Showing posts with label back pain. Show all posts

Home Remedies for Back Pain

back pain
Back pain can take a toll on everyone — young and old. However, according to the book 1,801 Home Remedies by Reader's Digest, there are many ways you can help prevent, as well as relieve, back pain on your own.

Apply Ice and Heat

After you've experienced an injury, apply a bag of ice or frozen vegetables on the painful area. Ice is known not only to counteract against pain, but also reduce swelling.1,801 Home Remedies suggests that you keep ice on the injured area as frequently as possible during the first two days. After you've applied ice for 48 hours, place a heating paid on your back (specifically on the injured area). Consider repeating this three times a day, 20 minutes at a time, for about a week.

Massaging Pain Away

Ask your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend to rub your back. However, skip the lotions, especially if you're unsure of whether or not you have skin allergies. And if your partner gets a little tired while giving you a massage, ask him or her to try this: take a knee sock, add tennis balls inside and roll it up and down your back. Or visit your doctor, chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist and see what she recommends as massage tools.

Supplements From the Health Store

Visit your local health store and ask about bromelain supplements. Bromelain, says 1,801 Home Remedies, is known to "promote circulation" as well as decrease swelling. Just make sure you get clearance from a doctor first and read the bottles — pay attention to any contraindications stated on the label.

Change Your Posture When You're in Pain

If your back is in pain, don't force yourself to sit or lie in a certain way. Instead, look for a position that puts the least stress on the injured area. And if you're more comfortable sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees. This will help relieve pressure from your back.

Preventing Back Pain

Most of all, we must move around in order to prevent back pain — in fact, if one stops exercising, there's a higher likelihood of injuring the back even more! When your back hurts, gentle movement is recommended, as this will keep the back joints loose and flexible. Also, visit a gym class or personal trainer and get feedback on how you can strengthen your back through stretching and weight training.

Clearly, back pain can be a vicious cycle, however, you can take measures at home to treat, as well as prevent, it. Consider ice and heat, massage, nutritional supplements, changing your posture and preventative measures. In the long run, your body will thank you.

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Ultram, Side Effects and Addiction


Ultram is indicated for treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is an opiate agonist and works by changing the way the body senses pain. Patients who are in chronic pain and need around-the-clock pain can be prescribed the extended-release version of Ultram.

Usage and Dosage of Ultram (tramadol)

Ultram is prescribed either as a regular tablet or an extended-release tablet. The regular form of Ultram is generally taken every four to six hours as needed for pain control. The extended-release form should be taken once a day, at the same time each day. The physician will generally prescribe a low dose of Ultram and increase the dosage of regular Ultram approximately every three days if needed, the increase for extended-release is done, if necessary, every five days. Never take more than 300 milligrams of Ultram in one 24-hour period.

This medication can be taken with or without food. Do take the medication with a full glass of water. Never crush, chew, break, or open an extended release tablet. This could cause the pill to release too much of the drug at one time. Serious side effects or death could result.

Side Effects of Ultram

Seek emergency medical treatment if there is any allergic reaction to Ultram. Symptoms can include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, throat, or tongue.

Stop taking Ultram and call a physician, if while taking this medication, a fever develops, fast heart rate, hallucinations, agitation, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting, overactive reflexes, seizure, shallow breathing, weak pulse, or red, blistering and peeling skin rash.

Common side effects experienced while taking Ultram can include blurred vision, flushing, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, weakness, drowsiness, and dizziness.

Drug Interactions with Ultram

Seizures are more likely to occur if Ultram is taken with certain other medications. Do not take this medicine without first telling the physician if an MAO inhibitor or an antidepressant is being taken. Inform the doctor before taking Ultram if taking any of the following; Tegretol, Coumadin, digoxin, Nizoral, erythromycin, rifampin, St. John's wort, quinidine, or any medication that causes drowsiness.


Patients who have been addicted to drugs and or alcohol should not take Ultram. They have a higher risk of experiencing a seizure while taking Ultram if there is a history of drug or alcohol addiction, a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorder, history of head injury, a metabolic disorder, or if taking antidepressants, muscle relaxers, or medicine for vomiting and nausea.

Ultram has been known to cause impairment to thinking and reactions. Always use caution when driving or doing any type of function that requires a person to be awake and alert.

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Scoliosis, or Spine Curvature, is Much More Than Back Pain


Scoliosis is a curving of the spine which bends sideways or away from the middle. While it may sometimes be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, the cause of the most common form of scoliosis is still unknown.

Most cases are mild, but severe cases can be disabling. Scoliosis is believed to have many causes, but the principal ones can be arranged into these three groups:
  • Congenital (present at birth) scoliosis is due to a problem with the formation of the spine bones (vertebrae) or fused ribs during development in the womb or in early life.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by problems such as poor muscle control or muscle weakness, or paralysis due to diseases such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal bifida or polio.
  • Idiopathic scoliosis has no known cause and is by far the most common form of scoliosis. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS), which develops in young adults around the onset of puberty, represents approximately 80% of idiopathic scoliosis cases.
Some people may be prone to spinal curvature. Most cases occur in girls. Curves generally worsen during growth spurts. Scoliosis in infants and young children are less common. Individuals with Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, frequently have scoliosis of varying severity.

The Warning Signs of Scoliosis

Family members or untrained observers may not notice the curving of the spine in its early stages, but several symptoms or warning signs together should prompt an appointment with a doctor. Such symptoms include:
  • shoulders of different heights or one shoulder blade more prominent than the other
  • head not centered directly above the pelvis
  • appearance of a raised, prominent hip
  • rib cages of different heights
  • uneven waist
  • leaning of entire body to one side
Other symptoms can include backache or low back pain and fatigue. There may be fatigue in the spine after extended standing or sitting. Pain will become persistent if there is irritation to the soft tissue and wear and tear on the spinal bones. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

What are the Scoliosis Treatment Options?

Most children with scoliosis have mild curves (usually less than 20 degrees), usually with no pain and probably do not require treatment other than regular checkups every four or six months to monitor the curvature of their spines.

For individuals with moderate to severe curves (above 25-30 degrees), the decision to begin treatment is always made on an individual basis. Factors to be considered include:
  • Spinal maturity: Is the patient's spine still growing?
  • Severity of curve: Larger curves are more likely to worsen with time
  • Location of curve: Curves located in the center (thoracic) section of the spine worsen more than do curves in the upper or lower section of the spine
  • Potential for progression: Patients who have large curves prior to their adolescent growth spurts are more likely to experience progression.

Back Brace or Surgery For Treating Scoliosis

A doctor may recommend a back brace for a patient with moderate scoliosis, especially for a child whose bones are still growing. Wearing a brace won't cure scoliosis or reverse the curve, but it usually prevents further progression of the curve. Most braces are worn day and night, with the effectiveness increasing the more hours per day it is worn. Braces are discontinued when the bones stop growing, which typically occurs about two years after girls begin to menstruate and when boys need to shave daily.

The choice of when to have surgery will vary. A child may need surgery before the bones of his skeleton stop growing if the spinal curve is severe or getting worse quickly. Curves of 40 degrees or greater usually require surgery. Scoliosis surgery, or spinal fusion, is intended to reduce the severity of the spinal curve and prevent it from getting worse.

Spinal fusion surgery involves straightening the curve and fusing the bones in the curve together. The bones are held in place with one or more metal rods secured with hooks, screws or wires until the bones heal together. Sometimes surgery is done through an incision in the back, on the abdomen, or beneath the ribs.

Scoliosis, mild, moderate or severe, can be a distressing physical, emotional and psychological life process for anyone to tolerate. When that person is a teenager – and chances are high that it will be – he or she is already being bombarded with physical, emotional and social changes. He or she may react with anger, insecurity, fear and lowered self-esteem. A strong peer support group can have a significant impact on a child or teen's acceptance of scoliosis and the bracing or surgical treatment that may be required. General kindness and acceptance by family and friends will also help in the process, as will organizations such as the National Scoliosis Foundation.

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Hidden Reasons for Back Pain

back pain

People who suffer from back pain usually can pinpoint those obvious causes for the problem. Usually back pain occurs from factors such as heavy or improper lifting, strained ligaments and muscles or sudden body movements. There are also structural reasons for back pain such as arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica or ruptured disks. However, often back problems are due to hidden causes that are not as obvious.

Shoes and Back Pain

Because shoes support the entire body and are the only contact between the ground and a person, it’s important to wear the right shoes to avoid back pain. Shoes that are not aligned properly and don’t give proper support and ride quality can cause problems with backs. For example, high heels put added pressure on the foot which causes back pain. When wearing these shoes, a woman’s heels are placed unnaturally above her toes so even a slight change to the foot can affect body alignment. The spine has curves designed to distributed body weight and wearing high heels changes these curves.

Other types of shoes that don’t provide enough or any cushion include sandals, flip-flops and cowboy boots. In other words, choose well-cushioned shoes to reduce the odds of getting back pain.

Backpacks Causing Back Pain

Although mostly older people suffer from back problems, children can develop them from carrying heavy backpacks packed with books, calculators, notebooks and other school supplies. Usually, kids walk bent over from the strain of carrying too much weight on their backs and shoulders. According to a Children’s article, there are students who carry as much as 30% of their body weight. Besides a child complaining of back pain, another sign of the problem is a change in posture such as a child leaning either backward, forward or to the side. Excessive redness on shoulders is another sign that a backpack is too heavy. An alternative to heavy backpacks is pulling a small luggage on rollers such as those used when flying.

Poor Posture and Fatigue

Bad posture, whether lying, standing or sitting, causes the back to be more susceptible to back pain. Fatigue is another cause of poor posture leading to back pain. When the spine isn’t properly aligned muscles, spinal joints and ligaments are placed under additional stress causing back pain. The most common type of back pain from poor posture is lower back pain because the lower back supports the majority of the body’s weight. Poor posture can also lead to upper back pain such as people who slouch.

Stress and Back Pain

Back pain can be caused from emotional factors, as well as physical problems. Stress from work or home situations can do more than just cause mental frustration. These stressors can also cause back problems. According to Big Back, there’s a significant link between stress and back pain. That’s because stress causes stress hormones to be released which increases the perception of pain. These stress hormones also leads to muscle tightening with muscles becoming so tense they can cause pain spasms with neck and back muscles being especially sensitive to stress effects.

It’s usually not too late to improve a bad back problem; however, it’s important not to ignore symptoms of back pain. As soon as symptoms of back problems surface, it’s vital to seek help and make needed adjustments. Correcting the problem may include the help of a doctor or health care professional.

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