Tips to pick up the perfect pillow for a good neck and shoulder health

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Have you ever given a thought about the pillow you use? Hardly! It’s a common problem as we give more preference to our mattress. Sleep quality is assured by the mattress as well as the right pillow. Quality sleep plays a crucial role when we talk about an individual’s physical health. Your blood vessels and heart are repaired and healed when you sleep, whereas sleep deficiency is the cause of many health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, the problem with kidney, diabetes, etc.

A recent study had the findings which suggest that sleep performs the role of removing toxins from your brain. You also need a right pillow for that sound sleep. The health of your shoulder and neck depends upon your pillow. A perfect pillow can lessen the pain to a great extent and help you with better sleep. How you choose a pillow is an important aspect. A good sleeping posture is a key factor. One should always wake up in the morning without any stiffness and pain in the neck or shoulder.

Why your pillow counts?
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A general rule says bed pillow should be replaced every 18 months. You may also check for signs which suggest changing your pillow. Stains from sweat, torn pillow, a pillow that smells, are all signs that your pillow needs a replacement right away. Replacing will also help you stay away from allergies. The sleep positions as well contribute in deciding the right pillow. Whether you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper or a stomach sleeper, accordingly your pillow should be. An important point to be noted is the good pillow will always come with the durability as well as warranty.

Best pillow for neck problems
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Sleep on your back or on your side, either of the sleeping position shall keep your neck at ease. Choose a rounded pillow when sleeping on your back. A round pillow has a built-in neck support that intends for your head to rest in. Other pillow options include feather pillow and the pillow with memory foam. Make sure you avoid a pillow that is too high or a stiff. When sleeping on your side, use a pillow that is high under your neck than your head. Try and keep your spine as well in a straight position when sleeping sideways.

Best pillow for shoulder pain
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Shoulder pain won’t let you sleep through the night. If not taken care at the right time, then, in the long run, this might even lead to an increase in pain and even mood disorders. You need a pillow with multiple levels of support and the one with high-density memory foam. Such pillows are specially designed for supporting the shoulders.

Conclusion
Investment in buying a pillow is the very first step towards a sound sleep. Rest, being an essential human function, is crucial to your overall health. The right pillow will just not help you eradicate the pain but also it helps reduce the snoring. And then, there is always electrotherapy devices at the rescue whenever you are encountered with any neck or shoulder discomforts.

Let no disturbing pain due to pillow wake you up in the middle of the night.
Sweet dreams and Happy Sleeping!

Deskbound Workers, Watch Your Postures

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The common belief is that desk job means you are resting all day so there won’t be any health issue, while in fact, 5 out of 10 people are suffering from joint pains caused either by sitting in front of the computer screens for prolonged hours or by other work-related incorrect postures. Bad posture, especially when it is repetitive, is likely to cause joint pains,” says Dr Suad Trebinjac, MD, Dubai Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre.

And with all the slouching and sitting at your desk, it’s not just the back that is at stake, your entire health is at risk with the habit of poor posture which you can make it right by following these simple posture tips;

Tip 1 – Make the chair right

If your company supplied you with a crappy office chair that is destroying your spine, demand for a change. When you finally find the one, adjust its height such that your feet stay flat on the floor and your knees equal or slightly lower than, your hips. Push your hips as far back as you can and ensure your upper and lower back are supported. Add an extra support of inflatable cushions or small pillows if necessary. And most important of all, keep switching positions.

Tip 2 – Adjust your keyboard


Keep your keyboard close and positioned directly in front of your body for the correct typing posture. Adjust the height of your keyboard to relax your shoulders. Keep elbows in a slightly open position (100° to 110°), and your wrists and hands straight. Use mouse pads and wrist rests for further support. However, don’t use wrist rests while typing

Tip 3- Set your screen well

Desktop or laptop, screen settings is important to avoid neck pain later. Centre the position of your screen such that you can look straight ahead and your neck remains in a neutral and relaxed position. Set your laptop table and adjust its monitor accordingly and for desktop, position the top of the screen approximately 2-3” above seated eye level. Keep a distance of an arm’s length from your screen and adjust the brightness or use optical glass glare or light filters to avoid the glare. Set curtains or blinds as and when required. By doing all this, your eyes, spine, back, shoulders and neck will thank you for sure.

Tip 4 – Move around
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No one will throw you out of job for moving around in office for a little. Hence, adjust your work and breaks such that your job and your health, both won’t get affected. Get up to do something, stand when possible. Set reminders to take breaks and stay away from your computer during lunch.

Tip 5 – Stretch, exercise, massage
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Cover your eyes with your palms for 10-15 seconds, look away to greens and blink often to avoid eye fatigue. Do some simple desk exercises, back stretches, shoulder rolls, neck rolls, or twists as and when you can. Uncross your legs and use a footrest if your feet dangle. Carry your handy electrotherapy device to stimulate blood flow and for instant pain relief of any kind.

Conclusion
Maintain better posture, stay hydrated, avoid junks and eat right, breathe well, avoid work stress, relax, meditate, laugh and stay healthy and happy!

Say Goodbye to Back pain with these 5 exercises

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No matter you are bending, sitting, standing or just lying, lower back pain is a killer and it keeps hurting you every moment you try to do something. The constant pain and pressure may make you feel like taking rest, however resting for a longer period of time can actually worsen the pain. The World Spine Day 2017 Insights Report says that, in the age group of 16 to 34, about 20% of people are suffering from back and neck pain.

Did you know that moving is actually and always good for your back? The road to recovery for the back pain is the right set of exercises, although, it shall exclusively depend on the cause and intensity of an individual, respectively. So, let’s see what are the top 5 exercises for lower back pain:

1. Partial Crunches
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Lie down on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and let your feet be flat on the floor. Cross your arms over the chest and put your hands behind the neck. Tuck your tummy inside to tighten the stomach muscles. Next, raise your shoulders off the floor and exhale at the same time. Hold for 4-5 seconds and relax down on the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10-12 times and get relief from lower back pain.

2. Hamstring Stretch
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It is one of the best stretches for lower back pain. The best time to do this stretch is at the end of your workout when the muscles are warm. Lie down on your back and bend one knee. Now, straighten your knee and the leg while keeping another leg down on the floor. You will feel a gentle stretch. Hold there for about 20 seconds and slowly put your leg down. Repeat this stretch 4-5 times for each leg.

3. Pelvic Tilts
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Pelvic tilts help you with the low back pain as well as strengthen your abdominal muscles. Lie down on your back with knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Contract and tuck your tummy in. Raise your pelvis slightly and hold there for up to 10 seconds. Keep your breathing normal when doing this exercise. Repeat it for 8-12 times.

4. Bridging
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Doing this exercise correctly shall help you with lower back pain relief but remember, balancing your body is very crucial in it. Lie down on your back with knees bent and heels touched on the floor. Keep your hands straight on your sides, squeeze in the buttocks, push heels into the floor, lift up the hips until shoulders, make sure your hips and knees are in straight line in an inclined position. Hold for 5 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Do this for 10-12 times.

5. Aerobic exercise
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Aerobic exercise like walking, biking, and swimming will not only strengthen the vital organs but also help reduce the back pain. Initially, start with short sessions and later you may try to build up over time. Swimming is best as the water supports body without hurting your back.

Consistency is the key. All these exercises for severe lower back pain will benefit only if you practice them regularly. Also, practice some precautionary measures like checking your postures, avoiding heavyweights, too much bending, constant sitting etc. to save yourself from developing not only severe lower back pain but also sciatica, a condition where irritation of sciatic nerve radiates and alleviates the pain further in the lower back, hips, and legs.

The above-mentioned exercises for pain relief are perfect whether you have lower right back pain or lower left back pain. And if not, natural healing with electrotherapy devices is the best and the safest method for curing any kind of pain.
Stay active, stay pain-free!

Painful Wrist? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Our wrist also termed as the carpus or carpal bones is a complex joint that bridges the hand to the forearm. Since it undergoes a lot of repetitive motions every day, when it exceeds its limit, pain or injury is bound to happen. One such progressive condition called ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome‘ develops when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve, gets pinched or compressed.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common neurological disease with the prevalence of 2.7%–5.8% in the general population says in the group study from Central India. It is the median nerve that controls the movement and feeling of our thumb and other fingers, except the pinky and a slight pressure in it, can cause us this syndrome. But, then how to confirm whether it is carpal syndrome and not just a regular wrist pain?

Check out for the following carpal tunnel symptoms:
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The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, tend to develop gradually over time with the first symptoms often appearing during the night, or on waking up in the morning.

❖ Tingling, burning, or itching and numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and index finger.
❖ Losing grip strength and difficulty in grasping things or forming a fist
❖ Typing, opening and performing other such small actions become challenging
❖ Holding things for a prolonged period of time such as a book or a phone becomes difficult
❖ Occasional shock-like sensations that one feels like shaking it away
❖ Spreading symptoms all over to the hand and shoulder
❖ Loss of sensation in extreme cases or if left untreated

Causes of CTS:
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❖ overuse of wrist in doing repetitive movements
❖ pregnancy, menopause, or overweight
❖ repeated use of vibrating hand tools
❖ work stress
❖ gout or any type of arthritis
❖ hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid
❖ diabetes or any other health conditions
❖ trauma, such as dislocation or fracture of the wrist
❖ structural problems in the wrist joint
❖ hereditary
❖ a cyst or a tumour in the carpal tunnel
❖ any kind of swelling or inflammation around the tendons

Carpal tunnel treatments:
❖ As a self-care, you can start by soaking your wrist in an ice bath for 10-15 mins. For the pain that wakes you up at night, shake your wrist gently and sleep keeping it in a hanging position over the side of your bed.
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❖ Get proper rest and take a break from activities that trigger the pain or worsen the symptoms
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❖ Wear a wrist brace or splint to support your wrist and prevent it from bending or twisting at night.
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❖ Take steroid injections if necessary to reduce the inflammation and severity of other symptoms
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❖ Perform carpal tunnel exercises and wrist-strengthening yogas to reduce the pressure on the median nerve and boost your grip
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❖ Try electrotherapy, It’s ultrasound device uses sound waves that causes mechanical vibrations on your hand and wrist thus stimulating the blood flow and help relieve the pain of CTS, accelerating natural and faster healing.
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Prevention Tip
Few simple cares like not gripping too hard or overstressing your wrists, wearing wrist splints, keeping your keyboard at the wrist level, healthy diet, exercises etc. can prevent you from developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sports Tips For Sporty Olds: Sports, Safety Measures, Pain & Treatments

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Old age is the second innings of life which has to be played with all joys and fun. While some of the seniors cut off them completely from any kind of physical activity fearing pains and illness, there are hardly few of the 50+ who participate in sports activities without any fear.

Sports is not limited to the youth, even the WHO has cited in their article on recommended levels of physical activity for adults aged 65+ that, in order to improve the overall health and to stay fit, older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week because as we get older, our muscles, tendons and ligaments start losing their elasticity, reducing our mobility and making these areas more prone to injuries, which takes longer to recover in old age.

So, here’s the list of sports for the elderly that are safe, beneficial and enjoyable. Go Sports!

Tennis/Badminton
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Playing court sports like tennis or badminton is said to be a good exercise for both body and brain. They keep the muscles active and joints flexible. It is best for reducing the risk of high blood pressure and heart conditions. If you want to go outdoors, various clubs offer their light versions indoors which you can go for. However, if your joints give your trouble while playing or you fear to get your muscle sprained, wear a brace to prevent injury.

Swimming
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The weightless property of the water work best to alleviate any pressure from the body and hence swimming and other water activities like water aerobics, polo, and volleyball prove to be perfect sports for ageing joints. Swimming improves the cardiovascular health of seniors and is apt for those struggling with arthritis as the water take up to 90% of the body’s weight, means you will feel less painful movements.

Golf
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If running or moving is too hard for you, join a club and start golfing. With not much of hardcore physical activity, a game of golf is actually a good sport for the senior citizens. A good walk on the golf ground along with fresh air and greenery around, a strike of golf provides you with a great brain and body workout. The twists and turns in it will strengthen your muscles as well as make them flexible enough for an active old age.

Cycling
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An evergreen sport that is loved by people of all ages is Cycling. A few minutes of pedalling every day will keep your muscles and joints oiled and flexible. Apart from that, cycling is the best stress buster. It also raises the heart rate and promotes mental health, it keeps you in good shape and reduces the risk of chronic illnesses. To add more, cycling daily is also good for our environment. Gather your family and friends or join a club to make it more enjoyable. Remember to wear a helmet and knee pads as a safety measure.

Health benefits
Participating in some sports activities in old age reduces the risk of developing various chronic illnesses and disabling conditions and will make you physically and mentally active. It will also help you in maintaining the ability to live independently and will prevent you from falling into the trap of anxiety and depression.

Safety Tips
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Senior citizens are prone to injuries like strains and spasms. Hence to avoid any kind of sports injuries, follow these tips before getting started:
• Get a basic medical screening done before starting with a new sport. Talk to your doctor and then go for it.
• Don’t go overboard. Keep it slow and regular.
• Warm up before and cool down after any physical activity
• Avoid sports competitions and violent efforts.
• Carry appropriate equipment like a helmet, safety pads, clothes, footwear etc, of the sports with you to stay safe.
• Listen to your body, change the activity or stop when necessary.
• Keep your medicines, sprays and electrotherapy devices handy as a treatment for any sports-related injuries.
• Seek medical help if an injury is beyond your limits.

Old age doesn’t mean you have to spend your life sitting or lying. In fact, the more you stay active, the better your body will age. Get up and find your favourite hobby, take it slow and steady and have a happy and healthy ageing.

Scoliosis – The Abnormal Spinal Curve Its Causes, Prevention, & Treatments

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The “S” shaped spine although has normal curves, a condition arises when it curves or twists to one side of the body, causing the torso and the ribs on that side to compress while the ribs of another side to move apart. Such a disorder can put further a strain on the back muscles, triggering pain and discomfort.

The spinal curvature of scoliosis is though barely noticeable, however, out of every 1,000 children, 3 to 5 develop spinal curves and in which especially girls are more affected than boys as reported by the Times of India.

Causes & Signs of Scoliosis:
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The exact cause of scoliosis is still unknown. Yet, according to the doctors, genetics can be one of the major reason as generally, this disorder develops in children more. Another reason is birth defect i.e poor development of bones. Apart from that, conditions like polio, cerebral palsy, juvenile osteoporosis, or other diseases may cause a curve in the spine. Even poor postures are said to be another major reason for this condition. Scoliosis can develop at any age, although in adults it may occur due to severe muscle spasm caused by muscle strain or injury, pressure on spinal discs etc. It is scarier in children as they continue to grow, chances of deformity grows with it if not treated.

Symptoms:
Visible spinal curve
Abnormal posture
Uneven shoulders, hips, waist
Vague muscle back pain,
Inflamed joints
Fatigue and stiffness
In severe cases, the spine may get rotated
Disturbance in the functioning of other organs like heart, lungs etc.

Treatments:
Scoliosis is treated completely based on the severity and regular monitoring of the spinal curvature.

1. As a starter, braces can help. Thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO), made of plastic, is designed to fit neatly around the body’s curves and is not usually visible under clothing, while Milwaukee brace, is a full-torso brace with a neck ring and rests for chin and the back of the head. This type of brace is only used when the TLSO is not possible or not effective. Braces are good for children as they prevent further curvature.
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2. Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) may help relieve the pain and inflammation.
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3. Stretching exercises, hydrotherapy, massages, yoga, swimming, etc. are other types of treatments for moderate pain.
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4. Counselling called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help children and adolescents to deal with the negative feelings and concerns related to the chronic pain of scoliosis.
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5. Electrotherapy – Electro Spinal stimulation is known to be the best and the safest method so far for treating scoliosis of any age. The tiny currents in it, stimulate the spinal muscles and gradually strengthen and straighten them.
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6. In the worst cases, surgery like spinal fusion is suggested by the doctors.
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Prevention:
Correcting the posture, early intervention, carrying less weight on the back, strengthening exercises etc. can prevent scoliosis from becoming worse.

Frozen Shoulder: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Have you got trouble moving your shoulders? Do you feel extreme pain and stiffness on the shoulder joints while moving your arms? If yes, then you have probably turned the victim of a condition called ‘Frozen Shoulder‘.

Also known as ‘Adhesive Capsulitis‘ in medical terms, it is a condition which reduces the mobility of the shoulder due to pain and stiffness that gradually increases over time and usually resolves on its own. The complete recovery may although take 2 to 3 years. According to a study by Tore A Prestgaard, MD, the lifetime prevalence of frozen shoulder is estimated to be 2 to 5 percent of the general population.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder
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When you have a frozen shoulder, arm pain and stiffness in the shoulder may make it difficult to perform simple activities like combing your hair, putting away dishes, putting on a belt etc.

The three stages of frozen shoulder and its unique symptoms are as follows:
Freezing: This is the most painful stage where the pain increases over time limiting the mobility of the shoulders. Pain worsens at night and this phase can last from 3 to 9 months

Frozen: At this stage, pain may decrease but the stiffness remains. The movement is still restricted and this stage can commonly last from 9 to 15 months.

Thawing: During this final phase, the pain starts to fade and the range of movement returns gradually. This stage lasts from 15 to 24 months.

Causes of Frozen Shoulder
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Frozen shoulder occurs when ‘shoulder capsule‘, a tissue surrounding your shoulder joint thickens and tightens making it hard or impossible for the shoulders to move. It also happens when the thick bands of scar tissues called adhesions are formed and a liquid called synovial fluid which lubricates the joints also reduces. This worsens the mobility even more.

The age group between 40 to 60 are most commonly affected and women are more likely its victim than men. In addition, people with medical conditions like diabetes, stroke, thyroid, Parkinson’s disease and cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of developing frozen shoulder.

Treatment of Frozen Shoulder
A frozen shoulder usually restores on its own within 2 to 3 years but a proper treatment can speed up the recovery. The various treatment options are as follows:

Medications:
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NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ) like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium available over-the-counter can help relieve pain and inflammation associated with frozen shoulder. Steroid injections injected directly to the shoulder joint also works as a powerful medicine to treat pain.

Surgery:
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If the above two treatments don’t make your condition better, a doctor may advise you to undergo surgery. This option is generally offered during the second stage of the ailment i.e. the frozen stage. Shoulder manipulation and Shoulder arthroscopy are the two commonly adopted methods of the surgery. In shoulder manipulation, surgeons forcefully move the shoulder under general anaesthesia to help break the scar tissues. While in arthroscopy tiny cuts are made on your shoulder using a camera called an “arthroscope” to remove the scar tissues which help regain the lost motion. Even after surgery, it’s recommended to continue with the physical therapy in the following months so that the condition doesn’t return.

Physical Therapy:
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Physical therapy is one of the most commonly adopted treatments for frozen shoulder. Specific therapist-recommended shoulder exercises help to restore the movement. It not only stretches the shoulder joint but also helps in regaining the lost mobility. Staying committed to these exercises will help you to optimize recovery. Apart from these physical exercises, Electrotherapy modalities like a coldpack, ultrasound and TENS are the most effective treatment options for frozen shoulder. This non-invasive and gentle home-based therapy focuses on the joints and helps to alleviate the pain and inflammation improving the joint mobility.

To prevent yourself from developing frozen shoulder, as soon as you start feeling shoulder discomfort after an injury, don’t wait get started with the right treatment.

Joint pain relief measures and how to pick up the right one!

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A joint is the point of connection between two bones which controls the motion of the various body parts. Any discomfort in these joints can affect the body movements resulting in a lot of pain. Joint pains are extremely common these days and can affect any part of our body, from shoulders, hands to our feet and ankles. Studies show that around 14% of the Indian population seeks a doctor’s help every year for joint diseases.

The reason for joint pain varies from a minor injury, strain or sprain to major diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, etc.and its intensity can range from mild to severe, impairing a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. But since each pain is different, so it their way of treating it. Let’s have a look at the various measures available to ease the pain and inflammation of joints, how to pick and which one is the best.

Over – The – Counter (OTC) Medications
Painkillers:
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When in pain, the first thing we all do is to run to our neighbourhood chemist to buy OTC medicines. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are the most common orally-consumed painkillers. Also known as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), these medicines can provide instant relief from moderate-to-severe joint pain with swelling, but, prolonged intake can pose serious health issues including indigestion, stomach ulcers, intestinal bleeding, kidney damage, stroke etc.

Spray:
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An always-on-the-run lifestyle has made everybody including the youth, prone to topical pains. Sprays are another OTC product which provides instant relief when applied on the skin and are easily available at local drugstores. These NSAIDs, target specific joints or muscles and quickly numb the pain with its highly pressurised force. Its effect can be observed within 10-30 minutes of application and typically lasts for an average of 1-2 hours. But these sprays also carry their own share of side effects like burns, blisters, redness, brain damage etc.

Healing tubes:
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They come in all forms from ointments, gels to creams. These topical pain relievers help in alleviating pain when rubbed on affected areas. They contain counter-irritants which heat the skin and distract the brain from the pain. But then, these tubes are helpful only in reducing dull and aching pain. It has a minimum effect on chronic pain conditions, plus, the side effects include stinging, dry skin, burning, redness etc.

Alternative Treatments
Dietary supplements for joint pain:
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Supplements are not the same as pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs are not always safe while the supplements seem safe but are not clinically proven yet. However, some studies have found that certain supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin etc can help with joint pain and improve its functionality. Glucosamine and chondroitin are the components of cartilage that cushions the joints. Although these components are produced naturally in the body they are also available in the form of supplements.

Electrotherapy:
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The most effective home-based therapy that does not involve any kind of heavy medications, Electrotherapy is now the most-preferred treatment for treating all kinds of joint pain. This non-invasive and gentle therapy can help alleviate mild to chronic pain conditions without leaving any kind of side effects. It makes use of a therapeutic ultrasound device that generates sound waves which travels deep into the tissues. It expedites healing by increasing the blood flow and metabolism and improves the joint mobility in no time.

Which one to choose?
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With so many pain relief products available in the market, it can be hard to decide which option to hold on. Well, you can decide your measure of treatment on the following basis:
Oral pain killers can only mask the symptoms and cannot treat the root cause of the pain
Creams and sprays are more effective than painkillers but provide only temporary relief and are not effective under chronic conditions.
Safe to try, dietary supplements are not effective for everyone.

All of the above treatment measures pose mild to severe side effects in some ways. Considering which, only electrotherapy has proven to be the best and the safest relief measure for a pain-free living. Electrotherapy devices are able to relieve chronic pain to the point that you will no longer have to be dependent on medicines, or their negative side effects.

Kerala Floods:Fisher-heroes, Faith, Funds and Faults

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In the late July 2018, began the nightmare for the Indian state of Kerala, which no one would be able to ever erase from their memory. A natural calamity that though occurred only in Kerala but affected the entire nation. Due to the unusually high rainfall this monsoon, Kerala battled its worst flood in nearly a century.

Over 445 lives have been lost, 15 are still missing and about 280,679 people have been evacuated, mainly from Chengannur, Pandanad, Aranmula, Aluva, Chalakudy, Kuttanad and Pandalam. Declared as a Level 3 Calamity or ‘Calamity of a severe nature’ by the Union government, the massive flood and other related incidents has affected one-sixth of the total population of Kerala according to the Kerala government.

As per the status report of National Disaster Management Authority of India (NDMA), the state has suffered an estimated loss of around Rs 19,500 crore, 776 villages have been affected, 8000 houses have been fully damaged while 20955 partially, 46867 deaths of cows, goats and buffaloes and a poultry count of 17202457 have been reported, 56439.19 hectares of crops have been washed away and more than 10,000 kilometres of roads have been destroyed or damaged.

Idukki Dam
Due to the once-a-century rain in Kerala, 35 out of 42 dams were opened for the first time in history among which all five overflow gates of the Idukki Dam were opened at the same time, for the first time in 26 years as the dams were filled to their capacity in the first 24 hours of rainfall.

Causes
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Reports of it being a man-made calamity started flashing after a report was crafted by a team headed by Madhav Gadgil, ecologist and founder of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. As per his research, the majority of the affected regions were classified as ecologically-sensitive zones (ESZs) by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel. The Gadgil committee had even suggested that 140,000 kilometres of the Western Ghats be classified into three zones as per the requirement of environmental protection in the areas, but most of their recommendations and directions were either neglected or rejected. Hence he accused the state government and its irresponsible environmental policy for the recent landslides and floods.

Also, another incident that led to the devastating floods was the sudden release of water from the Mullaperiyar Dam by the Tamil Nadu government which was argued by the Tamil govt. Next, is the climate change. Recent research indicates that rising temperatures have led to huge fluctuations in the monsoon winds carrying the moisture from the Arabian Sea, resulting in heavy-to-extreme rains over the Western Ghats and central India, lasting for two to three days.

Rescue Operations
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In one of the largest rescue operations, the Centre launched; 40 helicopters, 31 aircraft, 182 teams for rescue, 18 medical teams of defence forces, 58 teams of NDRF, 7 companies of Central Armed Police Forces along with over 500 boats and necessary rescue equipments while the entire forces of state’s SDRF, State Police/Fire and boats were fully engaged as well in saving millions of lives. It was the fishermen of the state who risked their lives and reached every corner of the affected areas to rescue as many people as they can and they succeeded in saving thousands of them selflessly. The Kerala Government announced financial aid in return for their support and effort in the rescue mission. According to the latest official figures, more than 800,000 people have been lodged in over 4,000 relief camps across 14 districts.

Funds Received
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● An amount of ₹674 crore (US$98 million) was donated by the public to the donation website started by the Government of Kerala.
● The central government had released an advance fund of Rs 600 crore to flood-hit Kerala as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Rs 500 crore) and Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Rs 100 crore) during their visits to the state and more will be announced soon.
● Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has personally donated Rs 1 lakh to the CMRDF, apart from the PM Relief fund.
● Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced Rs 10 crore and also said that one-month salaries of all AAP MLAs and MPs will be given to the state.
● Congress MPs and MLAs have also followed suit and have pledged to donate one month’s salary
● A total of ₹211 crore has been announced by the states of India in addition to dispatch of various relief materials such as potable water, blankets, packed food, rice, water-purifying machines, daily-use and healthcare products.
● Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan offered to provide humanitarian assistance.
● Apart from that various celebrities of South India and Bollywood have donated in huge amount as well as have urged their fans to support Kerala.
● Major banks and oil companies, Indian Railways, NGOs and other organisations have donated huge amounts and other essential things to Kerala as well.
● Google, Facebook and e-commerce websites Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Airtel Payments Bank, Paytm and Tez have also provided an option for donation for relief efforts on their respective platforms.
● Indian cricket team captain, Virat Kohli, dedicated his team’s test win over England at Trent Bridge to the flood victims of Kerala. The Indian team is planning to donate match fees for Kerala flood victims

Here’s the full list of relief and monetary aid received by Kerala:
https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-floods-heres-all-those-who-extended-helping-kerala-rescue-operations-sos-5313147/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Kerala_floods

Sources:
https://twitter.com/ndmaindia
https://m.gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/kerala-floods-death-toll-rises-to-445-1.2270695
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/failure-to-stop-degradation-of-western-ghats-worsened-kerala-floods/articleshow/65555641.cms
https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-floods-centre-to-give-more-funds-to-state-says-rs-600-crore-was-only-advance-assistance-5321879/

6 Signs You’re Over-stressed & How To Deal With Them

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Stress is something that we face in our everyday life. Body, mind, work, relationships, money etc are the major stressors and an imbalance in any of these create pressure which ultimately leads to stress. Under normal circumstances, it is easier to identify and cope with it. But when we are over-stressed, we might not even realize as it masks itself under various symptoms. According to a recent survey, 89% of the population in India are stressed compared to the global average of 86% which is indeed a matter of worry.

Here are few alarming signs that you are overstressed and don’t even know it along with some stress management tips that you must start practising right now.

Health Problems Related To Stress

EXCESSIVE HAIR LOSS:
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It’s normal to lose 100 strands of hair per day. But if you notice a sudden excessive hair loss leaving behind bald spots, it indicates that you are under the condition of a high-stress level. But you need not worry as stress and hair loss are not permanent conditions. You can easily get your lustrous mane back by bringing your stress under control. Mindful meditation, regular exercise, healthy supplements are some of the stress relieving tips that can help relax your mind and body, enabling you to deal with stress in a better way.

SUDDEN WEIGHT FLUCTUATIONS
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A sudden increase or decrease in weight is yet another signs that you are over-stressed. Under such stressful conditions, though at first, you may suffer from the loss of appetite, later you tend to overeat. Some find solace in eating sweets and junk food to lower their stress, least realising that it adds to their belly fat. A healthy diet and exercise is the only solution to get back to your old healthier self.

CHRONIC PAIN

When your body hurts, pay attention, its stress taking a toll on your body. Increased levels of stress are the main reason behind all the aches and pains we complain about daily. Stress triggers the sympathetic nervous system to reduce blood flow to the muscles resulting in chronic joint pains. Nothing works better than using electrotherapy devices to stimulate the blood flow and break free from the clutches of stress. Its safe and treats without any side effects.

LOSS OF LIBIDO

Many of you might not be aware of it, but tension, fear and stress can lead to the loss of libido. Stress often leave us feeling exhausted killing our desire to get intimate with our partner. Do not let stress affect your relationship. Express your fear and concerns to your partner, it will be then easier for you to sort out things in a better way. Adopt relaxation techniques like meditation, breathing exercises, yoga etc because along with hormonal stability, a healthy state of mind is also required for a fulfilling sex life.

FEELING SLEEP DEPRIVED

After a long busy day, do you feel tired but have a difficult time falling asleep? Then you are under the spell of overstress. Lack of a good amount of sleep can make you feel more exhausted and frustrated and can even reduce your quality of life and productivity. Make sure that you get 6-7 hours of sleep each night. Include aerobics in your regular exercise to get a better sleep. Never consider alcohol or sleeping pills as a remedy to your insomniac conditions.

EXCESSIVE MOOD SWINGS

Do you feel positive and upbeat one moment then down and depressed the next? This rollercoaster of feelings is nothing but one of the symptoms of stress. Mental health is the first thing to get affected when the level of stress and anxiety gets high. These unstable emotions not only affect our health but also cause disturbances in work, relationships and routine life. To manage these fluctuations, identify its causes and stay aware of your thought patterns. Share your anxieties with your family and friends to ease your mental burdens.

If you are facing any of the above signs, identify them and act on it as early as possible. If not tackled on time, stress can lead to health problems worsening or increasing the risk of conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc. Get over the stress before the stress gets over you and let getting a quality and balanced life be your first priority.