Basic First Aid for Fractured Lower Limbs

Our bones have high compressive strength but poor tensile strength. This means that it can take forces acting on it in a compressive manner. However, it will crack or break if high impact forces are acted on it suddenly. Our bones also store essential minerals such as calcium and will release to the body when it detects a calcium deficit. A fracture is an orthopaedic condition that is hard to diagnose without proper radiography methods and when a fracture is suspected, it should be treated as a fracture unless otherwise diagnosed. Green stick fractures are partially broken bones and it is a partial fracture while a complete fracture occurs when the bone is snapped into two pieces. A compound fracture is indicative by a protrusion of the fractured bone through the skin. Immediate first aid should be administered to it.

Remove items on the injured area

The first thing that should be done is the removal of items around the injured area. If an ankle fracture is suspected, the shoes and socks should be removed immediately. This is because the ankle will start to swell up immediately and the longer the delay is, the more swollen it will be. This will lead to difficulties in removing the shoes later. If the injured person is wearing jeans, you will need to cut open the bottom of the jeans to allow excess space.

Stop the bleeding and disinfect the wound

Attempt to stop the bleeding using sterile gauze. Use disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic creams or iodine to cleanse the area and if there is foreign debris, it should be rinsed under water. If bone protrusion or awkward bone locations are observed, you should not attempt to move the patient or it may lead to more serious complications.

Immobilise the patient

You can immobilise the patient using items that are nearby. Things such as ski poles, rods, thick tree branches can be used to superimpose them on the inside and outside of the leg. The main reason behind this is to prevent any further movements of the injured part and minimise further tissue damages. Whenever possible, always try to get them onto a stretcher.

Ice pack

After you have done the above steps, use ice packs to bring down the swelling and reduce inflammation. This will help to reduce pain and make things more bearable. If it appears too serious, you should seek medical help for the patient immediately.

Above is some of the basic first aid for fractured lower limbs. If the fracture appears mild, medical help is often not required. To further reduce swelling, pain relief medication can be taken orally.

6 Medications Used For Orthopaedic Treatments

Pain is often the first symptom of most orthopaedic problems. A proper diagnosis followed by prompt treatment will need to be administered to patients in the shortest possible¬† time. However, not all orthopaedic problems will need to be treated by surgery. Medications can help in most cases to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain and allow the patient to continue to lead a high quality lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some of the common medications that are used for orthopaedic treatments.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to help in pain relief and reduce swelling, tenderness, redness and stiffness following an injury that affects the joints or bones. Common NSAIDS include aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol. For minor injuries such as a sprain or strain, NSAIDS are usually sufficient to control and heal it.

Anti-depressants

An orthopaedic injury can be a huge blow for most people, especially those who are active in sports. It can result in the need to make huge changes in daily activities and this can cause depression is some people. As a result, anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft and Zyban are often prescribed to patients who are at a higher risk of depression.

Anti-seizure

Injuries to the nerves can cause a lot of unwanted and sudden pain. Most of the time, the pain can be described as a sudden stabbing pain and this will eventually lead to seizure. Therefore, anti-seizure drugs will be prescribed to patients to prevent this from happening. Common anti-seizure drugs include Gabapentin, Carbamazepine and Topiramate.

Pain relievers

Pain relievers help to reduce inflammation and bring down swelling and tenderness. Pain relievers act by either blocking the nerve from sending information to the brain or changing the sensory meaning of pain,  reducing pain dramatically.

Corticosteroids

A single corticosteroids injection can help to provide pain relief for up to 6 months. Corticosteroids treatments can be administered either orally or through injections and injections are the most preferred method as the drug is passed directly to the inflamed tissue. Corticosteroids are not meant to be used for a long period of time as they can cause serious side effects.

Anti-osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs mainly due to ageing. This is due to the reduced intake of calcium and that causes the bones to get thinner and thinner. Over time, it will lead to a reduced bone density and increase the risk of bone fractures. Anti-osteoporosis drugs act by injecting a concentrated amount of calcium and bone forming cells to reduce bone thinning and increase calcium content.

Drugs are prescribed based on many different factors such as medical history, allergy, age and severity of orthopaedic injury. Instead of surgery, some minor injuries can be easily treated with medication.

5 Applications of Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy or more commonly known as Shockwave therapy is a non invasive medical treatment that sends acoustic waves to injured parts of the body with the intent to reduce pain and promote healing. The shockwaves used for Shockwave therapy is similar to those used to break down kidney stone, but it is only at one tenth of the intensity, rendering it rather safe for the body. There are many uses of shockwave therapy and it can be widely applied to treat different injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the common applications of Shockwave Therapy.

Decrease pain

Shockwave therapy promotes hyperaemia which is actually the increase in blood flow to a targeted part of the body. Hyperaemia is the basis of shockwave therapy and the increase in blood flow provides extra energy and loosens up the muscles and path interactions between the actin and myosin. This will reduce muscle tension and decrease pain.

Dispersion of substance P

Substance P is a neuropeptide in the body and it functions as a transmitter and modulator for nerve communication. The main purpose of substance P is to modulate inflammation. Shockwave therapy can efficiently disperse substance P and increase the secretion of histamine. Dispersion of substance P also helps to reduce pain in the affected area and reduce the risk of developing oedema or fluid retention.

Increases collagen production

Collagen is the main protein that is found in the connective tissues throughout the body. It works together with elastin to provide structure and flexibility to the skin. Collagen is also the pre-requisite for any repair mechanism in the body that is due to a damaged ligament structure. Shockwave therapy will help to stimulate collagen production in the deeper layers of the tissues and this is something that you can never achieve just by taking collagen supplements.

Increases metabolism

Shockwave therapy removes nociceptive metabolites and helps to increase oxygen levels in the body and increasing the energy source. It also helps to reduce histamine which is acidic and increases the metabolism rate in the body.

Plantar fasciitis

Shockwave therapy will over stimulate nerves that are responsible for the transmission of pain to the brain, reducing pain immediately. It will also trigger the healing mechanism of the body and increases the formation of blood vessels in the affected area, speeding up the recovery process.

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment method that can be used for treating soft tissue injuries. Since it is non-invasive, there is minimal downtime and a hospital stay is not required. However, shockwave therapy may be painful for some but it is otherwise tolerable.

Nutrition Secrets for Ligament Tear Recovery

The ligament is a fibrous tissue and its main function is to connect bones to another bone and prevent abnormal joint motions. Injuries to ligaments will take a long time to heal. However, good nutrition can help to speed up the recovery process. The vitamins and minerals in food can help to facilitate healing.

Proteolytic enzymes

The first step of any injury is to reduce inflammation in the region and foods that contain Proteolytic enzymes are especially useful due to its anti-inflammatory properties which help to eliminate protein from the injured region. Foods that are rich in proteolytic enzymes include pineapples and ginger roots.

Zinc

Zinc is another mineral that is excellent in combating inflammation. The way our body works is fascinating. When one part of the body is injured, it will divert all the zinc in the body to the injured part to counter inflammation. As such, other parts of the body will have a zinc deficiency. In order to prevent zinc deficiency, it is important to consume foods that are rich in zinc such as oysters, wheat germ and veal liver.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has excellent anti-inflammatory properties as well and when worked together with Proteolytic enzymes, it provides an even better result. Vitamin C is not a vitamin that they body can self synthesize. As such, patients will need to consume it in order for the body to possess it. Vitamin C is also required to produce collagen in the body and this is important in ligament healing. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli and tomatoes.

Protein

Protein is the building block of our body and it is required by the body for any healing process. Protein can easily be obtained from foods such as tofu, meat, eggs and soy products. Protein deficiency will lead to various ailments in the body.

Calories

Although the body’s metabolism is low during injury, there is still a need to consume sufficient calories on a daily basis. Calories are required in the healing process and if patients decide to cut down severely on their calorie intake, this will slow down the recovery process.

Ligament injuries will require physical therapy, surgery and proper nutrition to ensure a speedy recovery. Proper nutrition is not difficult to achieve. Although your movements will be severely limited, you can always ask a dear one to help you out in ensuring you receive sufficient nutrition daily.

 

5 Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a medical condition which affects the feet. It will cause extreme pain and this pain is more pronounced during the morning when the ligaments and tendons in the feet are not yet warmed up. Many patients describe the pain they experience in the morning as being stabbed repeatedly in the feet. The onset of pain is largely due to long periods of immobility of the feet such as a long day of using the computer. As the activities around the leg increases, the pain will decrease. The most common treatment method is the use of anti-inflammatory medication as well as pain killers to provide pain relief. However, some home remedies can actually work wonders.

Ice

Ice is probably the cheapest and one of the most effective home remedies. If you have an ice pack, use it. If not, you can even use frozen peas. Massage the painful area for around 15 minutes, 5 times a day. Ice can help to bring down swelling and reduce inflammation.

Protective arch support insoles

You should purchase insoles that provide arch support and place them in your shoes. It can help to reduce pain and divert away some of the impact to bring relief of pain when you move around. If possible, you should even wear them at home when you move around.

Stretching

Whenever possible during the day, you should perform stretching exercises targeted at your legs. Exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon and Plantar Fascia will help to increase flexibility and warm the area up, reducing pain.

Massages using creams or oils

If able, you should massage the painful area with pain relief creams or even medicated oils multiple times during the day. Massages with medicated oils will help increase the blood circulation level at the legs and bring pain relief and promote healing.

Foot splints

When you turn in for the day, you should use foot splints to brace the foot, ankle and lower leg. The main purpose of the splint is to provide gradual stretches of the plantar fascia throughout the night, reducing stress levels and reducing pain and inflammation. Since the stretching continues through the night, you will experience lesser pain when you first wake up in the morning.

Plantar Fasciitis is a troublesome and painful leg condition that will cause a lot of discomfort throughout the day and night. It is not good to depend on pain relief medication always and whenever possible, you should substitute the pain relief medication with some home remedies.

Why Does Cold Weather Causes Pain in Our Joints?

Do you have an elder at home who seems to be very accurate with her prediction on when the rain will come? They always tell you that once they experience pain in the joint, it will rain soon after. Medically wise, it is still an unsolved mystery about the exact relation between painful joints with cold weather. For a long time, cold and rainy weather has been linked to joint problems and arthritis and these affect areas such as the elbow, wrist, shoulders and knees.

Most people with arthritis or joint problems will suffer pain when the weather changes for the worse. It is largely due to the change in atmospheric pressure. Located in our joints are a lot of sensory nerves which are extremely sensitive to any changes to pressure. Cold weather will cause the linings at the joints to constrict, causing pain and discomfort to patients. Cold weather also restricts the circulation blood flow through the body. As a result, it can cause further inflammation in the joints. Another simple explanation is that during cold and wet weather conditions, movements are severely limited. Most of us will not feel like moving around and want to simply waste our time at home. This lack of movement can cause our body to stiffen up and cause pain in the joints. The natural body mechanism also contributes to joint pain during cold weather. The natural defence mechanism of our body is to divert all the blood from the rest of our body to protect the core of it at the centre of the body. As such, it will divert away and restrict flow to blood to places further from the heart such as the fingers and legs. Due to a reduced blood blow to these extremities, it can cause a lot of problems for people especially those suffering from arthritis.

There is however no strong evidence between cold weather and joint pain although people do experience an increase in joint pain during cold weather. You can try to deal with it with some simple methods. Try to always keep your body covered in thick and warm clothes whenever the weather changes. This will help to proper the flow of blood through your body and reduce joint inflammation. A cup of hot tea or coffee can always help to bring warmth to the rest of your body, relieving some of the symptoms.

 

Top 5 Most Common Types of Arthritis

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “arthritis“? Some of the common things include old age and painful joints. This is actually quite accurate! Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and this is more common in people of certain age, especially those above 50 years old. There is currently no cure for arthritis. Arthritis occurs in many different forms and there are more than 100 types of them. In this article, let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.

Rheumatic Arthritis

Rheumatic arthritis is a disease of the immune system. The function of the immune system is to protect our body and defend against any foreign intruders in the form of viruses and bacteria. However, rheumatic arthritis causes the immune system to go haywire. Instead of protecting us, the immune system attacks us instead and these slow and steady attacks causes’ great damages to the structures of our body including the joints, muscles and organs.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is degenerative joint diseases which results from overuse of the various joints. Osteoarthritis does not happen at an older age. Instead, it can happen to people as young as 20 years old, especially if they use their joints much more than others. Sports injuries can also cause osteoarthritis. A patient suffering from osteoarthritis has his joint cartilage broken down. The main function of the cartilage is to absorb weight and shock and to cushion the joints. Without it, injuries and accelerated wear and tear can happen to people.

Lupus

Lupus is another disease of the immune system. Acting on the same principle as Rheumatic arthritis, the immune system attacks the healthy components of the body, especially the joints. Not only does Lupus cause inflammation of the joint, it can also cause problems such as swelling and high blood pressure.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes pain and stiffness of the joints but unlike other forms of arthritis, it does not cause any inflammation to the joint. As a result, any damages to the joints are not caused by fibromyalgia. The common places affected are the ligaments, tendons and tissues.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

As its name suggest, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs in juveniles. It is a chronic disorder that causes serious disability to children. The most commonly affected places are the joints and it causes immense pain, swelling and tenderness of the joints.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis out there and they are unique in their own ways. Before seeking medical attention, you should try to determine the type of arthritis you are suffering from. Arthritis causes pain, swelling and discomfort at areas such as the joints and they can cause simple activities such as walking a daunting task.

Typical Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

Have you ever experienced pain that does not go away with time at the bottom of your foot? The cause of this could possibly be Plantar Fasciitis, a condition that affects the bottom of the foot mainly due to inflammation of the fascia. Plantar Fasciitis is often caused by over usage of the Plantar Fascia. People who engage in long distance running without wearing shoes that provide good cushioning and support are much more prone to this.

Rest

The first and foremost is to stop whatever is causing the pain and this is usually running. You need to provide sufficient time for the inflammation in the fascia to go away and this can reduce the pain significantly. During this period, you should not engage in any form of sporting activities.

Ice pack

The next step would be to apply ice pack on the painful area. Ice pack will help to reduce the swelling, decrease the pain and help to control inflammation. Make sure that you are applying ice pack and not a warm pack as you should only apply a warm pack before any activities and not after.

Taping

Plantar fasciitis taping or simply taping can help to relieve stress and pressure on the plantar fascia ligament as it inhibits movement of the fascia. It can be easily done with athletic tape which is widely available in sporting stores.

Anti-inflammatory medication

Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help to reduce inflammatory and reduce pain. If over the counter medication do not help, you may consider getting prescribed medication to relieve the pain.

Shock absorbing heel pads

Heel pads with shock absorbing features are excellent in treating plantar fasciitis. They help to cushion whatever shock that is experienced during walking and running. Heel pads can also help to reduce arch strain which is usually associated with plantar fasciitis.

Exercises

Stretching exercises can help to reduce the pain significantly in a short period of time. Stretching will also increase the flexibility of the ligaments and increase the muscular strength, allowing it to better support the arch of the foot.

Night splint

During night time, the plantar fascia muscle will contract and tighten, resulting in tremendous pain when you wake up in the morning. The pain will slowly decrease as the day passes as the muscles are stretched. Therefore, wearing a night splint during sleep will prevent the plantar fascia muscle from contracting and tightening, reducing the pain experienced when you wake up in the morning.

There is no one single treatment for plantar fasciitis. Rather, it is a combination of a number of methods all joined together for optimal results. It is important to keep the muscle warm and flexible to reduce the pain.