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How to relieve tension in the shoulder muscle

June 26th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on How to relieve tension in the shoulder muscle)

The shoulders and neck are two areas of the body which bear the burden of tension and pain. Pain and stiffness felt in the upper back can cause discomfort for the person. This condition is not a serious problem but it can slow down the daily activities of the individual and there is difficulty while doing his/her daily tasks.

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Shoulder muscle tension happens when there is reduced blood and lymph flow to the area and typically caused by injury, stress and poor posture. Sometimes, tension in the shoulder muscle has similar symptoms of the lower back pain.

Causes of tension in the shoulder muscle


Chronic tension in the shoulder joint can pull the tendons of the muscles and cause inflammation which is known as tendinitis.

  • It can be caused by engaging in excessive activity which results to straining of the shoulder muscle.
  • Poor posture such as sitting for long periods of time at the desk, without taking a break or working on a computer in the same position for long hours can cause straining of the shoulder muscles.
  • A poor ergonomic position at the workplace can make the shoulder and neck muscle short which causes pain and tension in the area. The shoulder is stressed and strained when holding the cell phone between the head and shoulder.
  • A woman wearing high heeled shoes causes straining the lower back and spine, but will also change the biomechanics of the upper back and shoulder.
  • Sleeping postures can also cause tension in the shoulder muscle, usually when sleeping on the stomach.
  • Stress and anxiety are also factors that can cause shoulder and neck muscle tension.

Symptoms of shoulder tension

  • The muscles of the body are always tensed and relaxed. Take note that this cycle occurs indefinitely, but sometimes the muscles continues to become tensed without relaxation and will result to muscle spasm and pain.
  • Chronic tension in the shoulder joint can pull the tendons of the muscles and cause inflammation which is known as tendinitis. There is stiffness of the shoulder and difficulty in moving the shoulder upwards or sideways due to spasms of the muscle.
  • There is weakness of the shoulder along with swelling and tenderness which indicates that the muscles of the shoulders are tensed.

Treatment and home remedies of tension in the shoulder muscles

  • Massage the affected area in order to minimize stress and strain on the shoulder muscles as well as reducing stiffness and pain. Perform gentle massage using olive oil or coconut oil on the area of the shoulder to promote proper circulation. Massage also helps in releasing tension in the shoulder muscles.
  • Take a hot bath since it helps in relaxing tension in the shoulder muscles. Heat relaxes tensed fibers of the muscles. Another way is placing a heating pad or hot water bag over the shoulder to promote relaxation of the muscles.
  • Exercise is helpful in minimizing tension on the shoulders by rotating the shoulder in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions at least ten times in order to minimize tension in the shoulders.
  • Encourage the individual to perform some deep breathing techniques and yoga since these can help in reducing tension in the shoulders.


Wrist stress fracture

June 26th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Wrist stress fracture)

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone that are caused by overuse and repeated use of force. These fractures usually occur in the lower leg and the bones of the foot. Among runners, the bones in their legs and feet carry most of the weight, thus long repetitious exercises such as jogging can cause stress fractures. In some cases, stress fractures can also occur in the wrists.

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A stress fracture is an injury where the muscles are exhausted due to repeated physical stress. These tiny cracks in the bone are called stress fractures. Individuals who play tennis, gymnastics, basketball and diving face the highest risk of overusing their wrist, thus they can suffer from wrist stress fractures. There are eight tiny bones in the wrist and a hairline crack can happen in any of these bones.

A hairline crack found in the wrist usually occurs among women above the age of 40 years old or in menopausal women. Even women who play sports and athletes are also prone to stress fracture of the wrist due to eating disorders such as anorexia, osteoporosis and irregular menses.


The pain becomes worse when moving the wrist joint or working on certain activities such as writing or holding an object.

Symptoms of a stress fracture

  • Pain in the joint of the wrist when there is hairline fracture. In a severe stage, the pain is sharp and gradually reduces and becomes dull and achy. The pain becomes worse when moving the wrist joint or working on certain activities such as writing or holding an object.
  • Bruising in the wrist area is the next common symptom. This occurs due to a leak in the blood vessels of the bone or other tissues. In most cases, the bruise appears bluish or greenish in color. After a few days, the color turns black and will remain for a few days and then steadily vanish.
  • There is swelling of the joint of the wrist and palm that can be seen in hairline fractures of the wrist joint. This occurs due to the inflammatory reaction of the bone and the tissues.
  • There is accumulation of fluids in the first two days of the injury.
  • A tingling or loss of sensation on the affected area.
  • A limited movement of the joint of the wrist.

Treatment and home remedies of stress fracture of the wrist

  • Rest the affected wrist at least three weeks and avoid activities that cause stress fractures of the wrist.
  • Apply an ice compress over the affected area since this helps in minimizing the swelling and pain.
  • Apply a compression bandage, splint or a cast since these can help promote faster recovery from cracks of the hairline.
  • Elevate the wrist in order to minimize swelling for the first two days.
  • Drink warm milk that is mixed with a teaspoon of turmeric powder every day to promote faster healing.
  • Eat foods that are rich in calcium during this period in order to strengthen the bones and accelerate the callous formation.

Rug burn

June 19th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Rug burn)

A rug burn is a friction burn which results to damaged tissue caused by the force of the skin rubbing against a surface. This is considered the most common type of friction burn. Rug burns that cover a large area typically occur in sensitive areas such as the hands, face, and feet. Even though it appears minor, itis best to seek medical care to prevent complications from developing.

Rug burn is a first degree burn that is produced by friction of a body with fibers of rug or a carpet or some abrasive surfaces. When there is friction between the body and the rug, it will produce mild amounts of heat. It is this heat that causes damage on the superficial surface of the skin, thus the area of the skin becomes rough and reddish. In some cases, the skin will peel off.

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Rug burns usually happen in bony areas of the body such as the knee and elbow. This type of burn can heal on its own and not a serious condition, but if an individual is diabetic, it can lead to some complications if not properly treated.

Rug burn symptoms

Rug burn

Cover the burned area using a dry and sterile gauze pad.

Children are more susceptible to rug burns since they are active and face a higher risk of falling on carpets or rugs. In a friction burn, the uppermost surface of the skin is damaged by being scrapped and chapped and the affected areas are very painful. There is mild redness and inflammation after the injury. During the healing process, the color of the skin changes to a healthy pink and eventually turns to its normal skin color. Rug burn is a first degree burn and can heal on its own, but sometimes it can result to secondary infections and scarring.

Treatment and home remedies for rug burn

  • Pour cool water over the affected area in order to relieve pain and make the surface of the skin cool. Run cool water at least for 5-10 minutes every hour.
  • Clean the injured area using an antiseptic solution.
  • Keep the affected area clean by cleansing it using a sterilized cotton ball. Moisture found in the surface of the skin is a good breeding ground for microbial organisms.
  • When taking a shower, cover the affected area with gauze. If the affected area becomes wet, dry it with a cotton ball.
  • Apply aloe vera gel to the burned area. Take note that aloe vera is a relaxing agent and helps in minimizing pain and inflammation as well as promotes healthy growth of granulation in the skin tissue.
  • Cover the burned area using a dry and sterile gauze pad. This helps faster healing and protection of the affected area against pollutants.
  • Avoid wearing too tight clothing since it can cause friction and irritation on the burned area.
  • When rug burn has a severe pain caused by a fall from a height, seek medical help so that prescribed pain medications and antibiotics are prescribed.

Knots in the glutes

June 19th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on Knots in the glutes)

Pain in the buttocks makes life uncomfortable. Knots in the glutes are spasms and cramps in the gluteus muscles located in the posterior. The buttocks have three gluteus muscles – gluteus maximus, minimus and medius. These muscles are located at the rear of the pelvis and allow smooth movement of the hip, trunk and the legs as well as providing support for the body when standing and cushioning the pelvic bone while sitting. Gluteus maximus is the strongest and the largest of the gluteal muscles which helps in the rotation of the hip and extension of the trunk.

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When the muscle are pulled due to spasm, numbness and shooting sharp pain can be felt in the bottom since nerves and blood vessels pass underneath these gluteus muscles. Knots in the glutes can be caused by injury or giving pressure to these muscles particularly the gluteus maximus.

Knots in the glutes can affect any individual and can occur suddenly or slowly and usually depends on the underlying cause.

Causes of knots in the glutes

Knots in the glutes

Knots in the glutes can be caused by injury or giving pressure to these muscles particularly the gluteus maximus.

Cramps and spasms in the gluteus muscles happen when a person becomes less active and there is a constant pressure such as sitting for long periods of time at one place. Take note that it can give pressure on the vessels. Circulation of blood becomes weak and the glutes are starved of the essential nutrients, thus causing cramps of the gluteus muscle. There is also difficulty in performing simple movements such as rising from sitting position and climbing stairs. Other causes include the following:

  • Traumatic injury caused by a fall or a direct trauma to the area can cause pain and spasms of the gluteus muscle.
  • Engaging in strenuous activities without doing proper stretching and warm up exercises can cause pulling of the gluteus muscle and athletes are prone to spraining and straining of the gluteus muscles.
  • Injury or irritation of the nerves coming from the spinal roots can result to spasm and knots in the gluteus muscles. The pain is agonizing and sharp or can be numb and aching with stiffness of the muscle.

Treatment and home remedies of muscle knots in the glutes

  • When the muscle undergoes spasm, the individual should perform some gentle stretching but if spasms are severe, rest the affected muscles.
  • Once the pain is minimized, perform gentle stretching in order to relax the muscles.
  • Apply alternately cold compress and warm compress in order to help promote proper circulation of blood.
  • Physical therapy exercises can help in relieving pain and spasms of a tensed gluteus muscle.
  • Massage helps in improving circulation and rest strained muscles. A simple massage using the fingers over the strained area at least once in a day will rest the muscles of the buttocks.
  • Walk in the morning for a few minutes is the best exercise for knots in the glutes but before starting any exercise, the individual should take a muscle relaxant medication to help minimize inflammation and stress in the muscles.

How to Treat and Manage Headaches

June 8th, 2015 | Posted by Mikha Canon in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How to Treat and Manage Headaches)

Headaches are said to be the most common form of pain that one experiences. Most people have experienced headaches at least once in their lives. Headache is pain or discomfort felt either in the head, scalp or neck. The brain itself does not have nerves, thus it does not experience pain. Thus the pain originates from the tissues and other structures surrounding the brain, usually as a result of inflammation or irritation of the tissues. The pain from headaches can be described as dull, sharp, constant, radiating, throbbing, mild, intense, and plenty of other ways. But symptoms for headaches will vary according to its cause

Headaches are either classified as primary or secondary. Headaches are classified according to their underlying cause. The aim of this classification scheme is to easily eliminate potential causes. This could lead to giving a faster diagnosis and therefore giving proper medications at the soonest possible time.

Primary Headaches

Primary headaches are the most common types of headaches. The source of pain here is from tissue inflammation in the head. There are three known types:

  • Tension (most common type)
    • Exact cause is still undetermined but is hypothesized to be due to the contraction of the muscles that cover the skull resulting to inflammation
    • Possible causes: stress, depression, anxiety, bad posture, etc.
    • More common in women than men
    • Pain usually begins at the back of the head or upper neck and radiates to encircle the head
    • Pain is most intense over the temples or over the eyebrows
    • Pain is on both sides
  • Migraine (second most common)
    • Exact cause is still undetermined
    • Possible triggers: heat, lack of sleep, certain scents, caffeine withdrawal, etc.
    • More common in women than men
    • Pain is described as severe, throbbing or pounding and usually occurs in one side only
    • May be accompanied by change in vision and nausea
  • Cluster (rare type)
    • Exact cause is still undetermined but is hypothesized to be due to the sudden release of serotonin and/or histamine
    • May be genetic
    • More common in men than women
    • Pain is described as severe and usually occurs once or twice a day and typically lasts from 30 to 90 minutes
    • May happen daily for a week or longer and usually happens at the same time every day
    • May be accompanied by the reddening, inflammation and watering of the eyes

Secondary Headaches

Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying health or medical condition, which include:

  • Strokes
  • Transient ischemic attack
  • Seizures
  • Brain tumors
  • Encephalitis, meningitis and other infections that involve the brain
  • Traumatic headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Dehydration
  • Substance abuse

Cranial Neuralgias Headaches

  • Inflammation of the one of the 12 cranial nerves
  • Symptoms: severe facial pain, etc.

First Aid Treatment and Management for Headaches

Headaches can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin. Aspirin should not be given to children. Doctors may prescribed pain medications for severe headaches.  The following treatment can also be done to help manage headaches:

  • Apply a cool compress over the forehead.
  • Take plenty of rest and if possible, do this in a dark room.
  • Do not join activities that may worsen the headache.
  • Do not stay in stressful environments.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clear fluids, such as water.

Enroll in First Aid Courses to learn more about how to handle pain.

Headache is a pain or discomfort that is felt either in the head, scalp or even in the neck. They have a wide variety of causes.

Head Hurts Headache Depressed Sad

Headache is a pain or discomfort that is felt either in the head, scalp or even in the neck

Traveler’s diarrhea

June 5th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Traveler’s diarrhea)

Traveler’s diarrhea is a digestive tract disorder that causes loose stools and abdominal cramps. It is caused by eating contaminated food or beverages. When visiting a place where the climate, sanitary standards and social conditions are different from home, an individual faces an increased risk for developing traveler’s diarrhea.

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Be careful on what to eat and drink while travelling in order to minimize the risk for traveler’s diarrhea. It is important to note that diarrhea can affect the health of many individuals in various parts of the world, especially when travelling to developing countries such as in Asia, South America, Southern Europe and Africa.


Diarrhea involves repeated bowel movement of unformed, watery stools as much as 3-10 times a day and accompanied by vomiting, gas, bloating and abdominal cramps.

Diarrhea involves repeated bowel movement of unformed, watery stools as much as 3-10 times a day and accompanied by vomiting, gas, bloating and abdominal cramps. Traveler’s diarrhea can sometimes occur anytime while travelling and it can also happen after returning home. It depends on the type of organism involved and the incubation period.

Diarrhea can last for 2-4 days but can last for a week. Dehydration is one of the complications of diarrhea and sometimes there is blood and mucus found in the stools. In some cases, it can be caused by changes in the climate and water. Bacteria and virus can cause traveler’s diarrhea. Remember that traveler’s diarrhea is not a serious problem and the condition can subside after a few days.

Symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea

  • An urgent need to defecate
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Sudden onset of passage of three or more loose stools in a day.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever

Causes of traveler’s diarrhea

  • Traveler’s diarrhea is caused by E.coli and other bacteria that are found in the fecal matter.
  • It can be transmitted by feco-oral route. It simply means eating food and drinking water which are contaminated with fecal matter.
  • Viruses such as rotavirus can also cause traveler’s diarrhea. Young children are more susceptible to traveler’s diarrhea due to their explorative nature while eating.
  • People who travel in places where there are poor sanitary facilities, those with poor hygiene practices and staying in overcrowded places are risk factors that can cause traveler’s diarrhea.

Treatment and home remedies for traveler’s diarrhea

  • Drink plenty of water since fluids lost should be replenished. One way is by preparing an oral-rehydration solution at home. In a glass of water, mix a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt and then add a few drops of lemon juice. Make sure to mix well and drink.
  • Boil and cool the water before drinking it. An alternative is to use bottled water for drinking.
  • Avoid drinking tea and coffee which increases dehydration.
  • Drink buttermilk at least 2-3 times in a day since it contains healthy bacteria that can help eliminate the pathogens that causes the disease and helps maintain healthy intestinal flora.
  • Eat bananas because it contains salts such as potassium and helps replenish salts that are lost during diarrhea. Eat overripe bananas if available.
  • Drink rice water which is the water that is drained after cooking rice. It helps in binding watery stools and makes them solid. You can add sugar and salt to the rice water before drinking.

Chronic dehydration

June 5th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Chronic dehydration)

Dehydration occurs when there is not sufficient fluid for the body. This can happen when an individual is sweating too much, suffering from diarrhea and experiences persistent vomiting for an extended period. An average adult requires at least 2 quarts of liquid on a daily basis in order to function normally. The need for fluids varies with age, certain physical activities and when the person is taking certain medications.

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When a person fails to drink adequate amounts of water and liquids regularly, it will result to a chronic form of dehydration. The symptoms of chronic dehydration are not similar to an acute dehydration. During chronic dehydration, the body is not properly hydrated and could not perform all the required functions.

Symptoms of chronic dehydration


When there is chronic dehydration, the affected individual experiences fatigue and loss of energy.

  • Dry and flaky skin can be seen among individuals who do not drink enough water.
  • Development of eczema
  • When there is chronic dehydration, the affected individual experiences fatigue and loss of energy caused by the slow activity of enzyme that is required for metabolism, thus making an individual fatigue and tired.
  • Constipation
  • Water is needed for the digestion of food and elimination of waste. When an individual has chronic dehydration, it can result to indigestion and bloating.
  • Migraine headache
  • Arthritis and herniation of the spinal disk
  • Heart burn and acid reflux
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Continuous dark colored urine is a symptom of reduced intake of fluids or water.
  • High level of cholesterol
  • Cystitis and frequent UTI can occur due to a reduced intake of water or fluids causes. This can lead to painful urinations.

Causes of chronic dehydration

  • Drinking reduced amounts of water and fluids
  • Smoking
  • Amoebic colitis
  • Heat stroke
  • Increased urination
  • Chronic urination
  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Exposure to heat or radiation for a long period
  • Medications for diuretics and loss of blood that happens in menorrhagia in women.

Treatment and home remedies of chronic dehydration

  • First, check for symptoms of dehydration such as extreme thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, dizziness and dark yellow urine.
  • Move the dehydrated person to a cool or shaded area and position in a comfortable position, preferably sitting.
  • Provide the individual with fluids to drink. If water is not available, provide him/her with Gatorade or other sports drinks which contains electrolytes and carbohydrates.
  • If the victim is a child, give him/her Pedialyte which is used for treating dehydration in infants and children.
  • Avoid drinking coffee, soda and tea and other drinks that contain high levels of caffeine, sugar or alcohol since these can worsen the dehydration.
  • If the person has diarrhea, do not provide him/her with fruit juices and sodas since they can worsen the diarrhea.

If the symptoms of chronic dehydration continue to persist, it is best to seek medical help as soon as possible for proper assessment and treatment of the condition.

Steam burns

June 5th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in First Aid for Burns - (Comments Off on Steam burns)

Thermal burns are burns caused exposure to steam, hot liquids, hot metals or open flames. Steam burns usually occur in the kitchen when an individual lifts a lid from a pot of boiling liquid. Steam burns can be considered as minor injuries but can become severe.

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Steam burns can be caused by close exposure to a steam cooker or a pot of boiling water. The steam that comes of a scorching or steaming substance forms a burn and the grade of injury will depend on the harshness of the burn sustained. It is vital to manage steam burn properly in order to prevent scarring or making the condition worse.

Treatment and home remedies of steam burns


If it is a mild burn or first degree burn, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it up using light and non-adhesive gauze.

  • The affected person should stay calm, especially when far from hospitals and health clinics.
  • Run cold water over the affected area if there is no break in the skin. The affected area such as the hands can also be immersed in a cold water bath for 5 minutes. Avoid putting ice in the bath since extreme cold can cause severe damage.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Apply an herbal cooling lotion over the affected areas of the body such as aloe vera gel which offers an effective cooling effect for minor burns.
  • Do not rinse the affected area since it will cause pain instead of reducing the pain in the area.
  • Apply honey over the affected area of the body and cover it using a flexible wrap and seal the area using gauze and leave in place at least for two days. After two days, open the wrapped area and pour again another layer of honey. Avoid rinsing the area since rinsing the area will make it susceptible to infection.
  • Provide a tablespoon of honey to the affected person at least three times a day in order to boost the immune system. Honey has antibacterial properties that help in preventing possible infections as well as preventing deep scarring.
  • If it is a mild burn or first degree burn, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it up using light and non-adhesive gauze. If the burn is severe, avoid letting the clothes or gauze stick to the affected area.
  • Avoid popping the blisters caused by the burns. When healing from a burn injury, the worst thing to do is pop it open but it can cause another infection if not carefully done. Keep the injury clean at all times and change the dressing several times in a day.

Prevention of steam burns

  • When checking on what is being cooked, take the lids off easily and keep the face far as the cooking ware as possible in order to avoid inhaling the steam.
  • Keep children away from the cooking area while cooking.
  • Use dry pot holders and mitts at all times when cooking.
  • The temperature should be set to 120 degrees or less when boiling water.

Hot glue gun burn

June 5th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in First Aid for Burns - (Comments Off on Hot glue gun burn)

Hot glue gun is a tool that is used for giving out hot melt adhesive and the material that is used to prepare hot glue is a thermoplastic adhesive. It is in long sticks of different diameters and placed in the hot glue gun which is powered by electricity. The heat produced by the electric current melts the stick in the gun and squeezed out from the nozzle to be applied on various objects.

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For many years, hot glue has been an effective tool for those who love crafting, scrapbooking and costumes. The use of hot gun is unlimited and safe to use, but there are instances where some suffer from mild burns caused by hot glue guns. They might come in contact with the hot glue that is coming out of the nozzle and burn the skin. The burns from exposure to hot glue are usually minor and sometimes blisters can form.

Treatment and home remedies of hot glue gun burn


Clean the wound using sterile cotton and apply an antibiotic ointment, then cover the area with sterile gauze.

  • It is usually the finger and the wrist area that comes in contact with hot glue. When the hot comes in contact with the skin, place the affected area under flowing tap water, until the burning sensation is minimized at least for 10 minutes or longer.
  • If there is no flowing tap water available, place some water in a bowl and place the affected finger or any part of the body in the water for at least 10-15 minutes.
  • The individual should keep the fingers moving while the glue melt is still hot to avoid the tourniquet effect on the fingers as the glue starts to cool down.
  • Avoid removing the glue when it is in the molten state or the skin will stick to the glue and leaving a deep burnt area.
  • When the hot melt becomes solid and cools down, try to rub it gently using the fingers in order to remove the superficial layer of the glue. Avoid removing the whole melt since it will cause further damage under the wound.
  • Place a few drops of coconut oil or olive oil on cotton until it is totally soaked, then gently rub it to the glue in order to make the glue soft and easy to be removed. Once the glue is removed, keep the affected area under flowing water for a few minutes
  • Dab the affected area with diluted vinegar in order to minimize pain.
  • Clean the wound using sterile cotton and apply an antibiotic ointment, then cover the area with sterile gauze.
  • If a small blister develops, avoid bursting the blister. In a few days, the blister will just open up by itself. Seek medical help immediately if the wound becomes worse, becomes more painful and takes a longer time to heal.