BLOG - UltraCare PRO - Part 3

Proven Therapies for Sciatica Pain Relief

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Sciatica

The pain of Sciatica is a confusing one, for which, if the right treatment is not given at the right time, it can get even worse. The radiating pain that emerges due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve, makes the legs, hip and even back hurt so badly that one can not even imagine.

Sciatica pain originates from the pinched sciatic nerve in the lower back and travels through the hips and buttock to all the way down towards the leg. The pain and discomfort that arises due to this can make the most mundane actions of our life into torture.

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The major reason behind sciatica points out to herniated disk which occurs when a disk develops a tear or crack and bulges into the spinal canal that pinches the sciatic nerve. Some other sciatica causes are a bone spur, narrowing of the spine compresses the sciatic nerve, piriformis syndrome (when the piriformis muscle, which assists in rotating the hip, irritates the sciatic nerve) and pregnancy when a woman’s expanding uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Obesity, lack of exercise, wearing high heels, sleeping on a mattress that is too hard or too soft, diabetes, and age can also lead to sciatica pain.

As soon as a sharp, intense pain along with tingling, weakness, burning sensation and numbness take over, wait no more you need to get started with sciatica treatment. Now, of course, there are steroids and sciatica medicines that will give you instant relief from sciatica pain but soon, may return as well. In order to treat it from its root cause and get permanent sciatica pain relief, there are certain, proven therapies that are worth trying. Take a look.

  1. Hot and Cold Therapy – Ice and hot water packs work best for sciatica pain relief. Start with cold packs first for a few days, then heat packs and then alternate them for a few minutes several times a day.

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  1. Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care – Moving with sciatica can be difficult. To improve and achieve a pain-free range of motion, physical therapists and chiropractors can help.

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  1. Yoga and Stretching Exercises – Both are highly recommended methods for sciatica pain relief. They both improve flexibility and can strengthen the muscles around the sciatic nerve. Try lower-back stretches and sciatica exercises to help reduce the pressure on stressed-out disks.

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  1. Acupuncture and Massage Therapy – Acupuncture, an old traditional Chinese treatment, is a way of releasing the body’s natural painkillers – Endorphins. As far as massage is considered, an excellent masseuse knows exactly where the trigger points of sciatica are, which he/she by applying pressure to such irritated and inflamed areas, or trigger points, in the piriformis muscle, or the muscles in the lower back and glutes, can make it go away.

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  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – The throbbing pain of sciatica makes day-to-day life difficult. At times, pain can lead to depression for which a face-to-face session with a therapist can prove beneficial in managing sciatica pain very well.

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  1. Electrotherapy – A part of physical therapy, electrotherapy is the best known non-invasive, 100% natural and effective therapy so far for chronic sciatica pain. Easy to operate and handy electrotherapy machines such as US 111, SONICTENS, Combo3 Plus have clinically proven treatment modalities like ultrasound therapy, TENS, IFT, EMS etc. that can make your sciatic pain a history within a few sessions.

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Conclusion

To get rid of sciatica permanently, you must put some effort yourself apart from the above-mentioned non-surgical treatment methods for sciatica like staying active, taking regular breaks from continuous sitting, maintaining a healthy weight etc. Your effort and sciatica treatment methods in combination will definitely put an end to it forever.

Types of Portable Physiotherapy Equipment, its Usage and Benefits

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The human body is just like a vehicle, it needs regular maintenance to keep it functioning, for which, exercise is the key tool. It happens that sometimes due to some injury, disease, or condition, some part of our body becomes stiff and start losing its range of motion. Though medicines or other treatments help, there is one such treatment that works on the deeper issue and helps our body regain its lost strength, mobility, balance and overall fitness, naturally and that is Physiotherapy.

Various types of physiotherapy machines are available for different conditions which only physiotherapists can operate but now, due to the advancement of science and technology, there are certain portable physiotherapy equipment available out there that can treat multiple disorders or conditions as well as can be operated by a layman at home. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. US 111

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Not to be confused with diagnostic ultrasound therapy that is used to see the inside of the body, such as checking on a fetus during pregnancy, US111 is a portable physiotherapy ultrasound machine that can treat acute to chronic medical conditions such as pain, muscle spasms, joint contractors, bruises, certain injuries etc. It is used by medical professionals and can also be used as physiotherapy at home without any medical guidance.

The head of the ultrasound machine probe converts electrical energy into sound waves which pass through the skin of the affected area causing micro-vibrations in the tissues, generating deep heat (diathermy), which is usually not felt by the patient. The vibration  improves the blood and oxygen flow in the affected area thus reducing the pain/swelling/inflammation within a few sessions.

US 111 is a clinically tested and approved physiotherapy instrument and is even recommended by various medical professionals like physicians, chiropractors and physical therapists.

  1. SONICTENS

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A one of a kind instant pain relieving machine, SONICTENS is a combination of two therapies – Ultrasound (US) and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit, together which can heal almost all types of acute to chronic pain like any joint pain due to arthritis, muscle cramps; spasms or strains, pain from herniated disc, pain due to injury; sciatica; tendinitis; bursitis; piriformis syndrome or tissue damage and others, naturally with no harmful effects.

SONICTENS combines the deep heat therapy of Ultrasound and the massaging electrical pulses from TENS unit, together which makes an effective drug-free solution for pain relief. The low electric impulses of ultrasound therapy when applied across the depth of the skin mimic our nerve system and blocks the pain signals from reaching to the spinal cord and brain, thus relieving pain and relaxing our muscles. While the TENS machine stimulates the production of endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers, thus promoting faster healing of the affected area.

SONICTENS has been tried and tested clinically and has proved itself with 91% effectiveness ratio which is why is highly recommended by healthcare professionals including pain specialists.

  1. COMBO3 PLUS

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Our muscles are prone to injuries such as pain, strain or spasms, and once injured, they often take time to heal and in worst cases, they turn into permanent pain. To ward off such stubborn pain and help build the lost strength of muscles, a one-stop solution for all kinds of issues related to muscles has been designed which is called – Combo3 Plus – TENS, EMS & IFT Multi-Stimulator. This combination of multiple pain-relieving methods in one makes Combo3 Plus an excellent pain-management device one must have at home.

Used by all physiotherapy clinics, each treatment of Combo3 Plus serves its own purposes like;

  • Interferential Therapy, which is an advanced form of TENS unit provides deeper stimulation and accelerates the self-healing process in the body, enabling it to regain healthy physical conditions.
  • TENS therapy stimulates the nerve fibers and releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers to give instant pain relief.
  • EMS generates electrical pulses that strengthen weak or inactive muscles and restore their lost mobility.
  • Pelvic Stimulation works on the overactive bladder while Facial Stimulation treats facial or Bell’s palsy.

Each device is made compact and sleek that makes it easy to carry and operate it anytime, anywhere.

Ankle Pain Preventive Measures One Must Practice

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A hinge joint that allows us to move our foot up and down, our ankle , is more prone to injuries and sprains due to the constant usage. You never know when suddenly it twists leaving you with ankle pain and swelling all day long.

Sports is one of the major ankle pain reasons that lead to ankle sprains and injuries. Sprained ankles alone have been estimated to constitute up to 30% of injuries seen in sports medicine clinics. Running, football, tennis or even walking at times recurring  ankle pain cause which needs extreme care and attention. But, just because our ankle joint is prone to get hurt doesn’t mean we must stop doing what we love, right? Hence, here are some preventive measures following which, you can avoid any such ankle tragedies. Take a look.

Warm your ankle up – Don’t just get started with any exercise or sports directly. Stretch and jog a little to warm up your ankle muscles and start slowly.

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Ditch those heels – Ladies, those high heels or stilettos you like to flaunt can give you pain in ankle a lifetime pain. Due to the lack of stability on those spiked heels, you may even break an ankle bone. Better, wear shoes with a wide, low, flared heel or lateral post shoes, like running sneakers. If you really can’t let go heels, make sure you buy one no higher than 1-½ inches.

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Focus on your footwear – You may think there are so many varieties of footwear what does it matter in wearing any. Well, guess what, shoes and ankle pain are related a lot. Athletes must wear comfortable footwear according to their sports. If your shoes get worn out replace it immediately, in fact, avid runners or walkers should replace shoes every six months. Those whose feet have low arches should choose shoes that provide support in both the front of the shoe and under the arch while those with a stiffer foot or high arches should choose shoes with more cushion and a softer platform. Also, use proper shoe inserts and insoles as they not only provide shock absorption but will also prevent your ankle joint from rolling.

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Avoid uneven surfaces – Cobblestone pathways, bumpy hillsides with loose gravel, shifting sand etc., can roll your ankle badly. Walking or running on such uneven surfaces in spite of wearing protective shoes can cause of ankle pain.

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For ankle pain relief ,work on your ankles slowly – Don’t put pressure on your ankle muscles all of a sudden. The time spent on the activity like a gym, ankle pain exercises or any sports count should be increased gradually over a period of weeks to build the strength and mobility of your ankle.

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Shed those extra kilos – Being overweight can put extra pressure on your ankle joints which can increase the progression of arthritis as well. Hence, maintain a healthy weight and keep your ankles strong and flexible.

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Prevent recurring injuries – If you have a history of ankle injury or have experienced ankle pain and swelling before, you must wear ankle supports, sports bandages or compression socks to prevent the history of ankle pain from repeating.

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Watch while you sit – Yes, your sitting position can also trigger ankle pain. If you have the habit of sitting with your feet crossed behind you and pointed down, please avoid that because it puts pressure on your toes that can lead to ankle stiffness and soreness. Better, sit at a desk and keep your feet flat.

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In a nutshell

Listen to your body. If your ankle joint is hurting while doing any activity like walking, running, simply stop doing it at once or modify it. Keep your electrotherapy machine like SONICTENS or US 111 device handy to relieve any kind of sudden ankle pain relief without injury or with injury at the very moment.

12 Tips to Melt the Frozen Shoulder Away

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A shoulder pain followed by increasing stiffness, unbearable pain, and the inability to carry out basic activities like picking something up, holding a laundry basket, combing hair etc. is not a silly thing to let go. If ignored, it can even make your shoulder completely freeze, which means you won’t be able to move your shoulders at all, and that is frozen shoulder.

Also known by the name adhesive capsulizes, frozen shoulder is a challenging condition that can give you sleepless nights, throbbing pain and extreme stiffness, gradually restricting the movement of shoulders completely. It usually affects one shoulder and women in the age group of 40 to 60 are more prone to get frozen shoulder than the men.

Frozen-Shoulder

Some common frozen shoulder causes that make the shoulder joint to swell or freeze are said to be diabetes, trauma to shoulder joint, thickening of the shoulder joints capsule, prolonged immobilization of the shoulder due to an injury or surgery, overactive or under active thyroid, cardiovascular disease, etc. Whatever the reason be, here are some tips to ease your frozen shoulder symptoms and hacks to prevent it from developing or worsening further.

  1. Yes, you must give your shoulder rest but not too much. Movement is important. Continue with your activities slowly even if it’s painful to maintain the range of motion of your shoulders. Seek the help of your unaffected arm to help the affected shoulder.
  2. Get some good amount of sleep especially in the early months. Place a pillow under your affected shoulder and allow your hand to rest on your stomach if sleeping on your back and if sleeping sideways, sleep on the uninvolved side hugging a pillow across your chest.
  3. Avoid heavy lifting chores or tasks that can cause sudden jerks to your shoulders like pulling something, walking dogs, catching etc.
  4. Give the frozen shoulder treatment of hot and cold compress alternatively to bring down the swelling and pain as well.
  5. To get rid of the inflammation in your frozen shoulder, consume some healthy and anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables; such as spinach, kale, and collards, nuts like almonds and walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines etc. to help support faster recovery.
  6. Keep your diabetes under control.
  7. Never skip frozen shoulder exercises. Practice shoulder strengthening exercises or yoga to keep it moving but avoid hardcore exercises.
  8. Correct your posture now and then. Avoid slumping and slouching while sitting and try to keep your shoulders back and down away from your ears to avoid further discomfort.
  9. Seek a professional for a good frozen shoulder massage to relax the stiff shoulder muscles.
  10. Avoid exposure to cold winds or cold environments for too long
  11. Try one of the old frozen shoulder home remedies by drinking the powdered mixture of methi, sonth (dried ginger and tamarind paste) and ajwain (carom seeds) with lukewarm water after meals.
  12. If nothing helps, there’s always the safest and 100% natural frozen shoulder remedy that can be practiced anywhere, anytime and need not any professional to perform as well, which is none other than Physiotherapy. The combination therapy of ultrasound and TENS unit which comes in a sleek and compact device called SONICTENS will help you regain the lost mobility of your shoulder joint along with the freedom from pain and stiffness, permanently without any side effects.

Frozen shoulder is a prolonged and complicated condition as if not given proper care can rebound. Hence, taking preventive measures and severe care is necessary to get rid of it completely. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, physical activity, sound sleep, all these will melt the frozen shoulder away and prevent it from sprouting back again.

Diabetes and Plantar Fasciitis: What’s the Connection?

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Diabetic foot pain, ever heard of that? If you are thinking, what does diabetes have to do with heel pain then guess what? It is a condition that anyone with a sweet tooth can develop with time.

Diabetes can give your feet a hard time. It is said that diabetic patients are more prone to develop foot problems but can it induce plantar fasciitis? Let us know how are they interlinked.

Diabetes and plantar fasciitis

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Several studies have been conducted to find the relation between plantar fasciitis and diabetes and the outcome of each showed the percentage of foot problems especially heel pain was more in people having type 2 diabetes than those who don’t. Diabetic foot problems are said to rise majorly due to two factors i.e circulation issue and neuropathy (nerve damage).

Circulation issue in diabetes and foot pain

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Reduced or lack of blood flow is termed as a circulation issue which can cause aches or pains in the body. In the case of diabetes, poor circulation arises in the veins and arteries which are the providers of blood to our organs, legs, and arms below the stomach level, symptoms of which is known as a peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

Inadequate blood supply to our feet makes it painful to walk and may even swell up in some cases, due to which, pressure builds up on the plantar fascia ligament that connects the heel to the toes in our body and tiny tears start to appear causing plantar fasciitis. The limited flow of blood, also lessens the number of important nutrients and amount of critical oxygen that one should receive to heal naturally.

Diabetic Neuropathy

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Our nerves are the carriers of pain and other sensations in our body. Although high blood sugar (glucose) levels can cause damage to the nerves throughout the body, it’s the nerves in the legs and feet that are most affected in diabetic neuropathy and since the plantar fasciitis is the largest ligament in the human body, it is not surprising that diabetes affects those longest nerves.

Now there are 4 types of diabetic neuropathy – Peripheral neuropathy, Autonomic neuropathy, Focal neuropathies, and Proximal neuropathy, hence the symptoms vary depending upon the affected nerves which can range from pain and numbness in the legs and feet to problems with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and even heart.

Diabetic foot treatment

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To get rid of the diabetic foot, it is obvious that you need to control your diabetes. Other than that, there are also some measures you can take to ease your feet like;

  • using shoe insoles or cushioned supports
  • weight loss
  • practice of leg exercises
  • regular use of a foot roller
  • use of an electrotherapy machine called SONICTENS for permanent pain relief

Summary

A lot of studies has been conducted mapping the link between diabetes and plantar fasciitis like; a 2011 study entitled Diabetic Foot Problems: Inpatient Management of Diabetic Foot Problems, research by Stallings, Jennifer titled – Is there a relationship between plantar fasciitis and diabetes? Chapel Hill, NC: Diabetes Sisters (USA); etc., to find whether the thickening of the plantar fascia ligament due to diabetes can generally lead to plantar fasciitis or not, but it is yet to be concluded properly. A sugar control, proper healthy diet and feet care can anyways prevent you from developing both diabetes and plantar fasciitis.

Alcohol – A Contributor to Joint Pain?

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“Alcohol numbs all kinds of pain,” “Alcohol makes you forget everything and relax.” You might have heard these kinds of benefits of alcohol from alcoholics. Of course, anyone practising alcoholism will only say such positive things about it. Although it is true to some extent that it makes you feel no pain, it is not a permanent solution to get addicted to.

Even if it is an occasional sip or alcohol abuse, gulping down this coloured liquid can do a lot of damage to our body, slowly without even our notice. So let’s understand the effects of alcohol on the human body and what are its effects on joints especially.

What exactly does alcohol do to our body?

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Alcohol acts as nothing but an analgesic drug in our body. It simply decreases the activity of nerves within the brain which makes us sleepy. Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, mental health problems and even cancer.

How alcohol contributes to joint pain?

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We all know that alcohol consumption affects the liver, kidney, nervous and cardiovascular systems but very few know about its contribution to joint pain. Alcohol numbs the sensation of pain coming from the joints giving relief for a short period of time.

With our joints being used constantly, its cartilages are wearing away day by day and with the consumption of alcohol, the cartilages become thin and start disappearing in no time. Also, alcohol causes dehydration and lack of fluid between joints cause stiffness which makes the symptoms of arthritis even worse.

Alcohol multiplies the pain, inflammation or swelling that occur in joint-related conditions like;

  • celiac disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • gout
  • lupus
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • non-celiac gluten sensitivity
  • osteoarthritis (OA)
  • other types of arthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Effects of alcohol on human health

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  • There are certain components or chemicals present in alcohol which when mixed with medications can cause heart attack, rise in blood pressure, shortness of breath, dizziness etc.
  • Alcohol impairs the immune system making it more difficult for the body to heal itself, which is why people with joint pain due to any injuries, sprain or fall, take longer to heal.
  • Lack of sleep, improper eating due to alcohol abuse cause deficiency of nutrients in the body, amplifying the joint pain.
  • Alcohol abuse over the course of several years can cause the death of the bone tissue where the lack of blood supply causes the bone tissue to die off causing the bone to collapse.
  • Alcohol gives birth to depression, anxiety, which are very harmful to people living with joint pain because the mind plays a major role in it.
  • Alcohol is full of carbohydrates and empty calories which means weight gain. The more the weight on your knees, the more the chances are of developing chronic knee joint pain.

Alcohol is not just bad for your joints but overall health. Cutting the habit of it permanently from your life is something one must do even if not suffering from any joint-related condition as to why trigger something which is not there?

5 Knee Pain Exercises to Keep Knees Young and Fit

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Each part of our body starts ageing as we get old. Our joints and muscles are put into so much use every second that it is understandable that they get tear as time passes. Our knee joint is one such that suffers the most.

Our knees carry us all around by helping us walk, sit, stand, run. Did you know about 1½ times of our body weight is placed on our knees with every step and it doubles when we climb or run? With all these pressure the shock absorbers and the smooth tissue in our knee joint slowly start fading, triggering knee cap pain which is why every other older adult complain of pain in the knee joint.

It is true that one of the best treatment for knee pain is exercise but not everyone is capable to practice certain knee strengthening exercises after 50, for which, we have curated the 5 simple and best exercises for knee pain.

Walking

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One of the simplest exercises for knee pain is walking. It can be done anytime and as much as you can because your knees need movement no matter what and as you old, the more you walk, the better. Staying sedentary will only make already stiff knees stiffer but as you walk, the muscles and bones around the knee will become strong. Start strolling for about 15 minutes daily for 5-6 days in a week and gradually increase the walking time up to 30 minutes. Walking will only keep you overall healthy and fit.

Cycling

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For the pain in the knee joint, nothing helps as much as a physical workout and cycling, is said to be the best exercise for knee pain.  Cycling will keep your knee joints stay active as well make them strong enough for you to get going.

Step-ups

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Who said as you old you can’t exercise? There are some knee pain exercises that require no hardcore physical activity but can bring down the severity of knee pain among the old, like step-ups. Set up a platform using a low bench or you can even use stairs. Stand on the platform and slowly lower the one foot to the floor, touching your toes to the ground return it to the platform and repeat with the other foot for 10 to 12 times.

Quadriceps stretching

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Stretching is the best way to keep your knee joints in good condition and quadriceps stretching is a simple and easy exercise for old age. Grab a chair, stand behind and hold it for support. Now bring one leg up to buttocks folding the knees. Hold your ankles with one hand and push your leg towards buttocks as much as you can. Stay in this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with another leg.

Knee bends

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Another treatment for knee pain is to activate the gluteal muscles of your leg which will help stabilize your knees. To activate them, stand on one leg, push the hip back, keep the chest lifted. Now, lower your hip and slightly bend your knee. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat a few times.

Our knee is one of the most used and important joints in our body but is at the same time very delicate. Hence, the health of your knee must be taken seriously as you age because if you don’t give them proper and ample care, the risks associated with it are no less. Although for any acute to chronic pain in the knee, the one knee pain home remedy i.e electrotherapy is recommended, making knee pain exercises a daily routine will help your knees stay young and fit.

Tips to Enjoy Summer Inside-Out

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Summer is here and some of you might have already packed your bags for a long vacation. Although the excitement of taking a break from daily routine is high and fresh, the idea of going out in summer can make one feel lethargic because summer season means blazing heat, sweating, sunburns, dryness, skin problems and much more.

The beach gateways, ice-creams, juicy fruits, as much cool and fun things the season of summer brings along, it can also equally cause problems from head to toe, inside-out, if you don’t follow some of the summer care tips which are listed out below. Let’s see how you can give care to each.

Summer tips for health

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To survive summer you need to stay healthy for which you must follow these summer health tips;

  • Hydrate as much as you can. Sweat and heat can make you dehydrated. Hence, keep sipping water even if not thirsty. You can add some fruits or veggies and infuse it for some flavour.
  • Stick to your workout. Yes, summertime is exhausting but don’t let the rising temperatures prevent you from staying fit. Avoid outdoor activities and workout indoors.
  • Chill out in the water. Go swimming or join water aerobics.
  • Replace snacks with fresh and juicy fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, pears, mangoes, berries, papayas etc or munch on salads.

Summer beauty tips

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The scorching heat of summer can damage your skin and hair to a great extent, to avoid that;

  • Don’t step out without applying a layer of sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen that has UVA and UVB products and comes in SPF 30 and SPF 70 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Reapply it every 1-2 hours if you going to be under the sun for a long time.
  • Not just winters, even summers can cause the skin to dry up. Hence, exfoliate gently to remove the dead cells and use a light moisturizer to keep it soft and fresh.
  • Follow the summer skincare routine of cleansing, exfoliating, toning, hydrating, and moisturizing.
  • Sweating makes hair smelly. Shampoo and condition it well twice a week.
  • Minimize the use of hairdryers, straighteners and other heating products.
  • Apply cool face packs suitable to your skin using cucumber, Fuller’s earth, curd etc.
  • Avoid oily and fried food as it will lead to pimple and acne breakouts.

Summer makeup tips

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  • Avoid heavy and cakey makeup. Use a foundation that doesn’t melt away with your sweat.
  • Spray rose water to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Use waterproof eyeliner, nude lipstick to avoid the smudging and smearing.

Summer safety tips

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  • Avoid stepping out in between 10 am and 4 pm because the UV exposure is at its highest during this time period which can cause heat strokes and sunburns.
  • Step out wearing a hat, sunglass and cover your face with a kerchief or dupatta.
  • Our blood vessels tend to dilate in summer so that the body can cool itself by letting heat escape through the skin, hence, wear loose, airy, cotton summer clothes to allow your blood to circulate freely.
  • Keep your body hydrated and cool with buttermilk, coolers, lemonade etc.
  • Apply aloe vera gel, cool milk or yoghurt for sunburn, blisters, itching or rashes.

Summer months can be unbearable but by following the above tips, you can enjoy every bit of it without causing any harm to your body inside out.

6 Tips to Pack Like a Pro for Your Next Vacation

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Woman hand packing a luggage for a new journey and travel for a long weekend.

Summer calls for vacation which means fun, but to enjoy that fun, one has to go through one big stress and that is packing.

Packing is not everyone’s cup of tea. Even if you are going away for a weekend or a month, there are things you must pack to have a stress-free vacation or else you will end up running in search of stores in your destination.

Travelling solo or have booked a vacation with family, the following vacation packing tips will make your holidays merrier than you thought.

Packing tips for a pleasant vacation

  1. Start with the packing list – Does it happen often that you reach the airport and realise your passport is in your drawer and wish only if you had prepared a checklist? Or dump whatever you get at the last moment in your bag and jump on it to close it? That shows the lack of planning. Always prepare a packing list as per the type and length of your vacation, the itinerary, climate and your mode of transportation, a few days before your journey. This will help you pack important things without missing anything as well help run a quick check at the end.

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  1. Try compression packing – The more the bags, the less the fun, as it will also cost you airline baggage fees as well. So, better pack smartly so as not to increase the number of bags. For that, vacuum compression bags are easily available at the market in which you can put your clothes in, seal it and then squeeze the air out which will give you more space. Also, make use of packing cubes to keep things organised.

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  1. Rolling is better than folding – Folded clothes take up more space then the rolled ones and even are less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.

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  1. A Handy bag is a must – Your passport, ID card, wallet, charger, medicines, all these are not supposed to be packed in a suitcase. Carry them all in a small handy bag. The good thing is you can even place your TENS unit or Ultrasound Therapy machine for instant pain relief as they are portable and lightweight.

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  1. Avoid large, pack samples – Moisturiser, shampoo, sunscreen, there are a number of toiletries you need on your vacation. Instead of carrying the big bottles of all, buy the mini versions which will take up less space as well help you get through the airline checking as well.

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  1. Keep some extra bags and some space – Dirty laundry, wet clothes, spoiled footwear, while returning from your family vacation, there might be a lot of these for which keep some extra bags. Don’t pack tightly, leave some space to bring some souvenirs from your vacation.

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Other important vacation packing tips

  • Use ziplock bags as much as possible as they keep things sorted and consume less space.
  • Go digital. Like you can avoid stacking books, maps, GPS, documents etc., as a smartphone can do the job of multiple materialistic things.
  • Use laundry service for long trips so that you can reuse your clothes. Also, pack dual-purpose garments like inside-out clothes or pants that can be converted into shorts.
  • Avoid just-in-case items as such cases never arise most of the times.
  • Try to wear the weights like a heavy boot or a jacket instead of overloading your luggage.
  • Go compact. Instead of carrying too many painkillers, ice pack, heat pad, splints etc., carry one single solution for all, an electrotherapy machine.

In a nutshell

Whether you want to move around dragging oversized suitcases or enjoy your vacation with sorted luggage, is up to you. One thing is sure that if you pack following the packing tips and your packing list, nothing will spoil your vacation mode.

5 Easy Desk-based Stretches to Relieve the Stress Out of Back

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Half of a person’s life today, is spent sitting in front of a computer. The desk-bound job of 9 to 5 is slowly and gradually sucking the life out of our body. If this continues, pretty soon we all will be walking with our hand at our backs all the time.

The one complaint that every office goer has is back pain. The constant sitting that too in one position creates pressure on the back causing the nerves and blood vessel to compress. Although a majority of them do search for exercises to relieve back pain, they hardly practice it or skip making an excuse, “how to perform them at the office?” Well, as an answer to that, here are 5 simple and easy back stretches that be done sitting at your desk.

  1. Lower Spine Stretch

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It is our lower back that hurts the most, sitting all day at the office chair. One among lower back stretches, known as lower spine stretch, will help the muscles surrounding the length of your spine get a good stretch in a sideways direction. To achieve this;

  • sit firmly on your chair
  • keep your feet flat on the floor and let your armrests low down
  • place your right hand on the armrest and reach your left hand up above your head
  • bend your spine slightly to the right
  • hold for 30 seconds and repeat on each side
  1. Seated Knee to Chest Stretch

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If you want to relieve your back pain as well as relax your leg muscles, practice this knee to chest stretch without fail, every day at work. To achieve this;

  • sit comfortably on your chair
  • raise one knee until you can reach it with your hands
  • bring both your hands together and pull the bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the lower back and back of the hip
  • you can place your hands either on top of or behind your knee
  • hold for 15-20 seconds, then repeat 3-5 times on each side.
  1. Seated Hamstring Stretch

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Did you know tight hamstring muscles can affect the natural curve of the spine? To loosen them up and to relieve back pain you need to exercise it. To achieve this;

  • sit on the edge of your chair and rest your heel on the floor with your knee straight
  • slide your right leg out with your heel to the ground and flex your toes up towards your shin
  • gently lean forward towards your toes keeping your back and spine straight, until a stretch is felt behind your knee/thigh
  • hold for 30 seconds and repeat with your left leg
  1. Seated Side Bend Stretch

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Can be called a yoga pose for relieving back pain, seated side bend stretch is apt for loosening up your back, neck, and shoulder muscles. To achieve this;

  • sit up tall on the edge of your office chair with your shoulders back
  • place your left hand on the edge of your chair with your elbow slightly bent
  • reach your right arm up and overhead and exhale as you gently reach over to the left side.
  • don’t stretch too far.
  • hold for few seconds and repeat the other side
  1. Seated Figure 4 Stretch

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It is important to stretch your lower back at regular intervals while you are working because that’s the spot where the back pain becomes extremely unbearable. This lower back stretch will not only benefit your back but will work on your hip and leg muscles as well. To achieve this;

  • sit comfortably on your chair and cross one leg on top of the other so that your ankle is sitting over the opposite knee
  • place one hand on the knee of the crossed leg.
  • now gradually lean your trunk forward while pressing gently on the crossed knee until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in the hip and buttock area.
  • hold for 15-20 seconds, then repeat 3-5 times on each side