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Frozen Shoulder

frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder affects only about two percent of the population but can greatly impact day to day life events such as brushing hair, opening doors or reaching up to retrieve something from a top shelf. It is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60, and, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, can also strike people with diabetes, thyroid problems, Parkinson's disease or cardiac disease.

Dr. Jennifer Solomon, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, which is well-known for its treatment of frozen shoulder, says, "It is also extremely common in perimenopausal women."

This suggests hormonal changes may cause joint stiffness associated with frozen shoulder.

The disorder often develops slowly, and in three stages.

Stage One: Pain increases with movement and is often worse at night. There is a progressive loss of motion with increasing pain. This stage lasts approximately 2 to 9 months.

Stage Two: Pain begins to diminish, and moving the arm is more comfortable. However, the range of motion is now much more limited, as much as 50 percent less than in the other arm. This stage may last 4 to 12 months.

Stage Three: The condition begins to resolve. Most patients experience a gradual restoration of motion over the next 12 to 42 months; surgery may be required to restore motion for some patients.

No one has yet to pinpoint the exact cause of frozen shoulder. However, it likely involves an underlying inflammatory process and can develop after leaving the shoulder immobile for any period of time, such as after surgery or an injury.

A medical history and physical exam, including X-rays can usually diagnose frozen shoulder. Treatment options include ibuprofen and cortisone injections. Steroids can significantly reduce inflammation and pain and increase range of motion.

Physical therapy is also often recommended, and consists of stretching or range-of-motion exercises. Therapy can be conducted by a trained and licensed therapist or in the comfort of home without supervision. Surgery is seen as a last resort should conventional methods be unsuccessful.

The recently held 75th Annual Meeting Podium Presentations by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons concluded that frozen shoulder is often misdiagnosed when the real culprit to pain and loss of motion is a tumor localized inside the bone or in the scapular region. These surgeons cautioned that a misdiagnosis can cause a significant delay in treatment. Patients should ask their physicians to consider all options.

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Human Hair Strange Facts and Possible Problems

human hair
Hair is something that most people take for granted. However, unexpected changes should be noted and if necessary, a doctor should be consulted. In their book, Body Signs, Joan Liebmann-Smith and Jacqueline Nardi Egan list some of the signs to look out for as well as the problems they could indicate.

Changes in Hair Texture

Hair contains a large number of minerals and is affected by a person’s age, sex, race, area of residence and hair products used. Forensic analysis can reveal certain poisons that may pass into the hairs. Dry brittle hair and split ends may be a sign of too much sun and swimming or chemical treatments but can also be a sign of an underactive thyroid, stress and poor diet.
In women, pregnancy and menopause can cause hair to become thicker, more or less oily and to curl or straighten.

Changes in Hair Color

The most common change to hair color is the process of turning grey and then white as color pigments decrease as the person ages. This is a normal consequence of age but there are other factors that can cause a change in hair color:
  • Chemotherapy often causes hair loss – and when the hair begins to grow again, it may be a different color for a few months
  • A green tinge in hair can be a sign that the swimming pool is over-chlorinated. It can also be caused by copper water pipes feeding into the pool. In rare cases, green hair can be caused by mercury poisoning
  • Striped hair manifests as bands of hair that is blonde, grey or reddish and is caused by severe nutritional deficiencies
  • Prematurely grey hair can be a sign of various disorders including pernicious anemia and Graves’ disease

Changes in Hair Growth

Human hair grows about a half inch each month. The average person will shed about 50 to 100 hairs a day which is normal. About 90% of hair is in a growing stage at any one time, while 10% will be in a resting phase.
  • The medical term for abnormal hair loss is alopecia. This is an autoimmune disorder and can cause partial or total hair loss
  • Chemotherapy attacks rapidly dividing cancer cells but also stops hair growth. New growth normally begins within a few months of the completion of chemotherapy
  • Hormonal imbalance and disorders can cause hair loss
  • Poor diet or an excess or deficiency of certain foods can cause hair loss
Hair is a sign of beauty and people spend money on keeping it looking good. Problems with hair can be distressing and may need medical investigation. The most common problems involve hair color, hair texture and hair growth. If a change or condition appears suddenly and there is no apparent reason for it, it is best to visit a doctor.

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Human Eyes - Strange Facts and Health Related Problems

human eyes

As well as conveying emotion, eyes can reveal a surprising amount about a person’s health and age. Doctors always check eyes during a physical examination as they can reflect disease and other problems. In their book, Body Signs, Joan Liebmann-Smith and Jacqueline Nardi Egan discuss some interesting facts about eyes.

The Skin around the Eyes

The skin below the eye is thinner than in other parts of the body and for this reason it often appears dark as the blood is closer to the surface. If the dark circles are more pronounced than usual, this could be due to aging, medications such as aspirin, eczema, hormonal issues, allergies and excess time in the sun.

Bags and swelling under the eyes can be caused by crying, hormonal changes during menstruation and pregnancy, alcohol and certain medicines. A more serious cause is an underactive thyroid.

Occasionally small growths appear on the eyelids. These may be yellowish in color and are caused by fatty deposits under the skin.

Trauma to the nose can affect the skin around the eyes causing swelling, bruising and discoloring.

Problems with the Eyeballs

Many diseases and conditions can be identified by looking into someone’s eyes. Here are some of the problems to be aware of:
  • Bulging eyes can be a harmless family trait or a sign of an overactive thyroid. The excess hormones produced by the thyroid cause the flesh and tissues in and around the eye to swell, making it bulge out of the socket
  • Bloodshot eyes occur when the blood vessels in the eye dilate or become inflamed. This can be caused by crying, air-conditioning, alcohol, anticoagulant medication and ocular rosacea
  • Jaundice causes the whites of the eyes to turn yellow. Other conditions such as pancreatic cancer, sickle cell anemia and yellow fever can produce the same effect
  • A yellowish white arc around the iris is often seen in older people. These are formed from cholesterol deposits and don’t affect vision
  • Wilson’s disease which is caused by an excess of copper in the body is signified by the appearance of gold, rust or greenish gold rings in the cornea
  • Runny eyes can be caused by allergies and Grave’s disease. Dry eyes may be the result of a dry windy climate and reactions to medication such as antihistamines, antidepressants and antihypertensives
Doctors always check a patient’s eyes as they can reveal subtle signs of illness and disease. The skin around the eye can also indicate health problems and should be examined as well. While many eye problems are minor, others are a sign of a serious illness. For this reason, it is important to monitor any changes in the eyes and the surrounding skin.

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