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Keep moving when knee or hip pain strikes

Also: Vegetarian diet linked to lower colon cancer risk; What type of mattress is best for people with low back pain?
March 12, 2015
Harvard Medical School

Keep moving when knee or hip pain strikes

Mobility relies on the body's two largest joints, the hips and knees. We ask a lot of both these joints: they must bear our full weight and coordinate movement over a lifetime of standing, walking, running, dancing, and sports. Not surprisingly, hip and knee pain are common complaints, and nearly everyone who lives into old age can expect some trouble with these joints. But taking care of your hips and knees and managing any pain that arises will help you avoid losing mobility as you age.

Try these self-help measures when knee or hip pain strikes:

Product Page - Mobility and Independence
Mobility and Independence, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, will help you maintain your mobility and safeguard your independence. It gives you recommendations for exercise, diet, preventive care, and lifestyle choices that will keep you stronger and steadier with fewer aches and more stamina. Plus, you’ll get advice for aging in place, adapting and fall-proofing your home, choosing services, and more.

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RICE for acute pain or injuries. RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, is excellent first aid for any type of joint injury.

  • Rest. Don't completely limit your activity — that can make injuries worse. Instead, avoid the type of motion that directly led to the injury, and try activities that keep pressure off the joint (see the list below for some ideas).
  • Ice. A homemade or store-bought ice pack applied to the injured area can reduce pain and swelling. Use it for 20 minutes at a time, with 20-minute pauses in between. Make sure a layer of cloth or other material is between the ice and your skin to protect you from frostbite.
  • Compression. A neoprene support or elastic bandage can promote recovery and reduce swelling. Make sure the wrap isn't so tight that the skin becomes cool or blue.
  • Elevation. Raising an injured leg on a pillow or stool can also reduce swelling by preventing blood from pooling at the injured site.

Heat therapy for long-term pain and stiffness. Ice is the best therapy in the first day or two after an injury to reduce swelling; after that, applying heat can also help ease pain by relieving stiffness and promoting flexibility. You can use a store-bought heating pad or heat a damp towel in the microwave at 20-second increments until it reaches the desired temperature. Make sure the heat you're applying feels warm, not hot, to avoid burning the skin.

It's important to keep joints moving, even when you're dealing with pain from arthritis or an overuse injury. These joint-friendly options can help keep you active:

  • elliptical trainer

  • stationary bike (recumbent or upright)

  • tai chi

  • swimming, water aerobics, or water walking

  • rowing machine

  • short walks throughout the day, instead of a long walk.

For more on how to preserve your mobility so you can stay active, buy Mobility and Independence, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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News and Views from the Harvard Health Blog

Vegetarian diet linked to lower colon cancer risk

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. A new study found that eating a vegetarian diet that includes fish could decrease your risk by 43%.

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What type of mattress is best for people with low back pain?

Back pain is one of the top reasons that people begin to lose mobility in middle age. Pain can keep people from engaging in physical activity, making it more difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight and keep up their strength, stamina, and balance as they age. So treating and managing back pain that results from injuries or health problems is crucial for staying on the path of a healthy and active life.

Considering that most people spend roughly a third of their lives lying in bed, choosing the right mattress is essential for managing low back pain. It can make the difference in whether you can sleep at night and function the next day.

In the past, doctors often recommended very firm mattresses. But one study, based on a waiting-room survey of 268 people with low back pain, found that those who slept on orthopedic (very hard) mattresses had the poorest sleep quality. There was no difference in sleep quality between those who used medium-firm and firm mattresses.

Soft mattresses, on the other hand, can also be problematic. While a soft mattress that conforms to your body's natural curves may help the joints align favorably, you might also sink in so deeply that your joints twist and become painful during the night.

If you want to find out whether a firmer mattress would feel better than the one you're currently using, try putting a plywood board under your mattress to dampen the movement from the bedsprings, or try placing your mattress on the floor.

Of course, you can also go to a mattress showroom and test a variety of models. But keep in mind that what feels comfortable for a few minutes in a store might not translate into a good night's sleep. A more reliable test is to observe how you feel after sleeping on different types of mattresses while away from home — for example, at a hotel or a friend or relative's house.

For more on how to preserve your mobility so you can stay active, buy Mobility and Independence, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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Mobility and Independence

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Mobility and quality of life
Prime movers: Knees and hips
A good foundation: Feet and ankles
A stable support: Your back and posture
Masterful muscles
•  ... and more!

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Advantages Of Visiting Massage Aylmer

By Earlene McGee

Massage is relatively an old term that has been present even in the past. It entails pressing and rubbing the tendons, skin, ligaments, and muscles by therapists. The masseuses use their hands and fingers to apply pressure on your body. Sometimes, they utilize their forearms, elbows, or even feet. Massage Aylmer QC offers various kinds of body pressing to customers at pocket-friendly rates in a relaxed surrounding.

At Aylmer massage therapy, you can get a Swedish kneading. In this kind of body kneading, therapists use stretched strokes and gently press the body. They also use circular movements, vibration and tapping techniques to energize and relax your body. Deep body rubbing is also another kind of body rub offered. In this case, therapists employ slow, forceful strokes to get to connective tissues' deep layers. Most of the time, it is done to aid in healing muscles that have been damaged because of injuries.

Sports kneading almost resembles the procedure followed in Swedish kneading. Nonetheless, it mostly sought by sportspeople to help in treating and averting damages. Trigger point massage is also a kind of body rubbing that is concerned stroking tight muscle fibers susceptible to damages caused by overuse. Another kind of body rub is reflexology that entails rubbing the feet to fuel healing of other parts of the body.

Kneading has several benefits apart from the relaxation and energizing the body. Visiting a masseuse can help u manage depression and anxiety. When you are being kneaded, the stress hormones level of cortisol drops; as a result, your blood pressure is lowered, and spirits lifted. Additionally, it aids in boosting dopamine and serotonin that are neurotransmitters that bring down depression.

Research carried out by experts has proven body stroking to be great in alleviating pain. As a matter of fact, it works much better than pain medication. Osteoarthritis patients who go for body kneading tend to develop better motion range. You can also get to sleep well after being massaged. Additionally, body rubbing also triggers the brain's Delta waves to assist in getting deep sleep.

A study done by researchers some years back established that, body kneading boosts Immunity. It increases the immunity cells; white blood cells that are responsible for fighting disease. Just like muscle pains, kneading is helpful in curbing headaches. Rubbing the body reduces the number of migraines a person is likely to get as you can relax effectively.

For women and also men, who are always seeking for flawless skin, hair, and face, massage is the way to go. Body rub increases the flow of blood which (lymphatic drainage) encourages flushing out of toxins and brings energy to dull hair. The therapy also aids in improving body posture. Body rub brings back your body to the right posture by relaxing back muscles that are sore due to bad posture. Your body can naturally position itself without pain.

Massage has a special way of dealing with several body diseases that do not essentially require any prescription. For the best massage services visit Aylmer, and you will definitely get relaxed.

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Chiropractor In Albury NSW Helps Locals Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief

By Kurt Lavecchia

CTS otherwise known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects the healthy function of the median nerve that is located in the wrist. Most work activities involving repetitive actions will contribute to trauma where the bones and the tissues become inflamed and dysfunctional. An Albury NSW AU chiropractor can provide safe and natural tips to assist the community suffering from the pain and limitations of Carpal Tunnel injuries.

CTS is caused by the restriction of the median nerve that is located in the forearm and extends toward the wrist. The carpals consist of a slim tunnel of bones, tendons, and ligaments that can become damaged and compress the median nerve. Symptoms are severe and restricts the ability to move the hand and wrist without discomfort, increases weakness, and general pain that radiates up the arm.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by repetitive stress and structural damages. A chiropractor will aid in assessing the mechanics of an affected region and can aid in improving regular function. The swelling of surrounding soft tissues including the tendons and ligaments can lead to the worsening of symptoms.

A professional approach includes mobility tests of the joints within the wrist. The therapist can complete a physical assessment of the shoulders and the spine to determine whether other types of injuries are affecting nerve function. Having a digital exam performed will aid in determining the presence of joint misalignment and nerve damage.

The pain associated with such injuries can be alleviated with rest and minimal repetitive actions. Chiropractic adjustment methods will aid in realigning the affected structures. The completion of a chiropractic adjustment can support joint mobilization and the recovery of the affected median nerve.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an injury that affects the nerve and mobility of structures within the wrist and the forearm. The painful symptoms that debilitate function can be alleviated with rest and natural therapy. The chiropractic approach offers safe intervention for balance and recovery from structural issues.

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Facts On How To Speed Up Metabolism During Menopause

By Leslie Ball

Every individual will grow up. This is an inevitable reality that we have to face later on. That is why, you have to prepare yourself for it. This might sound really frustrating, especially if you like the things that you have today, but you have to really face it no matter what.

Girls, like any other individual will undergo a lot of changes in the long run. Menopause is one of those. Dealing with this can be quite hard, especially when it comes to metabolism. In this article, we will focus more on the things on how to speed up metabolism during menopause. If you are interested to know more about that, then read further.

This might not be a problem that is universal to most women, but if you are the type of girl that wants to make sure that you look fit and sexy, then this is a problem that you really have to face. What you can do about it is to never stop exercising. Even though you think you are too old or too busy to do things, make some time for it.

There are times that we are just too busy or something like that. If you have the will to do it, you can always find a way on how to get it done. That primarily means that you have to create a time for it. Yes, you should make some space if you are willing to speed up your metabolism. It might take some time, but at least you are trying.

Once you have done the physical part, it is time to focus on the foods that you will be eating. Being busy does not mean that you should always eat in fast food restaurants or something like that. Stay away from these things from now on and see to it that you eat foods that are rich in fiber. It really make wonders, so give it a try.

Also, you cannot just eat fiber products all the time. You have to mix it will protein. This will allow your muscle to grow well. If you have gone to the gym before, you might already have an idea on how important protein is. In fact, there are even tablets that you can take to get the best amount of protein possible.

Eating less is also a good thing. Of course, you do not want to starve yourself to death. Try to maintain everything in a good way. That basically means that you should eat healthy and in a balanced way. If think you feel constrained with this, then that is the time that you focus on your goals and discipline yourself.

Last but not the least is to visit a doctor. Make sure that they know what you are up to so that they can give you the best advice possible. In that way, you are also sure that you are doing the right thing. Try to ask as much information as possible while you are there.

This might not apply to everyone in some cases, that is why, you should always consult your physician before you do something with your body. This will guarantee that it does not mess up something.

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In this issue: Male menopause myth, frugal food tips, walking pole workout, kidney stones and more.

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Vol. 16, Issue 21 | March 12, 2015
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Male menopause is a catchy phrase, but it isn't necessarily accurate. Here's why.
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