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Dealing with a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff

May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff)

A pinched tendon in the rotator cuff is also called impingement syndrome. The rotator cuff is composed of small muscles that keep the shoulder joint stable along with full mobility.

If the rotator cuff becomes inflamed, it causes tendonitis and it can become stuck or pinched under the shoulder bones. Inflammation of the rotator cuff happens due to overuse or injuries. A pinched tendon in the rotator cuff causes severe pain in the shoulder especially moving the shoulder overhead.

Symptoms of a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff

  • Mild or moderate pain
  • Pain becomes severe with lifting the arm overhead
    pinched-tendon

    Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 20 minutes at a time at 3-4 times every day to lessen the pain and inflammation.

  • Shoulder pain, mainly in the outer area of the upper arm
  • Abnormal clicking sound can be heard when raising the arm over the shoulder
  • Weakness of the affected area. Difficulty in lifting the arm or holding any object using the arm.
  • Limited range of movement. Difficulty in reaching from behind or lifting the arm above the head. Difficulty wearing clothes due to stiffness of the shoulder.

Causes

  • Inflammation or irritation of the rotator cuff muscle
  • Keeping the shoulder under the head while sleeping or playing games which requires extension of arms above the head.
  • Work conditions that needs frequent lifting of the arm can result to wear and tear of the tendon and eventually inflammation.
  • Playing volleyball, baseball, tennis, weight lifting and swimming
  • Aging and degeneration of the tendons.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected shoulder joint. Avoid performing activities using the affected area.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 20 minutes at a time at 3-4 times every day to lessen the pain and inflammation
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and swelling.
  • Minimize activities that can worsen the condition.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises to stretch, strengthen and restore the range of motion of the muscles of the rotator cuff. Rehabilitation exercises strengthen the weak muscles and correct postural problems.
  • If the pain persists, a steroid injection might be required to lessen the pain and swelling in the pinched tendon.

Tips

  • Proper warm up and adequate stretching exercises for the arm and shoulders.
  • Use proper techniques especially in sports and dancing.
  • If pain in the shoulder starts to develop, stop any activity that triggered the problem at least for a few days and perform only stretching and strengthening exercises.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage tendon conditions enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Treating an elbow lump

May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Treating an elbow lump)

An elbow lump is an abnormal protrusion or bump that happens within the elbow joint or on its surface. It can happen to anyone. An elbow lump can be due to a blow to the elbow or an injury. It can also result from inflammation or swelling, skin growth such as a cyst or tumor and poor healing of a broken bone. Inflammation can result from bursitis, tendinitis, and injuries from sports, strains, sprains, arthritis or joint infections.

An elbow lump causes pain, inflammation, reddening and warmth. It can be a hard or soft mass and can be moved under the skin. If the lump is caused by infection, the skin on the lump is pitted, red and hot and can burst. Sometimes, the lump remains delicate without causing any pain or discomfort when the joint is moved.

Symptoms of an elbow lump

  • Reduced mobility or range of motion
  • Redness, warmth or swelling of the affected area
  • Deformity of the affected elbow
    elbow-lump

    An elbow lump causes pain, inflammation, reddening and warmth.

  • Pain in the shoulder, arm, hand or finger
  • Fever
  • Popping or clicking sound can heard when moving the joint
  • Skin discoloration such as bruising
  • Weakness or loss of strength

If serious symptoms such as severe bleeding, paralysis, sudden elbow pain and sudden onset of joint deformity are present, immediate medical attention is required.

Causes

  • Bursitis which is the inflammation of the bursa sac that helps in cushioning the joints.
  • Fracture or dislocation of the elbow or arm
  • Fragments within the space of the joint
  • Gout is a type of arthritis due to the accumulation of uric acid in the joints
  • Overuse injury
  • Healing process of a broken bone
  • Tendinitis or inflammation of a tendon
  • Formation of hematoma due to an injury or blow over the elbow
  • Sebaceous cyst

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected elbow. Avoid performing activities that will cause inflammation of the bursa and avoid placing direct pressure on the area.
  • Wear elbow pads to protect the elbow from further irritation and worsen the condition.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected elbow for at least 20 minutes at 2-3 times every day to lessen the swelling.
  • Compress the affected area using an elastic bandage wrapped around the affected joint to lessen the swelling. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation.
  • Elevate the affected elbow above the level of the heart to lessen the flow of blood in the area.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the inflammation, swelling and pain.
  • Seek the help of the physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises that includes stretches or strengthening activities and restore the normal range of motion of the elbow and muscle tone.

More Information

The details posted on this page on an elbow lump is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage joint conditions, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Dealing with giant cell arteritis

May 22nd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with giant cell arteritis)

Giant cell arteritis is a condition in which the medium sized arteries found in the scalp, eye and face becomes narrowed and inflamed. It causes headaches, tenderness of the scalp, pain in the jaw and problems with vision. If not properly treated, this condition can result to loss of vision or stroke. The large blood vessels, aorta and its branches can be affected by this condition and can rupture years later.

Symptoms of giant cell arteritis

  • Sudden and permanent loss of vision in one eye
  • Double vision
  • Throbbing headache usually in the temples
  • Pain in the jaw after chewing
    giant-cell-arteritis

    Pain in the upper arms, shoulders, hips or upper thighs especially in the morning.

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tenderness of the scalp or temples
  • Pain in the upper arms, shoulders, hips or upper thighs especially in the morning
  • Persistent pain in the head especially in the temple area
  • Unintended loss of weight
  • Bleeding gums

Risk factors

  • Older adults
  • Women
  • A person with Scandinavian origin
  • Suffering from polymyalgia rheumatica with aching and stiffness in the shoulders, hips and neck.

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed steroids such as prednisone to lessen the inflammation in the arteries at least 60 mg every day followed by a reduced maintenance dose of 10 mg every day for 1-2 years. This medication can cause weakening of the bones. Take the prescribed calcium and vitamin D supplements together with a prescribed medication bisphosphonate to prevent damage on the bone.
  • Take the prescribed low dose aspirin to thin out the blood and prevent stroke or heart attack.
  • Take the prescribed proton pump inhibitor to prevent the risk of developing an ulcer. Proton pump inhibitors are medications for long lasting reduction of gastric acid production.
  • Maintain a healthy diet by increasing the consumption of protein to prevent thinning of the bone, high blood pressure and diabetes. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats and whole grains. Avoid beverages such as alcohol. Minimize sugar and salt.
  • Perform regular exercises such as aerobics to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and bone loss.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Take the prescribed vitamin K supplement to prevent the risk of developing osteoporosis when taking steroids for treatment.
  • Maintain an ideal weight. Avoid being overweight to prevent making the condition worse.

Giant cell arteritis that is not treated properly can result to complications that include inflammation and damage to the other blood vessels in the body along with loss of vision or blindness, stroke and aortic aneurysms.

Remedies for swine flu

May 22nd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Remedies for swine flu)

Swine flu refers to influenza in pigs. Hog farmers and veterinarians are usually affected by the virus. Swine flu is caused by the H1N1 strain of influenza virus. It causes respiratory infection in humans.

Swine flu can be transmitted by inhaling or ingestion droplets that contains the virus usually from people sneezing or coughing. Symptoms of swine flu are the same as the regular influenza.

Symptoms of swine flu

  • Runny or stuffy nose
    swine-flu

    Get plenty of rest and sleep for fast healing of the condition.

  • Fever and chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Watery or red eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches

The H1N1 flu symptoms usually develops 1-3 days after exposure to the virus

Causes

The influenza virus infects the cells that lines the nose, throat and lungs and enters the body when inhaling contaminated droplets or getting the virus from contaminated surfaces to the nose, eyes and mouth

Treatment

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep for fast healing of the condition.
  • Drink plenty of liquids such as water, juice and warm soups to prevent dehydration.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lessen the inflammation and pain.
  • Take the prescribed antiviral medication to treat the flu immediately after the person is infected with the virus at least within 2 days. It prevents the growth of the virus in the body and makes the symptoms less severe and reduces the risk for developing serious complications.
  • Perform regular exercises such as walking

Tips

  • Stay home if sick. Avoid exposure to other people to prevent the spread of the disease. Stay home at least for 24 hours after the symptoms are gone.
  • Maintain personal hygiene by thoroughly and frequently washing hands using soap and water. Another alternative is washing hands using an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing. Sneeze or cough into a tissue to prevent contaminating the hands.
  • Avoid contact with other crowds if possible to prevent the high risk of developing complications from flu, especially children below 5 years, older than 65, pregnant and suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma.
  • Avoid swine barns at seasonal fairs.
  • Avoid exposure to any members of the household suffering from swine flu.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid being stressed.
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Minimize touching the nose, eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid going to unhygienic places and using public restrooms.

Dealing with knee gout

May 19th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with knee gout)

Knee gout is an inflammatory condition characterized by severe pain, redness and swelling of the affected knee joint. Men are more susceptible to this condition than women, usually at the age of 75 years old.

The most common areas affected by gout are the big toes, but it can also affect the hands, ankles, wrist and the knee. These areas become painful, warm, red and swollen.

Causes of knee gout

knee gout

Take the prescribed over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and inflammation.

  • High levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product of various sources of food. It usually passes out in the urine, but sometimes there are problems on how the body metabolizes or breaks down the uric acid.
  • High levels of uric acid can develop crystals in the soft tissues especially around the joints including the knee.
  • The uric acid level is usually raised for several years before the symptoms of knee gout can be felt.

Symptoms

  • Pain can be felt usually at night due to the low temperature of the body
  • The joint is warm, reddened, sore and swollen
  • The skin appears shiny around the affected joint
  • Small and firm lumps form under the skin
  • Fever
  • Severe pain when walking

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and inflammation. Take the medication immediately after the attack.
  • Elevate the affected joint to lessen the swelling and avoid performing strenuous activities. Elevate the affected joint above the level of the heart for proper circulation of blood and drainage.
  • Take the prescribed steroids orally or by injection to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Cool down the affected knee joint by applying an ice pack on the area for at least 20 minutes to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Fill a small basin with warm water and mix Epsom salt until totally dissolved. Soak a towel in warm water, wring out the excess and wrap around the affected knee and alternate with an ice pack.
  • Perform exercises regularly to improve overall health at least 30 minutes of walking or 15 minutes of running and swimming at 5 times in a week.

How to treat angular cheilitis

May 18th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat angular cheilitis)

Angular cheilitis is a condition that causes cracking, inflammation and bleeding in one or both corners of the mouth. It is also called mouth corner cracks. This condition is caused by staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans but it might also be due to poor-fitted dentures, nutritional deficiency, dry skin and a habit of lip licking. It makes regular daily activities and using the mouth difficult as it affects eating and talking.

Symptoms of angular cheilitis

  • One or two corners of the mouth may be blistered, bleeding and cracked
  • Itchiness, crusting, scaling, redness and pain
  • Dry and uncomfortable
  • Burning sensation in the lips and mouth
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty eating that result to weight loss
    angular-cheilitis

    Apply the prescribed anti-fungal cream such as clotrimazole to the sores. It lessens the pain and inflammation.

Causes

  • Deficiency in vitamins
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Allergic reaction to cosmetic products and foods
  • Poor nutrition and deficiency in zinc and iron
  • Using ill-fitting dentures
  • Excessive salivation and drooling
  • Sunburn and exposure to severe weather condition
  • Underlying disorders such as anorexia nervosa and diabetes mellitus
  • Medical conditions that are at a high risk of developing angular cheilitis include anemia, diabetes, cancer of the blood and immune disorders such as HIV
  • Dehydration
  • Oral herpes due to stress, poor eating and lack of sleep

Treatment

  • Apply the prescribed over-the-counter topical antibiotic and antifungal creams.
  • If angular cheilitis is due to a nutritional deficiency, take the prescribed nutritional supplement and medication for deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Deficiency in vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12 can cause angular cheilitis.
  • Stop lip-licking habit.
  • Apply the prescribed anti-fungal cream such as clotrimazole to the sores. It lessens the pain and inflammation
  • Moisturize the lips by applying a lip salve regularly. Vitamin E oil and olive oil can be used as lip moisturizers. Avoid citrus and beverages that contain citrus during the healing process to prevent worsening of the condition. Avoid eating spicy foods.
  • Avoid wearing ill-fitting dentures to prevent further damage.
  • Soak the affected area on salty water.
  • Keep the body well hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day. Water keeps the body moisturized from the inside and prevents it from becoming cracked and dry.

How to treat a fibrocystic breast

May 18th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat a fibrocystic breast)

A fibrocystic breast is a common condition in which there are abundant bumpy tissue in the breast. It is characterized by pain and tenderness in the affected area. The lumps usually develop in the upper and outer area of the breast. The symptoms develop before menstruation.

Symptoms of fibrocystic breast

  • Pain and tenderness of the breast
  • Lumps or masses found in the breast
  • Changes in the size of breast
    fibrocystic-breast

    Apply a cold compress or ice pack on the affected breast to reduce the tenderness and pain.

  • Non-bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Severe pain and lumpiness can be felt between ovulation and the start of menstruation.

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications to lessen the pain and inflammation as well as oral contraceptive to reduce the hormonal changes that causes fibrocystic breast.
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages such as tea, alcohol and soft drinks. These beverages contain chemicals that release stress hormones in the body and result to tenderness and lumps in the breast.
  • Apply a cold compress or ice pack on the affected breast to reduce the tenderness and pain.
  • Apply heat in the form of a warm moist cloth or heating pad on the affected breast for at least 30 minutes and followed by a cold compress for 10 minutes. This alternating method relieves the discomfort of fibrocystic breast.
  • Avoid consumption of salt for at least a couple of weeks before the menstrual period to prevent making the breast heavy, tender and bloated. Additionally, avoid processed foods rich in salt.
  • Massage the affected area using ginger oil and followed by the application of a warm compress to lessen the lumps and pain.
  • Take the prescribed vitamin E supplement to lessen the breast tenderness and pain. It also reduces the size of the lumps. Another approach is consuming foods rich in vitamin E such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, fortified cereals and vegetable oils.
  • Take the prescribed vitamin B6 supplements to control the hormonal levels in the body or consume foods rich in vitamin B6 such as bran, garlic and pistachio.

Tips

  • Wear a well-fitting bra that has adequate support for the breast to lessen the heaviness and tenderness before menstruation. Another alternative is wearing a properly fitting sports bra.
  • Perform regular exercises and maintain a low-fat diet to control the body weight. Excess fats in the body results to increased levels of estrogen and cause changes in the breast. Being overweight makes one susceptible to discomfort in the breast.
  • Quit smoking to prevent worsening of the condition.

Dealing with bedbug bites

May 17th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with bedbug bites)

Bedbug bites has similarity with other insect bites, including mosquito bites. They are characterized by a raised, reddish bump but also happen as a blister. Bites of bedbugs have a unique pattern. Some bites appear alone, but most bites happen in a row of 3 to 5 bites or can appear as a cluster of red bumps. They can also happen in a zigzag formation and can be a straight line if they bite in the morning.

The bites usually happen in the exposed areas of the body such as the face, neck, arms and feet. The rashes usually heal within 2 weeks. Bedbug bites have a long incubation period. Symptoms of the bite appear up to 10 days after initially bitten such as a red and itchy bump.

bedbug-bites

The bites usually happen in the exposed areas of the body such as the face, neck, arms and feet.

Treatment

  • Immediately wash the affected area using soap and water. Rub the lather over the affected area liberally until the whole affected area is covered. Leave on place and allow the lather to dry over the bitten area to lessen the itchiness of the area. Washing the area using soapy water lessens and prevents infection of skin.
  • Apply a cold compress or ice pack for at least 10 minutes at a time. After the 10 minutes of application, let it rest for another 10 minutes and reapply again. Perform this rotation for at least an hour. The cold temperature numbs the nerve endings and lessens the itching sensation and swelling caused by bedbug bites. Wrap ice packs using a towel before placing on the area to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
  • Avoid scratching the bite to prevent an infection.
  • Baking soda neutralizes the acidic chemicals that cause the itching due to bedbug bites and has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the redness and swelling. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of water and apply over the affected areas. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it. If symptoms persist, reapply again after 30-45 minutes.
  • Apply the prescribed steroidal anti-itch over-the-counter cream that contains 1% hydrocortisone
  • Apply calamine lotion to lessen the itching, dry the rashes and protect the affected area as it heals.
  • Take the prescribed oral antihistamine to control an allergic reaction such as rashes and swelling

Tips

  • Wash exposed clothing, cushions, beddings and fabric in hot water. Use a color-safe bleach.
  • Vacuum and mop the carpets and floors. Apply bleach on the floor and use a water/alcohol solution.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on bedbug bites is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage reactions from bedbug bites by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.