Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Other on April 29th, 2011

Dysphagia is the medical terminology when referring to difficulties in swallowing and is caused by strokes and related illnesses and damages in the central nervous system. Although a minor problem that can be easily remedied, dysphagia may, at times, take on serious proportions with fatal consequences. Pill forms of medication are difficult for dysphagia patients to swallow, so liquid medications are used in substitute to solve this problem.

To continually ensure the administration of correct dosage, all liquid medicines come with special measuring spoons. Since regular teaspoons are not of standard sizes, it was revealed during a recent study that the dosage could vary greatly when the special spoon supplied with the medication was not utilized. If you are having trouble using the spoon that comes with your medicine, ask your pharmacist for a medicine cup or oral syringe in order to measure your dosage as accurately as possible.

It is necessary for liquid formulations to be designed a bit differently that tablets so that patients receive the proper dosage without the need to consume large quantities of liquid. It must also include ingredients that mask the taste of the drug which frequently is bitter and foul tasting. The normal dose for children is usually no more than 4 millilitres, but adults will usually need to take the medication in a larger dosage. The medicine comes in a syrup solution and has sweeteners and other flavours that hide the otherwise bad taste of the medicine; these types of medicines are normally thicker, as a thick syrup is not as likely to spill or be accidentally inhaled. Furthermore, it might have additional ingredients that make sure the medication stays in the liquid so the medication will work properly.

Medication must be stored properly and safely. It is essential that dosage and timing instructions are followed closely and that any leftover medication is taken to a pharmacy for proper disposition.

The very act of swallowing is quite complicated because it is caused by a reflex neurological action that is managed by the brain. It involves the act of masticating food until it forms a small, soft ball of food called a bolus. The bolus must then be moved into the pharynx where some small, automatic muscle movements work together to get the food into the oesophagus, or food pipe, and into the stomach. Everything happens when the body, at the same time, prohibits foods and liquids from going into the wind pipe and lungs. The whole act of swallowing is maintained by different locations in the brain and if any one of these locations is injured, for example by a stroke, this can cause dysphagia.

There are many medical conditions that could cause the sufferer to experience difficulty swallowing. In order to develop a proper treatment plan that will work, it is critical to find out why the patient has developed this problem. Stroke dysphagia is the most common culprit. Liquid medication and food have alleviated post-stroke problems in case of a number of patients. Although most cases of swallowing difficulties can be alleviated by exercises, there do exist some chronic cases that require feeding tubes.

When the dysphagia becomes so painful that the person is not able to swallow liquid medicine or food, then it is time for either a temporary, or perhaps permanent, feeding tube that will need to be inserted. When other treatments fail to work, this is a final option. Prior to reaching this phase, the reduction of the amount of food put into the mouth, thoroughly chewing the food, adding additional liquid to the food or completely liquefying the food can all be a beneficial aid to swallowing. Since becoming distressed can exacerbate the issues, it is a good idea for the patient to remain as calm as possible.

Younger victims of dysphagia normally suffer from inflammatory muscle diseases, while in older victims dysphagia is linked to central nervous system issues, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, bulbar palsy and stroke. Achalasia is another possible cause as to why a patient may be experiencing difficulty when trying to swallow. This condition involves the oesophagus when it is not able to sufficiently relax and allow food and liquids to travel down to the stomach; when this happens, the food is regurgitated, the person loses weight and there is pain in the chest.

Dilation damage may occur to the oesophagus if dysphagia is not treated. When that happens, patients who could previously swallow liquids even though they had difficulty swallowing solid foods may eventually be unable to swallow liquids, leading to the necessity of inserting a feeding a tube to provide food and water.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Skin Care Treatments on April 28th, 2011

What more can be annoying than acne scars? When you’re done dealing with the primary problem of getting rid of the acne itself comes another problem of getting rid of acne scars. If you’re financially lucky and willing, there are lots of cosmetic procedures that can be done out there to permanently erase the remnants of your acne and here are some of them:

1. Chemical Peel – This is probably the most popular procedure to get rid of acne scars. The topmost layer of the skin is removed with the aid of chemicals, revealing a new skin underneath. It aims to lighten the discoloration of the scars. However, when opting for this treatment, one should consider the type of peeling appropriate because excessive peeling can burn the skin and can lead to irritation.

2. Dermabrasion – This treatment also involved the shedding of the topmost layer of the skin like chemical peel but with the use of a rotating brush revealing a younger and smoother skin. The downside of dermabrasion is that it may take several sessions before the changes to be noticed.

3. Laser Treatment – Laser Treatment aims to heal the damaged skin underneath the surface of the skin and recent studies has been done and this might also have the capacity to prevent future formations of acne.

4. Soft Tissue Augmentation – For severe scars, this non-surgical treatment is advised. Fillers such as fat are injected to the area, filling out the hallowed parts. Results may also take a while because of the healing period.

These medical treatments, although suggested by most doctors are not yet proven to provide 100% desirable results. As with any other surgery, it is set to have drawbacks such as pain and infection for the patient.

As for the price range, treatments of course are a case-to-case basis depending on the doctor and severity of the patient’s situation.

It is equally important to discuss the long-term effects as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure with your doctor. Do not hesitate to ask questions and clarifications before undergoing a procedure to ensure the safety and successfulness of the method and think thoroughly before making any decisions.

There is actually a much more cost-efficient way to prevent scarring and it is by treating the acne problem ahead of time. I have found a great product that does just that. It is a comprehensive acne treatment system which believes that curing the inside is as important as curing the outside.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on April 27th, 2011

More than 70 percent of adult Americans have neck pain at one point or another in their lives. The human anatomy itself makes us prone to injuries to joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles in the neck. Because the head is rather heavy sitting at the top of the spine, strain injuries are common. However, proper postures, strengthening exercises, stretching and regular visits to the chiropractor help to reduce or prevent the incidence of pain.

Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain can be just a mild annoyance distracting you from your day, or severe enough to incapacitate you to the point that movement is not possible.

  • One cause of minor neck pain in poor posture during activities we do every day, such as reading a book, watching television, using a computer, or talking on the telephone.
  • Propping the telephone between the shoulder and jaw, instead of holding it in your hand, puts stress on the neck.
  • Watching television while lying on the couch can be bad also, if your head is propped at an awkward angle for a long time.
  • In addition, hanging your head over a book while reading at a desk or table or having a computer monitor that is below eye level contributes to neck pain.

Avoiding these stresses on the neck and getting plenty of rest relieves minor neck within a day or two.

If neck pain does not go away or continues to come back, it could signal that there is a more serious problem. A trained healthcare professional such as a doctor of chiropractic medicine (DC) can help to diagnose possible conditions such as degeneration of the vertebrae, osteoarthritis, injuries such as whiplash, joint restrictions, congenital malformations, meningitis and tumors. Your chiropractor may suggest chiropractic adjustments, natural anti-inflammatory supplements, massage, strengthening and stretching exercises, or a combination of treatments. In some cases, referral to an orthopedic specialist may be necessary.

Most Important, Prevention

The best treatment is prevention when it comes to neck pain. Examine your everyday posture. If you tend to slouch while watching television, or lie awkwardly on the couch, consider changing to a chair that helps support good posture habits. Getting a headset for constant telephone use on the job prevents strain on the neck. Consider using a book prop while reading or studying. Be sure your computer monitor is at eye level by elevating it on shelf or stand.

If you have neck pain that is consistent for more than a day or two, the advice of a healthcare professional should be sought for proper diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors must complete a program of approximately 5000 hours before passing rigorous licensing examinations. Doctors of chiropractic specialize in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions and are trained to advise you on diet, exercise, and ergonomic strategies to help you avoid the most common risk factors for back and neck problems.

The musculature, ligaments, tendons and vertebrae provide for a wide range of movement of the neck; however the movements themselves (or a lack of movement) can cause problems. Doing strengthening and stretching exercises, paying close attention to posture, following ergonomic tips with everyday functions, and regular visits to the chiropractor helps to keep us pain free.

Having routine checkups and spinal adjustments with the chiropractor helps prevent problems with neck pain. In addition, avoiding neck pain triggers such as watching television in poor postural positions, straining the neck during telephone calls, slouching at the computer or having a monitor that is positioned below eye level will keep the neck healthier. Some tips to keep neck pain away throughout your day are:

  • Ask your chiropractor for tips and guidelines in improving everyday posture. Make a conscious effort to follow them.
  • Avoid hunching over a desk or table. Again, everyday posture plays a part. Put reading material at eye level with a book prop.
  • Consider using a headset if you spend long periods of time on the telephone. This eliminates neck strain from holding the telephone between your shoulder and chin.
  • Place your computer monitor at eye level, elevating it on a shelf or platform. This eliminates craning your neck and adding muscle stress.
  • Ask your chiropractor for exercises that you can do at home to strengthen and stretch neck muscles or to relieve muscle tightness.

Remember that neck pain that does not subside within a reasonable amount of time or tends to worsen may indicate more serious conditions. Disc or vertebrae degeneration can elevate to being more serious conditions. In cases of ongoing neck pain, seeking the advice of your chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment are advised.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in News on April 26th, 2011

Arkansas medical marijuana advocates begin petition

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) – Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana in Arkansas are hoping that 2012 is their lucky year.

After failed attempts to get the issue certified as a ballot initiative, a new group, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, has succeeded in clearing the first hurdle – getting Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to certify the proposal’s ballot language.

The next step starts on Tuesday when the group begins to collect the required minimum of 62,507 signatures from registered voters. The group has until July 6, 2012 to submit them to the attorney general’s office in order to qualify the proposal for the November 2012 general election ballot.

“We want to ensure that sick and dying patients in Arkansas have the ability to get the medicine they need and that is sometimes medical marijuana,” said Ryan Denham, campaign director for Arkansans for Compassionate Care.

But Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Family Council, a conservative group based in Little Rock, said that legalizing marijuana for medical use makes the drug more available for recreational use.

“Any individual who can acquire, grow or own his own marijuana is one step away from sharing with his friends who may not have any medical issues,” Cox said.
Mexican pharmacy
California was the first state to allow marijuana for medical use in 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since then, 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws.

In Arkansas, a medical marijuana initiative has never appeared on the statewide election ballot. A group tried to get the issue on the ballot in 2004 but failed to get enough signatures.

“I think public opinion has really shifted since then,” Denham said. “More people are supportive and we have a very diverse group of geographical volunteers to gather signatures.”

Signatures must come from at least 15 counties in the state. Denham says the group has more than 300 volunteers so far, along with 60 patients who are willing to share their stories in order to recruit more people to the cause.

Denham said the group modeled its legislation after Maine and Arizona laws.

Like those states, Denham said, Arkansas’ proposed legislation would have a strict list of conditions people must have to be able to use medical marijuana, such as cancer or AIDS.

California has faced problems with controlling its number of dispensaries, but Denham said the Arkansas bill would cap its number at 30 for the state.

“We wanted to avoid the pitfalls that we have seen in Colorado and California about how many dispensaries there are,” he said. “We also have a mechanism that allows cities and counties to ban dispensaries.”

Aside from dispensaries, patients who are sick and have been prescribed medical marijuana by a doctor could also grow their own plants with a limit of six at a time per patient.

Braham girl accidentally shot by father remains in critical condition

An 11-year old Braham girl remains in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center Monday morning, April 25, after being accidentally shot by her father on Thursday, April 21.

The Pine County Sheriff’s Office said that Jesse Montayne and his friend were target shooting outside with a .22-caliber pistol around 5:30 p.m. when the gun malfunctioned. When the gun was brought inside to be repaired it went off, accidently shooting Maddy Montanye in the head.

Reportedly the two men were in the living room when the gun discharged, and the girl was seated at the kitchen table. Other family members were present at the time of the incident.

According to Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole, Maddy was conscious when law enforcement arrived, and airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center.

A CaringBridge page has been set up and as of Monday morning nearly 300 people have signed the guestbook offering well-wishes and their support to the Montayne family, and nearly 6,000 people have visited the page.

Maddy underwent a five-hour surgery on Friday afternoon, in which surgeons removed two parts of her skull to relieve pressure and to allow her brain to swell without restriction. They also removed the bullet that was lodged in her brain.

A posting on CaringBridge late Sunday evening said doctors weened Maddy from a paralytic called Vecurom, which paralyzes her to allow her body to relax to reduce the pressure in her brain, and to allow her body to start to heal.

“When they did, Maddy responded to pain, her gag reflexes came back and Maddy tried to remove the breathing tube,” was written late Sunday on CaringBridge. “She also is also attempting to initiate breathing, which are all wonderful things.”

On Monday, a posting on CaringBridge said the pressure in Maddy’s brain is high, and the doctors administered Vecurom to try to reduce the pressure.

Sheriff Cole said the incident serves as an unfortunate reminder of the need for proper firearm safety. Cole said upon completion of the investigation the results will be presented to the county attorney to determine if charges are merited, but he said right now the primary concern is Maddy’s health.

Giffords given medical go-ahead to attend husband’s space launch

Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman gravely wounded by a bullet to the brain in a shooting outside a Tucson shopping center, has been given the medical go-ahead to attend the space shuttle launch commanded by her husband, doctors treating her said Monday.

A statement released by TIRR Memorial Hermann, where Giffords is undergoing rehab following the Jan.8 incident that left six others dead, said doctors considered her “medically able” to travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., for Friday’s launch.

Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, will command the space shuttle Endeavour when it lifts off Friday and he has repeatedly said she wants to be there to watch.

The hospital statement said Giffords was given the green light to travel last week and “medical preparations” had been made for her trip.

She will return to the hospital shortly after the launch.

Fire Evacuates Nursing Home Near UC Davis Medical Center

Emergency crews evacuated a long-term care facility next to UC Davis Medical Center Monday morning.

A fire broke out at Crestwood Manor along Stockton Boulevard just north of 2nd Avenue around 8 a.m. Fire officials report 72 people had to be evacuated from the facility.

The sprinklers were activated when the fire started, and kept the fire from spreading through the facility.

Crestwood Manor is a nursing home with room for about 130 people.

No one was injured in the fire or evacuation. Investigators are looking into what may have started the fire.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Asthma on April 21st, 2011

Imagine what it would be like to be fine one minute, a normal, healthy person with a full breath of air in your lungs. Then, after an innocent whiff of the “wrong” flower or pet or perfume, you’ve suddenly fighting for your next breath, gasping for life-giving air as your chest feels like it’s caught in a vise.

As many as 10 percent Americans know this feeling. They’re asthmatic. More than half the cases of asthma in children and young adults are allergic asthma. And most know the quickest relief comes from using their medication as directed, especially during an attack. But there are other ways to quickly control asthma.

Sip a cup of hot soup. Actually, any warm liquid may lessen the severity of asthma attacks and quickly relieve them when they occur. Cold liquids irritate bronchial tubes, while warm liquids have the opposite effect. Even during an attack, warm drinks can soothe it in 5 to 60 minutes. During the day of an attack, I recommend drinking between six and eight glasses of warm water or another drink, continuing even after the attack ends. Every day you should have at least four to six glasses. The more liquids you consume, the less thick your mucus will be. And you don’t wan thick mucus.

Have a cup of tea. That’s regular tea, not herbal. Regular coffee will work, too. The caffeine opens airways much like the inhalers used by asthmatics. The relief the caffeine brings isn’t as quick as that from an inhaler, but it’s just as effective-and a good thing to know if you have asthma and you forget to bring your inhaler. Cola will in a pinch, although if it’s cold it can irritate bronchial tubes.

Get a flu shot. Viruses are one of the key factors that trigger asthma attacks. So get a flu shot every year.

Take time to acclimate to temperature changes. Any extreme of weather can trigger an attack, so take 5 minutes or so to try to acclimate. If you’re coming from one extreme outside to another inside, stand in the foyer-or another place cooler than the rest of the building-for a few minutes to get your body used to the difference. And when it’s cold, take an extra minute or so to put mask or scarf over your face and cover your neck.

Evacuate during house cleanings. If you have asthma, leave the house while it’s being cleaned. And when the house is being painted, plan to take a full week’s vacation.

Take your medicine before gardening. You don’t have to give up gardening. Some asthmatics even report overcoming garden allergies altogether by faithfully pre-treating.

Free breathing at once. If you have an asthmatic child who’s unable to breath, lightly pound him on the back, using a cupped hand. This series of gentle blows can dislodge mucus that accumulates in the trachea and obstructs breathing. To boost this treatment’s effectiveness, make sure the child’s head is below his waist.

Uncork mucus with a hearty morning cough. The cough reflex shuts down during sleep, but a hearty morning cough uncorks much of the mucus that can accumulate overnight in the bronchial tree.

Use your inhaler properly. Between 20 and 75 percent of people who use metered-dose inhalers to relieve their asthma are using them incorrectly. You should place the inhaler about an inch and a half away from your mouth and begin breathing in before activating the inhaler. Hold your breath for 10 seconds and then breathe out normally.

Encourage kids to drink lots of liquids. Use a shot glass to trick kids into drinking more liquids than they might want. Children can be fooled into drinking the right amount of fluids by giving them a shot of liquid every 10 to 15 minutes.

Have a wheezing baby checked immediately. Don’t wait-run to your doctor if you hear your baby wheezing. Breathing problems in an infant can become critical in a matter of hours. A pregnant woman with asthma symptoms should call a doctor also; if she can’t breathe, neither can her baby.

Stick with methodical sports. Some exercise can trigger an asthmatic reaction that starts 6 or 7 minutes after exercise begins. But sport such as baseball, doubles in tennis, and golf are okay: They don’t require the constant prolonged movement that can cause an asthma attack.

Think positively to breathe positively. Asthma, like other chronic diseases such as migraines and pain syndromes associated with cancer, can be treated with biofeedback, self-hypnosis, and other relaxation techniques. And that can be done in about 25 minutes a day.

Meanwhile, a study from England showed that asthmatics who regularly practice yoga breathing exercises significantly improved their condition.

It’s the old business of mind over matter. The mind and body are highly connected, and thinking good thoughts and practicing positive imagery can improve some physical conditions. In past studies, we have found that some children who have learned self-hypnosis improved their asthma significantly. In a matter of a few days, you can learn self-hypnosis well enough to do the same.

Short of medication, what I often recommend for asthma is relaxation. What happens with asthma is you’re hungry for air so you panic and the panic tends to make asthma worse. Simply relaxing the way you usually relax is one of the best treatments you can give yourself-and relaxation can help soothe an asthma attack in about 15 to 20 minutes.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in News on April 20th, 2011

Senate-House committee puts in full-day over medical marijuana overhaul

A Senate-House conference committee on Tuesday was wrapping up its work and prepared to push out a much-amended bill to repeal Montana’s current medical marijuana law and replace it with one with far greater restrictions.

The six-member panel worked more than eight hours over two days to amend Senate Bill 423, by Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, who chaired the panel.

A key change adopted Tuesday was a definition for “severe chronic pain” for people eligible for medical marijuana.

It seeks to close what critics believe are current loopholes in the current law that have let thousands of people obtain medical marijuana cards by claiming severe or chronic pain.

Using language from the state Board of Medical Examiners, the committee defined it as “persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by a patient’s treating physician; and by objective proof of the etiology of the pain, including diagnostic tests that may include but are not limited to the results of an x-ray, computerized tomography or magnetic imaging, or confirmation of that diagnosis from a second physician independent of the treating physician who conducts a physical examination

The suggested language came from the state Board of Medical Examiners. However, Essmann added “who conducts a physical examination.”

Many pluses: A Pulitzer & an easy read

There is a new addition to Dr Akshay Anand’s collection of medical journals and books ‘ the Pulitzer Prize winning ‘The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,’ by Delhi-born Siddhartha Mukherjee. And some of the colleagues of this neuroscientist at PGI are also curious about this book that has bagged the coveted Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction for 2011, but Dr Akshay is not keen on lending it ‘ not until he has had his fill of it. ‘I want to read each chapter again and again, just like poetry,’ said the proud owner of the book.

Unlike other medical books with a lot of technical jargon, it is an interesting and easily comprehensible read.

And Dr Akshay has almost internalised this book as it is close to his heart. Though this doctor is not an oncologist, going through the book has left left him feeling what he has often felt as a scientist, being so close and yet far from that elusive cure, as medical science is still without an answer to the dreaded disease, cancer.

‘The book is so engrossing that I finished it in a day. Cancer has been presented as a character in it. It’s more a blend of literature and science. My take on this work is that it explores the need to link sciencelab with clinical work and popularize science through narratives,’ said Dr Akshay, who also edits the ‘Annals of Neurosciences.’

To take a break from the usual reading stuff like patients’ case histories and compilation of data on them, this award-winning book has brought a different genre of reading for PGI doctors. And some of them who like reading books that are out of syllabus, placed an order soon after the Pulitzer was announced. ‘I had heard about this book from a friend. But did not find time to read it. Now that it

is a Pulitzer winner I have placed an order,’ said Dr Meenu Singh, paediatrician at the PGI.

She said, ‘The latest book on medical fiction I read was ‘My Own Medicine,’ which is a personal account of a doctor, who suffers from cancer. These writings are interesting and reflective. We come face to face with life and death often and reading these works helps find a space for such feelings,’ she said.

First Hand Transplant Recipient on West Coast Introduced to Public Today

Six weeks after enduring 14 hours of surgery to attach a new hand to replace the one she’d lost in a car accident, hand transplant recipient Emily Fennell was introduced to the public at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

“I can wiggle the fingers and after hand therapy, I can pick up small objects,” said the 26-year-old Yuba City resident at a press conference sponsored by the medical school’s Hand Transplantation Program.

Fennell’s surgery, which was done at the medical center on March 4, was the first hand transplant done west of the Rocky Mountains. Only 12 other people have received hand transplants in the nation.

Fennell lost her right hand in a car accident in 2006. Her name had been withheld at her request until today.

As the director of the hand transplant program, Dr. Kodi Azari, noted, the surgery carries significant risks and is only for those persons who are healthy, recovered from the trauma of their injury both physically and mentally and who have had little success with prostheses.

“It’s not for everyone,” he said.

Chief among the risks, aside from those normally associated with an extensive surgery, is that Fennell will have to take immuno-suppressant drugs for the rest of her life so that her body doesn’t reject the hand. The drugs often carry side effects and will also make her more susceptible to infection. While Fennell did not elaborate on any side effects she has had, she did say that she had been made well aware of the risks.

“I decided that being made whole again out-weighed the risks,” she said.

Fennell, who currently works as an office assistant in an undisclosed county human resources department, said that she could type 45 words per minute left-handed. She hopes that she will be able to type both handed and plans to move up to a higher-level position in her department when she can. When asked, she said that she was considering a medial position.

For the immediate future, she remains an outpatient at UCLA, undergoing ongoing therapy for a full year as she trains her brain to accept the new hand and use it normally.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Dental Care on April 16th, 2011

Teeth whitening treatments have been growing substantially in popularity over the past two decades, and are now the most popular dental procedure performed in America today. People can have these procedures performed at a the Dental office or can purchase over the counter products to help restore a brighter shade of white to their teeth at home. It is common for teeth to stain over time from exposure to a variety of foods and drinks such as coffee, wine, and tea; smoking can also increase discoloration.
There are a variety of teeth whitening options available depending on your budget, preferred location, and preferred delivery system. Most dentists offer teeth whitening procedures that can be performed in the office, and some that can be administered by the patient at home. The in-office laser procedure uses concea bleaching gel, which applied to the patient’s teeth. After the teeth have been exposed to the gel for a sufficient period of time, an ultra-frequency beam of light is used to complete the process. The procedure is then repeated depending on the desired results.

It is important to note that laser teeth whitening can have uncomfortable after-affects for those with highly sensitive teeth. Patients have reported aching of the teeth being a common symptom following the procedure. This discomfort is generally not severe and has not affected the frequency in which this treatment is performed across the country. Following the treatment, a dosage of ibuprofen can help dull the aching and sensitivity for most patients.

Following in-office laser treatment you may opt to follow through with the home whitening system provided by your dentist. These home whitening kits are generally regarded to be more effective than most over the counter treatments, and use a custom molded dental tray that fits to each patient’s teeth uniquely. For the at home whitening kit a mold is first taken of the teeth, then a custom tray created. This tray is usually manufactured someplace else and shipped to the dental office once completed. Once the trays are created the procedure is similar to the in-office treatment sans the laser treatment. The patient fills the tray with peroxide gel, and soaks the teeth over a period of time. Increasing the soak time can improve results, but also may increase sensitivity after the treatment is complete.

In addition to in-office procedures such as laser teeth whitening and tray bleaching, patients also can choose from a variety of over the counter teeth whitening products to use anywhere they choose. Many toothpaste manufacturers offer teeth whitening treatments in the oral hygiene section of the drug or grocery store. Teeth whitening strips are a popular option for many people; with this product the patient applies pre-treated strips over the top and bottom front sides of the teeth. The strips are left on for a period of time depending on the product specifications. Some strips are complete in 15 minutes, while other strips are left on over night.

With the wide range of teeth whitening options available today, there is a treatment for almost anyone who feels that they would like to have a whiter smile. Consider how much whitening you really need, your budget, and your time frame before deciding on which option is right for you. Make sure to consult your dentist if not selecting an over the counter teeth whitening option.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Anxiety on April 14th, 2011

Treatments for children with anxiety disorders mostly depend on the type of anxiety disorder your child has. Choosing the right treatment is crucial in curing anxiety disorder comprehensively. First of all, you need to know what kind of anxiety disorder your child has before choosing the treatment for it. My Diagnosing Anxiety Disorder in Children article can be useful in deciding on what kind of anxiety disorder your child possesses.

When you have clear and accurate knowledge about the type of anxiety disorder your child has you can read blow to find out the treatment your child needs.

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Children with excessive worry and fear about variety of events including those in the past, present, and future mostly have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (also referred as GAD). Most of the time experiencing high anxiety causes interference with child’s daily life and casual relations.

To cure this kind of disorder the parents or guardians can resort to few methods of treatments such as:

  • Educating their children about the nature of anxiety and about ways to identify, evaluate, and change anxious thoughts. This method can be supplemented with trainings in relaxation strategies.
  • Teaching to recognize the physiological symptoms of anxiety to children with Generalized Anxiety Disorder can also prove to be a successful method. In this method positive self-talk instead of negative can be encouraged. The parents should provide rewards and prices for child’s success.

2. Panic Disorder Treatment
Panic disorders are one of the anxiety disorders that threaten life greatly. They’re characterized by recurring panic attacks. The repeated episodes of panic attacks causes the sufferers to live in a state of worry and concern. The people who experience panic disorder tend to avoid going out or engaging in situations that caused them panic attacks before.

Panic attacks comprise of an episode of fearful thoughts and physical symptoms like pounding heart and not being able to breathe easily.

There are a number of treatments for panic disorder and panic attacks.

  • One of the treatments that is widely used and regarded highly is cognitive behavioral therapy. Mostly this method is used for the adult patients and the results show a rising trend in the success of the treatment. By cognitive behavior therapy children are taught ways to identify and change dysfunctional thought patterns thus, erasing the fear and worry the sufferers have in their mind about the panic attack episodes and their recurrence. Patients learn to identify automatic anxious thoughts that trigger panic attacks and learn to change these thoughts, this way the patients take control of their mind, stopping their anxiety and panic to take control of their minds.
  • Another method of treatment can be exposure therapy. Children are taught specialized techniques and methods to reduce their fear of anxiety and panic in this therapy. With the guidance of therapists children can enter to situations that they formerly avoided and learn to cope with their “bad thoughts” in these situations, ending up thriving.

3. Separation Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Separation anxiety disorder is mostly seen in younger children. The symptoms of this disorder is unwillingness to separate from parents or caregivers. The threat of separation from child’s comfort zone mostly leads to high distress and anxiety.

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one of the treatment methods for this kind of anxiety disorder. This treatment method focuses on teaching children some skills to fight their distress and fear of separation. Kids are taught of recognizing and identifying their thoughts of anxiety provoking separation situations. They are taught to devise strategies to cope with these situations and stop triggering anxiety. In addition to this, strategies like modeling, role-playing and relaxation trainings. Also, cooperation of parents with the therapist in the healing process is regarded highly important and known to increase the speed of the treatment much faster.

4. Phobia Treatment
Children with extraordinary and intense phobias that have irrational roots suffer from phobia disorder. These phobias might be for thins like escalators, bugs, airplanes or situations like sleeping in the dark, going to school. The sufferers won’t realize that fear of such objects and situations have unreasonable roots. Thus, they would become highly anxious and stressed when they are confronted by the feared object ore situation.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also used to treat phobias. Treatment methods can be varied from relaxation training, use of imaginary and token reinforcement implemented by parents. The tokens can be a lot of things from praises to stickers and charts. Also, the children are taught to replace their anxious and bad thoughts with better and more positive thoughts.
  • Exposure Therapy is also used to treat children with phobias and this treatment can prove to be more useful than Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In this method children are gradually introduce to the situations they fear of. Of course, this method should be used by trained therapist.
  • Another treatment could be hypnotherapy, which, helps people to change and reprogram their subconscious patterns, that are usually a part of the phobia. When the patterns that lead to phobia are fixed the fears are minimized.
  • NLP can also be used to treat phobias, however, it is mostly used with adult patients. From the NLP’s point of view, phobias are the results of programs or “constructs” that we have created. These, constructs don’t work really well and cause problems in the life of the sufferers. NLP aims to re-program the thought patterns of the patients. Thus, changing the feared thoughts to neutral thoughts. NLP is helpful in the sense of its rapidity and effectiveness. Interventions and exercises are easy to use and have a good effect.

5. Selective Mutism Treatment
The specific characteristic of selective mutism is the failure of talking about a specific social subject, where speaking is expected. This situation can occur in school with children. Diagnosing a person with selective mutism mostly means a person’s failure to speak in the specific situation intervenes with their social or educational life.

  • The treatment of selective mutism is mostly undertaken by professional clinicians. They start the treatment by trying to understand the reason, the root and the causes of the problem. After the clinician has a clear view of the problem, the treatment continues in training of verbal mastery.
  • Other devices of treatment can vary from role playing to changing anxious thoughts about speaking.
  • Also, methods of relaxation is implemented in the mental arsenal of the patient.
Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on April 9th, 2011

The spine is comprised of vertebrae which have a rubbery cushion in between them that serves as shock absorbers. This rubbery cushion is called the spinal disc and it makes the spine flexible. When this disc is damaged it can protrude and even break open. When this occurs it is termed a slipped disc or ruptured disc.

Slipped disc can occur in any parts of the spine but it commonly occurs at the lower part of the spine where it holds more weight. It rarely occurs at the neck or cervical spine or at the upper spine or thoracic spine.

The causes of slipped disc may be due to disc wear and tear, where the disc becomes less elastic and less flexible. Another cause is trauma to the spine, which can cause cracks at the outermost layer of the disc and can allow the gel inside the disc to move out, creating a protrusion of the disc.

Symptoms of slipped disc may vary on what part of the spinal disc is affected. Slipped disc located at the lower back may cause numbness and pain in the buttocks and down the leg. It is sometimes called sciatica. The pain will only occur if the slipped disc presses a particular nerve. If it does not press any nerve, back pain may be experienced or there might be no pain at all.

Slipped disc can be diagnosed by undergoing tests such as MRI or CT scan. This is for the physician to view and verify the herniated disc and to rule out other suspected health problems.

The treatment goal for slipped disc includes alleviation of pain, relieving weakness and numbness on the lower back and leg caused by a pressure on the spinal cord. It also includes promotion to restore normal routine, preventing additional injury to the back and reducing the possibility of having disability.

Having knowledge in taking care of the spine is important. Your doctor may recommend a physical therapist that will help you in strengthening your muscles. They may also provide training in controlling pain and symptoms.

Resting is important when severe pain is experienced. But it is also advice to do some mild movement to avoid weakening of the muscles. Hot compress on the area affected is also helpful. Ask for medication from your doctor that could help in treating the symptoms. It may not cure the herniated disc but it will help in treating the symptoms. This medicine includes muscle relaxants, antidepressants, opioids and corticosteroids.

Slipped disc or herniated disc will be remedied in time. Most of the people who have herniated disc get well after a month while others might get better after six months. The recovery time depends on the severity of the condition and the individual. When you have herniated disc, being patient is important. Follow the treatment method to cure symptoms and if symptoms are still not treated, you may need to visit your doctor for another method.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on April 8th, 2011

There is no comparable pain to that of a backache. Especially the lower back which is a strong working part of your anatomy. The low back provides a number of functions for the body. It provides us with the ability to move and twist our back. Your low back when supportive allows us to be quite flexible. Your lower back also provided coverage for certain body tissues like your spine. The lower back also works to provide us with support structurally. It keeps our back straight and aligned. When we are standing or moving the lower back is in full support of our upper torso. So the lower back really has a lot of duties. Naturally when we are experiencing lower back pain it affects most other parts of our body. There are two types of low back pain. There is acute pain, which is short term. It usually lasts a few days to a week and can become serious or chronic if left untreated. Then there is chronic back pain which is defined as lower back pain lasting longer than 3 weeks. Let’s go over a few of the causes of lower back pain and the suggested treatments for them.

One cause of lower back pain is pregnancy. If you have ever been pregnant you can relate. With the baby positioning themselves in the womb and the natural curve of your spinal area moving this can lead to back pain. Of course one of the treatments would be to not get pregnant. As well it’s important to stay healthy physically during pregnancy. The will aid in keeping your back loose and hopefully less chance to injure.

Shingles as well can lead to back pain. Shingles is an acute infection of the nerves generally at certain levels of the spine. This is always evident on one side of the body only. Treatments for shingles can be lotions, medications, lighting treatment close to that of a tanning booth, and even the use of pain patches.

There is also lumbar pain which can be acute or chronic. As mentioned before acute meaning short term and chronic meaning longer lasting. A lumber strain is a stretch of the nerves, muscles or tendons of the back and can be very painful. Lumbar strain is considered one of the most common of the back pains. This can be caused by overuse, underuse and improper use. Body mechanics play an important role in ensuring you don’t strain your back. There are many treatments for a lumbar strain. Massage would be a nice natural way to alleviate the pain. Rest is a big one. Get plenty of rest and give the area time to heal. You can also take medication to try and relieve the pain.

There is one thing for sure lower back pain hurts. There are things we can try to do to prevent as well. Body mechanics is the key here. Be realistic with what you expect your body to do.

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