a warm compress on the affected toe for at least 20 minutes at 4 times every day or soak the foot in warm water to lessen pain and improve the blood circulation in the area.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the joint muscles and improve the flow of blood as well as eliminate waste products from the affected area.
  • Wear properly fitting shoes. Women should not wear sandals and shoes with high heels.
  • Increase the consumption of vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C repairs the injured parts. Enzymes found in pineapple can lessen the inflammation and swelling of the affected area.
  • Curcumin which is the yellow pigment found in turmeric reduces inflammation due to toe bursitis.

Tips

If the individual develops fever, bursae area becomes intensely red and warm, affected area is swollen and pain that intensifies, these are symptoms of a possible infection. In such cases, it is vital to seek medical help immediately.

How to treat neck muscle spasms

July 29th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on How to treat neck muscle spasms)

Neck muscle spasms are considered as a severely painful condition. It can be caused by stress, lifting heavy loads and poor posture. Spasms are a sudden spontaneous contraction or seizure movement. Neck muscle spasms happen due to whiplash from a vehicular collision, injuries from sports, overuse and straining of the muscles of the neck.

Causes of neck muscle spasms

  • Neck muscle spasms can be caused by arthritis which involves the inflammation of the joints. Specifically, osteoarthritis is caused by the tearing and wearing off of the joints and cartilages and eventually damages the surrounding soft tissues, muscles and nerves.
  • Herniated disc can also cause tingling and numbness sensation, weakness of the muscle and spasms in the neck.
  • Muscle strain can be caused by vehicular accidents, injuries from sports and slip and fall injuries. Muscle strains happen when the muscle is overstretched which results to tearing of the muscle fibers which can range from mild micro-tearing to complete muscle rupture.
  • Poor posture with muscle spasms causes pain in the neck. This can be caused by an overuse injury where muscles of the neck become strained due to long periods of poor posture.
    Neck muscle spasms

    Neck muscle spasms can be caused by arthritis which involves the inflammation of the joints.

Treatment

  • Apply pressure immediately in the neck. Press the affected muscles using the palm or fingers and apply pressure as tolerated to stop the neck muscles spasms immediately. Massage the affected area at least 2-3 minutes until the neck muscle spasms can no longer be felt.
  • Move the neck slowly from one side to the other. This moving action of the neck keeps the muscles moving rather than the spasms. Stretch the neck on one side and remain in that position for at least a few seconds and then move on to the other side.
  • Take a hot shower. Allow the hot water to flow over the affected neck for a few minutes until the spasms in the neck stops.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to lessen the pain and inflammation caused by the neck muscle spasms.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected neck for at least 20 minutes every hour on the first 2 days after the injury to lessen the spasms. Avoid applying the ice pack directly on the skin. It should be wrapped using a small towel before it is applied on the affected area to prevent frostbite that can worsen the condition. After a few days, apply heat on the area. All you have to do is soak a soft cotton cloth in a bowl filled with hot water, wring out excess water and apply on the affected neck for at least 20 minutes at a time several times every day for 3-4 days until the neck muscle spasms are minimized.
  • Minimize engaging in activities for at least a day or two to relieve the spasms. Wear a cervical collar to support the neck while in an upright position and use contour pillows for added support and relief from the pain while resting.

How to deal with sore thighs

July 29th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on How to deal with sore thighs)

An individual can end up with sore thighs every now and then. The thigh is part of the body between the pelvis and the knee. The quadriceps which are the extensor muscles in the top of the thigh are the largest groups of muscles in the thigh. The quadriceps is composed of rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and vastus medialis that helps to extend and straighten the lower leg.

The hamstrings are also large group of muscles which are flexor muscles found at the back of the thigh. The hamstrings brings the leg backward and flex the leg toward the buttocks. Whether caused by sitting in the same position for a longer time, performing intense exercises and lack of muscle conditioning, sore thighs can occur which makes walking difficult and painful.

Treatment

Sore thighs

Apply an ice pack on the affected thigh.

  • Apply an ice pack on the affected thigh. Wrap the ice pack using a small towel and then place it on the affected thigh for at least 10-15 minutes for 2-3 hours. You can keep the ice pack in place by wrapping it with an elastic bandage around the thigh.
  • Massage the affected area to relieve the tension on the muscles. If there is a knot in the muscles, place the thumb on the area and press it gently until the knot disappears.
  • Elevate the legs by placing a couple of pillows under the heel, to lessen inflammation and swelling.
  • Take the prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen the swelling and minimize the pain.
  • Avoid performing exercises until the soreness is reduced and prevent the risk of tearing and straining of the muscles. Perform light stretching for the thigh such as pulling the foot toward the buttocks and cross one leg over the other knee and lean forward to stretch the thigh.
  • In bathtub filled with warm water, mix it 1-2 cups of Epsom salt. Mix well until fully dissolved. Soak in the water for at least 15 minutes or until the warm water becomes cool. Perform this process at least 3 times every week. Avoid this procedure when suffering from conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems.
  • Low levels of magnesium in the body can lead to sore thighs. Eat foods rich in magnesium such as molasses, pumpkin seeds, squash, spinach and cocoa powder.
  • Using virgin coconut oil is also good for the condition. Use 2-3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil every day in cooking foods and apply coconut oil on foods.

Tips

  • If the affected area is injured such as bruising or tenderness when touched, it is vital to rest and take pain medication to lessen the pain. If the symptoms still persist, seek medical help immediately.
  • Always start a workout with a 5-10-minute session of walking to prevent sore thighs. Perform at least 5-10 minutes of stretching exercises to prevent developing sore thighs.

How to treat cracked heels

July 22nd, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat cracked heels)
Sweaty palms and feet

Cracked heels are a common problem of the foot that is also called heel fissures.  Cracked heels are due to dry skin or xerosis and it becomes complicated when the skin found around the rim of the heel becomes thick. When the fissures or cracks are very deep, they cause pain when standing and bleeding can sometimes occur which increases the risk for being infected.

The skin is usually dry and has a dense callus which is the yellowish or brownish discoloration of the skin especially on the inside border of the heel.

Symptoms of cracked heels

  • If the cracks are severe, it will cause pain when bearing weight.
  • The edges or rim around the heel have a thick area of skin or callus.
  • Wearing open or shoes with thin soles makes the symptoms worse.

Causes

Cracked heels

The edges or rim around the heel have a thick area of skin or callus.

  • An overweight person places more pressure on the normal fat pad found under the heel and causes sideway expansion. If the skin is not flexible, it will result to an increase in the pressure that can lead to cracks.
  • Long periods of standing usually at work or at home especially on hard surfaces.
  • Open back of the shoes which allows the fat found under the heel to expand sideways and cause an increase in the pressure to the crack.
  • Conditions such as autonomic neuropathy with diabetes result to diminished sweating and an underactive thyroid causes a reduction in the metabolic rate of the body that causes dryness of the skin.
  • Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can lead to cracked heels
  • Lack of moisture and incorrect care for the feet
  • Unhealthy diet and aging

Treatment

  • Use varieties of vegetable oil to heal and prevent cracked heels such as sesame oil, olive oil and coconut oil and other hydrogenated vegetable oils. Soak the feet in soapy water and then scrub the feet using a pumice stone to lessen the hardness of the skin. Rinse the affected feet and dry thoroughly and then apply the vegetable oil on the affected heels and soles. Cover the heels and sole with a pair of socks and leave them overnight while sleeping to make the skin soft. Repeat this process several times every day until the cracks in the heels improves.
  • Exfoliate dead skin on the feet and heels using rice flour to eliminate dead skin and prevent dryness and cracking. Make a scrub by mixing a cup of rice flour with teaspoon of honey and apple cider vinegar. Mix well until it becomes a paste.
  • In a foot tub filled with warm water, mix ½ cup of Epsom salt and soak the feet in the solution for at least for 10 minutes. Scrub the feet using a pumice stone and then soak again for another 10 minutes. Dry the feet properly and apply petroleum jelly to maintain moisture and cover it with a pair of socks to prevent the moisture from evaporating.

Treatment for urinary tract infection

July 22nd, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment for urinary tract infection)
swine-flu

A urinary tract infection develops when bacteria enters the urinary system. The urinary tract is comprised of the kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra which are the structures where urine passes before it is eliminated from the body.

The common symptoms caused by the condition includes the frequent urge to urinate and burning sensation can be felt when urinating. Women are more susceptible to urinary tract infection than men because the urethra of women are shorter than men.

Symptoms of urinary tract infection

  • There is pain, discomfort or burning sensation when urinating.
  • Urgency to urinate or the need to urinate frequently or urinary frequency. With this urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed out.
  • The urine appears cloudy or bloody with foul-smelling odor. Among men, pain in the rectum can be felt while women experiences pain around the pubic bone.

Treatment

Urinary tract infection

There is pain, discomfort or burning sensation when urinating.

  • Drink plenty of water to flush away bacteria that causes the infection. Drink at least 8 oz. of water or juices every day to increase urination to flush out bacteria in the bladder and minimize the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.
  • Increase the intake of vitamin C for a healthy urinary tract. Eating foods high in vitamin C will make the urine acidic thus preventing the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.
  • Apply a heating pad to relieve the affected area from pain and discomfort. Wrap the heating pad in a towel before applying on the affected area at least 15 minutes at a time to prevent burning the skin.
  • Eat high fiber carbohydrates which are good for the condition, avoid caffeine, spicy, alcohol, nicotine, artificial sweeteners and carbonated drinks to prevent the condition from worsening.
  • Clean the genital area properly at least once every day using mild soap and water or water alone to prevent irritation on the area. Wash the affected area with plenty of water is sufficient to eliminate bacteria.
  • Avoid holding the urge to urinate to prevent the growth of bacteria in the area. After urinating, women should wipe using a tissue from the front towards the anus to prevent fecal matter from entering the urethra.
  • Wear underwear made of cotton since it allows air flow through the material and allowing the genitals dry. Change underwear at least once a day. Wash dirty underwear using warm or hot water to eliminate any bacteria.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight in the groin area to allow the air to flow in the genital area.
  • Drink cranberry juice since it is good for the condition. A chemical called proanthocyanidins are present in cranberries with prevents E. coli from attaching to the urinary tract which is responsible for causing urinary tract infections. Drink at least 2 glasses of cranberry juice every day.

How to get rid of earwax blockage

July 22nd, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to get rid of earwax blockage)
Concussion

Earwax or cerumen is a natural substance from the glands in the ear canal with lubricating and antibacterial properties. The function of the wax is protecting the ears from bacteria and other elements. There is a slow and orderly movement inside the ear canal where earwax and skin cells are moved from the eardrum to the opening ear where it can be removed easily. Sometimes, it can be blocked or impacted with earwax. It accumulates inside the ear canal if an individual uses objects such as Q-tips, bobby pins or cotton swabs which causes the wax to be pushed deep inside the ear. Those who are hearing aids or earplugs are prone to this condition.

Accumulation of earwax is caused by the narrowing of the ear canal due to some forms of infections or disease of the bone or connective tissue as well as diseases of the skin. It can also be caused by a reduced amount of cerumen or an overproduction of as a result of trauma or blockage inside the ear canal.

Symptoms of earwax blockage

  • A feeling of fullness inside the ear
  • Earache
  • Noises in the ear or tinnitus
  • Uncomfortable sensation in the ear
  • Temporary loss of hearing
  • Itching inside the ear
    Earwax blockage

    A feeling of fullness inside the ear

Treatment

  • Salt water softens the wax that accumulates inside the ear. In ½ cup of warm water, add a teaspoon of salt and mix until salt is completely dissolved. Immerse a cotton ball in the salt solution. Tip the affected ear up and squeeze the cotton ball gently just to instill only a few drops of saline solution into the ear. Remain in that position for at least 3-5 minutes and tilt the head in the opposite direction to drain the water out. Remove the softened wax using a clean cloth.
  • Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide least 3% and water. Tilt the head sideways and using a medicine dropper, instill a few drops of the mixture into the ear and allow to soak for a few minutes and tilt the head in the opposite direction to drain out the solution. Clean the outer area of the ear using a clean cloth.
  • Flush the ear using warm water to eliminate the excess earwax. Use clean and filtered water. Use a rubber-bulb syringe and fill it with slightly warm water. Tilt the head in an upright position and pull the outer ear to make the ear canal straight, and put a few drops of water into the ear canal. Leave it on inside the ear for at least a minute and drain it by tilting the head to the opposite side. Clean the outer area of the ear using clean cloth.
  • Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids to minimize the accumulation of earwax in the ears. Take the prescribed high quality omega-3 supplement and eat foods rich in omega-3 such as cod liver oil, avocados, walnut, salmon, mackerel and ground flaxseed.

What is black mold poisoning?

July 8th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on What is black mold poisoning?)
Black mold

Mold can thrive indoors or outdoors usually in dank, warm and steamy environments. Mold can also be found in any environment at any time of the year. Household mold that are found indoors include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Stachybotrys atra which is also known as the “black mold”.

These molds grow in surfaces with high cellulose content such as wood, fiberboard, paper, gypsum board, dust and lint. There are molds that grow in foods and carpeting. Indoor molds are usually found in basements or shower stalls. These molds particularly the black mold can cause health problems and damage surfaces and objects where they grow.

High concentrations of fungal colonies such as in flooring that were damaged by water and building materials can cause symptoms similar to allergies or the flu or even dangerous asthma attacks.

Symptoms of black mold poisoning

  • Coughing, sneezing and runny nose
    Black mold

    When inhaling the toxic spores of the black mold, congestion, increased mucus production and shortness of breath can be experienced.

  • Watery eyes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Black mold poisoning can result to a mild, moderate or severe illness and sometimes death if not properly treated.
  • When inhaling the toxic spores of the black mold, congestion, increased mucus production and shortness of breath can be experienced.
  • Nausea and vomiting that becomes worse
  • Development of rashes in the skin that cause itchiness
  • Muscle pain and fatigue

Treatment

  • Take over-the-counter antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine to lessen the symptoms of black mold poisoning.
  • Clean hard surfaces using bleach solution. Remove all infested upholstery, carpeting, wallpaper and other ideal mold habitats.
  • Take the prescribed oral corticosteroid to treat chronic symptoms of black mold poisoning.
  • Take a cool bath mixed with a cup baking soda or colloidal oat meal and soak in the cool bath to lessen the itchiness and pain from rashes
  • Artichoke leaf extract eliminates the effects of fungi, yeast and mold in the body. The artichoke leaf extract can be taken in a 320mg capsule. Take this capsule at least 2 times every day.
  • Increase the consumption of Vitamin D rich foods such as cheese, mackerel, tuna, salmon, egg yolk and liver
  • Maintain a low-sugar diet to minimize fungal and mold infections.
  • If suffering from diabetes, maintain the normal blood sugar level to minimize infection caused by black mold exposure.

Tips

  • Leaks in plumbing and other structures that result to accumulation of moisture should be repaired.
  • Use an air conditioner or air humidifier to minimize the accumulation of moisture.
  • Avoid using carpets in humid environments such as in basements and bathrooms.
  • Use bathroom fans and open windows when showering or taking a bath.

How to deal with a hip flexor strain

July 8th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in First Aid Injury Assessment - (Comments Off on How to deal with a hip flexor strain)
Hip flexor strain

A hip flexor strain is an injury that involves tearing of one or more hip flexor muscles and causes pain or discomfort in the anterior aspect of the hip or groin. A hip flexor strain is usually caused by the iliopsoas muscles which are found in the lower back and pelvis and moves into the thigh bone or femur. This muscle allows forward movement when running and walking. When kicking or sprinting, there is significant strain on the hip flexor which results to a hip flexor strain which involves tearing or stretching of the tendon or muscles.

Classification of a hip flexor strain

  • Grade 1 tear – small amount of fibers are torn with some pain yet full functionality is maintained
  • Grade 2 tear – significant number of fibers are torn and there is moderate loss of function
  • Grade 3 tear – rupture of all muscle fibers that result to major loss of function.

Causes

Hip flexor strain

A sudden sharp pain or pulling sensation felt in the front of the hip or groin after the injury.

  • A hip flexor strain can be caused by sudden contraction of the hip flexor muscles especially in the stretch position.
  • Performing sprinting or kicking with sports such as football and soccer
  • Inadequate warm-up exercises

Symptoms

  • A sudden sharp pain or pulling sensation felt in the front of the hip or groin after the injury.
  • Muscle spasm and weakness
  • Difficulty in walking with an evident limp
  • Pain when lifting the knee up to the chest particularly when running, kicking or climbing stairs.
  • Pain in the affected area upon waking up in the morning.
  • Tenderness, swelling and bruising of the area
  • Sometimes, in a grade 3 tear, there is deformity of the affected area

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected hip flexor muscles. Avoid performing activities that can strain on the hip flexor muscle.
  • Apply a cold compress the affected area. Wrap an ice pack using a piece of cloth or towel and apply on the injury for at least 30 minutes at a time every 3-4 hours until 2-3 days until the pain is minimized.
  • Massage the affected area using ice. Simply freeze a Styrofoam cup filled with water. Remove the top of the cup so that the ice is exposed and then rub over the painful area for a few minutes.
  • Apply heat on the affected area to relax the muscles. Apply moist heat such as a heating pad that is applied on the area for at least 15-20 minutes before starting gentle exercises.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications to lessen the pain and inflammation such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

More Information & Disclaimer

The information posted on this page for muscular injuries is for learning purposes only. The best way to learn to manage, recognize and prevent these injuries is by taking a basic first aid and CPR course such as standard first aid. Standard first aid covers topics such as sprains, strains and muscular injuries. Register for a course near you today to learn more.