Thursday, August 26, 2010

Proper Use of a Cold Therapy System

Cyotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is a highly effective way to treat the pain and swelling associated with orthopedic trauma and surgery. Cold therapy not only alleviates pain, but in some instances it can accelerate the healing process all-together. It does this by decreasing fluid buildup thus reducing swelling in the injured areas. (Swelling hinders recovery and increases localized pain.) In addition, cold therapy slows the release of the chemicals that trigger pain and inflammation, while also limiting the muscle’s ability to contract, thus reducing spasms. While there are many benefits to the proper use of cold therapy, cold therapy can also cause harm if administered incorrectly.


Cold therapy systems are most frequently used following orthopedic surgery. The system is similar to an ice chest in appearance. It utilizes tubes and pads to circulate cold water that chill the affected body part. These devices are typically recommended by surgeons and physical therapist to their patients, who then use these systems in the privacy of their homes. In some stances, a physician or therapist may not provide clear instructions. In others, a patient does not follow instructions precisely. No matter the reason, using a cold therapy system incorrectly can lead to serious injuries.


Most if not all cold therapy injuries revolve around the leaving the system on for extended periods of time, thus resulting in a frost-bite like condition which can result permanent nerve damage and skin issues. If you are using a cold therapy system, carefully follow your physician’s instructions… when in doubt, limit the duration of use to ten minutes at a time. Many cold therapy systems do not feature a built-in “kill switch” that shuts the system down after a certain amount of time. If you are concerned that you may forget about the contraption or accidentally leave it on too long, consider the Breg’s 300 or Polar Care Kodiak systems. These top-of-the-line cold therapy systems feature built in timers to ensure you are never exposed to cold for too long and they also come with a variety of pads for the knee, ankle/foot, back and shoulder.


If you receive a cold therapy system, it is vital that your doctor discuss proper use of the device, including cold therapy time intervals. If you have developed any unusual systems following cold therapy, be sure to contact your physician immediately.


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of diabetic shoes, hot and cold therapy systems, as well as back braces and supports. For quality braces including cervical collars, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tips for Easing Back Pain


Approximately 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Thankfully, there are a number of easy-to-incorporate lifestyle changes and treatments that can help prevent or mitigate your back pain. The following is a quick list that will help your back pain and prevent future symptoms.


Standard treatments

The following treatments are widely accepted as being the most effective for back pain management and relief.
  • If currently experiencing back pain, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce swelling that can aggravate back pain.

  • Stay as active as you can. Only take bed rest if explicitly advised by a doctor. Weak, tight or inactive muscles are more susceptible to strains.

  • If you must sit at a computer most of the day, be sure to sit with feet flat on the floor. Depending on the type of back pain you suffer, lumbar supports and footrests may also help in alleviating symptoms. Also, when you sit at a desk for long periods of time, be sure to get up and move around once every hour.

  • Physical therapy can help manage pain through a series of muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises.

  • If you must stand for long periods of time, be sure to regularly shift your weight.

  • Don’t sit on a large billfold for extended periods of time.

  • Eat right and exercise. Many instances of back pain are correlated to excess belly fat. That extra weight means more strain on your back muscles. A few lifestyle changes will help reduce your waistline and your back pain symptoms. Focus on strengthening your core and back muscles. Choose lower impact aerobic activities like cycling or swimming.

  • Your mom was right - bend from the knees, not your back when lifting heavy objects.

  • Regular massage can help to release toxins and loosen tight muscles.

  • If back pain persists over a 6 week period, you need to visit your primary care physician to develop a treatment plan.

  • If you experience moving pain traveling down your legs (aka sciatica) or notable weakness in your legs, you should contact your primary care physician right away.

  • If you experience problems associated with your bowel or bladder function while experiencing back pain, you should contact your primary care physician right away.

  • Even with herniated disks, very rarely does back pain require surgery. However, if your condition does require surgery, techniques are becoming less evasive and there are a number of effective back braces that will certainly aid in a quick recovery.

Alternative Treatments

There are a few interesting alternative therapies that may enhance your standard treatments.
  • Some alternative health practitioners recommend special anti-inflammatory diets and supplementation. A food allergy test may identify foods that are contributing to muscle inflammation. Supplements such as omega-3-fatty acids are also known to reduce inflammation.

  • If stress is contributing to your symptoms, herbal medications such as St John’s Wart and Kava naturally aid in relaxation.
  • Yoga can aid in flexibility and strength, as well as relax the body and mind.

  • While scientific research is still pending, acupuncture, healing touch and Reiki have been purported to aid in alleviating back pain.

  • Contact your primary care physician to discuss how you can incorporate alternative treatments into your back care regimen.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, wrist brace, lumbar brace or other quality braces, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summertime Tips for Diabetics

It’s this time of the year again: time to float in the pool, make your grills sizzle or just relax in the sunshine. Summer really is the perfect time for playing outdoors, but along with all the fun comes high temperatures and humidity. People with chronic conditions have to take precautions in the heat, especially individuals with diabetes.

  • Drink plenty of caffeine-free fluids and keep hydrated. Dehydration can easily lead to heat exhaustion, and may ultimately result in heat stroke. Diabetic patients are particularly susceptible to overheating on tough summer days when blood glucose runs out of control. While drinking a small amount of caffeinated beverages is fine, over consumption can have an impact on blood glucose levels.

  • Wear appropriate clothing for the summer, such as lightweight cotton, wide brimmed hats and sandal-style diabetic shoes.

  • Find a safe way to store and transport insulin. Diabetic patients should carry insulin with them wherever they go, but this can pose a problem on summer days. Insulin shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight or extremely high temperatures. Keep your insulin in a cooler or refrigerator in your car so that your medication kit can stay cool when it’s baking outside.

  • Check your blood glucose level at least four times a day. Closely monitor your blood glucose, especially when you are not feeling well.

  • Avoid doing strenuous activities in direct sunlight. Whether you are working out or engaging in other outdoor activities that require a lot of energy, try to schedule it on early mornings or late evenings when the heat is less intense.

  • Watch out for symptoms of trouble: if you feel dizzy, nauseous, have cool or clammy skin, or sweat excessively, be extra careful because these are indications for heat exhaustion. It is advisable to move to a cool place and drink more fluids until the symptoms abate.

Staying well in the summer heat poses challenges for people with diabetes, but as long as you are on the lookout for dangerous signs and take actions immediately, you can enjoy summer as everyone else does!



About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality back brace, including a high quality lumbar brace, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Helping Your Diabetic Child – Strategies for Healthy Psychological Development

Approximately 186,000 American citizens under the age of 20 have diabetes. Most children suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, but society has seen a recent marked increase in Type 2 Diabetes as a direct result of the recent childhood obesity pandemic. The medical community often focuses exclusively on the physical care of diabetic children, but it is also important to address the psychological aspects of growing up with a challenging, sometimes scary, ailment.


The good news is that your diabetic child can and should lead a very normal, happy life. That said, there are some psychological and emotional challenges they may encounter along their journey. When first diagnosed many young children have a difficult time mentally processing the magnitude of diabetes. Some common emotional reactions are shame, guilt and an acute fear of dying. In some cases, they may feel as though they are being punished. Children often struggle with the fact that their parents are not all-powerful. They might blame their parents for the diabetes and may even believe that their parents could make the diabetes go away but choose not to.


It is important to address these feeling head on. Ignoring them may have lifelong consequences for your child. Your goal is to quell these fears and promote a healthy sense of security and self-esteem in your child. This will establish the foundation for lifelong physical and mental and health.

  • Assure your child that they are not being punished; you love them unconditionally and if you knew of any way to cure them of diabetes, you would do everything in your power to do so.

  • Acknowledge that it is unfair that they have diabetes; but that it is a manageable condition and that they will lead a very normal, happy, healthy life.

  • Keep things in perspective. Communicate that your child has diabetes but they are not defined by diabetes. They are so much more than just their medical condition.

  • Promote a sense of self care. Always supervise your child’s health, but also encourage and foster independence. Your child will need to practice responsible self-care in the future… now is the time to develop that sense of competence.

  • It will be difficult because it is hard to see your child suffer, but you too will also need to practice restraint. Despite good intentions, overprotective parents undermine a child’s self-esteem and foster a self-image of sickliness.

There are a number of excellent resources available to help parents care for their diabetic child. Talk to your doctor about books and website that they would recommend. Consider summer camps that specialize in diabetic children. Look for mental health specialists who understand childhood diabetes. While formal therapy may not always be necessary, having these specialists as advisers can be a tremendous help during stressful times.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a provider of wholesale medical products including diabetic footwear , medical support braces for the spine, back, knee, hand and ankle and hot and cold therapy products. For more information on diabetic shoes and medical braces please visit MMARmedical.com.