Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Don’t Let Joint Pain Ruin Your Summer Holidays

Summer is a time for outdoor adventures, fun excursions with family and friends, and relaxing by the pool. Unfortunately, summer can also be a time of increased joint pain for many people. Hot weather and high humidity can aggravate pain and swelling in your joints, while vacations often involve a lot of walking, which takes its toll on your ankles and knees.

To prevent aching joints from ruining your summer holidays, here are some easy steps you can take.

Stay hydrated
Drinking lots of water helps keep joint pain at a minimum during the summer time. Instead of just drinking when you get thirsty, try to drink water at regular intervals throughout the day. Keep a bottle with you at all times to sip from, and it’ll quickly become second nature.

Eight glasses of water a day is the rule of thumb, but your doctor may give you a personalized recommendation. You should also steer clear of drinks that have alcohol, caffeine, or sugar in them, as these contribute to dehydration. For some flavor, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into your water bottle, or infuse a fruity taste by adding some slices of apple, kiwi, or strawberry.

Stay active
It can seem hard when you’re in pain, but staying moderately active is one of the best ways to minimize joint pain during the summer. If you’ve been sitting for a long time, get up and move around the room, or take a short walk outside.

If you’re staying somewhere with a pool, take advantage of it. The buoyancy provided by the water makes swimming easy on the joints, and the exercise will leave you with more energy, as well as improving your flexibility and strength. It’s also a refreshing way to cool off on a hot day.

Don’t overdo it
When you’re enjoying your vacation or even just pottering around in your garden in the sun, it can be easy to lose track of time and put too much strain on your body. That’s why it’s important to know your limits.

If it’s a really hot day, it might be best to stay indoors where there’s air conditioning until it gets a little cooler out. Similarly, don’t push yourself too hard when exercising in hot weather. Take regular breaks, keep the water bottle handy, and look after yourself.

Take time to stretch
Doing some gentle stretches before and after exercising can make a big difference where joint pain is concerned. If you’re gearing up for a long day of walking, show your joints some love with a few simple stretches before you set out. And don’t forget to take a few minutes to cool down afterwards by gradually slowing down before stopping. If you’re sore or find your joints feel swollen, apply an ice pack–it will feel nice after being out in the heat.

If joint pain keeps interfering with your summer plans, it may be time to consider an alternative form of therapy. Stem Cell Therapy is a safe, minimally-invasive option that renews damaged joints by encouraging your body to heal naturally. When combined with healthy lifestyle changes, Stem Cell Therapy has proven effective for many patients.

To find out if Stem Cell Therapy is right for you, contact us today.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Back Pain: Knowing When to Rest, and When to Seek Help

Back pain affects most Americans at some point in their lives. It can range from the occasional twinge that slows you down to severe, constant pain that makes it hard to work, sleep, or perform everyday tasks.

Depending on the cause of your back pain and your pain tolerance, you may be able to treat it at home through simple techniques like rest and over-the-counter medication. In other cases, back pain requires prompt medical attention to prevent an injury from worsening.

Here are some ways that you can determine whether your back pain can be treated at home or deserves a visit to the doctor.

When to Seek Help
Back pain can be a symptom of another condition, a result of trauma, or simply the result of wear and tear. Some causes are more serious than others.

If your back pain started after a recent trauma (such as a car accident, fall, sports injury, or assault), it’s important to seek medical attention at once. Damage to the spinal cord can result in lifelong complications, including paralysis. After a trauma injury to the spine, it’s always best to seek a medical opinion, even if your pain seems delayed, or if you don’t feel the injury is serious.

Another indicator that you should visit a doctor is if your pain persists for a week or more without any signs of improvement. If your back pain is severe and/or constant and seems to be worsening, or if it wakes you up at night, your healthcare provider can advise you whether you require treatment.

If your back pain is accompanied by pain in the abdomen, this may indicate an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This means an artery in the abdomen has torn, and can result in internal bleeding and death. Seek medical help immediately if your pain extends to both your back and abdomen, particularly if it is so severe you are struggling to stand up straight.

You should also seek medical treatment for back pain when it comes with other symptoms like fever, redness, swelling, numbness, or tingling. These can be indicative of serious and even life-threatening conditions.

If you are under the age of 20, are currently or have previously been treated for cancer, or have osteoporosis, it’s best to visit the doctor if back pain strikes.

When to Rest
If your back pain isn’t too severe, and if it isn’t accompanied by other symptoms, then you may be able to soothe the pain and treat the underlying cause with a little rest and home remedy.

The most effective cure for mild back pain is rest, and in this case, a little goes a long way. Get some sleep, or just lie down on a bed or couch, in any position that’s comfortable. If your back feels strained, you can use pillows to ease up the tension between or under your knees, or under your hips or head, depending on your position. Too much bed rest can make matters worse, so be sure to balance it with some gentle physical activity and stretches, once you’re feeling up to it.

Over-the-counter medications can also help alleviate back pain. Try Tylenol, Advil, aspirin, or a similar painkiller. In many cases, a heating pad or cold pack applied to the painful area for 10-30 minutes will help relieve discomfort. If you don’t have one at hand, you can easily create a cold pack by wrapping a damp towel around some frozen peas. You may also want to consider getting a massage, which can loosen up those back muscles and ease the stiffness you may be feeling.

Mild back pain should start to feel better after a day or two. If it doesn’t, it may be time to seek medical treatment.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution to back pain, Stem Cell Therapy may be right for you. This alternative, regenerative treatment has been highly effective for many patients living with back pain, giving them a new lease on life. Contact us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with the doctor.