May not help patients with degenerative meniscal tears.Arthroscopic meniscal débridement is a commonly performed procedure in patients with degenerative meniscal tears. A recent study reports that arthroscopic surgery did not result in a significant improvement in pain scores in the short term or in the long term. An article written by Moin Khan, MD and others published August 25, 2014 in the CMAJ reviewed 805 patient outcomes for function and pain relief. The study compared surgery with: exercise or physical therapy; NSAIDS plus exercise; steroid injections; or control groups without meniscal débridement (sham treatment).
The authors conclude that the evidence suggests there is no benefit to arthroscopic meniscal débridement for degenerative meniscal tears in comparison to nonoperative treatments or sham treatments in middle-aged patients with mild or no accompanying osteoarthritis.
Informed patients along with their physicians need to carefully weigh the anticipated benefits against the possible harms when considering treatment options.
Meditation, while not a tool used by most people, can help a variety of health problems such as chronic pain, anxiety, stress, heart health, boost mood and immunity, and pregnancy problems. These are all connected because they are impacted by stress.
Meditation can have a direct and positive correlation to stress levels. Relaxation during meditation helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves. Mentally, it can produce changes in attention, working memory, learning, and conscious perception. It is recommended that you take time to meditate about 15 minutes twice a day, as repetition is needed to produce these positive changes.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and is often thought of as minor. There are two types, basal and squamous cell carcinomas, which are easy to treat. Malignant melanoma however, is very difficult to treat and can cause cancer in other body parts. Prompt and early detection is imperative in treatment of skin cancers. Be sure to monitor your skin using the ABCDE system.
A: Asymmetry-one side of a mole doesn’t match the other, B: Border-edges are ragged, notched or blurred, C: Color-is not even through out or color merges into the surrounding skin, D: Diameter-any larger than a pencil eraser is of concern, E: Evolution-any change in size, surface, shape or color. Use sun screen daily and avoid any prolonged exposure, especially mid-day to help reduce your risk.
Acupuncture is drastically growing in popularity as a medical treatment used by Americans. It can be used to address a wide variety of problems such as headaches, pain, asthma, addiction, stroke, infertility, and much more. Current research is being done to try to understand how acupuncture affects the body, which will help it become a more evidence based practice. They can even do it using electricity for those who are needle shy.
Immunization in infants and children has become a hot topic of conversation. Some believe the shots can cause developmental disorders such as autism in children. They find security in believing that the immunizations are not necessary because the diseases they address have been all but eradicated in this country.
It’s not that these diseases no longer exist, but we have created communal immunity due to the immunization schedule. Therefore, as more and more people choose not to give their children shots the diseases can return to our communities. Research continues to provide data that there is no link between immunizations and autism spectrum disorders. All medical foundations continue to recommend that these shots be given to all children.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise routine where high intensity/difficulty exercises are alternated with low to moderate ones. This allows for a period of “rest” so that the body can perform at a very high level during the high bursts. This type of exercise is very time efficient, which is great for today’s busy schedules. It affords more gains in aerobic capacity and more calorie and fat burning than a traditional moderately paced exercise.
You can create a plan with running or biking such as going at top speed for 1 minute then slow for 2 minutes and repeating this cycle 5 times for a 15 minute routine. You can also do it with exercises such as squats, pushups, rowing, jump rope, sit ups, or lunges. It just has to be difficult and you will reap the benefits.
A good night’s sleep is imperative for maximum energy and functioning throughout the day. There are many barriers to proper sleep quality and duration. Some things can’t be prevented such as a waking child or dog, but we need to change the factors that we can control. For example, looking at an electronic device such as a phone, tablet, or TV just prior to bed can actually decrease melatonin, our sleepy time hormone.
Try reading a book, relaxing in a bath, or listening to music to get ready for bed. Avoid big meals, alcohol, caffeine, and vigorous exercise prior to bedtime. Set aside time well before bedtime to try and plan for the next day if worrying is something that keeps your mind going when trying to fall asleep. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization.
Weight can be an indicator of overall health, especially were you’re carrying it. A disproportionate amount of belly fat is a stronger indicator than just obesity of your risk for having type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. This is because fat cells can increase hormones and inflammatory substances. Measuring belly fat is done by measuring at the level of the belly button, making sure the measuring tape is straight. If it is over than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women consider trying to come up with a weight loss plan with your doctor.
Pilates is a century old form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates. Its’ purpose is to build strength and endurance in the core(abdominals, low back, hips, and glutes) allowing for stability, control, and flexibility. It can be done on a mat on the floor or with equipment such as the reformer machine. Pilates aims to work on breathing, alignment, control, core or powerhouse, balance, and coordination. People who perform Pilates regularly note increased posture, endurance, smaller waist lines, and less pain.
Here are a few tips on how to reduce stress on the body when working outside.
• Warm up first by walking and stretching.
• Alternate positions or activities often.
• Sit on a bucket or stool instead of bending over.
• Use a wheelbarrow as much as possible.
• Plant in elevated potters so that you don’t have to kneel so close to the ground.
• Use proper body mechanics when lifting or pulling anything. Your power should come from the legs, not the back.