Friday, September 24, 2010

What to Expect with Herniated Disc Surgery

Occasionally a herniated disc is severe enough that surgery is required. Before the procedure, your doctor will examine you spinal column via MRI or CT scan. This will allow the doctor to determine if in fact the herniated disc is the source of your symptoms and whether or not surgery is a viable option. If it is, plan to be off work for 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery for an office job, and 4 to 8 weeks for a job that demands significant physical labor.

The surgery will occur in a hospital under general anesthesia and in some cases can be done on an out-patient basis. During the surgery the surgeon removes the tissue that is pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord. This is call discectomy or microdiscetomy. In the case of microdiscentomy, the surgeon uses a tiny microscope to view the disc and nerves. This allows for greater precision and is typically less invasive. Depending on where the herniation is, the surgeon may also remove a very small piece of vertebra in order to get a better view of the area.

Surprisingly, after surgery you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk rather quickly. Walking throughout your recovery will inhibit the buildup of excessive scar tissue. You will likely be provided pain medications (if so desired) and a post-op spinal brace to curb pain during the recovery period. You will be walking, but you should resume more rigorous physical activities gradually. You can usually start low impact exercise such as swimming and biking around two weeks after the procedure. That said - every human body is different. Always listen to your body during the recovery period and avoid activities that cause pain.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of medical products and devices including a wide selection of braces and supports. For quality cervical braces and collars,as well as elbow braces and shoulder immobilzers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Herniated Disc Symptoms / Slipped Disc Symptoms

What exactly is a herniated disc?
Spinal vertebras are the stacked, bone building blocks that make up the spine. Between each vertebra is a disc, a body of strong connective tissues, that acts as a cushion. When this "cushioning" is pushed outside of its normal resting position, due to strain or injury, it often referred to as a herniated disc. The disc moving on its own is really not an issue… in fact, if no symptoms are experienced, then typically no treatment is required. The disc’s proximity to spinal nerves, however, can create significant quality of life issues.

So what are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

The following list of herniated disc symptoms that may help you decide whether it is time to visit your doctor to discuss treatment options.

  • If a disc is not pressing directly on a nerve, you may experience a dull ache in the lower back. This pain may dissipate and stop completely over time.

  • A slipped disc may also result in pain, numbness, a pins-and-needles tingling or weakness in of places. This is often referred to as sciatica. The sensation usually occurs on one side or the other of the body. It can occur gradually or suddenly. It may also come and go. It may increase with certain activities... It all depends on the degree of the slip and where it is located.

  • If the issue is in the upper back, you will likely feel sciatica in your in the front of your thigh. If the issue is in the lower portion of your lower lumbar area, you will likely feel pain down your lower back, leg, ankle, foot or buttocks. If the slip is in your neck, you may have waves of pain in your shoulders, arms or chest.

  • Some individuals experience loss of bladder and/or bowel control because the disc is pressing a very specific nerve. If you experience this symptoms, see you physician immediately as it can be quite serious.

I have some these symptoms… how should I treat my herniated disc?
The good news is that most herniated discs heal on their own without invasive treatments and can be prevented in the future with muscle strengthening and correct lifting techniques. Other treatments include bed rest, activity modification, ice/heat therapy, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, medical support braces, steroids and surgery. Each herniated disc is different so it is important to contact your doctor and discuss treatment options.

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

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premiere supplier of medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, lumbar brace or other quality brace, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Understanding Scoliosis

A slight arch or curve to the spine is normal and helps the human body balance, move and walk properly. Occasionally, however, the curve of a spine will occur side to side (laterally) in an S formation; this condition is called scoliosis. Approximately 3% of the population is affected by scoliosis. It can lead to physical deformation as discomfort, and in some instances scoliosis can cause significant health problems for the joints, lungs and heart, as well as irritation to soft tissue and the erosion of vertebrae. Some early symptoms of scoliosis include an aching back, pain, fatigue and an appearance of even shoulders or hips.

There are three types of scoliosis. Congenial scoliosis occurs in the womb and involves fused vertebra that eventually lead to malformation of the spine. Neuromuscular scoliosis is the result of poor quality muscle control, and is often found in individuals with muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and polio. The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, which is most likely hereditary. Idiopathic scoliosis is typically diagnosed in children, mostly girls, between the ages of 10 and 14 years old.

Treatment of scoliosis depends on the type, the degree of intensity of the curve and the curve’s location in the spine. Many children with idiopathic scoliosis simply outgrow the condition, but in some cases it needs to be corrected with a special back brace such as a TLSO brace. On rare occasions scoliosis surgery is required, where the curve is surgically corrected and the relevant vertebrae are fused. Post surgury a medical brace is used to stabilize the spine for an expedient recovery.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a leading medical device supplier, including an extensive collection of support, orthopedic and medical braces. MMAR also specializing in diabetic shoes and socks and hot & cold therapy products.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disorder that affects the body’s metabolism, specifically how the body processes food for energy. A healthy human body breaks food into glucose which, with the help of a hormone produced by the pancreas called insulin, fuels our cells via the bloodstream. When you have diabetes, this process is disrupted and the result is unhealthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream, also known as hyperglycemia. Chronic hyperglycemia can lead to kidney, neurological and cardiovascular damage and eventually death.

There are two reasons for chronic hyperglycemia: Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

In a healthy body, the pancreas automatically releases insulin to move glucose into the cells thus lowering blood sugar levels and nourishing cells. With Type 1 Diabetes the pancreas produces little to no insulin and in some cases even destroys its own insulin. The result in chronic hyperglycemia. Type 1 Diabetics must regularly take insulin in order to survive.

Some interesting facts regarding Type 1 Diabetes include:

  • Only 15% of diabetics have Type 1 Diabetes.

  • Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable and is genetic rather than lifestyle oriented.

  • Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease because it is the result of the body harming itself.

  • Most cases of Type 1 Diabetes occur in individuals under the age of 40 which is why it is often called Childhood or Juvenile Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

In the case of Type 2 Diabetes, the cells are resisting insulin thus preventing glucose transmission. The medical community has yet to determine exactly why this occurs, but it is almost certainly related to overeating and being overweight. Every time a cell is exposed to insulin, it builds up a bit of resistance as it is slightly toxic. If you consume large quantities of foods, frequently exposing cells to large quantities of insulin, your body will try to “protect” itself and thus become insulin resistant. This leads the pancreas to produce more insulin, perpetuating the problem and even resulting in further weight gain.

Some interesting facts regarding Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • The majority (approximately 85%) of diabetics have Type 2 Diabetes.

  • The inability of cells to absorb energy has a lot to do with the healing and infection issues Type 2 diabetics experience. This is why proper foot care, including special high quality diabetic shoes, is so critical.

  • Type 2 Diabetes is often the result of lifestyle. It primarily affects the overweight and unfit.

  • Type 2 Diabetes usually appears later in life, but as younger generations become more and more sedentary; it has appeared with greater frequency in people in the 20’s and teens.

  • Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled and even eliminated with lifestyle changes.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group is a leading supplier of diabetic footwear and medical support braces, including high quality unloader, ACL and hinged knee braces for athletes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pre-Diabetes & Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes – especially Type 2 Diabetes - can easily go undiagnosed because the symptoms are often deceiving slight, rarely disrupting day-to-day life. If you are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, it is important to be awareness of pre-diabetes symptoms. Early detection can help minimize the effects of diabetes and, if followed with proper treatment, may even lead to full reversal of the condition.

You are particularly at risk of Type 2 Diabetes if you are overweight, inactive, over 45 years of age, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, and/or have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes. Unfortunately many pre-diabetics do not experience distinguishable symptoms, but there are a few noteworthy symptoms to look out for if you are at risk.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should visit your doctor immediately.

  • Increased thirst accompanied by frequent urination: One of the more common symptoms of diabetes development, you may experience an increased, even insatiable thirst as well as an increased need to urinate. This is because your body is pulling water out of your bloodstream which leads to systematic dehydration.

  • Increased fatigue and exhaustion: As insulin decreases, it becomes difficult for the cells in the bloodstream to properly moderate blood sugar, which can lead to a constant feeling of exhaustion.

  • Blurred vision: High blood sugar levels diabetes can cause the lens of the eye to swell leading to blurred vision. Full blown diabetics run a higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.

  • Lingering cuts and infections: Diabetics often develop thin skin and poor circulation, which in turn can lead to cuts or infections that just won’t go away. This issue is especially prevalent in the hands and feet, which explains the critical importance of diabetic shoes and a comprehensive diabetic skin care regimen.

  • Acanthosis nigricans (Dark, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases): This skin condition is especially common on the neck, elbows, knees, knuckles and armpits, this skin. While it does not necessarily indicate that you are developing diabetes, it can be a highly visible and noteworthy warning sign.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of diabetic footwear as well as medical grade braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, wrist brace, lumbar brace or other quality brace, please visit MMAR Medical online.