March 25, 2013

Knee Injury Treatments

People say that when your knee health goes down the drain, so does everything else. Knee injuries are painful and debilitating. We rely on our knees for walking, standing, running, and just about any other movement; so, it is important to take precautions when doing anything that involves your knees.

What are some of the most common causes of knee pain? It’s usually due to two reasons: direct blows to the knees and sudden movements beyond a knee’s normal range of motion.

Often knees receive abuse slowly over time. Severe knee injuries include bone bruises and damage to the cartilage or ligament. Knee injuries typically occur when playing sports or exercising, and due to old age.

Treatment for knee pain depends on the cause and gravity of the damage done to the knee. Doctors often prescribe medication to relieve pain and to treat underlying conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Over the counter medication such as glucosamine and chondroitin are not prescription required, and are becoming more popular alternatives.

Therapy is often the next recommended form of treatment. There are two types of therapy for knees: physical therapy and orthotics/bracing therapy.

Physical therapy focuses on balance and strengthening the muscles around your knee. This process is often slow, but highly effective. Orthotics and bracing therapy use arch support to transfer pressure away from the side of the knee, while braces protect and support the knee.

Aside from medication and therapy, Corticosteroids and Hyaluronic acid injections may be beneficial for a knee injury. Corticosteroids are directly injected into a patient’s knee joint to reduce symptoms of arthritis and pain. Hyaluronic acid is a fluid found in healthy knee joints. It can also be injected into a patient’s knee, to reduce pain, provide lubrication to the joint, and reduce inflammation.

Surgery is a final, and sometimes the only option, for knee pain. Types of surgery include arthroscopic surgery, partial knee replacement surgery, and total knee replacement surgery.

Keep the following tips in mind if you or a loved one experiences a knee injury:

• Elevating the knee reduces swelling
• Compression prevents fluid build up
• Ice reduces pain and inflection

The most important thing one can do when experiencing knee pain is to rest in order to prevent further damage.

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March 13, 2013

Four Myths About Kidney Disease

Filed under: health,Kidney — Tags: , , — @ 9:00 am

Did you know that it’s National Kidney Month? Your kidneys are just as important as other organs in your body, like the heart. Without them functioning properly, you could face serious life threatening health risks.

In the spirit of spreading some kidney awareness love, here are some of the most common myths about Kidney disease.

1. People suffering with kidney disease should drink a lot of water.

A function of the kidneys is to balance fluid in the body. However, when one experiences kidney failure, there will be excess water in the body. The excess water can lead to other health concerns such as increased blood pressure and heart disease. Moreover, excess water in the body can be dangerous because it will cause the body to swell, and the water could settle in the lungs. This could be life threatening. The amount of fluids that an individual with kidney disease should consume varies from patient to patient. Consult a doctor before adjusting your fluid intake.

2. My blood pressure will naturally become higher as I age, so I don’t need to worry about my blood pressure affecting my kidneys.

At any age, a healthy blood pressure should read 120/80. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney disease in all age groups, but in seniors, it is the primary cause of kidney disease. With high blood pressure, the job of your kidneys becomes harder. If your kidneys cannot function properly, then waste and toxins will build up inside of you.

3. The only way to know if your kidneys are not functioning properly is to get a blood test.

While a blood test can help to confirm whether or not your kidneys are not functioning properly, there are physical symptoms that you can look out for. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Keep in mind that these physical signs could be indicators of many health issues aside from kidney disease. If you are worried, consult a doctor.

4. Dialysis patients cannot travel.

In the US and many other countries, there are many dialysis centers in which you can receive treatment. Just make sure that you call ahead of time to schedule an appointment. To make your trip enjoyable, you should also be taking good care of your health prior to a trip. This will help avoid exhaustion and other health related issues. If you are planning to make travel plans, be sure to talk to your doctors so that they can help you with the travel preparations.

For more information about National Kidney Month visit the National Kidney Disease Education Program.

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