Friday, November 26, 2010

Osteoarthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis – specifically osteoarthritis also known as “wear and tear” arthritis – is a sneaky condition. Often progressing slowly, early on the symptoms are subtle, difficult to even notice. Eventually they become more pronounced, more annoying.. and then one-day you suddenly realize that it has become painful to do many simple tasks.

Over 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that typically manifests after age 65. In some instances, however, it can affect healthy, young adults in their late 20's or 30's. As with many pain-driven diseases that have no known cure, osteoarthritis can be tricky to treat. Vioxx, a popular arthritis pain medication, was recently recalled due to potentially deadly side effects. Other prescription arthritis pain medications will also likely be pulled for similar reasons. Despite these set-backs, there are still some viable, non-addictive options for treating osteoarthritis.

Supplements and diet
  • Research shows that Omega-3s can lubricate the joints and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate not only relieve pain, but may actually aid in cartridge renewal.

  • Strategic joint movement
  • Pain and stiffness is often most acute after not using a joint for a prolonged period of time, so try to use your affected joints every so often. Unfortunately, too much use can also aggravate pain, so you must strike a careful balance.

  • Weight management
  • Obese individuals are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis because the weight puts additional strain on the joints. Medical research also suggests that the hormonal changes that accompany obesity can accelerate the condition.

  • Arthritis braces and gloves
  • Special arthritis gloves and braces help alleviate hand and wrist pain by applying pressure and controlling joint movement.

  • Cortisone or Hyaluronic acid injections.
  • Cortisone can help decrease inflammation and thus relieve pain. A possible drawback is that overuse may actually further damage the joint, so limit shots to three per year.

  • Hydraluronic acid injections may decrease pain by lubricating the joint for a period of 3 to 5 weeks.

  • Acupuncture
  • Several studies have shown that acupuncture may decrease osteoarthritis symptoms over time.

  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Heat wraps, moist heat therapy pads and ice packs can be used to decrease swelling and blood flow to affected areas and thus control pain.

  • Magnet Therapy
  • Some studies found that magnet therapy may be beneficial for individuals with hip or knee osteoarthritis.

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a condition resulting from the compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway between the forearm and hand that is threaded with nerves and tendons. The median nerve is responsible for both sensation and movement in the thumb and middle three fingers. If the median nerve becomes compressed, the result is often pain, limited movement and other unfortunate symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The most common symptoms include:

  • Numb hands / loss of sensation in the thumb or fingers

  • Tingling fingers

  • Hand and wrist pain

  • Cold hands

  • Impaired hand motor skills

  • Poor hand circulation

  • Higher frequency of hand “falling asleep”

  • Decreased grip strength

  • Disrupted sleep due to hand pain or tingling

  • Aching shoulders and/or neck

Why did I get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are several common factors that are likely contributing to your condition.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is first and foremost a repetitive strain injury. It is often triggered by a repetitive task, vibration, position or prolonged compression. If you execute a repetitive task or hold your wrist in an awkward position for long periods of time, you are at high risk to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  • If you have a small carpal tunnel the likelihood of nerve compression is significantly higher. This is often genetically inherited and thus difficult to “treat”.

  • The condition is much more prominent in women, which is likely due to the fact that they have significantly smaller carpal tunnels in general.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also result from an injury, rheumatoid arthritis or hypothyroidism.

How can I treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

At the end of the day, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is really a series of symptoms, so the goal is to stop these symptoms or at the least, minimize them. If the symptoms disappear the syndrome is essentially over. Unfortunately, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms return with high frequency and often demand vigilant management. Some treatment options include:

  • Rest and immobilization.

  • Wearing a carpal tunnel brace, especially during specific trigger tasks.

  • Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and subsequent pressure on the nerve.

  • Surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition. A doctor can perform tests to determine whether a patient needs to be treated for carpal tunnel syndrome. Consulting with a medical professional is advisable for anyone who is experiencing any of the before-mentioned symptoms.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality specialty orthopedic braces and support, such as a hinged knee brace or high quality lumbar brace, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Health Care Reform and Diabetes

While there may be future changes to the Health Care Reform Bill passed in March 2010, as it stands now, there are a number of provisions that will help the 24 million diabetics in American. It is still uncertain how exactly the bill will affect coverage of lifestyle products such as diabetic shoes, but it is certain that it will give diabetics better access to medical care and decrease their vulnerability as a whole. As of November 2010, the following is a quick reference list of some of the main changes that will affect diabetic’s medical coverage and treatment.

  • The bill features new coverage options for those with pre-existing conditions. Diabetics have long felt the sting of insurance company’s “pre-existing conditions” exemptions. Health Care reform bans discrimination against pre-existing conditions in both adults and children.

  • Insurers will be prohibited from dropping people after they become sick. This includes being diagnosed with diabetes
  • .
  • Insurers will be prohibited from issuing annual and lifetime limits on benefits.

  • Insurers will be prohibited from increasing medical costs based on gender or health status.

  • Young adult with diabetes will be able to stay on their parents insurance until the age of 26.

  • The bill provides free “preventative care” coverage, which will be beneficial to the 57 million Americans who are considered pre-diabetic.

  • For diabetic seniors, a new limit on out-of-pocket drug costs will help them avoid the infamous Medicare “donut hole” (i.e. the gap between Medicare drug benefits and paying full cost for medication.)

  • The bill includes a National Diabetes Prevention Program which will assist community programs that target at-risk behavior and other contributing factors such as food accessibility. According to the American Diabetes Association, the pilot program reduced the risk of diabetes by 58% in the communities they were implemented in.

  • The bill also creates a nationally monitored, stat-by-state Diabetes Report Card to track diabetic-related issues. This program requires that the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Health Services collaborate on diabetes medical education initiatives.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a insurance or medical professional. To find out more about how diabetics may benefit from upcoming health care reform, please visit the American Diabetes Association.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale distributor of comfort footwear offering a wide selection of shoes for diabetics as well as orthopedic shoes for both women and men. Please visit MMAR Medical online for more information.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Tips

If you have type 2 diabetes, food plays an important role in your day-to-day well being and may even be the key to eventually overcoming diabetes. If you eat correctly, you are more likely to feel good, lose unwanted weight and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. It is important to eat strategically. You should not only choose appropriate foods, but also schedule meals and snacks so that you keep your blood glucose in check.

Below are a few helpful diet tips for diabetics. This information is not intended to replace the help of a medical professional. Before you create your diabetic diet plan, talk to your doctor about what your specific blood levels should be before eating, as well as 1 to 2 hours after eating. This information will help you map out your schedule. Determine how often you should be checking your blood glucose level and schedule two or more A1C tests every year to monitor your progress. Visiting your doctor is the first step to creating a strong diabetic diet strategy.

Diabetes Diet Tips:

  • Reduce the amounts of fried foods you consume as they are high calorie. Purchase leaner cuts of meat and opt to roast, bake or pan fry with fat free cooking spray or a little olive oil.

  • It goes without saying, but eat more fruits and vegetables (but don't fry them!) Most people think they hate fruits and vegetables, but in truth they just haven’t discovered how they like them. Try a new fruit every week. Learn new ways to prep vegetables. Dip raw vegetable in hummus. Explore non-traditional and exotic preparation of vegetables.

  • Switch to low-fat or fat-free dairy products and mayonnaise. You can also substitute mayonnaise with mustard and butter with reduced fat spread rather.

  • Studies have shown a correlation between foods high on the Glycemic Index (GI) (i.e. simple carbohydrates) and diabetes as these foods elevate blood sugar rapidly. If possible, avoid high GI foods entirely or limit their consumption. Only buy whole grain breads and/or cereals.

  • Consider complementing your diet with physical exercise, talk to your doctor prior to embarking on any new physical activities and be sure to purchase a pair of high quality diabetic running shoes to protect your feet.

  • Spend a month studying portion control. Measure all your foods and learn to understand what constitutes a serving. For example, a serving of dairy would be one cup of non-fat / low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese or milk. Many people consume two or three servings in a sitting without even knowing it! After a month of carefully measuring portions, you will be better able to gauge what you should be consuming.

  • Read about nutrition a couple times each week. Knowledge is power and will help you make better choices. Avoid fad diets and stick to proven nutrition principals and respected publications.

  • When in doubt, cook at home. It is much harder to control what you eat in a restaurant or drive-through.

  • If you are in a cooking rut, take a cooking class or two. You can attend lot of free classes by simply visiting Youtube.

  • Limit your alcohol intake as it can make your blood glucose level crash.

  • Give yourself credit! Major lifestyle changes are difficult and you will not always be perfect. Just remind yourself that these changes are for you, your body and your long-term health. It takes time to acclimate to a new diet regimen, so be patient... low-fat milk may taste strange the first few weeks, but take heart! You will get used to it and eventually prefer it.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a leading medical device supplier specializing in diabetic footwear including socks and shoes for diabetics as well as a full line of orthopedic braces and supports.