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Physiotherapeutic Options for Management of Knee Osteoarthritis

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Knee osteoarthritis is a common joint degenerative disease wherein the knee joint becomes inflamed and deteriorates over time. How it progresses is influenced by advancing age, patient’s BMI, activity levels, strength, genetics and bone structure. There are surgical treatment options, such as knee replacement and knee arthroscopy, but these should only be used in more advanced cases where milder interventions have failed. If you have knee osteoarthritis (KOA) and don’t want to go for surgery, below are a few lower-risk interventions to discuss with your physiotherapist. 1. Weight loss When you are heavier, your knee joints support a heavier load and this predisposes you to development of KOA and faster progression upon development. Overweight and obese people with the condition should therefore discuss weight loss options with their physiotherapist, including diet and lifestyle changes. Studies shows that losing just 5 to 10 percent of weight can improve your knee function and reduce pain. 2. Physical activity Exercise is not only important for weight management and general health benefits; keeping your knee joint active will strengthen, stabilise and lubricate the joint. The physiotherapist can recommend general exercises that can be handled given the progression of your knee, as well as specific exercises to strengthen your knee musculature, tissues and cartilage for better mobility. Focus on core muscle (muscles of the lower back, pelvis and abdomen) and hip-strengthening exercises to increase your stability and balance the force applied to your knee when you move. The therapist will give you a list of personalized exercises – type, intensity, duration, frequency and resting times between exercises – as well as a progression schedule so that you don’t do too much and negate the benefits accrued. 3. Knee braces There are different kinds of knee braces, and the choice of brace will be prescribed according to the specific part of the knee most adversely affected. Patients with patella femoral arthritis (behind the kneecap) do well with braces that support the kneecap and apply gentle pressure sideways to straighten the knee. Such patients complain of pain at the front of the knee which worsens when going downhill. Patients with tibio femoral arthritis (between shin and thigh bones) will have a different brace prescribed. Unloader braces offer significant relief for patients whose arthritis is on the inner or outer knee. 4. Manual therapy Physiotherapists can perform manual physiotherapy several times a week depending on severity. During these sessions, the therapist gently mobilizes and moves joints and muscles around the knee to increase flexibility, motion and strength. He/she targets specific areas that are hard for you to reach or exercise on your own. These complement your own exercise regimen to provide incremental benefits in pain reduction and increase of mobility....

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Foot Conditions That Should Be Looked At By a Podiatrist

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Despite your feet being under immense pressure on a daily basis supporting your weight, they still tend to be the most underrated body part. Even when they develop complications, some people tend to ignore the symptoms as long as they are not in excruciating pain. If you notice there is something off kilter with your feet, it is best to consult a podiatrist to ensure that it does not become aggravated. Here are some foot conditions that should warrant a check-up with a podiatrist.  Development of bunions Bunions refer to bulges that begin forming at the base of your toes. They will typically form at the base of your big toe when its joint starts becoming displaced. Typically, some people tend to ignore bunions, since when they start off they are more unsightly than they are painful. However, if left unchecked, the bunions will continue to become irritated as friction develops between them and your footwear. Over time, the bunion will become raw and painful, which will impede your ability to wear your shoes comfortably. If caught early, a podiatrist can prescribe a treatment plan that would involve padding the bunion and wrapping it in the hopes of diminishing its size. It should be noted that if the bunion has undergone extreme exacerbation, then the podiatrist might have to opt for surgical techniques to remove it.  Development of ingrown toenails Another painful condition that may require the intervention of a podiatrist is an ingrown toenail. Typically, ingrown toenails tend to correct themselves on their own after a while. However, if you notice that your ingrown toenail is not straightening out, then you should seek medical assistance from a podiatrist. A sign of a worsening ingrown toenail would be inflammation and swelling of the toe. This could indicate an infection and the collection of pus in the affected area. It would be prudent to visit a podiatrist so that they can cut out the toenail, drain the pus and sterilise the site. If you had been exposed to an infection, the podiatrist will also prescribe antibiotic medication for a duration of time.  Development of athlete’s foot Although this fungal infection is quite common, some strains of it tend to be difficult to eliminate with over the counter medication. This can lead to severe itchiness and chronic pain your feet. In some extreme cases, you may develop an infection in the cracks of your feet. If your athlete’s foot is not diminishing with over the counter medication, it would be best to seek medical attention from a podiatrist who would opt for intensive treatment...

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Advantages and disadvantages of robot assisted minimally invasive surgery

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are going to undergo surgery that will use fibre optic equipment that enters your body through a few small incisions, you may find that the surgeon will make use of robotic surgical equipment. This type of surgery has advantages for your doctor and for you, the patient. As with any procedure, there is also a flip side: robotic surgery has some disadvantages. Understanding robotic surgery Robotic surgery is the name given to a surgical procedure that is minimally invasive and during which the surgeon uses robot-controlled equipment to perform the procedure. Advantages of robotic surgery for the surgeon  With the assistance of robotic equipment, surgeons are able to perform the most complex surgical procedures with more precision than ever before. Surgeons have more flexibility in the process of operating and can operate in hard-to-reach areas. The doctor has more control over the whole process than with conventional surgery. Advantages of robotic surgery for you the patient Because robotic surgery is usually minimally invasive, the site of the operation will be small, which means that there is a decreased likelihood of infection of the wound. Your scars will be smaller and will be less visible once you have healed. Generally, with this type of surgery, you will suffer from less pain overall. You will also recover much more quickly than with conventional surgery. You will spend less time in hospital and will be able to return to work relatively quickly. Disadvantages of robotic surgery Although the wounds from the less invasive procedures associated with robotic surgery will heal quickly, there is still a small risk of complications. Robotic surgery is still surgery and there is still some risk of infection of the operation site. Although patients undergoing robotic surgery usually spend less time under anaesthetic than in a normal surgery, there is still a risk associated with any anaesthetic. Robotic surgery usually takes a significantly longer time to perform than conventional surgery. This can be due to the surgeon not being completely familiar with the equipment.  As their familiarity increases through usage, the time spent operating will reduce. The equipment required for robotic surgery takes up much more space than is required for conventional surgery and the operating theatre may be a little crowded. This may affect the area in which the surgeon can function and, therefore, the dexterity that is required for a procedure to be performed. Surgical equipment in conventional operating theatres is not necessarily compatible with the robotic equipment. Depending on what surgical procedure you need to have, the advantages of a less invasive procedure, mostly using robotic equipment, usually outweigh the disadvantages, producing an outcome that is beneficial to your...

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3 Ways A Lactation Consultant Can Help Get Breastfeeding Off To A Good Start

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It can come as a surprise to new parents that breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally to either mum or baby. There are a variety of possible problems you can encounter that can hinder the successful establishment of the breastfeeding relationship, which can leave you feeling stressed, and stress can reduce your milk supply. A lactation consultant helps new mums to overcome these problems and teaches them how to breastfeed their baby, how to ensure the baby is latched on to the breast correctly and how to spot signs the baby may not be feeding properly.  Here’s an overview of three ways a lactation consultant can help you get breastfeeding off to a good start: Identify Physical Barriers To Successful Breastfeeding Some babies can’t latch on successfully or stay latched on due to physical barriers that prevent them getting at your milk. For example, you may have inverted or relatively flat nipples or your baby may have a tongue tie. The lactation consultant knows what to look for when there’s a latching problem and can show you how to draw out a flat nipple with a pump directly before feeding or teach you the Hoffman technique for improving inverted nipples. Tongue tie occurs when your baby has a tight piece of skin attaching their tongue to the base of their mouth. This can cause problems with feeding as they are unable to open their mouth wide enough to get a good latch. Thankfully, tongue tie can be fixed by your paediatrician who will simply snip the excess band of skin to free your baby’s tongue. Help You Find The Best Feeding Positions There are several feeding positions you can try aside from the classic cradle hold, and your lactation consultant can help you find the positions that work best for both you and your baby. For example, if you have large breasts, you might find the football hold position more comfortable. If your baby is colicky or has reflux, they may feel more comfortable being kept as upright as possible, so the koala hold may work best. Help You Select Useful Breastfeeding Aids There are a number of breastfeeding aids designed to support a successful feeding relationship between you and your baby, and your lactation consultant can help you identify helpful aids and show you how to use them effectively and safely. For example, if you want to use a breastfeeding cover, they will help you choose one that’s breathable and has a stiff rim to prevent your baby overheating and enable you to keep them in sight at all times.  If you have back pain, a breastfeeding body pillow can be used to support the weight of your baby, and the lactation consultant will show you how to position the pillow for maximum support. A lactation consultant’s job is to make breastfeeding as easy and natural as possible and support you to form that special bond in the days and weeks after the birth of your baby. If you’re keen to breastfeed when your baby arrives, or if you’re experiencing problems with feeding your baby, book a...

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3 Herbal Solutions for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Sciatica is the name for the pain that you get in the sciatic nerve—a nerve that runs from the lower back down through each leg. It is commonly caused when a spinal nerve root in the lower back gets compressed after a disc degenerates. Sciatica often involves lower back pain that radiates down through the leg to the foot. Before embarking on natural treatments, you should seek medical advice to determine the severity and decide whether any surgical treatment is necessary. If you have done so and been sent home with medication, then you may prefer to try some natural alternatives before dosing up on painkillers.  Before trying any these herbs, check with your medical specialist to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for treatment. Some herbal medicines are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women or those with certain conditions. It’s also important to get your dosage correct. Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) This bright yellow spice has a long history of use in Chinese and Indian medicine. Its anti-inflammatory properties have made it a treatment for a variety of ailments. It is used to treat sciatica because it reduces the enzymes that fuel inflammation. It can be applied as a paste or taken as a tea. It is also available in 250-500 mg supplement capsules containing bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples. These two work together to reduce inflammation. Turmeric Tea Recipe: Combine 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of turmeric and bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Remove the tea from the heat and strain it through a fine sieve. To sweeten or improve the taste, you can add lemon, honey or a combination of both. Drink a cup of tea once or twice a day until you see an improvement. Turmeric Paste Recipe: Create the paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of turmeric with 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of milk. Apply the paste to the lower back area, leaving it to sit for 5 to 8 minutes.  Daily application of the paste over a 1 to 2 week period can produce better results. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) Oil St John’s Wort is a yellow-flowered plant that has been used for medical purposes since ancient Greek times. The herb has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, and antioxidant properties. It’s been known to aid nerve tissue regeneration and relieve sciatic pain.  Apply the oil to the painful area 2 or 3 times a day until pain improves. Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia Erythrina) Jamaican Dogwood is a tree with bark that is used for medicinal purposes. This herbal medicine is used to treat a variety of ailments and is a top choice for nerve pain. It can be taken in capsule form as a supplement or used as a tincture. Some choose to make a tea out of the bark’s powder. Jamaican Dogwood Tea Recipe: Add 1 teaspoon of dried Jamaican dogwood to a small pan of boiling water.  Allow the mixture to steep for 5 to 7 minutes, then strain the tea through a fine sieve. If you wish to sweeten the tea, add honey to the mixture to enrich the taste. Drink no more than 2 cups per day. It’s best to drink this tea in the...

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Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions for Cracked, Chipped or Missing Teeth

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Generally, most people consider cosmetic dentistry as elective oral care for the enhancement of the aesthetics of your teeth. Although this may be true in some cases, cosmetic dentistry can also be essential in providing the patient with restorative benefits. Some of the more common reasons why one would visit a cosmetic dentist is if their teeth have acquired conspicuous damage and that person would like to have it either fixed or covered up. Here are some of the cosmetic dentistry solutions that you can consider for cracked, chipped or missing teeth. Composite bonding This is a flexible solution for an array of dental problems including decayed, discoloured, chipped and cracked teeth. The cosmetic dentist uses a tooth coloured composite material to cover up the damage that your tooth has acquired. During the procedure, the cosmetic dentist will start by drilling away the affected parts of the tooth whether it is in the form of decay or discolouration. Once this affected area has been removed, the dentist will then apply the composite bonding onto the extracted area. This is then moulded and sculpted into place to mimic the appearance of an undamaged and healthy tooth. Cosmetic veneers Another option you could consider for cracked, discoloured or chipped teeth is cosmetic veneers. These veneers are made from ceramic materials that are medical grade. However, they are not mass-produced. Instead, the dentist will have to take imprints of the damaged teeth so that they can create a veneer that will look as much as your natural tooth as possible. Once the veneer is create, it is simply glued directly onto the frontal surface of the tooth using a dental adhesive. Cosmetic veneers are also a great way of camouflaging unevenly spaced teeth. All the cosmetic dentist will be required to do is ensure the veneers are made wide enough to naturally cover any noticeable gaps that may be between your teeth. Dental implants If the damage that your tooth has acquired is extensive, you may have to contemplate extracting the tooth and having it replaced with a dental implant. The process starts with the cosmetic dentist inserting a screw, made out of titanium, right into your jaw at the site of the missing or extracted tooth. This titanium screw will then provide support for the tooth prosthetic that is attached to replace your damaged tooth. Dental implants tend to be the most natural-looking option as the teeth prosthetics are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Additionally, it is a permanent option so you can rest assured you will not have to have the same tooth implanted...

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What To Expect From Composite Bonding

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Teeth appearance often affects how a person relates to other people. If your teeth are in good condition, you will find it easy to mingle and laugh with your buddies. When they are in bad shape, the case is different. But you shouldn’t let that affect you, especially if you can have a composite bonding procedure performed on your teeth. Composite bonding repairs broken, stained, and misshapen teeth. The procedure relies on the use of bonding composites that contain acrylic resins and photoinitiators. These materials also come in different color pigments which can be picked to suit the color of your teeth. What to Expect From The Procedure The procedure begins with your dentist removing some of your enamel. This allows for the shaping of the composite resin material to match the shape of your teeth. The next step is the application of a bonding agent which is followed by the application of the resin. Finally, the dentist cures the resin using a special light and polishes your teeth for a perfect finish. Candidate Requirements Not every person is fit for a composite bonding procedure. For instance, composite bonding does not correct an overbite or underbite. For bite adjustments you may have to seek counsel from your dentist regarding the best mode of treatment. A person who is need of composite bonding has to have teeth that are in a healthy condition. Taking Care Of Your Bonding Material The bonding material has a tendency to catch stains, and hence, you should clean your teeth regularly. In fact, it is advisable not to take in food or substances that can stain the bond 24 to 48 hours after the procedure has been done. Coffee, tea, and red wine are some of the things you should avoid. You are also in bad luck if you are a smoker. Smoking is prohibited because the cigarette smoke will penetrate and yellow the porous bonding material. Another dental care measure is to desist from chewing on your nails or other hard objects like pencils, ice and raw carrots because the bonding material is prone to chipping. Composite bonding has several advantages. One is that you do not need anesthetic before the treatment and the composite resin can last for up to five years. And unlike some dental procedures, you do not need to schedule other appointments with your dentist after the first one; one appointment is enough to fix the bonding...

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Should I get my facial mole removed?

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have been debating whether you should have a facial mole removed, then keep reading to see some of the issues you should consider. Is your mole changing colour or shape? If your mole is changing colour or shape, it can be an indication that there is something awry, such as a potentially cancerous growth. It can be useful to get your mole examined by a medical professional. They may take a biopsy, where an extremely fine needle is inserted into the mole and a minuscule amount of the mole is removed and examined in a lab. Then the clinic can tell if the growth is unhealthy and advise of the best course of action going forward. It is relatively easy to keep a track of whether facial moles are changing shape or colour, as you regularly look at your face, but if you aren’t sure, then this is a good time to start taking ‘selfies’. Try taking photos of your face in the same position and light a week apart and see if the mole still looks the same or is changing.  Is your mole itchy or uncomfortable? Itchy or bleeding moles can be another indicator of a mole that may be cancerous. However, given the high sensitivity of the face, even benign growths and moles can also cause discomfort. This is particularly common if the mole is in a bad position, such as sitting on the parts of the face that eyeglasses often sit on the face (temples, cheeks and bridge of the nose).  Is it something that is bothering you? While many like to remove moles to improve the overall symetry of their face, many famous beautiful people such as Cindy Crawford have made a living based in part on the distinctive character that a mole can give the face. You may find it surprisingly hard to recognise yourself without a mole. However, many moles are unsightly and can affect a person’s confidence in a number of spheres including professional success, finding a romantic partner and exploring new social options. Some people find a facial mole can affect their confidence, so they gain a lot from having their mole removed. If you are looking to explore the options to remove the mole on your face, either surgically or non-surgically, it makes sense to head to a skin care clinic, such as Sun Patrol Skin Cancer Clinic Pty Ltd. They can assess your mole and get your referred to a surgeon or dermatologist to get your mole...

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Could Your Child Be Experiencing Auditory Processing Disorder?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It’s estimated that auditory processing disorder (APD) affects 7% of children. This condition occurs when the electrical signals that transport sound from your inner ear to your brain for translation experience a delay or become distorted. This can make it difficult to comprehend the exact sounds that were heard and leave sufferers unable to discriminate between similar sounds. APD can impact your child’s self-confidence, speech and language development and performance at school. Here’s an overview of signs to look out for in your child, how APD is diagnosed and how you can help your child manage the condition: Signs Of APD Your child may be born with APD, but it can also be acquired. The cause is not fully understood, but trauma and middle ear infections may play a role in the development of the condition by permanently changing the way the brain processes sound. Signs to look out for include the following: Struggling to decipher some words or follow instructions in a noisy environment Missing developmental milestones related to language and learning Does not fully understand jokes and riddles Cannot pinpoint where a sound is coming from or who is speaking to them if they cannot see the face of the person speaking Easily startled by sudden noises Diagnosis There’s no cure for APD, but having the condition diagnosed can enable you to access any additional support your child may need, such as a referral to a speech and language therapist or asking their school teacher to use visual aids to help your child clearly understand each lesson. Children often learn to adapt, and the condition shouldn’t hold your child back if they get the support they need. An audiologist will diagnose APD by carrying out hearing tests to rule out other types of hearing loss that can be treated with hearing aids. They will use questionnaires to get a detailed understanding of how your child is affected and exactly what they experience on a daily basis. They may also refer your child to a speech and language therapist to establish if they confuse sounds that are commonly misunderstood with APD, such as ‘sh’ and ‘ch’ sounds. How You Can Help If your child is diagnosed with APD, you can speak a little slower and louder to them and give simple instructions that they can repeat back to you to confirm their understanding. You can help your child hear clearly by turning off background noise, such as the car stereo or television, when talking to them and making sure other family members and friends follow the same rules to prevent your child feeling excluded from family life. For older children, wall charts with written instructions or images to help them understand what their schedule will be each day and any tasks you require them to complete can prevent misunderstanding and empower your child. If you suspect your child has APD, schedule an appointment with your audiologist as soon as...

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3 Ways You’ve Been Stretching Incorrectly Before Working Out

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you find that you are prone to recurrent injuries following your workouts, including shoulder sprains and seized hamstrings, the answer to preventing these injuries might not be the activities you are doing but the type of stretching you are doing before and after your workout. Here are 3 ways you may have been stretching incorrectly and how you can stretch better to help your stretches prevent injuries.     Staying static  The traditional style of stretches is to manually stretch a muscle and hold the position for a few seconds. However, research suggests that static stretches don’t actually improve performance and simply allow the muscle to get used to being stretched, and can lead to unstable joints being overextended and loosened. This can lead to injury. Instead, use a dynamic stretch, where a stretch is a form of movement. Flowing yoga routines, such as sun salutations for back stretches, can be a great alternative to static stretches as can a light warmup form of the exercise that you are planning to do.  Stretching the wrong muscles Some of the easiest muscles to stretch are our large muscles, such as the glutes and the hamstrings. However, many of the muscles that we need to stretch for stability are the smaller muscles and fascia around joints. This can include knees, ankles and shoulders joints that are surrounded by small joints that allow movement. By activating these muscles with some massage or a stretch you can improve stability, and reduce the risk of the injury. These joints often benefit from warm-up exercises such as shoulder rolls and ankle circles (where you mime drawing a circle in the air with your foot).  Stretching at the wrong time Stretching after a workout can be a way to aid recovery by encouraging blood flow back to the muscles. Many personal trainers encourage this recovery stretching as it can also be a pleasant way to cool down after exercise and often feels good after a hard workout. It can also be useful to stretch the next day if there is continuing tightness and discomfort in the muscles.  If you are looking to improve your stretching routine to prevent injuries it can be useful to visit your physiotherapist and discuss which kinds of issues you have had. They can help you to create a warm-up and cool down routine incorporating stretching, with exercises specific to your workout routine and...

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How to Improve Your Hearing With These Healthy Habits

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

While preventing hearing aids isn’t always an option, there are some ways to reduce your risk of experience hearing loss as you get older. With these healthy habits, you will be well on your way to optimal hearing during the natural aging process. Always Wear Ear Protection You can start protecting your hearing by making sure you always protect your ears. This should be a part of your healthy lifestyle, by never leaving anything up to chance. Even during times when you assume your ears are fine, do not take chances. If you are using a blower on your patio, put some earplugs in. That little bit of protection makes a big difference. Also protect your ears when watching fireworks, going to a loud concert, or attending a sporting event. Even if you are going to be walking near a lot of traffic or using a power tool, ear protection is highly recommended. Eat Healthy Foods Believe it or not, there are certain vitamins and nutrients in healthy foods that can go a long way in protecting your hearing. These foods are great if you are trying to improve your overall health as well, so there are an endless amount of benefits. Good foods to include in your diet are fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds. For example, spinach and broccoli includes the antioxidant alpha lipoic acid, which helps reduce the risk of nerve system damage, which is often the source of hearing loss. Potassium is excellent to have for protecting your inner ear, which is found in bananas, oranges and spinach. Other nutrients to find in your foods are folate, and vitamins C, D, and E. Get Regular Hearing Check-ups Even if you don’t currently have hearing loss issues, your ears should be checked by your doctor on a regular basis. Continue going for check-ups so your doctor can look at the condition of your ears. They will look for signs of medical conditions that might eventually lead to hearing loss. They will also perform basic hearing tests to determine if you are experiencing hearing loss and might need hearing aids. Early detection can help you get treatment now and prevent the severity of your hearing loss, especially if a medical condition is the result of the hearing loss. Also make sure you don’t smoke cigarettes, as it reduces your ability to fight off illness and infection. It could increase your risk of developing hearing...

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